Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

(Skt. Ekottarika Āgama; Ch. 增壹阿含)

The Numerical Discourses is a collection of Āgama sutras that was translated to Chinese by Dharmanandi and edited by a team headed by Gautama Saṃghadeva. The exact date of translation is unclear, but the text itself retains the older style of translators prior to Gautama Saṃghadeva’s translation of the Medium Discourses.

The Numerical Discourses collection is controversial because it contains a number of passages of clearly Mahāyāna inspiration, yet it also represents an early canonical tradition that doesn’t align with the Theravāda or Sarvâstivāda. As such, it appears to be a piece of another tradition that offers an alternative glimpse of early Buddhist texts in India.

Like the Theravāda Aṅguttara Nikāya, the Numerical Discourses is arranged in a numerical order starting with topics with one item and ending with topics with eleven items. The sutras are arranged in 52 chapters.

Below is a list of translated sutras from the The Numerical Discourses that are currently available.