(Last Updated on : 31/08/2018)
Sutra Pitaka is the first of the three divisions of the Tripitaka
or Pali Canon
, the great Pali compilation of Buddhist writings
, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism
. The Sutra Pitaka contains more than 10,000 sutras (teachings) accredited to the Buddha or his close associates. It is also known as Discourse Basket and was recited by Ananda
. Sutra Pitaka also comprises doctrines formulated by Buddha on jhana, how to attain them and how to behave as a Buddhist. It focused especially on meditation techniques
. Sutra Pitaka speaks how the First Buddhist Council
, held soon after the Buddhas death, dated by the majority of recent scholars around 400 BC, under the patronage of King Ajatashatru
with the monk Mahakasyapa
presiding, at Rajgir
Tripitaka is a collection into which the Word of the Buddha
is divided. They are the Vinaya
, Sutra and Abhidhamma
Pitakas. They teach the Dharma
of realization which is comprised of the three higher trainings.
Contents of Sutra Pitaka
The Sutra Pitaka was amassed together as the discipline (vinaya), and the dhamma (the teachings of the Buddha
which led to enlightenment) in five collections. There are five Nikayas of sutras:
1. Digha Nikaya, the "long" discourses.
2. Majjhima Nikaya, the "medium-length" discourses.
3. Samyutta Nikaya, the "clustered" discourses.
4. Anguttara Nikaya, the "gradual collection".
5. Khuddaka Nikaya, the "minor collection".
: This incorporates the Greater Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, The Fruits of the Contemplative Life and The Buddha's Last Days. There are 34 extensive sutras in this Nikaya.
This incorporates Shorter Exposition of Kamma, Mindfulness of Breathing, and Mindfulness of the Body. There are 152 medium-length sutras in this Nikaya.
: There are 2889 shorter sutras bunched together by subject in this Nikaya. Samyutta Nikaya is further divided into sections. Each section is again divided into chapters. These chapters, in turn, deal with a particular topic. Samyutta Nikaya is one of the texts through which one can easily learn the major tenets of Buddhism
These teachings are formatted numerically. It incorporates, according to the commentary's estimation, 9557 short sutras grouped by number, from ones to elevens.
This is a heterogeneous mix of preachings, doctrines and poetry, accredited to the Buddha and his disciples
. The contents vary reasonably between editions. It is the fifth division of the Sutta Pitaka which is a wide-ranging collection of 15-18 books containing complete suttas, verses and smaller fragments of Dhamma teachings. This also contains stories of ghosts and also the entire Jataka
tales, the stories of previous births of Gautam Buddha