Suttas Mentioned in the Rock Edicts

Seven suttas are mentioned in the Minor Rock Edict #3.

I believe that
‘the Discourse on the Pure Life’ is Snp 4.4
‘Upatisa’s Questions’ is Snp 5.7

Does anyone know if there is a definitive mapping of these seven suttas to suttas in the Pali Canon?

Apparently, a french scholar names Lamotte had some ideas about them, but I cannot find what he wrote on the web.

PS. The Poem on the Silent Sage’ may be Snp 4.3

PPS. Lamotte’s book is the History of Indian Buddhism. It is quite expensive, but appears to be available to university students at services like jstor. If anyone has access it would be interesting to hear what he said about this.

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Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s stab at it:


Years ago I read 3 were more strongly linked than others. Not the 2 mentioned. But these emerged from being quoted, not this reccomendation.

The consensus is that we cannot identify all the texts with confidence, yet we can say there is no call to think these are anything other than texts from the early canon. In other words, these all seem like early Buddhist texts, even if we can’t say exactly which texts in every case.

BTW Lamotte was a Belgian scholar and one of the giants of the field. Well worth reading if you can.

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I actually found the English translation of his book on the mirror site of ahandfulofleaves here. See page 228 of the book for his remarks on the texts mentioned.

It will definitely be the next book I read after I finish my current book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Lamotte’s book (1988) can also be downloaded from the Internet Archive.


I did some searches on the Internet Archive for Ashoka Edicts and Ashoka Inscriptions and got a few books. I have not gone through all of them and I most certainly do not know of the scholastic merits of these works but some forum members here will know or can judge. The third book at the end mentions the suttas (I can recognize only two of them). Anyway, this is more in FWIW spirit: