Three Pitakas (Skt. tripiṭaka; Tib. སྡེ་སྣོད་གསུམ་, Wyl. sde snod gsum) — the three collections or 'baskets' into which the Word of the Buddha is divided. They are the Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma. Together these comprise the Dharma of transmission or scripture. They teach the Dharma of realization which is comprised of the three higher trainings.

  • The Sutras are discourses recounted together with their particular context, i.e. the location of the teaching, who was present and who asked a question, and so on.<br>
  • The Vinaya gives accounts of how certain rules came about by mentioning the particular context and who was involved.<br>
  • The Abhidharma takes the various topics covered in the sutras and arranges them according to their classifications and divisions.<br>

Three Pitakas and Three Higher Trainings

Generally, it is said that:

  • The Vinaya teaches the Higher Training of Discipline<br>
  • The Sutras teach the Higher Training of Meditation<br>
  • The Abhidharma teaches the Higher Training of Wisdom<br>

However, Mipham Rinpoche mentions an alternative tradition according to which the Sutra pitaka teaches all three trainings, the Vinaya teaches discipline and meditation, and Abhidharma teaches wisdom.

Mipham Rinpoche also says that through the Vinaya one overcomes negative conduct, through Sutras one overcomes doubt, and through the Abhidharma one overcomes faulty views.

Further Reading

Tripitaka Key Terms Texts Canon Enumerations 03-Three

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Buddhism or Buddha Dharma

[[Buddhism]]/[[Buddha Dharma]]

The Buddha Dharma is subtle, wonderful,

and difficult to measure.

No words or speech are able to reach it.

It is not combined, nor is it uncombined.

In substance and nature it is still and quiet

and without any marks.

(FAS Chapter 9 93)_

The Buddha Dharma is here in the world:

enlightenment is not apart from the world.

To look for Bodhi apart from the world

Is like looking for a hare with horns.

(PS 121)_

Buddhists do not call the teachings of the Buddha, which they follow, Buddhism; they call them Buddha Dharma, the Dharma of the Buddhas.

Buddhism is a religion that teaches people to end birth and death, whereas other religions teach people to undergo birth and death. The difference between them is that of being able to ultimately end birth and death as opposed to ultimately not being able to and so undergoing birth and death.” (FAS-PII]] 128)

“What is the basic, fundamental character of Buddhism. It is simply instruction for people in how to recognize Truth, how to eliminate selfishness and establish what is public, how to have a public-spirited, unselfish attitude, not setting up barriers of nations and lands, races or clans, and how not to make distinctions of self and others.

All under heaven is one family,

And the Ten Thousand Buddhas are a single person.”

(FAS-PII]] 129)_

Buddhism is the teaching within the minds of all living beings. And so Buddhism can be called the Buddha's teaching or it can be called no teaching at all. Buddhism simply records what practices the Buddha engaged in to become enlightened. The Buddha didn't have the idea that he wanted to establish a religion. He is fundamentally one with all living beings. If he had wanted to establish a ”Buddhism“, wouldn't that have been setting himself apart from living beings? The Buddha said that the mind, the Buddha, and living beings are one, and undifferentiated. If he had professed to be teaching a ”Buddhism“, then there would be what is non-Buddhism, and so it would be separate from other religions. However, Buddhism includes everything. Every religion is in Buddhism-Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and all the others. Why? The Buddha said,

'All living beings have the Buddha Nature; all can become Buddhas.'

“No matter what religion you are, aren't you a living being? Even if you protest that you are a heavenly spirit, heavenly Lord, or a heavenly demon, that still counts as being a living being. And so I say whether you are Buddhist or not, I count you as being within Buddhism.” (VBS)

1) Chinese: fo jiao, fo fa, 2) Sanskrit: Buddha Dharma, 3) Pali BuddhaDhamma, 4) Alternate translations: the law/methods of the fully awakened ones.

See Also: Buddha, Dharma/Dharma.

BTTS References: FAS Ch9 93; “The Kennedys Request a Lecture”, VBS, May 1970, 30-38; FAS-PII]] 129; PS 121.

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Fair Use: Primary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ron Epstein, Ph.D, compiler, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, p. ISBN 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. and many other sources (see Bibliography).

Primary Original Source: The Tripitaka of Sutra, Shastra and Vinaya Dharma teachings (as found in the scripture storehouse of the Indian Sanskrit- Siddham, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese traditions of the Nalanda Tradition of ancient Nalanda University) of Shakyamuni Buddha, and his Arya Sagely Bodhisattva Bhikshu Monk and Upasaka disciples.

These Good and Wise Advisors (Kaliyanamitra) Dharma Master teachers include Arya Venerables Om Tare Tuttare Ture Om Ah Hum and Namo to Jivaka, Charaka, Lao Zi - Mahakashapa, Ashwagosha, Shantideva - Hui Neng - Shen Kai Sheng Ren Shr, Bodhidharma, the 16 Nalanda Acharyas 1. Nagarjuna-Manjushri, 2. Arydeva, 3. Buddhapalita, 4. Bhavaviveka, 5. Chandrakirti and Chandragomin, 6. Shantideva, 7. Shantarakshita, 8. Kamalashila, 9. Asanga-Maitreya, 10. Vasubhandu, 11. Dignaga, 12. Dharmakirti, 13. Vimuktisena, 14. Haribhadra, 15. Gunaprabha, 16. Shakyaprabha; Dharmarakshita, Atisha, Tsong Khapa, Thogme Zangpo, Nyingma Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyel, Machig Lapdron, Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, Sakya Pandita, Fazang, Yunmen, Nichiren, Honen, Shinran, Kukai, Dogen, Hakuin, Jamgon Kongtrul, Nyingma Penor Rinpoche, Bakula Rinpoche, Dagri Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Geshe Lama Kongchog, Longchen Rapjampa - Gosok Rinpoche, Phabongkha Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Geshe Ngwang Dakpa, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Karmapa, Sakya Trizin, Tenzin Gyatso the Dalai Lama, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Ajahn Chah, Seung Sahn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Sumedho, S. N. Goenka, Mama Ayur Punya Jyana Pushtim Kuriye Svaha, bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita. And thanks to other modern day masters. We consider them to be in accord with Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua’s ”Seven Guidelines for Recognizing Genuine Teachers

Nalanda Online University's teachings are based especially on the following Buddhist Scriptures: Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim, the Dharma Flower Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra, the Dharani Sutra, the Vajra Sutra, the Prajna Paramita Hridayam Heart Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Sanghata Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, the Srimala Devi Sutra, the Sutra in 42 Sections, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Hui Neng Sutra, Vasubandhu's Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas, Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara), Chandrakirti's Supplement to Nagarjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara), Vasubandhu's Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and the Tantras and Mantras of the Vajrayana the 42 Hands and Eyes, Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra, the Vajrayogini, the Heruka, the Chakrasamvara, the Chod, the Hayagriva, the Hevajra, the Yamantaka, the Kalarupa, the Manjushri Nama Samgiti, the Vajrakilaya, the Vajrapani, the Vajra Claws Dakini, the Mahakala, the Tara, the White Umbrella Goddess (She Dan Do Bo Da La), Kirti Losang Trinle's Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, and Aku Sherab Gyatso's The Two Stages of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, 2nd ed., San Francisco, California: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada, 1998:

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Muller, Charles, editor, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB], Toyo Gakuen University, Japan, 2007: Username is “guest”, with no password. - Based in large part on the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanskrit and English Equivalents (by Soothill and Hodous) Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ehrhard, Diener, Fischer, et al, The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1991. 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-87773-520-5,, Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Vaidya Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Press, 2002; Vasant Lad, BAMS, MAsc, Ayurvedic Institute Gurukula Notes, Ayurvedic Institute, 1994-2006;

NOTE: Numerous corrections and enhancements have been made under Shastra tradition and ”Fair Use“ by an Anonymous Buddhist Monk Redactor (Compiler) of this Online Buddhist Encyclopedia Compilation)

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** is a traditional term used by various Buddhist sects to describe their various canons of scriptures.<ref>“Buddhist Books and Texts: Canon and Canonization.” Lewis Lancaster, //Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition//, pg 1252</ref> As the name suggests, a

traditionally contains three “baskets” of teachings: a

(Sanskrit; Pali: //Pitaka//), a //

// (Sanskrit & Pali) and an //

// (Sanskrit; Pali: //Abhidhamma Piṭaka//).

In Indian Buddhist schools

Each of the Buddhist Schools likely had their own recensions of the Tripiṭaka. According to some sources, there were some Indian schools of Buddhism that had five or seven piṭakas.<ref>//Journal of the Pali Text Society//, volume XVI, page 114</ref>


The Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya was translated by Buddhabhadra and Faxian in 416 CE, and is preserved in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1425).

The 6th century CE Indian monk Paramārtha wrote that 200 years after the parinirvāṇa of the Buddha, much of the Mahāsāṃghika school moved north of Rājagṛha, and were divided over whether the Mahāyāna teachings 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 texts.<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. p. 51</ref> Paramārtha states that the Gokulika sect did not accept the Mahāyāna sūtras as //buddhavacana// (“words of the Buddha”), while the Lokottaravāda sect and the Ekavyāvahārika sect did accept the Mahāyāna sūtras as //buddhavacana//.<ref>Sree Padma. Barber, Anthony W. //Buddhism in the Krishna River Valley of Andhra.// 2008. p. 68.</ref> Also in the 6th century CE, Avalokitavrata writes of the Mahāsāṃghikas using a “Great Āgama Piṭaka,” which is then associated with Mahāyāna sūtras such as the //Prajñāparamitā// and the //Daśabhūmika Sūtra//.<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. p. 53</ref>


The Caitikas included a number of sub-sects including the Pūrvaśailas, Aparaśailas, Siddhārthikas, and Rājagirikas. In the 6th century CE, Avalokitavrata writes that Mahāyāna sūtras such as the //Prajñāparamitā// and others are chanted by the Aparaśailas and the Pūrvaśailas.<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. p. 53</ref> Also in the 6th century CE, Bhāvaviveka speaks of the Siddhārthikas using a Vidyādhāra Piṭaka, and the Pūrvaśailas and Aparaśailas both using a Bodhisattva Piṭaka, implying collections of Mahāyāna texts within these Caitika schools.<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. p. 53</ref>


The Bahuśrutīya school is said to have included a Bodhisattva Piṭaka in their canon. The //

//, also called the //

//, is an extant abhidharma from the Bahuśrutīya school. This abhidharma was translated into Chinese in sixteen fascicles (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1646).<ref>

</ref> 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 doctrines, and Joseph Walser agrees that this assessment is correct.<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. p. 52</ref>


Scholars at present have “a nearly complete collection of sūtras from the Sarvāstivāda school”<ref>Bhikkhu Sujato: The Pali Nikāyas and Chinese Āgamas</ref> thanks to a recent discovery in Afghanistan of roughly two-thirds of Dīrgha Āgama in Sanskrit. The Madhyama Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 26) was translated by Gautama Saṃghadeva, and is available in Chinese. The Saṃyukta Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 99) was translated by Guṇabhadra, also available in Chinese translation. The Sarvāstivāda is therefore the only early school besides the Theravada for which we have a roughly complete Sūtra Piṭaka. The Sārvāstivāda Vinaya Piṭaka is also extant in Chinese translation, as are the seven books of the Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma Piṭaka. There is also the encyclopedic //Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra// (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1545), which was held as canonical by the Vaibhāṣika Sarvāstivādins of northwest India.


Portions of the Mūlasārvāstivāda Tripiṭaka survive in Tibetan translation and Nepalese manuscripts.<ref>Preservation of Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts In the Kathmandu</ref> 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.<ref>MEMORY OF THE WORLD REGISTER Gilgit manuscripts</ref> The Mūlasārvāstivāda Vinaya Piṭaka survives in Tibetan translation. The Gilgit manuscripts also contain vinaya texts from the Mūlasārvāstivāda school in Sanskrit.<ref>MEMORY OF THE WORLD REGISTER Gilgit manuscripts</ref>


A complete version of the Dīrgha Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1) of the Dharmaguptaka school was translated into Chinese by Buddhayaśas and Zhu Fonian (竺佛念) in the Later Qin dynasty, dated to 413 CE. It contains 30 sūtras in contrast to the 34 suttas of the Theravadin Dīgha Nikāya. Warder also associates the extant Ekottara Āgama (Taishō Tripiṭaka 125) with the Dharmaguptaka school, due to the number of rules for monks and nuns, which corresponds to the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya.<ref>Warder, A.K. //Indian Buddhism.// 2000. p. 6</ref> The Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is also extant in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1428), and Buddhist monks and nuns in East Asia adhere to the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya.

The Dharmaguptaka Tripiṭaka is said to have contained a total of five piṭakas.<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. p. 52</ref> These included a Bodhisattva Piṭaka and a Mantra Piṭaka (Ch. 咒藏), also sometimes called a Dhāraṇī Piṭaka.<ref>Baruah, Bibhuti. //Buddhist Sects and Sectarianism.// 2008. p. 52</ref> According to the 5th century Dharmaguptaka monk Buddhayaśas, the translator of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya into Chinese, the Dharmaguptaka school had assimilated the Mahāyāna Tripiṭaka (Ch. 大乘三藏).<ref>Walser, Joseph. //Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture.// 2005. pp. 52-53</ref>


The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya is preserved in Chinese translation (Taishō Tripiṭaka 1421), translated by Buddhajīva and Zhu Daosheng in 424 CE.


Small portions of the

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.<ref>//A Dictionary of Buddhism//, by Damien Keown, Oxford University Press: 2004</ref>

In the Theravada school

The complete Tripiṭaka set of the Theravāda school is written and preserved in Pali in the Canon. Buddhists of the Theravāda school use the Pali variant //Tipitaka// to refer what is commonly known in English as the Pali Canon.

Use of the term in Indo-Tibetan and East Asian Mahāyāna

The term

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.<ref>Mizuno, //Essentials of Buddhism//, 1972, English version pub Kosei, Tokyo, 1996</ref> In the Chinese tradition, the texts are classified in a variety of ways,<ref>Nanjio, //Catalogue of the Chinese Translations of the Buddhist Tripitaka//, Clarendon, Oxford, 1883</ref> most of which have in fact four or even more piṭakas or other divisions.

The Chinese form of

, “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 text back to China was portrayed in the novel //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 (TV series).

The modern Indian scholar Sankrityayan is sometimes referred to as //Tripitakacharya// in reflection of his familiarity with the




See also

 * [[Buddhist|texts]]
 * [[Pali|canon]]
 * [[Āgama|(Buddhism)]]

Pali Tipitaka:

 * [[|Online Sutta Correspondence Project]] Extensive list of corresponding materials found between Pali Canon, the Agamas and individual sutras preserved in Chinese, the occasional sutra translations contained in the Tibetan Kanjur, and the numerous published fragments of sutras in Sanskrit and related languages [[English language|English]]
 * [[|Access to Insight]] has many suttas translated into [[English language|English]]
 * [[|Tipitaka Network]]
 * [[|List of Pali Canon Suttas translated into English]] (ongoing)
 * [[|The Pali Tipitaka Project]] (texts in 7 Asian languages)
 * [[|The Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project Pali Canons]] has a [[|searchable database of the Pali texts]]
 * [[|The Vietnamese Nikaaya]] (continuing, text in Vitenamese)
 * [[|Search in English translations of the Tipitaka]]
 * [[|e-tipitaka (Buddhist Bible)]]
 * [[|台灣原始佛教協會]]

East-Asian tradition:

 * [[|English translations of many Mahayana Buddhism texts]]
 * [[|BuddhaNet's eBook Library]] (English PDFs)
 * [[|WWW Database of Chinese Buddhist texts]] (English index of some East Asian Tripitakas)
 * [[|The full Chinese language canon and extended canon]] (includes downloadable CD .iso)

Tibetan tradition:

 * [[|Kangyur & Tengyur Projects]] (Tibetan texts)

Tripitaka Collections: Extensive list of online tripitakas

words and phrases Tripiṭaka

Tripitaka ত্রিপিটক Трипитака Tipitaka Tripitaka Tripitako Tipitaka 삼장 ত্রিপিটক Tipiṭaka buddhista Tripitaka ພຣະໄຕປິດົກ Tripitaka Tipitaka Tipitaka Tripitaka त्रिपिटक 三蔵 Tripitaka Tipitaka Tipitaka Трипитака ත්‍රිපිටකය Tripitaka Tripitaka Tipitaka พระไตรปิฎก Трипітака tạng 三藏

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