The Name of MN 26: Ariyapariyesana, Pasarasi, both or neither?

Hi. I’m used to MN 26 being called the Ariyapariyesanā Sutta, but on Sutta Central it seems to be called “Pāsarāsisutta” Is that an established alternate name?


Indeed it seems to be an established allternative name for the sutta, at least as per the Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names

* Pāsarāsi Sutta . Another name for the Ariyapariyesanā Sutta (q.v.). See also MA.ii.740.



Both names appear in manuscripts. Ariyapariyesana seems to be favored in the Sinhalese manuscripts, Pāsarāsi in the Burmese. But none of the sources I’ve checked are at all comprehensive.

I just checked Ven Bodhi’s Middle Length Discourses and Ven Analayo’s Comparative Study, both of whom note that the commentary to MN 26 refers to the text as the Pāsarāsisutta. Analayo discusses the detail that the Ariyapariyesa is used in the Abhidhamma commentary.

However they both omit to notice that the MN commentary, at least in the VRI edition, uses both names. At the end it says:

Pāsarāsisuttavaṇṇanā niṭṭhitā. Ariyapariyesanātipi etasseva nāmaṃ
The commentary to the Pāsarāsi Sutta is finished. It’s also known as “Ariyapariyesana”.

There’s only one Chinese parallel, MA 204, which bears the title “The Discourse at Rammaka’s Hermitage”.

So it seems there was no consensus in ancient times as to the name.

But Ariyapariyesana is the best one!


Why does SC then have Pāsarāsi?


Because we don’t change the source texts. :man_shrugging:


Well, that’s a valid reason! :smile:


Curious what your philosophy of translating differently from the source text is, then. I’m not complaining, just curious. Is it because that is how Bhante Bodhi translated it?

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Kind of, yes. As a rule, I prefer the names as found in Bhikkhu Bodhi, who prefers the Sinhala readings for names. But he is also following the older tradition in international Buddhist studies, probably stemming originally from the PTS. There’s no real reason for preferring the Sinhala readings, except that they tend to be better known. Note that this applies to all names, not just Sutta titles.

Normally the difference is just a spelling variation, but occasionally, as here, the name is quite different.