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Sutta Pitaka

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The Sutta Pitaka is the first division of the Tipitaka, the sacred scriptures of Buddhism, the other parts being the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

The Sutta Pitaka contains the discourses of the Buddha and some by his disciples and is made up of five books or nikàyas - the Long Discourses or Digha Nikàya, the Middle Length Discourses or Majjhima Nikàya, the Connected Discourses or Samyutta Nikàya, the Numbered Discourses or Anguttara Nikàya and the Miscellaneous Discourses or Khuddaka Nikàya. These discourses were committed to memory by monks and nuns and sometimes even by lay man and women and orally transmitted for several hundred years after the Buddha’s passing. Historical records say that the suttas were written down in the 1st century BCE in Sri Lanka, although this had probably already been done earlier in India.

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