It is widely accepted that the Sutta Nipata contains 'the earliest recorded version' of the Buddha's teaching. It is an anthology of poetry and prose - 70 titled suttas of varied instruction and temperament arranged in five chapters.
This remarkable collection of 73 verses contained in the 'Khuddaka Nikaya' section of the Pali Canon dates from the BC 6th century. It is said to be the earliest voices of women in recorded history. The verses, some brief, some more extended, are the utterances of the bhikkhunis, the nuns at the time of the Buddha, concerning their life and their ‘awakening’.