One of the fifteen books of the Khuddakanikāya, generally mentioned first in this list (e.g., DA.i.17).
Its rightful claim to be included as part of the Tipiṭaka was disputed both by the Dīghabhāṇakā and the Majjhimabhāṇakā (DA.i.15). It is generally acknowledged (for a discussion see Law, Pāḷi Lit., i.7 f; 34 f) that the work is of later composition and that it contains extracts from earlier works. It may have been composed in Sri Lanka, and it is significant that its first mention as a canonical book should occur only in the commentaries. It is not mentioned even in the Milindapañha.
The book consists of nine sections. Four on texts:
and five on suttas:
According to the Commentary the book derives its name from the first four texts, which are shorter than the remaining five. KhpA.13. The Commentary was written by Buddhaghosa. See also Gv.59, 68.