Sutta Pitaka Parallels Vizualisation Chart

I was inspired in the past few days to work on an old idea of mine, here is the result.

It represents the “entire” 5 Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka (like this chart) but with all the parallels between the suttas using the edge bundling method.

You can view full screen here. or have a look at the SVG here

Here is how I produced the data for the parallels: Sutta Central Parallels | Sc Parallels

And this is where the chart is produced on observable.

I don’t know if there are bug or mistakes in my approach. Please let me know if you see anything funny in the chart!

With Metta,


Amazing, venerable. Could I use this as an image on SC?


Amazing, thank you so much for doing this- this is an incredible piece of work!

I have been planning on doing a map of the suttas and which ones talk about 4 Noble truths, karma, rebirth, 12-fold nexus of conditioned origination, women (positive or negative references), sexuality, etc etc. Has anyone done that as a diagram to highlight what can be considered “core” teachings and what only appears on rare occasions. The purpose is obviously to see visually what is more likely to be Buddhavacana vs. not.

Has anyone done that?

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Both myself and @chaz have played around with ideas in obsidian. I haven’t seen anything complete.

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Interesting idea, you could do like density map of ideas, like a galaxy, then see what is in the center and what in the periphery. This is something that constantly comes up. People are endlessly finding entirely new takes on the dhamma based on an obscure teaching or interpretation, and being able to visualize where that sits would be handy.

It’s something I feel as a teacher. The things that matter to me, I say them over and over again, year after year. Then there are other things, which I say every so often and that becomes a huge thing.


Yes, no problem Bhante @sujato,

There is still some things I could improve on the image itself.

Also, I thought to have a better rendering of the raster image “a la Google Map” with tiled images. to include it on SuttaCentral. I was working on a branch of the site to include the original map on SuttaCentral Pali Canon Overview page and maybe make another similar page for the exploration of the parallels?


Love this!! Nice visual evidence of why

DN is the earliest Nikaya


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It’s my understanding that the parallel data on SC within the suttapitaka is quite limited, isn’t it? Could it just be that it is more complete for the DN?


Yes of course @Snowbird , it is highly likely that there will be a LOT of bias towards DN in terms of building parallels, for a host of reasons, not least of which that their are fewer of them, that they occur at the beginning of the collection, and that they are longer and so more likely to have more opportunities to be paralleled!

Hence the pokey tongue to indicate that I shouldn’t be taken TOO seriously here.

That said, I do think that it is a nice visual representation of why we might suspect that the silakandhavagga especially is really integral to the collections as a whole, and I DO think there are plenty of other reasons to think that in particular the bulk of the samanaphalasutta may be the earliest substantial piece of buddhist prose we have.

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Well, a lot of the DN consists of compilations from elsewhere, mainly AN, so that would make sense.

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