The Tripitaka refers to the set of scriptures in which the Buddha’s
teachings, the Dhamma ‘Doctrine’ and Vinaya ‘Discipline’, are
enshrined. The Pali term Tripitaka ‘three baskets [of teachings]’ denotes
the three major divisions of the Canon.
As the Buddha clearly stated that the Dhamma and Vinaya were to
succeed him as Teacher after his passing away, it follows that the Pail
Canon is in effect where Buddhists can still have an audience with their
Teacher and learn his Teaching even though he passed away over 2,500
The First Rehearsal, whose purpose was to collect and organize the
word of the Buddha, did not take place until three months after his
demise. As it was conducted by an assembly of 500 Arahant elders
(thera), this event also gave rise to what is now known as Theravada
Buddhism. During the rehearsal, once any given portion of the teachings
was agreed upon, it was chanted in unison by the assembly. The text
chanted was thereby formally endorsed as the model to be committed
word for word to memory and to be passed on to others and handed down
- Liratanak ANN
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