Pitaka, aka: Pītaka, Piṭaka, Piṭāka; 4 Definition(s)


Pitaka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Pitaka in Mahayana glossaries]

Piṭaka (पिटक) refers to a set of teachings composed by Mahākātyāyana according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXX). Accordingly, “what is the teaching of the Piṭaka, etc.?—The Piṭaka contains 3,200,000 words; when the Buddha was still in the world, it was composed by Ta Kia tchan yen (Mahākātyāyana); after the Buddha’s parinirvāṇa, the length of man’s life diminished, the strength of his intellect decreased and people were unable to recite the Piṭaka fully; then the individuals who had attained the Path composed a summary in 384,000 words”.

Note: This is Mahākātyānana, author of the Peṭakopadeśa and not Kātyāyana, author of the Jñānaprasthāna.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Pitaka in Pali glossaries]

piṭaka : (nt.) a basket; a container; one of the three main division of Pāli Canon. || pītaka (adj.) yellow; golden colour. (m.) yellow colour.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Piṭaka, (cp. Epic Sk. piṭaka, etym. not clear. See also P. peḷā & peḷikā) 1. basket Vin I 225 (ghaṭa p. ucchaṅga), 240 (catudoṇika p.); Pv IV. 333; Vism. 28 (piṭake nikkhitta-loṇa-maccha-phāla-sadisaṃ phaṇaṃ); dhañña° a grain-basket DhA. III, 370; vīhi° a rice basket DhA. III, 374. Usually in combn kuddāḷa-piṭaka “hoe and basket, ” wherever the act of digging is referred to, e.g. Vin. III, 47; D. I, 101; M. I, 127; S. II, 88; V, 53; A. I, 204; II, 199; J. I, 225, 336; DA. I, 269.—2. (fig.) t. t. for the 3 main divisions of the Pāli Canon “the three baskets (basket as container of tradition Winternitz, Ind. Lit. II. 8; cp. peḷā 2) of oral tradition, ” viz. Vinaya°, Suttanta°, Abhidhamma°; thus mentioned by name at PvA. 2; referred to as “tayo piṭakā” at J. I, 118; Vism. 96 (pañca-nikāya-maṇḍale tīṇi piṭakāni parivatteti), 384 (tiṇṇaṃ Vedānaṃ uggahaṇaṃ, tiṇṇaṃ Piṭakānaṃ uggahaṇaṃ); SnA 110, 403; DhA. III, 262; IV, 38; cp. Divy 18, 253, 488. With ref. to the Vinaya mentioned at Vin. V, 3.—Piṭaka is a later collective appellation of the Scriptures; the first division of the Canon (based on oral tradition entirely) being into Sutta and Vinaya (i.e. the stock paragraphs learnt by heart, and the rules of the Order). Thus described at D. II, 124; cp. the expression bhikkhu suttantika vinayadhara Vin. II, 75 (earlier than tepiṭaka or piṭakadhara). Independently of this division we find the designation “Dhamma” applied to the doctrinal portions; and out of this developed the 3rd Piṭaka, the Abhidhammap. See also Dhamma C. 1.—The Canon as we have it comes very near in language and contents to the canon as established at the 3rd Council in the time of King Asoka. The latter was in Māgadhī.—The knowledge of the 3 Piṭakas as an accomplishment of the bhikkhu is stated in the term tepīṭaka “one who is familiar with the 3 P. ” (thus at Miln. 18; Dāvs. V, 22; KhA 41 with v. l. ti°; SnA 306 id.; DhA. III, 385). tipetakī (Vin. V, 3 Khemanāma t.), tipeṭaka (Miln. 90), and tipiṭaka-dhara KhA 91. See also below °ttaya. In BSk. we find the term trepiṭaka in early inscriptions (1st century A. D. , see e.g. Vogel, Epigraphical discoveries at Sārnāth, Epigraphia Indica VIII, p. 173, 196; Bloch, J. As. Soc. Bengal 1898, 274, 280); the term tripiṭaka in literary documents (e.g. Divy 54), as also tripiṭa (e.g. AvŚ I. 334; Divy 261, 505).—On the Piṭakas in general & the origin of the P. Canon see Oldenberg, in ed. of Vin 1; and Winternitz, Gesch. d. Ind. Litt. 1913, II. 1 sq.; III, 606, 635.—Cp. peṭaka.—ttaya the triad of the Piṭakas or holy Scriptures SnA 328.—dhara one who knows (either one or two or all three) the Piṭaka by heart, as eka°, dvi°, ti° at Vism. 62, 99.—sampadāya according to the P. tradition or on the ground of the authority of the P. M. I, 520 (itihītiha etc.); II, 169 (id.); and in exegesis of itikirā (hearsay-tradition) at A. I, 189=II. 191=Nd2 151. (Page 457)

— or —

Pītaka, (adj.) (fr. pīta) yellow Vin. IV, 159; Th. 2, 260; J. II, 274; Pv III, 13 (=suvaṇṇavaṇṇa PvA. 170); Dhs. 617 (nīla p. lohitaka odāta kāḷaka mañjeṭṭhaka); ThA. 211.—pītakā (f.) saffron, turmeric M. I, 36. (Page 462)

— or —

Pītaka, (adj.) (fr. pīta) yellow Vin. IV, 159; Th. 2, 260; J. II, 274; Pv III, 13 (=suvaṇṇavaṇṇa PvA. 170); Dhs. 617 (nīla p. lohitaka odāta kāḷaka mañjeṭṭhaka); ThA. 211.—pītakā (f.) saffron, turmeric M. I, 36. (Page 462)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Pitaka in Sanskrit glossaries]

Piṭaka (पिटक).—1 A box, basket; सशूर्पपिटकाः सर्वे (saśūrpapiṭakāḥ sarve) Mb.5. 155.7.

2) A granary.

3) A pimple, pustule, small boil or ulcer; (also piṭakā or piṭikā in this sense); ततो गण्डस्योपरि पिटका संवृत्ता (tato gaṇḍasyopari piṭakā saṃvṛttā) Ś.2; सितरक्तपीतकृष्णा विप्रादीनां क्रमेण पिटका ये । ते क्रमशः प्रोक्तफला वर्णानामग्रजादीनाम् (sitaraktapītakṛṣṇā viprādīnāṃ krameṇa piṭakā ye | te kramaśaḥ proktaphalā varṇānāmagrajādīnām) || Bṛ. S.52.1.

4) A kind of ornament on the banner of Indra.

5) A collection of writings; as विनयपिटकम् (vinayapiṭakam).

-kā 1 A small boil or pimple;

2) A box, basket; खनित्रपिटके चोभे समानयत गच्छत (khanitrapiṭake cobhe samānayata gacchata) Rām.2.37.5.

Derivable forms: piṭakaḥ (पिटकः), piṭakam (पिटकम्).

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Piṭāka (पिटाक).—A basket, box.

Derivable forms: piṭākaḥ (पिटाकः).

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Pītaka (पीतक).—a. Yellow.

-kaḥ The Aśoka tree.

-kam 1 Yellow orpiment.

2) Brass.

3) Saffron.

4) Honey.

5) Aloewood.

6) Sandal-wood.

7) Yellow sandal.

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Piṭaka (पिटक).—A boil, blister.

Derivable forms: piṭakaḥ (पिटकः).

See also (synonyms): viṭaka.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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