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Nine categories of teachings

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Nine categories of teachings (P. navaṅga; P. alt. pāvacana; S. navāṅga; T. gsung rab yan lag dgu; C. jiubu jing; J. kubu kyō; K. kubu kyŏng 九部經).[1] Nine categories of teachings of the Buddha based on content, structure or literary style, according to the Pali tradition.

These nine categories are:

  1. Sutta (S. Sūtra): prose discourses, especially short declarative discourses.
  2. Geyya (S. Geya): mixed prose and verse discourse. Identified with the Sagāthāvagga of the Saṁyutta Nikāya
  3. Veyyakarana (S. Vyākarana): explanation, analysis. Discourses in question and answer format.
  4. Gāthā: verse
  5. Udāna: inspired speech
  6. Itivuttaka (S. Ityukta): fables
  7. Jātaka: story of previous life
  8. Abbhutadhamma (S. Abhutadharma): concerning wonders and miraculous events
  9. Vedalla (S. Vaipulya) either 'extended discourses' or 'those giving joy' (cf Mahayana Texts)

An additional three categories are identified within Sanskrit Buddhist literature, for a total of twelve categories of teachings:

  1. Nidāna: in which the teachings are set within their circumstances of origin
  2. Avadāna: tales of exploits
  3. Upadesha: defined and considered instructions

See also


  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. navaṅga