Chronological order of the Suttas

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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David N. Snyder
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Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:08 am

Thomas William Rhys Davids in his Buddhist India (p. 188) has given a chronological table of Buddhist literature from the time of the Buddha to the time of Ashoka which is as follows:

1. The simple statements of Buddhist doctrine now found, in identical words, in paragraphs or verses recurring in all the books.

2. Episodes found, in identical words, in two or more of the existing books.

3. The Silas, the Parayana, the Octades, the Patimokkha.

4. The Digha, Majjhima, Anguttara, and Samyutta Nikayas.

5. The Sutta-Nipata, the Thera-and Theri-Gathas, the Udanas, and the Khuddaka Patha.

6. The Sutta Vibhanga, and Khandhkas.

7. The Jatakas and the Dhammapadas.

8. The Niddesa, the Itivuttakas and the Patisambbhida.

9. The Peta and Vimana-Vatthus, the Apadana, the Cariya-Pitaka, and the Buddha-Vamsa.

10. The Abhidhamma books; the last of which is the Katha-Vatthu, and the earliest probably the Puggala-Pannatti.


Thomas William Rhys Davids was a past president of the Pali Text Society, scholar, Pali translator, and husband of the great Pali translator, Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids (who was also president of the Pali Text Society for some years).

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Re: Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:25 am

Greetings,

Here is a comparable list by B. C. Law

(source: http://www.budsas.org/~anson/ebud/mind/01_chap1.htm)

1. The simple statements of Buddhist doctrine now found, in identical words, in paragraphs or verses recurring in all the books.

2. Episodes found, in identical words, in two or more of the existing books.

3. The Sīlas, the Pārāyaṇa group of 16 poems without the prologue, the Aṭṭhaka group of 4 or 16 poems, the Sikkhāpadas.

4. The Dīgha, vol. i, the Majjhima, the Saṃyutta, the Aṅguttara, and earlier Pātimokkha code of 152 rules.

5. The Dīgha, vols. ii and iii, the Thera- and Therī-gāthā, the collection of 500 Jātakas, Sutta Vibhaṅga, Paṭisambhidāmagga, Puggalapaññatti and the Vibhaṅga.

6. The Mahāvagga and the Cullavagga, the Pātimokkha code completing 227 rules, the Vimānavatthu and Petavatthu, the Dhammapada and the Kathāvatthu.

7. The Cullaniddesa, the Mahāniddesa, the Udāna, the Itivuttaka, the Sutta Nipāta, the Dhātukathā, the Yamaka, and the Paṭṭhāna

8. The Buddhavaṁsa, the Cariyāpiṭaka, and the Apadāna.

9. The Parivārapāṭha.

10. The Khuddakapāṭha.

Plus some extra comment from the source linked to above........

The juxtaposition of the stratification by T. W. Rhys Davids (abbreviated as A) with the other one by B. C. Law (abbreviated as B) shows that their first two strata are completely identical. The third strata contain each 4 items of which the first three, namely, the Sīlas, the Pārāyaṇa, the Octades, the Pātimokkha are nearly identical, the difference is that A gives a sharper boundaries of denotation of the Pārāyaṇa and the Octades. The last item of this strata in A, i.e. the Pātimokkha is substituted by the Sikkhāpadas in B. That in the fourth strata the first position is occupied by the Dīgha Nikāya is partly agreed upon by the 2 scholars, B. C. Law drags the vol. ii and vol. iii of the Dīgha Nikāya which are followed by the Majjhima Nikāya down to the heading position of the next stratum, stratum 5. The Aṅguttara and the Saṃyutta succeeding the Majjhima Nikāya in the fourth strata replace each other in table B. B. C. Law adds to this level the earlier Pātimokkha code of 152 rules. In the fifth stratum both A and B are quite different: the first position is occupied as already mentioned by the Dīgha Nikāya ii and iii in B and by the Sutta Nipāta in A; the Thera- and Therī-gāthās follow up in both the tables; the Udānas and the Khuddakapāṭha in A are replaced by the Collection of 500 Jātakas, the Sutta Vibhaṅga, the Paṭisambhidāmagga, the Puggalapaññatti and the Vibhaṅga in B. From stratum 6 onward the 2 tables becomes easily seen to be totally different. When discussing each of the individual items we will be in touch with the stratification again.


Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." - Thomas J. Watson

Never again...

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Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby Sacha G » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:50 pm

Hello
Does anybody know if there is any resouces on the chronological order of the suttas. I don't mean when they were written, but when they were uttered by the Buddha, or when the events took place. For example, the Mahaparinibbanasutta should be the last, and the sermon of Benares should be one of the first.
Thank you
Sacha :group:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

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bodom
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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:15 pm

Hi Sacha

You may find this article helpful:

Chronology of the Pali Canon

Bimala Churn Law, Ph.D., M.A., B.L.

Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Researchnstitute, Poona, pp.171-201

Rhys Davids in his Buddhist India (p. 188) has given a chronological table of Buddhist literature from the time of the Buddha to the time of Asoka which is as follows:--

1. The simple statements of Buddhist doctrine now found, in identical words, in paragraphs or verses recurring in all the books.

2. Episodes found, in identical words, in two or more of the existing books.

3. The Silas, the Parayana, the Octades, the Patimokkha.

4. The Digha, Majjhima, Anguttara, and Samyutta Nikayas.

5. The Sutta-Nipata, the Thera-and Theri-Gathas, the Udanas, and the Khuddaka Patha.

6. The Sutta Vibhanga, and Khandhkas.

7. The Jatakas and the Dhammapadas.

8. The Niddesa, the Itivuttakas and the Patisambbhida.

9. The Peta and Vimana-Vatthus, the Apadana, the Cariya-Pitaka, and the Buddha-Vamsa.

10. The Abhidhamma books; the last of which is the Katha-Vatthu, and the earliest probably the Puggala-Pannatti.


http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebsut053.htm

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:33 pm

While it is not comprehensive, and some modern scholarly works will probably have much more detail, and probably some corrections to some of the dates, "The Life of the Buddha : According to the Pali Canon" by Bhikkhu Nanamoli arranges some of the important Sutta and Vinaya material in chronological order, giving some idea of the major events. So from the point of view of an interested student of Dhamma, it is a very useful resource.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:36 am

Hi Sacha,

Here's the order of the places where Buddha spent rain seasons:

http://www.buddhanet.net/bud_lt17.htm

And these places are often given in the beginning of the sutta.

Dmytro

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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby Sacha G » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:26 pm

Hi thanx to all for these precious pieces of information!
:anjali:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:18 pm

Here is another good link which shows the Buddha's life and the Sutta references:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/buddha.html

As you can see the Suttas jump around and don't go in any particular chronological order.

I think Bhikkhu Nanamoli's classic does this as well (not online yet, but available from publishers):

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Buddha-Accor ... 1928706126

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Alexei
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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby Alexei » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:05 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:not online yet

Partially available here: http://books.google.com/books?id=nPvanP ... &q&f=false

Inspiring book.

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cobwith
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Another chronology of the Pali canon

Postby cobwith » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:42 pm

Found this from the B.O.R.I.
http://justpaste.it/iltu

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daverupa
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Re: Another chronology of the Pali canon

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:36 pm

cobwith wrote:Found this from the B.O.R.I.
http://justpaste.it/iltu


Very nice; we've needed a new link to this research for a while now.
    "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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cobwith
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Re: Another chronology of the Pali canon

Postby cobwith » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:16 am

@ daverupa
Good stuff isn't it?
Serious house.

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Javi
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Re: Chronological order of the Suttas

Postby Javi » Wed May 06, 2015 5:13 pm

G. C. Pande, Studies in the Origins of Buddhism is a good book on this

http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documen ... _Pande.pdf


Links on textual criticism which is the method to determine the age of historical texts

http://legacy.earlham.edu/~seidti/iam/text_crit.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/intro.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Most of this information is directly about the Bible, however, it is relevant to all religious texts like the suttas
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā
All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed.
- These were the last words for the Tathāgata.

Non qui parum habet sed qui plus cupit pauper est.
It's not he who has little, but he who craves more, that is poor. - Seneca


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