The Eightfold Path
The Tipitaka, which is divided into three sections, is the fundamental scripture of Buddhism. Theravada Buddhists regard the Tipitaka as the complete teachings Buddha. Mahayana Buddhists also use the Tipitaka, but they regard the Mahayana sutras, or journals of the Buddha, as more important. Buddhas disciples orally passed down the content of the Tipitaka.
The three section of the Tipitaka are the Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, and the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Rules and regulations for Buddhist monks and nuns are described in the Vinaya Pitaka. The actual experiences of Buddha are documented in the Sutta Pitaka. Along with the documentation of his experiences, there are extensive commentaries on myths and legends about Buddha. The doctrine of the absence of self and suffering is also found in this section of the Tipitaka. The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains works that teaches on the Theravada positions from Buddha's teaching. These works are now considered to be mainly for advanced students of Buddhism.
According to Buddhist sources, the Tipitaka was written down after 50 BC in Sanskrit. The word "tipitaka" means "three baskets". The Tipitaka spread with the growth of Buddhism.