Discourses (Kangyur Section)

  • Skt.: Sūtra
  • Tib.: mdo/

First published 2010. Last updated 6th Jun 2024.

The main body of the Buddha’s discourses, ranging from lengthy and detailed presentations of doctrine to brief summaries of particular points (Toh 8-359).

In this broad category of canonical works we have grouped four of the traditional divisions of the Kangyur (Prajñāpāramitā, Buddhāvataṃsaka, Ratnakūta, and the General Sūtra collection or mdo sde), together with a small set of “late-translated” sūtras.

The Perfection of Wisdom section (Toh 8-30) contains the sūtras specific to the prajñāpāramitā literature, ranging from extremely long to extremely short.

Both the Ornament of the Buddhas or Buddhāvataṃsaka (Toh 44) and Heap of Jewels or Ratnakūta (Toh 45-93) are historically established collections or compilations of particular sūtra works.

The General Sūtra section (Toh 94-359) contains all the other sūtras that were translated into Tibetan, mainly from Sanskrit but a few from other Indic languages and Chinese.

The Thirteen late-translated sūtras (Toh 31-43) are 14th century Tibetan translations of Theravāda sūtras from the Pāli Canon, located in many Kangyurs at the end of the Perfection of Wisdom section but with no relation to it. To maintain the order of texts in the Degé Kangyur (and the Tōhoku catalog) this should be the second group of texts within the Discourses section, but on this page we have placed it last to ensure that users will not fail to see the important General Sūtra section on some displays.

Introductions to each collection can be displayed using the “Learn more about...” button within each section.