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  Dharma Data: Tipitakas



The first part of the Pali Tipitaka, called the Sutta Pitaka, contains all the discourses of the Buddha and is divided into five parts:

  1. the Long Collection containing 34 discourses of great length;
  2. the Middle Length Collection containing 152 discourses of medium length;
  3. the Kindred Collection in which 7,562 discourses are grouped according to subject matter;
  4. The Gradual Collection which contains 9,557 discourses of different length grouped in ascending order from 1 to 11;
  5. and the Miscellaneous Collection which is made up of 15 separate works which could not be fitted into the other Collections. The Dhammapada, the Jataka and the Therigata are to be found in this collection.

( For the other two parts of the Pali Tipitaka see Vinaya Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka ).

According to tradition, the Pali Tipitaka was recited and arranged at the first Council and then orally transmitted until finally committed to writing in about 100BC in Sri Lanka. Large parts of it were also translated into Chinese and included in the Chinese Tipitaka.

K.R. Norman, Pali Literature, Including the Canonical Literature in Prakrit and Sanskrit of all the Hinayana Schools of Buddhism. Wiesbaden, 1983.
W. Geiger, Pali Literature and Language. Calcutta,1943.
Guide to the Tipitaka. Bangkok, 1993.
S. Bodhesska. Beginnings - The Pali Suttas. Kandy, 1984.

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