The Samyutta Nikaya
The Grouped Discourses
The Samyutta Nikaya, the third division of the Sutta Pitaka, contains 2,889 suttas grouped into five sections (vaggas). Each vagga is further divided into samyuttas, each of
which in turn contains a group of suttas on related topics. The samyuttas are named according to the topics of the suttas they contain. For example, the Kosala Samyutta (in the Sagatha
Vagga) contains suttas concerning King Pasenadi of Kosala; the Vedana Samyutta (in the Salayatana Vagga) contains suttas concerning feeling (vedana); and so on.
Selected suttas from the Samyutta Nikaya
Note: Unless otherwise indicated, these suttas were translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
I. Devata-samyutta -- Devas.
II. Devaputta-samyutta -- Sons of the Devas.
III. Kosala-samyutta -- King Pasenadi of Kosala.
IV. Mara-samyutta -- Mara. Stories of Mara challenging the Buddha and trying in vain to outwit him.
V. Bhikkhuni-samyutta -- Nuns. Stories of Mara's attempts to lure the nuns away from their meditation spots in the forest
by asking them provocative questions. Without exception, these wise women conquer Mara decisively.
- Alavika Sutta (SN V.1) -- Sister Alavika [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.].
Mara: Why bother meditating? Why not just enjoy life's pleasures?
- Soma Sutta (SN V.2) -- Sister Soma [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.]. Can
women achieve Awakening? Ven. Sister Soma conquers this misguided question.
- Gotami Sutta (SN V.3) -- Sister Gotami [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.].
Mara: Why bother sitting in solitude in the forest?
- Vijaya Sutta (SN V.4) -- Sister Vijaya [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.].
Mara: Why don't we just put the meditation aside for awhile and go out dancing?
- Uppalavanna Sutta (SN V.5) -- Sister Uppalavanna [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi,
tr.]. Mara: Why don't you give up the solitude and danger of the forest for somewhere that's safer?
- Cala Sutta (SN V.6) -- Sister Cala [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.]. Mara:
What's wrong with being reborn, anyway?
- Upacala Sutta (SN V.7) -- Sister Upacala [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.].
Mara: Why not just settle for a happy rebirth among the devas?
- Sisupacala Sutta (SN V.8) -- Sister Sisupacala [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi,
tr.]. Sister Sisupacala shows Mara how following the path of Dhamma doesn't mean buying into to a fixed philosophy.
- Sela Sutta (SN V.9) -- Sister Sela [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi, tr.]. Mara
tries to trip up Ven. Sister Sela with metaphysical questions.
- Vajira Sutta (SN V.10) -- Sister Vajira [two translations: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, tr. | Bhikkhu Bodhi,
tr.]. Have you ever found yourself getting pulled out of meditation by some fascinating -- but utterly speculative -- train of thought? Ven. Sister Vajira shows how to deal with this
VI. Brahma-samyutta -- Brahma deities.
VII. Brahmana-samyutta -- Brahmins.
- Akkosa Sutta (SN VII.2) -- Insult. What is the best response when someone is angry with you? Hint: if a host offers some food to a guest,
but the guest declines the offer, to whom does the food belong?
- Jata Sutta (SN VII.6) -- The Tangle. Jata Bharadvaja asks the Buddha his famous question, "Who can untangle this tangle [of craving]?" The
Buddha's concise answer prompts Jata Bharadvaja's conversion and, ultimately, his attainment of arahantship.
- Mahasala Sutta (SN VII.14) -- Very Rich. A touching glimpse into the sorrow that a father feels when his ungrateful children fail to
honor him in his old age. Treat your parents well.
- Navakammika Sutta (SN VII.17) -- The Builder. What useful work can one possibly accomplish by sitting in meditation under a tree in the
VIII. Vangisa-samyutta -- Ven. Vangisa.
IX. Vana-samyutta -- The forest.
X. Yakkha-samyutta -- Yakkha demons.
XI. Sakka-samyutta -- Sakka (the Deva king).
XII. Abhisamaya-samyutta -- Paticcasamuppada (dependent co-arising).
- Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta (SN XII.2) -- Analysis. A summary of the causal chain of dependent co-arising.
- Kaccayanagotta Sutta (SN XII.15) -- To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View). The Buddha explains to Ven. Kaccayana Gotta how dependent
co-arising applies in the development of right view.
- Bala-pandita Sutta (SN XII.19) -- The Fool and the Wise Person. What is the difference between a fool and a wise person?
- Paccaya Sutta (SN XII.20) -- Requisite Conditions. The Buddha explains that when dependent co-arising is clearly seen and understood,
wrong views and confusion disappear.
- Upanisa Sutta (SN XII.23) -- Prerequisites. Here the Buddha explains that the ending of the mental effluents occurs when one sees and
understands dependent co-arising. The causal chain here includes an additional set of factors not present in the "standard" chain of dependent co-arising.
- Bhumija Sutta (SN XII.25) -- To Bhumija. What is the origin of pleasure and pain? Ven. Sariputta clears up some misconceptions.
- Bhutamidam Sutta (SN XII.31) -- This Has Come Into Being. What characterizes the difference between a run-of-the-mill person, one who
practices the Dhamma, and one who has fully realized the Dhamma?
- Loka Sutta (SN XII.44) -- The World. How the world arises and falls according to the law of dependent co-arising.
- Lokayatika Sutta (SN XII.48) -- The Cosmologist. The Oneness of all being is sometimes taught as a basic Buddhist principle, but this
discourse shows that the Buddha himself rejected the idea. It is simply one of the extremes that he avoided by teaching dependent co-arising.
- Upadana Sutta (SN XII.52) -- Clinging. The Buddha uses a marvelous fire simile to describe the nature of clinging.
- Atthi Raga Sutta (SN XII.64) -- Where There Is Passion. The Buddha describes four factors to which the mind habitually clings. Those
who succeed in abandoning passion for these "nutriments" can realize the cessation of birth, aging, and death.
- Nagara Sutta (SN XII.65) -- The City. The Buddha retells the story of how, on the eve of his Awakening, he re-discovered the
long-forgotten laws of dependent co-arising and the Four Noble Truths.
- Susima Sutta (SN XII.70) -- About Susima. The Buddha explains to Susima that development of psychic powers is not a prerequisite for
enlightenment. (Note, however, that the sutta does not say that the development of jhana is not necessary.)
XIII. Abhisamaya-samyutta -- Realization.
XIV. Dhatu-samyutta -- Elements.
XV. Anatamagga-samyutta -- The unimaginable beginnings of samsara and transmigration.
- Assu Sutta (SN XV.3) -- Tears. "Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating and wandering this long, long time...or
the water in the four great oceans?"
- Danda Sutta (SN XV.9) -- The Stick. We bounce from one birth to the next, as a thrown stick bounces along the ground.
- Duggata Sutta (SN XV.11) -- Fallen on Hard Times. When you encounter an unfortunate person, remember: you've been there, too.
- Sukhita Sutta (SN XV.12) -- Happy. When you encounter a fortunate person, remember: you've been there, too.
- Mata Sutta (SN XV.14-19) -- Mother. It's hard to meet someone who has not been, at some time in the distant past, your mother, father,
son, daughter, sister, or brother.
XVI. Kassapa-samyutta -- Ven. Maha Kassapa.
- Jinna Sutta (SN XVI.5) -- Old. Ven. Maha Kassapa explains why he chooses to continue meditating in the forest wilderness even though he
has long since attained arahantship.
XVII. Labhasakkara-samyutta -- Gains and tribute.
XVIII. Rahula-samyutta -- Ven. Rahula.
XIX. Lakkhana-samyutta -- Ven. Lakkhana.
XX. Opamma-samyutta -- Comparisons.
XXI. Bhikkhu-samyutta -- Monks.