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Tripiṭaka, also referred to as Tipiṭaka, is the traditional term for the Buddhist scriptures.[1][2] The version canonical to Theravada Buddhism
Buddhism
is often referred to as Pali
Pali
Canon in English. Mahayana Buddhism
Buddhism
also reveres the Tripitaka as authoritative but, unlike Theravadins, it also reveres various derivative literature and commentaries that were composed much later.[1][3] 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.[3] The Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
states that during the reign of Valagamba of Anuradhapura
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 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 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
Vinaya
Piṭaka), (2) basket of discourse (Sūtra Piṭaka, Nikayas), and (3) basket of special doctrine ( Abhidharma
Abhidharma
Piṭaka).[1][3][4] The structure, the code of conduct and moral virtues in the Vinaya
Vinaya
basket particularly, have similarities to some of the surviving Dharmasutra
Dharmasutra
texts of Hinduism.[5] Much of the surviving Tripitaka literature is in Pali, with some in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
as well as other local Asian languages.[4]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Chronology 3 The three categories

3.1 Vinaya 3.2 Sutta 3.3 Abhidhamma

4 In Indian Buddhist schools

4.1 Mahāsāṃghika 4.2 Caitika 4.3 Bahuśrutīya 4.4 Prajñaptivāda 4.5 Sārvāstivāda 4.6 Mūlasārvāstivāda 4.7 Dharmaguptaka 4.8 Mahīśāsaka 4.9 Kāśyapīya

5 In the Theravada
Theravada
school 6 In Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
schools 7 As a title 8 See also 9 Notes 10 Further reading 11 External links

Etymology[edit] Tripiṭaka, also called Tipiṭaka (Pali), means Three Baskets. and pitaka (पिटक) or pita (पिट) meaning "basket or box made from bamboo or wood" and "collection of writings", according to Monier-Williams.[6] These terms are also spelled without diacritics as Tripitaka and Tipitaka in scholarly literature.[1] Chronology[edit] The dating of the Tripitakas is unclear. Max Muller
Max Muller
states that the texts were likely composed in the third century BCE, but transmitted orally from generation to generation just like the Vedas and the early Upanishads.[7] The first version, suggests Muller, was very likely reduced to writing in the 1st century BCE (nearly 500 years after the time of Buddha).[7] According to the Tibetan historian Bu-ston, states Warder, around or before 1st century CE, there were eighteen schools of Buddhism
Buddhism
and their Tripitakas were written down by then.[8] 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.[8] The tripitaka was compiled into writing for the first time during the reign of King Walagambahu of Sri Lanka (1st century BCE). It's written in the Sri Lankan history that more than 1000 monks who were already Arahath state (totally awakened)represented in writing. The place where they carried out was in Aluvihare Matale Sri Lanka.[8] These texts were written down in four related Indo-European languages of South Asia: Sanskrit, Pali, Paisaci and Prakrit, sometime between 1st century BCE and 7th century CE.[8] Some of these were translated in East Asian languages such as Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian by ancient visiting scholars, which though vast are incomplete.[9] 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.[10] The three categories[edit]

The woodblock of Tripitaka Koreana
Tripitaka Koreana
in Haeinsa, Hapcheon, South Korea.

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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
Vinaya
Piṭaka, and the Abhidharma Piṭaka represents scholastic developments originated at least two centuries after the other two parts of the canon. The Vinaya
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
Vinaya
Piṭaka period). Even within the Sūtra Piṭaka it is possible to detect older and later texts. Vinaya[edit] Main article: Vinaya Rules and regulations of monastic life that range from dress code and dietary rules to prohibitions of certain personal conducts. Sutta[edit]

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Main articles: Mahayana
Mahayana
sutra and Sutta Pitaka The Buddha
Buddha
delivered all his sermons in local language[clarification needed] of northern India. These sermons were collected during 1st assembly just after the Parinibbana of the Buddha. Later these teachings were translated into Sanskrit. Abhidhamma[edit] Main article: Abhidharma Philosophical and psychological discourse and interpretation of Buddhist doctrine. In Indian Buddhist schools[edit]

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Each of the Early Buddhist Schools
Early Buddhist Schools
likely had their own recensions of the Tripiṭaka. According to some sources, there were some Indian schools of Buddhism
Buddhism
that had five or seven piṭakas.[11] Mahāsāṃghika[edit] The Mahāsāṃghika
Mahāsāṃghika
Vinaya
Vinaya
was translated by Buddhabhadra and Faxian in 416 CE, and is preserved in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
1425). The 6th century CE Indian monk Paramārtha wrote that 200 years after the parinirvāṇa of the Buddha, much of the Mahāsāṃghika
Mahāsāṃghika
school moved north of Rājagṛha, and were divided over whether the Mahāyāna
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
Mahāyāna
texts.[12] Paramārtha states that the Kukkuṭika sect did not accept the Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
sūtras as buddhavacana ("words of the Buddha"), while the Lokottaravāda
Lokottaravāda
sect and the Ekavyāvahārika
Ekavyāvahārika
sect did accept the Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
sūtras as buddhavacana.[13] Also in the 6th century CE, Avalokitavrata writes of the Mahāsāṃghikas using a "Great Āgama Piṭaka," which is then associated with Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
sūtras such as the Prajñāparamitā and the Daśabhūmika Sūtra.[14] According to some sources, abhidharma was not accepted as canonical by the Mahāsāṃghika
Mahāsāṃghika
school.[15] The Theravādin Dīpavaṃsa, for example, records that the Mahāsāṃghikas had no abhidharma.[16] However, other sources indicate that there were such collections of abhidharma, and the Chinese pilgrims Faxian
Faxian
and Xuanzang
Xuanzang
both mention Mahāsāṃghika
Mahāsāṃghika
abhidharma. On the basis of textual evidence as well as inscriptions at Nāgārjunakoṇḍā, Joseph Walser concludes that at least some Mahāsāṃghika
Mahāsāṃghika
sects probably had an abhidharma collection, and that it likely contained five or six books.[17] Caitika[edit] The Caitikas included a number of sub-sects including the Pūrvaśailas, Aparaśailas, Siddhārthikas, and Rājagirikas. In the 6th century CE, Avalokitavrata writes that Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
sūtras such as the Prajñāparamitā and others are chanted by the Aparaśailas and the Pūrvaśailas.[14] Also in the 6th century CE, Bhāvaviveka speaks of the Siddhārthikas using a Vidyādhāra Piṭaka, and the Pūrvaśailas and Aparaśailas both using a Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
Piṭaka, implying collections of Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
texts within these Caitika schools.[14] Bahuśrutīya[edit] 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
Tripiṭaka
1646).[18] 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
Mahāyāna
doctrines, and Joseph Walser agrees that this assessment is correct.[19] Prajñaptivāda[edit] The Prajñaptivādins held that the Buddha's teachings in the various piṭakas were nominal (Skt. prajñapti), conventional (Skt. saṃvṛti), and causal (Skt. hetuphala).[20] Therefore, all teachings were viewed by the Prajñaptivādins as being of provisional importance, since they cannot contain the ultimate truth.[21] It has been observed that this view of the Buddha's teachings is very close to the fully developed position of the Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
sūtras.[20] [21] Sārvāstivāda[edit] Scholars at present have "a nearly complete collection of sūtras from the Sarvāstivāda school"[22] thanks to a recent discovery in Afghanistan of roughly two-thirds of Dīrgha Āgama in Sanskrit. The Madhyama Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
26) was translated by Gautama Saṃghadeva, and is available in Chinese. The Saṃyukta Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
99) was translated by Guṇabhadra, also available in Chinese translation. The Sarvāstivāda is therefore the only early school besides the Theravada
Theravada
for which we have a roughly complete Sūtra Piṭaka. The Sārvāstivāda Vinaya
Vinaya
Piṭaka is also extant in Chinese translation, as are the seven books of the Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma
Abhidharma
Piṭaka. There is also the encyclopedic Abhidharma
Abhidharma
Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
1545), which was held as canonical by the Vaibhāṣika Sarvāstivādins of northwest India. Mūlasārvāstivāda[edit] Portions of the Mūlasārvāstivāda Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
survive in Tibetan translation and Nepalese manuscripts.[23] 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.[24] The Mūlasārvāstivāda Vinaya
Vinaya
Piṭaka survives in Tibetan translation and also in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
1442). The Gilgit manuscripts also contain vinaya texts from the Mūlasārvāstivāda school in Sanskrit.[24] Dharmaguptaka[edit] See also: Gandhāran Buddhist texts A complete version of the Dīrgha Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
1) of the Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
school was translated into Chinese by Buddhayaśas and Zhu Fonian (竺佛念) in the Later Qin
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
Tripiṭaka
125) with the Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
school, due to the number of rules for monastics, which corresponds to the Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
Vinaya.[25] The Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
Vinaya
Vinaya
is also extant in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
1428), and Buddhist monastics in East Asia
East Asia
adhere to the Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
Vinaya. The Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
is said to have contained a total of five piṭakas.[19] These included a Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
Piṭaka and a Mantra Piṭaka (Ch. 咒藏), also sometimes called a Dhāraṇī Piṭaka.[26] According to the 5th century Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
monk Buddhayaśas, the translator of the Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
Vinaya
Vinaya
into Chinese, the Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
school had assimilated the Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
Tripiṭaka (Ch. 大乘三藏).[27] Mahīśāsaka[edit] The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya
Vinaya
is preserved in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
1421), translated by Buddhajīva and Zhu Daosheng
Zhu Daosheng
in 424 CE. Kāśyapīya[edit] 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.[28] In the Theravada
Theravada
school[edit] The complete Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
set of the Theravāda
Theravāda
school is written and preserved in Pali
Pali
in the Pali
Pali
Canon. Buddhists of the Theravāda school use the Pali
Pali
variant Tipitaka to refer what is commonly known in English as the Pali
Pali
Canon.[29] In Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
schools[edit] The term Tripiṭaka
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.[30] In the Chinese tradition, the texts are classified in a variety of ways,[31] most of which have in fact four or even more piṭakas or other divisions.[citation needed] As a title[edit] 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
Buddhist texts
back to China was portrayed in the novel Journey to the West
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).[citation needed] The modern Indian scholar Rahul Sankrityayan
Rahul Sankrityayan
is sometimes referred to as Tripitakacharya in reflection of his familiarity with the Tripiṭaka.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Āgama (Buddhism) Early Buddhist Texts Buddhist texts Pali
Pali
canon Tripitaka Koreana Zhaocheng Jin Tripitaka

Notes[edit]

^ 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
Theravada
Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-134-21718-2.  ^ 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 ^ Sir Monier Monier-Williams; Ernst Leumann; Carl Cappeller (2002). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special
Special
Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 625. ISBN 978-81-208-3105-6.  ^ a b Friedrich Max Müller (1899). The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy. Longmans, Green. pp. 19–29.  ^ a b c d A. K. Warder (2000). Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 282–283. ISBN 978-81-208-1741-8.  ^ A. K. Warder (2000). Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-208-1741-8.  ^ 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.  ^ Skilling, Peter (1992), The Raksa Literature of the Sravakayana, Journal of the Pali
Pali
Text Society, volume XVI, page 114 ^ Walser 2005, p. 51. ^ Sree Padma. Barber, Anthony W. Buddhism
Buddhism
in the Krishna River Valley of Andhra. 2008. p. 68. ^ a b c Walser 2005, p. 53. ^ "Abhidhamma Pitaka." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008. ^ Walser 2005, p. 213. ^ Walser 2005, p. 212-213. ^ The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalog (K 966)  ^ a b Walser 2005, p. 52. ^ a b Dutt 1998, p. 118. ^ a b Harris 1991, p. 98. ^ Bhikkhu
Bhikkhu
Sujato: The Pali
Pali
Nikāyas and Chinese Āgamas ^ Preservation of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Buddhist Manuscripts In the Kathmandu ^ a b Memory Of The World Register: Gilgit manuscripts[permanent dead link] ^ Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 6 ^ Baruah, Bibhuti. Buddhist Sects and Sectarianism. 2008. p. 52 ^ Walser 2005, p. 52-53. ^ A Dictionary of Buddhism, by Damien Keown, Oxford University Press: 2004 ^ Matthew Meghaprasara (2013). New Guide To The Tipitaka: A Complete Guide To The Pali
Pali
Buddhist Canon. A Sangha
Sangha
of Books. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-926892-68-9.  ^ Mizuno, Essentials of Buddhism, 1972, English version pub Kosei, Tokyo, 1996 ^ Nanjio, Catalogue of the Chinese Translations of the Buddhist Tripitaka, Clarendon, Oxford, 1883

Further reading[edit]

Walser, Joseph (2005), Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna
Mahāyāna
Buddhism
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
Madhyamaka
and Yogacara in Indian Mahayana
Mahayana
Buddhism, Brill Academic Pub, ISBN 9789004094482 

External links[edit] Pali
Pali
Canon:

Access to Insight has many suttas translated into English Sutta Central Early Buddhist texts, translations, and parallels (Multiple Languages) Tipitaka Network List of Pali
Pali
Canon Suttas translated into English (ongoing) The Pali
Pali
Tipitaka Project (texts in 7 Asian languages) The Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project Pali
Pali
Canons has a searchable database of the Pali
Pali
texts The Vietnamese Nikaaya (continuing, text in Vitenamese) Search in English translations of the Tipitaka New Guide to the Tipitaka has summaries of the entire Tipitaka in English

Myanmar Version of Buddhist Canon (6th revision):

Buddhist Bible Myanmar Version (without original Pali
Pali
text)

Chinese Buddhist Canon:

Buddhist Text Translation Society: Sutra
Sutra
Texts BuddhaNet's eBook Library (English PDFs) WWW Database of Chinese Buddhist texts
Buddhist texts
(English index of some East Asian Tripitakas) CBETA: Full Chinese language
Chinese language
canon and extended canon (includes downloads)

Tibetan tradition:

Kangyur & Tengyur Projects (Tibetan texts) Kangyur & Tengyur Translating Projects (Tibetan texts)

Tripitaka collections:

Extensive list of online tripitakas

Sri Lankan Version of Tipitaka

Buddha
Buddha
Jayanthi Edition of Tipitaka in Sinhala (Sri Lankan version) Tipitaka in Sinhala (Sri Lankan version)

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