The Digha Nikaya or "the collection of long doctrinary lectures" of the Buddha is one of the five Nikayas or collections belonging to the Suttapitaka or "the basket of (Buddha`s) discourses" which is one of the three majorr collections of Pali Buddhist texts, the other two being Vinayapitaka and Abhidhammapitaka.
It consists of 34 long suttas of which each individual one treats intensively some particular point or points of the doctrine. The Buddha, like other Indian teachers of his time, taught by conversation. He followed the literary habit of his time by embodying his doctrine in set phrases, sutras, on which he enlarged on different occasiions in different ways. When the Buddha died these sayings (suttas) were collected together by his disciples into the great Nikayas of which the present one is the first.
About the Author:
Thomas William Rhys Davids was the foremost and most active exponent of the study of Pali and Buddhism in England. He was the Founder-Chairman of the Pali Text Society. He also played an active part in founding the British Academy in 1902, and later the School of Oriental Studies, London. He was also the Presedent of the India Society from its inception 1910 till his death in 1922.