Buddhist Sacred Literature and Moral Precepts

Sansar LochanHistory of IndiaLeave a Comment

Buddhist Sacred Literature

Not many centuries after the death of the Buddha, his teachings were spread by word of mouth to Ceylone, and they were recorded in writing in the Pali language, in 88 B.C., in the form in which we have them now. This prolific literature consists of three parts, or Three Baskets as they are called.

  1. The first is said to contain the actual sayings and doings of the Buddha.
  2. The second is a collection of monastic rules for the guidance of monks and nuns.
  3. The third contains Buddhist philosophy. This Buddhist literature in the Pali language. This is the property of the southern Buddhism i.e. the Buddhism prevailing in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos etc. The northern Buddhism of Nepal, Tibet, China, Japan and Korea have preserved the Buddhist sacred writings in a different form, mainly in Sanskrit.

Buddhist Moral Precepts

As we all know Buddha used to preach in the local language. His preaching were immensely popular. It is his preaching, not the doctrines, which endeared the masses in so many countries. His pious precepts to the monk and the laymen, his sermons to return love for hatred, forgiveness for injuries, good for evil, and truth for falsehood, and his moral parables preaching love and benevolence, appealed to the nations of Asia, north and south, east and west. And to the present day nearly 1/3 of the human race respect the memory and follow the teachings of the great Hindu teacher, who proclaimed his religion at Sarnath over 24 centuries ago.

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