This book contains the Dutch standard translation of four works that are part of the Khuddaka-Nikaya, ‘The Collection of Short Discourses of the Buddha’.
The Khuddaka-Nikaya is traditionally seen as – after the Digha, the Majjhima, the Samyutta and the Anguttara-Nikaya – the last of the five collections (nikayas) of the Sutta-Pitaka: the ‘basket’ (pitaka) of teachings (suttas) 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 Khuddaka-Nikaya is a heterogeneous collection of 15 works: Khuddaka-Patha, Dhammapada, Udana, Itivuttaka, Sutta-Nipata, Vimanavatthu, Petavatthu, Theragatha, Therigatha, Jataka Niddesa, Patisambhidamagga, Apadana, Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka. Some of these are among the most famous of Buddhist texts.
This book contains the integral translation of the Khuddaka-Patha (‘Short Passages’), the Udana (‘Moved Statements’), the Itivuttaka (‘Thus it is said’) and the Cariyapitaka (‘Collection of Writings on Conduct’). The Khuddaka-Patha is the smallest of all the books in the Pali Canon. It probably functioned as a practical manual that a monk knew by heart or carried with him and from which he could recite. The Udana contains eighty stirring or inspired sayings of the Buddha, usually in verse form, which are preceded by a short story, indicating the circumstances in which the statement was made. The Itivuttaka is a collection of 112 short teachings of the Buddha, each consisting of a prose introduction, which gives the essence of the teaching, and an elaboration in verse. The Cariyapitaka contains thirty-five stories of past lives, as humans or as animals, of the Bodhisattva, the Buddha when he was not yet awakened.