TIPITAKA “The Three Baskets”

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The Tipitaka or Pali canon is the collection of the primary texts of early Buddhism which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The 3 divisions of the Tipitaka are:

1. Vinaya Pitaka, “The Basket of Discipline”

Ptmk: Patimokkha Sutta (or Matika): 227 monks’ rules; 311 nuns’ rules.

SuVbh: Sutta Vibhanga: commentary on the Patimokkha.

Khdhk: Khandhaka:

Mv: Mahavagga (10 khandhakas)

Cv:  Cullavagga (12 khandhakas): rituals and history.

Parv:  Parivara: systematic legal survey (late work, Sri Lanka)


2. Sutta Pitaka, “The Basket of Discourses”

Collections of teachings moral virtues, meditation and wisdom by the Buddha and his early disciples. Namely:

  • KHUDDAKA NIKAYA: “Collection of Little Texts”, 15 separate miscellaneous texts, many in verse form, which contain both some of the earliest and latest material in the Canon.


3. Abhidhamma Pitaka: “The Basket of Topic Relating to Dhamma”

Fine-grained analysis of experience, which seeks to systematise Sutta teachings, expressing them in psychologically and philosophical exact language.

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