the suttanipata

THE SUTTANIPATA

An Ancient Collection of the Buddha’s Discourses Together with Its Commentaries

Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Suttanipāta, or “Group of Discourses” is a collection of discourses ascribed to the Buddha that includes some of the most popular suttas of the Pāli Canon, among them the Loving-Kindness Sutta. The suttas are primarily in verse, though several are in mixed prose and verse. The Suttanipāta contains discourses that extol the figure of the muni, the illumined sage, who wanders homeless completely detached from the world. Other suttas, such as the Discourse on Downfall and the Discourse on Blessings, establish the foundations of Buddhist lay ethics. The last two chapters—the Aṭṭhakavagga (Chapter of Octads) and the Pārāyanavagga (The Chapter on the Way to the Beyond)—are considered to be among the most ancient parts of the Pāli Canon. The Aṭṭhakavagga advocates a critical attitude toward views and doctrines. The Pārāyanavagga is a beautiful poem in which sixteen spiritual seekers travel across India to meet the Buddha and ask him profound questions pertaining to the highest goal.

The main commentary, the Paramatthajotikā, relates the background story to each sutta and explains each verse in detail. The volume includes numerous excerpts from the Niddesa, an ancient commentary already included in the Pāli Canon, which offers detailed expositions of each verse in the Aṭṭhakavagga, the Pārāyanavagga, and the Rhinoceros Horn Sutta.

Translator Bhikkhu Bodhi provides an insightful, in-depth introduction, a guide to the individual suttas, extensive notes, a list of parallels to the discourses of the Suttanipāta, and a list of the numerical sets mentioned in the commentaries.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 1616 pages, 5.50 x 8.75 inches
  • $75
  • ISBN 9781614294290
  • ebook
  • 1616 pages
  • $39.99
  • ISBN 9781614294542
about the author
The Suttanipata

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk from New York City, born in 1944. He obtained a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College and a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate School. After completing his university studies he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, both under the leading Sri Lankan scholar-monk, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (1896-1998). From 1984 to 2002 he was the editor for the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy, where he lived for ten years with the senior German monk, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994), at the Forest Hermitage. He returned to the U.S. in 2002. He currently lives and teaches at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor. These include The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya, 1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya, 2000), and The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya, 2012). In 2008, together with several of his students, Ven. Bodhi founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit supporting hunger relief, sustainable agriculture, and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.

Other books by Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Abhidhamma Studies
The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
The Connected Discourses of the Buddha
The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha
In the Buddha’s Words
The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony
Great Disciples of the Buddha

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