Dharma the teachings of Gotama Buddha, or the system of truth among the Buddhists. It is one of the three gems or great treasures which they prize above all other objects. It consists of several portions, which, when collected together, were divided into two principal classes, called Suttani and Abhidhammani. These are again divided into three collections, called, in the Singhalese, Winaya, or discipline; Sutra, or discourses; and Abhidharma, or pre-eminent truths. These collections are called Pitakas, one version of which consists of about four thousand five hundred leaves. These are bound up in various sizes to suit the convenience of those using them. The Dharma is literally worshipped, and the books are usually kept wrapped up with the utmost care in cloth. Whenever the Buddhist speaks of these sacred books he adds an epithet of honor. Sometimes they are placed upon a rude kind of altar by the road-side, that those who pass by may put money upon it in order to obtain merit. The Dharma is considered as perfect, having nothing superfluous and nothing wanting. — Hardy, Eastern Monachism, pages 167,192. See BANA.

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