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Sūtra (Sanskrit, Devanagari सूत्र) or Sutta (Pāli), 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 Latin suere and English to sew and "suture", all derive from PIE *syū-).
In Hinduism the 'sutra' is a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic statements, generally using various technical terms. The literary form of the sutra was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural study (Sanskrit: svādhyāya). Since each line is highly condensed, another literary form arose in which commentaries (Sanskrit: bhāṣya) on the sutras were added, to clarify and explain them..
In Buddhism, the term "sutra" refers mostly to canonical scriptures that are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha. In Chinese, these are known as 經 (pinyin: jīng). These teachings are assembled in 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. Some scholars consider that the Buddhist use of sutra is a mis-Sanskritization of sutta, and that the latter represented Sanskrit sūkta (well spoken).
- 1 Sutras primarily associated with Hinduism
- 2 Sutras primarily associated with Buddhism
- 3 Other Sutras
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Sutras primarily associated with Hinduism
- See: Kama Sutra.
- Shiksha (phonetics)
- Chandas (metrics)
- Vyakarana (grammar)
- Nirukta (etymology)
- Jyotisha (astrology)
- Kalpa (ritual)
- Yoga Sutras
- Nyaya Sutras
- Vaisheshika Sutras
- Purva Mimamsa Sutras
- Brahma Sutras (or Vedanta Sutra) (Badarayana)
Sutras primarily associated with Buddhism
See: Buddhist texts
Associated with Christianity
- ^ For discussion of the literary form for sūtras, their terse nature as a summary of ideas for memorization, and the rise of the commentorial literary form as an adjunct to sūtras, see: Tubb & Boose 2007, pp. 1-2
- Monier-Williams, Monier. (1899) A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass. p. 1241
- Buddhist Scriptures in Multiple Languages
- Chinese repository of Buddhist Sutras translated into English. Also has other texts.
- Mahayana Buddhist Sutras in English
- More Mahayana Sutras
- The Hindu Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and Vedanta Sacred-texts.com
- A Modern Sutra
- Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon
- Pali Suttas at Access to Insight
- Ida B. Wells Memorial Sutra Lirary (Pali Suttas)
- Suttas read aloud