Cover of The Canonical Book of the Buddha's Lengthy Discourses Vol. II
BDK America
Publish Date: 
Shohei Ichimura


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This is Volume II which continues The Canonical Book of the Buddha's Lengthy Discourses, collecting 30 longer sutras of historical importance in the development of Buddhism. In three volumes. Volume III is forthcoming. 

Important lengthy discourses of the Buddha


This text presents important early teachings of the Buddha, namely the fourfold Āgamas that constitute the Sutra-piṭaka of traditional Buddhism—as preserved throughout the medieval period as part of the Mahayana Tripiṭaka corpus through the Chinese versions since the fifth century C.E. (paraphrased from the Translator's Introduction).

This is the second in a series of volumes of three volumes translating The Canonical Book of the Buddha’s Lengthy Discourses. Volume I contains sutras 1–10 (of 30). Volume II contains ten more (sutras 11-20). Translations of the remaining sutras 21-30 appear in Volume III.


Taishō 1

Volume 1

The Canonical Book of the Buddha’s Lengthy Discourses

The text was translated into Chinese from the Sanskrit Dīrgha Āgama in the fifth century by the monks Buddhayaśas and Zhu Fonian. One of the four Āgamas upheld by the orthodox Dharmaguptaka school, the Dīrgha Āgama has many parallels with the Pāli Dīgha Nikāya preserved in the Theravāda tradition, but it is unique in two ways. First, the Āgama editors organized the sutras in four major sections, reflecting their major concerns: (1) the centrality of Śākyamuni Buddha as the primary subject, (2) the importance of the Dharma and doctrine, (3) the resultant practice, discipline, and advanced spiritual states, and (4) a record of the cosmological origins of the world. Second, the “Sutra of Cosmology,” which is not found in the Pāli Dīgha Nikāya, was added as the last text in the collection in order to present the Buddha’s teaching more effectively and attractively to a non-Buddhist audience. Some scholars suggest that the underlying principle of the Chang ahan jing reflects a conciliatory impulse intended to bridge the early Buddhist teachings with Mahayana Buddhist teaching and scriptures.


Skt. Dīrgha Āgama, translated by Buddhayaśas and Zhu Fonian into the Chinese as Chan ahan jing (中阿含經). 22 fascicles. 

Table of Contents

A Message on the Publication of the English Tripiṭaka    NUMATA Yehan    v
Editorial Foreword MAYEDA Sengaku    vii
Publisher’s Foreword A. Charles Muller    ix
Translator’s Introduction Shohei Ichimura    xiii

The Canonical Book of the Buddha’s Lengthy Discourses, Volume II

Sutra 11. The Gradual Increase of Doctrines by One    3
Sutra 12. Doctrines in Groups of Three    17
​Sutra 13. Greater Causality    23
Sutra 14. Indra's Questions on Causality    39
Sutra 15. The Episode at Anupiya    59
Sutra 16. Kalyāṇi-jātika    79
Sutra 17. Purity    93
Sutra 18. Happiness Caused by Oneself    117
Sutra 19. A Great Assembly    133
Sutra 20. Ambaṭṭha    141

Notes    179
Bibliography    183
Index    187
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 199