THERAVADA BUDDHISM BOOKS

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FAQs


Q1. What is the most sacred text of Theravada Buddhism?


The Pali Canon is the body of scriptures central to the Theravada school of Buddhism. It contains a large collection of teachings (suttas) attributed to the historical Buddha, as well as sections on rules for monastics and Buddhist philosophy. The Buddha didn't write his teachings down, nor did his disciples.


Q2. What are the Theravada Buddhism texts?


The oldest and, for the Theravada tradition, still the most authoritative texts documenting Buddhist thought and belief were written in a dialect of Prakrit that came to be known as Pali. The Lotus Sutra is a popular Theravadin Buddhist scripture. Pure Land Buddhism devotees were taught that their own self-power was insufficient to reach nirvana.


Q3. What are the 3 sacred texts in Theravada Buddhism?


Memories of the sayings of the Buddha carried down through oral tradition after he died, ca 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. The Theraveda canon has been completely translated into English and is the focus of most scholarship in the West.


Q4. What is the only surviving most sacred text of Theravada Buddhism?


The Pali Canon is the body of scriptures central to the Theravada school of Buddhism. It contains a large collection of teachings (suttas) attributed to the historical Buddha, as well as sections on rules for monastics and Buddhist philosophy. The Buddha didn’t write his teachings down, nor did his disciples. It’s said that shortly after his death, five hundred of his disciples gathered for what was known as the First Council. Those particularly gifted at memorization recited what they remembered of his teachings and the others in attendance committed them to memory.


Q5. What is unique about Theravada Buddhism?


Theravada (school of elders) Buddhism is older and more conservative, practiced by monks in India claiming exclusive understanding of the ideas of it. Theravada Buddhism emphasises attaining self-liberation through one's own efforts. Meditation and concentration are vital elements of the way to enlightenment. The ideal road is to dedicate oneself to full-time monastic life. Whereas Theravada Buddhists strive to become Arhats and gain freedom from the cycle of samsara, Mahayana Buddhists may choose to stay in the cycle of samsara out of compassion for others.


Q6. What are the five important points contained in Theravada?


The five important points contained in Theravada are:

 

I. Refrain from harming living beings.

 

II. Refrain from taking that which is not freely given.

 

III. Refrain from sexual misconduct.

 

IV. Refrain from wrong speech; such as lying, idle chatter, malicious gossip or harsh speech.

 

V. Refrain from intoxicating drink and drugs which lead to carelessness.


Q7. What is the main focus of Theravada Buddhism?


Theravada Buddhism emphasises attaining self-liberation through one's own efforts. Meditation and concentration are vital elements of the way to enlightenment. The ideal road is to dedicate oneself to full-time monastic life. The follower is expected to abstain from all kinds of evil, to accumulate all that is good and to purify their mind. Meditation is one of the main tools by which a Theravada Buddhist transforms themselves, and so a monk spends a great deal of time in meditation. When a person achieves liberation they are called a 'worthy person' - an Arhat or Arahat. Despite the monastic emphasis, Theravada Buddhism has a substantial role and place for lay followers.