Ksudraka Agama

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Ksudraka Agama. (Skt. Kṣudraka Āgama; English: "Minor Collection"). An agama from the Sanskrit tradition of some early Buddhist schools that corresponds to the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Pali Canon.

The Chinese Canon does not include an agama with this name.[1]

Rupert Gethin writes:

Alongside the four primary Nikāya/Āgama collections of sūtras the ancient Indian canons like the Pali canon preserved a ‘minor’ (kṣudraka/khuddaka) collection of miscellaneous texts that were also recognized as having the authority of the Buddha’s word. This fifth collection included such works as the Dharmapada (‘sayings on Dharma’) and the Jātaka or stories concerning the previous lives of the Buddha. The four Nikāyas together with a greater or lesser number of miscellaneous minor texts constituted ‘the basket of discourses’ (Sūtra/Sutta Piṭaka) for the earliest Buddhist schools.[2]

Among the early Buddhist schools, the Dharmaguptaka in particular, had a Kṣudraka Āgama.[3] The Chinese translation of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya provides a table of contents for the Dharmaguptaka recension of the Kṣudraka Āgama, and fragments in Gandhari appear to have been found.[4] Items from this Āgama also survive in Tibetan and Chinese translation—fourteen texts, in the later case.[3][5][6]

Some schools, notably the Sarvāstivāda, recognized only four Āgamas—they had a "Kṣudraka" which they did not consider to be an "Āgama."[5][7] Others—including even the Dharmaguptaka, according to some contemporary scholars—preferred to term it a ""Kṣudraka Piṭaka." As with its Pāḷi counterpart, the Kṣudraka Āgama appears to have been a miscellany, and was perhaps never definitively established among many early schools.


  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Āgama
  2. Gethin 1998, Chapter 2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Andrew Skilton (2004). A Concise History of Buddhism. Windhorse Publications. p. 82. ISBN 0-904766-92-6. 
  4. Richard Salomon, Frank Raymond Allchin, Mark Barnard (1999). Ancient Buddhist scrolls from Gandhāra: the British Library Kharoṣṭhī fragments. University of Washington Press. p. 161. ISBN 0-295-97769-8. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sean Gaffney. The Pali Nidanakatha and its Tibetan Translation: Its Textual Precursors and Associated Literature. 
  6. T. Skorupski (1996). The Buddhist Forum, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 0-7286-0255-5. 
  7. T. Skorupski (1996). The Buddhist Forum, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0-7286-0255-5. 


  • * Gethin, Rupert (1998), Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press