Prelims 1500

The third Buddhist Council was held at Pataliputra during the reign of Ashoka. Which of the following Pitakas was added to the existing two in this council?
A.
Sutta Pitaka
B.
Abhidhamma Pitaka
C.
Vinaya Pitaka
D.
None of the above
Explanation :
The Tripitaka (called Tipitaka in Pali) is the earliest collection of Buddhist writings. Initially, they were composed orally, but were written down by the third century BCE. The word means “the three baskets,” (tri=three, pitaka=baskets), and refers to the way the texts were first recorded. The baskets are divided by subject matter. The first basket is the Discipline Basket (Vinaya Pitaka), which set out the rules and guidelines for living the monastic life of the sangha. The second basket is the Discourse Basket (Sutta Pitaka) and it contains records of the Buddha’s teachings and sermons. The Third Buddhist council held in 250 BC at Pataliputra added Abhidhamma Pitaka, and they were known as “Tripitaka”. The third basket thus is that of the Special Teachings (Abhidharma Pitaka). It essentially is a miscellaneous collection of short writings containing everything from songs and poetry to stories of the Buddha and his previous lives.

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