The Buddhist Scriptures
By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu
After Siddhartha Guatama passed away,1.11 his disciples, headed by Mahakasyapa, a senior disciple, held a convention in a cave called Seven Leaf Tree Cliff (Seven Leaf Cave) to
record his teachings in writing. Different committees were formed to record the various aspects of the teachings. One group (headed by Ananda, a cousin of the Buddha) recorded
the philosophy preached by Buddha, which are the "Sutras".
Another group (headed by Upali) recorded the disciplines or
rules of conduct, which are the "Vinaya" (Moral Canons).
Another group (headed by Purna) debated on the philosophy and recorded the outcome of the debate as "Abhidharma"
(Treatise). So, the main scriptures of Buddhism are the Sutras, the Moral Canons, and the Treatises. During the convention of Seven Leaf Cave, many scholars that did not
have the chance to participate in the convention, gathered outside the cave, and headed by Vaspa, recorded another five groups of scriptures: 1. Sutras, 2. Moral Canons (Vinaya), 3. Treatises (Abhidharma), 4. Miscellanous, 5. Chants