The fourth book of the Khuddaka Nikāya,
containing 110 suttas, each of which begins with the words: vuttam h'etam
According to Dhammapāla (ItvA.24ff), the
suttas were preached from time to time by the Buddha to Khujjuttarā at Kosambī.
She then repeated them to the five hundred women of Udena's palace, chief of
whom was Sāmāvatī. In order to emphasise to her audience the fact that she was
reporting the Buddha's words and not her own, she prefaced each sutta with the
phrase quoted above. There was no need to describe any special circumstances in
which the suttas were preached, because they were familiar to Khujjuttarā's
At the Rājagaha Council, Ananda repeated
the suttas to the Assembly and they were gathered into this collection.
Itivuttaka is also the name given to one
of the nine divisions (anga) into which the Buddha's preaching is divided and it
is defined as follows: vuttam h'etam Bhagavatā ti Ādinayappavattā dasuttarasatam
suttantā Itivuttakam ti veditabbam (DA.i.24).
In the scholiast of the Kummāsapinda
Jātaka (J.iii.409; l.21)), the Itivuttaka is mentioned in the plural (Itivuttakesu)
and a sutta is quoted from it, extolling the virtues of generosity. Perhaps, the
Itivuttaka was compiled as a result of a critical study of the authentic
teachings of the Buddha, considered in a certain light and made for a specific