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As I understand, the early Buddhist teachings were transmitted orally and memorized by monks and they were written down only much later. It must have been tremendous feet of human memory to retain so many of the sutras in the Tipitaka.

I want to ask, are there any teachings, maybe in the vinaya pitaka, which will help a monk increase his or her memory in order to remember the sutras.

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In the sutta quote from AN 6.51 below, Ven. Ananda explains how one learns, understands and remembers the teachings.

Ānanda said this:

“Reverend Sāriputta, take a mendicant who memorizes the teaching—statements, songs, discussions, verses, inspired exclamations, legends, stories of past lives, amazing stories, and classifications.

Then, just as they learned and memorized it, they teach others in detail, make them recite in detail, practice reciting in detail, and think about and consider the teaching in their heart, examining it with the mind.

They enter the rains retreat in a monastery with senior mendicants who are very learned, knowledgeable in the scriptures, who have memorized the teachings, the texts on monastic training, and the outlines. From time to time they go up to those mendicants and ask them questions: ‘Why, sir, does it say this? What does that mean?’ Those venerables clarify what is unclear, reveal what is obscure, and dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters.

This is how a mendicant gets to hear a teaching they haven’t heard before. It’s how they remember those teachings they have heard. It’s how they keep rehearsing the teachings they’ve already got to know. And it’s how they come to understand what they haven’t understood before.”

“It’s incredible, reverend, it’s amazing! How well said this was by Venerable Ānanda! And we will remember Venerable Ānanda as someone who has these six qualities.

For Ānanda memorizes the teaching … statements, songs, discussions, verses, inspired exclamations, legends, stories of past lives, amazing stories, and classifications. Those venerables clarify to Ānanda what is unclear, reveal what is obscure, and dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters.”
AN 6.51

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