This book contains the integral Dutch translation of the third volume of the Samyutta-Nikaya, ‘The Connected Discourses of the Buddha’.
The Samyutta-Nikaya is traditionally seen as the third set (nikaya) in the Sutta-Pitaka, after the Digha-Nikaya and the Majjhima-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 Samyutta-Nikaya contains 2904 suttas, divided into 56 books (samyuttas), each of which deals with a particular theme. In the many, often very short, suttas of the Samyutta-Nikaya, the Buddha’s radical insights into human nature are presented and his unique path to spiritual liberation from suffering in this world is shown.
This third volume, the Khandha-Vagga, ‘The Book of the Aggregates’, contains 13 books. The thread that runs through this volume is the ‘five aggregates of the personality’ (pañca khandha). The first and longest book is entirely devoted to this. Three smaller books (23, 24 and 33) are also devoted to it. The other nine books deal with four themes: the ten ways of describing sensory experiences, the nine stages of meditation, karma and the skills needed to achieve concentration. In books 28 and 33 we also learn something about the personalities of two important disciples of the Buddha, Sariputta and Vacchagotta.