Study Guide to the Anguttara Nikaya

Anguttara Nikaya, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications, 2012, ISBN: 1614290407

(An on-line version of the complete Anguttara Nikaya,
translated by Sister Upalavanna, is available from the website.)

Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya,
translated by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi, AltaMira Press, 1999, ISBN : 0742504050

Handful of Leaves, Volume Three, An Anthology from the Anguttara Nikaya,
translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff), Sati Center for Buddhist Studies, 2003

The Anguttara Nikaya, the fourth division of the Sutta Pitaka, consists of several thousand suttas arranged in eleven books (nipatas) according to numerical content. At first glance this may seem a rather pedantic classification scheme, but in fact it often proves quite useful. For example, if you dimly recall having heard something about the five subjects worthy of daily contemplation and you'd like to track down the original passage in the Canon, a good place to begin your search is the Book of the Fives in the Anguttara. The 2 anthologies above contain most of the important suttas.

What follows is a list, with a single line of notes, of the suttas I found the most interesting and helpful while reading the Anguttara Nikaya:

the Luminous Mind - see especially this note,7Mind is the forerunner of both the wholesome & the unwholesome of diligence
1.xv.1-3right view and the 3 characteristics
2.i.5 (bio) don't be content with good mindstates, have unremitting diligence
2.i.9the 2 Guardians of the world
2.iii.1the fools and the wise - seeing transgressions and forgiving transgressions
2.iii.10how tranquility (samatha) and insight (vipassana) function together to uproot passion and ignorance
2.iv.1-2Gratitude; Repaying one's parents
3.253 types of persons; hints that stream entry is like a flash of lightneing
3.32No I-making, mine-making or conceit; references Snp 1106-7
3.33Karmma: Bad actions ripen, Good actions don't ripen; rebirth (ripening) can take place in this life, the next life or a future life
3.35The 3 messengers: old age, sickness and death
3.38(bio) 3 palaces plus old age, sickness and death
3.47Conditioned and Unconditioned
3.57Vacchagotta - giving; anti-caste/racism
3.60Miracle of Instruction; Benefiting others via the holy life; Also on miracles: "miracle of psychic power (the miracle of telepathy) ... is a miracle experienced only by him who does it; it belongs only to him who does it. It seems to me to be of the nature of an illusion."
3.61The 4 Noble Truths are equivalent to Dependent Origination; dukkha is caused by ignorance
3.63Vacchagotta, a Brahmin - probably not the same as the more famous "Vacchagotta the wanderer"
3.65The Kalama Sutta
3.68Greed, Hatred and Delusion
3.70the Roots of the Uposatha - 8 precepts, etc.
3.71the drawbacks of greed, hatred and delusion
3.76Kamma leads to becoming
3.83If 150 precepts are too many for you, train in heightened virtue, heightened mind (concentration) & heightened wisdom
3.85virtuous behaviour can lead to once-returning; wisdom additionally is required for non-returning; concentration additionally is required for full awakening
3.93you can't force results
3.99The Salt Crystal; "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
3.100: 9-15the need to balance concentration, energy and equanimity
3.101: 1 & 2Gratification, Danger, Escape
3.129No Secrets
3.130 & 131 2 suttas about Anurudddha, including instructions from Sariputta that helped him to become Enlightened
4.6The 9 early collections of the Dhamma texts are named
4.21(bio) Reverence for the Dhamma
4.24non-dual: there is no seen, there is no seer
4.36(bio) Dana - will you be a deva?
4.414 Developments of Concentration; references Snp 1048
4.424 ways of answering a question
4.45You cannot travel to the end of the world; this fathom long carcass, endowed with perception and mind, is the world. See also SN 2.26
4.664 types of persons: lustful, hating, deluded, conceited
4.77the 4 imponderables: range of a Buddha, range of a person in jhana, threads of kamma, origin of the world
4.96, 99Living for one's own good and for anothers - early Bodhisattva idea
4.113The horse whip
4.192knowing a person's traits
4.198short version of the Gradual training
4.2324 kinds of Kamma
4.246The Growth of Wisdom
5.14-15The 5 Powers
5.255 Helpers of Right View
5.49on Grief - see especially the verses at the end of this sutta; in general one should accept an unchangeable situation without sorrowing
5.51the 5 hindrances - with river simile
5.535 factors for exertion
5.57The 5 Daily Reflections
5.73-74Practice! Don't just learn and teach
5.75-76the battle to guard celibacy; short version of graduated training
5.77-8077: dangers of living in the wilderness; 78: dangers of society and sangha;
79: more dangers (including flowery poems [Rumi poems in Dharma talks?])
5.121advice to a sick monk; sickness and spiritual practice
5.1295 deeds leading directly to hell
5.159How to teach the Dhamma
5.161Removing Grudges
5.1775 wrong livelihoods: Business in weapons, in living beings, in meat, in intoxicants, and in poison
5.1935 Hindrances and the 5 similes of water
5.198Right Speech has 5 Qualities: spoken at the right time, in truth, affectionately, beneficially, with a mind of loving-kindness
5.2025 rewards of listening to dhamma. (Teachers: do your dhamma talks generate these?)
6.19 & 202 suttas on mindfulness of death
6.46The dispute between scholar monks and meditator monks
6.50Sense control, virtue, concentration, wisdom, disenchantment, dispassion
6.53diligence is the one thing, developed and cultivated that accomplishes the good, both here & now and here after
6.54The Simile of the Land Finding Crow
6.55Sona Sutta: The Similes of the Lute
6.60Citta, the son of the elephant trainer, leaves the order but returns (see DN 9 for that story) and becomes an arahant
6.63Penetrative Exposition: Sensuality, vedana, perception, asava, karma ("It is volition that I declare to be kamma"), dukkha all should be known
Qualities needed for the supermundane
6.886 obstructions to practice due to not listening well
6.966 Rarities: appearance of a Tathagata, appearance of a Dhamma teacher, born where the Dhamma is available, unimpaired physical & mental faculties, absence of stupidity & dullness
7.6 & 77 Treasures
7.11 & 127 obsessions (or latent tendencies)
7.467 Perceptions - cf. Progress of Insight
7.497 reasons for giving
7.567 reasons why the Dhamma declines
7.58Dealing with Drowsiness
7.607 disadvantages to being angry
7.64seven qualities that make one a respectable and honorable individual - and able to approach the dhamma
7.67Necessity of Mental Cultivation
7.70Teaching of ancient teacher Araka: "Life is short; do good, live a pure life." The Buddha adds "Practice!"
7.80The Buddha explains how to recognize authentic teachings of Dhamma
8.1The 8 Benefits of Metta (see also AN 11.16)
8.2Supporting conditions for wisdom
8.5The 8 Worldly Conditions in brief: loss & gain, fame & ill fame, praise & blame, pleasure & pain
8.6The 8 Worldly Conditions & how to work with them
8.7 & 8Devadatta & The 8 Worldly Conditions
8.19Dhamma is like the Ocean
8.26To Jivaka: how a lay follower can best work for the welfare of others
8.30Anaruddha and 8 Great Thoughts
8.41Things (including playing music!) which are stumbling blocks to that which is wholesome.
8.51The traditional story of the founding of the nuns' order
8.53Instructions to Mahapajapati Gotami (the Buddha's foster mother)
8.54Advice to a layman
8.63metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha and the four foundations of mindfulness as a basis for concentration practice
8.73,74Mindfulness of Death; simile of "hair on fire" in #74
9.39 things to do to bring the mind towards liberation
9.54 Powers; Freed from 5 Fears; includes "Dhamma is the best gift"
9.123 types of stream-enterers, as well as the once-returner and 5 types of non-returners
9.299 factors that arouse anger
9.36Using the aggregates of the Jhanas as a basis of insight (cf. MN 111 & 121)
9.41the long road of meditation practice that culminates in Awakening begins with appreciating the value of renunciation; perfecting the jhanas leads to Awakening
10.2A combination of the Jhana Summary and the Transcendental portion of SN 12.23 (the Upanisa Sutta)
10.6 & 7Meditative Experience of Nibbana
10.11one should have 5 factors & live in a dwellings endowed with 5 factors
10.13the 10 fetters that bind us
10.15Heedfulness/Diligence is foremost of skillful qualities
10.60the 10 Perceptions - an interesting list which include the 16 steps of Mindfulness of Breathing
10.61,62Associating with good people is the basis of hearing the true Dhamma
10.6910 suitable topics of conversation
10.7010 recommended topics of conversation
10.72the 10 thorns, including: To one in 1st jhana, sounds are a thorn
10.76The Prerequisites for Stream Entry and Enlightenment
10.93Anathapindika instructs a group of non-Buddhist wanderers on the nature of Right View: Dependent Origination
10.95Will all beings attain liberation?
10.96The 10 undeclared points are simpily speculations
10.176To Cunda the silversmith: 10 right actions
10.206The 1st 4 Precepts in detail
10.208The 4 Sublime Emotions can lead to 3rd stage of enlightenment
11.1cf SN 12:23 and the Progress of Insight
11.2cf SN 12:23 and the Progress of Insight; "there is no need for an act of will"
11.10Meditate without "perception" of the meditation object - just experience it
11.12 & 13the 6 Recollections - see the Vissudhimagga for later details
11.16The 11 Benefits of Metta (see also AN 8.1)

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