A matrkha basket of literature?

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A matrkha basket of literature?

Postby Anders » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:45 am

In "The Basket’s Display", Peter Alan Roberts makes an offhand comment, that left me thinking 'what?!?':

    Another word for basket is piṭaka, which forms the basis of the most common metaphor for the Buddha’s teachings, “the three baskets” or tripiṭaka, which contain the Vinaya, Sūtra, and the Abhidharma or its predecessor the Mātṛkā

has anyone heard of this collection?
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Re: A matrkha basket of literature?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:05 am

From Digital Dictionary of Buddhism for 摩憺里迦:

-Transliteration of the Sanskrit, meaning mother; translated as 本母, 行母, 行母, etc. Literally a mother, in the sense of being a source, origin, or matrix; used in Buddhist discourse to refer to scriptural sources, especially the śāstras. There are a few different senses in which this is used. [Charles Muller; source(s): Soothill]

-The Abhidharma-piṭaka, as the mother of Buddhist philosophy. The scriptures as the 'mother of wisdom.' (Skt. mātali) Translated as 論藏. 〔一切經音義 T 2128.54.706c11〕 . [Charles Muller; source(s): Soothill]

-List(s) with central doctrinal terms such as the bodhipakkhiya dhammas, used for the purpose of memorization and as teaching material. The Abhidharmas of the different schools probably have their origin in such mātikās. (cf. the Mūla-Sarvâstivāda Vinaya 根本說一切有部毘奈耶雜事 T 1451.24.408b06). [Anālayo]
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Re: A matrkha basket of literature?

Postby sukhamanveti » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:58 pm

Andrew Skilton addresses this in the 10th chapter of A Concise History of Buddhism: "It seems that the Abhidharma proper grew out of, or was built around, mātṛkā--i.e. lists of technical concepts, originally serving as mnemonic devices for memorizing teachings...For example, the ubiquitous list of 37 bodhipakṣika-dharmas, or 'teachings that are requisite for Awakening' may have been an early example, given by the Buddha himself. We have another early example of this tendency in the Saṅgīti Sutta where Sārīputta, who is traditionally associated with the origin of the Abhidharma, recites lists of teachings arranged according to number."
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