The fifth and last division of the Sutta Nipāta (SN.vs.976ff). It consists of sixteen suttas preceded by an introduction of fifty six Vatthugāthā. The Vatthugāthā describe how Bāvarī first heard of the coming of the Buddha from a devotee and sent sixteen of his pupils to visit the Buddha and find out if his claims to Enlightenment were true. A description of the route taken by them is also given. The sixteen suttas give the questions asked by Bāvarī's disciples and the answers given by the Buddha. The Culla Nidesa comments on the sixteen suttas, but makes no mention of the Vatthugāthā. Perhaps, at one time, the Khaggavisāna Sutta was attached to the Pārāyana Vagga.
The Pārāyana Vagga is mentioned in the Anguttara Nikāya (A.i.133, 134; ii.45; iv.63) and in the Samyutta Nikāya (S.ii.49), which is evidence of its having been one of the oldest collections.
The Pārāyanaka Samiti is among the incidents represented in the Mahā Thūpa (Mhv.xxx.84). It is said (E.g., AA.i.57) that at the end of the discourses contained in the Pārāyana Vagga, fourteen crores of beings realized nibbāna.
Buddhaghosa says (AA.ii.717) that the Pārāyana was so called because it leads to nibbāna (nibbānasahkhātam pāram ayanato Pārāyanā ti laddhavohāram dhammam).
The Buddha teaches the goal (pārāyana) and the path leading thereto. S.iv.373.