Earliest Buddhist Teaching

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Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby xmp333 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:07 pm

Hi,


I am interested in the earliest exposition of Buddhist philosophy/religion in general. That is,
what have scholars dated as the earliest text that exposits Buddhism as a whole, as opposed to
a handling of a specific circumstance (like death)?

I'm interested in a single teaching and not a corpus. It need not go into detail either.

If no such thing exists (due to fragmentary texts), are there any proposed reconstructions?

Links to the (English) texts would be greatly appreciated.

I have done some web searches, but am unsure if the results are correct, especially given the more
recent Gandharan finds.


Thanks in Advance!
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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:59 pm

xmp333 wrote:Hi,


I am interested in the earliest exposition of Buddhist philosophy/religion in general. That is,
what have scholars dated as the earliest text that exposits Buddhism as a whole, as opposed to
a handling of a specific circumstance (like death)?

I'm interested in a single teaching and not a corpus. It need not go into detail either.

If no such thing exists (due to fragmentary texts), are there any proposed reconstructions?

Links to the (English) texts would be greatly appreciated.

I have done some web searches, but am unsure if the results are correct, especially given the more
recent Gandharan finds.


Thanks in Advance!


I cant confirm this but I have been told that the following two suttas were found in a clay pot written on bark and are among some of the oldest actual copies of suttas. In addition I understand that the Sutta Nipata in general has some of the most accurately preserved texts based on the linguistic style. I am not a scholar so if anyone here knows better than me please chime in.

Prasadachitta





http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.03.than.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.02.than.html
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby santa100 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:45 pm

Also check out Bhikkhu Bodhi's wonderful lectures series on Sutta Nipata at:

http://bodhimonastery.org/sutta-nipata.html
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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:36 pm

The Sutta Nipata book of 8's is thought to be old, but I do not know about the earliest.
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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:25 pm

xmp333 wrote:Hi,


I am interested in the earliest exposition of Buddhist philosophy/religion in general. That is,
what have scholars dated as the earliest text that exposits Buddhism as a whole, as opposed to
a handling of a specific circumstance (like death)?

I'm interested in a single teaching and not a corpus. It need not go into detail either.

If no such thing exists (due to fragmentary texts), are there any proposed reconstructions?

Links to the (English) texts would be greatly appreciated.

I have done some web searches, but am unsure if the results are correct, especially given the more
recent Gandharan finds.


Thanks in Advance!


Doing a school paper? I don't think you'll find a Cliff's Notes survey of your wish list. K.R. Norman has covered some of the ground you mention, below is a series of his lectures which may help, but I doubt there is Q of the Buddha's teachings to be found.

A Philological Approach to Buddhism by K.R. Norman
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:05 pm

Chronology of Pali Canon

I have heard that the language of the Anguttara Nikaya and Sutta Nipata makes it appear to be the oldest known teachings.

British Museum Scrolls
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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:59 pm

xmp333 wrote:If no such thing exists (due to fragmentary texts), are there any proposed reconstructions?


It occurred to me with reference to this part of your request that you may be interested in Venerable Ajahn Sujato's GIST (General Integrated Sutta Theory) mentioned in Chapter 2 of A History of Mindfulness.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby Alexei » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:00 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Chronology of Pali Canon

There are some improvements to this list:
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut053.htm
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Re: Earliest Buddhist Teaching

Postby daverupa » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:13 pm

Alexei wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Chronology of Pali Canon

There are some improvements to this list:
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut053.htm


...and improvements again with respect to the dates of the parinibbana and some other events.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Earliest Teaching: British Library scrolls

Postby zippymarmalade » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:30 pm

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... um_Scrolls

Here is it said the scrolls are in the British Museum, London. They are actually held in the British Library, London.
It would be useful if somebody with the necessary level of permission can edit the WIKI page as the present information is not correct.

Here is a link to one of the Library's publications
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Dm8a ... milarbooks

Thanks!
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