The fifth Nikaya is a miscellaneous collection of treatises, mostly very short, on a variety of subjects.
It seems probable that the Vinaya and the four Nikayas were put substantially into the shape in which we now have them before the council at Vesali, a hundred years after the Buddha's death; that slight alterations and additions were made in them, and the miscellaneous Nikaya and the Abhidhamma books completed, at various times down to the third council under Asoka; and that the canon was then considered closed.
24 a of slight additions made to this Nikaya as late as the time of Asoka, 3rd century B.C. And the developed doctrine, found in certain portions of it, shows that these are later than the four old Nikayas.
The first of the four Nikayas is a collection of the longest of these suttantas, and it is called accordingly the Digha Nikaya, that is "the Collection of Long Ones" (sci.
The next is the Majjhima Nikaya, the "Collection of the suttantas of Medium Length" - medium, that is, as being shorter than the suttantas in the Digha, and longer than the ordinary suttas preserved in the two following collections.
In the first of these, called the Anguttara Nikaya, all those points of Buddhist doctrine capable of expression in classes are set out in order.
A number of such efforts, after the Nikayas had been closed, were included in a supplementary Nikaya called the Khuddaka Nikaya.
Digha Nikaya, i.