nine divisions of the scriptures
九分経 (Jpn kubun-kyo )
Also, nine divisions of the sutras or nine divisions of the teachings. A classification of Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings according to style and content, of which there are four different traditions. According to one tradition, the nine divisions of the teachings are:
1) sutra, or teachings in prose style;
2) geya, restatements of sutra in verse;
(3) vyakarana, the Buddha's predictions of the future enlightenment of his disciples;
(4) gatha, teachings set forth by the Buddha in verse;
(5) udana, teachings that the Buddha preaches spontaneously without request or query from his disciples;
(6) itivrittaka, discourses beginning with the words "This is what the World-Honored One said";
(7) jataka, stories of the Buddha's previous lives;
(8) vaipulya, expansion of doctrine; and
(9) adbhutadharma, descriptions of marvelous events that concern the Buddha or his disciples.
According to another tradition, nidana replaces jataka; in a third tradition, nidana replaces udana; and in a fourth tradition, nidana, avadana, and upadesha replace vyakarana, udana, and vaipulya. Nidana means descriptions of the purpose, cause, and occasion on which teachings and rules of monastic discipline are propounded. Avadana refers to tales of the previous lives of persons other than the Buddha, and upadesha to discourses on the Buddha's teachings. It is generally believed that the nine divisions of the teachings developed into the concept of twelve divisions of the teachings.See also twelve divisions of the scriptures.