Three Baskets of Dharma
This chapter investigates Buddhist understandings of dharma in the three baskets of the early Buddhist canon, taking them as an intentional organization of three different understandings of dharma that developed over time. The “three basket” division is not established until about the first century BCE, but it is anticipated in early references to monks who have mastered one or more of three areas of expertise: “those who maintain the Dhamma, the Vinaya, and the Lists of phenomena.” These three specializations lie, respectively, behind the “baskets” of the Sūtras (Suttas) or “Discourses,” the Vinaya or “Monastic Rule,” and the Abhidharma (Abhidhamma) or “Higher Teachings.”
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