Sutra

Sutra

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Sūtra is an aphorism
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 (or line, rule, formula) or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including Latin suere and English to sew, all ultimately deriving from PIE
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 *siH-/syuH- 'to sew'), as does the medical term "suture."

In Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 sutra denotes a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 statements, generally using various technical terms. This literary form was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural and scientific study (Sanskrit:
{{distinguish|sura}}
{{Hindu scriptures}}{{Buddhism}} {{Jainism}}
Sūtra ({{lang-sa|सूत्र}},
Pāli
Páli
- External links :* *...

: sutta, Ardhamagadhi: sūya) is an aphorism
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 (or line, rule, formula) or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including Latin suere and English to sew, all ultimately deriving from PIE
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 *siH-/syuH- 'to sew'), as does the medical term "suture."

In Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 sutra denotes a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 statements, generally using various technical terms. This literary form was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural and scientific study (Sanskrit:
{{distinguish|sura}}
{{Hindu scriptures}}{{Buddhism}} {{Jainism}}
Sūtra ({{lang-sa|सूत्र}},
Pāli
Páli
- External links :* *...

: sutta, Ardhamagadhi: sūya) is an aphorism
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 (or line, rule, formula) or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including Latin suere and English to sew, all ultimately deriving from PIE
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 *siH-/syuH- 'to sew'), as does the medical term "suture."

In Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 sutra denotes a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 statements, generally using various technical terms. This literary form was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural and scientific study (Sanskrit: {{IAST
Svadhyaya
' is a Sanskrit term in Hinduism having several meanings, including study of the Vedas and other sacred books, self-recitation, repetition of the Vedas aloud, and as a term for the Vedas themselves...

). Since each line is highly condensed, another literary form arose in which commentaries (Sanskrit: {{IAST|bhāṣya}}) on the sutras were added, to clarify and explain them.

In Brahmin lineage, each family is supposed to have one Gotra
Gotra
In the Hindu society, the term Gotra broadly refers to people who are descendants in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor. Panini defines gotra for grammatical purposes as apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram , which means "the word gotra denotes the progeny beginning with the son's son"...

, and one Sutra, meaning that a certain Veda (Śruti
Sruti
' , often spelled shruti or shruthi, is a term that describes the sacred texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism and is one of the three main sources of dharma and therefore is also influential within Hindu Law...

) is treasured by this family in way of learning by heart.

One of the most famous definitions of a sutra in Indian literature is itself a sutra and comes from the Vayu Purana
Vayu Purana
The Vayu Purana is a Shaiva Purana, a Hindu religious text, dedicated to the god Vayu , containing about 24,000 shlokas.-Date:Banabhatta refers to this work in his Kadambari and Harshacharita...

:

alpākṣaraṃ asandigdhaṃ sāravad viśvatomukham
astobhaṃ anavadyaṃ ca sūtram sūtravido viduḥ

Of minimal syllabary, unambiguous, pithy, comprehensive,
continuous, and without flaw: who knows the sūtra knows it to be thus.


In Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, sūtra refers to canonical sermons of the Mahavira
Mahavira
Mahāvīra is the name most commonly used to refer to the Indian sage Vardhamāna who established what are today considered to be the central tenets of Jainism. According to Jain tradition, he was the 24th and the last Tirthankara. In Tamil, he is referred to as Arukaṉ or Arukadevan...

 contained in the Jain Agamas
Jain Agamas
Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings. Mahavira’s preaching were orally compiled by his disciples into various Sutras which were collectively called Jain canonical or Agamic literature. Traditionally these sutras were orally passed on from teachers to the disciples...

, and to some later (post-canonical) normative texts.

In Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, the sūtra refers mostly to canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

. In Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, these are known as 經 (pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

: jīng). These teachings are assembled in part of the Tripitaka
Tripiṭaka
' is a traditional term used by various Buddhist sects to describe their various canons of scriptures. As the name suggests, a traditionally contains three "baskets" of teachings: a , a and an .-The three categories:Tripitaka is the three main categories of texts that make up the...

which is called Sutra Pitaka
Sutra Pitaka
The phrase Sutra Pitaka can refer to:* the section of the Theravada Buddhist Pali Canon called the "Sutta Pitaka" in Pali.* the Agamas of various extinct schools of Buddhism....

. There are also some Buddhist texts, such as the Platform Sutra
Platform Sutra
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch , is a Buddhist scripture that was composed in China. It is one of the seminal texts in the Chan/Zen schools. It is centered on discourses given at Shao Zhou temple attributed to the sixth Chan patriarch, Huineng...

, that are called sūtras despite being attributed to much later authors.

Some scholars consider that the Buddhist use of sūtra is a mis-Sanskritization of Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

 or Pali
Páli
- External links :* *...

 sutta, and that the latter represented Sanskrit sūkta, "well spoken", "good news" (as the Buddha himself refers to his speech in his first sermon; compare the original meaning of Gospel), which would also resolve as sutta in Pali. The early Buddhist sutras do not present the aphoristic, nearly cryptic nature of the Hindu sutras, even though they also have been designed for mnemonic purposes in an oral tradition. On the contrary, they are most often lengthy, with many repetitions which serve the mnemonic purpose of the audience. They share the character of sermons of "good news" with the Jaina sūtras, whose original name of sūya (in Ardhamagadhi language) can derive from Sanskrit sūkta, but hardly from sūtra.

The Pali form of the word, sutta is used exclusively to refer to the scriptures of the early Pali Canon
Pāli Canon
The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the only completely surviving early Buddhist canon, and one of the first to be written down...

, the only texts recognized by Theravada
Theravada
Theravada ; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India...

 Buddhism as canonical.

Vedanga

  • Shiksha
    Shiksha
    Shiksha is one of the six Vedangas, treating the traditional Hindu science of phonetics and phonology of Sanskrit.Its aim is the teaching of the correct pronunciation of the Vedic hymns and mantras...

     (phonetics)
  • Chandas (metrics)
  • Vyakarana
    Vyakarana
    The Sanskrit grammatical tradition of ' is one of the six Vedanga disciplines. It has its roots in late Vedic India, and includes the famous work, The Sanskrit grammatical tradition of ' is one of the six Vedanga disciplines. It has its roots in late Vedic India, and includes the famous work, ...

     (grammar)
    • Ashtadhyayi (Pāṇini), discussing grammar
  • Nirukta
    Nirukta
    Nirukta is one of the six disciplines of Hinduism, treating etymology, particularly of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas. The discipline is traditionally attributed to , an ancient Sanskrit grammarian...

     (etymology)
  • Jyotisha
    Jyotisha
    Hindu astrology , also Jyotish or Jyotisha, from Sanskrit , from "light, heavenly body") is the ancient Indian system of astronomy and astrology...

      (astrology)
  • Kalpa
    Kalpa (Vedanga)
    Kalpa is one of the six disciplines of Vedanga, treating ritual.Tradition does not single out any special work in this branch of the Vedanga; but sacrificial practice gave rise to a large number of systematic sutras for the several classes of priests...

     (ritual)
    • Srauta Sutras, performance of sacrifices
    • Smarta Sutras
      • Grhya Sutras, covering domestic life
      • Samayacarika or Dharma Sutras
        • Sulba Sutras
          Sulba Sutras
          The Shulba Sutras or Śulbasūtras are sutra texts belonging to the Śrauta ritual and containing geometry related to fire-altar construction.- Purpose and origins :...

          , architecture of sacrificial area

Hindu philosophy

  • Yoga Sutras
  • Samkhya Sutras
  • Nyaya Sutras
    Nyaya Sutras
    The Nyāya Sūtras are an ancient Indian text on of philosophy composed by ' . The sutras contain five chapters, each with two sections...

  • Vaisheshika Sutra
    Vaisheshika Sutra
    Vaisheshika Sutra is by Kanada and it describes an atomic approach to matter. It is generally dated to 600 BC....

  • Purva Mimamsa Sutras
    Purva Mimamsa Sutras
    The Mimamsa Sutra or the Purva Mimamsa Sutras , written by Rishi Jaimini is one of the most important ancient Hindu philosophical texts. It forms the basis of Mimamsa, the earliest of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy...

  • Brahma Sutras
    Brahma Sutras
    The Brahma sūtras , also known as Vedānta Sūtras , are one of the three canonical texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. A thorough study of Vedānta requires a close examination of these three texts, known in Sanskrit as the Prasthanatrayi, or the three starting points...

     (or Vedanta Sutra) (Badarayana
    Badarayana
    The Brahma Sutra is attributed to Badarayana — which makes him the proponent of the crest-jewel school of Hindu philosophy, i.e., Vedanta.Vyasa is conflated with Badarayana by Vaishnavas with the alleged reason that the island on which Vyasa was born is said to have been covered by Badara ...

    )
  • Narada Bhakti Sutra

Other sutras


Associated with Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

:
  • Kalpasutra
  • Tattvartha Sutra
    Tattvartha Sutra
    Tattvartha Sutra is a Jain text written by Acharya Umaswati. It was an attempt to bring together the different elements of the Jain path, epistemological, metaphysical, cosmological, ethical and practical, otherwise unorganized around the scriptures in an unsystematic format...

  • Acaranga Sutra
    Acaranga Sutra
    The Acaranga Sutra is the first of the eleven Angas, part of the agamas which were compiled based on the teachings of Lord Mahavira.The Acaranga Sutra discusses the conduct of a Jain monk...

     (Agamas
    Jain Agamas
    Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings. Mahavira’s preaching were orally compiled by his disciples into various Sutras which were collectively called Jain canonical or Agamic literature. Traditionally these sutras were orally passed on from teachers to the disciples...

    )


Associated with Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

:
  • Jesus Sutras
    Jesus Sutras
    The Jesus Sutras are early Chinese language manuscripts of Christian teachings. They are connected with the 7th century mission of Alopen, a Nestorian bishop from Persia....

     (related to Church of the East in China
    Church of the East in China
    The Church of the East in China had a long but not continuous history between the 7th and 14th centuries. The Church of the East, or Nestorian Church, was the first church to spread Christianity to China. Chinese sources describe a mission under the Persian cleric Alopen as arriving at Chang'an in...

     )

See also

  • Sastra
  • Smriti
    Smriti
    Smriti literally "that which is remembered," refers to a specific body of Hindu religious scripture, and is a codified component of Hindu customary law. Smṛti also denotes non-Śruti texts and is generally seen as secondary in authority to Śruti. The literature which comprises the Smrti was...

  • Chinese Buddhist canon
    Chinese Buddhist canon
    The Chinese Buddhist Canon refers to the total body of Buddhist literature deemed canonical in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Buddhism...

  • Tibetan Buddhist canon
    Tibetan Buddhist canon
    The Tibetan Buddhist canon is a loosely defined list of sacred texts recognized by various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. In addition to sutrayana texts from Early Buddhist and Mahayana sources, the Tibetan canon includes tantric texts...

  • Ananda Sutram
    Ananda Sutram
    Ananda Sutram is the basic scripture of modern Yoga composed in Sanskrit by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti in the year 1961. In the best traditions of sutra literature, the sutras , serve with breathtaking conciseness, as a framework for the entire Ananda Marga ideology. Ananda Sutram means, in part,...

  • Sulba Sutra
  • Kama Sutra
    Kama Sutra
    The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse. It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses...


External links



{{Indian Philosophy}}
{{Buddhism topics}}

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