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āgama (T. lung; C. ahan jing 阿含經) is translated as "text" or "scripture",[1] and generally refers to a "received scriptual tradition."[1]

This term is commonly used to refer to the collections of sutras of the Early Buddhist schools that were written in the Sanskrit language. These collections were known as the agamas in the Sanskrit tradition, and modern scholars also refer to these collections by the same name. These collections are no longer extant in the original Sanskrit, but some of these collections survive today in Chinese translation. Parts of these collections are also translated into Tibetan.

The parallel texts in the Pali tradition are referred to as nikāyas.

In the Tibetan tradition, the term is also used to refer to a brief, more accessible version of a tantra.[2] See Agama (Vajrayana).


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. āgama
  2. RW icon height 18px.png Agama, Rigpa Shedra Wiki