Shakyamuni Buddha at Hua Zang Si in San Francisco

Shakyamuni Buddha at Hua Zang Si in San Francisco

The Tripitaka is a collection of holy writings organized into three collections or baskets to include the rules for monastics (The Vinaya), the actual teachings of the Buddhas (The Suttas or Sutras), and the commentaries or abhidharma. There are several of these collections still existing in the world today including the Theravada Canon recorded in Pali, the Chinese Canon, and the Tibetan Canon. “Sutta” is the Pali word for “Sutra” and is used with all the lessor vehicle texts listed here. They are excellent for those just beginning the path and seeking a solid foundation in the Buddha’s teachings. Some of the sources had commentary that are not included. See instructions on “Receiving Dharma” on how to read these holy texts and to recognize the correct Dharma. Remember that the Buddha taught  84,000 dharmas for the 84,00 afflictions and that He taught so that sentient beings of varying capacities and backgrounds could understand the Dharma. Just as different medicine may be prescribed for different illnesses or at different stages in any given illness, the Buddha conveyed His great wisdom in many ways. The following works represent only a small part of the vast and wonderful texts contained in the Tripitaka, many of which have not yet been translated into the English language. Where known, the name of the translator is given. Most of those listed can be found on this website or, if there are copyright restrictions, linked to other sites or information is given on where you can purchase the translation. The translations on this site may be copied and freely distributed to make these magnificent teachings of the Buddha available to all. The translators only ask that any such republication and redistribution be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and that translations and other derivative works be clearly marked as such.

There is a very comprehensive Theravadan website that provides basic Buddhist terms and doctrines in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portugese that may also be helpful. Remember that this is from the lessor vehicle perspective so may appear to be different from what you will find elsewhere. If you read Chinese and your system supports BIG5 encoding, then you may want to check out the comprehensive sutra collections provided by

More Lessor Vehicle Suttas

Comparison of the Canons

Vinaya (Monastic Code)

Suttas/Sutras (The Buddha’s Discourses)