The first four Nikaya-texts are of inestimable value since they provide important source materials to study the religious/cultural history of the contemporary period. Because they vividly present the daily life of the people of ancient India, they are, from the sociological point of view, of utmost significance.
The importance of the Nikayas can neither be gainsaid nor exaggerated. In this book an attempt has been made to introduce the first four Nikaya texts in their entirety.
The book is divided into five chapters and three appendices. It contains an outline study of the four Nikayas, which belong to the Theravada Pali Canon; a comparative study between the Sanskrit/Chinese Agamas and Pali Nikayas; Buddha's discourses to the laity; teachings of Early Buddhism under the threefold division of Sila, Samadhi and Panna; discussions on the administrative, social and economic conditions of ancient India; historical and geographical materials found in the Nikayas; and mutual relations of the treatment of similies in the Suttas of those Nikayas.