Lack of Nikayas/Agamas

As I begin my studies of Chinese Buddhist thought, I can't help but wonder how different the trajectory of the early course of Buddhism would have been with full access to the Pali Nikayas or the Sanskrit Agamas.

There seems to be concepts and principles in the discourses that are quite confused as Buddhism was introduced into and developed in China.
Some of these are subtle details, but they seem to combine (in addition to influence from Taoist and Confucian thought) to lead these first generations of Chinese Buddhists somewhat astray.

Take for example this quotation from Hsi Ch'ao (366-377 CE)
"The scripture says 'the triple world is all suffering, there is nothing enjoyable about it.'"
-Buddhism In China, Ch'en, pp 70-72

I'm looking for a quotation from the Pali canon I cannot find where the Buddha talks about understanding suffering as suffering and pleasure as pleasure. Subtly different perhaps but significant.

I'll keep looking - but if anyone can find the reference - please post.

I'll also begin posting examples of places I see conflicts or confusion that could've been resolved by full access to the discourses.

Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Filial Piety

There are numerous examples of monks being criticized for not showing filial piety.
I understand that this is in the context of a political and popular power struggle between Confucianism and Buddhism and that it relates specifically to leaving the household life and shaving the head.
However, if the monks of medieval China were equipped with a fuller Sutta-pitaka, they would've had a canonical basis for the refutation of the lack of filial piety in the Sigalovada Sutta:

"And how, young householder, does a noble disciple cover the six quarters?

The following should be looked upon as the six quarters. The parents should be looked upon as the East, teachers as the South, wife and children as the West, friends and associates as the North, servants and employees as the Nadir, ascetics and brahmans as the Zenith."