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TipitakaSutta PitakaContext of the Anguttara Nikaya

The Anguttara Nikaya
The "Further-factored" Discourses

The Anguttara Nikaya, the fourth division of the Sutta Pitaka, consists of suttas arranged in eleven sections (nipatas) according to numerical content. For example, the first nipata -- the "Book of the Ones" -- contains suttas concerning a single topic; the second nipata -- the "Book of the Twos" -- contains suttas concerning pairs of things (e.g., a sutta about tranquillity and insight; another about the two people one can never adequately repay (one's parents); another about two kinds of happiness; etc.); the third nipata contains suttas concerning three things (e.g., a sutta on the three kinds of praiseworthy acts; another about three kinds of offense), and so on.

At first this may seem to be a rather pedantic and fussy classification scheme, but in fact it often proves quite useful. For example, if you dimly recall having once heard someone say something about the five subjects worthy of daily contemplation, and you'd like to track down the original passage in the Canon, you might begin your search in the "Book of the Fives" in the Anguttara. (The Index by Number can be helpful, too, in tracking down passages from the Anguttara Nikaya.)

Selected suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, these suttas were translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. An anthology of Thanissaro Bhikkhu's sutta translations is also available in Microsoft Word 6 (Macintosh/Windows) format.


I. Book of the Ones
II. Book of the Twos
III. Book of the Threes
IV. Book of the Fours
V. Book of the Fives
VI. Book of the Sixes
VII. Book of the Sevens
VIII. Book of the Eights
IX. Book of the Nines
X. Book of the Tens
XI. Book of the Elevens

I - Book of the Ones [top]

II - Book of the Twos [top]

III - Book of the Threes [top]

IV - Book of the Fours [top]

V - Book of the Fives [top]

VI - Book of the Sixes [top]

VII - Book of the Sevens [top]

VIII - Book of the Eights [top]

IX - Book of the Nines [top]

X - Book of the Tens [top]

XI - Book of the Elevens [top]

  • Kimattha Sutta (AN XI.1) -- What is the Purpose?. Why does the Buddha always implore us to cultivate sila (virtue)? Because all other skillful mental qualities, leading right up to Awakening, depend upon it.
  • Cetana Sutta (AN XI.2) -- An Act of Will. Good qualities in the heart naturally lead to the development of other good qualities. It all starts with sila (virtue).
  • Mahanama Sutta (AN XI.12) -- To Mahanama (1). The Buddha instructs the householder Mahanama on the importance of developing the six recollections (recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, one's own virtues, one's own generosity, and the devas).
  • Mahanama Sutta (AN XI.13) -- To Mahanama (2). The Buddha further instructs the householder Mahanama on the importance of developing the six recollections, reminding him to develop these recollections in every posture, even "while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children."
  • Metta Sutta (AN XI.16) -- Good Will. The Buddha identifies eleven benefits arising from the practice of metta (loving kindness, or good-will) meditation.


Updated: 1-7-2000

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