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Aṭṭhaka Sutta

Aṭṭhakavagga.– The fourth division of the Suttanipāta. It consists of sixteen suttas, all of which are explained in the Mahā Niddesa. It may also have been the name of divisions of other books, because we are told that once Soṇa Thera intoned before the Buddha all the verses of the Books of the Eights (Aṭṭhakavaggikāni). Vin.i.196‑7. The DhA. (iv.101‑2) says he recited the 16 portions of the Aṭṭhakavagga.

Veḷukaṇḍakī Nandamātā was once reciting the Aṭṭhakavagga and the Parāyanavagga on the roof of her house, and Vessavaṇa, while on the way with his followers to see the Buddha, listened to her recital (SnA.i.370; but see A.iv.63, where only the Parāyana is mentioned). According to this tradition, the Aṭṭhakavagga was already being recited in the Buddha’s own time.

In Sanskrit the title was known as Artha-varga and was so understood by the Chinese translators. No one has explained what the title means nor has interpreted the second sutta (Guhaṭṭhaka) except as “The eight Verses on the cave,” and similarly with the three following suttas: Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka, Suddhaṭṭhaka, and Paramaṭṭhaka, each of eight verses. The fact that it is commented on separately in the Mahā Niddesa and was translated into Chinese makes it appear probable that it was once a separate work. See Thomas, op.cit., 274.

Aṭṭhaka Sutta.– Two of the same name. They deal with the methods of mastering the feelings, of bringing about their cessation and of the six ways of calming them. S.iv.221 f.

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