Buddhist Books Blog

Readings and writings on Buddhism, yoga, and contemplative science

Anguttara Nikaya Anthology by Nyanaponika Thera & Bhikkhu Bodhi

Anguttara Nikaya Anthology: An anthology of discourses from the Anguttara Nikaya selected & translated by Nyanaponika Thera & Bhikkhu Bodhi.  Buddhist Publication Society 2007.  245 pages.

I thoroughly enjoyed and heartily recommend this short, punchy and eminently readable selection of passages and suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya, one of the five main “baskets” of texts making up the Pali Sutta Pitaka of the Theravadan school.  The translation by Nyanaponika Thera (BB’s mentor) was originally published in the BPS Wheel Series in three volumes.  Bhikkhu Bodhi has cleaned up this translation, as well as added extensive (and quite helpful) endnotes.  The result is the most accessible Anguttara Nikaya available for non-Pali readers.

Readers should be aware that this is in no way an attempt at a complete translation.  In many cases, only a paragraph or two has been kept from any given sutta, and from the final “Chapter of the Elevens” only one text (a snippet of a sutta) was included.  Obviously then, there will be many passages that people might hope to have found that will not be here, as the choice of what to put in and what to leave out has been entirely a matter of personal inclination (specifically Nyanaponika’s).

What I perhaps most appreciated about this book was its high number of practice oriented texts.  Too often Buddhist philosophy can seem remote or technical, and for those that find philosophy in the abstract too…well…abstract, this should be a welcome addition to the personal library.  There are lots of passages here one can easily write down and stick in the wallet, or pin next to the computer, to remind and encourage oneself.  And ultimately, this of course is what it is all about–how to make ourselves better, more conscientious and conscious human beings.

Newsflash!!

Wisdom Publications has received Bhikkhu Bodhi’s new translation of the Anguttara Nikaya, which is currently being reviewed by our editor. Any available information or updates on this project will be announced in the Wisdom Reader e-Newsletter (from the Wisdom Publications website).

My Amazon rating: 4 stars

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