The Sutta-Nipāta contains some of the oldest discourses in the Pali Canon. It is a rich source of texts offering guidance to lay Buddhists and also abounds in suttas that extol the contemplative ideals of early Buddhism. Though the Sutta-Nipāta as a collection exists only in the Theravada tradition, some of the individual suttas are found in other traditions. One whole chapter, the Aṭṭhakavagga, is also found in the Chinese Tripiṭaka.

In this series of lectures given at Bodhi Monastery beginning in October 2004, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi explains suttas from the first three chapters. The first three suttas studied, the Ratana, Mahāmaṅgala, and Mettā Suttas, are among the most popular texts in Theravada Buddhism. They provide the backbone of understanding, practice, and attitude in the Theravada Buddhist world and are often taught to lay people so that they will grow up imbibing the values and ideals of Buddhism. They also serve as paritta suttas (“Protective Discourses”), recited to provide blessings and protection in times of difficulty and danger. The first discourse on the Ratana also gives a good introduction to the Sutta-Nipāta in general and its place and history in the Sutta Pitaka.

Sutta-Nipāta
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Last update: 13 August 2008, since October 2004
MP3 Flash Player is not enabled
Click on a lecture below to listen and view more information
Lecture No. TITLE
§ The Paritta (Protective) Suttas
1 Sn 2.1 Ratana Sutta — Jewels
2 Sn 2.1 Ratana Sutta — Jewels (part 2)
3 Sn 2.1 Ratana Sutta — Jewels (part 3)
4 Sn 2.1 Ratana Sutta — Jewels (part 4)
5 Sn 2.4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta — The Auspicious Performance
6 Sn 2.4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta — The Auspicious Performance (part 2)
7 Sn 2.4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta — The Auspicious Performance (part 3)
8 Sn 2.4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta — The Auspicious Performance (part 4)
9 Sn 2.4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta — The Auspicious Performance (part 5)
10 Sn 2.4 Mahāmaṅgala Sutta — The Auspicious Performance (part 6)
11 Sn 1.8 Mettā Sutta — Loving-kindness
12 Sn 1.8 Mettā Sutta — Loving-kindness (part 2)
§ Uragavagga: the Chapter of the Snake
13 Sn 1.1 Uraga Sutta — The Snake's Skin
14 Sn 1.1 Uraga Sutta — The Snake's Skin (part 2)
15 Sn 1.1 Uraga Sutta — The Snake's Skin (part 3)
16 Sn 1.1 Uraga Sutta — The Snake's Skin (part 4)
17 Sn 1.4 Kasībhāradvāja Sutta — The farmer Bhāradvāja
18 Sn 1.6 Parābhava Sutta — Downfall
19 Sn 1.6 Parābhava Sutta — Downfall (part 2)
20 Sn 1.7 Vasala Sutta — The Outcast
21 Sn 1.9 Hemavata Suttra — Sātāgira and Hemavata
22 Sn 1.9 Hemavata Suttra — Sātāgira and Hemavata (part 2)
23 Sn 1.9 Hemavata Suttra — Sātāgira and Hemavata (part 3)
24 Sn 1.10 Āḷavaka Sutta — Āḷavaka
25 Sn 1.10 Āḷavaka Sutta — Āḷavaka (part 2)
26 Sn 1.11 Vijaya Sutta — Victory over Delusion
27 Sn 1.12 Muni Sutta — The Sage
28 Sn 1.12 Muni Sutta — The Sage (part 2)
29 Sn 1.12 Muni Sutta — The Sage (part 3)
§ Cūḷavagga: the Minor Chapter
30 Sn 2.3 Hiri Sutta — Shame
31 Sn 2.5 Sūciloma Sutta — Sūciloma
32 Sn 2.9 Kiṃsīla Sutta — Right Conduct
33 Sn 2.11 Rāhula Sutta — Rāhula
34 Sn 2.11 Rāhula Sutta — Rāhula (part 2)
§ Mahāvagga: the Great Chapter
35 Sn 3.1 Pabbajjā Sutta — The Going Forth
36 Sn 3.2 Padhana Sutta— Striving
37 Sn 3.3 Subhāsita Sutta — Good Words
38 Sn 3.4 Pūraḷāsa Sutta — The Sacrificial Cake
39 Sn 3.8 Salla Sutta — The Dart
40 Sn 3.8 Salla Sutta — The Dart (part 2)

Tags: , , ,

Book Used

The Sutta-Nipāta
The Sutta-Nipāta,
translated by Ven. Dr. H. Saddhatissa (Curzon Press, 1994, ISBN 0-7007-0181-8, first published in 1985). Available on Amazon.com


This is one of the oldest collections of Buddhist discourses in the Pali canon; by far one of the most popular as well as the most important. Written in a mixture of prose and verse, it presents a code of conduct and provides the basis for a system of moral philosophy. A prime source work.