Buddhist Scriptures

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Introduction to Buddhist scriptures.

For the three sects of Buddhism, each have their scriptures. Mahayana Buddhism uses Theravada scriptures and adds to them many sutras. Vajrayana uses Mahayana scriptures and adds to them many tantric texts. Each contributed the following...
  • Theravada
    • Main scriptures: Tipitaka
    • Popular: Dhammapada- Sayings of Buddha
  • Mahayana
    • Main scriptures: Sutras (sacred texts)- 2184 sacred writings.
    • Popular:
      • Lotus Sutra- A sermon by the Buddha on Bodhisattva, buddha-nature, etc.
      • Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Prajna-paramita)- Describes emptiness and others.
        • Popular: Heart Sutra- Describes nirvana, emptiness, and Ultimate Reality.
      • "Land of Bliss" Sutra- Describes the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha.
  • Vajrayana
    • Tantric texts and commentaries- Deals mainly with Ultimate Reality as singular Unity, and the sexual union of world (male) and cosmos (female).
    • Popular:
      • Great Stages of Enlightenment- Deals with ethical behavior and control of mind.
      • Tibetan Book of the Dead- Deals with stages of dying, death, and rebirth.

Introduction to Tipitaka

The Pali Canon, Tipitaka, is a collection of Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism, and is the main body of scriptures for Buddhists.

Tipitaka is translated as "three" (Ti) "baskets" (pitaka), in the Pali language. The three baskets are:
  1. the Basket of (monastic) Discipline
  2. the Basket of Discourses
  3. the Basket of Further Dhamma
The Pali Three Baskets is also known as the Pali Canon.

Outline of Tipitaka - Pali Canon

  1. Vinaya Pitaka: Basket of (monastic) Discipline - Rules of discipline for monks (bhikkhus) and nuns (bhikkhunis)
    • Suttavibhanga - 227 rules for monks and 311 rules for nuns
    • Khandhaka
      • Mahavagga
      • Cullavagga
    • Parivara - Abstract of Vinaya Pitaka in dialogue form
  2. Sutta Pitaka: Basket of Discourses - Discourses of the Buddha
    1. Digha Nikaya: Long Discourses
      • Silakkhandha-vagga: The Division Concerning Morality (13 suttas)
      • Maha-vagga: The Large Division (10 suttas)
      • Patika-vagga: The Patika Division (11 suttas)
    2. Majjhima Nikaya: Middle-length Discourses
    3. Samyutta Nikaya: Grouped Discourses
      • Sagatha-vagga: contains 11 samyuttas
      • Nidana-vagga: contains 10 samyuttas
      • Khandha-vagga: contains 13 samyuttas
      • Salayatana-vagga: contains 10 samyuttas
      • Maha-vagga: contains 12 samyuttas
    4. Anguttara Nikaya: Further-factored Discourses
    5. Khuddaka Nikaya: Smaller Discourses
      1. Khuddakapatha: The short passages
      2. Dhammapada: The Path of Dhamma
      3. Udana: Exclamations
      4. Itivuttaka: The Thus-saids
      5. Sutta-Nipata: The Sutta Collection
      6. Vimanavatthu: Stories of the Celestial Mansions
      7. Petavatthu: Stories of the Hungry Ghosts
      8. Theragatha: Verses of the Elder Monks
      9. Therigatha: Verses of the Elder Nuns
      10. Jataka: Birth Stories
      11. Niddesa: Exposition
      12. Patisambhidamagga: Path of Discrimination
      13. Apadana: Stories
      14. Buddhavamsa: History of the Buddhas
      15. Cariyapitaka: Basket of Conduct
      16. Nettippakarana - In Thai and Burmese Tipitaka only
      17. Petakopadesa - In Thai and Burmese Tipitaka only
      18. Milindapanha - In Burmese Tipitaka only
  3. Abhidhamma Pitaka: Basket of Further Dhamma - Analysis of mind and matter
    1. Dhammasangani: Enumeration of Phenomena
    2. Vibhanga: The Book of Treatises
    3. Dhatukatha: Discussion with Reference to the Elements
    4. Puggalapannatti: Description of Individuals
    5. Kathavatthu: Points of Controversy
    6. Yamaka: The Book of Pairs
    7. Patthana: The Book of Relations

Dhammapada - Sayings of Buddha

Dhammapada - Sayings of Buddha>


Dhammapada - Sayings of Buddha


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