Philosophy of language in the Five Nikayas

by K.T.S. Sarao | 2013 | 141,449 words

This page relates ‘Anguttara Nikaya (Numerical Discourses of the Buddha)’ of the study of the Philosophy of language in the Five Nikayas, from the perspective of linguistics. The Five Nikayas, in Theravada Buddhism, refers to the five books of the Sutta Pitaka (“Basket of Sutra”), which itself is the second division of the Pali Tipitaka of the Buddhist Canon (literature).

2.5(e). Aṅguttara Nikāya (Numerical Discourses of the Buddha)

The Aṅguttara Nikāya ‘Numerical Discourses of the Buddha’ is the fourth great Collection of the Buddha’s discourses following the Dīgha Nikāya, Majjhima Nikāya, and Saṃyutta Nikāya in the Sutta Piṭaka of the Pāli Canon. This Collection of Discourses constitutes an important source book on Buddhist psychology and ethics, which provides an enumerated summary of all the essential features concerning the theory and practice of the Dhamma. The Aṅguttara Nikāya containing 9,557 short Suttas is divided into eleven Divisions known as Nipātas within which each nipāta is again divided into group called Vaggas, and each Vagga usually contains ten Suttas. The Discourse are arranged in progressive numerical order, each nipāta containing Suttas with items of dhamma, beginning with one item and moving up by units of one till there are eleven items og dhamma in each Sutta of the last nipāta. Thus, the name Aṅguttara means ‘increasing by one item’. As its specific nature, the first nipāta, Ekaka Nipāta, therefore, provides in each single items of dhamma called the Ones; the second nipāta, Duke Nipāta, contains in each Sutta two items of dhamma called the Twos, and the last nipāta, Ekādasaka Nipāta, is made up of Suttas with eleven items of dhamma in each called the Elevens.

The eleven Nipātas contained in the Āṅguttara are as below:

i. Ekaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Ones’,
ii. Duka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Twos’,
iii. Tika Nipata—‘The Books of the Threes’,
iv. Catukka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Fours’,
v. Pañcaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Fives’,
vi. Chakka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Sixs’,
vii. Sattaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Sevens’,
viii. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Eights’,
ix. Navaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Nines’,
x. Dasaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Tens’,
xi. Ekādasaka Nipāta—‘The Books of the Elevens’.

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