Talk:List of sutras

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Hey, thanks for getting the "list of sutras" page started; I've been thinking we need something like that. However, I'm not sure it's a good idea to lump Hindu and Buddhist sutras together on one page. I was thinking of having a separate "Buddhist sutras and texts" page. That way, we could have a brief discussion of the different types of sutras, etc., followed by a list that could include not just sutras but links to any articles on vinaya, abhidhamma, shastras, tantras, the Blue Cliff Record, Shobogenzo, early Mahayana treatises, etc., etc., etc. NYK 11:13, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm, after thinking about it here's what I would suggest. Why don't you create a Buddhist sacred texts page which doesn't focus on listing all the texts itself but rather talks about the types of texts, their inter-relationship, and how they are used in practice, recoginizing the varying practice by school perhaps. This would be a fascinating article if you can write it (it's beyond my knowledge, I'm not an adherent). The List of sutras page is nice on its own as it shows the span of sutras in one place. Maybe I confused the issue by adding a few comments by each sutra suggesting how it relates to others. It's nice to be able to see from horizon to horizon sometimes and the list-type pages do that. Let me copy your and my comment over to the List of sutras page in case anyone else wants to join in. technopilgrim 16:10, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Technopilgrim, thanks for the invite to have a look at this list. I already saw it right after it was posted--amazingly, I found nothing to add, correct, or delete! Nice work! In the future, you can post messages to me on my talk page and I will see them.
On a similar topic, I think a list of Buddhism topics would be beneficial to the wiki--could be linked from all said articles. Thoughts? heidimo 15:52, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree that we should create a list of Buddhist sacred texts or even just Buddhist texts so that non-canonical things, including Tantras, commentaries, histories, etc can be added. Sacred, or Canonical texts could be a separate category if we wanted. We might also want to create a list of 'especially important' contempoary texts - that should provide a good bun fight :) mahābāla 17:27, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I still don't quite see the point of listing Hindu and Buddhist sutras together. I'm not aware of any significant overlap, i.e. a Hindu sutra that is also commonly used in Buddhism. Since "sutra" in this context apparently just means a scripture, I suppose we could include the Daodejing, the Bible, etc., too. Plus, now with "Vinaya" we've started including Buddhist texts that are not really sutras at all. I'm just wondering if the category isn't a little confusing. - NYK 08:54, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
NYK, if I'm hearing you right you're worried about apples, oranges, and Vinaya showing on the same page and this causing confusion or being an illogical organization. With Vinaya perhaps I can agree with you (although a Google search will show the phrase "Vinaya Sutra" is not uncommon). But the others on the list — they are all definitely sutras and if there is an article called List of sutras, these entries should be in it. It's not confusing to a visitor to this page to see both Buddhist and Hindu sutras on one page & I doubt he will ask "where is the Isaiah sutra?". This page is more of a clearing house for things called sutras, not a page ordered around which sutras are canonical for a certain group — for canonical lists we rely on pages like Tibetan Buddhist canon. In terms of possible other ways to show lists of sutras, I don't think we want to replace this page with two pages according to religion ('List of Hindu sutras/List of Buddhist sutras'). The division between Hindu and Buddhist sutras is strong but not completely hermetic. Tantric Buddhism is rooted in tantric Hinduism and the practices described in the Yoga Sutras were subsequently observed by both Hindus and Tantric Buddhists. Hinduism sometimes lays claim to Buddhist scriptures, as mentioned in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism#Hindu_Scriptures. So the cheat of putting everything on one page under two headings and then including some lawyerese on how the division is not absolute is actually a reflection of how it works (at least in some cases). technopilgrim 00:31, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Seems to me that a "list of sutras" is a red herring which is why it is causing problems. It has introduced both an aritificial distinction, from sacred texts that are not sutras but which are vitally important to both Hinduism and Buddhism; and an aritificial unity, between Hindhu and Buddhist sutras. What we now have is a list of things that don't belong together, that aren't linked thematically, doctrinally, or even styalistically, but just happen to be called Sutra - Panini's 'sutra' is a grammar text-book for goddness sake! Let's just ditch this list, and put the texts along side the tradition with which they are associated. Have just looked at Scriptures. The old Hindu fallacy that Buddhism is just an unorthodox version of Hinduism is alive and well I see. While it is a view, it is widely held to be incorrect. To say that Buddhism parted company with Hinduism over the issue of whether the Vedas are eternal or the products of the human mind is pure fantasy, and a view that I've never heard or read expressed in any other place. So the cross-over of Hindu and Buddhist sutras looks to me to be apocryphal. mahābāla 14:51, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A few points:
I agree that its not a good idea to bunch Hindu and Buddhist Sutras
The Hindu Sutras have considerably less of a sacred nature than the Buddhist ones; the Ashtadhyayi is not out of place in the list
As for "To say that Buddhism parted company with Hinduism over the issue of whether the Vedas are eternal or the products of the human mind is pure fantasy, and a view that I've never heard or read expressed in any other place.", you are aware of course that most Hindus believe this? It was a central tenet of the (successful) anti-Buddhist campaign of Sankara and co. in India. It is one thing to say that it is factually/historically incorrect, and quite another to say that no one expresses it.
Further, the Hinduism article doesn't come off, to me at least, as advocating this point of view. The article discusses the Hindu view of what constitutes Hindu scripture, and therefore it is necessary to argue as Hindus would.
Arvindn 16:42, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I was not aware that most Hindus believe that the split between Buddhism and Hinduism revolved around the provinance of the vedas: I have never come across the idea in Buddhist circles, and have never come across the idea either in wider reading about, or in travelling though India, or in dsicussing thngs with Western 'Hindus'. So if most Hindus believe this, then are keeping pretty quiet about it. mahābāla 17:10, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I stick with 'most'. Go to a random Hinduism message board and look for discussions on Buddhism. -- Arvindn 11:37, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)


what do we write about?[edit]

Arvindn writes: "It is one thing to say that it is factually/historically incorrect, and quite another to say that no one expresses it. "

The raises the question, which seems to come up again and again: what is it that the Wikipedia is trying to be? Is it a collection of all the views that have been expressed on a subject, or is it trying to be an authorative source of information about a subject? Because there does seem to be a difference, and I've struck this problem at least once before. mahābāla 17:10, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I thought its pretty obvious that its the former. That's the whole essence of NPOV, stated there (and in a lot of other places) with great clarity. There being no such thing as absolute objectivity, it is impossible for wikipedia or anyone else to achieve the latter. -- Arvindn 11:37, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Proposal: two pages[edit]

If combining both Hindu and Buddhist sutras on one page is mildly offensive to one side or the other, we could split the page into List of Buddhist sutras and List of Hindu sutras and cross-link them with See Also entries. That satisfies my original interest in helping the uninitiated reader understand roughly how many noteworthy sutras are out there. Is it 3? 30? 300? etc. Will people sleep better at night if we do this? technopilgrim 18:02, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Nope. I have to repeat - this category is a non-category. A list of sutras doesn't make sense. I don't see any value at all in enumerating sutras - the fact that there are 50 million, or 5 makes absolutely no difference to understanding the traditions from which they come. I had thought that you were wanting to draw attention to the contents of the sutras, which was why I added to the list. This whole thing seems pretty pointless now - I think I'll run along and do other things. mahābāla 10:47, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I won't argue about Buddhist sutras, but I have no problem with List of Hindu sutras, and so the splitting is fine by me. -- Arvindn 11:37, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure that anyone finds combining different kinds of sutras together offensive, exactly, but I agree with Mahābāla that it is not a very meaningful category. On the other hand, there's no particular harm in having a list based on a somewhat irrelevant category. I would propose to have a separate "Hindu sutras" page and a page for "Buddhist sutras and texts", which could include vinaya, tantras, and canonical or quasi-canonical commentaries (abhidhamma, shastras, etc.). However, there is no reason that we can't have that page and this one to boot. No size limit to Wikipedia. - NYK 13:06, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Have posted Buddhist texts. List of Sutras can stay where it is, I even linked to it, but it's waste of time imo. mahābāla 17:31, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Kama Sutra[edit]

Does the kama sutra belong here? it seems like it should be listed, but then again, i know nothing about the topic. is it like not a real sutra or something? Bonus Onus 23:34, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

There are hundreds of sutras including kama sutra that are real. These include Heart sutra, lotus sutra and Filial Piety Sutra to name but three of them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.122.40.158 (talk) 17:45, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Kalpa Sutra[edit]

Shouldn't Kalpa sutra be included here too?