The Atthakavagga: the original seeds that gave rise to Buddhist teachings
“The wise person does not oppose any other person’s doctrine.” This is one of the reflections from one of the earliest books in the Pali Cannon, the Atthakavagga. Gil Fronsdal states in his introduction to his translation of the Atthakavagga: “Here we find the Buddhist teachings pared down to their most essential elements, free of the more complex doctrines often associated with Buddhism.” The poems and verses from this small collection reveal a pattern of teachings that are much different — in their directness and simplicity — from the later sutta collections. Verses in the Atthakavagga often have an almost koan-like quality, which often seem open to interpretation. We will discuss the exegesis of the Atthakavagga and our own interpretations of a few of its seemingly “simple” verses.
Talk handout: Dutthatthaka Sutta (.pdf)
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