Sutra

Posted: 28.04.2005
Updated on: 29.08.2012

Alias

Sutta, Sūtra

Sanskrit: सूत्र (sūtra)
Pali: सुत्त (sutta)
Prakrit: सुत्त (sutta) or सूय (sūya)

The Sanskrit word 'sūtra' literally means a thread or line that hold things together. Generally it denotes a literary genre of short didactical statements or a compendium of doctrine.

  • In Jainism 'sutta' is a category of canonical didactic texts (Āgamas).
  • In Hinduism, according to the Skanda-Purana, a 'sūtra' means an aphorism, which phrases the universal essence of all knowledge in an understandable way.
  • In Buddhism the 'sutta' (Theravāda) or 'sūtra' (Mahāyāna) refers usually to canonical sriptures.

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