Buddhism is a religion that is based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, who lived in India from about 563 to 483 BC. It teaches the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and has about 350 million followers worldwide.
The holy book of Buddhism is the Sutras. The most common translation of sutras into English is “utterance.” The word sutra is used to describe both a collection of teachings as well as individual teachings from that collection.
There are many different types of sutras, but they all have one thing in common: they are designed to help people understand the Buddha’s teachings in an easy-to-understand way without getting lost in all of the details.
The Buddhist scriptures are known as the Tripitaka, which consists of three divisions: the Vinaya Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka, and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
The Tripitaka is sometimes referred to as “Tripitika” or “Tipitaka,” but these terms are not accurate. Tipitaka means “three baskets,” but this refers only to the first two divisions of the Tripitika — Vinaya and Sutta Pits respectively. The third division, Abhidhamma Pitaka, does not fit into any basket! The Vinaya Pitaka contains the rules and regulations governing the monastic order, and it also includes many stories about monks’ lives and teachings. The Sutta Pitaka contains the discourses of the Buddha: his teachings on meditation and other subjects such as karma (causality), rebirth, liberation, and nibbana (nirvana). The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains philosophical teachings of Buddhism such as those on psychology (elements), phenomenology (mind-consciousness) and cosmology (matter-energy).