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Sutra


sutra Scripture; originally referred to short aphoristic sayings and collections thereof. Sutra literally means a rope or thread that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. It is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including English to sew and Latinate suture, all derive from PIE *syū-). In Hinduism the 'sutras' form a school of Vedic study, related to and somewhat later than the Upanishads. They served and continue to act as grand treatises on various schools of Hindu Philosophy. They elaborate in succinct verse, sometimes esoteric, Hindu views of metaphysics, cosmogony, the human condition, moksha (liberation), and how to maintain a blissful, dharmic life, in a cosmic spin of karma, reincarnation and desire.

In Buddhism, the term "sutra" refers generally to canonical scriptures that are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha. In Chinese, these are known as (pinyin: jīng). These teachings are assembled in the second part of the Tripitaka which is called Sutra Pitaka. There are also some Buddhist texts, such as the Platform Sutra, that are called sutras despite being attributed to much later authors.

The Pali form of the word, sutta is used exclusively to refer to Buddhist scriptures, particularly those of the Pali Canon.








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