vaipulya sūtra

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(Skt., extensive discourse).

Term referring to the longer sūtra compositions in Mahāyāna Buddhism that have a broader and more inclusive philosophical basis. They contrast with shorter works that put forward a single or more limited teaching. Many vaipūlya sūtras are in fact collections of shorter independent works. Sūtras falling into the vaipūlya category include the Prajñā-pāramitā Sūtra, the Avataṃsaka Sūtra, the Ratnakūṭa collection of sūtras, and the Chinese Nirvāṇa Sūtra. These are works whose themes spread across a wide range of teachings. Mahāyāna sources list vaipūlya as the eleventh of a twelvefold classification of Buddhist literature.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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