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The Sutta Pitaka


The suttas are grouped into five nikayas, or collections:

Digha Nikaya
The "Long" Discourses (Pali digha = "long"), which consists of 34 suttas, including the well-known Mahasatipatthana Sutta (The Greater Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness), the Samaññaphala Sutta (The Fruits of the Contemplative Life), the Mahaparinibbana Sutta (The Buddha's Last Days), and many others.
Majjhima Nikaya
The "Middle-length" Discourses (Pali majjhima = "middle"), which consists of 152 suttas of varying length, including the Sabbasava Sutta (All the Taints), Culakammavibhanga Sutta (Shorter Exposition of Kamma), the Anapanasati Sutta (Mindfulness of Breathing), Kayagatasati Sutta (Mindfulness of the Body), the Angulimala Sutta (The Story of Angulimala), and many more.
Samyutta Nikaya
The "Grouped" Discourses (Pali samyutta = "group" or "collection"), which consists of 2,889 shorter suttas grouped together by theme into 56 samyuttas.
Anguttara Nikaya
The "Further-factored" Discourses (Pali anga = "factor" + uttara = "beyond," "further"), which consists of 8,777 short suttas, grouped together into eleven nipatas according to the number of items of Dhamma covered in each sutta. For example, the Eka-nipata ("Book of the Ones") contains suttas about a single item of Dhamma; the Duka-nipata ("Book of the Twos") contains suttas dealing with two items of Dhamma, and so on.
Khuddaka Nikaya
The "Division of Short Books" (Pali khudda = "smaller," "lesser"), consisting of 15 "books" (17 in the Thai edition; 18 in the Burmese), including the Dhammapada, Therigatha (Verses of the Elder Nuns), Theragatha (Verses of the Elder Monks), Sutta Nipata, Jataka stories, etc.

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Dhamma Essay:
Self-transformation by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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