The Buddha’s personal assistant, Ānanda, recited the first part of the Buddhist canon, the Sūtra Piṭaka, which contains discourses in dialogue form between the Buddha, his disciples, and his contemporaries on a variety of doctrinal and spiritual questions. According to the traditional Buddhist account, shortly after the Buddha’s death five hundred disciples gathered to compile his teachings. The early sūtras in Pāli and other Middle Indo-Aryan languages are historically and linguistically closer to the cultural context of the Buddha than Mahāyāna sūtras in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese.
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Selves are thus conceived as evolving processes causally constrained by their past. Although there is no conclusive evidence for any specific date, most current scholars locate the Buddha’s life one hundred years earlier, around the fifth century B. Even though he was born in Lumbinī while his mother was traveling to her parents’ home, he spent the first twenty-nine years of his life in the royal capital, Kapilavastu, in the Nepalese region of Terai, close to the Indian border.
There is no complete agreement among scholars and Buddhist traditions regarding the dates of the historical Buddha. From the middle of the 19th century until the late 20th century, Western scholars had believed the dates of the Buddha to be ca. Like all past Buddhas, the conception and birth of Gautama Buddha are considered miraculous events.
Even within the Sūtra Piṭaka it is possible to detect older and later texts.
The Vinaya Piṭaka appears to have grown gradually as a commentary and justification of the monastic code (Prātimokṣa), which presupposes a transition from a community of wandering mendicants (the Sūtra Piṭaka period ) to a more sedentary monastic community (the Vinaya Piṭaka period).
Second, it has been preserved in a Middle Indo-Aryan language closely related to various Prakrit dialects spoken in North of India during the third century B. E., including the area where the Buddha spent most of his teaching years (Magadha).