Tripitakas – The Three Baskets

Tripitaka or Three Baskets is a traditional term used for various Buddhist scriptures. It is known as pali Canon in English. The three pitakas are Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka. The Tripitaka consists of three sections of the Buddha’s Teachings. They are the Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), the Discourse (Sutta Pitaka), and Ultimate Doctrine (Abhidhamma Pitaka). The Vinaya Pitaka mainly deals with the rules and regulations of the Order of monks (Bhikkhus) and nuns (Bhikkhunis).It was at this time in Sri Lanka that the Tripitaka was first committed to writing. The Tripitaka consists of three sections of the Buddha’s Teachings. They are the Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), the Discourse (Sutta Pitaka), and Ultimate Doctrine (Abhidhamma Pitaka).Known as the Tripitaka, the sacred texts of Buddhism are broken down into three sections known as baskets. Referred to in the West as the Three Baskets, the Tripitaka includes the Vinaya Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka, and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.The scripture of Buddhism is the Tripitaka (Three Baskets of Wisdom), made up of the Vinaya Pitaka (Discipline Basket), the Sutta Pitaka (Teaching Basket), and the Abhidhamma Pitaka (Higher Doctrine Basket). Sutta Pitaka: It contains over 10 thousand suttas or sutras related to Buddha and his close companions. This also deals with the first Buddhist council which was held shortly after Buddha’s death, dated by the majority of recent scholars around 400 BC, under the patronage of king Ajatasatru with the monk Mahakasyapa presiding, at Rajgir.Vinaya Pitaka: The subject matter of Vinay Pitaka is the monastic rules for monks and nuns. It can also be called as Book of Discipline. Suttavibhanga: The basic code of Monastic discipline is known as Patimokkha. It contains 227 rules for fully ordained Monks called bikkhus (Maha vibhanga) and 311 rules for fully ordained nuns called Bikkhunis (Bikkhuni Vibhanga) They are contained in Suttavibhanga, one of the parts of Vinay Pitaka. Khandhaka: Khandhaka is the second book of Vinay Pitaka. It has two volumes viz. Mahavagga and Cullavagga. Mahavagga deals with the awakening of Buddha and his great disciples. Cullavagga deals with the first and second Buddhist councils and establishments of community of Buddhist nuns and rules for Buddhist community. Parivara: Parivara is the last book of Vinaya Pitaka. It covers the summary of analysis of rules mentioned in first two books of Vinay Pitaka. Its is latest book and seems to be later than the Fourth Buddhist Coincil in Ceylon. It also contains questions and answers. Abhidhammapitaka: Abhidhammapitaka deals with the philosophy and doctrine of Buddhism appearing in the suttas. However, it does not contain the systematic philosophical treatises. There are 7 works of Abhidhamma Pitaka which most scholars agree that don’t represent the words of Buddha himself.

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