Vinaya Pitaka

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The Vinaya Pitaka (Pali; Sanskrit) is one of the Three pitakas ("three baskets") found within the major Buddhist traditions. Generally speaking, each of the Early Buddhist schools developed their own versions of the Vinaya Pitaka, and these different versions were later incorported into the canons of the major traditions.

The Vinaya texts present the codes of conduct for monks and nuns.

Within the Buddhist Canons

Each of the three major Buddhist Canons contain their own versions of the Vinaya Pitaka, based on the Early Buddhist school from which their texts derived.

Pali Canon

The Vinaya Pitaka of the Pali Canon includes:

Chinese Canon

The Vinaya texts of the Chinese Canon include the more or less complete vinaya literature of five Early Buddhist schools.[1]

Tibetan Canon

The Vinaya texts of the Tibetan Canon "were translated into Tibetan from the Sanskrit texts of the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya, the vinaya tradition held by the first monks to bring their ordination lineage to Tibet."[1]


It it believed that contents of the Vinaya texts were first agreed upon at the First Council shortly after the Buddha's death, and recited by Upali. These teachings were passed down through an oral tradition for several generations before being put into written form.

Most of the different versions of the Vinaya Pitaka are fairly similar.


Scholarly consensus places the composition of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya in the early centuries of the first millennium, though all the manuscripts and translations are relatively late.[2]

Place in the tradition

The vinaya is highly regard within the Buddhist tradition. According to tradition, the Buddha stated:

"Whatever Dhamma and Vinaya I have pointed out and formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone." (Mahaparinibbana Sutta, [D.16])

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 84000.png Discipline: About
  2. Vanessa R. Sasson Little Buddhas: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts 2012 Page 46 "Dating the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya is problematic, since all the manuscripts and translations are relatively late. Scholarly consensus places it in the early / centuries of the first millenium. "


  • Davids, T. W. Rhys, Oldenberg, Hermann (joint tr): Vinaya texts, Oxford, The Clarendon press 1881. Vol.1 Vol.2 Vol.3 Internet Archive

External links

This article includes content from Vinaya Pitaka on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo