Institutional Repository

Buddha's teachings applicable to the laity : case studies from the Pāli Nikāyas


The content of this item is not available in the repository.

Are you the author of this work? Please consider giving UWest consent to digitize and upload the electronic version your work and make it available to researchers around the world. Any existing embargo will continue to be observed.


Kumaratne, Manohari Savithri




Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies


Guruge, Ananda W. P.
Lancaster, Lewis R.
Long, Darui


Purpose of this dissertation is to make an annotated catalogue of suttas from the Pāli Nikāyas as a comprehensive study of all the guidelines the Buddha was recorded to have given to the laity on issues related to lay life.

The scope of this study is to search the five Nikāyas and identify the passages addressed to laypersons.

The methodology adopted in the current dissertation included a close reading and grouping of suttas into the subjects of Social Class/ Standing in Human Communities, Governance, Ethical Conduct of an Individual, Unwholesome and Wholesome Dispositions, Relationships, Economics, Education, Health, Environment, and Meditation. Observations, theories, opinions, and conclusions of scholars were incorporated.

Interconnectedness of the suttas was represented by tables and bar-charts showing the makeup of the teachings and audience (laity) as traditional forms of analysis. Metadata graph analysis was incorporated to show the distance reading of suttas.

The Findings of this study revealed 208 suttas were addressed to the laity. Due to overlap of subjects in some suttas, the total number of suttas analyzed was 257.

Conclusion reached is that there appears to be a superstructure of rules and codes listed as a code of discipline (sīla) that forms the basis of the teachings.

Limitations of this study are that suttas on generosity and kamma were omitted. More meta graph analysis will give a wider perspective on the suttas.

This study contributes in dispelling the current impression that the Buddha taught his path of deliverance only to monastic disciples seeking salvation. Out of the above analysis of the teachings of the Buddha, there emerges a technique for the investigation of each sutta with the use of edge graphs where the data and metadata, as well as metadata content are utilized. This technique will provide a pattern between key words, phrases, persons, places, and structures.

Degree Granter

University of the West



Library Holding