Original Teachings of the Buddha

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Painting of the first sermon depicted at Wat Chedi Liem in Thailand

Original Teachings of the Buddha refer to the teachings of the historical Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha. What the original teachings were, or Buddha Vacana ("word of the Buddha") has been the subject of debate and historical argument for centuries. These source teachings have given rise to the numerous schools and traditions of Buddhism that exist today.

In modern academia, the sutta pitakas of the Pali Canon, and Chinese Agamas as well as surviving fragments of the Sanskrit Canon and Gandhari Canon have been identified as containing the earliest known record of these teachings. However, the teachings passed down over a period of many centuries as an oral tradition before being committed to writing. During this time they were codified in a form suitable for easy memorization and chanting. Academics are in disagreement over the content of the original source teachings that gave rise to these various recensions and the numerous traditions and scriptures that arose later based on these.

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