Which parts of the Aṅguttara Nikāya are consistent with counterpart collections?

From Wikipedia

The Anguttara Nikaya corresponds to the Ekottara Āgama (“Increased by One Discourses”) found in the Sutra Pitikas of various Sanskritic early Buddhists schools, fragments of which survive in Sanskrit. A complete version survives in Chinese translation by the name Zēngyī Ahánjīng (增一阿含經); it is thought to be from either the Mahāsāṃghika or Sarvāstivādin recensions. According to Keown, “there is considerable disparity between the Pāli and the Sarvāstivādin versions, with more than two-thirds of the sūtras found in one but not the other compilation, which suggests that much of this portion of the Sūtra Piṭaka was not formed until a fairly late date.”[1

Can anyone name which parts of the Anguttara correspond to counterparts in other traditions and/or are most likely to be “early Buddhism”, the Buddha’s teachings?


Our esteemed scholar Charles Patton, @cdpatton, will most likely be able to best answer your question.

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If you open any sutta card in SuttaCentral, you’ll see its Chinese parallels listed under “Parallels” But keep in mind that the Agamas all came from different schools, so some suttas we have multiple parallels for and some suttas we know are early had their parallels fall through the cracks. So a lack of parallels is not necessarily a sign that a given sutta is late. You have to look more at the content of the sutta and build up an understanding of the progression of Buddhist philosophy to understand where a given text fits.

Mostly, you can just trust that the entire AN is early. There’s extremely little in it that is late.

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EA /增一阿含經 , and its Pali counterpart AN, are part of the principal four Nikayas/Agamas (collections) in Early Buddhism.

As for which parts of EA and AN corresponding to other early Buddhist texts, particularly SA/SN, see pp. 755-787, in YinShun’s The Formation of Early Buddhist Texts (原始佛教聖典之集成).

It’s kind of difficult to list them all out in a forum post, but I do have a table of parallels for the Chinese Ekottarika Agama that shows it’s Pali parallels on my Wiki site. AN and EA both have parallels in other collections, and they both have a large number of sutras without extant parallels.