Cariyāpiṭaka

The Cariyapitaka (cariyāpiṭaka; where cariya is Pali for "conduct" or "proper conduct"[1] and pitaka is usually translated as "basket";[2] abbrev. Cp[3]) is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It is included there in the Sutta Pitaka's Khuddaka Nikaya, usually as the last of fifteen books.[4] It is a short verse work that includes thirty-five accounts of the Buddha's former lives (similar to Jataka tales) when he as a bodhisattva exhibited behaviors known as "perfections," prerequisites to buddhahood. This canonical text, along with the Apadana and Buddhavamsa, is believed to be a late addition to the Pali Canon[5] and has been described as "hagiographical."[6]

In the first story (Cp. I), the Buddha says he will illustrate his practice of the perfections (Pali, pāramitā or pārami) by stories of his past lives in this current age.[7] The text contains 35 such stories, spanning 356[8] to 371 verses.[9]

The body of the Cariyapitaka is broken into three divisions (vagga), with titles correlated to the first three of the ten Theravada pāramitā:

The three remaining Theravada perfections — wisdom (paññā), energy (viriya), patience (khanti) — are mentioned in a closing stanza[18] but no related Cariyapitaka stories have come down to us.[19] Horner suggests that these latter three perfections are "implicit in the collection," referenced in both story titles and contexts.[20]