Saṃyutta Nikāya

The Samyutta Nikaya (Saṃyutta Nikāya SN, "Connected Discourses" or "Kindred Sayings") is a Buddhist scripture, the third of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka, which is one of the "three baskets" that compose the Pali Tipitaka of Theravada Buddhism. Because of the abbreviated way parts of the text are written, the total number of suttas is unclear. The editor of the Pali Text Society edition of the text made it 2889, Bodhi in his translation has 2904, while the commentaries give 7762. A study by Rupert Gethin[1] gives the totals for the Burmese and Sinhalese editions as 2854 and 7656, respectively, and his own calculation as 6696; he also says the total in the Thai edition is unclear. The suttas are grouped into five vaggas, or sections. Each vagga is further divided into samyuttas, or chapters, each of which in turn contains a group of suttas on a related topic.

The Samyutta Nikaya corresponds to the Saṃyukta Āgama found in the Sutra Pitikas of various Sanskritic early Buddhists schools, fragments of which survive in Sanskrit and in Tibetan translation. A complete Chinese translation from the Sarvāstivādin recension appears in the Chinese Buddhist canon, where it is known as the Zá Ahánjīng (雜阿含經); meaning "the mixed agama". A comparison of the Sarvāstivādin, Kāśyapīya, and Theravadin texts reveals a considerable consistency of content, although each recension contains sutras/suttas not found in the others.[2] The Collation and Annotation of Saṃyuktāgama[3] (《<雜阿含經>校釋》,Chinese version) makes further comparison.

Bhikku Sujato, a contemporary scholar monk, argues that the remarkable congruence of the various recensions suggests that the Samyutta Nikaya/Saṃyukta Āgama was the only collection to be finalized in terms of both structure and content in the pre-sectarian period.[4]

The vaggas contained in this nikaya are (the numbering of chapters [samyuttas] here refers to the PTS and Burmese editions; the Sinhalese[6] and Thai editions divide the text up somewhat differently):