Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute | Scriptural Learning
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Scriptural Learning

The key to establishing a correct understanding of Buddhism is to learn the Three Scriptures: Sutra, Vinaya, and Abhidharma. Sutras are the words of the Buddha; Vinaya represents the rules and regulations of monastic life; Abhidharma is the interpretation of Buddhist doctrine.

Sutra_R1
Sutras
Surtra_R2

Sutras are Teachings personally taught by the Buddha. These include The Great Prajnaparamita Sutra (The Sutra on the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom), The Lotus Sutra, and Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Garland Sutra, The Flower Adornment Sutra, or The Flower Ornament Scripture). Within The Great Prajnaparamita Sutra, the Buddha uses his profound wisdom to teach us about all phenomena in the world. For example, the difficulties of all lives originate from an improper and confounded understanding of reality. Our incorrect views frequently cause us to become distressed and feel a lot of sorrow. Therefore, studying the Buddha’s words is an important way to help us resolve hardships in our lives and attain happiness.

Vinaya
Vinaya

These represent the rules and regulations of monastic life. Some examples include abstaining from killing and stealing. To be compassionate as the Buddha. The Buddha teaches his disciples how to be disciplined during our daily routine, including how to walk, sit, and sleep. By following such methods, we can eliminate actions originating from a self-centered mindset. When our hostility is replaced by considerate thoughts and actions, we are practicing how to discipline our minds. This is the foundation of obtaining wisdom and broad insight. (A senior Buddhist nun holds a class for novice nuns.)

Abhidharma

This is the interpretation of Buddhist texts, such as Entering the Bodhisattva’s Way, The Treatise of Entering into the Middle Way, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chen Mo), and others.

Through the art of debate, we familiarize ourselves with Buddhist texts. Buddha’s profound wisdom is challenging to directly comprehend for many people. Previous high-level practitioners have achieved the ability to fully understand Buddha’s exact thoughts.

Therefore, these sages can skillfully use languages and methods that we can grasp to help us absorb Buddha’s Teachings.