TRIPIṭAKA, also referred to as TIPIṭAKA, is the traditional term
for the Buddhist scriptures. The version canonical to Theravada
The Tripitakas were composed between about 500 BCE to about the start of the common era, likely written down for the first time in the 1st century BCE. The Dipavamsa states that during the reign of Valagamba of Anuradhapura (29–17 BCE) the monks who had previously remembered the Tipitaka and its commentary orally now wrote them down in books, because of the threat posed by famine, 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 Tripitaka for its monasteries, written by its sangha , each set consisting of 32 books, in three parts or baskets of teachings: (1) the basket of expected discipline from monks ( Vinaya Piṭaka ), (2) basket of discourse (Sūtra Piṭaka , Nikayas), and (3) basket of special doctrine ( Abhidharma Piṭaka). 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. Much of the surviving Tripitaka literature is in Pali, some in Sanskrit, as well as other local Asian languages.
* 1 Etymology * 2 Chronology
* 3 The three categories
* 3.1 Vinaya * 3.2 Sutta * 3.3 Abhidhamma
* 4 In Indian Buddhist schools
The dating of the Tripitakas is unclear.
According to the Tibetan historian Bu-ston, states Warder, around or
before 1st century CE, there were eighteen schools of
Wu and Chia state that emerging evidence, though uncertain, suggests that the earliest written Buddhist Tripitaka texts may have arrived in China from India by the 1st century BCE.
THE THREE CATEGORIES
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Tripitaka comprises the three main categories of texts that is the Buddhist canon. The three parts of the Pāli canon are not as contemporary as the traditional Buddhist account seems to suggest: the Sūtra Piṭaka is older than the Vinaya Piṭaka, and the Abhidharma Piṭaka represents scholastic developments originated 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.
Main article: Vinaya
Rules and regulations of monastic life that range from dress code and dietary rules to prohibitions of certain personal conducts.
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Main article: Abhidharma
Philosophical and psychological discourse and interpretation of Buddhist doctrine.
IN INDIAN BUDDHIST SCHOOLS
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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. 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. 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 .
According to some sources, abhidharma was not accepted as canonical by the Mahāsāṃghika school. The Theravādin Dīpavaṃsa , for example, records that the Mahāsāṃghikas had no abhidharma. 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.
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. Also in the 6th century CE, Bhāvaviveka speaks of
the Siddhārthikas using a Vidyādhāra Piṭaka, and the
Pūrvaśailas and Aparaśailas both using a
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
The Prajñaptivādins held that the Buddha's teachings in the various piṭakas were nominal (Skt. prajñapti), conventional (Skt. saṃvṛti), and causal (Skt. hetuphala). Therefore, all teachings were viewed by the Prajñaptivādins as being of provisional importance, since they cannot contain the ultimate truth. It has been observed that this view of the Buddha's teachings is very close to the fully developed position of the Mahāyāna sūtras.
Scholars at present have "a nearly complete collection of sūtras
from the Sarvāstivāda school" thanks to a recent discovery in
Afghanistan of roughly two-thirds of Dīrgha Āgama in Sanskrit. The
Madhyama Āgama (Taishō
Portions of the Mūlasārvāstivāda
See also: Gandhāran Buddhist texts
A complete version of the Dīrgha Āgama (Taishō
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.
IN THE THERAVADA SCHOOL
IN MAHāYāNA SCHOOLS
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
* ^ A B C D Tipitaka Encyclopædia Britannica (2015)
* ^ "Buddhist Books and Texts: Canon and Canonization." Lewis
Lancaster, Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition, pg 1252
* ^ 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 .
* ^ A B Richard F. Gombrich (2006).
Theravada Buddhism: A Social
History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN
* ^ 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,
* ^ Sir Monier Monier-Williams; Ernst Leumann; Carl Cappeller
(2002). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and
Philologically Arranged with
* 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
* Access to Insight has many suttas translated into English
* Sutta Central Early Buddhist texts, translations, and parallels
* Tipitaka Network
* List of