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The eighth book of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the Collection of the Numbered Discourses of the Buddha, collects 627 suttas or discourses whose subject matter centers on groups of eight topics, though not always. 
This book contains a remarkable accumulation of important suttas, some of them unique, which makes it indispensable, in contrast to the anodyne lack of interest of the previous books of this Numeric Collection. Even so, it is not understandable that at the end of the book there are suttas that repeat previous ones with inappreciable differences. 
This book contains a famed sutta that is completely false: AN 8.51 with Gotamī. It contains the sad story of an orphaned Buddha nursed by his aunt which serves as a way for its misogynistic author to interpose limits on women. The plot features, of course, the servant Ānanda manipulating the Buddha into accepting the ordination of women. It has all the components of the false suttas. For example, an overrated Ānanda appears, a story that contradicts all the suttas that speak of the bodhisatta's renunciation, when the mother and father dismiss him with teary eyes.  Or in this same collection, in AN 8.70 Earthquakes, where the Māra reminds the Buddha while demanding him to extinguish himself: 
Lord, you once made this statement, "Evil one, I will not be completely extinguished until I have no female bhikkhunīs disciples who are competent, educated, confident, wise....". 
The order of bhikkhunīs is one of the four missions that the Buddha had from the beginning. 
And misogyny, as we already know, is another constant in the false suttas. 
The danger of larceny by the rulers reappears here up to three times: AN 8.54 and AN 8.55 and AN 8.76. 
The section of outstanding suttas is truly extensive: 
AN 8.11, the Buddha is an abortionist. AN 8.42, contains an exhaustive list of the 16 countries in India at the time. AN 8.10 and AN 8.20 relate expulsions of bhikkhus by force. AN 8.13 and AN 8.14, in them the Buddha exhibits an outstanding knowledge of horse-taming, which helps to fix his Scythian sākka origin. The horse-loving Scythians were the pioneers in their taming. AN 8.19 a most beautiful description of Nibbāna. AN 8.21 describes Ugga, an amazing layman. AN 8.29 describes missed opportunities for practice and to AN 8.63 which is a complete but brief compilation of practice. 
In short, this time the arduous and exhaustive work of research and reconstruction in comparative linguistics has a prize, an important one. 

The Book of Eights - Aṅguttara Nikāya

  • Aṅguttara Nikāya

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