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2208 Tue 25 Apr 2017 LESSON
From Dhamma Wiki
Tipitaka is the name given to the Buddhist
sacred scriptures and is made up of two words; ti meaning ‘three’ and
pitaka meaning ‘basket.’ The word basket was given to these writings
because they were orally transmitted for some centuries (from about 483
BCE), the way a basket of earth at a construction site might be relayed
from the head of one worker to another. It was written on palm leaves in
the Pali language around 100 BCE. The three parts of the Tipitaka are
the Sutta Pitaka, the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka. The Tipitaka was composed in the Pali
language and takes up more than forty volumes in an English
translation, roughly about 20,000 pages. It is the largest sacred book
of any of the great world religions.
It is also known as the Pali Canon since the language is in Pali and to better differentiate it from the Mahayana Tripitaka (only one letter difference).
The complete Tipitaka is 40 volumes long
Nettippakarana (Burmese edition)
Petakopadesa (Burmese edition)
Milindapanha (Burmese edition)
in addition to rules of conduct and etiquette for the Sangha, this
section contains several important sutta-like texts, including an
account of the period immediately following the Buddha’s Awakening, his
first sermons to the group of five monks, and stories of how some of his
great disciples joined the Sangha and themselves attained Awakening.
an elaboration of the bhikkhus’ etiquette and duties, as well as the
rules and procedures for addressing offences that may be committed
within the Sangha.
- III. Parivara
A recapitulation of the previous sections, with summaries of the rules
classified and re-classified in various ways for instructional
- Dhammasangani (”Enumeration of Phenomena”). This book enumerates all the paramattha dhamma (ultimate realities) to be found in the world.
- Vibhanga (”The Book of Treatises”). This book continues the analysis of the Dhammasangani, here in the form of a catechism.
- Dhatukatha (”Discussion with Reference to the Elements”). A reiteration of the foregoing, in the form of questions and answers.
(”Description of Individuals”). Somewhat out of place in the Abhidhamma
Pitaka, this book contains descriptions of a number of
(”Points of Controversy”). Another odd inclusion in the Abhidhamma,
this book contains questions and answers that were compiled by
Moggaliputta Tissa in the 3rd century BCE, in order to help clarify
points of controversy that existed between the various early schools of
Buddhism at the time.
(”The Book of Pairs”). This book is a logical analysis of many concepts
presented in the earlier books. In the words of Mrs. Rhys Davids, an
eminent 20th century Pali scholar, the ten chapters of the Yamaka amount
to little more than “ten valleys of dry bones.”
(”The Book of Relations”). This book, by far the longest single volume
in the Tipitaka (over 6,000 pages long in the Siamese edition),
describes the 24 paccayas, or laws of conditionality, through which the
dhammas interact. These laws, when applied in every possible permutation
with the dhammas described in the Dhammasangani, give rise to all
The Tipitaka on Dhamma Wiki
- See the Pali Canon category link on the Main Page for large parts of the Tipitaka in English translation and also in the original Pali.