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piṠaka


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Sankskrit andPāli word meaning ‘basket’, and used as a technical term for the three main divisions of the Buddhist canon, namely the Sūtra Piṭaka, Vinaya Piṭaka, and Abhidharma Piṭaka. In early Buddhism.the term came to be applied collectively to the Pāli Canon, the first division of which was into Sūtra (Pāli, Sutta) and Vinaya only: these comprised the stock paragraphs learnt by heart, and the monastic rules. Independently of this we find the designation ‘Dharma’ (Pāli, Dhamma) applied to the doctrinal portions from which developed the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. Knowledge of the three Piṭakas is a highly regarded accomplishment for members of the Order (Saṃgha) and those who master them are known by the title of ‘tepīṭaka’, literally meaning ‘one who knows the three Piṭakas’.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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