Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sūtra in the Siddhaṃ script.

About Literature

Collection of different types of texts, literature, together with well-known translation projects and other historical .

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An 11th-century Buddhist Pancaraksa manuscript.

Buddhist texts – The words of the Buddha

Buddhist texts can be categorized in a number of ways. The Western terms "scripture" and "canonical" are applied to Buddhism in inconsistent ways by Western scholars: for example, one authority refers to "scriptures and other canonical texts", while another says that scriptures can be categorized into canonical, commentarial, and pseudo-canonical. Buddhist traditions have generally divided these texts with their own categories and divisions, such as that between buddhavacana "word of the Buddha," many of .
Folio from a manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra depicting Shadakshari Lokesvara

Different types of Buddhist texts & literature

Buddhist texts are those religious texts which belong to the Buddhist tradition. The earliest Buddhist texts were not committed to writing until some centuries after the death of Gautama Buddha. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, found in Afghanistan and written in Gāndhārī, they date from the first century BCE to the third century CE. The first Buddhist texts were initially passed on orally by Buddhist monastics, but were later .
Bhutanese painted thangka of the Jātakas, 18t–19th century

Jataka tales – The previous births of Gautama Buddha

The Jātakas are a voluminous body of literature native to South Asia which mainly concern the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form. Some of these works are also considered great works of literature in their own right. In these stories, the future Buddha may appear as a king, an outcast, a deva, an animal—but, in whatever form, he exhibits some virtue that the tale thereby inculcates. Often, Jātaka tales include an extensive .
Burmese-Pali Palm-leaf manuscript.

Early Buddhist texts – Retracing the historical Buddhist discourses

Early Buddhist texts (EBTs), early Buddhist or early Buddhist discourses are parallel texts shared by the early Buddhist schools. The most widely studied EBT material are the first four Pali Nikayas, as well as the corresponding Chinese Āgamas. However, some scholars have also pointed out that some Vinaya material, like the Patimokkhas of the different Buddhist schools, as well as some material from the earliest Abhidharma texts could also be quite early. Besides the large .
Fragment of the Nilaṇṭhanāmahṛdaya dhāraṇī both written in Siddhaṃ script and transliterated in Chinese characters.

Buddhist translators – from canonical corpus to progressive spirituality

There is no consensus among the different Buddhist traditions as to what constitutes the scriptures or a common canon in . The general belief among Buddhists is that the canonical corpus is vast. This corpus includes the ancient Sutras organized into Nikayas or Agamas, itself the part of three basket of texts called the Tripitakas. Each Buddhist tradition has its own collection of texts, much of which is translation of ancient Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist texts of .
Vairocana statue in Sam Poh Wan Futt Chi

Sutras & beings related to Vairocana Buddha

is a cosmic buddha from Mahayana and Vajrayana . Vairocana is often interpreted, in texts like the Avatamsaka Sutra, as the dharmakāya of the historical Gautama Buddha. In East Asian Buddhism, Vairocana is also seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of śūnyatā. In the conception of the 5 Jinas of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Vairocana is at the centre and is considered a Primordial .