Vinaya PiṠaka

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One of the three divisions of the Pāli Canon, being the ‘basket’ (piṭaka) or collection of monastic law. The purpose of these scriptures is to regulate in all detail the life within the community of monks andnuns as well as their relationship with the laity. The collection, which is attributed to the Buddha himself, deals with the rules relating to individual conduct and with the legal procedures and formulae used by the community as a whole. It is divided into three sections, the first of which contains the set of rules for monks and nuns known as the Prātimokṣa (Pāli, Pāṭimokkha). This, according to some Buddhist schools, is an independent text. The Vinaya Piṭaka also contains a large number of stories and biographical material relating to the Buddha, as well as a certain amount of historical matter regarding the Order (Saṃgha). An old commentary, incorporated into the Pāli version of the text, gives accounts of the occasions on which the rules were formulated. The Pāli version of the Vinaya Piṭaka is the only one that has survived in its original language. Beside that of the Theravādins.other schools have produced versions of the Vinaya which have been preserved in Chinese translation. These are: the Mahāsaṃghika.the Mahīśāsaka.the Dharmaguptaka.the Sarvāstivādin.and Mūla-sarvāstivāda. Of the last there is a Tibetan version as well as some parts of the Sanskrit text. The Vinaya Piṭaka consists of the Sūtravibhaṇga, the Skandhaka, and the Parivāra (an appendix). The first is divided into Pārājikā and Pācittiya and the second into Mahāvagga andCullavagga. The commentary to the Vinaya Piṭaka, compiled by Buddhaghoṣa in the 5th century, is known by the title of Samantapāsādikā.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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