What are the basic contents of Buddhism?

The Buddha lived for forty-nine years and taught the Dharma. At that time, there were no written records of the Buddha’s teachings, and they were all passed down orally and memorized. After the death of the Buddha, the disciples were deeply afraid that the Buddha’s teachings would be lost. At the same time, in order to establish the spread of the teachings, Kassapa led five hundred great Arhats to hold the first scripture gathering at the Seven-leaf Cave in Rajagaha. Ananda recited the Sutra Collection, and Upali recited the Vinaya Collection. A hundred years later, there were the second, third, and fourth collections of classics, making the twelve sutras and teachings of the Tripitaka gradually complete and spread throughout the world.

Tripitaka is the three classifications of Buddhist scriptures and is the essence of Buddha’s teachings. If we add miscellaneous Tibet and Bodhisattva Tibet, it becomes four Tibetans, Five Tibetans, etc., but the term “Tripitaka” is generally used. The Tripitaka refers to the Sutra, Vinaya and Commentary collections.

◆Sutra collection

Sutra, Sanskrit Su Yu Lian, formerly known as Sutra. The original meaning of Suyulan is 綖 (thread), which means that the Dharma spoken by the Buddha is like a silk thread that can penetrate all meanings. The meaning of the sutra is ‘eternal’ and ‘dharma’, which means that the Buddha’s teachings are eternal truths and permanent ways that can be adopted in the world. Sutra, also translated as “Qi Jing”, “Qi” on the principles of the Buddhas, and “Qi” on the bottom, is called “Qi”; “penetrates” the deep meaning of all dharma, and “holds” all living beings transformed, which is called “Qi” through’. The word “Zang” in Sutra Zang has the meanings of “accumulation” and “include”, which refers to a kind of box (or basket) that can hold things in ancient times, because this “Zang” includes everything that should be known and done. , should prove the meaning of the law, so it is called the “Sutra Store”. In addition, this collection of sutras contains both worldly and superior principles, so it is also called the “study collection”.


Lawyer, Sanskrit Vinaya, formerly known as Peni, has the same meaning as Sheila and Paratimusha. Its original meaning is Rope Gang, and its free translation is “conquer”. It refers to the rules that can regulate the human heart and deal with bad habits in life. It is also translated as “annihilation”, which means that by observing the precepts, Buddhist disciples can eliminate the evil deeds of body, speech and mind. The ‘Rule’ was originally the rules preached by the Buddha to monks and disciples. It gradually expanded and special precepts and regulations were formulated especially for lay disciples. This kind of Buddhist scripture that guides Buddhist disciples to live a standard life is called the Vinaya Pitaka. It combines various Hinayana precepts, such as the five precepts of Upasaka and Upasika, the ten precepts of novices and novices, the six precepts of Shikshamana, the two hundred and fifty precepts of bhikkhus, the three hundred and forty-eight precepts of bhikshuni, and The three pure precepts of the Mahayana Precepts “Brahma Net Sutra” and the ten heavy and forty-eight light Bodhisattva precepts are all collected in the Vinaya Pitaka, which is called the “Linaya Precepts Collection”.


The commentator, Sanskrit Abhidharma, Upatishya, formerly known as Abhitan. Abhi is translated as ‘Dual’, and Dharma is translated as ‘Dharma’; Dual Dharma is another name for observing the true meaning of all Dharmas with wisdom. It is also translated as ‘Unparalleled Dharma’, which means unparalleled wisdom and victory. Law. The Commentary is a collection of questions and answers set up by later generations of disciples in order to identify the Dharma, and to deduce the classics of the Guangshi Sutra and the Vinaya Collection. It has the characteristic of taking the trouble to explore the profound philosophical connotations of Buddhism. It is in perfect contrast with the teachings of the Sutra Collection that focus on in-depth explanations.’ Abhidharma is called “analytical science” because of its in-depth analysis and interpretation of everything in order to explore the truth. The Commentary Collection is a record of the principles of wisdom. It collects all the theories and theories written by great Bodhisattvas and famous commentators into the Commentary Collection, which is called the Collection of Commentary on Wisdom Learning.

The Buddha preached the Dharma, used examples of good deeds, and made good use of poems and verses. Sometimes, the relevant content was made into Buddhist dharma numbers, such as the three dharma seals, the four noble truths, the five roots, the seven points, etc., so that the listeners can easily remember them. Later disciples divided the Tripitaka into twelve categories based on the way, style and content of the Buddha’s sermons, which are commonly known as the “Twelve Parts of Sutra”, also known as the “Twelve Parts of Teaching”.

Among the twelve types of teachings, the Qi Jing, Chung Ode, and Satirical Ode are named after the genre of the scriptures; the remaining nine are named after the meanings of the various things contained in the scriptures. From the perspective of multiple meanings, Qi Jing, Zhongsong, Jibie, Satirical Ode, Self-talk, Simulation, Skills, Bensheng, Fangguang, and Xiyou are the Sutra Collection; they are the Vinaya Collection; and Discussions are the Commentary Collection. Furthermore, there are different opinions among the various commentaries on which of these twelve parts are included in the Tripitaka.

The scope of the Twelve Parts of the Tripitaka ranges from the formation, existence and destruction of space in the three thousand worlds, to birth, old age, illness and death in one life of a human being; from the Hinayana to the Mahayana; from the objective world of myriad things to the ignorance of the inner world. . In terms of time, it can run through the cause and effect of three lifetimes, and in terms of space, it can traverse the ten directions of the world. What is recorded in the Twelve Parts of the Tripitaka is the truth of the Three Indispensable Learnings of Precepts, Concentration, and Wisdom. If we learn according to the Three Indispensables, we will be able to escape the suffering of the cycle of life and death. (This article is excerpted from the first volume of “Fo Guang Textbook”)


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