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(Pali and Sanskrit: "limb," or "division"), any of several categories into which Buddhist canonical writings were divided in early times, beginning before the Abhidhamma (scholastic) works were added to the canon. The system, based on a combination of form and content, originally categorized types of material within the various texts; later, it was used to classify the texts themselves. The Theravada and Mahasanghika schools used an ancient ninefold division; a system of 12 categories was the most common division in other schools, especially Mahayana.