As well-known as Dhammapada, Sutta Nipæta is also a work in verse with occasional introductions in prose. It is divided into five vaggas: (i) Uraga Vagga of 12 suttas; (ii) Cþđa Vagga of 14 suttas; (iii) Mahæ Vagga of 12 suttas; (iv) AĨĨhaka Vagga of 16 suttas and (v) Pæræyana Vagga of 16 questions.
In the twelve suttas of the Uraga Vagga are found some important teachings of the Buddha which may be practised in the course of one’s daily life:
“True friends are rare to come by these days; a show of friendship very often hides some private ends. Man’s mind is defiled by self-interest. So, becoming disillusioned, roam alone like a rhinoceros.”
“Not by birth does one become an outcast, not by birth does one become a bræhmaža; By one’s action one becomes an outcast, by one’s action one becomes a bræhmaža.”
“As a mother even with her life protects her only child, so let one cultivate immeasurable loving-kindness towards all living beings.”
Pæræyana Vagga deals with sixteen questions asked by sixteen brahmin youths while the Buddha is staying at Pæsænaka Shrine in the country of Magadha. The Buddha gives his answers to each of the questions asked by the youths. Knowing the meaning of each question and of the answers given by the Buddha, if one practises the Dhamma as instructed in this sutta, one can surely reach the Other Shore, which is free from ageing and death. The Dhamma in this sutta is known as Pæræyana because it leads to the Other Shore, Nibbæna.