Four Agama sutras
four Agama sutras
四阿含経 (Jpn shi-agon-gyo )
The extant Chinese versions of the Agama sutras.
The Long Agama Sutra, the Medium-Length Agama Sutra, the Miscellaneous Agama Sutra, and the Increasing by One Agama Sutra.
Each of these four Agama sutras is not a single sutra but a collection of individual sutras. The Long Agama Sutra is a collection of comparatively long sutras.
The Medium-Length Agama Sutra is a collection of medium-length sutras.
The Miscellaneous Agama Sutra is a collection of short sutras; these sutras are grouped by doctrines or themes.
The Increasing by One Agama Sutra is also a collection of short sutras; these sutras are categorized in eleven groups, each group comprising doctrines with numerical themes such as the four noble truths.
For instance, the first group contains sutras on themes related to the word single, such as the [single] practice of meditating on the Buddha or the elimination of greed;
the second group contains sutras concerning pairs, such as the two kinds of almsgiving;
the third group contains sutras dealing with triplets, such as the three treasures;
and the fourth group contains sutras concerning principles in groups of four, such as the four noble truths and the four forms of birth; and so on.
These four Chinese Agama sutras correspond respectively to the first four of the five Agamas of the Pali canon:
Digha-nikaya (long sutras),
Majjhima-nikaya (medium-length sutras),
Samyutta-nikaya (sutras on related topics),
Anguttara-nikaya (sutras of numerical doctrines), and
Khuddaka-nikaya (minor sutras).
See also; Agama sutras.