The IAST|Tripiṭaka (Sanskrit; Devanagari: त्रिपिटक; lit. "three baskets") is the formal term used by Westerners for a Buddhist canon of scripturesFact|date=September 2008. Asian Buddhists of the Theravada Buddhist school use the term Tipitaka to refer to the Pali Canon. Other Buddhist schools use other terms for their own collection of scriptures, such as Kangyur (Tibetan Buddhism) and Dai Zorng Ging (Chinese Mahayana Buddhism).

Each of the Early Buddhist Schools had their own recension of the Tripitaka, which mainly differed on the subject of Abhidhamma. In terms of Vinaya and Sutras, the contents were remarkably similar. The oldest and most widely-known version of the Tripitaka is the Pāli Canon (Pali: "tipiIAST|ṭaka") of the Theravāda school ("see")Fact|date=September 2008.

Early Buddhism

The Tripitaka writings of some or all the Early Buddhist Schools, which were originally memorized and recited orally by disciples, fall into three general categories and are traditionally classified in three baskets ("IAST|tri-piṭaka"). The following is the most common order.

The first category, the "IAST|Vinaya Piṭaka", was the code of ethics to be obeyed by the early "IAST|saṅgha", monks and nuns. According to the scriptural account, these were invented on a day-to-day basis as the Buddha encountered various behavior problems with the monks.

The second category, the "IAST|Sūtra Piṭaka" (literally "basket of threads", Pāli: "IAST|Sutta Piṭaka"), consists primarily of accounts of the Buddha's teachings. The IAST|Sūtra Piṭaka has numerous subdivisions: it contains more than 10,000 sūtras.

The third category is the IAST|Abhidharma Piṭaka. This is applied to very different collections in different versions of the IAST|Tripiṭaka. In the Pāli Canon of the Theravāda there is an "IAST|Abhidhamma Piṭaka" consisting of seven books. An "IAST|Abhidharma Piṭaka" of the Sarvāstivāda school survives, also in seven books, six in Chinese and one in Tibetan. These are different books from the Pali ones though there are some common material and ideas. Another work surviving in Chinese, the "Śāriputrābhidharmaśāstra", may be all or part of another IAST|Abhidharma Piṭaka. At least some other early schools of Buddhism had IAST|Abhidharma Piṭakas, which are now lost.

According to some sources, some early schools of Buddhism had five or seven pitakas. ["Journal of the Pali Text Society", volume XVI, page 114] According to some scholars, some early schools of Buddhism had no Abhidharma.

Mahayana Buddhism

In the Mahāyāna a mixed attitude to the term IAST|Tripiṭaka developed. On the one hand, a major Mahāyāna scripture, the Lotus Sutra, uses the term to refer to the above literature of the early schools, as distinct from the Mahāyāna's own scriptures, and this usage became quite common in the tradition. On the other hand, the term IAST|Tripiṭaka had tended to become synonymous with Buddhist scriptures, and thus continued to be used for the Chinese and Tibetan collections, even though their contents do not really fit the pattern of three IAST|piṭakas. [Mizuno, "Essentials of Buddhism", 1972, English version pub Kosei, Tokyo, 1996] In the Chinese tradition, the texts are classified in a variety of ways, [Nanjio, "Catalogue of the Chinese Translations of the Buddhist Tripitaka", Clarendon, Oxford, 1883] most of which have in fact four or even more IAST|piṭakas or other divisions. In the few that attempt to follow a genuine threefold division the term Abhidharma Pitaka is used to refer vaguely to non-canonical literature, whether Indian or Chinese, with only the other two IAST|piṭakas being regarded as strictly canonical. In the Tibetan tradition, on the other hand, when attempts are made to explain the application of the term IAST|Tripiṭaka to the Kanjur, the Tibetan canon of scripture, the IAST|Abhidharma Piṭaka is considered as consisting of the Prajñāpāramitā.

The Chinese form of IAST|Tripiṭaka, "Sanzang" (三藏), was sometimes used as an honorary title for a Buddhist monk who has mastered all the IAST|Tripiṭaka canons, most notably 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 "Journey to the West" as "Tang Sanzang". Due to the popularity of the novel, the term in "Sanzang" is often erroneously understood as a name of the monk Xuanzang. One such screen version of this is the popular 1979 Monkey (TV series).


*IAST|Tipiṭaka (Pali Canon) of the Theravada school.
*IAST|Tripiṭaka preserved in the East-Asian Mahayana tradition (Chinese translations):
#The Āgamas contain the Majjhima Nikāya and IAST|Saṃyutta Nikāya of the Sārvāstivāda.
#The Āgamas contain the Dīgha Nikāya of (probably) the Dharmaguptaka.
#The Āgamas contain the IAST|Aṅguttara Nikāya (Ekottara Āgama) of (possibly) the IAST|Mahāsaṅghika.
#The IAST|Vinaya Piṭakas of Sārvāstivāda, IAST|Mahāsaṅghika, Dharmaguptaka, Mahīśāsaka.
#Mahāyāna sūtras and some Buddhist tantras
*The IAST|Mūlasārvāstivādin Vinaya Piṭaka is preserved in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, along with Mahāyāna sūtras and tantras.
*The Gandharan Buddhist texts contains some books and fragments of the IAST|Tipiṭaka of (probably) the Dharmaguptaka school.


External links

Pali Tipitaka:
* [ Access to Insight] has many suttas translated into English
* [ Pali Canon on-line (in Pali and 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]

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)
* [ Index of Electronic Buddhist Texts] (English index)

Tibetan tradition:
* [ Kangyur & Tengyur Projects] (Tibetan texts)

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  • Tripitaka — Tri*pit a*ka, n. [Skr. tripi[.t]aka.] The three divisions, or baskets (pitakas), of buddhist scriptures, the Vinayapitaka [Skr. Vinayapi[.t]aka], or Basket of Discipline; Suttapitaka [Pali], or Basket of Discourses; and Abhidhammapitaka [Pali],… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tripitaka — (»Dreikorb«, auch Tipitaka), zusammenfassende Bezeichnung der kanonischen Schriften der Buddhisten, bestehend aus den drei Abteilungen Vinaja (Disziplin), Sûtra (Lehrreden) und Abhidharma (Systematik; s. Buddhismus) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tripitaka — Tipitaka Edition standard du Tipitaka thaïlandais Le Tipitaka (en sanskrit Tripitaka : tri = trois, pitaka = corbeille) ou Trois corbeilles est le canon bouddhique pāli[1]. Il s agit d un très vaste recueil de t …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tripitaka — Tri|pi|ta|ka 〈n.; ; unz.〉 der aus drei Teilen („Körben“) bestehende buddhist. Kanon [Pali, „Dreikorb“] * * * Tripitaka   [Sanskrit »Dreikorb«] das, , Buddhismus: das Tipitaka. * * * Tri|pi|ta|ka, das; [sanskr. tripiṭaka = drei Sammlungen, eigtl …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Tripitaka — [trɪ pɪtəkə] noun the sacred canon of Theravada Buddhism, written in the Pali language. Origin from Sanskrit tripiṭaka, lit. the three baskets or collections …   English new terms dictionary

  • Tripitaka — /tri pit euh keuh/, n. Buddhism. See Pali Canon. [ < Skt, equiv. to tri TRI + pitaka basket] * * * Pali Tipitaka Collective term for the three major divisions of the Pali canon, the canon of Theravada Buddhism. (The term means Triple Basket. ) It …   Universalium

  • Tripitaka — ► RELIGIÓN Conjunto de los libros canónicos del budismo. * * * pali Tipitaka Término colectivo para nombrar las tres principales divisiones del canon pali, el canon del budismo theravada. (El término significa triple cesta.). Consiste en el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • TRIPITAKA —    (the three baskets), name given to the collection of the sacred books of Buddhism, as being formed of three minor collections, bearing the Sutras on discipline, the Vinaya on doctrine, and the Abidharma on metaphysics …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Tripitaka — Tri|pi|ta|ka 〈n.; Gen.: ; Pl.: unz.〉 der aus drei Teilen (»Körben«) bestehende buddhist. Kanon; oV [Etym.: Pali, »Dreikorb«] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

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