This book contains the integral Dutch translation of the fourth 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 seventh, eighth and ninth book: “The Book of Sevenths”, “The Book of Eighths” and “The Book of Ninths”. It contains those suttas that consistantly deal with seven, eight and nine items, such as the “Seven Principles for the Vajjis” (sutta 7.21), the principles to which they should adhere in order to attain great prosperity. In sutta 7.23 these principles are reiterated to the monks in an adapted form, in order to prevent deterioration. In sutta 8.1 the eight benefits of practising loving-kindness are discussed. In the suttas 9.63-72 five concrete effects are mentioned that can be realised with the four forms of cultivating mindfulness, together nine items. The topics are very diverse. To bring some order in this diversity, a ‘thematic guide’ has been added, in which thirteen themes are distinguished, which can be considered the framework in which the individual suttas are embedded.
‘The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha’ were translated directly from the Pali, introduced and annotated by Jan de Breet and Rob Janssen.
Drs. J.A. de Breet (1959-2021) studied Indology at Leiden University.
Prof. Dr. R.H.C. Janssen (1931-2019) was emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology and Personality Studies at the Free University (VU) in Amsterdam. He studied Pali and Sanskrit at Leiden University.
Jan de Breet and Rob Janssen have, in addition to a complete translation of the Anguttara-Nikaya (The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha), provided translations of the Digha-Nikaya (The Long Discourses of the Buddha), the Majjhima-Nikaya (The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha), the Samyutta-Nikaya (The Connected Discourses of the Buddha), and parts of the Khuddaka-Nikaya (The Short Discourses of the Buddha).