Thus have I heard

Translations of
Thus have I heard (at one time)
PaliEvaṃ me suttaṃ
SanskritEvaṃ mayā śrutaṃ
Chinese如是我聞
(Pinyinrúshì wǒwén)
Tibetanའདི་སྐད་བདག་གིས་ཐོས་པ་དུས་གཅིག་ན
('di skad bdag gis thos pa dus gcig na)
Glossary of Buddhism

Thus have I heard (Pali: Evaṃ me suttaṃ; Sanskrit: Evaṃ mayā śrūtaṃ) is the common translation of the first line of the standard introduction (Pāli and Sanskrit: nidāna) of Buddhist discourses. This phrase serves to confirm that the discourse is coming from the Buddha himself, as a "seal of authenticity".[1][2] Buddhist tradition maintains that the disciple Ānanda used the formula for the first time, as a form of personal testimony, but this is disputed by scholars. It is also disputed how the phrase relates to the words that follow, as several theories have been developed with regard to how the text was originally intended to be read. The formula has also been used in later Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna discourses.

History and function

Colored limestone sculpture of monk holding unidentified object
8th-century Chinese limestone sculpture of Ānanda

Buddhist tradition has it, based on the commentary to the Dīgha Nikāya, that the formula was first used by the disciple Ānanda during the First Buddhist Council held at Rājagṛha (present-day Rajgir).[3][4] This was when the Buddhist Canon was established,[4] as Ānanda was given the role of ' rapporteur' (Sanskrit: saṃgītakāra) of the Buddha's teachings, being the personal attendant of the Buddha.[5] The formula is usually followed by the place where the discourse is given, as well as the names and numbers of those it is given to.[6] In the Chinese exegetical tradition, the formula is known as the generic preface (pinyin: tongxu), as opposed to the subsequent part that differs between discourses, introducing the specifics, known as the specific preface (pinyin: biexu).[7] In some Early Buddhist Texts, other similar constructions are used, such as 'This was said by the Blessed One' (Pali: Vutaṃ hetaṃ bhagavatā) in the Itivuttaka.[8][9]

Other Languages
中文: 如是我聞