Hello all,Tri-Pitaka (or Tipitaka)
Tripitaka is the collection of the teachings of the Buddha over 45 years in the Pali language, and it consists of Sutta - conventional teaching, Vinaya - disciplinary code, and Abhidhamma - moral psychology.
The Tripitaka was compiled and arranged in its present form by those Arahants who had immediate contact with the Master Himself.
The Buddha has passed away, but the sublime Dhamma which He unreservedly bequeathed to humanity still exists in its pristine purity.
Although the Master has left no written records of His Teachings, His distinguished disciples preserved them by committing to memory and transmitting them orally from generation to generation.
Immediately after the final passing away of the Buddha, 500 distinguished Arahants held a convention known as the First Buddhist Council to rehearse the Doctrine taught by the Buddha. Venerable Ananda, the faithful attendant of the Buddha who had the special privilege of hearing all the discourses the Buddha ever uttered, recited the Dhamma, whilst the Venerable Upali recited the Vinaya, the rules of conduct for the Sangha.
One hundred years after the First Buddhist Council, during King Kalasoka, some disciples saw the need to change certain minor rules. The orthodox monk said that nothing should be changed while the others insisted on modifying some disciplinary rules (Vinaya). Finally, the formation of different schools of Buddhism germinated after this council. And in the Second Council, only matters pertaining to the Vinaya were discussed and no controversy about the Dhamma was reported.
In the 3rd Century B.C. during the time of Emperor Asoka, the Third Council was held to discuss the differences of opinion held by the Sangha community. At this Council the differences were not confined to the Vinaya but were also connected with the Dhamma. At the end of this Council, the President of the Council, Ven. Moggaliputta Tissa, compiled a book called Kathavatthu refuting the heretical, false views and theories held by some disciples. The teaching approved and accepted by this Council was known as Theravada. The Abhidhamma Pitaka was held in Sri Lanka in 80 B.C. is known as the 4th Council under the patronage of the pious King Vattagamini Abbaya. It was at this time in Sri Lanka that the Tripitaka was first committed to writing.
The Tripitaka consists of three sections of the Buddha's Teachings. They are the Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), the Discourse (Sutta Pitaka), and Ultimate Doctrine (Abhidhamma Pitaka). http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/62.htm
After the Final Extinction (Parinirvana) of the Buddha, and the cremation of his body, the community of monks chose five hundred Arahants ('worthy ones', 'perfected ones') to work together to compile the doctrine and the discipline, in order to prevent the true doctrine from being submerged in false doctrines.
Each of the recensions of the Vinaya now available contains an appendix which narrates how one of the senior monks, Mahakasyapa, presided over this assembly, which worked systematically through everything the Buddha was remembered to have said and produced an agreed canon of texts embodying it. The versions differ over the details but agree in broad outline.
The Arahants met in Rajagrha, since that great city could most easily support such a large assembly for several months. The organisation of the Buddhists tended to centre on great cities as it was apparently not possible in any other way to convene a meeting large enough to be authoritative for the entire community, given its democratic constitution.
Ananda, who being the Buddha’s personal attendant, had heard the discourses more than anyone else, first recited the ‘doctrine’ (dharma). Mahakasyapa asked him about all the dialogues, etc., he remembered and the assembly endorsed his versions as correct. The doctrine compiled in this way became known as the Sutra Pitaka, the collection of sutras (the term pitaka probably signifies a 'tradition' of a group of texts).
The discipline was similarly recited by Upali, a specialist in that subject, and codified as the Vinaya Pitaka.
On the third pitaka (Abhidhamma) which should make up the Tipitaka ('Three Pitakas') there is disagreement. The Sthaviravada and Mahasamghika versions do not mention its recitation, and since the agreement of these two schools should establish the oldest available textual tradition it appears that originally there were only two Pitakas. However, even the Mahasamghika account mentions the Abhidhamma as among the texts handed down after the rehearsal. The Mahisasaka version makes no mention of a third Pitaka.The Sarvastivada and Dharmaguptaka Vinayas on the other hand have Ananda reciting the Abhidhamma as well as the Sutra. The Kasyapiya (=Haimavata) mentions the Abhidhamma Pitaka without saying who recited it. A later text of the Sarvastivada School, the Asokavadana states that Kasyapa recited the Matrka or Matrka Pitaka (two versions of the text). The same tradition is found in the Vinaya of the Mula Sarvastivada School, a late offshoot of the Sarvastivada which thoroughly revised and enlarged its Tipitaka. 'Whether a Matrka or Abhidhamma was actually recited at the First Rehearsal or not, all the early schools were equipped with a third, Abhidhamma Pitaka. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/his ... ollect.htm