Q1. What language are Buddhist books written in?
The main Buddhist writings were at first passed on
orally by Buddhist monastics, however, were later recorded and created as
compositions in different Indo-Aryan dialects, (for example, Pali,
Gāndhārī and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit) and gathered into different
Buddhist ordinances. These were then converted into different dialects, for
example, Buddhist Chinese and Classical Tibetan as Buddhism spread outside of
India. The hallowed book of Buddhism is known as the Tripitaka (called Tipitaka in Pali). It is likewise called the Pali Canon, after the language
wherein it was first composed. It is written in an antiquated Indian language
called Pali which is exceptionally near the language that the Buddha himself
Q2. How Buddhist literature is divided?
Tripitaka, also known as Pali Canon in English, is a
traditional term used for Buddhist scriptures. The three pitakas are Sutta Pitaka,
Abhidhamma Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka.
Sutta Pitaka has around 10 thousand sutras related to Buddha and his close
Pitaka is known as book of discipline, it deals with the monastic rules for
monks and nuns. Abhidhamma
pitaka comprises the philosophy and doctrine of Buddhism. Jatakas
comprise the stories of previous births of Buddha in the form of poems. Milinda
Panha contains the dialogue between Buddhist monk Nagasena and
Indo-Greek king Meander. Dipavamsa
means Chronicle of Island. It is considered one of the most important works in
Pali Literature. Mahavamsa,
meaning is Great Chronicle, is the most important Pali epic poem. Buddha
Charita is written by Ashavaghosa in Sanskrit language. It depicts primarily
the life of Buddha.
Q3. Which is the oldest Buddhist literature?
The Gandharan Buddhist texts
are the oldest Buddhist manuscripts yet discovered, dating from about the 1st
century BCE to 3rd century CE. These were taken from ancient Gandhara (modern
northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan). They are written in Gandhari, a Middle Indo‐Aryan language that is closely related to Sanskrit
and the Kharosthi script, which was
probably derived from Aramaic, which had been used in the region since the time
of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Gandhari
served as a kind of lingua franca beyond Gandhara proper (Peshawar Valley) for
a culturally and linguistically diverse region spanning from modern day
southern Turkmenistan in the west to the eastern edge of the Chinese Taklamakan
desert in the east.
Email a Friend