The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Sutta Pitaka, ( Pali: “Basket of Discourse”) Sanskrit Sutra Pitaka, extensive body of texts constituting the basic doctrinal section of the Buddhist canon—properly speaking, the canon of the so-called Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle) doctrinal schools, including the Theravada (Way of the Elders) form of Buddhism predominant in present-day Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Southeast Asia.
The other four Nikayas are as follows:
The first, the Brahmajala Sutta (“Discourse on the Divine Net”), renowned and much quoted, deals with fundamental Buddhist doctrines and with rival philosophies and tells much about everyday life and religious practices of the period.
The famous Mahaparinibbana Sutta (“Discourse on the Great Final Extinction”—i.e., the Buddha’s release from the round of rebirths), one of the oldest texts in the canon (though containing later interpolations), narrates the activities and teachings of the Buddha’s last year and describes his death.
Included are texts dealing with monastic life, the excesses of asceticism, the evils of caste, Buddha’s debates with the Jains, and meditation, together with basic doctrinal and ethical teachings and many legends and stories.
Its first nipata (“group”) contains suttas dealing with single things, such as the mind or the Buddha; the suttas in the second nipata speak of pairs—e.g., 2 kinds of sin; in the third there are triplets; and so on up to 11. Examples are the 3 praiseworthy acts, the 4 places of pilgrimage, the 5 obstacles, the 6-fold duty of a monk, 7 kinds of wealth, 8 causes of earthquake, 9 types of person, 10 objects of contemplation, and 11 kinds of happiness.
see also: Sutta Pitaka