Anguttara Nikaya
The Further-factored Discourses

The Anguttara Nikaya, the fourth division of the Sutta Pitaka, consists of several thousand[1] suttas arranged in eleven books (nipatas) according to numerical content. For example, the first nipata — the Book of the Ones — contains suttas concerning a single topic; the second nipata — the Book of the Twos — contains suttas concerning pairs of things (e.g., a sutta about tranquillity and insight; another about the two people one can never adequately repay (one's parents); another about two kinds of happiness; etc.); the third nipata contains suttas concerning three things (e.g., a sutta on the three kinds of praiseworthy acts; another about three kinds of offense), and so on.

At first glance this may seem a rather pedantic classification scheme, but in fact it often proves quite useful. For example, if you dimly recall having heard something about the five subjects worthy of daily contemplation and you'd like to track down the original passage in the Canon, a good place to begin your search is the Book of the Fives in the Anguttara. (The Index by Number may also be helpful in such cases.)

Two excellent print anthologies containing selected suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya are Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology from the Anguttara Nikaya by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi (Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1999; also published in the USA by Altamira Press) and Handful of Leaves, Vol. 3, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (distributed by the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies).

The suttas are numbered here by nipata (book) and sutta, with the suttas numbered sequentially from the start of each nipata, using as a guide the Woodward & Hare PTS English translations of the Anguttara Nikaya (The Book of the Gradual Sayings). Because suttas in the Anguttara have often been numbered inconsistently in different Tipitaka editions and translations, I have also provided alternate reference numbers in the braces {} that follow the sutta descriptions. For all suttas, these alternate references include the volume and starting page number in the PTS romanized Pali edition of the Anguttara Nikaya (example: A i 60 = PTS Anguttara Nikaya volume one, page 60). For suttas in the Ones and Twos, whose numberings are particularly problematic, I have also included the nipata, vagga (chapter), and number of the sutta, with suttas counted from the start of each vagga (example: II,iii,5 = Book of the Twos, third vagga, fifth sutta).

The translator appears in the square brackets [].


The exact count of suttas in the Anguttara depends on the particular edition (Sri Lankan, Thai, or Burmese) and on the way the suttas are enumerated. Jayawardhana says: "Although the text tells us that it consists of 9,557 suttas, the present edition [the modern Sri Lankan Tipitaka] has only 8,777 suttas. Most of these suttas are mere repetitions with a new word added here and there. Therefore, the number of suttas distinctive in character could be brought down to a little over one thousand" [Somapala Jayawardhana, Handbook of Pali Literature (Colombo: Karunaratne, 1993), p. 12]. Bhikkhu Bodhi counts 2,344 suttas [Nyanaponika & Bodhi, Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, p. xv], while Webb counts 2,308 [Russell Webb, An Analysis of the Pali Canon, (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1975), p. 26].

1. Book of the Ones   

2. Book of the Twos   

3. Book of the Threes   

4. Book of the Fours   

5. Book of the Fives   

6. Book of the Sixes   

7. Book of the Sevens   

8. Book of the Eights   

9. Book of the Nines   

10. Book of the Tens   

11. Book of the Elevens   

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