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Madhyama Agama

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Madhyama Agama. (Skt. Madhyamāgama; P. Majjhimanikāya; T. Dbu ma’i lung; C. Zhong ahan jing; J. Chūagongyō; K. Chung aham kyŏng 中阿含觀).[1][2] “Middle-Length Discourses”; an agama from the Sanskrit tradition that corresponds to the Majjhima Nikāya of the Pali Canon.

The Madhyama Agama is no longer extant in the Sanskrit language. A Chinese translation of the text, attributed to the Sarvāstivāda school, is included in the Chinese Canon. This translation was done by Gautama Saṃghadeva circa 398 CE.[3]

The Madhyama Agama contains 222 sūtras, in contrast to the 152 suttas of the Pāli Majjhima Nikāya.

Portions of the Madhyama Agama, ascribed to the Sarvāstivāda school, survive in Tibetan translation.

Fragments of a Sanskrit recension, ascribed to the Sarvāstivāda school, have also been discovered.[4]


"The Madhayama Āgama, or Middle Length Discourses, belong to the earliest stratum of Buddhist sutra literature. The dialogues between Śākyamuni Buddha and his disciples and followers present the teachings of early Buddhism on karma, death and rebirth, and the training of the mind in order to reach nirvana. The speakers often make use of parables and tales to illustrate the correct understanding of early doctrine."[3]



  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Madhyamāgama
  2. Muller, Charles. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, entry on 阿含經
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Madhyama Āgama (Middle-Length Discourses), Volume I (BDK America)
  4. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Madhyamāgama