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How do you find out the source of a sutta? For example, MN 109, SN 56.11 begin

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One

How do we know who this author is? Is there general guidance on who to attribute the suttas to?

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I don't know much about this but according to Wikipedia (here and here) it was Ananda who narrated the stories in the suttas.

A council of 500 Arahats was held at Rajgir (Sanskrit: Rājagaha) to agree the contents of the Dhamma and Vinaya. Ananda recited the Suttas, such that each begins: ‘Thus have I heard’.

  • aha, so Ananda is most likely going to be the author of those suttas. Also from accesstoinsight, the suttas were "...delivered by the Buddha and his close disciples...as well as many additional verses by other members of the Sangha. " – avatar Korra Oct 11 '16 at 6:54
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Most of the back stories are included in the commentaries. For English readers I recommend Mr. Piya Tan's translations and commentaries which are available at www.dharmafarer.org

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