Tripiṭaka

Tripiṭaka (Sanskrit /trɪˈpɪtəkə/) or Tipiṭaka (Pali /tɪˈpɪtəkə/) is the traditional term for the Buddhist scriptures.[1][2] The version canonical to Theravada Buddhism is generally referred to in English as the Pali Canon. Mahayana Buddhism also holds the Tripiṭaka to be authoritative but, unlike Theravadins, it also includes in its canon various derivative literature and commentaries that were composed much later.[1][3]

The Tripiṭaka was composed between about 550 BCE and about the start of the common era, likely written down for the first time in the 1st century BCE.[3] The Dipavamsa states that during the reign of Valagamba of Anuradhapura (29–17 BCE) the monks who had previously remembered the Tripiṭaka and its commentary orally now wrote them down in books, because of the threat posed by famine and war. The Mahavamsa also refers briefly to the writing down of the canon and the commentaries at this time. Each Buddhist sub-tradition had its own Tripiṭaka for its monasteries, written by its sangha, each set consisting of 32 books, in three parts or baskets of teachings: Vinaya Piṭaka (“Basket of Discipline”), Sūtra Piṭaka (“Basket of Discourse”), and Abhidharma Piṭaka (“Basket of Special [or Further] Doctrine”).[1][3][4] The structure, the code of conduct and moral virtues in the Vinaya basket particularly, have similarities to some of the surviving Dharmasutra texts of Hinduism.[5] Much of the surviving Tripiṭaka literature is in Pali, with some in Sanskrit as well as other local Asian languages.[4]

Translations of
Tripiṭaka
EnglishThree Baskets
PaliTipiṭaka
Sanskritत्रिपिटक
Tripiṭaka
Bengaliত্রিপিটক
Burmeseပိဋကတ် သုံးပုံ
[pḭdəɡaʔ θóʊɴbòʊɴ]
Chinese三藏
(PinyinSānzàng)
Japanese三蔵 (さんぞう)
(rōmaji: sanzō)
Khmerព្រះត្រៃបិដក
(Preah trai bekdok)
Korean삼장 (三臧)
(RR: samjang)
Sinhalaත්‍රිපිටකය
Tamilதிரிபிடகம்
Thaiพระไตรปิฎก
VietnameseTam tạng (三藏)
Glossary of Buddhism

Etymology

Tripiṭaka (Sanskrit) or Tipiṭaka (Pali) literally translates as 'Three Baskets' (Piṭaka (पिटक) or pita (पिट), meaning "basket or box made from bamboo or wood").[6] The 'three baskets' were originally the receptacles of the palm-leaf manuscripts in which were preserved the Sutta Piṭaka, the Vinaya Piṭaka and the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, the three divisions that constitute the Pali Canon.[7] These terms are also spelled without diacritics as Tripiṭaka and Tipiṭaka in scholarly literature.[1]

Chronology

The dating of the Tripiṭaka is unclear. Max Muller states that the current structure and contents of the Pali Canon took shape in the third century BCE after which it continued to be transmitted orally from generation to generation (just like the Vedas and the early Upanishads)[8] until finally being put into written form in the 1st century BCE (nearly 500 years after the lifetime of Buddha).[8]

According to A. K. Warder, the Tibetan historian Bu-ston said that around or before the 1st century CE there were eighteen schools of Buddhism and their Tripiṭakas were written down by then.[9] However, except for one version that has survived in full and others, of which parts have survived, all of these texts are lost to history or yet to be found.[9]

The Tripiṭaka was compiled and put into writing for the first time during the reign of King Walagambahu of Sri Lanka (1st century BCE). According to Sri Lankan sources more than 1000 monks who had attained Arahantship were involved in the task. The place where the project was undertaken was in Aluvihare, Matale, Sri Lanka.[9] The resulting texts were translated into four related Indo-European languages of South Asia: Sanskrit, Pali, Paisaci and Prakrit, sometime between 1st century BCE and 7th century CE.[9] Portions of these were later translated into a number of East Asian languages such as Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian by ancient visiting scholars, which though extensive are incomplete.[10]

Wu and Chia state that emerging evidence, though uncertain, suggests that the earliest written Buddhist Tripiṭaka texts may have arrived in China from India by the 1st century BCE.[11]

The three categories

The Tripiṭaka is composed of three main categories of texts that collectively constitute the Buddhist canon: the Sutta Piṭaka, the Vinaya Piṭaka, and the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.[12] The Sūtra Piṭaka is older than the Vinaya Piṭaka, and the Abhidharma Piṭaka represents a later tradition of scholastic analysis and systematization of the contents of the Sutta Piṭaka originating at least two centuries after the other two parts of the canon. The Vinaya Piṭaka appears to have grown gradually as a commentary and justification of the monastic code (Prātimokṣa), which presupposes a transition from a community of wandering mendicants (the Sūtra Piṭaka period ) to a more sedentary monastic community (the Vinaya Piṭaka period). Even within the Sūtra Piṭaka it is possible to detect older and later texts.

Vinaya

Rules and regulations of monastic life that range from dress code and dietary rules to prohibitions of certain personal conducts.

Sutra

The Buddha delivered all his sermons in Magadhan, the local language of north-eastern India where the Buddha was born, raised and educated. These sermons were rehearsed orally during the meeting of the First Buddhist council just after the Parinibbana of the Buddha. The teachings continued to be transmitted orally until they were written down in the first century BCE.

Abhidhamma

Philosophical and psychological analysis and interpretation of Buddhist doctrine.

In Indian Buddhist schools

Each of the Early Buddhist Schools likely had their own recensions of the Tripiṭaka. According to some sources, there were some Indian schools of Buddhism that had five or seven piṭakas.[13]

Mahāsāṃghika

The Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya was translated by Buddhabhadra and Faxian in 416 CE, and is preserved in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1425).

The 6th century CE Indian monk Paramārtha wrote that 200 years after the parinirvāṇa of the Buddha, much of the Mahāsāṃghika school moved north of Rājagṛha, and were divided over whether the Mahāyāna sūtras should be incorporated formally into their Tripiṭaka. According to this account, they split into three groups based upon the relative manner and degree to which they accepted the authority of these Mahāyāna texts.[14] Paramārtha states that the Kukkuṭika sect did not accept the Mahāyāna sūtras as buddhavacana ("words of the Buddha"), while the Lokottaravāda sect and the Ekavyāvahārika sect did accept the Mahāyāna sūtras as buddhavacana.[15] Also in the 6th century CE, Avalokitavrata writes of the Mahāsāṃghikas using a "Great Āgama Piṭaka," which is then associated with Mahāyāna sūtras such as the Prajñāparamitā and the Daśabhūmika Sūtra.[16]

According to some sources, abhidharma was not accepted as canonical by the Mahāsāṃghika school.[17] The Theravādin Dīpavaṃsa, for example, records that the Mahāsāṃghikas had no abhidharma.[18] However, other sources indicate that there were such collections of abhidharma, and the Chinese pilgrims Faxian and Xuanzang both mention Mahāsāṃghika abhidharma. On the basis of textual evidence as well as inscriptions at Nāgārjunakoṇḍā, Joseph Walser concludes that at least some Mahāsāṃghika sects probably had an abhidharma collection, and that it likely contained five or six books.[19]

Caitika

The Caitikas included a number of sub-sects including the Pūrvaśailas, Aparaśailas, Siddhārthikas, and Rājagirikas. In the 6th century CE, Avalokitavrata writes that Mahāyāna sūtras such as the Prajñāparamitā and others are chanted by the Aparaśailas and the Pūrvaśailas.[16] Also in the 6th century CE, Bhāvaviveka speaks of the Siddhārthikas using a Vidyādhāra Piṭaka, and the Pūrvaśailas and Aparaśailas both using a Bodhisattva Piṭaka, implying collections of Mahāyāna texts within these Caitika schools.[16]

Bahuśrutīya

The Bahuśrutīya school is said to have included a Bodhisattva Piṭaka in their canon. The Satyasiddhi Śāstra, also called the Tattvasiddhi Śāstra, is an extant abhidharma from the Bahuśrutīya school. This abhidharma was translated into Chinese in sixteen fascicles (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1646).[20] Its authorship is attributed to Harivarman, a third-century monk from central India. Paramārtha cites this Bahuśrutīya abhidharma as containing a combination of Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna doctrines, and Joseph Walser agrees that this assessment is correct.[21]

Prajñaptivāda

The Prajñaptivādins held that the Buddha's teachings in the various piṭakas were nominal (Skt. prajñapti), conventional (Skt. saṃvṛti), and causal (Skt. hetuphala).[22] Therefore, all teachings were viewed by the Prajñaptivādins as being of provisional importance, since they cannot contain the ultimate truth.[23] It has been observed that this view of the Buddha's teachings is very close to the fully developed position of the Mahāyāna sūtras.[22] [23]

Sārvāstivāda

Scholars at present have "a nearly complete collection of sūtras from the Sarvāstivāda school"[24] thanks to a recent discovery in Afghanistan of roughly two-thirds of Dīrgha Āgama in Sanskrit. The Madhyama Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 26) was translated by Gautama Saṃghadeva, and is available in Chinese. The Saṃyukta Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 99) was translated by Guṇabhadra, also available in Chinese translation. The Sarvāstivāda is therefore the only early school besides the Theravada for which we have a roughly complete Sūtra Piṭaka. The Sārvāstivāda Vinaya Piṭaka is also extant in Chinese translation, as are the seven books of the Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma Piṭaka. There is also the encyclopedic Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1545), which was held as canonical by the Vaibhāṣika Sarvāstivādins of northwest India.

Mūlasārvāstivāda

Portions of the Mūlasārvāstivāda Tripiṭaka survive in Tibetan translation and Nepalese manuscripts.[25] The relationship of the Mūlasārvāstivāda school to Sarvāstivāda school is indeterminate; their vinayas certainly differed but it is not clear that their Sūtra Piṭaka did. The Gilgit manuscripts may contain Āgamas from the Mūlasārvāstivāda school in Sanskrit.[26] The Mūlasārvāstivāda Vinaya Piṭaka survives in Tibetan translation and also in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1442). The Gilgit manuscripts also contain vinaya texts from the Mūlasārvāstivāda school in Sanskrit.[26]

Dharmaguptaka

A complete version of the Dīrgha Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1) of the Dharmaguptaka school was translated into Chinese by Buddhayaśas and Zhu Fonian (竺佛念) in the Later Qin dynasty, dated to 413 CE. It contains 30 sūtras in contrast to the 34 suttas of the Theravadin Dīgha Nikāya. A. K. Warder also associates the extant Ekottara Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 125) with the Dharmaguptaka school, due to the number of rules for monastics, which corresponds to the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya.[27] The Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is also extant in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1428), and Buddhist monastics in East Asia adhere to the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya.

The Dharmaguptaka Tripiṭaka is said to have contained a total of five piṭakas.[21] These included a Bodhisattva Piṭaka and a Mantra Piṭaka (Ch. 咒藏), also sometimes called a Dhāraṇī Piṭaka.[28] According to the 5th century Dharmaguptaka monk Buddhayaśas, the translator of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya into Chinese, the Dharmaguptaka school had assimilated the Mahāyāna Tripiṭaka (Ch. 大乘三藏).[29]

Mahīśāsaka

The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya is preserved in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1421), translated by Buddhajīva and Zhu Daosheng in 424 CE.

Kāśyapīya

Small portions of the Tipiṭaka of the Kāśyapīya school survive in Chinese translation. An incomplete Chinese translation of the Saṃyukta Āgama of the Kāśyapīya school by an unknown translator circa the Three Qin (三秦) period (352-431 CE) survives.[30]

In the Theravada school

The complete Tripiṭaka set of the Theravāda school is written and preserved in Pali in the Pali Canon. Buddhists of the Theravāda school use the Pali variant Tipiṭaka to refer what is commonly known in English as the Pali Canon.[31]

In Mahāyāna schools

The term Tripiṭaka had tended to become synonymous with Buddhist scriptures, and thus continued to be used for the Chinese and Tibetan collections, although their general divisions do not match a strict division into three piṭakas.[32]

China

An organised collection of Buddhist texts began to emerge in the 6th century, based on the structure of early bibliographies of Buddhist texts. However, it was the 'Kaiyuan Era Catalogue' by Zhisheng in 730 that provided the lasting structure. Zhisheng introduced the basic six-fold division with sutra, vinaya, and abhidharma belonging to Mahāyāna and Hīnayana.[33] It is likely that Zhisheng's catalogue proved decisive because it was used to reconstruct the Canon after the persecutions of 845 CE, however it was also considered a "perfect synthesis of the entire four-hundred-year development of a proper Chinese form of the Canon." [34]

As a title

The Chinese form of Tripiṭaka, "sānzàng" (三藏), was sometimes used as an honorary title for a Buddhist monk who has mastered the teachings of the Tripiṭaka. In Chinese culture, this is notable in the case of the Tang Dynasty monk Xuanzang, whose pilgrimage to India to study and bring Buddhist texts back to China was portrayed in the novel Journey to the West as "Tang Sanzang" (Tang Dynasty Tripiṭaka Master). Due to the popularity of the novel, the term "sānzàng" is often erroneously understood as a name of the monk Xuanzang. One such screen version of this is the popular 1979 Monkey (TV series).

The modern Indian scholar Rahul Sankrityayan is sometimes referred to as Tripiṭakacharya in reflection of his familiarity with the Tripiṭaka.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Tipitaka Encyclopædia Britannica (2015)
  2. ^ "Buddhist Books and Texts: Canon and Canonization." Lewis Lancaster, Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition, pg 1252
  3. ^ a b c Barbara Crandall (2012). Gender and Religion, 2nd Edition: The Dark Side of Scripture. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 56–58. ISBN 978-1-4411-4871-1.
  4. ^ a b Richard F. Gombrich (2006). Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-134-21718-2.
  5. ^ Oskar von Hinuber (1995), "Buddhist Law according to the Theravada Vinaya: A Survey of Theory and Practice", Journal of International Association of Buddhist Studies, volume 18, number 1, pages 7–46
  6. ^ Sir Monier Monier-Williams; Ernst Leumann; Carl Cappeller (2002). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 625. ISBN 978-81-208-3105-6.
  7. ^ An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices; Peter Harvey, Cambridge University Press,2012.
  8. ^ a b Friedrich Max Müller (1899). The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy. Longmans, Green. pp. 19–29.
  9. ^ a b c d A. K. Warder (2000). Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 282–283. ISBN 978-81-208-1741-8.
  10. ^ A. K. Warder (2000). Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-208-1741-8.
  11. ^ Jiang Wu; Lucille Chia (2015). Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon. Columbia University Press. pp. 111–123. ISBN 978-0-231-54019-3.
  12. ^ "Tipitaka | Buddhist canon". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  13. ^ Skilling, Peter (1992), The Raksa Literature of the Sravakayana, Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XVI, page 114
  14. ^ Walser 2005, p. 51.
  15. ^ Sree Padma. Barber, Anthony W. Buddhism in the Krishna River Valley of Andhra. 2008. p. 68.
  16. ^ a b c Walser 2005, p. 53.
  17. ^ "Abhidhamma Pitaka." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
  18. ^ Walser 2005, p. 213.
  19. ^ Walser 2005, p. 212-213.
  20. ^ The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalog (K 966)
  21. ^ a b Walser 2005, p. 52.
  22. ^ a b Dutt 1998, p. 118.
  23. ^ a b Harris 1991, p. 98.
  24. ^ Bhikkhu Sujato: The Pali Nikāyas and Chinese Āgamas
  25. ^ Preservation of Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts In the Kathmandu
  26. ^ a b Memory Of The World Register: Gilgit manuscripts
  27. ^ Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 6
  28. ^ Baruah, Bibhuti. Buddhist Sects and Sectarianism. 2008. p. 52
  29. ^ Walser 2005, p. 52-53.
  30. ^ A Dictionary of Buddhism, by Damien Keown, Oxford University Press: 2004
  31. ^ Matthew Meghaprasara (2013). New Guide To The Tipitaka: A Complete Guide To The Pali Buddhist Canon. A Sangha of Books. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-926892-68-9.
  32. ^ Mizuno, Essentials of Buddhism, 1972, English version pub Kosei, Tokyo, 1996
  33. ^ Storch 2014: 125
  34. ^ Storch 2014: 123.

Further reading

  • Walser, Joseph (2005), Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture, Columbia Univ Pr, ISBN 978-0231131643
  • Dutt, Nalinaksha (1998), Buddhist Sects in India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0428-7
  • Harris, Ian Charles (1991), The Continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogacara in Indian Mahayana Buddhism, Brill Academic Pub, ISBN 9789004094482

External links

Pali Canon:

Myanmar Version of Buddhist Canon (6th revision):

Chinese Buddhist Canon:

Tibetan tradition:

Tripiṭaka collections:

Sri Lankan version of Tipiṭaka:

Bhāṇaka

Bhāṇakas (Pali: reciter) were Buddhist monks who specialized in the memorization and recitation of a specific collection of texts within the Buddhist canon. Lineages of bhāṇakas were responsible for preserving and transmitting the teachings of the Buddha until the canon was committed to writing in the 1st Century BC, and declined as the oral transmission of early Buddhism was replaced by writing.

Chinese Buddhist canon

The Chinese Buddhist Canon refers to the total body of Buddhist literature deemed canonical in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhism. The traditional term for the canon (traditional Chinese: 大藏經; simplified Chinese: 大藏经; pinyin: Dàzàngjīng; Japanese: 大蔵経; rōmaji: Daizōkyō; Korean: 대장경; romaja: Daejanggyeong; Vietnamese: Đại tạng kinh)."

East Asian Buddhism

East Asian Buddhism or East Asian Mahayana is a collective term for the schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism that developed in East Asia, and follow the Chinese Buddhist canon. These include the various forms of Chinese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism, Vietnamese Buddhism and Korean Buddhism. Besides being a major religion in these four cultural regions, it is also a significant religion in Singapore and Malaysia. East Asian Buddhists constitute the numerically largest body of Buddhist traditions in the world, numbering over half of the world's Buddhists.East Asian forms of Buddhism all derive from sinicized Buddhist schools that developed between the Han dynasty (when Buddhism was first introduced from Central Asia) and the Song dynasty, and therefore they are influenced by Chinese culture and philosophy. Some of the most influential traditions include Chan or Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, Huayan, Tiantai and Chinese Esoteric Buddhism. These schools developed new, uniquely Asian interpretations of Buddhist texts and focused on the study of Mahayana sutras. According to Paul Williams, this emphasis on the study of the sutras contrasts with the Tibetan Buddhist attitude which sees the sutras as too difficult unless approached through the study of philosophical treatises (shastras).The texts of the Chinese Canon began to be translated in the second century and the collection continued to evolve over a period of a thousand years, the first woodblock printed edition being published in 983. The modern standard edition is the Taishō Tripiṭaka, produced in Japan between 1924 and 1932.Besides sharing a canon of scripture, the various forms of East Asian Buddhism have also adapted East Asian values and practices which were not prominent in Indian Buddhism, such as Chinese ancestor veneration and the Confucian view of filial piety.East Asian Buddhist monastics generally follow the monastic rule known as the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya. One major exception is some schools of Japanese Buddhism where Buddhist clergy sometimes marry, without following the traditional monastic code or Vinaya. This developed during the Meiji Restoration, when a nationwide campaign against Buddhism forced certain Japanese Buddhist sects to change their practices.

Ekottara Agama

The Ekottara Āgama (Sanskrit; traditional Chinese: 增壹阿含經; ; pinyin: zēngyī-ahánjīng) is an early Indian Buddhist text, of which currently only a Chinese translation is extant (Taishō Tripiṭaka 125). The title Ekottara Āgama literally means "Numbered Discourses," referring to its organizational principle. It is one of the four Āgamas of the Sanskritic Sūtra Piṭaka located in the Chinese Buddhist Canon.

Kangyur

The Tibetan Buddhist canon is a loosely defined list of sacred texts recognized by various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, comprising the Kangyur or Kanjur ('The Translation of the Word') and the Tengyur or Tanjur (Tengyur) ('Translation of Treatises').

Khema

Kṣemā (Sanskrit; Pali: Khemā) was one of the two chief female disciples of Buddha (the other being Uppalavanna). The Sutta Nipata mention her to be the wife of Bimbisara, king of Magadha, and a follower of Buddhism.

Nikāya

Nikāya is a Pāli word meaning "volume". It is often used like the Sanskrit word āgama to mean "collection", "assemblage", "class" or "group" in both Pāḷi and Sanskrit. It is most commonly used in reference to the Buddhist texts of the Sutta Piṭaka but can also refer to the monastic divisions of Theravāda Buddhism.

In addition, the term Nikāya is sometimes used in contemporary scholarship to refer to early Buddhist schools.

Paracanonical texts (Theravada Buddhism)

The term "paracanonical texts" is used by Western scholars to refer to various texts on the fringes of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism (cf. Apocrypha), usually to refer to the following texts sometimes regarded as included in the Pali Canon's Khuddaka Nikaya:

Suttasamgaha (abbrev. "Suttas"; "Sutta Compendium")

Nettipakarana (abbrev. "Nett"; "Book of Guidance")

Petakopadesa (abbrev. "Peṭ"; "Instructions on the Tipitaka")

Milindapañha (abbrev. "Mil"; "Questions of Milinda")The Suttasamgaha includes selected texts primarily from the Pali Canon. The Nettipakarana and the Petakopadesa are introductions to the teachings of Buddhism; these books present methods of interpretation that lead to the knowledge of the good law (saddhamma). Milindapañhā, written in the style of the Pali suttas, contains a dialogue between the Indo-Greek king Menander (in Pāli, Milinda) and the Thera Nāgasena, which illuminates certain important tenets of Buddhism.

The term "paracanonical" is also sometimes applied to the Patimokkha, which is not in the Canon, but a commentary on it, in which most of the text is embedded.

Other terms with similar meanings include "semi-canonical" and "quasi-canonical".

Pratimokṣa

The Pratimokṣa (Sanskrit prātimokṣa) is a list of rules (contained within the vinaya) governing the behaviour of Buddhist monastics (monks or bhikṣus and nuns or bhikṣuṇīs). Prati means "towards" and mokṣa means "liberation" from cyclic existence (saṃsāra).

It became customary to recite these rules once a fortnight at a meeting of the sangha during which confession would traditionally take place. A number of prātimokṣa codes are extant, including those contained in the Theravāda, Mahāsāṃghika, Mahīśāsaka, Dharmaguptaka, Sarvāstivāda and Mūlasarvāstivāda vinayas. Pratimokṣa texts may also circulate in separate pratimokṣa sūtras, which are extracts from their respective vinayas.

Pāli Canon

The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the most complete extant early Buddhist canon. It derives mainly from the Tamrashatiya school.During the First Buddhist Council, thirty years after the parinibbana of Gautama Buddha in Rajgir, Ananda recited the Sutta Pitaka, and Upali recited the Vinaya Pitaka. The Arhats present accepted the recitations and henceforth the teachings were preserved orally by the Sangha. The Tipitaka that was transmitted to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Asoka were initially preserved orally and were later written down during the Fourth Buddhist Council in 29 BCE, approximately 454 years after the death of Gautama Buddha. Textual fragment of similar teachings have been found in the agama of other major Buddhist schools in India. They were however written down in various Prakrits other than Pali as well as Sanskrit. Some of those were later translated into Chinese (earliest dating to the late 4th century CE). The surviving Sri Lankan version is the most complete, but one that was extensively redacted about 1,000 years after Buddha's death, in the 5th or 6th century CE. The earliest textual fragments of canonical Pali were found in the Pyu city-states in Burma dating only to the mid 5th to mid 6th century CE.The Pāli Canon falls into three general categories, called pitaka (from Pali piṭaka, meaning "basket", referring to the receptacles in which the palm-leaf manuscripts were kept). Because of this, the canon is traditionally known as the Tipiṭaka ("three baskets"). The three pitakas are as follows:

Vinaya Piṭaka ("Discipline Basket"), dealing with rules or discipline of the sangha;

Sutta Piṭaka (Sutra/Sayings Basket), discourses and sermons of Buddha, some religious poetry and is the largest basket;

Abhidhamma Piṭaka, treatises that elaborate Buddhist doctrines, particularly about mind, also called the "systematic philosophy" basket.The Vinaya Pitaka and the Sutta Pitaka are remarkably similar to the works of the early Buddhist schools, often termed Early Buddhist Texts. The Abhidhamma Pitaka, however, is a strictly Theravada collection and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools.

Sayadaw

A sayadaw (Burmese: ဆရာတော်, IPA: [sʰəjàdɔ̀]; lit. royal teacher and alternatively spelt hsayadaw, sayado, sayāḍo or sayāḍaw) is a Burmese Buddhist title used to reference the senior monk or abbot of a monastery. Some distinguished sayadaws would often be referred to as a sayadawgyi (ဆရာတော်ကြီး, as a sign of reverence. The terms "sayadaw" and "sayadawgyi" originally corresponded to the senior monks who taught the former Burmese kings. These sayadaws may be influential teachers of Buddhism and also important meditation practitioners. They usually are abbots of monasteries or monastery networks with many resident monks and a lay following.

In Buddhism in Burma, several honorific terms exist for Buddhist monks, reflecting their achievements and how many vassas they have passed. The most frequently used terms, which are used as prefixes to the monks' dharma name, include:

"Bhaddanta"

"Ashin"

"Shin"

"U"

"Upazin"

"Sayadaw"

"Sayadawgyi"A sayadaw may be known by his dharma name (ဘွဲ့), a qualified name, or by the name of his monastery. Thus, venerable Mingun Sayadaw, who served as "Chief Respondent" at the Sixth Buddhist council in Yangon, could be addressed as:

Mingun Sayadaw (in reference to his home monastery at Mingun)

U Vicittasarabhivamsa

Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa

Mingun Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa

Tipitaka Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa

Tipitakadhara Dhammabhandakarika Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa, in reference to being the first monk to be awarded the titles "Bearer of the Tripiṭaka" and "Treasurer of the Dhamma"

Sutra

Sutra (Sanskrit: सूत्र, romanized: sūtra, lit. 'string, thread') in Indian literary traditions refers to an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text. Sutras are a genre of ancient and medieval Indian texts found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.In Hinduism, sutras are a distinct type of literary composition, a compilation of short aphoristic statements. Each sutra is any short rule, like a theorem distilled into few words or syllables, around which teachings of ritual, philosophy, grammar, or any field of knowledge can be woven. The oldest sutras of Hinduism are found in the Brahmana and Aranyaka layers of the Vedas. Every school of Hindu philosophy, Vedic guides for rites of passage, various fields of arts, law, and social ethics developed respective sutras, which helped teach and transmit ideas from one generation to the next.In Buddhism, sutras, also known as suttas, are canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha. They are not aphoristic, but are quite detailed, sometimes with repetition. This may reflect a philological root of sukta (well spoken), rather than sutra (thread).In Jainism, sutras also known as suyas are canonical sermons of Mahavira contained in the Jain Agamas as well as some later (post-canonical) normative texts.

Sutta Piṭaka

The Sutta Pitaka (suttapiṭaka; or Suttanta Pitaka;

Basket of Discourse; cf Sanskrit सूत्र पिटक Sūtra Piṭaka) is the second of the three divisions of the Tripitaka or Pali Canon, the Pali collection of Buddhist writings of Theravada Buddhism. The other two parts of the Tripiṭaka are the Vinaya Piṭaka and the Abhidharma Piṭaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Abhidhamma Piṭaka). The Sutta Pitaka contains more than 10,000 suttas (teachings) attributed to the Buddha or his close companions.

The other two collections are the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Taishō Tripiṭaka

The Taishō Tripiṭaka (Chinese: 大正新脩大藏經; pinyin: Dàzhèng Xīnxīu Dàzàngjīng; Japanese: Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō; English: Taishō Revised Tripiṭaka) is a definitive edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon and its Japanese commentaries used by scholars in the 20th century. It was edited by Takakusu Junjiro and others.

Tengyur

The Tengyur or Tanjur or Bstan-’gyur (Tibetan: "Translation of Teachings") is the Tibetan collection of commentaries to the Buddhist teachings, or "Translated Treatises".

Tripitaka Koreana

The Tripiṭaka Koreana (lit. Goryeo Tripiṭaka) or Palman Daejanggyeong ("Eighty-Thousand Tripiṭaka") is a Korean collection of the Tripiṭaka (Buddhist scriptures, and the Sanskrit word for "three baskets"), carved onto 81,258 wooden printing blocks in the 13th century. It is the world's most comprehensive and oldest intact version of Buddhist canon in Hanja script, with no known errors or errata in the 52,330,152 characters which are organized in over 1496 titles and 6568 volumes. Each wood block measures 24 centimeters in height and 70 centimeters in length. The thickness of the blocks ranges from 2.6 to 4 centimeters and each weighs about three to four kilograms. The woodblocks are almost as tall as Mount Baekdu at 2.74 km when stacked, measure 60 km long when lined up, and weigh 280 tons in total. The woodblocks are in pristine condition without warping or deformation despite being created more than 750 years ago. The Tripiṭaka Koreana is stored in Haeinsa, a Buddhist temple in South Gyeongsang Province, in South Korea.

There is a movement by scholars to change the English name of the Tripiṭaka Koreana. Professor Robert Buswell Jr., a leading scholar of Korean Buddhism, called for the renaming of the Tripiṭaka Koreana to the Korean Buddhist Canon, indicating that the current nomenclature is misleading because the Tripiṭaka Koreana is much greater in scale than the actual Tripiṭaka, and includes much additional content such as travelogues, Sanskrit and Chinese dictionaries, and biographies of monks and nuns.The Tripiṭaka Koreana was designated a National Treasure of South Korea in 1962, and inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007.

Tripiṭaka tablets at Kuthodaw Pagoda

Stone tablets inscribed with the Tripiṭaka (and other Buddhist texts) stand upright in the grounds of the Kuthodaw Pagoda (kuthodaw means "royal merit") at the foot of Mandalay Hill in Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma). The work was commissioned by King Mindon as part of his transformation of Mandalay into a royal capital. It was completed in 1868. The text contains the Buddhist canon in the Burmese language.

There are 730 tablets and 1,460 pages. Each page is 1.07 metres (3 1⁄2 ft) wide, 1.53 metres (5 ft) tall and 13 centimetres (5 1⁄8 in) thick. Each stone tablet has its own roof and precious gem on top in a small cave-like structure of Sinhalese relic casket type called kyauksa gu (stone inscription cave in Burmese), and they are arranged around a central golden pagoda.

Vinaya Piṭaka

The Vinaya Piṭaka (Sanskrit, Pali; English: Basket of Discipline) is a Buddhist scripture, one of the three parts that make up the Tripiṭaka (lit. Three Baskets). The other two parts of the Tripiṭaka are the Sutra Piṭaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Sutta Piṭaka) and the Abhidharma Piṭaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Abhidhamma Piṭaka).

Its primary subject matter is the monastic rules of conduct for monks and nuns.

Āgama (Buddhism)

In Buddhism, an āgama (आगम Sanskrit and Pāli for "sacred work" or "scripture") is a collection of Early Buddhist Texts.

The five āgamas together comprise the Suttapiṭaka of the early Buddhist schools, which had different recensions of each āgama. In the Pali Canon of the Theravada, the term nikāya is used. The word āgama does not occur in this collection.

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