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Buddhism is the school of Buddhism that takes its scriptural
inspiration from the Pali Canon, or Tipitaka , acknowledged as the
oldest record of the Buddha’s teachings.
For more info about
Theravada Buddhism, read: Theravada Buddhism 101: The Brief History,
Core Teachings, Fundamental Beliefs, Practices, and Related Issues
So what is ‘Tipitaka’? What is this sacred text all about?
‘Tipitaka’ of Buddhism is the earliest collection of Buddhist teachings
and the only text acknowledged as canonical by Theravada Buddhism.
make no mistake about it—the schools of the Mahayana (‘Greater
Vehicle’) branch also revere it, yet they regard as scripture additional
writings that are not accepted by Theravada.
info about Mahayana Buddhism, read: Mahayana Buddhism 101: The Brief
History, Core Teachings, Fundamental Beliefs, Practices, and Related
Tipitaka really means “three baskets,” from the manner by
which it was originally recorded: the texts were (1) written on long,
narrow leaves, which were (2) sewn at the edges, then (3) assembled into
bunches and stored in baskets.
This collection is also called
the ‘Pali Canon,’ after the language in which it was first written.
Tipitaka is a massive collection of writings, comprising up to 50
The Tipitaka contents were communicated orally, then written down in the third century B.C.
to Buddhist tradition, the contents of the Tipitaka were determined at
the First Buddhist Council, shortly after the death of Buddha.
is said that around 500 of Buddha’s disciples assembled, and upon the
instruction of Mahakashypa (Buddha’s successor), Buddha’s teachings were
recited in full.
They were then confirmed by others and organized into the Tripitaka.
The following are the three baskets:
Name of Basket
‘Vinaya Pitaka’ (the first basket)
Sutta Pitaka’ (the second basket)