Evaṃ me sutaṃ

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Sekha
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Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Sekha » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:49 am

Can anyone help explaining why these words are found at the beginning of some suttas and not others?
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:53 am

My understanding is that those suttas were remembered by Ven. Ananda at the First Buddhist Council. It was sort of his 'thing'.

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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:41 pm

Evaṃ me sutaṃ (Thus, have I heard), Ven. Ananda's thing, as Mawkish said, for remembering the teachings, keeping the tradition oral until the Tipitaka was written down.

I found this article:

http://www.andrew-may.com/zendynamics/thus.htm

Some pertinent parts:

Almost all suttas in the Pali Canon open with the words Evam me sutam ("Thus [was] heard by me"), usually rendered "Thus have I heard". These words are invariably followed by Ekam samayam ("at one time" or "on one occasion"), after which comes either Bhagava ("the Lord") or the name of a leading disciple, and a statement of where he stayed or what he did. In fact these words "Thus have I heard" are so well known as an introduction to Pali suttas that Wisdom Publications gave this title to my translation of the Digha Nikaya which they brought out in 1987.


Now, in the new translation of the Udana by Peter Masefield, we find for each sutta the curious opening locution "So was there heard by me on one occasion when the Lord (was staying, etc.)".


One of these, which is not perhaps quite decisive, is that in the Itivuttaka the solitary Pali sutta text which does not have this formula, is replaced by a more elaborate formulation. Here, each small sutta opens with the words Vuttam hetam bhagavata vuttam-arahata ti me sutam, which Woodward renders: "This was said by the Exalted One, said by the Arahant; so have I heard". This formula is followed by the direct words of the Buddha with no mention of "on one occasion".

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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Sekha » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:16 pm

well thank you,

but still the question remains...
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Bankei » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:29 pm

Does any one know, are there any later works, ie non-canonical, that begin with these words, evam me suttam....?
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Sekha » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:24 am

I would be surprised. It wouldn't make any sense.
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:57 pm

Dukkhanirodha wrote:well thank you,

but still the question remains...


does it?
the words are there to indicate that the sutta was recited initially at the first council by Ananda. if it doesn't say Evaṃ me sutaṃ it wasn't credited to Ananda rather someone else, who may be un-named, or named as in the case of Venerable Upāli who uses tena samayena.

It is certainly not impossible that some of the suttas were recited by another, later to be credited to Ananda or another, or that some are a later addition, or anthology type text, but the words are there to indicate Ananda.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Sekha » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:11 pm

yes, I know about Ananda.

So you are suggesting Ananda did not account for all the suttas of the sutta pitaka? I thought so. Because of the story of his 8th condition to become the Buddha's attendant, by which he has heard all the suttas uttered by the Buddha for the remaining time of his life.

In that case, it would be an explanation

thank you
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:34 pm

how many conditions?
I thought there were less?

there is another option which isn't in the range [edit - should say, my knowledge of ] of this sub-forum so appologies

the phrase may indicate the finalisation at the council approved by the sangha as what was said and formally recited for the first time by Ananda, as I believe there is reference to some monks disagreeing with the choice of phrases . . . . maybe one of our Venerable friends may shed light on this? I do believe it was one of their posts which mentioned something like that anyway.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Sekha » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:54 pm

for Ananda's conditions you may look up here: http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/buddhis ... 12lbud.htm

thank you for contributing. Hoping one Bhante will come to rescue us from ignorance :popcorn:
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:28 am

chears,

if I see a post by the venerable I have in mind, I'll PM him
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:48 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:Can anyone help explaining why these words are found at the beginning of some suttas and not others?


If you give a brief outline of which texts have "evam me sutam" at the start, and which do not, that may give you a clue.

The issue of how Ananda heard these is also there:
1. Ananda recites at the convocation, saying "thus it was heard by me", meaning that he heard it when the Buddha said that teaching.
2. Ananda recites at the convocation, saying "thus it was heard by me", meaning that somebody told him that the Buddha gave such a teaching.

Even the 8th condition may imply that all those teachings given before Ananda became attendant would either not have been heard, or at most, are type #2 above. Those teachings given whilst attendant, but not present, would also be #2. Only those where he was present would be #1.

Viz "the case of Venerable Upāli who uses tena samayena" is vis-a-vis "ekam samaye", not vis-a-vis "evam me sutam" I think.

Now, for the "ekam samaye", there are differences of opinion:
1. "Thus it was heard by me at one time. The Buddha was staying at ..., with ...", etc.
2. "Thus it was heard by me. At one time, the Buddha was staying at ..., with ...", etc.

Now, #1 is possibly more like type #2 above, when it is heard later after the fact.

Don't know whether or not that answers the question, but maybe some food for thought. ...
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby mythree » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:32 pm

"Evam Me sutam" Means thus have i heard according to my pali knowledge...as its said by Ven.Ananda @ the 1st Buddhist Council. in sanskrit Evam Me Sutam = Evam Maya Shratum ... you can see it in some mahayana sutras begins like that.but i think as most of the mahayana sutras are written down after the Asoka period they add up the Evam Maya shratum part to show that this particular sutra was also preached at the 1st council.
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:09 pm

Bankei wrote:Does any one know, are there any later works, ie non-canonical, that begin with these words, evam me suttam....?

The 14th cent CE text called the Anagatavamsa is a rare example.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bits/bits102.htm
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby yuttadhammo » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:55 pm

Ananda: evaṃ me sutaṃ = lit. "thus by me [it has been] heard"
Khujjuttara: vuttañhetaṃ bhagavatā, vuttamarahatāti me sutaṃ = "this too was spoken by the Blessed One; spoken by the Arahant thus (iti) by me [it has been] heard."
Upali: tena samayena = "during that time"

According to the commentarial tradition, the suttas or discourses of the Itivuttaka were collected by the woman lay-disciple Khujjuttara from sermons given by the Buddha while he was staying at Kosambi. Khujjuttara was a servant of Samavati, the consort of King Udena. She had become a stream-enterer after meeting the Buddha and subsequently converted the women of the palace headed by Samavati to the teaching. She used to go regularly to listen to the Buddha and then later repeated what she had heard to the other women. The collection of these sayings became the Itivuttaka. It is said that the emphatic statements at the beginning and end of each of the suttas, reproduced here only in the first and last, were made by Khujjuttara to stress that they were the Buddha's words and not her own.

Whether or not this story is true, the Itivuttaka is the only book in the Pali Canon that introduces and concludes its suttas in this fashion, and it is from the opening statement that the title is derived: "This was said (vuttam) by the Lord ... so (iti) I heard" -- hence Itivuttaka, "The So-was-said" or "Sayings."

http://www.vipassana.com/canon/khuddaka ... .php#intro

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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby DGDC » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:35 am

This reply is based on Theravada Vinaya and Sutta Pitakas

Evam Me Sutam means 'heard by me'. It is a statement by a narrator of a talk embodying dhamma--Sutta.

The origin of the Suttas is traced back to what is called the First Council. To the participants of the first council, it had the following meaning:

The word Me stands for Ayasmant Ananda; Heard means that he heard it from the Lord's (Bhagava) own lips or in the presence of the Lord and remembered it verbatim. The word Evam refers to the text of the Sutta.

Following information is given in 2500 Years of Buddhism, published by the Government of India, page 35:
The First Council was held at Rajagraha immediately after the Parinirvana of the Buddha...The tradition preserved in the 11 khandhaka of the Cullavagga has been accepted as authoritative.

The translation 'heard by me' is based on the commentarial tradition. See commentary on the Brahmajalasutta

Evam Me Sutam is the stamp of authority. The translation 'heard by me' makes the sutta a myth.

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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:18 am

I do not think there are just 'rare examples' of later texts wich start with the suttanta but i personally assume that the cases of 'original' suttas dating back to Anananda (or whatever the story really was) preserved in the canon and starting with this suttanta might be the rare examples.
'later' however does not mean 'non-canonical' here. Just my personal guess that the canon certainly is quite old, but not as old as the tradition claims.
In my eyes the striking regularities, such as 'every sutta starting with evaṃ me suttaṃ', are indicators that we do not have the original words here.
But this doesn't mean that we have something entirely different as well.
I believe that the canon is still quite old, propably the bulk of it was taken down less then 200 or 300 years after the Buddha died. But the whole story of the first council in some ways is too good to be true. Unless we have an almost mahāyānistic fate in the magical radiation of the Buddha and his arhats, it is close to impossible to beliefve that stuff happened the way the story has it. I feel that something similar to the first council happened, but it was much more rough-going and the result not quite what we have today. In the following years, these texts we edited, polished, added up with the result of the must recent disputes with other schools and put together nicely until we reached the stage of the texts that we have today. This might have taken up to 300 years. As the earliest chinese translations indicate, there is not a big difference between their wording and the wording of the Pali-canon. So it is safe to assume that the main canon was finished by 100CE.

Gregory Schopen (and I have serious doubts about his approach, but at least on this point he seems to be not totally wrong) digged out a rule in the Mūlasarvāstivāda-Vinaya according to wich a monk, when he forget the original wording of the Sutta (even it's beginning), should start with the stock phrase 'evam me suttaṃ', then followed by one of the famous cities of the canon (read G. Schopen: "Buddhist Monks and Business Matters", p. 395). While this was discovered in the MSV, it is quite likely that the origin of this rule goes back to the time when the compilation of the Pali-canon took place. Oskar von Hinüber (read "Hoary Past and Hazy Memory") gave sufficient proof that those suttas mentioning small village names instead of the big seven cities must belong to the older layer of the canon. Following this observation, the large majority of the suttantas starting with evaṃ me suttaṃ are the result of later addition/edition.
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Re: Evaṃ me sutaṃ

Postby DGDC » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:12 am

Speculation about the first council is not very fruitful.

There is a raging controversy on the "Date of the Buddha". The dates range from 600 - 400 BCE. These are matters for historians, Buddhist philosophers, scholars and in general 'outsiders'.

However, for those who accept the Dhamma of Lord Buddha, there are His words in existence in the Theravada canon. Theravada canon called Tipitaka is published by the Pali Text Society of London England.

My earlier comment was based on the documents mentioned above are based on the Dhamma of the Lord.

I confirm that the meaning of 'evam me sutam' is 'heard by me'. The word 'me' is a reference to Arahant Ananda. Heard: what was heard by Ayasmant Ananda either from the lips of the Lord or in the presence of the lord and retained and retained by him.

Evam: this word can refer to foregoing words or to the following words. In the Suttas, it refers to the body of the text.

'Evam me sutam' is the proof that the words are that of the Lord.

The translation of 'I heard thus' is the conversion of the Dhamma of the Lord to Buddhism.

Comparison of the texts is impossible: (1) They are in many different languages. (2) The language of the Lord's Word is unknown. (3) Pali is a language created by Rhys Davids; (4) The sheer volume of words in the Tipitaka makes it impossible to understand it. It is however possible to read it without understanding.

Textual comparison is done by scholars, whose aim is not to practice Dhamma.

It is absolutey necessary to follow the Dhamma of the Lord strictly if one's intention is to practice it.


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