Buddhist Canon

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The sacred writings of Buddhism―the Buddhist Canon―form a collection of sacred literature of enormous magnitude, and there are a number of canonical collections rather than a single fixed body of texts that all Buddhists regard as ‘the canon’. The main canonical collections are in the Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese languages.

As regards the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, this comprises:

  • the Kangyur, the translated words of the Buddha, and
  • the Tengyur, the treatises composed by learned and accomplished masters.

There are three collections (Skt. tripitaka) into which the words of the Buddha, contained in the Kangyur, are divided―vinaya, sutra, and abhidharma.

Further Reading

  • The Many Canons of Tibetan Buddhism, edited by Helmut Eimer and David Germano, Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library, ISBN 90-04-125957