What Is the Sacred Writing of Buddhism?

sacred-writing-buddhism Credit: John Lund/Sam Diephuis/Blend Images/Getty Images

Buddhist writings are divided into two distinct types: sutras and suttas, and each type has a large number of writings. The sutras, such as the Mahayana Sutras, are considered to be actual sayings of Buddha while the suttas, such as Books of the Eights, are sacred texts from other sources.

Depending on the sect of Buddhism being considered, there could be some overlap as to what type of writing a text should fall into. In some cases, the scripture might fall into both types of writing. In other cases, such as when practicing Zen Buddhism, no text is considered to be sacred since the path to enlightenment is internal and shouldn't be influenced by outside forces.