“This is what I heard” ［如是我聞］ ( evam mayā shrutam; nyoze-gamon): Also, “Thus have I heard.” A phrase that begins many sutras. The sutras are records of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings that were committed first to memory and passed down orally, and later put into writing. This phrase represents a testimony to the validity and accuracy of what was about to be set down in writing in the form of a sutra. According to tradition, this practice began with the Buddha’s disciple Ānanda. In the first compilation of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings, Ānanda uttered the words “This is what I heard,” and then began to recite from memory what he had heard the Buddha preach. Ānanda accompanied Shakyamuni as his personal attendant for many years, hearing and memorizing more of the Buddha’s teachings than any other disciple.