Suttanipata - translated parallels (Chinese, Sanskrit)?


I was surprised to read that of all things the Snp has very few Chinese parallels. Does anyone know if B.Bodhi’s new translation lists all differences from the parts which have Chinese parallels?

Unfortunately I don’t have access to a copy (yet). More specifically I’d be interested if the introductory verses of the Pārānayavagga stand out in having much less parallels than the other parts of the Pārānayavagga.

I ask because I’m not sure if the parallels listed on SC are complete by now…


There is an extensive list of parallels, quite a few in Chinese. However, looking at Sutta Central, it does seem like there are now quite a few Chinese parallels listed, and it would take some time to collate them relative to Bhikkhu Bodhi’s list.


Parallels to Suttas of the Suttanipata (from Bhikkhu Bodhi’s new translation of Snp)

I. Pāli Canon
I,3 Khaggavisāṇa Sutta : Ap I 8–13 (90–131)
I,4 Kasibhāradvāja Sutta : SN 7:11
I,8 Metta Sutta : Khp 9
I,10 Āḷavaka Sutta : SN 10:12
II,1 Ratana Sutta : Khp 6
II,3 Hiri Sutta : Ja III 196,10–23
II,4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta : Khp 5
II,5 Sūciloma Sutta : SN 10:3
II,12 Vaṅgīsa Sutta : Th 1263–79 (verses only)
III,3 Subhāsita Sutta : SN 8:5
III,4 Sundarikabhāradvāja Sutta : SN 7:9 (part only)
III,7 Sela Sutta : MN 92; Th 818–41 (verses
III,10 Kokālika Sutta : SN 6:10; AN 10:89

II. Other Traditions

I,1 Uraga Sutta

Gāndhārī: GDhp 81–90
Prakrit: Patna Dhp 398–414
Sanskrit: Udv 18.21, 18.21A–F, 32.55–80

I,3 Khaggavisāṇa Sutta

Gāndhārī: Salomon 2000, 115–201
Sanskrit: Mvu 357–59

I,4 Kasibhāradvāja Sutta

Chinese: SĀ 98 (T II 27a10–27b28); SĀ2 264 (T II 466b18–
466c11); SĀ3 1 (T II 493a7–493b11)

I,5 Cunda Sutta

Sanskrit: Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra §26 (Waldschmidt 1951, 252–64)
Chinese: DĀ 2 (T I no. 1, 18b9–18c6); T I no. 5, 167c6–168a11; T I no. 6, 183b10–183b27; T I no. 7, 196c12–196c23 (part-parallel)

I,7 Vasala Sutta

Chinese: SĀ 102 (T II 28b19–29b20); SĀ2 268 (T II 467b27–468b18)

I,9 Hemavata Sutta

Chinese: SĀ 1329 (T II 365c6–367b4); SĀ2 328 (T II 483c17–485a23); T IV no. 198, 183b17–184b2

I,10 Āḷavaka Sutta

Chinese: SĀ 1326 (T II 364b21–365a23); SĀ2 325 (T II 482c8–483b03)

II,1 Ratana Sutta

anskrit: Mvu I 290–95

II,4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta

Chinese: T IV no. 211, 609a12–609b14

II,5 Sūciloma Sutta

Sanskrit: Śag 11.1–4
Chinese: SĀ 1324 (T II 363b29–364a01); SĀ2 323 (T II 481c15–482a15)

II,7 Brāhmaṇadhammika Sutta

Chinese: MĀ 156 (T I 678a24–679a25)

III,1 Pabbajjā Sutta

Sanskrit: Mvu II 198–200; Saṅghabhedavastu (Gnoli 1977,1:94–96)
Chinese: T XXII no. 1428, 779c26-780a24

III,2 Padhāna Sutta

Sanskrit: Mvu II 238–40; Lalitavistara 18:1–22

III,3 Subhāsita Sutta

Sanskrit: Śag 20 (450 only)
Chinese: SĀ 1218 (T II 332a08–332a29); SĀ2 253 (T II 462b19–462b19)

III,6 Sabhiya Sutta

Sanskrit: Mvu III 389–94
Chinese: T III no. 190, 833b8–835b22

III,7 Sela Sutta

Chinese: EĀ 49.6 (T II 798a25–799c16)

III,10 Kokālika Sutta

Chinese: SĀ 1278 (T II 351b12–352a13); SĀ2 276 (T II 470a14–470b20); EĀ 21.5 (T II 603b02–603c17)

III,11 Nālaka Sutta

Sanskrit: Mvu III 386–89; Saṅghabhedavastu (Gnoli 1977, 1:52–55, vatthugāthā only)

V,1–16 Aṭṭhakavagga

Chinese: T IV no. 198 (佛說義足經, *Arthapada Sūtra).
(Available in English translation here: Chinese Atthakavagga)

The correspondence of suttas and verses is as follows.
IV,1 Kāma Sutta, 766–71

Sanskrit: Śag 40.1–6
Chinese no. 1: T IV 175c17–175c24

IV,2 Guhaṭṭhaka Sutta, 772–79

Chinese no. 2: T IV 176a24–176b10

IV,3 Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta, 780–87

Chinese no. 3: T IV 177b28–177c2, 177c7–177c18

IV,4 Suddhaṭṭhaka Sutta, 788–95

Chinese no. 4: T IV 178a2–178a17

IV,5 Paramaṭṭhaka Sutta, 796–803

Chinese no. 5: T IV 178b27–178c13

IV,6 Jarā Sutta, 804–13

Chinese no. 6: T IV 179a3–179a22

IV,7 Tissametteyya Sutta, 814–23

Chinese no. 7: T IV 179b11–179c1

IV,8 Pasūra Sutta, 824–34

Chinese no. 8: T IV 179c18–180a11

IV,9 Māgandiya Sutta, 835–47

Chinese no. 9: T IV 180b5–180c2

IV,10 Purābheda Sutta, 848–61

Chinese no. 15: T IV 187c10–188a8

IV,11 Kalahavivāda Sutta, 862–77

Chinese no. 10: T IV 181b18–181c20

IV,12 Cūḷaviyūha Sutta, 878–94

Chinese no. 11: T IV 182a27–182c2

IV,13 Mahāviyūha Sutta, 895–914

Chinese no. 12: T IV 183a4–183b14

IV,14 Tuvaṭaka Sutta, 915–34

Chinese no. 13: T IV 184b12–184c22

IV,15 Attadaṇḍa Sutta, 935–54

Chinese no. 16: T IV 189b12–189c22

IV,16 Sāriputta Sutta, 955–75

Chinese no. 14: T IV 186b14–186c26

V,1 Ajitamāṇavapucchā, 1032–39

Sanskrit: Śag 39.1–6, 9–10

V,14 Udayamāṇavapucchā, 1110–11

Sanskrit: Śag 39.7–8


Thanks so much!


It looks like B.Bodhi put a lot of editorial work into his translation/edition. From what you read already, did you find something particularly revealing (e.g. in comparison to Norman’s translation)?


I have not read it yet, neither I have read the Norman translation :sweat_smile:, but this is from Bhikkhu Bodhi’s preface:

In preparing my translation of the Suttanipāta I regularly consulted the careful and precise translations by Norman and Jayawickrama and often refer to them in my notes. I also found Norman’s endnotes (which take up 300 pages of his 430-page volume, The Group of Discourses) particularly helpful in understanding the text from a philological perspective. Jayawickrama’s monograph, “A Critical Analysis of the Suttanipāta,” gave me insights into the work’s historical and linguistic development. The two translations I consulted most often occasionally differ due to their divergent approaches. Norman’s aim, as he expresses it in his preface, is “to give the meaning of the text as it was intended to be understood by the original speakers, or as it was accepted by the first hearers” (GD x). This is a tall order for one living so far from the culture and environment in which the Suttanipāta took shape, but Norman brought to the task his consummate knowledge of Middle Indo-Aryan languages. Jayawickrama, in contrast, leans heavily on the commentary and thus follows more closely traditional Theravādin exegesis.

In my translation I have tried to steer a middle course between the two. I sought to remain faithful to the words of the text when it is clear, simple, and straightforward. Since this is not always the case, I relied on the commentary to understand more difficult verses and obscure words and expressions. There were, however, places where I had to differ from the commentary, even when doing so created a dissonance between my rendering of the root text and the commentary. I have noted these discrepancies in the introduction (pp. 78–81), where I refer to the notes that explain my disagreements. Also, unlike Norman and Jayawickrama, I have composed my translation in free verse. Since I am not a poet, I did not aim at poetic elegance but simply at rendering the verses in a style that is more uplifting and less pedantic than a bare prose translation.


My goodness, that’s awesome. This is a complete list, I assume? We should add these to SC when we get the chance!

Just while we’re on the topic, note that SC’s parallels are based on the 4 nikayas, and latterly we added the Dhammapada. The other Khuddaka texts have not been dealt with in detail, so not particular conclusions can be drawn from what we have at the moment. Adding Sutta Nipata parallels would be a significant step towards rectifying this!

If anyone’s interested to add these, please let us know.


Yes, it’s taken from the book as it is :grin:


This list is really great, thank you for sharing.
However, I think I have much more than that.
For example, the V,1 Ajitamāṇavapucchā can be found in the Chinese Yogācāra-bhūmi-sāstra (瑜伽师地论), unfortunately we don’t have the sanskrit version of that book.
If anyone is interested in more parallels from Chinese sutras, I can add much more here.


I have reasons to believe that the introductory verses (just before the Ajitamāṇavapucchā) of Snp 5 are of later date . Can you tell if they have parallels?


I agree with you, but I do have one very special parallel verse for the introductory verses:

Sutta Nipāta 5.1
The Way to the Beyond
Introductory verses

“Know ignorance is called the head, and understanding is the head-splitter,
joined with confidence, mindfulness, concentration, desire, and energy.”

In the Chinese Abhidhamma Jnanaprasthana-sastra(阿毗达摩发智论):

What is the “Top”? Answer: To Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha, having a little belief (is the “Top”). As the Bhagava said in Mo-na-po­(摩纳婆, Might be the translation of Mogharāja?), Parayana:
若于佛法僧 生起微小信
If to Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha, having a little belief,
儒童应知彼 名已得顶法
Student you should know that this, is called achieving the “Top”.

顶(Top) is a primer fruit of Sarvastivada, and it could be a translation of muddha (head or top).
Pali parayana explained muddha here as “head”, a bad thing; and Sarvastivadins explained it as “top”, a good thing.

For the name of 波罗衍拏(Parayana) is already mentioned in the Chinese texts, I can only assure that this “top” verse here parallels with the “head” one in the introductory verses.


Excellent, thank you! On the other hand it also makes sense that especially this verse has a parallel since the whole introduction seems to revolve around this utterance of the Buddha.


Thanks a lot for sharing. The Japaniese researcher is amazing. He already found what I just mentioned above:


You’re just talking about Snp right? There’s are many more Chinese parallels for Snp parayana chapter 5 than on B.Bodhi’s list?


Fyi, Bhikkhu Bodhi also include this information on the appendix of the new translation of Snp:

Verse Parallels from the Yogācārabhūmi Śarīrārthagāthā
(from Enomoto 1989, 17–35)

To I,9: 173–75
ka etam oghaṃ tarati rātriṃdivam atandritaḥ /
anālambe ‘pratiṣṭhe ca ko gaṃbhīre na sīdati // Śag 10.1
sarvataḥ śīlasaṃpannaḥ prajñāvān susamāhitaḥ /
adhyātmacintī smṛtimāṃs taratīmaṃ sudustaraṃ // Śag 10.2
viraktaḥ kāmasaṃjñābhyo rūpasaṃyojanātigaḥ /
anālambe ‘pratiṣṭhe ca sa gaṃbhīre na sīdati // Śag 10.3

To I,10: 183–84
kena svid oghaṃ tarati kenottarati cārṇavaṃ /
duḥkhaṃ tyajati kena svit kena svit pariśudhyati // Śag 9.1
śraddhayā tarati hy ogham apramādena cārṇavaṃ /
vīryeṇa duḥkhaṃ tyajati prajñayā pariśudhyati // Śag 9.2

To II,5: 270–73
rāgadveṣau bhagavan kinnidānāv aratiratī romaharṣaḥ kuto ‘yam /
kutaḥsamutthāś ca mano vitarkāḥ kumārakā dhātrīm ivāśrayante // Śag 11.1
snehajā ātmasaṃbhūtā nyagrodhaskandhakā yathā /
pṛthagviṣaktāḥ kāmeṣu mālutā vā latā vane // Śag 11.2
rāgaś ca dveṣaś ca itonidānāv aratiratī romaharṣaḥ ito ‘yaṃ /
itaḥsamutthāś ca mano vitarkāḥ kumārakā dhātrīm ivāśrayante // Śag 11.3
ye tān prajānanti yatonidānāṃs te tāṃ janā yakṣa vinodayanti /
ta arṇavaṃ saṃpratarantīhaugham atīrṇapūrvam apunarbhavāya // Śag 11.4

To III,3: 450
subhāṣitaṃ hy uttamam āhur āryāḥ priyaṃ vaden nāpriyaṃ tad dvitīyaṃ /
satyaṃ vaden nānṛtaṃ tat tṛtīyaṃ dharmaṃ vaden nādharmaṃ tat caturtham // Śag 20

To IV,1: 766–71
kāmān kāmāyamānasya tasya cet tat samṛdhyati /
addhā prītamanā bhavati labdhvā martyo yad īpsitaṃ // Śag 40.1
tasya cet kāmāyamānasya chandajātasya jaṃtunaḥ /
te kāmāḥ parihīyaṃte śalyaviddha iva rūpyate // Śag 40.2
yaḥ kāmāṃ parivarjayati sarpasyeva śirāt padaṃ /
sa imāṃ viṣaktikāṃ loke smṛtaḥ samativartate // Śag 40.3
kṣetravastuhiraṇyaṃ ca gavāśvamaṇikuṇḍalaṃ /
striyo dāsān pṛthakkāmān yo naro hy abhigṛdhyati // Śag 40.4
abalaṃ vā balīyāṃso mṛdnaṃty enaṃ parisravāḥ /
tata enaṃ duḥkham anveti bhinnāṃ nāvam ivodakaṃ // Śag 40.5
yasya tv etat samucchinnaṃ tālamastakavad dhataṃ /
śokās tasya nivartante udabindur iva puṣkarāt // Śag 40.6

To V,1: 1032–39 (Śag 39.7–8 = 1110–11)
kenāyaṃ nivṛto lokaḥ kenāyaṃ na prakāśate /
kiṃ cābhilepanaṃ brūṣe kiṃ ca tasya mahad bhayam // Śag 39.1
avidyānivṛto lokaḥ pramādān na prakāśate /
jalpābhilepanaṃ brūmi duḥkhaṃ tasya mahad bhayaṃ // Śag 39.2
sravanti sarvataḥ srotāḥ srotasāṃ kiṃ nivāraṇaṃ /
srotasāṃ saṃvaraṃ brūhi kena srotaḥ pidhīyate // Śag 39.3
yāni srotāṃsi lokasya smṛtiḥ teṣāṃ nivāraṇaṃ /
srotasāṃ saṃvaraṃ brūmi prajñayā hi pidhīyate // Śag 39.4
prajñāyāś ca smṛteś caiva nāmarūpasya sarvaśaḥ /
ācakṣva pṛṣṭa etan me kutraitad uparudhyate // Śag 39.5
prajñā caiva smṛtiś caiva nāmarūpaṃ ca sarvaśaḥ /
vijñānasya nirodhād dhi atraitad uparudhyate // Śag 39.6
kathaṃ smṛtasya carato vijñānam uparudhyate /
ācakṣva pṛṣṭa etan me yathātatham asaṃśayaḥ // Śag 39.7
adhyātaṃ ca bahirdhā ca vedanāṃ nābhinandataḥ /
evaṃ smṛtasya carato vijñānam uparudhyate // Śag 39.8
ye ca saṃkhyātadharmāṇo ye ca śaikṣāḥ pṛthagvidhāḥ /
teṣāṃ me nipakasyeryāṃ pṛṣṭaḥ prabrūhi mārṣa // Śag 39.9
kāmeṣu nābhigṛdhyeta manasānāvilo bhavet /
kuśalaḥ sarvadharmeṣu smṛto bhikṣuḥ parivrajet // Śag 39.10


Actually, the story of introductory verses was also appeared in an old Uighur language buddhism drama script “Maitrisimit”(弥勒会见记, the Story of the Meeting of Maitreya, AD 8).
But this drama script is also an expansion of a chapter of a northen buddhism sutta called Sutta of Wise and Fool(贤愚经).
The name of the chapter is “Bāvarī Vagga”(波婆离品), and Bāvarī is the same character in the introductory verses of Parayana.

But the story is expanded and changed, and no gatha/verses at all:
Paramoda(波罗摩达), the King of Baranasi, had a baby with thirty-two marks, who was later named Maitreya.
Later Maitreya was sent to his uncle Bāvarī, the king’s teacher of another country named Bo-Li-Fu-Duo-Lo(波梨弗多罗), to study.
Then comes the story of Parayana. Bāvarī hold a great meeting, in which every attended Brahmin received 500 gold.
But the last one, named Lao-Du-Cha(劳度差), didn’t get any gold, because Bāvarī was already empty.
Lao-Du-Cha said to Bāvarī: your head(头) will break into 7 pieces in 7 days.
Bāvarī worried about this curse, so a deva who used to be his student, came to him, and told him to ask the Buddha what was “Top”(顶)。
So Bāvarī sent Maitreya and other students, totally 16 people, to see the Buddha.

Please note that in Parayana, the first 2 students are Ajita & Tissa­metteyya; and in Mahayana, Maitreya’s full name is Ajita Maitreya, Ajita is the first name, and Maitreya is the family name. ­Metteyya is Maitreya in Pali.

When Maitreya met Buddha, he also asked many questions, but the text here didn’t mention the matter of head/top again.
Then the 16 students were with Buddha, and sent Piṅgiya­(here he was Bāvarī’s elder sister’s son, but in Parayana he was a very old man) back to tell Bāvarī.

That’s the new version of Parayana’s story, Maitreya becomes the leading actor, 14 students’ names are gone, all the gathas/verses are gone, and the question of head/top is forgotten. But that’s only 40% of the whole vagga, Maitreya then has other plots which have nothing to do with Bāvarī.


There are many more Chinese parallels for Snp; but for Parayana, there are only a little. Seniya already listed the ones I’ve said in his/her floor.


This is really great, thank you for sharing.
Just like Gabriel said, the introductory verses are of later date.
But the later generations made up a new story by using these introductory verses.
It’s a story of Maitreya Bodhisattva.
As we can see from that essay:

(01-08) [The divine Buddha said:] ‘[Bā]va[ri… also] you, should be [glad]!’ [And they were] glad. The [six]teen Brahmin youths arous-ed [the wish(?)] and requested: ‘We wish to gain [happiness]!’
(08-13) The perfectly wise divine Buddha found that to be freed from this root, [… …] to the divine Buddha […] great cause [ ] .
(13-15) They each put questions to the divine Buddha.
(15-18) The perfectly wise divine Buddha deigned [to answer] the questions [asked and (?) named the cause [for …].
(18-23) The fourteen monks attained salvation. Ajita and Maitreya both remained (behind). They became, as in the Ekāgra-sūtra, celebrated mighty Arhants. They did much good through (or for) the Buddha’s teaching.

In the Sutta of Wise and Fool(贤愚经), Maitreya was along, but now there were two of them: Ajita and Maitreya.
This was because the author checked the Parayana and expanded the story again, he even put the gathas inside! (But Parayana was lost later in the Northern Buddhism.)

During the same period, in the Madhyamāgama 66 说本经, Ajita and Maitreya both appeared, and Maitreya would became Buddha, and Ajita would became the Wheel–turning King at the same time.
That’s the reason for why they two were not Arhants.
But after that, Mahayana people put Ajita and Maitreya together as one person: Ajita Maitreya.


Thanks for sharing, this is also amazing. I don’t know that we even have the sanskrit version for Yogācāra-bhūmi-sāstra.


You guys provided so much interesting context! It’s amazing how stories develop.