(Skt.; Pāli, evaṃ me sutam).
‘Thus have I heard’. Form of words which introduces the discourses (sūtra; Pāli, sutta) of the Buddha as preserved in their canonical form. Tradition has it that the speaker is Ānanda, the Buddha's attendant, who was present when the discourse was delivered, and who recited them at the first council (see Council of Rājagṛha). This opening is usually followed by a statement specifying the place where the discourse was delivered and the names and number of those present. After this preamble, known as the nidāna.the discourse itself is narrated.