Buddhist literature


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Buddhist literature.

During his lifetime the Buddha taught not in Vedic Sanskrit, which had become unintelligible to the people, but in his own NE Indian dialect; he also encouraged his monks to propagate his teachings in the vernacular. After his death, the Buddhist canon was formulated and transmitted by oral tradition, and it was written down in several versions in the 2d and 1st cent. B.C. Its main divisions, called pitakas [baskets], are the Vinaya or monastic rules, the Sutra (Pali Sutta) or discourses of the Buddha, and the AbhidharmaAbhidharma
[Skt.,=higher dharma, or doctrine], schools of Buddhist philosophy. Early Buddhism analyzed experience into 5 skandhas or aggregates, and alternatively into 18 dhatus or elements.
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 (Pali Abhidhamma) or scholastic metaphysics. Also included are the Jataka, stories about the previous births of the Buddha, many of which are non-Buddhist in origin. The only complete Indian version of the canon now extant is that of the Sri Lankan Theravada school, in the Pali language, written 29–17 B.C. (see PaliPali
, language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Some scholars classify it as a Prakrit, or vernacular dialect of classical Sanskrit.
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). North Indian Buddhist texts were written in a type of Sanskrit influenced by the vernaculars. Mahayana Buddhism produced its own class of sutras, and all schools of Buddhism generated a considerable body of commentary and philosophy. The entire corpus of Buddhist writings was translated into Chinese over a period of a thousand years, beginning in the 1st cent. A.D. This was a collaborative effort of foreign and Chinese monks. Its most recent edition, the Taisho Daizokyo (1922–33), is in 45 volumes of some 1,000 pages of Chinese characters each. Translation of Buddhist texts into Tibetan was begun in the 7th cent. The final redaction of the canon was by the Buddhist historian Bu-ston (1290–1364) and is in two sections, the Kanjur (translation of the Buddha's word) and the Tanjur (translation of treatises), consisting altogether of about 320 volumes of Tibetan script. The Tibetan translation is extremely literal, following the Sanskrit almost word for word and based on standardized Sanskrit-Tibetan equivalences for Buddhist terms; thus it is particularly useful for scholars.

Bibliography

See M. Cummings, Lives of the Buddha in the Art and Literature of Asia (1982).

References in periodicals archive ?
is most emphatically not the case in this instance of Indian Buddhist literature.
Scholarly discussions explain non-conceptual wisdom and Buddhist literature and make for a fine collection of three translated commentaries and an in-depth discussion of the two topics and their meaning in Buddhist scriptures.
7) For an example of this in Buddhist literature, see ibid.
As well as contributions that consider the role that literature has played in exposing the limits of what counts as human in human rights discourses, the section also offers provocative pieces that explore the inherent violence in the defense of rights (Mansfield) and that suggest that Buddhist literature conceives of rights without subjectivity (Grieve).
Wisdom of the Kadam Masters" is a modern translation of the Buddhist classic as Thupten Jinpa, renown English translator of Buddhist literature, as he presents this renown insights of this Tibetan classic for English readers.
He continued: "The Dalai Lama was expected to inaugurate a Lama Nagar, situated inside our camp, where Buddhist literature and Tibetan artefacts will be on display.
CAO YAN, a 36- year- old teacher from China, came to India last year on a mission to decode ancient Buddhist literature.
Information on Chinese Buddhist liturgical chant and its performance can be gleaned from canonical Buddhist literature dating from around the sixth to the eighth centuries; references to the origin of Chinese Buddhist fanbai (referring to the singing of hymns and praises), descriptions of musically adept preachers and hymnodists, and accounts of rituals and ceremonies can all be found.
Despite the presence of numerous positive portrayals of women in Indian Buddhist literature, in many sources they are depicted in a negative way.
For beginning students or for general readers, Morgan (Buddhism and Buddhist literature, Wilson College, Pennsylvania) describes the origin of Buddhism, its development, and the regional and doctrinal branches it has grown over the past 2,600 years.
Speaking through his lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, the Austrian sex beast said he has found a lot of comfort in Buddhist literature and that it was "fascinating".

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