The Tipitaka of the Theravada school. Preserved in the Pali language and probably closed by the time of Asoka, it is the oldest existing body of Buddhist literature. Because this Tipitaka dates from prior to the time when writing became common in India, it contains numerous repetitions and mnemonic devices, further pointers to its early age. Most of the discourses within it, whether in prose or verse, are attributed to the Buddha himself while a lesser number are attributed to his direct disciples. Although the Pali Tipitaka is very large, several times longer than the Bible, it is still much smaller than either the Chinese or the Tibetan Tipitaka.