Buddhist Texts

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In Buddhism, there are a vast number of Buddhist scriptures and religious texts, which are commonly divided into the categories of canonical and non-canonical.

The former, also called the Sutras (Sanskrit) or Suttas (Pali) are believed to be, either literally or metaphorically, the actual words of the Buddha. The latter are commentaries on canonical texts, other treatises on the Dharma, and collections of quotes, histories, grammars, etc.

This categorization is not universal, however: there will always be texts that cross boundaries, or that belong in more than one category. Moreover, Zen Buddhism rejects scriptures altogether as an ineffective path to enlightenment. The articles below provide overviews of some of the most notable Buddhist texts.

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Tibetan Book of the Dead

Written by a Tibetan monk, the Book of the Dead describes in detail the stages of death from the Tibetan point of view.

Tripitaka or Pali Canon

In Buddhism, the Tripitaka (Tipitaka in Pali) is the earliest collection of Buddhist teachings and the only text recognized as canonical by Theravada Buddhists...

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