BOOKS ON BUDDHIST TEXTS

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Q1. What are the three important books about Buddhism called?

 

There are three major essential holy Buddhist texts: The Tripitaka, Mahayana Sutras, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Sutras consist of Buddha's discourses to his disciples, and they are divided into three parts: the Sutta Pitaka, the Vinaya Pitaka, and the Abhidhamma Pitaka. The Sutta Pitaka is the largest part of the Buddhist scriptures, and it contains the actual teachings of Buddha.

 

Q2. What Buddhist text should I read?

 

The Lotus Sutra is one of the most important sutras in Mahayana Buddhism and was likely written down between 100 B.C. and 200 A.D. already well known in India, the sutra became more famous and influential when it was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in the year 406. The Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Sutra is that all living beings, whether they realize it or not, have the capacity to become enlightened. Everyone, without exception, can unlock the perfect wisdom and great compassion that reside in the depths of life.

 

Q3. What is Buddhist texts called?

 

Memories of the sayings of the Buddha carried down through oral tradition after he died, 483 B.C.E., and were compiled into collections called suttas (Pali) or sutras (Sanskrit). These collections, plus the Vinaya Pitaka (monastic rules) and Abidhamma/Aabidharma (philosophical texts) compose the Buddhist Canon.

 

Q4. What is the most sacred Buddhist text?

 

The concept of buddhavacana (word of the Buddha) is important in understanding how Buddhists classify and see their texts. Buddhavacana texts have special status as sacred scripture and are generally seen as in accord with the teachings of the historical Buddha, which is termed "the Dharma".

 

Q5. What Buddhist texts should I read first?

 

One of the earliest and most widely read Buddhist scriptures, The Dhammapada presents the philosophical and practical foundations of Buddhism by way of teaching verses. These are collections of wisdom verses, regarded as having been spoken by the Buddha himself. The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.