Dating sutras

Dating sutras

To confuse matters further, there are some texts that are called sutras but are not.

By Barbara O'Brien Definition: The name sutra (Sanskrit for "thread") in Buddhism originally was given only to the sermons of the historical Buddha.The sutras were recited from memory by the Buddha's disciple Ananda at the First Buddhist Council.Even so, they were written in the style of the original sutras as if Ananda had recited them.Those later sutras considered essential texts by at least some Mahayana schools are included in what is called the Northern or Mahayana Canon of sutras.However, most historians believe the sutra was written in the 1st or 2nd century CE, probably by more than one writer.

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A translation was made from Sanskrit to Chinese in 255 CE, and this is the earliest historical documentation of its existence.

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