The Milinda Panha

The Milinda Panha – Thomas William Rhys Davies

The Mininda Panha, or ‘The Questions of the King Milinda” are a classical Pali text describing how Menander embraced the Buddhist faith while discussing with the Buddhist sage Ngasena. He is described as constantly accompanied by a guard of 500 Greek (“Yonaka”) soldiers, and two of his counsellors are named Demetrius and Antiochus. This type of discussion was known to ancient Greeks as a “sozo”, it is important for Buddhists to understand the cultural context in which this discussion was held.

The Milinda Panha

The Milinda Panha

Format: Paperback.

The Milinda Panha.

ISBN: 9783849675080.

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The Pali Canon  (from

The Pāli Canon (Pali: Tipitaka, Sanskrit: IAST: Tripiṭaka) is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the first known and most-complete extant early Buddhist canon.

It was composed in North India and was preserved orally until it was committed to writing during the Fourth Buddhist Council in Sri Lanka in 29 BCE, approximately 454 years after the death of Gautama Buddha. It was composed by members of Sangha of each ancient major Buddhist sub-tradition. It is written in Pali, Sanskrit, and regional Asian languages. It survives in various versions. The surviving Sri Lankan version is the most complete.

The Pāli Canon falls into three general categories, called pitaka (from Pali piṭaka, meaning “basket”, referring to the receptacles in which the palm-leaf manuscripts were kept). Because of this, the canon is traditionally known as the Tipiṭaka (Sanskrit: IAST: Tripiṭaka; “three baskets”). The three pitakas are as follows:

Vinaya Pitaka (“Discipline Basket”), dealing with rules or discipline of the sangha;
Sutta Pitaka (Sutra/Sayings Basket), discourses and sermons of Buddha, some religious poetry and is the largest basket;
Abhidhamma Pitaka, treatises that elaborate Buddhist doctrines, particularly about mind, also called the “systematic philosophy” basket, likely composed starting about and after 300 BCE.
The Vinaya Pitaka and the Sutta Pitaka are remarkably similar to the works of the early Buddhist schools, often termed Early Buddhist Texts. The Abhidhamma Pitaka, however, is a strictly Theravada collection and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools.


(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)


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