The Kaccānagotta Sutta is a short, but seminal Buddhist text preserved in Pāli (Saṃyutta Nikāya 12.15), Sanskrit, and Chinese (Samyuktāgama 301). The Chinese translation was carried out by Guṇabhadra, ca. 435-443 CE as part of a Samyuktāgama (雜阿含經) translation. A Sanskrit text, also part of the Samṃyuktāgama and dating from the 13th or 14th century, is preserved. The text is cited in Sanskrit in works by Nāgārjuna and his commentators. There is considerable agreement across the various versions with the Sanskrit and Chinese being more or less identical and both a little different from the Pāli. Nāgārjuna's citation suggests he had a different version from the extant Sanskrit.
Themes in the Text
The main theme of the text is the avoidance of the extremes 'existence' (Pāli atthi) and 'non-existence' (Pāli natthi) with respect to the world (Pāli loka), and instead seeing the world in terms of the Middle Way which is illustrated by the twelve nidānas. The one with right-view understands this.
In Chinese the words existence and non-existence are rendered 有 yǒu and 無 wú. The Sanskrit text uses asti and nāsti. Nāgārjuna's Sanskrit citation uses the words bhava and abhava instead, though in the context these terms mean more or less the same as the roots of both atthi (Sanskrit asti) and bhava come from verbs meaning 'to be' (i.e. √as and √bhū).
- Pāli: Saṃyutta Nikāya (SN 12.15, PTS iii.16-17); also cited in toto in SN 22.90.
- Sanskrit: Sūtra 19 of Nidānasaṃyukta, in a Saṃyuktāgama collection found in Turfan, probably copied ca. 13th or 14th century.<
- Chinese: Samyuktāgama 301 (T. 2.99 85a-86c).
The sutta is quoted in the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra (Section LXII; p. 145). It is also cited in Sanskrit in Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārika (MMK 15.7) and in commentaries on this work by Candrakīrti, namely Prassanapadā and Madhyamakāvatārabhāṣya.
As the only text cited by name in MMK it is pointed to as evidence that Nāgarjuna might not have been a Mahāyānist. David Kalupahana has referred to the MMK as "a commentary on the Kaccānagotta Sutta".
- Access to Insight: Thanissaro, Walsh.
- Jayarava. Kaccānagotta Sutta (SN 12.15, PTS S ii.16.) along with Buddhaghosa’s commentary (PTS SA ii.32).
- Piya Tan. Kaccā(ya)na.gotta Sutta. Dharmafarers.
- Choong Mun-keat & Piya Tan (2004) ‘Saṃyukta Āgama 301 = Taishō 2.99.85c-86a’. Dharmafarer. (pages numbered 89-91)
- Jayarava. Kātyāyana Gotra Sūtra.
- LapisLazuli Translations - [Wikisource]
- Kalupahana, David J. (1986). Nāgārjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way. State University of New York Press.
- Li, Shenghai. Candrakīrti’s Āgama: A Study of the Concept and Uses of Scripture in Classical Indian Buddhism. [PhD Thesis]. 2012.
- Mattia Salvini. 'The Nidānasamyukta and the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: understanding the Middle Way through comparison and exegesis.' Thai International Journal of Buddhist Studies II (2011): 57-95.
- Tripāṭhī, Chandra. (Ed.). 'Fünfundzwanzig Sūtras Des Nidānasaṃyukta' in Sanskrittexte aus den Turfanfunden (Vol. VIII). Edited by Ernst Waldschmidt. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1962. [Includes translation into German]
- Vaidya, P. L. Saddharma-laṅkāvatāra Sūtram. The Mithila Institute of Post-Graduate Studies and Research in Sanskrit Learning. Darbhanga. 1963.