The Pāḷi Canon is a compilation of scriptures that preserve the earliest record of the teachings attributed to the Buddha in the Pāḷi language. It is also called the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka since it is divided in three sections (tipiṭaka, "three baskets") of teachings, such as, the Discipline Basket (Vinaya Piṭaka), Discourse Basket (Sutta Piṭaka) & Higher Teachings Basket (Abhidhamma Piṭaka).
The Pāli Canon (Pali: Tipitaka) 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 preserved orally until it was committed to writing during the Fourth Buddhist Council in Sri Lanka in 29 BCE, approximately four hundred and fifty four years after the death of Gautama Buddha.
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: Tripiṭaka; "three baskets"). The three pitakas are as follows:
Vinaya Pitaka ("Discipline Basket"), dealing with rules for monks and nuns Sutta Pitaka (Sutra/Sayings Basket), discourses, mostly ascribed to the Buddha, but some to disciples Abhidhamma Pitaka, variously described as philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, etc. The Vinaya Pitaka and the Sutta Pitaka are remarkably similar to the works of other early Buddhist schools. The Abhidhamma Pitaka however is a strictly Theravada collection, and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools.