This book contains the integral Dutch translation of the second volume of the Anguttara-Nikaya, ‘The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha’.
The Anguttara-Nikaya is traditionally seen as the fourth set (nikaya) in the Sutta-Pitaka, after the Digha-Nikaya, the Majjhima-Nikaya and the Samyutta-Nikaya. The Sutta-Pitaka is the ‘basket’ of discourses (sutta’s) attributed to the historical Buddha and his main disciples.
The Sutta-Pitaka is part of the Pali-Canon together with the Vinaya-Pitaka (the ‘basket’ of the monastic rules) and the Abhidhamma-Pitaka (the ‘basket’ with detailed scholastic presentations of doctrinal material). Together they form the body of sacred texts of Theravada Buddhism. The Pali-Canon or Tipitaka (‘three baskets’) contain the oldest extant scriptures of the Buddhist tradition.
The entire Anguttara-Nikaya consists of 11 books in which 8122 suttas are arranged according to their numerical content. These eleven books contain teachings that cover an increasing number of topics.
This volume contains the translation of the fourth book: “The Book of the Fours”. It contains those suttas that consistantly deal with four items, such as the four factors involved in striving for purity, the four paths along which one can attain arahatship and the four mental illnesses of the homeless. The topics discussed are of a very diverse nature: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Discipline, the importance of the mind, the importance of a harmonious family, the path leading upwards, dispelling the enchantment of the world, the defilements of the mind, the path of renunciation, meditation-practice, insight, the Sangha as an institution, the community of noble persons, types of persons. The alternation of themes makes the reading lively and offers the reader a kaleidoscopic view of many different aspects of the Dhamma.