Selections from Samyutta Nikaya

Buddhism is a world religion started in South Asia with most current followers in East Asia. Unlike Christianity and Islam, there is not a "one-book" closed canon that every follower use. That said, followers of Buddhism do not doubt (though many would doubt the importance of this fact) that Buddhism as a historical phenomenon started from Buddha's teachings after his awakening / enlightenment. So in modern times, scholars have been quite interested in figuring out what Buddha's teachings were, and often search for them in the large set of Pali canonical texts (likely closed ~5th c. CE) of Theravada Buddhism pervasive in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. Within the Pali canon, there are increasing consensus that Samyutta Nikaya ("Connected Discourses", abbreviated as "SN") contains the oldest (and shortest) strata of suttas. A monk Ven. Yin Shun, based primarily on ancient Chinese-language Buddhist texts (also referencing research and translations by Japanese scholars), published a work in early 1970's concluding not only that Samyuktagama (the Chinese collection corresponding to Samyutta Nikaya, abbreviated as "SA") is the oldest of the 4 agamas (the other being Long, Middle, and Numbered Discourses), within the 56 samyuttas ("groups" of sutras/suttas) in SN, 15 doctrinal samyuttas are the earliest to be complied.  Reading SN (translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi in 2000) with this lens informed by SA, using online tools (especially, I have gone through the 15 doctrinal samyuttas in SN two times (once in the summer of 2019 and once in Spring of 2020). After filtering out SN suttas that do not have clear/substantial parallels in a SA sutta, excluding suttas spoken by Buddha's disciples instead of Buddha himself (this exclusion seems natural in "modern" thinking though it wouldn't be considered wise by Buddha's followers in general), selecting the suttas containing the most important content (often those are highlighted by literary gestures within the suttas, and often those are more often translated into Chinese, or included in other Nikayas / Agamas collections), and eliminating unnecessary content redundance, I have selected 88 suttas adding up to ~100 pages for future re-reading:


No. SN Sutta SA Sutra
1 SN12:2 SA298
2 SN12:15 SA301
3 SN12:19 SA294
4 SN12:20 SA296
5 SN12:36 SA297
6 SN12:50 SA350
7 SN12:51 SA292
8 SN12:52 SA286
9 SN12:62 SA290
10 SN12:63 SA373
11 SN12:65 SA287
12 SN14:1 SA451
13 SN22:7 SA43
14 SN22:24 SA3
15 SN22:30 SA78
16 SN22:43 SA36
17 SN22:54 SA39
18 SN22:55 SA64
19 SN22:57 SA42
20 SN22:59 SA34
21 SN22:60 SA81
22 SN22:79 SA46
23 SN22:81 SA57
24 SN22:82 SA58
25 SN22:95 SA265
26 SN22:100 SA267
27 SN22:101 SA263
28 SN35:7 SA333
29 SN35:28 SA197
30 SN35:54 SA201
31 SN35:88 SA311
32 SN35:93 SA214
33 SN35:94 SA279
34 SN35:95 SA312
35 SN35:97 SA277
36 SN35:110 SA240
37 SN35:117 SA211
38 SN35:124 SA237
39 SN35:136 SA308
40 SN35:138 SA274
41 SN35:228 SA217
42 SN35:238 SA1172
43 SN35:241 SA1174
44 SN35:247 SA1171
45 SN35:248 SA1168
46 SN36:6 SA470
47 SN36:11 SA474
48 SN36:23 SA476
49 SN45:1 SA749
50 SN45:2 SA768
51 SN45:4 SA769
52 SN45:8 SA784
53 SN45:24 SA751
54 SN45:30 SA752
55 SN45:35 SA796
56 SN46:3 SA736
57 SN46:6 SA281
58 SN46:24 SA704
59 SN46:39 SA708
60 SN46:53 SA714
61 SN46:56 SA712
62 SN46:62 SA744
63 SN47:2 SA622
64 SN47:4 SA621
65 SN47:5 SA611
66 SN47:6 SA617
67 SN47:10 SA615
68 SN47:11 SA614
69 SN47:13 SA638
70 SN47:15 SA624
71 SN47:33 SA608
72 SN47:42 SA609
73 SN48:8 SA646
74 SN49:1 SA877
75 SN50:1 SA673
76 SN51:13 N/A
77 SN54:13 SA810
78 SN55:17 SA836
79 SN56:1 SA428
80 SN56:8 SA408
81 SN56:11 SA379
82 SN56:21 SA403
83 SN56:22 SA390/392
84 SN56:31 SA404
85 SN56:42 SA421
86 SN56:45 SA405
87 SN56:47 SA406
88 SN56:52 SA440


SA after translated in its transmission lost 2 of its 50 fascicles. SN51 happens to fall into the lost portion and so there are no corresponding SA sutta for SN51:13.