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The Majjhima Nikaya (-nikāya; "Collection of Middle-length Discourses") is a Buddhist scripture, the second of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka, which is one of the "three baskets" that compose the Pali Tipitaka of Theravada Buddhism. Composed between 3rd century BCE - 2nd century CE. This nikaya consists of 152 discourses attributed to the Buddha and his chief disciples.
The Majjhima Nikaya corresponds to the Madhyama Āgama found in the Sutra Pitikas of various Sanskritic early Buddhist schools, fragments of which survive in Sanskrit and in Tibetan translation. A complete Chinese translation from the Sarvāstivādin recension appears in the Chinese Buddhist canon, where it is known as the Zhōng Ahánjīng (中阿含經). The Madhyama Āgama of the Sarvāstivāda school contains 222 sūtras, in contrast to the 152 suttas in the Pāli Majjhima Nikāya.
Structure and Contents
Bhikkhu Bodhi in the introduction to his translation describes the collection as follows:
If the Majjhima Nikāya were to be characterised by a single phrase to distinguish it from among the other books of the Pali Canon, this might be done by describing it as the collection that combines the richest variety of contextual settings with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings.
The 152 discourses come in three parts each with five divisions. All divisions save the penultimate contain 10 discourses.
|Name||English Name||# of 1st
|Mūlapaṇṇāsapāḷi||The Root Fifty Discourses|
|Mūlapariyāya Vagga||The Division of the Discourse on the Root||1|
|Sīhanāda Vagga||The Division of the Lion's Roar||11|
|Opamma Vagga||The Division of Similes||21|
|Mahāyamaka Vagga||The Great Division of Pairs||31|
|Cūḷayamaka Vagga||The Shorter Division of Pairs||41|
|Majjhimapaṇṇāsapāḷi||The Middle Fifty Discourses|
|Gahapati Vagga||The Division on Householders||51|
|Bhikkhu Vagga||The Division on Bhikkhus||61|
|Paribbājaka Vagga||The Division on Wanderers||71|
|Rāja Vagga||The Division on Kings||81|
|Brāhmaṇa Vagga||The Division on Brahmins||91|
|Uparipaṇṇāsapāḷi||The Final Fifty Discourses|
|Devadaha Vagga||The Division at Devadaha||101|
|Anupada Vagga||The Division of One by One||111|
|Suññata Vagga||The Division of Voidness||121|
|Vibhaṅga Vagga||The Division of Expositions||131|
|Saḷāyatana Vagga||The Division of the Sixfold Base||143|
- Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.), The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, 1995, Somerville: Wisdom Publications ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
- Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan had translated Majjhima Nikaya from Prakrit to Hindi.
- Lord Chalmers, trans. (1898-1926), Further Dialogues of the Buddha, 1926–7, vol.1, vol. 2, London: Pali Text Society. Reprint: Ann Arbor: Books on Demand, University of Michigan.
- I.B. Horner (trans.), The Book of Middle Length Sayings, 1954–9, 3 volumes, Bristol: Pali Text Society.
- David W. Evans (trans.), Discourses of Gotama Buddha: Middle Collection, 1991, Janus Pubns. "Translation in an abridged form ... just about one third the size of Horner's translation, but with well over 90% of the significant content"
- A Treasury of the Buddha's Words, tr Nanamoli, revised Khantipalo, Bangkok; later revised & expanded to give MLDB above
- Twenty-Five Suttas from Mula-Pannasa, Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, 1986?; reprinted Sri Satguru, Delhi
- Twenty-Five Suttas from Majjhima-Pannasa, Myanmar Pitaka Association, Rangoon, 1987; reprinted Sri Satguru, Delhi
- Twenty-Five Suttas from Upari-Pannasa, Myanmar Pitaka Association, Rangoon, 1988?; reprinted Sri Satguru, Delhi
- List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas
- Anguttara Nikaya
- Buddhist texts
- Digha Nikaya
- Khuddaka Nikaya
- Samyutta Nikaya
- Upinder Singh. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson. p. 25.
- A version of the Pali original is available in Gotama, Buddha (2012). Majjhima Nikaya: The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1478369622. ISBN 1478369620
- A Dictionary of Buddhism, by Damien Keown, Oxford University Press: 2004
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu (1995). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, first published by Wisdom Publications. pp. 5–11, 20. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
- Sharma, R.S. (2009). Rethinking India's Past. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-569787-2.
- Majjhima Nikāya in English (& 30+ other languages) together with Madhyama Āgama parallels at suttacentral.net
- Majjhima Nikaya in English at Metta.lk
- Majjhima Nikaya in English at accesstoinsight.org
- Majjhima Nikaya lectures taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi
- MAJJHIMA NIKAAYA III, II. 3.5.Maagandiyasutta.m, III. 2. 5.Bahudhaatukasutta.m-, (115) The Discourse on Many Elements
- Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, entry on Mādhyamāgama
- Translations by Bhikkhu Bodhi of selected Suttas of the Majjhima Nikaya online at Wisdom Publications