The Udana and the Itivuttaka, translated by John D. Ireland

udana-itivutakka-ireland-3The Udāna is the third book of the Khuddaka Nikaya. Each of its eighty short suttas ends in a short verse uttered by the Buddha. The suttas are arranged into eight chapters or vaggas.

The Itivuttaka is composed of 112 short discourses, each beginning and ending with a statement that the words are those of the Buddha: this (iti) was said (vuttam) by the Blessed One. The commentaries claim that these discourses were collected by a laywoman, one Khujjuttara, servant of Sāmāvatī, one of the wives of King Udena of Kosambi. Queen Sāmāvatī could not leave the palace to hear the Buddha’s discourses, so the story goes that Khujjuttara went in her place, memorizing all that the Buddha said, then teaching it to the Queen and her attendants. In the final sutta of chapter seven of the Udāna, 7.10, the Buddha comments after a palace fire killed all the women of the palace that every one of them had attained at least stream entry.

John D. Ireland translated from the Pali for decades, but this was the effort with which he was perhaps the most satisfied.

The Udana and the Itivuttaka: Two Classics from the Pali Canon. Translated by John D. Ireland. Kandy (Sri Lanka): The Buddhist Publication Society, 1998. 272 pages.