Buddhist Texts: 1 definition


Buddhist Texts means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

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Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

Buddhist texts can be categorized in a number of ways. The Western terms "scripture" and "canonical" are applied to Buddhism in inconsistent ways by Western scholars: for example, one authority refers to "scriptures and other canonical texts", while another says that scriptures can be categorized into canonical, commentarial and pseudo canonical. A rather more definite division is that between Buddhavacana (the Word of the Buddha) and other texts. The former, including the Sutras (Sanskrit) or Suttas (Pali), are held to be the literal words of the historical Buddha or close approximations thereof. The latter are the various commentaries on canonical texts and other treatises on the Dharma, as well as collections of quotations, histories, grammars, and other texts. Sometimes texts that are considered commentaries by some are regarded by others as Buddhavacana. Within Buddhavacana, there is a chronological difference between the early Buddhist texts (e.g. the Pali Canon and the Agamas), and the Mahayana sutras. Whereas some scholars believe that some portions of the Pali Canon and Agamas could contain the actual substance of the historical teachings (and possibly even the words) of the Buddha, this is not the case for the Mahayana sutras, for which only adherence to the spirit of the Buddha would be claimed by non fundamentalist Mahayanists.

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