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Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology of Suttas fron the Anguttara Nikaya translated and edited by Nyanaponika Thera, completed and revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi. (AltaMira) This book is an anthology of discourses by the Buddha selected from the Ariguttara Nikdya, the Collection of Numerical Discourses. The Anguttara Nikaya belongs to the Pali Canon, the authorized recension of the Buddha's Word for followers of Theravada Buddhism, the form of Buddhism that prevails in the Buddhist countries of southern Asia: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The texts included in the anthology are called sutta (Skt: sutra), literally "threads", a Pali word denoting the Buddha's own words (or those of his most eminent direct disciples) as distinguished from expository and commentarial works, which lack the same degree of authority.

A complete English translation of the Anguttara Nikaya is published by the Pali Text Society (PTS) under the title The Book of the Gradual Sayings. That translation, however, is dated in both style and interpretation, and a fresh rendition of the entire work is urgently needed. The present anthology, while no substitute, is intended to provide a wide‑ranging selection from the Numerical Discourses with special emphasis on the practical side of the Buddha's teachings, already so prominent in this collection.

The original version of this anthology was compiled by my personal mentor, the eminent German scholar‑monk Venerable Nyanaponika Thera (1901‑94), and was published by the Buddhist Publication Society (BPS) in three parts in its series of monographs, The Wheel. The anthology contained 153 texts. For the present version I have increased the number to 208, of which sixty are new, five from the old anthology having been deleted. This number does not correspond exactly with the number of suttas included, for in some instances (especially in the early chapters) several topically related suttas have been joined into a single text. The complete Anguttara Nikaya contains some 2,344 suttas and fills almost 1,850 pages in the PTS roman‑script edition. Though it might seem that our anthology comprises less than a tenth of the original, in actual fact, since a large number of the early suttas are extremely short, the present selection includes about a fifth of the whole.  

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