After 34 days of blogging on mindfulness and compassion I’m getting a little tired of the sound of my own voice, so I’m plucked some sayings from the Pali canon. The Pali canon is part of the oldest strata of teachings that we have available to us. It comprises of teachings that were memorized and passed down orally for several hundred years before being written down. The Pali canon was just one of many such bodies of teachings, which existed in numerous languages. Sadly, the Muslim invasions of India resulted in the destruction of the bulk of these other canons, and the Pali canon is the only complete collection available to us. It happened to … Read more »
Chris Deziel, Demand Media Siddhartha Gautama, or the historical Buddha, taught for 45 years, but none of what he said was transcribed as he spoke it. Instead, it was preserved in the memories of his disciples, who passed it on orally. By the third century B.C., some 200 years after the Buddha died, monks had compiled a collection of writings on leaves and stored them in three separate baskets. They are the earliest and most important collections of Buddhist texts.
In Sanskrit, a basket is a pitaka, so tripitaka (tipitaka in Pali, the probable language of the Buddha) means “three baskets.”…