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The first book of the Digha Nikāya, the Collection of Long Discourses of the Buddha, includes 13 suttas that, in this case, do not correspond to the word of the Buddha itself, but rather are later apocryphal compositions that ended up being incorporated as a collection canonical anymore, when obviously, it is not. While the suttas of the canonical collections: Saṃyutta, Majjhima and Anguttara Nikayas, aim to explain the word, doctrine and teaching of the Buddha as well as provide some circumstantial data, this book, on the other hand, is a heterogeneous compilation of diatribes against the different beliefs that clashed with the incipient Buddhism. Diatribe, from the French diatribe, and this from the Greek διατριβή diatribḗ "debate", which is the name given to a brief ethical speech, specifically of the type composed by the Cynic and Stoic philosophers. These popular moral readings frequently had a polemical tone directed against individuals or social groups. In this case, they do not leave the community, belief, faith or religion of the time unattacked. This book seems to be composed to be provided to Buddhist missionaries in order to use it as a debate manual against other religions in order to gain followers. This is the tone of almost all the suttas. To achieve this, neither mythomania nor miracles, which the Indian public has always loved so much, are despised. If we study their structure, we immediately see that they are completely unrelated to the canonical ones and their content, in general, consists of a libel against a religious group, followed by a cut-and-paste series of canonical suttas selected without much criteria. This is why, since they are all false, it makes no sense to mark them with the double asterisk or list them, as was done in the authentic collections. This book is not recommended in any case for anyone interested in the teaching of the Buddha, although it may be of some historiographical use for those who want to study the strategies used by those Buddhist monks who were twice elevated to religious power in India. First, it was the Mauryan dynasty and centuries later, the Kushana. Both turned to Buddhism to dismantle Indian caste society. Ashoka will use it to dismantle the Chatrias and thus avoid a rebellion in revenge for their criminal excesses, while Kanishka uses it to get out of a huge monetary crisis that he caused by trying to introduce a kind of "fiat" currency. This failure forced him to reimplant Buddhism with the populist goal of converting the Brahmins, from rich and respected priests, into "suspicious pagans", which opened the doors to confiscation. Its success led Constantine to copy this same solution a few years later. At the height of ridiculousness, we can highlight DN 9. With Poṭṭhapāda, where the unknown author enters a flower garden from which he is unable to leave and solves it by messing everything up so that nothing remains clear. In DN 13. The Three Knowledges, Brahmins are blamed for the same vices and defects typical of Buddhist monks. Finally, note that it is incredible that this collection is the most popular among Buddhists, which helps explain some things

The Book of Diatribes - Digha Nikāya

  • Digha Nikāya

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