Last month was genuine fun translating several Ekôttarika Āgama sutras with stories about the Buddha’s enlightenment and converting disciples. Being a creative writing guy, it was great to work on these stories and see the humor and poetry of these ancient storytellers.
I was mainly focused on the parallels to MN 22 and 26 in September, and I started doing some editing work on the SĀ sutras and their parallels, too. Altogether, I added another 14 translations, and made a start at building an index of SĀ on the Dharma Pearls wiki.
Here’s a quick list of what’s been added since August:
MĀ 200 Ariṣṭa
This is the Madhyama Āgama version of MN 22. The two suttas are very close parallels with only wording and details making up their differences. See my essay MN 22/MĀ 200 The Simile of the Snake: Parallels of a Patchwork Sutta for some discussion of how they differ and agree.
Itvṛ 83 The Search
This is my first translation from Xuanzang’s Itivṛttaka translation (T765). It presents the ignoble and noble search that’s found in MN 26/MĀ 204. Reading his more accurate and precise way of translating Sanskrit was helpful in deciphering some unclear passages in MĀ 204, which I plan to edit soon.
EĀ 19.1 Brahmā’s Request
The Ekôttarika Āgama has the story of Brahma’s request for the Buddha to teach after his enlightenment when he wondered if it would be worth the bother. That it’s a separate sutra in EĀ might explain why it’s missing from MĀ 204. The Sarvâstivāda may have kept it separate, too.
EĀ 24.5 Miraculous Transformations
I really encourage anyone who enjoys reading Buddhist legends and literature to read this text. Like the beginning of the Mahavagga of the Theravada Vinaya, this text starts at the moment the Buddha wonders who to teach first and tells the story of his initial teaching career, converting the five monks, the three Kāśyapa brothers, and his father. It ends with Śuddhodana’s order for the Sakya clans to recruit more ascetics to train under the Buddha, which was when Ananda and other Sakyans became disciples. I especially like this version of the taming of the nāga story.
EĀ 43.5 The Parable of the Raft
The Ekôttarika has it’s own Parable of the Raft Sutra as well, which includes the story of the Buddha defeating Mara’s army at the bodhi tree. Another good piece of Buddhist legend.
EĀ 50.8 The Snake Parable
The Ekôttarika version of the Snake Parable is an alternative take on the MN 22/MĀ 200 sutra. It uses the story of Phalguna and the nuns instead of Ariṣṭa as inspiration, but the parable is quite close to the other versions.
These Saṃyukta Āgama sutras have been sitting as drafts for a couple months, so they were the first to add as I started a “house cleaning” exercise last month to stop randomly drafting sutras in my spare time and get everything done so far edited and published. I’m also checking parallels on SuttaCentral as I go and adding the translations to Bilara for future side-by-side publication. It’s a slow process, but the turtle wins most of the time.
SĀ 35.1 The Six Abodes of Views
This was a surprise parallel I stumbled onto while translation MĀ 200. It contains the six abodes of views that’s in both MN 22 and MĀ 200. While it’s a little difficult to parse into six distinct categories, it’s essentially a list of everything a person could try to base opinions about self.