#6: The Milindapañha
September 16, 2018

Dear Readers – We are finally digging into the Milindapañha, the eighteenth book of the Khuddaka Nikāya, or “Collection of Little Texts”, which is the fifth portion of the Suttaṅta Piṭaka, one of the three piṭakas, or “baskets”, which together hold all the teachings of the Pāli Canon. Like the Bible, different countries have different versions of these core teachings of Gotama the Buddha and his disciples, and my efforts will be in finding the common generalities, rather than promoting one version over another. As we’ve covered in the last weeks, the Milindapañha is in the style of a Socratic debate between King Milinda and Buddhist monk Nāgasena, set in the Indo-European region of Ghandāra and the Indus River Valley, now home to modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The story was passed down in the oral tradition of chanting verse, and later transcribed into text, of which the original has been lost to history.

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