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The Majjhima Nik?ya (-nik?ya; "Collection of Middle-length Discourses") is a Buddhist scripture, the second of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka, which is one of the "three baskets" that compose the PaliTipitaka (lit. "Three Baskets") of Theravada Buddhism. Composed between 3rd century BCE and 2nd century CE. This nikaya consists of 152 discourses attributed to the Buddha and his chief disciples.
The Majjhima Nikaya corresponds to the Madhyama ?gama found in the Sutra Pitikas of various Sanskritic early Buddhist schools, fragments of which survive in Sanskrit and in Tibetan translation. A complete Chinese translation from the Sarv?stiv?din recension appears in the Chinese Buddhist canon, where it is known as the Zh?ng Ahánj?ng (?). The Madhyama ?gama of the Sarv?stiv?da school contains 222 s?tras, in contrast to the 152 suttas in the P?li Majjhima Nik?ya.
Bhikkhu Bodhi in the introduction to his translation describes the collection as follows:
If the Majjhima Nik?ya were to be characterised by a single phrase to distinguish it from among the other books of the Pali Canon, this might be done by describing it as the collection that combines the richest variety of contextual settings with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings.
The 152 discourses come in three parts each with five divisions. All divisions save the penultimate contain 10 discourses.
Lord Chalmers, trans. (1898-1926), Further Dialogues of the Buddha, 1926–7, vol.1, vol. 2, London: Pali Text Society. Reprint: Ann Arbor: Books on Demand, University of Michigan.
I.B. Horner (trans.), The Book of Middle Length Sayings, 1954–9, 3 volumes, Bristol: Pali Text Society.
David W. Evans (trans.), Discourses of Gotama Buddha: Middle Collection, 1991, Janus Pubns. "Translation in an abridged form ... just about one third the size of Horner's translation, but with well over 90% of the significant content"
^Singh, Upinder. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson. p. 25.
^A version of the Pali original is available in Gotama, Buddha (2012). Majjhima Nikaya: The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN978-1478369622.
^A Dictionary of Buddhism, by Damien Keown, Oxford University Press: 2004
^Bodhi, Bhikkhu (1995). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nik?ya. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, first published by Wisdom Publications. pp. 5-11, 20. ISBN0-86171-072-X.