Tomás Morales y Durán

The Word of the Buddha – 10

The Numbered or Numerical Discourses are generally known as Aṅguttara Nikāya in Pāli, abbreviated AN. However, the Pāli tradition is also known as Ekottara (one up or incremental), i.e., the Incremental Collection, and this is the form generally found in northern collections. These collections arrange the texts in numbered sets, from one to eleven. Compared to the other nikāyas, they are more oriented to the lay community. The Ekottarikāgama (EA) in Chinese is a very unusual text, presenting a variety of variations in itself even when it comes to basic doctrines. It has much less in common with the Aṅguttara in Pāli than the other collections have with their counterparts. In addition, there is a partial Ekottarikāgama in Chinese, as well as a variety of individual discourses and fragments in Chinese and Sanskrit. In the first two books, the Ones and the Twos, we have a very interesting feature. Not in very readable material, as it was never intended to be read as a readable book. We do not find with lists called Mātikās, or watercourses, that is, figuratively speaking, channels along which oral teaching would flow; that is, headings for speech. These would probably have been written on thin metal plates long before attempts were made to write the speeches themselves. Such writing material, plates, or also letters carved in rocks, lent itself poorly to expansion. The second book, that of the Doses maintains the matrix structure of Mātikās of the previous book, serving as a mnemonic base of headings to be remembered, so it is not very readable and, therefore, its interest is very scarce. We can highlight AN 2.61, on the permanent female dissatisfaction as a very curious original contribution.
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