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LESSON 2764 Wed 3 Oct 2018 (104) Vipassanā Fellowship meditation from the Theravāda tradition for the spiritual development of people of all faiths and 10 week ourses begin:Sat 29 Sep 2007 Do Good Be Mindful - Awakened One with Awareness (AOA) Always be Calm, Quiet, Alert and Attentive and have an Equanimity Mind with a Clear Understanding that Everything is Changing - that is Vipassana (Insight) Meditation that brings Eternal Bliss as a Final Goal. Course Access Details for Saturday 29th September onwards Vipassana Fellowship Meditation Course Saturday, 29th September to Friday, 7th December 2018 Details for Saturday onwards Dear Jagatheesan Welcome to the September 2018 session of our 10 week meditation course. The course takes place in our online Course Campus and you can access our site from Saturday 29th September at the following location: https://course.org/campus You have been pre-registered as a participant in the September course. To log-in, click on the ‘September 2018 Meditation Course’ link or the site log-in at the top of the page. Your username is: awakenedone-s18 Your password is: sP8481026
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LESSON 2764 Wed 3 Oct 2018 (104)

Vipassanā Fellowship meditation from the Theravāda tradition for the spiritual development of people of all faiths and
10 week ourses begin:Sat 29 Sep 2007

Do Good Be Mindful - Awakened One with Awareness (AOA)

Always be Calm, Quiet, Alert and Attentive and have an Equanimity Mind with a Clear Understanding that Everything is Changing - that is Vipassana (Insight) Meditation that brings Eternal Bliss as a Final Goal.

Course Access Details for Saturday 29th September onwards

Vipassana Fellowship Meditation Course
Saturday, 29th September to Friday, 7th December 2018

Details for Saturday onwards

Dear Jagatheesan

Welcome to the September 2018 session of our 10 week meditation course.
The course takes place in our online Course Campus and you can
access our site from Saturday 29th September at the following location:

https://course.org/campus

You have been pre-registered as a participant in the September course.
To log-in, click on the ‘September 2018 Meditation Course’ link or the site
log-in at the top of the page.

Your username is:

awakenedone-s18

Your password is:

sP8481026

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=origin+of+Magadhi%2FPrakrit+with+gifs&t=h_&ia=about

Magahi language
The Magahi language, also known as Magadhi, is a language spoken in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states of eastern India. Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadh, from which the latter’s name derives. Magadhi has approximately 18 million speakers.More at Wikipedia
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Magahi language - Wikipedia
The Magahi language, also known as Magadhi, is a language spoken in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states of eastern India. Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadh, from which the latter’s name derives.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magahi_language
Magadhi Prakrit - Wikipedia
Magadhi Prakrit (Māgadhī) was a vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan language, replacing earlier Vedic Sanskrit in parts of the Indian subcontinents. It was spoken in present-day Assam, Odisha, Bengal, Bihar, and eastern Uttar Pradesh, and used in some dramas to represent vernacular dialogue in Prakrit dramas.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magadhi_Prakrit
Magadhi Prakrit - YouTube
Magadhi Prakrit is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit.Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian …
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C0TTGgcq3qU
What language did Gautama Buddha speak according to Indian …
The Buddha spoke in a language called Magadhi Prakrit.Magadhi Prakrit is the spoken language of the ancient Magadha kingdom, one of the 16 city-state kingdoms at the time, located in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region around modern-day Bihār, and spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
https://www.quora.com/What-language-did-Gautama-Buddha-speak-ac…
Magadhi Prakrit - Revolvy
History The ancestor of Magahi, Magadhi Prakrit , formed in the Indian subcontinent in a region spanning what is now India and Nepal. These regions were part of the ancient kingdom of Magadha , the core of which was the area of Bihar south of the Ganges .
https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Magadhi Prakrit&item_type=topic
PDF Magahi and Magadh: Language and People
from Magadhi Apbhransha or Eastern Apbhransha branch of Magadhi Prakrit. Magahi is not the only language developing from Magadhi Apbhransha. Other languages developing from Magadhi
gifre.org/library/upload/volume/52-59-vol-3-2-14-gj…
Origin of Prakrit Language - indianetzone.com
Magadhi Prakrit’s oldest form is witnessed in Ashvaghosh’s plays, Kalidasa’s Abhijnanashakuntalam and Shudraka’s Mrchchhakatikam. Some distinguishing features of this language comprise the use of a single sh, the replacement of l for r, y for j, d/d for t and the loss of middle consonants.
https://www.indianetzone.com/54/origin_prakrit_language.htm
Magadhi Prakrit language - Revolvy
History The ancestor of Magahi, Magadhi Prakrit , formed in the Indian subcontinent in a region spanning what is now India and Nepal. These regions were part of the ancient kingdom of Magadha , the core of which was the area of Bihar south of the Ganges .
https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Magadhi Prakrit…
What is the difference between the Prakrit and Pali … - Quora
The Prakrit languages are the languages that developed from the spoken languages that also were formalized to become Sanskrit and became used in everyday speech from mid 1st millennium BCE through end 1st millennium CE, when the modern Indo-Aryan languages started developing out of the Prakrit languages.
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-the-Prakri…
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Magadhi Prakrit - The Full Wiki
Pali and Ardha-Magadhi. Theravada Buddhist tradition has long held that the Pāli language was synonymous with the ancient Magadha language; and indeed, there are many remarkable analogies between Pāli and an old form of Magadhi Prakrit known as Ardhamagadhi (”Half Magadhi”), which is preserved in ancient Jain texts.
thefullwiki.org/Magadhi_Prakrit
The Original Language of the Shramanas ! | Virtual Vinodh
Of all the Buddhists Traditions, Theravada was the only sect to preserve the usage of Magadhi Prakrit in its literature. [The term “Pali” was traditionally used for denoting the Texts in the language, the language is itself referred to as Magadhi in Theravadin literature].
virtualvinodh.com/wp/original-language-shramanas/
Magadhi Prakrit | Wiki | Everipedia
Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eas Magadhi Prakrit (Ardhamāgadhī) is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit.
https://everipedia.org/wiki/Magadhi_Prakrit/
Category:Magadhi Prakrit language - Wiktionary
This is the main category of the Magadhi Prakrit language.. Information about Magadhi Prakrit:
https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Magadhi_Prakrit_language
Magahi language - Local Business | Facebook
Magahi language. 1,573 likes. The Magahi language, also known as Magadhi, is a language spoken in parts of India and Nepal. Magadhi Prakrit was the…
https://m.facebook.com/pages/Magahi-language/108096375878354
Pronunciation question for hindi speakers : ABCDesis
-gifs-mildlyinteresting … Pronunciation question for hindi speakers … However “Deeval” also means wall in some languages of Magadhi Prakrit origin. permalink;
https://www.reddit.com/r/ABCDesis/comments/70848o/pronunciation_…
Prakrit: The forgotten ancestor - Livemint
But while Indo-Aryan tongues are mostly eager to trace their history to Sanskrit, the Prakrit connection rarely receives any attention. … Magadhi gave birth to the Indo-Aryan tongues of eastern …
https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/UfPMM1NOCigt5ihzXNuqJI/Prakrit-Th…
Introduction to Prakrit - Exotic India
Part II consists of a number of extracts from Sanskrit and Prakrit literature which illustrate different types of Prakrit - Sauraseni, Maharastri, Magadhi, Ardhamagadhi, Avanti, Apabhramsa, etc., most of which are translated into English.
https://exoticindiaart.com/m/book/details/introduction-to-prakrit-ID…
The Enlightenment - Janbudveepa and Hela Diva | පරම පවිත්‍ර …
Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadhi, from which the latter’s name derives. The ancestral language, Magadhi Prakrit, is believed to be the language spoken by the Buddha , and the language of the ancient kingdom of Magadha .
panhinda.sirisaddharmaya.net/the-enlightenment-janbudveepa-and-hela-diva/
Magahi language - ipfs.io
The ancestor of Magahi, Magadhi Prakrit, formed in the Indian subcontinent in a region spanning what is now India and Nepal.These regions were part of the ancient kingdom of Magadha, the core of which was the area of Bihar south of the Ganges.
https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDD…
some facts on indian languages • r/india - reddit
The various Prakrit dialects described by Prakrit grammarians are Maharastri, Sauraseni, Magadhi, Paisaci and Apabhramsa. Pali and Ardha-Magadhi are also Prakrits and were used in early Buddhist and Jain literature.
https://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/3cs11b/some_facts_on_ind…
The Linguistic Background (in Hindi) | (Hindi) Summary of R.S …
Prakrit is understood to mean natural, original, casual, etc, and which explains to us that it did not have strict rules of usage and was the common tongue Prakrit is a broader term under which all the Middle Indo-Aryan group languages are generally clubbed together Many languages such as Ardha-Magadhi, Pali (used by Theravada Buddhists …
https://unacademy.com/lesson/the-linguistic-background-in-hindi…
Prakrit - Banglapedia
Magadhi Prakrit was the language of the eastern half of the Gangetic valley. The use of this language is noticeable in the dialogue of lowly characters in Sanskrit plays. Its oldest form is seen in Ashvaghosh’s plays, kalidasa ’s Abhijvanashakuntalam and Shudrak’s Mrchchhakatikam.
en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Prakrit
Category:Ardhamagadhi Prakrit language - Wiktionary
This is the main category of the Ardhamagadhi Prakrit language.. Information about Ardhamagadhi Prakrit:
https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Ardhamagadhi_Prakrit_language
Magadhi Prakrit - Wikidata
This page was last edited on 14 June 2018, at 16:27. All structured data from the main, property and lexeme namespaces is available under the Creative Commons CC0 License; text in the other namespaces is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.
https://m.wikidata.org/wiki/Q2652214
Magahi language | Wiki | Everipedia
The Magahi language, also known as Magadhi, is a language spoken in Bihar-Jharkhand region of eastern India. Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadh, from which the latter’s name derives.[10] Magadhi has approximately 18 million speakers.It has a very rich and old tradition of folk songs and stories.
https://everipedia.org/wiki/Magahi_language/
Ardhamagadhi - Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Ardhamagadhi is one of the Prakrit languages that immediately descended from ancient SAN SKRIT. The canonical works of the Jains (see JAIN ISM) were written in this language; the Jains only later began to write in Sanskrit.
hinduism.enacademic.com/90/Ardhamagadhi
Bengali Language: Origin, History & Status
Origin of Bengali Language: Bengali is Eastern Indo-Aryan Language that arose from eastern sub-continent languages - Magadhi Prakrit & Maithili. History of Bengali Language normally categorized in to three periods and they are:
bengalspider.com/resources/2913-Bengali-Language-Origin-Hi…
Magahi language - WikiVisually
The ancestor of Magadhi, Magadhi Prakrit, formed in the Indian subcontinent in a region spanning what is now India and Nepal.These regions were part of the ancient kingdom of Magadha, the core of which was the area of Bihar south of the Ganges.
https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Magahi_language
Prakrit languages | Britannica.com
…most commonly spoken languages were Prakrit, which had its local variations in Shauraseni (from which Pali evolved), and Magadhi, in which the Buddha preached. Sanskrit, the more cultured language as compared with Prakrit, was favoured by the educated elite.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Prakrit-languages
volume 4 final …revsion and enjoy reading | Global …
Jharkhand region of eastern India. o Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadh, from which the latter’s name derives. o It is believed to be the language spoken by Gautama Buddha. o It was the official language of
https://www.scribd.com/document/378905833/volume-4-final-revsion…
3
Coinage and Culture during the Post-Mauryan Period | Ancient …
Development of Language and Script Magadhi/ Prakrit was the official language of the Shungas and Kanvas Maharashtri was the official language of the Satvahana Empire Shakas originally spoke the Scythian language (belonging to the Iranian Group) Shakas later adopted Sanskrit and Prakrits (Shaurseni,Paishachi,Gandhari, etc.) Indo-Greeks adopted …
https://unacademy.com/lesson/coinage-and-culture-during-the-pos…
Magadhi Prakrit - enacademic.com
is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit. Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh
enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/3060402
Was Gautama Buddha illiterate? Was there a written language …
The Brahmi script that arose in India later was most likely derived from Kharoshti and was still used mainly for Magadhi Prakrit and Pali rather than Classical Sanskrit, following Panini’s grammar rules, which had become the language of the elite.
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/34hrdq/was_gauta…
Magadhi Prakrit - Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Magadhi Prakrit (Ardhamāgadhī) is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit.Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
https://infogalactic.com/info/Magadhi_Prakrit
Magahi Language - History
History. Main article: Magadhi Prakrit See also: Jain Prakrit and Pali The ancestor of Magadhi, from which its name derives, Magadhi Prakrit, was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
liquisearch.com/magahi_language/history
08. THE HISTORY OF THE BENGALI LANGUAGE - blogspot.com
Nasal sounds were not originally present in the ancient Aryan languages of India; their presence in Sanskrit, Magadhi-Prakrit, and Bengali is due to Dravidian influence. The syntax of Sanskrit and Bengali, as well as all Aryan languages in India, is Dravidian rather than Aryan.
https://infobanglaworld.blogspot.com/2009/07/history-of-bengali-language.html
Prakrit : definition of Prakrit and synonyms of Prakrit (English)
Etymology. According to the dictionary of Monier Monier-Williams, the most frequent meanings of the Sanskrit term prakṛta, from which the word “prakrit” is derived, are “original, natural, normal” and the term is derived from prakṛti, “making or placing before or at first, the original or natural form or condition of anything, original or primary substance”.
dictionary.sensagent.com/Prakrit/en-en/
What Is A Prakrit? - YouTube
Ancient india literature sanskrit, pali, prakrit and tamil (prakrit. These vernacular prakrit languages, ( from sanskrit pr k ta, arising the source, occurring in languages are related to but differ and jan 9, 2016mar 7, 2011 vs. Difference between sanskrit and prakrit languages jain history. Article about prakrit literature by the free dictionary.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6_cLKpfFjE8
Pali and the Prakrits | Asian Languages & Literature …
Pali and the Prakrits Between Sanskrit and its modern derivatives lie a group of languages known as the Prakrits or Middle Indo-Aryan languages, which were the vernacular dialects of ancient times. As these languages are derived from and closely related to Sanskrit, they are usually studied together with it.
https://asian.washington.edu/fields/pali-and-prakrits
History of Sanskrit - eSamskriti
Esamskriti: An online encyclopedia of Indian culture, Indian traditions, ancient India, education in India, history, Indian Travel, Indian leaders, festivals of India …
https://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/History-of-Sanskrit-5.aspx
Prakrit literature | Encyclopedia.com
Prakrit literature: By the 6th cent. BC the people of India were speaking and writing languages that were much simpler than classical Sanskrit. These vernacular forms, of which there were several, are called the Prakrits [Skt.,=natural].
https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcri…
Magahi alphabet, pronunciation and language - Omniglot
Magahi developed from the Magadhi Prakrit, which was spoken in the ancient kingdom of Magadha in east India. The name Magahi comes from Magadha, and the language is also known as Magadhi. Magahi used to be written mainly with the Kaithi script, but is now usually written with the Devanagari script.
omniglot.com/writing/magahi.htm
United Bengal State - বঙ্গরাষ্ট - Home | Facebook
The story of Language in Bihar. Hindi, Maithili and Urdu are the official languages of the state, whilst the majority of the people speak one of the Bihari languages - Bhojpuri, Magadhi, etc. Bihari languages were once mistakenly thought to be dialects of Hindi, but they have been more recently shown to be descendant of the language of the erstwhile Magadha kingdom - Magadhi Prakrit, along …
https://www.facebook.com/UnitedBengalState/
The Home of Pali - budsas.org
The language of the Buddhavacana is called Pali or Magadhi and sometimes Suddha-Magadhi, presumably in order to distinguish it from Ardha-Magadhi, the language of Jaina Canons. Magadhi means the language or dialect current in the Magadha.
https://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut059.htm
Magadhi Prakrit - liquisearch.com
Magadhi Prakrit is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit. Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
liquisearch.com/magadhi_prakrit
The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute : Dictionary of …
The Prakrit Dictionary is proposed to contain about 90000 entries in total referring to about 450 texts. The source material for this gigantic dictionary has been collected in an archive of over 600000 reference slips.
bori.ac.in/prakrit_languages.html
Study Material-1 - School of Open Learning
The Ardha-Magadhi, probably a later hybrid of Magadhi under the influence of the western Prakrit, eventually, became the sacred language of Jaina monks. Sauraseni, a dialect originally from the western Uttar Pradesh, was particularly used in drama for the speech of women and respectable people of the lower orders.
https://sol.du.ac.in/mod/book/tool/print/index.php?id=233&chap…
PDF The Jain Prakrit Origin of the Vetāla - eprints.soas.ac.uk
precisely in Jain Prakrit that we nd, coupled with vestiges of Magadhi - l- for -r-, an orthographic -t- replacing -d- and the other lost intervocalic stop consonants. Appropriately, the early canonical text Uttarajjhāyā 20, v. 44, presents the
eprints.soas.ac.uk/23834/1/wright offprint.pdf
Readings in Prakrit | South Asian Course | SOAS | University …
Prakrit is an important language of Ancient India in literary texts (dramas, anthologies of lyrical poetry, etc.), in inscriptions from the earliest times of writing in India (Asoka, etc.), and in the vast canonical and narrative literature of the Jains.
https://www.soas.ac.uk/courseunits/155901324.html
SM-1: LESSON 3A (ii) The Prakrit Literature - Gatha Saptasati
This work contains the best selected lyrical poems, independent, unconnected with each other, full of meaning, abounding in suggestive or figurative speech rather than in laksana and abhidha, with depth of emotional feelings. It is not a small wonder that Prakrit poetic composition had reached such a peak in the first or second century A.D.
https://sol.du.ac.in/mod/book/view.php?id=1616&chapterid=1646
Introduction to Prakrit - Alfred C. Woolner - Google Books
Introduction to Prakrit provides the reader with a guide for the more attentive and scholarly study of Prakrit occurring in Sanskrit plays, poetry and prose–both literary and inscriptional.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Introduction_to_Prakrit.html?…
Prakrit - translationdirectory.com
The Ardhamagadhi language (”half Magadhi”), an archaic form of the Magadhi language which was used extensively to write Jain scriptures, is often considered to be the definitive form of Prakrit, while others are considered variants thereof.
translationdirectory.com/articles/article2478.php
What does prakrit mean? - Definitions.net
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indo-Aryan languages, derived from dialects of Old Indo-Aryan languages. The Ardhamagadhi language, an archaic form of the Magadhi language which was used extensively to write Jain scriptures, is often considered to be the definitive form of Prakrit, while others are considered variants thereof.
https://www.definitions.net/definition/prakrit
History of Sanskrit - eSamskriti
Prakrit - The Svetambara Jain Canon and its exegetic literature in the Ardha-Magadhi Prakrit, the few religious texts of the Digambara Jains of the south in the Maharashtri and Sauraseni Prakrits, and the commentaries on Buddhist texts written in Pali constitute the most important Prakrit and Pali literature during this period. Comprehensive …
https://www.esamskriti.com/e/History/History-Of-Indian-Languages/His…
Prakrit : Wikis (The Full Wiki)
Prakrit (also transliterated as Pracrit) (Sanskrit: prākṛta प्राकृत (from pra-kṛti प्रकृति)) is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Classical Sanskrit and other Old Indic dialects. [1]
thefullwiki.org/Prakrit
Magadhi | Definition of Magadhi in US English by Oxford …
Definition of Magadhi in US English - an Indic language spoken in the northeastern Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, one of the Bihari group
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/magadhi
Magahi language bihar, bihari language | Biharplus
Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadhi, from which the latter’s name derives. The ancestral language, Magadhi Prakrit, is believed to be the language spoken by the Buddha, and the language of the ancient kingdom of Magadha.
biharplus.in/resources/languages-of-bihar/magahi-langu…
History of the Oriya Language - Outsourcing Translation
Modern Oriya spoken today is known to have been derived from the Prakrit form known as Pali or Magadhi, a language that was prevalent across cultures and kingdoms in Eastern India, about 1500 years ago.
https://www.outsourcingtranslation.com/resources/history/oriya-language.php
Magahi language | Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing - eBooks …
Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadhi, from which the latter’s name derives. The ancestral language, Magadhi Prakrit, is believed to be the language spoken by the Buddha , and the language of the ancient kingdom of Magadha .
self.gutenberg.org/articles/eng/Magahi_language
Prakrit - IPFS is the Distributed Web
The Ardhamagadhi (”half-Magadhi”) Prakrit, which was used extensively to write the scriptures of Jainism, is often considered to be the definitive form of Prakrit, while others are considered variants thereof. Prakrit grammarians would give the full grammar of Ardhamagadhi first, and then define the other grammars with relation to it.
https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDD…
History of the Bengali Language - Outsourcing Translation
Originating from Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit, Bengali is the native tongue for thousands of people spread across Bangladesh, West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, including some across the globe. Overall, there are nearly 230 million Bengali speakers.
outsourcingtranslation.com/resources/history/bengali-language.php
Magahi language : definition of Magahi language and synonyms …
Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadhi, from which the latter’s name derives. The ancestral language, Magadhi Prakrit, is believed to be the language spoken by the Buddha , and the language of the ancient kingdom of Magadha .
dictionary.sensagent.com/Magahi language/en-en/
history - What language did the Buddha speak? - Buddhism …
Modern Magahi, ancient Ardhamagadhi aka Magadhi Prakrit, and Pali are much more similar to each other than e.g. Russian to Ukrainian, or Spanish to Portuguese. All basically sound like mumbled/corrupted dialects of Sanskrit.
https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/3305/what-language-did-the-budd…
The Languages of Buddhism — NewBuddhist
All dialects–Magadhi, Ardha-Magadhi, Sauraseni, and Paisachi–are Prakrit, out of which was processed Sanskrit as a language of necessity–a scientific technical language to give expression to intellectual, moral and spiritual expansion…isolated from the broad masses.
newbuddhist.com/discussion/16368/the-languages-of-buddhism
Read the text. A symbol of the eight fold path “Arya Magga …
The second group of old people in the Nordic who merged with the people of origin came to the Nordic areas from the western archaic Roman Empire during the Nordic Iron Age, they were related to the pagan Gallo Roman Empire.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/28772513@N07/7334606504
Magadhi_Prakrit-KNOWPIA
Magadhi Prakrit (Māgadhī) was a vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan language, replacing earlier Vedic Sanskrit in parts of the Indian subcontinents. It was spoken in present-day Assam, Odisha, Bengal, Bihar, and eastern Uttar Pradesh, and used in some dramas to represent vernacular dialogue in Prakrit dramas.
knowpia.com/pages/Magadhi_Prakrit
History of India, Prakrit And Pali
Most of the literature generally called Prakrit is devoted to Jainism . The sacred texts ( Siddhanta or Agama ) of the two main sects of the Jains employed three types of Prakrit. The oldest sutras of the Svetambara sect are written in Ardha-Magadhi, while later books are in Maharastri.
indohistory.com/prakrit_and_pali.html
Jain News: Revival of Prakrit Language
Scholars said that Gujarat holds special mention in history of Prakrit as while Valabhi University was a major center of learning using the language along with Sanskrit, Hemchandracharya, 11th century scholar in Solanki era, wrote grammar for the language that was later followed widely.
https://jainsamachar.blogspot.com/2013/03/revival-of-prakrit-language.html
Maharashtri Prakrit - newikis.com
Maharashtri or Maharashtri Prakrit (Mahārāṣṭri Prākṛt), is a language of ancient and medieval India which is the ancestor of Marathi and Konkani.It is one of the many languages (often called dialects) of a complex called Prakrit, and the chief Dramatic Prakrit.
https://www.newikis.com/en/wiki/Maharashtri_Prakrit
The Jain Prakrit Origin of the Vetāla - SOAS Research Online
It is precisely in Jain Prakrit that we find, coupled with vestiges of Magadhi -l- for -r-, an orthographic -t- replacing -d- and the other lost intervocalic stop consonants. Appropriately, the early canonical text Uttarajjhāyā 20, v. 44, presents the veyāla as a purely destructive demon, murderous if not exorcised (avipanna).
eprints.soas.ac.uk/23834/
Pali & Prakrit: The Ancient Languages Lost To Time | Madras …
As Brahmins ensured the survival of Sanskrit, on the streets Prakrit gave rise to a whole bunch of languages, first Pali and Magadhi and Ardha-Magadhi, and eventually regional languages we all know including Maharashtri, or Marathi, in the West, and Odia in the East.
https://madrascourier.com/insight/pali-prakrit-the-ancient-language…
Prakrit - lonweb.org
Prakrit (also transliterated as Pracrit) (Sanskrit: prākṛta प्राकृत (from pra-kṛti प्रकृति)) is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects.
https://www.lonweb.org/links/hindi/lang/027.htm
Home to Sherpas - crossword puzzle clues
In early Prakrit era, Awadhi speaking region was surrounded by Sauraseni spoken on its west and Magadhi on its east. This led to emergence of a Prakrit partly taking character of Sauraseni and partly that of Magadhi giving rise to Ardhamagadhi Prakrit or ‘Half-Magadhi.
https://www.crossword-clues.com/clue/home-to-sherpas-2-crossword/
Pali and Sanskrit: some history - Dhamma Wheel
The prakrits are divided into 3 regional groups - Maharashtri (the southern dialect), Sauraseni (the prakrit of the north-west and north-central regions) and Magadhi (the prakrit of the new Magadha i.e. north-eastern Vanga)
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=3215
प्राकृत | Prakrit Name Meanings in Hindi, English Baby Names …
Prakrit name religion, origin and Prakrit name pronunciation: The Ardhamagadhi (or simply Magadhi) Prakrit, which was used extensively to write the scriptures of Jainism, is often considered to be the definitive form of Prakrit, while others are considered variants thereof. …
https://www.kidpaw.com/names/prakrit
Magahi language explained - Everything Explained Today
The Magahi language, also known as Magadhi, is a language spoken in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states of eastern India. Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadh, from which the latter’s name derives.
everything.explained.today/Magahi_language/
The original language of the Buddha and his teachings (suttas …
History of the Pali Canon. from the Pali Text Society’s web page. Paali is the name given to the language of the texts of Theravaada Buddhism, although the commentarial tradition of the Theravaadins states that the language of the canon is Maagadhii, the language spoken by Gotama Buddha.
greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/Buddhalanguage.htm
Prakrits - languagesgulper.com
• Śaurasenī: was the Prakrit closer to Sanskrit, and the ordinary Prakrit in the Sanskrit drama, spoken by women and the buffoon. A form of Śaurasenī , known as Jain Śaurasenī , was the main language of the non-canonical books of the Digambara sect of Jainism.
languagesgulper.com/eng/Prakrits.html
Language of Odisha ? Used to Speak and Write - ReadmeINDIA
It is very similar to the Ardha Magadhi and is considered to be derived from Magadhi Prakrit. These languages had been spoken in India for more than 1500 years now. These languages can be found used as primary languages in early period of Jain literature.
https://www.readmeindia.com/language-of-odisha/More results
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HISTORY
OF
P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
The Buddha taught in the P±li language, which was the contemporary spoken and literary language of the common people.
The original teachings of the Buddha documented in the Tipiμaka, the sacred P±li scripture, are preserved in the P±li literature in
pristine purity .
By 3⁄4ch±rya Buddharakkhita
HISTORY OF P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
©Buddha Vachana Trust - 2005 All rights reserved
Copies : 2000
Rs. : 100.00
Printed at :
Sreeranga Printers Pvt Ltd
Bangalore-19. Ph. : 6524757, 6679333

CONTENTS
Chapter One
I. Definition of P±li 1
II. Origin 2
III. Home of P±li 4
IV. Standard Vernacular 7
V. Chronology 9
Chapter Two
I. P±li Grammar 12 II. Forms of Development 16
Chapter Three
I. P±li Literature 19
Chapter Four
I. The First Great Council 25
Chapter Five
I. The Second Great Council 32
II. The Third Great Council 38 III. The Fourth Great Council 44 IV. The Fifth Great Council 47 V. The Sixth Great Council 47
Chapter Six
I. Classification of Dhamma 51
Chapter Seven
I. Survey of Tipiμaka - I 60 II. Vinaya Piμaka. 64
Chapter Eight
I. Survey of Tipiμaka - II 74 II. Sutta Piμaka. 74 III. Abhidhamma Piμaka 93 IV. Extra-canonical literature 99
Chapterf Nine
I. Questions and Answers 105

Preface
This work provides a survey of the History of P±li Language and Literature. Unfortunately little is known about this store-house of knowledge. Even oriental scholars of some eminence, in their enthusiasm for Sanskrit, have misconstrued P±li to be a branch of Sanskrit studies. The truth, however, is that P±li, Prakrit and Sanskrit are sister disciplines of Indian philology. Each language has its special features. And together they constitute the linguistic and literary heritage of India.
The heritage of P±li can be divided into three distinct periods of the rise and development of P±li literature. Basically, it is the repository, of the sacred words of the Buddha in pristine purity. The later developments are in the nature of commentarial and sub- commentarial literature. Beside these, P±li literature includes many empirical subjects. Indeed, there are works on history, medicine, politics, literature, dramatics etc., which, in their precision and beauty of diction, excel many well-known works in these subjects.
This brief history of the P±li language and literature is presented as a text book for students of Indian culture and religion. The Mahabodhi Monastic Institute conducts courses
on P±li language, literature and Buddhist Studies. And this book is specifically prepared to cover the following courses of the MMI, Bangalore.
1. 2.
Pariyattidhara I (3⁄4di): Equivalent to Matriculation or university entrance course.
Pariyattidhara II (Majjhima): Equivalent to Pre-university (P.U.C) or intermediate course.
3. Pariyattidhara III (Os±na): Equivalent to B.A. or B.B.S. = Bachelor of Buddhist Studies.
4. Pariyatti Pao1ita: Equivalent to M.A. or M.B.S. = Master of Buddhist Studies.
5. Pariyatti Dhamm±cariya: Equivalent to Phd. or D.B.S. = Doctor of Buddhist Studies.
First edition – Buddha Purnima
3rd May 1977 16th May 2003 25th Mar. 2005
2nd 3rd
’’ ’’ ’’ ’’ ’’ ’’
’’ ’’
Venerable 3⁄4ch±rya Buddharakkhita Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore

P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
CHAPTER ONE
Definition of P±li
The word P±li, strictly speaking, means Buddha vacana1⁄2, ‘the Word of the Buddha’, or ‘the Texts’ of the TIPIÝAKA containing the original Teachings of the Buddha. 3⁄4cariya Buddhaghosa, the celebrated Buddhist savant and scriptural commentator, (412 A.C), used this definition to distinguish the texts of the canonical literature from the extra-canonical literature, such as, the commentaries, sub- commentaries, chronicles etc.
The Visuddhi Magga, The Path of purification, considered as the magnum opus of the 3⁄4cariya, abounds in expressions, such as, “Im±ni t±va P±liya1⁄2, aμμhakath±ya1⁄2 pana - These occur in the texts (of the Tipiμaka),
however in the commentaries etc.”; “Neva P±liya1⁄2 na aμμhakath±ya1⁄2 ±gata1⁄2 - This occurs neither in the texts nor in the commentaries etc.” Since the subsequent commentarial and other literature have all been written in the idioms of the Tipiμaka texts, the language of this extensive literature has come to be known by the common expression, ‘P±li Language’.
The well-known lexicon ABHIDH3⁄4NAPA- D¿PIK3⁄4 defines P±li thus: “Tanti, Buddha- vacana1⁄2, panti’ti P±li - P±li means: (1). The Sacred Text-Tanti (Skt-Tantra=Vedic Text). (2). The Word of the Buddha. (3). Lit. line or tradition-Panti (Skt-paakti)”. Further, “Pa- p±leti, rakkhat2’ti P±li - that which protects, preserves, is P±li”. What does it preserve? It preserves the Buddha-Word (Vacana1⁄2) in the form of the Sacred Texts (Tanti) and in the form of a Canonical Tradition (Panti).
Origin
Different philologists have tried to derive P±li from various terms. The three most commonly accepted ones are: Pariy±ya,
12

P±μha and Panti. Pariy±ya frequently occurs in the Tipiμaka in the sense of Buddha vacana. “Ko n±ma aya1⁄2, bhante, dhamma- pariy±yo? - What, Venerable Sir, is the name of this Teaching?” Pariy±ya later became paliy±ya as is evident in this Asokan Bh±bri Edict: “Im±ni Bhante, dhamma-paliy±y±ni. – These, Ven’ble Sirs, are the texts of the Dhamma (Buddha’s Teachings)”. In course of time Paliy±ya, became further shortened into P±li.
P±μha means ‘reading’, i.e., canonical reading. Both expressions, “Iti pi p±μho” and “Iti pi p±li”, meaning “This is the canonical reading”, frequently occur in the commentaries. Metathesis is very common in Indo-Aryan languages. Thus from p±μha to P±li (P±μha - P±dha - P±1⁄4a - P±li), would be quite a normal transposition of sounds.
As mentioned above, Panti means a line or tradition. The words, Ambap±li - a line of mango trees, Dantap±li - a row of teeth, are commonplace terms in P±li literature. P±li implies a ‘direct line’, an ‘original tradition’, i.e., of the Buddha’s dispensation (S±sana).
P±li is called ‘The P±li Canon’ because it preserves the ‘Buddhist Scripture’, known as the ‘Tipiμaka’, containing the original teachings of the Buddha. Thus the P±li Canon is distinct from the later extra-canonical literature (aμμhakath± and so on).
Home of P±li
P±li is also known as ‘M±gadhi’ or ‘M±gadhi nirutti’, meaning the language of Magadha, the region in which Buddhism had arisen. “Samm± Sambuddhena Vuttappak±ro M±gadhiko voh±ro - The M±gadhi medium as used by the Supremely Enlightened One”. Precisely due to this identity with P±li, M±gadhi has acquired the appellation of “M3labh±s± - the Standard Vernacular”. For instance, “S± M±gadhi m3labh±s± Sambuddho c±pi bh±sare - Indeed, it is this M±gadhi language, the standard vernacular, in which the Supremely Enlightened One has taught (the Dhamma)” - Kacc±yana Vy±karana.
Thus Buddhist tradition considers Magadha as the home of P±li. In the nineteenth
34

HISTORY
OF
P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
The Buddha taught in the P±li language, which was the contemporary spoken and literary language of the common people.
The original teachings of the Buddha documented in the Tipiμaka, the sacred P±li scripture, are preserved in the P±li literature in
pristine purity .
By 3⁄4ch±rya Buddharakkhita
HISTORY OF P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
©Buddha Vachana Trust - 2005 All rights reserved
Copies : 2000
Rs. : 100.00
Printed at :
Sreeranga Printers Pvt Ltd
Bangalore-19. Ph. : 6524757, 6679333

CONTENTS
Chapter One
I. Definition of P±li 1
II. Origin 2
III. Home of P±li 4
IV. Standard Vernacular 7
V. Chronology 9
Chapter Two
I. P±li Grammar 12 II. Forms of Development 16
Chapter Three
I. P±li Literature 19
Chapter Four
I. The First Great Council 25
Chapter Five
I. The Second Great Council 32
II. The Third Great Council 38 III. The Fourth Great Council 44 IV. The Fifth Great Council 47 V. The Sixth Great Council 47
Chapter Six
I. Classification of Dhamma 51
Chapter Seven
I. Survey of Tipiμaka - I 60 II. Vinaya Piμaka. 64
Chapter Eight
I. Survey of Tipiμaka - II 74 II. Sutta Piμaka. 74 III. Abhidhamma Piμaka 93 IV. Extra-canonical literature 99
Chapterf Nine
I. Questions and Answers 105

Preface
This work provides a survey of the History of P±li Language and Literature. Unfortunately little is known about this store-house of knowledge. Even oriental scholars of some eminence, in their enthusiasm for Sanskrit, have misconstrued P±li to be a branch of Sanskrit studies. The truth, however, is that P±li, Prakrit and Sanskrit are sister disciplines of Indian philology. Each language has its special features. And together they constitute the linguistic and literary heritage of India.
The heritage of P±li can be divided into three distinct periods of the rise and development of P±li literature. Basically, it is the repository, of the sacred words of the Buddha in pristine purity. The later developments are in the nature of commentarial and sub- commentarial literature. Beside these, P±li literature includes many empirical subjects. Indeed, there are works on history, medicine, politics, literature, dramatics etc., which, in their precision and beauty of diction, excel many well-known works in these subjects.
This brief history of the P±li language and literature is presented as a text book for students of Indian culture and religion. The Mahabodhi Monastic Institute conducts courses
on P±li language, literature and Buddhist Studies. And this book is specifically prepared to cover the following courses of the MMI, Bangalore.
1. 2.
Pariyattidhara I (3⁄4di): Equivalent to Matriculation or university entrance course.
Pariyattidhara II (Majjhima): Equivalent to Pre-university (P.U.C) or intermediate course.
3. Pariyattidhara III (Os±na): Equivalent to B.A. or B.B.S. = Bachelor of Buddhist Studies.
4. Pariyatti Pao1ita: Equivalent to M.A. or M.B.S. = Master of Buddhist Studies.
5. Pariyatti Dhamm±cariya: Equivalent to Phd. or D.B.S. = Doctor of Buddhist Studies.
First edition – Buddha Purnima
3rd May 1977 16th May 2003 25th Mar. 2005
2nd 3rd
’’ ’’ ’’ ’’ ’’ ’’
’’ ’’
Venerable 3⁄4ch±rya Buddharakkhita Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore

P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
CHAPTER ONE
Definition of P±li
The word P±li, strictly speaking, means Buddha vacana1⁄2, ‘the Word of the Buddha’, or ‘the Texts’ of the TIPIÝAKA containing the original Teachings of the Buddha. 3⁄4cariya Buddhaghosa, the celebrated Buddhist savant and scriptural commentator, (412 A.C), used this definition to distinguish the texts of the canonical literature from the extra-canonical literature, such as, the commentaries, sub- commentaries, chronicles etc.
The Visuddhi Magga, The Path of purification, considered as the magnum opus of the 3⁄4cariya, abounds in expressions, such as, “Im±ni t±va P±liya1⁄2, aμμhakath±ya1⁄2 pana - These occur in the texts (of the Tipiμaka),
however in the commentaries etc.”; “Neva P±liya1⁄2 na aμμhakath±ya1⁄2 ±gata1⁄2 - This occurs neither in the texts nor in the commentaries etc.” Since the subsequent commentarial and other literature have all been written in the idioms of the Tipiμaka texts, the language of this extensive literature has come to be known by the common expression, ‘P±li Language’.
The well-known lexicon ABHIDH3⁄4NAPA- D¿PIK3⁄4 defines P±li thus: “Tanti, Buddha- vacana1⁄2, panti’ti P±li - P±li means: (1). The Sacred Text-Tanti (Skt-Tantra=Vedic Text). (2). The Word of the Buddha. (3). Lit. line or tradition-Panti (Skt-paakti)”. Further, “Pa- p±leti, rakkhat2’ti P±li - that which protects, preserves, is P±li”. What does it preserve? It preserves the Buddha-Word (Vacana1⁄2) in the form of the Sacred Texts (Tanti) and in the form of a Canonical Tradition (Panti).
Origin
Different philologists have tried to derive P±li from various terms. The three most commonly accepted ones are: Pariy±ya,
12

P±μha and Panti. Pariy±ya frequently occurs in the Tipiμaka in the sense of Buddha vacana. “Ko n±ma aya1⁄2, bhante, dhamma- pariy±yo? - What, Venerable Sir, is the name of this Teaching?” Pariy±ya later became paliy±ya as is evident in this Asokan Bh±bri Edict: “Im±ni Bhante, dhamma-paliy±y±ni. – These, Ven’ble Sirs, are the texts of the Dhamma (Buddha’s Teachings)”. In course of time Paliy±ya, became further shortened into P±li.
P±μha means ‘reading’, i.e., canonical reading. Both expressions, “Iti pi p±μho” and “Iti pi p±li”, meaning “This is the canonical reading”, frequently occur in the commentaries. Metathesis is very common in Indo-Aryan languages. Thus from p±μha to P±li (P±μha - P±dha - P±1⁄4a - P±li), would be quite a normal transposition of sounds.
As mentioned above, Panti means a line or tradition. The words, Ambap±li - a line of mango trees, Dantap±li - a row of teeth, are commonplace terms in P±li literature. P±li implies a ‘direct line’, an ‘original tradition’, i.e., of the Buddha’s dispensation (S±sana).
P±li is called ‘The P±li Canon’ because it preserves the ‘Buddhist Scripture’, known as the ‘Tipiμaka’, containing the original teachings of the Buddha. Thus the P±li Canon is distinct from the later extra-canonical literature (aμμhakath± and so on).
Home of P±li
P±li is also known as ‘M±gadhi’ or ‘M±gadhi nirutti’, meaning the language of Magadha, the region in which Buddhism had arisen. “Samm± Sambuddhena Vuttappak±ro M±gadhiko voh±ro - The M±gadhi medium as used by the Supremely Enlightened One”. Precisely due to this identity with P±li, M±gadhi has acquired the appellation of “M3labh±s± - the Standard Vernacular”. For instance, “S± M±gadhi m3labh±s± Sambuddho c±pi bh±sare - Indeed, it is this M±gadhi language, the standard vernacular, in which the Supremely Enlightened One has taught (the Dhamma)” - Kacc±yana Vy±karana.
Thus Buddhist tradition considers Magadha as the home of P±li. In the nineteenth
34

and early twentieth centuries, when research studies of P±li and Buddhalogy were in their early stage, some Western scholars advanced a variety of theories with regard to the home of P±li. For instance, Dr. Rhys Davids thought that since the Buddha was born in the Kosala country, he must have preached in Kosalan dialect; hence the home of P±li must be Kosala.
It is, however, well-known that the Buddha began his mission, lived, preached and established his Saagha, in an organized way, in the kingdom of Magadha. Further, since Kosala became part of Magadha even in the time of Buddha, M±gadhi would also include Kosalan.
M±gadhi, having become the official language of a large area of North, East and Central India, incorporated elements of various local dialects. This is evident from the variety of inflexions in P±li. Thus M±gadhi formed itself into a composite language and became the standard vernacular understood by all, in much the same way as modern standard Hindi is understood in an even
larger area, in spite of dialectical and linguistic peculiarities.
Westergard, Kuhn, Oldenberg, Franke and Sten Konot sought the home of P±li, rather unsuccessfully, by comparing P±li with the Asokan edicts. Some of these scholars thought Ujjayini must have been the home of P±li, since the Girnar Inscriptions resemble it most and since Prince Mahinda, who established Buddhism, based on the Tipiμaka, in Sri Lanka, hailed from this area. Oldenberg and some others thought it must have been the language of Kaliaga, which, geographically and culturally, happened to be nearest to Sri Lanka where P±li still is kept alive after it was lost in the country of its origin, India.
These theories have now been refuted as being far-fetched by modern research work. During the course of the 20th century, the labours of Indian and foreign scholars in the field of Indian linguistics, have produced conclusive results, and irrefutable facts have now come to light. Celebrated P±li scholars like Geiger, Winterniz, Venerables Kashyap
56

and Siddh±rtha, Bharat Singh Upadhy±ya and a number of others, have conclusively proved the validity of the traditional view of Magadha being the home of P±li.
Standard Vernacular
This brings us to the question of the status of P±li, that is, whether it was a dialect or a full-fledged standard language, the lingua franca, understood by all. As to the literary merit of P±li language, there can be no doubt. Even a cursory glance at the P±li literature would show its abundant richness, refinement and precision. And, as to its being a cultivated spoken language, not a rustic language (gamma, gr±mya), as made out by sanskritists, the Canon itself is evidence enough.
In the Vinaya Piμaka, two ex-brahmin monks with a predilection for Chandas sought Buddha’s permission to render the Buddha- vacana into the Chandas, the Vedic scriptural language. If granted, only a small group of priestly brahmins, conducting rituals, sacrifices etc., would have benefited. They
said: “Handa maya1⁄2, Bhante, Buddha- vacana1⁄2 chandaso-±ropem±’ti – Most Ven’ble Sir, if we might render the Word of the Supremely Enlightened One (Buddha- vacana) into the scriptural language (i.e., vedic chandas).” The Buddha promptly rejected the request and gave a clear instruction saying that the Buddha-Vacana should be acquired and mastered in Buddha’s own language, that is, M±gadhi, the standard vernacular of the masses, in which he taught.
The Buddha said: “Anuj±n±mi bhikkhave sak±ya niruttiy± Buddha-vacana1⁄2 pariy±- puoitu1⁄2 (Vin.4.331) - I prescribe that the words of the Buddha are to be learnt in his own language (i.e., in M±gadhi).” Commenting on “Sak±ya niruttiy±”, 3⁄4cariya Buddhaghosa says, “Ettha sakanirutti n±ma Samm± sambuddhena vuttappak±ro M±gadhiko voh±ro - the same language (saka nirutti) means M±gadhi language as was used by the Supremely Enlightened One”.
Endorsing the 3⁄4cariya, Dr. Geiger says, “The real meaning of this injunction is, as is also the best in consonance with the Indian
78

spirit, that there can be no other form of the Words of the Buddha than that in which the Master himself preached…..This language of the Buddha was, however, surely not just a popular dialect, but a language of the higher and cultured classes, which had been brought into being already in pre-Buddhist times through the needs of inter-communication in India. Such a lingua-franca naturally contained elements of all dialects” (P±li Literature & Language).
Chronology
With regard to chronology, P±li is the early form of Middle Indo-Aryan language. From Geiger’s observation mentioned above, it may be noted that P±li, being pre- Buddhistic, is pre-Yaska and, therefore, pre- panini, who quotes Yaska.
The celebrated western grammarian, A.A. Machdonald, assigns 500 B.C. to Yaska, and 300 B.C. to Panini, whose grammar is the oldest preserved in Sanskrit. From his observation, it is therefore clear that P±li is older than Sanskrit both having descended from the earlier language - primitive Prakrit.
While P±li is the earlier form of the M±gadhi prakrit, Sanskrit originates from Chandas, Vedic language. Again, while P±li shares various grammatical forms in common with the Vedic language, Sanskrit has done away with them.
One of the characteristics of the Vedic language is its variety of inflections. For instance, in Vedic, words ending with ‘a’ in the instrumental plural have the terminal ‘bhih’ which Sanskrit has given up but P±li has retained. Vedic Ambra continues as Amba in P±li, while in Sanskrit it has become Amra; P±li retains the ba. The plural terminals of the first and third persons – ‘masi’ and ‘re’ respectively, are preserved in P±li while they are lost in Sanskrit.
According to the Vedic grammatical rules found in Panini’s grammar (Vaidic prakriya sutra No.3/1/84=Varna vyatyayah), ‘ha’ becomes ‘bha’, which P±li has kept, while Sanskrit has given up. Similarly, change of case-endings (supam vyatyayah) as between the locative, nominative and genetive, are,
9 10

like the Vedic language, not uncommon in P±li, while in Sanskrit this is not allowed. There are equivalents in P±li of the Vedic subjunctive moods which have disappeared in Sanskrit. These examples amply prove that P±li is older than Sanskrit.
——  ——
CHAPTER TWO
P3⁄4LI GRAMMAR
Various scripts are used now for writing the P±li language e.g. Devan±gari and other Indian scripts; Sinhalese, Myanmar, Thai, Laotian, Cambodian, Roman etc. Today P±li is studied very widely all over the world as one of the main branches of Indology, quite apart from its being the language of the sacred scriptures of various Buddhist countries.
P±li alphabet consists of 41 letters- 8 vowels and 33 consonants, as against 48 letters of Sanskrit- 13 vowels and 35 consonants viz.,
Vowels : a, ±, i, 2, u, 3, e, o
11
Consonants
:
k, kh, g, gh, a, c. ch, j, jh, ñ, μ, μh, 1, 1h, o,
t, th, d, dh, n, p, ph, b, bh, m, y, r, l, v,
s, h, l, 1⁄2.
12

From the above it may be noted that P±li sound system has been modified for the sake of simplification. The Vedic and Sanskrit diphthongs ‘ai’ and ‘au’ are fused with e and o, and ‘¥’ with a, I, or u. Similarly among consonants, the sibilants, s, sh, shh, are fused into one. There is no aspirate (visarga) h, and anuswara is fused with P±li niggahita a1⁄2. P±li does not contain the elision (avagraha) ‘a’ so common in Vedic and Sanskrit. Double consonants get assimilated e.g. Dharma into Dhamma and all final consonants e.g., vidyut=vijju.
Nouns: The dual has disappeared in P±li, thereby making it considerably simple. In respect of declension, dative and genetive have become almost identical both in form and in usage; and because of the general simplification of sound, the number of cases with separate terminations has been greatly reduced. A comparison in singular of the word Vidy± will bear the point.
13
Sanskrit Vidy± Vidya1⁄2
P±li Vijj± Vijja1⁄2 Vijj±ya do
do
do Vijj±ya1⁄2 Vijje
Nominative
Accusative Instrumental Vidy±ya
Dative Ablative Genetive Locative Vocative
Nouns:
Vidy±yai Vidy±yah Vidy±yah Vidy±ya1⁄2 Vidye
As parts of speech, noun includes adjectives, pronouns and numbers. Upasagga or prefix plays a most important part in the construction of words and meaning.
Verbs:
In P±li the changes in verbal forms are even greater (particularly due to the absence of the dual number). The Vedic athematic stems have been replaced by thematic systems; that is, with an insertion which preserves the individuality of both the root
14

and the termination. The medium form (attanopada) is in the process of disappearance. With the development of the language, it has become more and more rare. Forms of the Vedic subjunctive mood, lost in Sanskrit, are found in the present, imperative and optative tenses. Perfect and imperfect tenses are also rare in usage. Participle phrases are increasingly used in the place of finitive verbal forms. Gender, in P±li, is purely grammatical.
Vocabulary:
Though the vocabulary is derived from the older Aryan prakrit language, P±li is flexible enough to introduce new words and new meanings. Terms like Ariya (Vedic Arya), Sacca (Satya), Brahma, Nibb±na (Nirv±na), Mokkha (Moksha), Dukkha (Duhkha), Dhamma (Dharma) etc., have a very different and distinct meaning in P±li, in contradiction to the meanings in Vedic and Sanskrit languages.
The concepts of expressions like Catur±riya Sacca (the Four Noble Truths) or
15
Ariya Aμμhaagika Magga (the Noble Eightfold Path) are entirely unique in P±li, not found either in the Vedic or in Sanskrit languages. Even the terms Kamma and Punabbhava or law of Kamma (Skt. Karma) and rebirth, have very different meanings in P±li, quite unlike the ones found in Vedic and Sanskrit languages. The word Dukkha, has physical or sensorial connotation in Vedic and Sanskrit literature. Whereas in P±li it has a most profound and comprehensive significance. It is no longer a mere painful or disagreeable feeling or sensation; here it has assumed the status of a universal fact. Dukkha stands for un-satisfactoriness due to the inherent impermanence of all phenomena. All existing things are subject to change (anicca), subject to suffering (dukkha), and fear, therefore essentially unsubstantial or non-self (anatta). These three characteristics make life in Sams±ra inherently unsatisfactory.
Forms of Development
The development of P±li, as a scriptural and fully cultivated literary language, consists of these four distinct literary forms:
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1. Canonical g±th± (verse)
Many Indological scholars have suggested that the oldest form of the Canon comprises the language of the Canonical G±th± (verse) as found in works like Sutta Nip±ta. The G±th±s are heterogeneous in character, distinguished by archaic dialectical and Vedic chanda forms with a variety of inflexions, not found in Sanskrit. This confirms that, of the two, P±li is an older language.
2. Canonical prose (Sutta)
The second literary form comprises the language of the Canonical prose as found in the Discourses (sutta, geyya etc). This is uniformly plain and direct in character. It is governed by homogeneous grammatical rules and formations. There are also Archaic forms which establish the earlier linguistic chronology of P±li language.
3. Post–Canonical prose
The third literary form comprises the language of the post-canonical prose. This is the language of the classical works like the
17
Milinda Paoha and the Commentaries, which tend to be formal and ornate. It too contains some archaic forms.
4. Later P±li literary works
The fourth literary form comprises the language of the later literary works. This last stratum reflects erudition and originality. Both Poetry and prose contain the archaic forms as well as later innovations. There is evidence of usages of words, which are akin both to P±li and Sanskrit. This is the language of the sub-commentaries, chronicles, epics and so on. It is to be noted that P±li is still growing and, indeed, is very much alive in the Buddhist countries where it is spoken. Buddhist monks of different countries, when meeting communicate in P±li as the common medium.
——  ——
18

CHAPTER THREE
P3⁄4LI LITERATURE
P±li Literature is based on Buddha- vacana which flows from the ‘Enlightenment’ (Bodhi) of the Buddha. Bodhi, which is verifiable (sandiμμhiko), which invites investigation (ehipassiko), and is to be self- realised by the Wise (paccatta1⁄2 veditabbo viññuh2ti), constitutes the vital centre around which the Buddha-vacana revolves. The name TIPIÝAKA, given to Buddha-vacana, is also derived from this meaning of Bodhi. From the time Gotama attained Bodhi at Bodhgaya, and till he attained Mah±- parinibb±na at Kusin±ra, during these 45 years, all that he taught constitute the subject-matter and substance of the Tipiμaka.
The two main divisions of the P±li Literature are:
1. The Canonical or Piμaka Literature.
2. The Extra-canonical (Anupiμaka) Literature, which can be divided into
19
two: one, the Anup±li or works centred around the P±li canon; and two, works based on mixed themes, religious and secular.
The Canonical Literature
The P±Ii Canon is divided into three collections called the three Baskets (Ti- Piμaka). The metaphor ‘basket’ is significant since it refers to something which ‘hands down’, ‘passes on,’ things from one to another, like earth in an excavation work; it is not used in the sense of something in which to store things, e.g. a crate.
In other words, the Tipiμaka passes on the ‘living tradition’ of the noble spiritual life to posterity. This meaning accentuates Buddha’s rejection of authoritarianism in any form. The Buddhists do not believe that the Tipiμaka is a ‘revealed authority’ (±gamappa- m±oa1⁄2) like the Veda, the Bible, the Koran etc. The Tipiμaka is a Canon, Sacred scripture, preserving the teachings of the Omniscient Buddha, thus keeping alive the Enlightenment-wisdom of the Supremely Enlightened Master of gods and men.
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Tipiμaka is sacred to Buddhists because it enables them to reach their spiritual goal, viz. Enlightenment (Nibb±na = Liberation from worldly existence). In other words the Tipiμaka embodies the sacrosanct laws of truth (Dhamma) that protects the followers, here and now and hereafter, by leading them to the most sacred precinct of Nibb±na.
These three Piμakas are : The Vinaya Piμaka,
The Sutta Piμaka
The Abhidhamma Piμaka.
The Vinaya Piμaka contains the Rules of Monastic Discipline of the Holy Order (Saagha). The Sutta Piμaka contains the Discourses on the various aspects of the Buddha’s Teaching (Dhamma). The Abhidhamma Piμaka contains the analytical expositions of the psychological and philosophical Teachings of the Master.
Before surveying the contents of the canonical literature it is necessary to know its origin and authenticity, i.e., how it has been handed down to us.
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Systematisation of the Canon
It is evident from various references that in the very lifetime of the Exalted One, his Teachings have been systematically collected and carefully classified under different heads.
In the Ud±na P±li we find this reference. Bhikkhu Sona, who had been a monk only for a year, had arrived to meet the Buddha after a long journey from Avanti. During the interview the Buddha said this to him: “Be so good, monk, as to recite the Dhamma”. “Very well, Lord”, said the Venerable Sona in reply to the Master (Satth±). “Then he recited from memory the entire Eighth Chapter (Aμμhaka Vagga), comprising sixteen Discourses (Suttas)”. “Patibh±tu tam, Bhikkhu, Dhammo bh±situn’ti”. “Eva1⁄2, Bhante’ti kho ±yasm± Sooo Bhagavato paμissutv± so1⁄4asa aμμhakavaggik±ni sabb±neva sarena abhaoi.”(Aμμhaka Vagga verses 772-981, Sutta Nip±ta.4.1-16).
“When the Venerable Sona had finished his recitation, the Exalted One appreciated by saying: ‘Well done, monk! You have got it by
22

heart, well done, monk! You have also considered and reflected on these sixteen suttas of the Eight Chapter. You have a pleasant voice with a distinct and faultless pronunciation, so as to make the meaning clear.” “How many years of seniority of Rain’s Retreat (Vassa) do you have monk?” “I have one year, Lord.”
“Atha kho Bhagav± ±yasmato Sooassa sarabhañña pariyos±ne abbh±numodi: ‘S±dhu, s±dhu, bhikkhu! Suggahit±ni te, bhikkhu, so1⁄4asa aμμhakavaggik±ni sumanasi- kat±ni, s3padh±rit±ni, Kaly±oiy±si v±c±ya samann±gato vissaμμh±ya anelaga1⁄4±ya atthassa viññ±paniy±.” “Kati vassosi tva1⁄2, bhikkh3’ti?” “Ekavasso aha1⁄2, Bhagav±’ti.”
Reference of this kind are abundant in the canon. Particularly significant are the following epithets which clearly allude to the systematization of the Canon in the present form, such as: Dhammadharo - Reciter of the Dhamma; Vinayadharo – Reciter of the Vinaya; M±tik±dharo - Reciter of the M±tika or Abhidhamma; Bahussuto Dhamma-vinaye
23
- Erudite in the Teachings and Disciplines; 3⁄4gat±gamo - Well-versed in the Canon; Bh±oako - Reciter of the Scripture from memory etc. (See Vinaya, Mah± vagga 2.10. C3lavagga 1.12) Parinibb±na Sutta, (D2gha and Aaguttara Nik±yas), and Visuddhi Magga). The Asokan inscriptions (over 220 years after the Mah±parinibb±na of the Buddha) also mention words like Peμaki - Reciter of the three Piμaka, Pañcanekayiko - Reciter of the five nik±yas, and so on.
——  ——
Non-repetition id the bane of scriptures; neglect is the bane of a home; slovenliness is the bane of personal appearance, and heedlessness is the bane of a guard.
Dhp- 241.
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CHAPTER FOUR
The First Great Council (Paμhama Saag±yana)
Just after the Mah±parinibb±na of the Buddha, when many bhikkhus were profoundly sad, a situation arose which compelled the leading Mah±s±vaka (Great Enlightened Disciple), the Venerable Mah±kassapa, and other senior Arahats, to immediately decide upon convening a Great Council (Dhamma Sang2ti) and recite the entire Teaching and Discipline (Dhamma Vinaya), to preserve, in its pristine purity, the Dispensation (S±sana) of the Supremely Enlightened Buddha.
The situation referred to concerned a former barber, Subhadda by name, who having become a monk, had irreverently remarked to a group of bhikkhus, saying: “Enough, brethren, don’t grieve, don’t lament! We are well rid of the Great Recluse (Mah± Samana). We were much troubled by the rules of discipline, which he had laid down,
25
saying: ‘This is allowed to you, that is not allowed to you etc.’ But now we will be able to do what we like, and we need not do what we don’t like.” Subhadda had become a monk in his old age when he could no longer earn. He was an unwanted burden to his family. So to make a comfortable living he had become a fake monk.
Having heard what Subhadda had said, the Venerable Mah±kassapa became alarmed and thought that unless timely precautions were taken, this attitude definitely presaged a threat, not only to the holy life but also to the Buddha’s Dispensation (S±sana).
The story of Subhadda’s entering the Saagha appears in the commentery thus: “Subbhadda was a barber living in a village called 3⁄4lavi. He had his wife and two sons.
One day the Buddha accompanied by his disciples visited the 3⁄4lavi village. At that time Subbhadda noticed that many people devoutly followed the Buddha and with great respect offered d±na.
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Seeing this, Subbhadda made a plan to earn money and reputation like others. Accordingly he had his two sons ordained as monks and collected material things from the people in the name of the Buddha and his monastic disciples. People gave them whatever they could with great devotion and trust.
After collecting offerings he invited the Buddha and his disciples to his house where many people were also invited. But the Buddha and his disciples did not accept his offering because it was obtained through wrong means and with selfish intention for name and fame.
When the Buddha was asked why he did not accept his offering, the Buddha told him that the things which he was going to offer were collected through wrong means and violated the precept of right livelihood (samm± ±j2va).
Since then people, even his own family members, started taunting him.
Thus, being disrespected by everybody,
27
he harboured a grudge towards the Buddha.
As he became older, he lost the ability to carry out his trade. And people stopped coming to him fearing that he may cause injuries while shaving and so on. So to get rid of all these problems he became a monk in order to live comfortably for the rest of his life.
After becoming a monk, he did not follow the Vinaya rules and did not obey his elders, even the Buddha. This is the reason.”
Story of Subhadda
When the Buddha passed away, Subbhadda said to the monks who were lamenting and crying:
“Brethren, don’t lament, don’t cry. Now that the Great monk (Buddha) has passed away, we will live at ease. When he was alive he used to say: ‘don’t do this, do that.’ Now, we are freed from such disciplinary rules, so now we can do what we like.”
Subbhadda’s statement was heard by Venerable Mah±kassapa and he thought, this attitude poses a great threat to the Buddha
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S±sana. So immediately he had five hundred Arahats assembled and this Holy Saagha decided to conduct the first Buddhist Council (Paμhama Saag±yana) at R±jagaha in Sattapanni Cave. King Aj±tasattu supported the Council and Venerable Mah±kassapa presided over it. The Council recited for seven months the entire Tipiμaka as it is found today. The reciters were the Venerable Up±li, who recited the Vinaya Piμaka, and the Venerable 3⁄4nanda, who recited the Sutta and Abhidhamma piμakas. Thus the pure teachings of the Buddha continued to be preserved till the present generation of the Therav±da Saagha.
The Venerable Mah±kassapa adopted the following procedure: “First he congregated the Saagha and proposed that in order to preserve the purity of the Buddha-vacana and for the benefit of posterity, a Council of Reciters (Dhamma Saagiti) be immediately convened. The Saagha agreed and selected R±jagaha to be the venue and authorized the Venerable Mah±kassapa to choose the Reciters. He chose five hundred such Arahats
29
(Enlightened Disciples), who were endowed with Paμisambhid± ñ±na, supernormal power of retaining in memory and reciting at will the entire Buddhavacana. Then he informed the King of Magadha, Aj±tassattu, of this decision. King Aj±tasattu, a lay-follower of the Buddha, had a large, well-decorated structure built outside the Sattapanni cave and made all other arrangements for the Council to meet.”
Thus three months after the Buddha’s Great Demise (Mah±parinibb±na), five hundred of the eminent Arahat Disciples of the Buddha met at R±jagaha and recited the entire Teaching of the Buddha for seven months. The Venerable Mah±kassapa presided over this unique Synod, known as the First Great Council (Paμhama Dhamma Saag±yana). The Venerable Up±li Thera, whom the Master himself had placed as the authority on Vinaya, recited, section by section, with all historical details, the whole of the Vinaya Piμaka. The Venerable 3⁄4nanda Thera, who was likewise designated by the Master as the Treasurer of the Teaching (Dhamma Bhao1ag±rika), recited the entire
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Dhamma which included the Sutta Piμaka and the M±tik± or Abhidhamma Piμaka.
Thus, the systematization of the Teachings, which had begun in the Master’s own time, came to be authenticated, once for all, in the First Saag±yana by the immediate and distinguished senior enlightened disciples of the Buddha. This Sacred Canon has faithfully preserved and handed down the Buddha’s Dhamma upto the present time through a long line of teacher-to-pupil tradition.
——  ——
CHAPTER FIVE
The Second Great Council (Dutiya Saag±yana)
A hundred years after the Parinibb±na of the Blessed One the Second Great Council was held at Ves±li, the capital of the Vajji Republic. In this Saag±yana the Sacred Canon was once again recited for eight months, and its authencity re-affirmed by Seven hundred Arahats, endowed with Paμisambhid± ñ±na, under the presidentship of the Venerable Sabbak±mi Mah± Thera. King K±l±soka was the chief lay-supporter (d±yaka), like Aj±tasattu of the First Council. He made all the necessary arrangements for the meeting of this Council.
This Council was necessitated by a dispute which arose regarding ten points of the Vinaya. Some Vajji monks wanted to change certain rules of monastic discipline in violation of the Vinaya, to suit their lax life. For instance, they wanted to handle and
32
Much though he recites the sacred
texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is liike a cowherd who only counts the cows of others - he does not partake of the blessings of the holy life.
Dhp- 19.
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possess money, carry salt in a horn to improve the taste of alms-food, drink fermented drinks and usher in such intemperate practices as would destroy the very basis of the holy life in the dispensation of the Buddha.
They formulated ten rules on their own which if allowed, would completely nullify the spirit of voluntary poverty and spiritual purity, the Buddha had enunciated. So the Venerable Yasa, one of the early Elders ordained by Buddha and now 165 years of age, seeing the decline among the disputing Vajji monks, created a public opinion against their degenerate practices.
These ten formulations were:
1. Kappati siagilona kappo.
It is allowable to carry salt in a horn- container during the alms-round to flavour the alms-food. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule No. 38 dealing with non-hoarding of food (sannidhik±raka) which was laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
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2.
Kappati dvaagula kappo.
It is allowable to eat after the sun had crossed two fingers breath, from the meridian at mid-day, which becomes ‘untimely eating’ (vik±labhojana). This practice violates the vinaya p±cittiya rule No. 37 dealing with eating or partaking food at the wrong time which was laid down by the Buddha in R±jagaha.
Kappati g±mantara kappo.
It is allowable to eat twice in a village. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule No. 36 dealing with eating twice in the same village, which was laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
Kappati ±v±sa kappo.
It is allowable to have a separate Uposatha while staying in the same monastery (±v±sa). This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule called dukkaμa dealing with Uposatha - that is the monastic Community meeting to recite the P±timokkha rules, which was laid down by the Buddha in R±jagaha.
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3.
4.

5. Kappati anumati kappo.
It is allowable to conduct a formal act of Saagha without the presence of all the concerned members and expecting that the absentee monks will automatically agree. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule called dukkaμa dealing with conducting the Saagha community meeting as a whole, which was laid down by the Buddha in Champeyyaka.
6. Kappati ±cinna kappo.
It is allowable to blindly follow the elders saying that since my teacher or preceptor has done it, so I will also do it, without understanding the purpose of such conduct. This practice goes against the Vinaya p±cittiya rule dealing with unquestioned following.
7. Kappati amathita kappo.
It is allowable to drink butter milk at wrong time. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule, which was laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
8. Kappati jalogi kappo.
It is allowable to drink fermented (alcoholic) drink. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule dealing with drinking of intoxicating and fermented liquor, which was laid down by the Buddha at Kosambi.
9. Kappati adasaka1⁄2 nis2dana kappo.
It is allowable to use expensive and stylish bed coverings. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule connected with bed coverings etc, which was laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
10. Kappati j±tar3pa rajata kappo.
It is allowable to handle gold, silver etc. This practice goes against the Vinaya p±cittiya rule connected with handling of money, gold, silver etc, which was laid down by the Buddha at R±jagaha.
With the support of the Saagha and the King, the Venerable Yasa together with Venerable Revata and Ajita convened this Council and settled, once for all, these
35 36

questions of discipline of the Order. The disputant monks were expelled from the Saagha and they formed an order of their own which they called Mah±s±aghika. There were many splits in this group, so much so that a hundred and fifty years later in the time of Emperor Asoka, at least eighteen sects had mushroomed. The so-called Northern Buddhism or Mah±yana originated from one of these splinter sects.
Apart from settling controversies regarding the rules of the Order, another important feature of the second Saag±yana was the confirmation of the various classifications of the Tipiμaka under various heads, such as, the Five Nik±yas, Nine Aagas and so on.
——  ——
The Third Great Council (Tatiya Saag±yana)
Two hundred and fifty years after the Mah± Parinibb±na of the Buddha, the Third Great Council was held with the support of the great Buddhist Emperor Asoka at P±taliputta (Patna). In this Saag±yana, one thousand Arahat Theras endowed with supernormal attainments recited the entire Tipiμaka for nine months. This Council was presided over by Asoka’s Teacher, the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa, and was significant in many ways. Not only from the Buddhist point of view was it important, but also from the view-point of the Indian civilization as a whole. For, it was in this Council that the Saagha, in active collaboration with the Emperor, decided to send ‘Messengers of Dhamma’ (Dhammad3tas), throughout the then known world.
Asokan Messengers of Dhamma
The places and names of the Asokan Messengers of Dhamma, (dhammad3tas) were as follows :
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1. G±ndh±ra and Kashmira, (Kashmir and its north & western countries, including what is now Afghanistan, and some central Asian countries), under the leadership of Arahat Majjhantika with a group of elders.
2. Yonaka (Macedonia, Greece), (including the Greco-Bactrian states of Europe, modern Israel, Syria, Iraq
and Egypt), under Arahat Mah±rakkhita and a group of elders.
3. Cina-Himavanta, (China and the Himalayan countries of Ladakh, Himachal, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Sikkim), under Arahat Majjhima and a group of five elders.
4. Suvaooabh3mi, (Burma and the South East Asian countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam), under the Arahats Sona and Uttara and a group of elders.
5. Sri Lanka, under the Arahat Mahinda and a group of five bhikkhus.
6. Mahi1⁄2sakamaodala, (modern
39
Karnataka and the Deccan states, including Andhra), under Arahat Mahadeva and a group of bhikkhus.
7. Mah±raμμha, (modern Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh), under Arahat Mah± Dhammarakkhita and a group of bhikkhus.
8. Vanav±si, (the southern part of India, including Karnataka, Goa and Kerala), under the Arahat Rakkhita and a group of bhikkhus.
9. Aparantaka, (western India, including modern Gujrat, Rajasthan, and Pakistan), under the Arahat Yonaka (Greek) Dhammarakkhita and a group of bhikkhus.
Apart from spreading the Teachings of the Buddha, these great Dhamma-missionaries contributed, in a most enduring way, towards the promotion of civilization in a vast area and among many primitive, often hostile, races. This is indeed an exemplary service to mankind and something unique in the history of the world.
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The purpose of the Great council
The purpose of conducting the Third Great Council was to remove the impurity that had crept into the body-politic of the Buddhist community as a result of the influx of fake monks into the Saagha. A large number of sectarian ascetics and mendicants had falsely donned the robe of the bhikkhu to make a comfortable living through the gain and honour, which were showered on the bhikkhus both by the Emperor and by the people.
This ulterior motive had debased not only their lives but also posed a danger to holy life as such. Further they injected their pernicious heretical views threatening to deteriorate Buddhist life and defile the noble Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha.
In order to safeguard the purity of the minds of the innocent votaries, it was essential to purge the Saagha of the evil elements and to restore the Dhamma of the Buddha to its pristine purity. Therefore, the Holy Order, under the leadership of the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa, got the Third
41
Great Council convened with the support of the Emperor.
It is recorded that sixty thousand fake monks were disrobed during this Synod. Further, in order to counteract the perverted views of the heretics, the great Arahat Moggaliputta Tissa compiled a treatise entitled Kath±vatthu, the Points of Controversy, with one thousand dialogues. Five hundred heretical controversial points were exposed and negated by five hundred genuine dhamma points culled from the Abhidhamma Piμaka. This work was also recited together with the texts of the Tipiμaka, and adopted as a part of the Abhidhamma Piμaka.
In keeping with the two previous Saag±yanas, on this occasion, one thousand Arahats recited the Tipitaka, which was classified under various heads, such as, Nik±yas, Aagas and Dhammakhandhas. The Third Council had a splendid success, both in preserving the original teaching of the Buddha and in propagating it.
Of the nine great Messengers of Dhamma who went to various countries both in and out
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of India, the Venerable Elder (Thera) Rakkhita, belonging to Yonaka country (modern Macedonia), went to Vanav±si, and the Venerable Elder Mah±revata went to Mahi1⁄2saka Man1ala. Both Vanav±si and Mahi1⁄2saka Man1ala are included in present Karnataka State.
——  ——
The Fourth Great Council
Tipiμaka committed to writing in 93 B.C.
Through the efforts of the Arahat Mahinda, one of the nine Dhammad3tas and son of Emperor Asoka, the Buddha-S±sana became firmly rooted in the soil of Sri Lanka. And both the bhikkhus and the kings of the successive generations worked actively to promote the cause of Dhamma.
A hundred and twenty-five years after Mahinda, Sri Lanka was thrown into a turmoil of war, famine and pestilence caused by the invasions of the Chola rulers of South India. The Saagha was forced to abandon the holy city of Anur±dhapura and went to the forest solitude of the Kandyan hills. Anur±dhapura had become the main centre of Buddhism with Mah± Vih±ra as the seat of religious learning and piety.
The holy Arahats, the hairs of the Lord, endured great hardship during the foreign occupation, only to preserve the treasure of the Dhamma. Five hundred Arahats gathered in a conference, in a remote rock cave called Alu Lena (3⁄4loka Vih±ra), which was presided
44
“There are two things, O monks, which make the Truth-based Dhamma endure for a long time, without any distortion and without (fear of) eclipse. Which two? Proper placement of words and their natural interpretation. Words properly placed help also in their natural interpretation.”
A.N. 1.2.21, Adhikaraoavagga
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over by the Venerable Rakkhita Mah±thera. These noble Elders of the Holy Order thought that the situation prevailing in the country definitely indicated a future spiritual decline. Therefore, they decided to commit into writing the Sacred Canon and its commentaries which had been brought from India by Arahat Mahinda and his companions.
Until now the P±li Canon had been preserved in its original form by oral tradition through a line of Arahat-teachers who handed down the Canon to their pupils. King Vaμμhag±mini Abhaya, who was informed of this far-reaching decision, made the necessary arrangements.
Thus, the Fourth Great Council was held in 93 B.C. at Alu Leoa near Matale, in which the Sacred Tipiμaka and its commentaries were recited by five hundred Arahats and then committed to writing on ola leaves under the direct supervision of the Chief Adigar (Recorder of the King). It is recorded that these ola manuscripts were checked over a hundred times by these holy Arahats, each one separately, before passing them as
45
authentic documents of the Tipiμaka and its commentaries. This written version has been preserved up to our time with utmost fidelity and care by successive generations of kings and Elders of the Saagha.
——  ——
…. the Dhammas (truths) which I have taught to you after realizing them with my super-knowledge, should be recited by all, in concert and without dissension, in a uniform version collating meaning with meaning and wording with wording. In this way this teaching with pure practice will last long and endure for a long time….
D.N. 3.177, P±s±dikasutta
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The Fifth Great Council
Two thousand four hundred fourteen years after the Great Demise (Mah± Parinibb±na) of the Buddha, in 1871, under the auspices of King Mindon Ming of Myanmar, the Sacred Canon and the commentaries were recited for five months and inscribed on seven hundred and twenty- nine marble slabs. Two thousand and four hundred distinguished Theras of the country participated in the Council at Mandalay. Each of these slabs is separately housed in a beautiful Pagoda style pandal and scrupulously kept under perfect condition to this day. This is known as the Fifth Great Council.
The Sixth Great Council
In commemoration of the 2500th Buddha Jayanti, in May, 1954, an International Mah± Saagha of 2500 distinguished Theras from the various Buddhist countries – Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, India, Bangaladesh and from other countries like China, Japan, Nepal, etc., participated in the
47
Sixth Great Buddhist Council held at Yangon, under he auspices of the government of Myanmar. The Prime Minister U.Nu played the major role in organizing this Saag±yana which has brought out a splendid recension of the Tipiμaka, its commentaries (Aμμhakath±) and sub-commentaries (T2ka) in Myanmar script. This noble undertaking was concluded on the full-moon day of Vesakha (May) in 1956 marking the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha’s Great Demise.
From the above account it is clear that in the First Saag±yana the P±li Canon was authoritatively collated and established to preserve the purity of the Buddha’s original teachings; in the second, all controversies regarding monastic discipline, as contained in the Vinaya Pitaka, were firmly uprooted once and for all; in the third, all philosophical interpolations and metaphysical speculations were nipped in the bud and the purity of Buddha’s Dhamma reaffirmed; the fourth Saag±yana, committed the Tipiμaka and the canonical literature into writing, thus the preservation of the original teachings by
48

Therav±da was made enduring. Further, this Council laid a strong foundation for the flourishing of P±li post-canonical literature, which later became more and more widespread.
——  ——
Little though he racites the sacred texts, but puts the Teaching into practice, forshaking lust, hatred and delusion, with true wisdom and emancipated mind, clinging to nothing of this world or any other world - he indeed partakes of the blessings of a holy life.
Dhp- 20.
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TABLE OF SIX GREAT BUDDHIST SA©G3⁄4YANA =COUNCILS
Date
Venue
Presided over by
No. of Participants
Supporter
Cause / Object
Duratio n
Other important events
1st
Buddhist Council
3 months after the Buddha’s Great Demise
543 –B.C
Sattapanni Cave, Mount Vebh±ra, City of Rajagaha (India)
Ven. Mah±kassapa Mah± Thera
500 Paμisambhid± ñ±na Arahats
King Aj±tasattu
(of India)
Subhadda’s irreverent utterances after the Buddha’s Great Demise
To Preserve the purity of the original teachings of Buddha
7 Months
Ven. Up±Ii recited the Vinaya Pitaka Ven. Ananda recited the Dhamma & Abhidhamma Pitakas.
2nd
Buddhist Council
100 years after the Buddha’s Great Demise
443 – B.C
V±luk±rama Monastery, City of Vesali (India)
Ven. Sabbak±mi Ven. Yasa Ven. Revata Ven. Ajita Mah±theras
700 Paμisambhid± ñ±na Arahats
King K±l±soka (of India)
Vajji Monk’s ten controversial points. Propagation of false doctrine
To preserve the purity of Vinaya rules Laid down by the Buddha
8 Months
Saagha divided into two – Theravadin & Mahasaaghika
3rd
Buddhist Council
250 years after the Buddha’s Great Demise 293 B.C
Asok±rama Monastery, City of Pataliputta (India)
Ven. Maggaliputta Tissa
Mah± Thera
1000 Paμisambhid± ñ±na Arahats
King Dhamm±soka
(of India)
Prevalence of fake monks and heretical views
To expel the fake monks and to preserve the purity of the Sangha
9 Months
- More than 60,000 fake monks were expelled.
- 9 groups of Dhammadutas were sent to various countries
4th
Buddhist Council
450 years after the Buddha’s Great Demise 93-BC
3⁄4loka Cave Aluvih±ra Matale, Malaya District, (Sri Lanka)
Ven. Rakkhita Maha Thera
500 Arahats
King Vaμμag±mani Abhaya
(of Sri Lanka)
Prevalence of materialism and moral decline due to war and a hostile king
To recite and render into writing the Tipiμaka and preserve it from external threats like war etc.
1 Year
Tipiμaka was written on ola leaves for the first time.
- The King made many copies and distributed them all over the country.
5th
Buddhist Council
2414 years after the Buddha’s Great Demise
1871-A.D
Dakkhin±r±ma Monastery, Mandalay, (Burma)
Venerable Mahatheras J±gar±bhiva1⁄2sa Narendr±bhidhaja Sumaagalas±mi
2400 Learned Mah±theras
King Mindon (of Burma)
To prepare a uniform edition of Tipitaka and write it down on marble slabs for it to endure long
5 Months
Tipiμaka was written on 729 marble slabs and enshrined in a library called (Mystery library)
6th
Buddhist Council
2500 years after the Buddha’s Great Demise
1954-56 A.D
Mahap±s±na Cave, Kab±- Aye, Yangon (Myanmar)
Ven. Revata Maha Thera
2500 Learned Mah±theras
Government of Myanmar PM – U NU President Sao Shwe Thaik
To reathenticate the Teachings and propagate the Dhamma all over the world
2 Years
The participant monks were from – Thailand, Ceylon, Laos, Cambodia, India etc.
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CHAPTER SIX
Classifications of Dhamma
The Buddha-vacana has been variously classified, such as, Pariyatti-S±sana, Dhamma-Vinaya, Tipiμaka, Twofold Navaaga Buddha S±sana, that is, Nine literary forms and Nine Teaching modes (desan±), and 84,000 Dhammakhandhas, (Aggregates of Dhamma).
Pariyatti-S±sana, lit. Dispensation of the Sacred Scripture, means learning or acquiring knowledge of the Teaching, (Dhamma). This is the first step of the threefold training in Buddhism. The two further steps are Paμipatti - Turning knowledge into everyday practice, and Paμivedha - Realizing the ultimate truth (Four Noble Truths) based on the clear understanding and the practice of Dhamma. That is, actualizing or directly experiencing the highest reality underlying one’s knowledge and practice of the Dhamma.
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The second classification - Dhamma– Vinaya (Teaching and Discipline), consists of Dhamma which includes both the popular and the higher teaching known as Suttanta and Abhidhamma, and Vinaya, the code of monastic training or discipline.
The third classification - Tipiμaka, Three Baskets, consists of the threefold collection of Vinaya, Sutta, and Abhidhamma. The term ‘Basket’ is a metaphor for something that preserves, holds and transfers. These three baskets or containers faithfully preserve the original discourses, the rules of monastic discipline and higher teachings of the Buddha for the benefit of posterity. Similarly, they keep the treasure of the Buddha’s Dhamma for everyday practice and for passing it on from generation to generation, through a chain of teachers to pupils, “For the good, for the benefit, and for the happiness of the many.”
The Vinaya Piμaka, Collection of Monastic Discipline, consists of these five books: 1. P±r±jik±; 2. P±cittiya. These are called
52

Vibhaagas, which lay down the rules of conduct based on instances of violation of monastic discipline; 3. Mah±vagga; 4. C3lavagga. These are called Khandhakas, counterparts of vibhaagas, laying down procedures for dealing with transgression, expiation and restoration etc. That is, they deal with Vinaya acts (kammas), set forms or formulas (Kammav±c±) used for religious or monastic ceremonial occasions. Khandhakas also contain historical accounts of Enlightenment (Sambodhi) and details of occurrences thereafter upto the preaching of Dhamma and establishment of Saagha. 5. Pariv±ra is a manual of instruction about the contexts of the Vinaya Piμaka.
The Sutta Piμaka, Collection of Discourses consists of five books: 1. D2gha Nik±ya; 2. Majjhima Nik±ya; 3. Sa1⁄2yutta Nik±ya; 4. Aaguttara Nik±ya; 5. Khuddaka Nik±ya.
D2gha Nik±ya: the Book of Long Discourses, consists of 34 lengthy discourses (Suttas) divided into three sections (Vaggas). These are S2lakkhandha vagga (1 to 13 suttas); 2. Mah± Vagga (14 to 23 suttas); 3.
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P±μika Vagga (24 to 34 suttas). While the suttas of the first vagga are in prose, the two remaining vaggas contain suttas of both prose and verses (=Geyya).
Majjhima Nik±ya: The Book of Middle- length Discourses, consisting of one hundred and fifty two discourses, is divided into three divisions, viz. 1. M3la Pann±sa. First fifty suttas, in five vaggas of ten suttas each. 2. Majjhima Pann±sa – Second fifty suttas, in five vaggas of ten suttas each. 3. Upari Pann±sa – Last fifty two suttas, in four vaggas of ten and the last vagga having twelve suttas.
Sa1⁄2yutta Nik±ya: The Book of (subject- wise) Connected Discourses, consisting of 7762 discourses of varying length, is arranged in five major divisions, viz. 1. Sag±th± Vagga, 2. Nid±na Vagga, 3. Khandha Vagga, 4. Sal±yatana Vagga and 5. Mah± Vagga. Each one of these five major vaggas is divided into fifty six (subject-wise), related groups (sa1⁄2yutta) of varying numbers of suttas.
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Aaguttara Nik±ya: The Book of Numerically-arranged Discourses, consisting of 9557 short discourses, is divided into 11 sections (Nip±ta). Each section is again divided into groups (vaggas) of ten suttas. These discourses are numerically-arranged in progressive order. Thus there is the group of ‘ones’, ‘twos’, ‘threes’ etc. Aaguttara Nik±ya can be considered as a Source book of Buddhist ethics, psychology etc.
Khuddaka Nik±ya: Minor or Compact- sized works, consisting of a large number of important treatises, is a miscellaneous collection. Though it is called minor, actually, all the three piμakas are represented in this collection. There are these eighteen important works, viz:
1. Khuddaka P±μha (Compact Handbook).
2. Dhammapada (Path of Wisdom).
3. Ud±na (Solemn Utterances).
4. Itivuttaka (Inspired Sayings, lit. ‘Thus
was Said’ by the Buddha).
5. Sutta Nip±ta (Treatise of important discourses).
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6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11. 12.
13. 14.
15.
16. 17.
18.
Vim±navatthu (Lit. Divine Mansions, Accounts of divinities).
Petavatthu (Stories of departed ones or spirits).
Therag±th± (Inspired verses of the Elder monks).
Therig±th± (Inspired verses of the Elder nuns).
J±taka (Stories of Buddha’s past lives).
Niddesa (Exposition).
Paμisambhid± Magga (Analytical Way).
Apad±na (Biographical Treatises).
Buddhava1⁄2sa (Chronicle of Buddhas).
Cariy±piμaka
(Buddha Gotama’s past lives).
Nettipakarana (Exegetical treatise).
Petakopadesa
(Treatise on Methodology).
Milinda Paoha
(Questions of Milinda, a Greek King).
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Abhidhamma Piμaka: Collection of Higher Teachings, consists of these seven books :
1. Dhammasaagani (Book of phenomena),
2. Vibhaaga (Book of Analysis).
3. Dh±tukath± (Book of Elements).
4. Puggalapaññatti
(Book of Human Types).
5. Kath±vatthu (Points of Controversy).
6. Yamaka (Book of pairs).
7. Paμμh±na (Book of Relations).
Navaaga (Ninefold) Canon: There are three sets of Navaagas – Ninefold divisions of the Buddha’s Dispensation (Buddhas±sana). 1. The Ninefold Tipiμaka, that is, the nine divisions of the Sacred Canon. 2. The Ninefold way of teaching the Dhamma (Desan±) by the exalted Master. 3. The Ninefold components of the three-step spiritual development, viz. 1. Learning of Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma Piμakas representing Pariyatti, 2. Practising of S2la, Sam±dhi, Paññ± representing Paμipatti, 3.
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Realising the Dhamma, i.e. of Magga, Phala, Nibb±na representing Paμivedha.
The Ninefold Canon consists of Sutta - Discourses in prose; Geyya - Discourses in mixed prose and verse; Veyy±karaoa – Exegesis; G±th± - Verses; Ud±na – lit. Outpouring i.e., the inspired utterances of the Buddha; Itivuttaka – Teachings preceded by the phrase: ‘Thus-he-uttered’; J±taka – The Stories of Buddha’s past lives; Abbhutadhamma – Accounts of Buddha’s miraculous or supernormal powers; Vedalla – Analytical catechism.
The Ninefold steps of teaching the Dhamma consists of 1. D±na Kath± (Instruction on Giving), 2. S2la Kath± (Instruction on Virtue), 3. Sagga Kath± (Instruction on Divine Life), 4. K±m±na1⁄2- ±d2nava Kath± (Instruction on the Danger of Sensual Pleasures), 5. Nekkhamme 3⁄4nisa1⁄2s± Kath± (Instruction on the Benefit of Renunciation), 6. Dukkha Ariya Sacca Kath± (Instruction on the Noble Truth of Suffering), 7. Dukkha Samudaya Ariya Sacca Kath± (Instruction on the Noble Truth of the Cause
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of Suffering), 8. Dukkha Nirodha Ariya Sacca Kath± (Instruction on the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering), 9. Dukkha Nirodha G±mini Paμipad± Ariya Sacca Kath± (Instruction on the Noble Truth of the Path Leading to Cessation of Suffering).
84,000 Dhammakhandhas: A dhammak- khandha is an individual and specific body and application of Dhamma meant for an individuals spiritual liberation in a specific way. The Buddha discovered and used 84,000 such specific methods to bring about enlightenment in conformity with an individual’s character-traits.
These are beautifully depicted in an allegory called the Palace of Righteousness with its 84,000 pillars and 84,000 halls each of which has four colours. It alludes to each Dhammakhandha as portraying the Four noble Truths, the basis of Buddha’s teachings, in a special way. It is recorded that Asoka caused 84,000 vih±ras to be built throughout
CHAPTER SEVEN
Survey of Tipiμaka - I
P±li Literary development can be divided into the following periods, Viz.,
1. The Canonical literature: contemporary with the Buddha;
2. The Commentarial literature : 5th century A.C;
3. The Sub-commentarial literature : 12th century A.C.
The canonical literature consists of three Piμakas (Tipiμaka) viz., Vinaya Piμaka, Sutta Piμaka and Abhidhamma Piμaka. A break up of these Piμakas is as follows :
I. Vinaya Piμaka: Monastic Discipline
The Vinaya Piμaka consists of the following works:
his empire to honour Dhammakhandhas.
——  —— 59
the
84,000
1. P±r±jika
2. P±cittiya
3. Mah±vagga
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4. C3lavagga 5. Pariv±ra.
II. Sutta Piμaka: Discourses
The Sutta Piμaka consists of five major Nik±yas or divisions :
1. D2gha Nik±ya (Lengthy discourses).
2. Majjhima Nik±ya (Middle-length discourses).
3. Sa1⁄2yutta Nik±ya.
(Subject-wise Connected discourses).
4. Aaguttara Nik±ya. (Numerically-arranged discourses).
5. Khuddaka Nik±ya. (Compact-treatise discourses).
The last division (Khuddaka Nik±ya) consists of 18 treatises. These are :
1. Khuddaka P±μha (Compact Handbook).
2. Dhammapada (Path of wisdom).
3. Ud±na (Solemn Utterances).
4. Itivuttaka (Inspired Sayings, lit. ‘Thus was Said’ by the Buddha).
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5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11. 12.
13. 14.
15.
16. 17.
Sutta Nip±ta (Treatise of important discourses).
Vim±navatthu (Lit. Divine Mansions, Accounts of divinities).
Petavatthu (Stories of departed ones or spirits).
Therag±th± (Inspired verses of the Elder monks).
Therig±th± (Inspired verses of the Elder nuns).
J±taka (Stories of Buddha’s past lives).
Niddesa (Exposition).
Paμisambhid± Magga (Analytical Way).
Apad±na (Biographical Treatises).
Buddhava1⁄2sa (Chronicle of Buddhas).
Cariy±piμaka
(Buddha Gotama’s past lives).
Nettipakarana (Exegetical treatise).
Petakopadesa
(Treatise on Methodology).
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18. Milinda Paoha
(Questions of Milinda, the Greek King).
III. Abhidhamma Piμaka: Higher Teachings
The Abhidhamma Piμaka consists of seven works as follows :
1. Dhammasaagan2 (Enumeration of Phenomena).
2. Vibhaaga (Analysis of Phenomena).
3. Dh±tukath± (Categories of Elements).
4. Puggala Paññatti (Individual Types).
5. Kath±vatthu (Points of Controversies)
6. Yamaka (Applied Logic).
7. Paμμh±na (Philosophy of Relations).
——  ——
Vinaya Piμaka (Code of Discipline)
Vinaya literally means guidance and contains the rules of monastic discipline. The five books of Vinaya Piμaka are arranged according to subject-matter into these three parts:
1. Vibhaaga - P±r±jika and P±cittiya;
2. Khandaka - Mah±vagga and
C3lavagga;
3. Pariv±ra.
Vibhaaga gives an elaborate explanation of all the rules laid down by the Buddha for Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis. These rules, 227 for Bhikkhus and 311 for Bhikkhunis, are contained in the P±timokkha ‘Code Book’.
P±timokkha
The bhikkhunis have more P±timokkha
rules in keeping with feminine circumstances. Literally, it means that which ‘delivers’ (mokkha) one from blame or impurity. It is divided into eight sections, viz., P±r±jika, Saagh±disesa, An2yata, Nissaggiya P±cittiya, P±cittiya, P±μidesan2ya, Sekhiya and Adhikaraoa Dhamm±, these are formulated
64
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according to the gravity of the offenses, so as to shield a monk or nun from conduct not commensurate with holy life. These rules, therefore, reflect the nature of transgressions and their remedies.
P±timokkha is recited twice a month on fullmoon and newmoon days, known as Uposatha observance, in which all the resident monks and nuns of a given area (seperately) gather in a special Chapter House called S2m±. Before reciting the Patimokkha, the fully ordained monastics mutually perform the act of confession of transgressions, if any. At the end of each section of the recital, the reciter asks the assembly whether it is blameless in respect thereof. If any member remembers an offence he/she had committed and had forgotten to make a clean breast of it earlier, then the member has to confess and receive absolution, that is, a formal release from offence. The completion of the recitation, therefore, is an indication that all those participating are blameless and pure.
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Historical analysis (Vibhaaga)
In the Vibhaaga, consisting of P±r±jika P±li and P±cittiya P±li, the bhikkhu and bhikkhuni P±timokkha rules are treated analytically and in detail: At first an historical account is given, as to how a rule came to be framed.
After laying down a rule, the Buddha gives an exhortation, which ends with “Neta1⁄2 appasann±na1⁄2 v± pas±d±ya, pasann±na1⁄2 v± bhiyyo bh±v±ya - This (=offence) does not lead to the rousing of conviction in those who are not convinced, nor to the further growth of conviction in those who are already convinced.” That is to say, the bhikkhu’s or bhikkhubni’s conduct should not only bring about self-purification, but it should also inspire others to lead the pure life.
After a rule is laid down by the Buddha, it is followed by a word for word commentary. If a situation requires a rule to be modified, the Buddha amends the-rule, which is again explained in detail.
The Khandhakas, the second part of the
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Vinaya, consist of the two books, Mah±vagga and C3lavagga. These deal with all such Saagha matters which have not been dealt with in the rules of the P±timokkha. From the view-point of history, Khandakas contain very valuable materials which throw a flood of light on various aspects of contemporary Indian life.
There is the inspiring account of how the Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment, how he embarked upon his compassionate mission of spreading the Dhamma ‘For the welfare and happiness of the many - bahujana hit±ya, bahujana sukh±ya’, and how he established the Holy Order of bhikkhus to serve as a ‘Living example’ of the truth he preached.
The Saagha also ensures the continuity of the Buddha’s dispensation by passing on the Teaching from generation to generation of teachers (3⁄4cariya Parampar±).
Khandhakas also provide the stimulating stories of the Buddha’s famous disciples, like the venerables S±riputta, Moggall±na, Mah±
67
Kassapa, 3⁄4nanda, Up±li, Aagulim±l± etc., lay devotees, like the kings Bimbis±ra, Pasen±di, Aj±tasattu etc., and philanthropists like An±thapio1ika, Up±sik± Vis±kh±, Jivaka the physician and many others. People drawn from all walks of life – royalties, nobles, leaders of the various sections of the society, and the humblest of common folks sought refuge in the Buddha. By embracing his Teachings they brought about a change in the society that was unheard of before.
The Khandhakas also contain some of Buddha’s most famous and important discourses, such as, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, Anattalakkhaoa Sutta, 3⁄4ditta Pariy±ya Sutta and so on.
Again the Khandhakas contain most important texts, called the kammav±c±. These are ‘Official Acts’ which govern the procedures of all institutional functions, known as Saaghakammas. These acts relate to admission into the Order, suspension or expulsion from or rehabilitation into the Order, eccleciastical jurisprudence, Saagha properties, such as, monasteries and things
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needed in a monastery, spending of the Rain’s Retreat (vass±v±sa), confessions, punishments to offenders and so on.
There are altogether 22 Khandhakas which deal with all matters connected with the members of the Holy Order, including the requisites of clothing, food, dwelling, medicaments, etc., The last two Khandhakas give a lucid account of the first and second great councils.
The third part of the Vinaya, the Pariv±ra P±li is a kind of manual. Compiled in the form of questions and answers (catechism), it enables one to make a thorough analytical study of the Vinaya Piμaka. All the rules, official acts, and other matters of the Vinaya, are subject to a searching analysis and placed under separate themes.
Besides, it contains various lists to assist one’s memory. There are 21 chapters dealing with a particular list of the lineage of the teachers (±cariyaparampar±) - 34 in number - from the Buddha’s time down to several centuries i.e. till the Fourth Saag±yana which
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committed to writing the sacred Tipiμaka. P±riv±ra is called the Key since it makes Vinaya explicit.
Briefly, the rules of the Order fall into two categories; rules governing the spiritual life of the bhikkhu or bhikkhuni, and rules governing the affairs of the Order. The Bhikkhu-rules are again twofold - those that have a spiritual basis, i.e., which lead to his spiritual edification, and those that have a conventional basis, i.e., good manners, behaviour and customs which help maintain a good human relationship.
The rules of the Order are based on the highest of democratic principles. Nothing is done or owned individually; it is the Saagha which owns properties and promulgates a given code of conduct. In the matter of jurisprudence unless an offence is accepted by the accused or is proved beyond doubt, the accused has absolute protection of the Saagha.
As a historical document Vinaya is a mine of varied informations on contemporary
70

social, political and economic systems, on commerce, taxation, law, agriculture, medicine, educational institutions, religious sects and so forth.
Decentralised Saagha
The Buddhist monastic order, particularly the Therav±da Saagha, is a completely decentralized body, and a self-sufficient community, so formed as to provide the right environment for spiritual development. Its rules are so framed as to free the bhikkhu/ bhikkhuni of all encumbrances, both subjective and objective. The so-called sects among Therav±da Buddhists are decidedly the product of this spirit of decentralization, holding aloft the charter of individual liberty.
After all, the very purpose of leading the bhikkhu life is to gain Liberation which can be achieved only in an atmosphere of personal responsibility and freedom. Hence the Vinaya rules, instead of tying the bhikkhu down to any rigid pattern, provides him with maximum inner freedom, since these are entirely self- imposed. Since there is no difference of view
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among the Therav±da sects as far as the basic Teachings of the Buddha are concerned, these sects are, therefore, wholly organizational set-ups and never doctrinal.
——  ——
Not despising, not harming, restraint according to the code of monastic discipline, moderation in food, dwelling in solitude, devotion to meditation - this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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Dhp- 185.

SACRED P3⁄4LI CANON – THE TIPIÝAKA (Three Baskets = collections)
VINAYA PIÝAKA Collection of Monastic Discipline
SUTTA PIÝAKA Collection of Discourses
1. Dhammasaagani (Book of Phenomena)
2. Vibhaaga
(Book of Analysis)
3. Dh±tukath±
(Book of Elements)
4. Puggala Paññatti
(Book of Human Types)
5. Kath±vatthu
(Points of Controversies)
6. Yamaka
(Book of Pairs)
7. Paμμh±na
(Book of Relations)
P±r±jika Grave Violation
1. D2gha Nik±ya Long Discourses
2. Majjhima Nik±ya Middle Length Discourses
1. Vibhaaga Analysis of the Code
2. Khandaka Monastic acts etc.
3. Sa1⁄2yutta Nik±ya Connected Discourses
4. Aaguttara Nik±ya Numerically Ordered Discourses
5. Khuddaka Nik±ya Compact Treatise
P±cittiya Confession etc.
1. Khuddaka P±tha (Compact Handbook)
2. Dhammapada (Path of Wisdom)
3. Ud±na
(Solemn Utterances)
4. Itivuttaka
(Inspired Sayings,
Lit. ‘Thus was said’ by the Buddha) 5. Sutta Nip±ta
(Treatise of important discourses) 6. Vim±navatthu
(Lit. Divine Mansions, Account of Divinities)
7. Petavatthu
(Stories of departed ones or spirits)
8. Therag±th±
(Inspired verses of the Elder monks)
9. Ther2g±th±
(Inspired verses of the Elder nuns)
10. J±taka
(Stories of Buddha’s past lives)
11. Niddesa (Exposition)
12. Paμisambhid± Magga (Analytical way)
13. Apad±na
(Elders Biographical Treatises)
14. Buddhava1⁄2sa (Chronicle of Buddhas)
15. Cariy± piμaka
(Buddha Gotama’s past lives)
16. Netti pakarana (Exegetical Treatises)
17. Peμakopadesa
(Treatise on Methodology)
18. Milinda Paoha
(Questions of Milinda, the Greek King)
Mah±vagga Greater Section
C3lavagga Lesser Section
3. Pariv±ra Catechism
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ABHIDHAMMA PIÝAKA Collection of Higher Teachings

CHAPTER EIGHT
Survey of Tipiμaka - II
Sutta Piμaka
The Sutta Piμaka is the mainspring of Buddhist thought, being the repository of the original discourses of the Buddha. It is divided into five main divisions called Nik±yas which are collated according to the particular size, style, and arrangement of the suttas.
1. D¿GHA NIK3⁄4YA: The collection of lengthy discourses.
2. MAJJHIMA NIK3⁄4YA: The collection of medium-length discourses.
3. SAMYUTTA NIK3⁄4YA: The collection of (subject-wise) Connected discourses.
4. A©GUTTARA NIK3⁄4YA : The collection of numerically arranged discourses.
5. KHUDDAKA NIK3⁄4YA : The collection of Compact expositions in the form of separate treatises. Here the entire Buddhist view of life has been discussed in an objective and dignified way.
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The famous orientalist Dr. Rhys Davids says : “The suttas are distinguished in the depth of philosophy, in the method of Socratic questioning, in the earnest and elevated tone of the whole, in the evidence they afford of the most out-turned thought of the day.” The Sutta Piμaka also contains the discourses of the Master’s principle disciple’s, such as, the Venerables S±riputta, Mah± Moggall±na, Mah± Kassapa, Mah± Kacc±na, and others.
A sutta literally means ‘thread’. It is so- called since it leads one to a larger content of meaning not expressed in so many words. Thus every sutta has two contents-the voh±ra, conventional content and paramattha, the ultimate content, which makes the suttas accessible to people at all levels of development, i.e., from the ordinary folk to the most learned scholars.
Another characteristic feature of the suttas is that they are liberally sprinkled with simple, yet telling, illustrations and homely stories. To drive home a profound truth, the Master uses familiar similes, such as, the bullock cart, seed, agricultural operations, or the irrigation ditch and so on for the edification of the simple, rural folks.
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Likewise, to tame an arrogant scholar, like the brahmin Bharadv±ja, he often used a telling analogy illustrated by personal example. Bharadv±ja, a learned scholar of the Vedas, scoffed at the idea of Gotama, a Khattiya, becoming a religious teacher, which, according to him, was the prerogative of the brahmin, however vile he may be. He was further roused by some of Buddha’s unorthodox teachings. And his wrath broke all barriers when his wife became an ardent devotee of the Master.
Once, when the Buddha was preaching, he tore through the large crowd and, facing the Master, started hurling filthy abuses at him until he was tired. In his unbounded compassion, the Buddha gently put to him this question: “Suppose, brahmin, a friend or relative were to visit your house and you were to offer him a plateful of sweets, and he were to decline it. To whom would that plateful of sweets return?” “Of course to me; it is mine , and it comes back to me,” he replied rudely. “Likewise, good brahmin, I decline to accept all that you said.”
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The moral went right into his heart and illumined his whole being, like a flash of lightning piercing and illuminating the dark sky. As the insight dawned on him that his actions recoiled on him with greater force, and having failed to affect one who refused to be offended, he fell at the feet of the Lord and requested the Buddha to admit him into the Holy Order. No learned philosophical disquisition could have wrought in Bharadv±ja so profound a change as this simple illustration did.
Further, the Sutta Piμaka is also an excellent document on the contemporary cultural history of India. One finds graphic accounts of various conditions – social, cultural, religious, political etc., of the time. For instance, once the King Aj±tasattu bluntly asked the Buddha as to what tangible benefits could one gain through the religious life, as one would from one’s occupation. Then he enumerated a great many of the existing occupations. When the Buddha convinced him of the benefits of true spiritual life, this blood-thirsty despot became an ardent devotee of the Master.
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As to the form, the sutta begins with a historical account of how, where and under what conditions a discourse was given. Then follows the main body of the sutta which ends with an expression of appreciation from the audience.
D2gha Nik±ya
This work contains 34 lengthy suttas, some of which could fill a book. This is particularly true of these three suttas: 1. The Mah± Parinibb±na Sutta, which presents a moving narration of the Master’s last days together with many of his important teachings. 2. Mah± Satipaμμh±na Sutta, which constitutes the quintessence of his unique method of spiritual training by converting every experience into a meditative experience of reality. 3. Sigalov±da Sutta, which is also known as Householders Book of ethics, (Gihi Vinaya).
Majjhima Nik±ya
This work contains one hundred fifty two middle-length suttas of rare beauty, both in
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content and language. All the fundamental teachings, such as, Dependent Origination, (Paticca Samupp±da), the law of Kamma and Rebirth, the Four Noble Truths, (Ariya Sacc±ni) and the Noble Eightfold Path, (Ariya Aμμhaagika Magga), have been lucidly expounded in this work. Of the fifteen chapters, one entitled Opamma Vagga is devoted to exposition by way of illustration, and another to the householders, Gahapati Vagga.
Sa1⁄2yutta Nik±ya
This work contains seven thousand seven hundred sixty two (7762) suttas of varied length, generally short, arranged in a special order according to subject-matter. Thus there are fifty six connected subjects (sa1⁄2yutta) arranged in five divisions, e.g., on Enlightenment factors (Bojjhaaga Sa1⁄2yutta), mental defilements (Kilesa Sa1⁄2yutta), mental powers (Bala Sa1⁄2yutta), etc. Some samyuttas are named after principal enlightened disciples, (Arahats), such as, the Venerables S±riputta, Kassapa, Anuruddha etc. Devat± Sa1⁄2yutta, deals with gods like
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Brahma, Sakka or Indra, who are ardent followers of the Buddha.
Aaguttara Nik±ya
This work contains nine thousand five hundred fifty seven (9557) short suttas which are numerically arranged into eleven sections known as Nip±tas. For instance, the first Nip±ta deals with subjects having a single aspect or view-point; likewise, the subject- matter of the second Nip±ta has two view- points; the third has three view-points, and so on, till the eleventh Nip±ta, in which all such matters that can be viewed in eleven different ways. Thus this work presents the Dhamma arranged numerically. In the whole of the Sutta Piμaka, Aaguttara Nik±ya is considered to be an important source-book on Buddhist psychology and ethics.
The Aaguttara contains an unique chapter entitled Etadagga vagga wherein the Buddha enumerated the names of those enlightened disciples (bhikkhu-bhikkhuni-up±saka- up±sik±) who had achieved pre-eminence in a certain field of spiritual attainment. For
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example, while the Venerable S±riputta was pre-eminent in Intuitive Wisdom (Paññ±); the Venerable Moggall±na was pre-eminent in Supernormal powers (Abhiññ±); the Venerable Uppalavaoo± was pre-eminent among nuns in Paññ±, and the Venerable Khem± in Abhiññ±; the up±saka An±thapio1ika and the up±sik± Vis±kh± were pre-eminent in acts of generosity (D±na), and so on.
Khuddaka Nik±ya
Khuddaka Nik±ya is a collection of 18 independent treatises of great merit. These are :
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Khuddaka P±μha Dhammapada Ud±na Itivuttaka.
Sutta Nip±ta Vim±navatthu Petavutthu Therag±th± Therig±th±
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10. J±taka
11. Niddesa (Mah± & C3la) 12. Paμisambhid± Magga 13. Apad±na
14. Buddhava1⁄2sa
15. Cariy± Piμaka
16. Netti Pakarana
17. Peμakopadesa
18. Milinda Paoha.
1. Khuddaka P±μha:
It is an anthology used as a manual for under-training monks. It contains some very important texts, e.g. the catechetic section called Kum±ra Paoha.
The young novice, Kum±ra Kassapa, already an Arahat at the age of seven, was asked by the Buddha ten questions of fundamental spiritual importance. He answered all the questions with consummate skill and clarity which only an enlightened disciple can do. He received his higher ordination (upasampad±) at that tender age
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as a special case. Normally nobody can be ordained a bhikkhu before the age of twenty. The Questions were put in a numerical order; e.g. what is the One? What are the two.. three etc., upto the tenth? The answers being ‘Nutriment’ that sustains life of beings, i.e., the one factor that sustains life is Nutriment, both material and mental. Similarly, the two factors to which all phenomena of existence could be reduced, are Mind and Matter (N±ma-r3pa, lit. Mentality and Materiality). Answer to the tenth being ‘The ten supermundane attainments of an Arahat – a Perfected disciple of the Buddha, constitute the ultimate state of spiritual perfection. That means, there is nothing higher than the spiritual attainments of a Perfect One.
2. Dhammapada :
It is a famous world classic which epitomizes the entire teaching of the Buddha in four hundred twenty three g±th±s (verses). Culled from different works of Tipiμaka each verse is a rare gem sparkling with practical wisdom. The Dhammapada has been
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translated and re-translated into virtually all the import languages of the world.
The first g±th± of this inspiring anthology is about the Mind. It underlines the importance of mind because one’s sams±ric bondage or Nibb±nic freedom i.e., one’s misery or happiness now and one’s destiny in future, entirely depend on the working of one’s mind. Buddhists do not depend on any external power for spiritual liberation. On the contrary, they rely entirely on the transforming power of their own minds. The Buddha said :
Manopubbaagam± dhamm±, manoseμμh± manomay±; manas± ce paduμμhena bh±sati v± karoti v±,
tato na1⁄2 dukkhamanveti cakkka1⁄2’va vahato pada1⁄2.
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering follows him like the cart-wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
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Manopubbaagam± dhamm± manoseμμh± manomay±; manas± ce pasannena bh±sati v± karoti v±,
tato na1⁄2 sukhamanveti ch±y±’v± anap±yin2.
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows him like his never- departing shadow.
Dhp.1,2.
These first two g±th±s of the Dhammapada spell out what really matters in life - it is the good or bad mind, and the good or bad action arising therefrom. So, for a spiritual seeker, what matters is focusing oneself to the purification and development of the mind. In the fifth g±th±, the Lord Buddha similarly teaches another eternal law, concerned with life, both at the individual and at the collective levels.
“By hatred one can never appease hatred.” It will only persist and prolong suffering.
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Contrarily, non-hatred, meaning good-will and amity as well as the spirit of patience and forbearance, all combined, is the panacea for the deadly affliction created by hatred. This is a verifiable reality throughout the world and through millennia. Whenever human beings have engaged in mutual hatred, revenge and hostility, civilization itself, created by so much of noble human values and actions, got wiped out. Both parties destroyed each other. Thus the eternal law is – “Goodwill alone triumphs over ill-will”. Buddhists are therefore enjoined to practise good-will and universal love, under all circumstances, in keeping with this eternal law, Viz:
Na hi verena ver±ni sammant2dha kud±cana1⁄2, averena ca sammanti, esa dhammo sanantano.
Hatred is never appeased by hatred In this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a Law Eternal.
Dhp. 5 The Buddha succinctly summarized his
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teachings in the Dhammapada g±th± No. 183.
“Avoid all evil, cultivate the good, and cleanse the mind- this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.”
Spiritual life need not become loaded with all kinds of complicated theological dogmas and philosophical theories. Unfortunately, religions, as organized institutions, throughout the world, and at all times, tended to be loaded with emotional or intellectual assertions and doctrines, demanding from the adherents unquestioned acceptance or blind faith.
Spiritual progress is possible only when the mind is exposed to the sunshine of virtue, mental purity and wisdom. These three spiritual excellences ultimately stand for spiritual development and freedom. Virtue needs to be cultivated, deliberately, through rightly understanding the nature of moral principles.
Likewise inner purity needs to be developed, consciously, thorough the practice of meditative concentration, leading to purification and tranquility of mind.
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Similarly, wisdom needs to be cultivated by assiduous practice of insight meditation aimed at development of intuitive wisdom. For wisdom alone is capable of penetrating into the realities of one’s own life, of the world in which one lives, and of the Beyond, namely, spiritual freedom, Nibb±na.
Hence the Buddha’s enunciation :
Sabbap±passa akarana1⁄2, kusalassa upasampad±, sacittapariyodapana1⁄2, eta1⁄2 Buddh±na s±sana1⁄2.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate the good, and to cleanse one’s mind – this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
Dhp.183.
3. Ud±na:
This work contains the ‘Ecstatic Utterances’ of the Buddha. Ud±nas are out- pourings or inspired sayings of sheer bliss.
4. Itivuttaka:
Like the Ud±na, it contains 120 verse passages of inspired sayings of the Buddha.
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Since each passage is preceded by the phrase: “Iti vutta1⁄2 Bhagavat± - It was said thus by the Lord”, it is called Itivuttaka.
5. Sutta Nip±ta:
In an archaic style of mixed prose and verse, it is a work of great philosophical and literary merit, and one of the most inspiring in the whole of the Tipiμaka. The language of this work resembles that of the Chandas.
6. Vim±navatthu:
This book contains vivid accounts of the lives of the devas in various heavenly abodes (vim±na), and of the deeds that enabled them to gain access into these wonderful domains.
According to Buddhism, gods (devas) are not immortal, nor are they creators, or saviours of other beings. But they are spiritually more evolved beings in various divine realms, who too are subject to the law of Kamma and Rebirth and have to achieve the deathless state of Nibb±na. And there are many gods who have already attained Nibb±na.
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7. Petavatthu:
This book contains graphic accounts of the miserable states of the spirit-world and of the evil deeds that lead one to these states.
8. Therag±th±:
This book contains some of the finest pieces of poetry embodying the ecstatic sayings of the Arahat Theras, Enlightened Disciples of the Buddha.
9. Therig±th±:
Analogous to Therag±th±, this work contains the inspired utterances of Arahat Theris, Enlightened Nuns.
10. J±taka:
This is a book of 550 stories of Buddha’s previous lives when he was the Bodhisatta, engaged in training himself to become a Buddha.
11. Niddesa:
Divided into two books, Mah±niddesa and C3laniddesa, this work is a commentary by Venerable S±riputta on some important
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suttas from Suttanip±ta.
12. Paμisambhid± Magga:
Entitled “The Path of Analysis”, this is another work of Venerable S±riputta analytically dealing with the salient teachings of the Buddha in the style of the Abhidhamma.
13. Apad±na:
Like the J±taka, it is a biographical work containing the life-stories (past and present) of various Arahat Theras and Theris.
14. Buddhava1⁄2sa:
This contains the biography, in verse, of Gotama Buddha and of the 23 previous Buddhas prior to him.
15. Cariy±piμaka:
This contains 35 J±takas illustrating the Buddha’s fulfillment of the ten P±ram2s (three times over), which determines the attainment of Sambodhi, Supreme Enlightenment.
16. Nettippakarana:
It is a small exegetical work providing critical
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explanation of some important texts of the Cannon.
17. Petakopadesa:
This little book methodizes important texts. It lays down orderly procedures to explain the Dhamma.
18. Milinda Paoha:
Entitled “Questions of Milinda”, it is a book of dialogues between the Yonaka (Greeco-Bactrian) King Milinda who ruled over S±gala (W. Punjab) and the great Arahat N±gasena who lived about five hundred years after the Parinibb±na of the Buddha. This work records the King’s tricky questions and the Venerable N±gasena’s methodical answers with telling illustrations. This book has been famous for its clear expositions of abstruse questions.
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Abhidhamma Piμaka
While the Sutta Piμaka treats the Dhmma in conventional (Voh±ra sacca) terms, the Abhidhamma Piμaka treats it entirely in terms of ultimate reality (Paramattha sacca). It resolves all phenomena into their ultimate contents (sar3pa) analytically and then aims at synthesis by finding the relations (paccaya) between the various concomitant factors. The language of the Abhidhamma is purely objective and impersonal, hence truly scientific. It contains no such words as ‘I’, ‘We’, ‘He’, ‘She’, ‘Man’, ‘Tree’, ‘Cow’, ‘Mountain’, ‘God’, etc, which are just conventional names given to an object.
Here everything is expressed in terms of Khandha - five groups or aggregates of existence, 3⁄4yatana – five sensory organs and mind and their respective objects, Dh±tu – eighteen elements, Indriya – twenty-two faculties, Sacca - the four Noble truths. All relative concepts, such as, man, tree, etc., are reduced to their ultimate contents, such as, Khandha, 3⁄4yatana etc., and viewed as an impersonal psycho-physical process which is
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Anicca (impermanent, changeful), Dukkha (unsatisfactory) and Anatta (without a permanent core, e.g., ego or ±tma, i.e., unsubstantial or non-self).
The Purpose of this analytical approach is to get rid of egocentricity or selfhood which hinders spiritual progress and is the root- cause of bondage in sams±ra. Abhidhamma can be called the ‘Science of mind’ in a real sense, i.e., more than modern psychology.
The most Venerable 3⁄4cariya Buddhaghosa describes Abhidhamma as Uccatara (higher) or Visesa (special) dhamma (teachings) of the Buddha. That is to say, a system of appraisal purely from the Buddhist psychological and philosophical stand-points. This special higher teaching was first expounded by the Buddha at T±vati1⁄2sa (Sakka, the divine ruler’s, heavenly realm) to his mother who was reborn as a god. This exposition was in the 7th year of his ministry during the 3 months’ Rain’s – Retreat. After teaching the devas, the Master repeated the teachings verbatim to
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Venerable S±riputta, who in turn taught five hundred Arahats, who memorized the Abhidhamma and passed it on to others. It is therefore regarded as the most priceless heritage of Buddhism.
The following seven books of Abhidhamma are so many portals of analytical wisdom. They contain different methods of analysis and synthesis.
1. Dhammasaagani:
It provides a detailed enumeration of all phenomena, and is divided into three divisions: 1. An analysis of consciousness (citta) and its concomitant mental factors (cetasika), 2. An analysis of corporeality (r3pa), 3. summary in which all phenomena of existence are brought under 122 categories (m±tik±), in groups of three (tika) and two (duka), e.g., Kusala (wholesome) dhamma, akusala (unwholesome) dhamma, aby±kata (indeterminate) dhamma. When analysed, these three comprehend everything, mundane and supermundane. It is invaluable as a source-book of psychology.
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2. Vibhaaga:
It consists of 18 independent treatises (vibhaagas), each of which is divided into three parts :
I. Sutta explanation.
II. Abhidhamma explanation.
III. Summary in question-answer form. In this analytic procedure, it is distinct from that of Dhammasaagani.
3. Dh±tukath±:
This and the next book, Puggala Paññatti, are small-sized books, written in the form of a catechism. Dh±tukath± consists of 14 chapters in which all phenomena of existence are discussed with reference to the three categories of Khandha, 3⁄4yatana and Dh±tu.
4. Puggalapaññatti:
It resembles the style of the Aaguttara Nik±ya and consists of 10 chapters in which various types of individuals (puggala) are
5. Kath±vatthu:
As mentioned earlier, this work was compiled by the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa, the presiding Arahat of the Third Great Council, in order to uproot all points of controversy regarding Buddhadhamma. There are 23 dialogue-form chapters dealing with some 21 controversies in a purely logical style.
6. Yamaka:
This is a work of applied logic which deals with the delimitation as to the range and content of all the doctrinal terms and concepts. Yamaka clears up all ambiguities and distortions which may creep into the manifold doctrines of Abhidhamma. For every discussion, throughout the work there are two sets of questions in contrast, e.g., (a) Are all wholesome phenomena (kusala dhamma), wholesome roots (kusala m3la)? Or (b) Are
discussed, often with similes comparisons.
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and
all wholesome phenomena?
roots, wholesome
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7. Paμμh±na:
This is a gigantic work which, together with Dhammasaagani, constitutes the quintessence of Buddhist Philosophy. The 4 divisions of Paμμh±na adopt four different ways – Positive, Anuloma; Negative, Paμiloma; Positive-negative, Anuloma- paμiloma; Negative-positive, Paμiloma- anuloma; - to elucidate the profound philosophy of Relations (paccaya) otherwise known as the, Law of Conditionality. This Law is based on 24 paccayas, conditions or relations, which, in different combinations and permutations, keep the ‘wheel of existence’ (sams±ra) moving. These paccayas explain the law of universal inter- dependence.
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Extra-canonical Literature
The extra-canonical literature falls into three historical periods. The first period is from the compilation of the canon to the 5th century A.C.; the second from 5th century to 11th century, and the third from 12th century to modern times. The literature of the first period is known as the Classical Works of which only a few now survive, the rest being lost. The second period has been the most significant one in the development of non- canonical P±li literature; for, the commentaries of the Canon were written in this period. The third period has been even more prolific; for, apart from sub-commentaries (t2ka), many different classes of literature have come to be produced in this period.
Classical Works:
There are four books in this class, viz., Nettipakaraoa, Petakopadesa, Milinda Pañha and Sutta Saagaho. The first two works, Nettipakarana (The Book of Guidance), and Petakopadesa (Instructions on the Tipiμaka),
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were composed by the Arahat Mah±kacc±yana, a prominent, immediate disciple of the Buddha.
These are written in the style of the Abhidhamma and serve as exegetical works of Buddha-dhamma. Milinda Pañha (Questions of King Milinda), written in the style of the suttas, contains a dialogue between the Graeco-Bactrian King Manender (in P±li, Milinda) and the Thera N±gasena about most of the important points of Buddhism. Sutta Saagaho is an anthology of sutta composed, probably, for the use of preachers.
A work on history entitled D2pava1⁄2sa– Island Chronicles, composed in Sri Lanka, also belongs to this period. Contempo- raneous too are some old commentarial works, such as, Mah±μμhakath±, Mah±paccari, Kurundi Aμμhakath±, C3lapaccari, Andhaka- μμhakath±, Pann±v±ra and Saakhepaμμha- kath±, which have been mentioned by Buddhaghosa in his Commentary, and which are now lost.
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Commentaries :
The most important compositions of this period are the works of 3⁄4cariya Buddhaghosa who wrote extensive commentaries on almost all the books of the Tipiμaka except a few books of the Khuddaka Nik±ya. He wrote commentaries on the P±timokkha and on the entire Vinaya Piμaka, Abhidhamma Piμaka, and, of the Sutta Piμaka, the first four Nik±yas and a few suttas of the fifth Nik±ya.
The chief contribution of the 3⁄4cariya, however, was his monumental work, the Visuddhi Magga, the Path of Purification, which serves as an encyclopedia on the entire Buddha–vacana, very lucidly written in the style of the Abhidhamma. 3⁄4cariya Buddhaghosa, an Indian Bhikkhu, wrote all of the large number of works in 5th century A.C. in Sri Lanka, where he had gone to study the Tipiμaka and the old Aμμhakath±s. Buddhaghosa is considered as the greatest Buddhist writer of all times.
Included in this class of literature are the contemporaneous works of 3⁄4cariya
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Buddhadatta, who wrote a commentary on Buddhava1⁄2sa and several other works of merit e.g., Vinaya Vinicchaya and uttara Vinicchaya- compendiums of the Vinaya in verses, Abhidhamm±vat±ra- a hand-book of Buddhist psychology, Jin±lankara- an epic on Buddha’s Great Victory.
Another prolific writer, 3⁄4cariya Dhammap±la wrote commentaries on the remaining works of Khuddaka Nik±ya, Therig±th±, and Cariyapiμaka, and also sub- commentaries on works, such as, the first four Nik±yas - D2gha, Majjhima, Sa1⁄2yutta, and Aaguttara, on Nettipakaraoa, Visuddhi Magga and several other works.
All these 3⁄4cariyas were Indians. There are several other commentators, mostly Sinhalese, of this period, a few notable ones being 3⁄4cariya 3⁄4nanda, author of Abhidhamma M3laμ2ka and several μ2kas of Buddhaghosa’s Commentaries of Abhidhamma; 3⁄4cariya C3la Dhammap±la, author of Saccasaakhepa, etc.; 3⁄4cariya Upasena, author of the commentaries of Niddesa; 3⁄4cariya Anuruddha, author of the
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famous manual of Abhidhamma called Abhidhammattha saagaha, and several other works. 3⁄4cariya Mah±h±ma, author of the sub- commentary of Patisambhid± Magga; and the 3⁄4cariyas Kassapa, Vajirabuddhi, Khema, Dhammasiri and Mah±s±mi to mention a few more, who wrote Ý2kas on various works.
There are also a few Chronicles and grammatical works belonging to this period, such as Mah±va1⁄2sa, Bodhiva1⁄2sa, An±gatava1⁄2sa, Kacc±yana Vy±karana, Mah± Niruttigandha etc.
Sub-commentaries, etc.
In the time of the Sinhala King Par±kramab±hu (12 A.C), P±li literature received a great impetus in various fields. Under his auspices, the Sinhala Thera Mah± Kassapa held a Council for the purpose of composing Ý2kas for all aμμhakath±s and other ancilliary literature to the Canon. With the collaboration of a number of great scholar- monks, like the Venerables S±riputta, Saagharakkhita, Buddharakkhita, Sumaagala and Saddhamma Jotip±la (of Myanmar),
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Buddhan±ga and others, he had more than fifty voluminous sub-commentaries written.
A 15th century stone-inscription of Myanmar at Toungdwin mentions the names of no less than 295 important works on various subjects which show how prolific had been the growth of P±li literature in this period.
In subsequent centuries, right upto our time, in all the Buddhist countries, e.g., Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos etc., there has been a living tradition of such efforts of literary production.
Bibliography: Winternitz, A history of Indian Literature, Vol-II; Geiger, P±li Literature and Language; Bharat Singh Upadyaya, P±li Sahitya k± Itthias; B. C. Law, History of P±li Literature in 2 Vols; M. Bode, P±li Literature of Myanmar; G.P. Malalasekara, P±li Literature of Ceylon; Ven. J. Kashyapa, P±li Mahavy±karana.
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CHAPTER NINE
HISTORY OF P3⁄4LI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
Questions and Answers
Q- 1. What is P±li?
A- Briefly, P±li means ‘the word of the Buddha’, (Buddha vacana). It is called P±li since it preserves the original teachings of the Buddha.
Q- 2. Is it a spoken language or scriptural language?
A- P±li is both a spoken and a scriptural language. It is a spoken language because it was spoken in the time of the Buddha as the language of common people, and it is spoken even today among Therav±da monks throughout the world. It is also scriptural language because it preserves the original teachings of the Buddha.
Q- 3. In what way P±li differs from Chandas or the Vedic language?
A- Chandas was used only by the brahmin
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priests to conduct rituals, sacrifices etc. Whereas P±li was the language of the common people. As such it was used to propagate and preserve the original teachings (vacana) of the Buddha, ‘for the benefit, for the good and for the happiness of the many.’
Q- 4. Which is the Home of P±li?
A- The Home of P±li is Magadha, which covered a large area of India at that time, namely, the eastern and north central part of India. The language of this area was known as M±gadhi, another name of P±li. Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and started his mission of teaching the Dhamma in Magadha, using the language of the common people.
Q- 5. What was the status of P±li at the time of the Buddha?
A- At the time of the Buddha, the status of P±li was that of a standard vernacular or the native language of the common people of Magadha. It had developed into a highly refined and precise language, not a mere dialect. Today, since P±li preserves the original teachings of the Buddha, it is widely learnt, studied, and written, even spoken, among the
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Therav±da monastic communities and lay scholars as well. That is to say, the status of P±li now is that of a classical language which is very alive, because it is much in use both for study and communication, besides being rendered into modern languages throughout the world.
Q- 6. Why did the Buddha choose P±li to preach his Dhamma rather than Chandas (vedic sanskrit)?
A- The Buddha chose the P±li rather than Chandas for two main reasons.
1. To bring about spiritual transformation among people of all sections of the society. Further, regardless of any distinction based on caste, creed, gender etc., benefit everyone alike, by using the common man’s language.
2. To bring about a social reformation by removing all superstitious practices, false views, caste distinctions and social injustices based on prevailing religious injunctions and beliefs.
Q- 7. In Buddha’s time, religious teachings were imparted by the religious teachers only in the scriptural sacred language. The Buddha,
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who too was a religious teacher, chose to ignore this custom. He taught in the language of the common people. Why?
A- To benefit all, not just a section, in the best manner, for the largest number of people, as is clear from his own statement: “For the benefit, for the good, and for the happiness of both gods and men.”
Q- 8. Many brahmin pandits had become Buddhist monks (Bhikkhus). Some of them had requested the Buddha to allow them to render the words of the Buddha into the Vedic Sanskrit (Chandas). Quote the actual text concerning this event.
A- “Handa maya1⁄2, Bhante, Buddhavacana1⁄2 chandaso ±ropema’ti.”
“Most Venerable Sir, if we might render the words of the Buddha into the Vedic Chandas, the scriptural language.”
Replied the Buddha: “Anuj±n±mi, bhikkhave, sak±ya niruttiy± Buddhavacana1⁄2 pariy±punitu1⁄2.”
“Monks, I ordain that the words of the Buddha are to be learnt in one’s own language, i.e. in M±gadhi.”
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Q- 9. Elaborate the underlying meaning of the above quotation:
A- Some ex-brahmin monks requested the Buddha to allow them to render the words of the Buddha (Buddha vacana) into Vedic Chandas.
The Buddha did not give permission. Instead he gave a very clear instruction that the ‘Buddha vacana’ should be learnt, studied, and preserved only in P±li, the language of the common people, because the Buddha himself taught his Dhamma in P±li.
If the Buddha had given permission to them, the following things would have happened:
1. Only few people, would have benefited, i.e., the priestly brahmins. Besides Vedic chandas comprised mantras, which are used only for conducting brahmanical rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices etc. Buddhism rejects ritualism as superstitious practices impeding spiritual progress.
2.
The pure teachings of the Buddha would have become polluted by getting mixed up with Vedic mantras and by adding things which were not taught by the Buddha.
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3. Being basically ritualistic and sacrificial in nature, if Vedic chandas were mixed up with the Dhamma, the result would have created blind faith and superstitious beliefs, leading to misconstruction of Buddhism among the common people.
4. It would have become a big obstruction on the Buddha’s great mission of liberating beings from suffering. Thus the basic objective of his enlightenment (Bodhi), would have remained incomplete and unfulfilled.
If the Buddha had not strictly instructed the monks, the following things would not have happened:
1. The Buddha’s teaching would not have brought about spiritual transformation, both at the individual and at the collective levels. It would have failed to remove blind faith, superstitions, ritualism, social injustices etc.
2. The Buddha’s teaching would not have remained as perfect and pure as it is at the present time. Either it would have been totally polluted, or it would have disappeared from the world.
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3. The Buddha S±sana would not have lasted till now. Fortunately, because of the Buddha’s timely instruction, now the Dhamma will remain irreversible for five thousand years, enlightening beings generation after generation.
4. The Noble mission of the Buddha would not have been fulfilled. He had struggled for the long period of four asankheyya and one hundred thousand kappas, to fulfill this mission.
The above points show that out of infinite compassion and wisdom the Buddha did not permit the monks to render his teachings into Vedic sanskrit.
Buddha had been perfecting his compassion from the time of Buddha D2paakara (24th Buddha before him) by sacrificing his own enlightenment for the welfare and happiness both of gods and men.
Through his wisdom, Lord D2paakara foresaw the fulfilment of Gotama’s ten perfections thrice over to win Buddhahood, and save the world.
If the Buddha had not so instructed the monks, the perfection of compassion and wisdom would have remained unaccomplished.
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By failing in these missions, he would have also certainly failed in playing the vital role of a Tath±gata (the Bearer of Truth).
Tath±gata means, one who has come (Tath±+±gato) by fulfilling the ten perfections thrice over, like the previous Buddhas.
One who has gone (Tath±+gato) by establishing the Buddha S±sana, (Dispensation), like the previous Buddhas.
One who has taught (Tath±+gado) the most excellent Dhamma leading to enlightenment and illuminating the lives of countless beings, generation after generation.
Q- 10. P±li is called the storehouse (Bhand±g±ra) of the Buddha’s wisdom. Why is it so?
A- A storehouse is a place where things are taken in, stored and taken out for use according to one’s needs.
P±li is known as the storehouse of the Buddha’s wisdom because it preserves Tipiμaka (three baskets) - Vinaya Piμaka, Sutta Piμaka and Abhidhamma Piμaka, forming the Dhammak±ya, spiritual body of the Buddha. Tipiμaka contains whatever the Buddha preached during his forty-five years of
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Compassionate mission. The essence of whatever he taught is the Noble eightfold Path comprising - S2la, Sam±dhi and Paññ± leading to total freedom from suffering. With P±li as the storehouse, the teachings of the Buddha have been successfully handed down generation after generation through an unbroken chain of teachers to pupils, benefiting mankind as such.
Q- 11. Why is the P±li Tipiμaka called ‘Sacred Canon’?
A- P±li Tipiμaka is called a Sacred Canon, because it contains the sacred words of the Buddha, which are based on truth and wisdom not on divine revelation. His enlightenment enabled him to free sentient beings from sams±ra. The Canon is not sacred in the way other scriptures are understood to be divine revelation. P±li canon is sacred because it contains sacrosanct truths leading one to enlightenment.
P±li specifically means the text of the P±li canon containing the original teachings of the Buddha in its pristine purity, without adding to or removing from a single word to what the Buddha taught himself.
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Q- 12. What is Tipiμaka ultimately?
A- Tipitaka is called the Repository of the Buddha Dhamma as it stores and preserves the entire teachings of the Buddha preached during his forty-five years of successful Dhamma ministry. Tipiμaka, also called Pariyatti, ultimately boils down to Paμipatti, the practise of Dhamma, since mere learning is not sufficient for the realization (Paμivedha) of Nibb±na. By these three modes of Pariyatti, Paμipatti and Paμivedha one actualizes the Noble eightfold path, divided into these three stages of spiritual developments viz. Virtue (S2la), Meditative Concentration (Sam±dhi) and Wisdom (Paññ±).
Q- 13. What are the benefits of practising the Noble Eightfold Path?
A- The benefits of practising the Noble Eightfold path are visible and verifiable (Sandiμμhiko) both here and hereafter. For instance, a person who practises the S2las, lives happily here and hereafter. Here he is free from remorse, fear etc. And when he dies, he is reborn either in the human or divine world, where all favourable conditions for further spiritual progress are present, such
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as, congenial locality, faithful Buddhist family, virtuous friends, teachers etc. These conditions may enable him to become a Bhikkhu, a full- time spiritual practitioner, committed to gaining enlightenment (Nibb±na).
One who practises meditation and develops Concentration (Sam±dhi), also lives happily here and hereafter, enjoying every moment of life through inner peace. And after death he is reborn as a deva (god) in the divine world or as a Brahma deity in the Brahma world, where one enjoys immense happiness and longevity, and spiritually makes further progress.
Likewise, one who develops Wisdom (Paññ±), lives happily under all circumstances. And finally having penetrated into the ultimate reality of everything, realizes Nibb±na, the highest state of freedom, peace and bliss.
Thus Tipiμaka, ultimately, is a systematic practice leading to happiness here and hereafter until one gains the highest and blissful state of Nibb±na. The Buddha said: “Nibb±na1⁄2 parama1⁄2 sukkha1⁄2 - Spiritual freedom is ultimate bliss!”
Q- 14. What is the difference between the two
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Indian linguistic tradition of P±li and Chandas?
A- The difference between the two linguistic traditions, P±li and Chandas, can be likened to two parallel-flowing rivers, separated by strips of land. While P±li belongs to the Middle Aryan M±gadhi Prakrit, the one river, Chandas forms the other river. The stretches of land in between can be compared to the two great cultural traditions, namely, the Samana (Skt. shramana) and the Br±hmana traditions. These two traditions had distinct social and religious systems. The Samanas believed in the reclusive way of life based on renunciation of household life, to be their path to Nibb±na - emancipation from sams±ra. On the contrary, the Br±hmanas believed in the householders way of life to be the path to heaven which they considered to be the ultimate.
The br±hmana householder’s way of religious life is based upon the fourfold varn±shrama system with a caste hierarchy, at the top of which stood the brahmins. The varn±shrama system aims at producing the sages (rishis) who could continue to be married and still represent the ultimate of the br±hmana culture.
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Samanas were renunciates and had many different schools. Most Samanas believed in self-mortification or extreme ascetism to be the ultimate path of salvation. They practised nakedness and many other forms of penance as could be seen even today among the naked s±dhus or jaμilas.
As opposed to this form of extreme ascetism, Buddhism, which rejected the Vedic brahmanic system and which belonged to the Samana tradition, followed a totally new and distinct path of spiritual enlightenment or liberation, known as the Middle Path (Majjhim± paμipad±). The Buddhist monks were recluse samanas living on the basis of Middle Path and avoiding the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.
The Buddhist laity lived the household life, also based on the Middle Path approach. And though not celibates like the monks, they followed the Samana tradition or heritage. The Buddhists who followed the Samana tradition belonged to the prakrit linguistic stream, while those following the brahminical tradition belonged to the vedic brahmanical cultural stream from the earliest of times. These two
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linguistic and cultural streams existed side by side, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes not harmoniously.
Q- 15. What is the chronology of P±li?
A- When the Buddha adopted P±li to convey his message of Dhamma, it was already a well- developed M±gadhi Prakrit. Since it was a developed language in Buddha’s time, it must have taken at least 500 years to be so developed and refined. It is because of this the Buddha chose it to convey his Dhamma rather than choosing another language.
After choosing it as the medium of Dhamma, the Buddha introduced many new words with new meanings into it. As a result M±gadhi became P±li or Buddha vacana. Which will remain unchanged and unmixed for 5000 years i.e., as long as the Buddha S±sana lasts.
Q- 16. Which is earlier, P±li or Sanskrit?
A- P±li is earlier than Sanskrit. The following are the reasons:
Vedic Sanskrit or Chandas had no grammar. It was used as a mantra (incantation formula); However M±gadhi had its own grammar which was very much in use among
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common people.
Then about 300 years after the Buddha, a brahmin grammarian named P±nini wrote for the first time a grammar for Chandas. And he called it Sanskrit (Sam+krita, i.e. a ‘reconstructed’ language. Only from then onwards it has been a well publicized literary language.
Q- 17. Was P±li vocabulary derived from any older language like Chandas?
A- No, P±li vocabulary was not derived from the older language Chandas. But its vocabulary was derived from M±gadhi prakrit, and with the addition of Buddha’s own words, it became Buddha vacana or P±li. Later M±gadhi continued to change on its own and became Apabhra1⁄2sa – A mixed language, such as, Ardh M±gadhi of the Asokan inscriptions. Later it diversified into various dialects, such as Hindi, Bengali, Asamese, Uriya etc.
Q- 18. Did P±li introduce new words with new meanings into its own vocabulary?
A- Yes, P±li has introduced many new words with new meanings, e.g. the term Dharma, found both in Chandas and Prakrit, is called Dhamma in P±li with distinct meanings;
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similarly, the term karma as kamma in P±li, Nirv±na as Nibb±na, satya as sacca, bear very distinct meanings in P±li.
Q- 19. State the stages of development of P±li language.
A- There are four stages of development of P±li language.
They are:
1. Canonical language consisting of sutta, Geyya, Vy±karana, G±th±, Ud±na, Itivuttaka, J±taka, Abbhutadhamma and Vedalla.
2. Language of Post canonical prose e.g. Milinda pañha, kath±vatthu etc.
3. Language of commentarial works (Aμμhakath±).
4. Language of sub-commentarial works (Ýika).
Each of these stages have many other sub-stages. For instance, there are works in canonical language, which are distinctly ancient, as in Sutta Nip±ta, the language of which is akin to Chandas.
Q- 20. What is the basis of P±li language? State clearly and analyse it.
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A- The basis of P±li language is Buddha Vacana which directly flows from the enlightenment (Bodhi) of the Buddha. It is analysed into these nine forms, namely :
Sutta:– Sutta consists of the discourses which the Buddha, delivered every day of his forty five years of compassionate mission. These suttas are found in all the works of Sutta Piμaka, namely:
1. D2gha Nik±ya:- comprising the lengthy discourses of the Buddha. Sometimes the Buddha spoke for many hours, it is said, even for a whole night. As such these are preserved in the form of D2gha – lengthy discourses in the D2gha Nik±ya.
2. Majjhima Nik±ya:– comprising the middle length discourses of the Buddha on varieties of subjects, some of which are of crucial importance. They provide the seminal teachings of the Buddha.
3. Sa1⁄2yutta Nik±ya:– comprising the discourses on mutually connected subjects. These discourses are short and homogeneous, covering a given subject.
4. Aaguttara Nik±ya:– Comprising discourses which are arranged in a numerical order, for
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instance, suttas dealing with one subject or two subjects or three or more.
5. Khuddaka Nik±ya:– Teachings in the forms of compact treatises. This section consists of eighteen different works, all of great literary and spiritual significance. For instance, Dhammapada consisting of 423 verses is a world classic on wisdom both spiritual and practical.
This precise systematization of the Buddha’s discourses, undertaken during Buddha’s own life time, and later on finalized in the first Saag±yana, resulted in these five Nik±yas, forming the basket of discourses, Sutta Piμaka. The metaphor basket is indeed very apt in this context.
Geyya: – It consists of a combination of both prose and poetry and found in all the three baskets.
Veyy±karana:– It consists of analytical works with reference to language or philology, doctrine or philosophy.
G±th±:- It comprises verses of different meters. Some of the oldest layers of the P±li language are to be found in the form of verses.
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Ud±na, Itivuttaka, J±taka:– These three works are distinct forms of Buddha’s teachings. For instance, Ud±na consists of inspired out- pourings or utterances of the Buddha. Itivuttaka ‘Thus it was said’ is again a special category of teachings. The J±takas are stories of Buddha’s past lives. These stories reveal how the Buddha evolved as a Bodhisatta by fulfilling the ten perfections (P±ramis), exalted virtues, from life to life during an imponderable period of time.
Abbhutadhamma:– Consists of teachings which record the supernormal powers of the Buddha, as displayed on different occasions and places, in order to bring home the truth of the Dhamma among the audience or in a given individual.
Vedalla:– It consists of profound analytical teachings of the Buddha.
Q- 21. What is the difference between the religious scriptures like the Vedas, Bible, Koran etc. and the P±li Buddhist canonical scriptures?
A- The following are the differences between the other religious scriptures and the P±li canonical scripture (Tipiμaka).
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P±li canon is the word of the Buddha, who, though a man, was a Superman and the Teacher both of gods and men. Whereas other religious scriptures are revelations of a God or divine being, the teachings of the P±li scripture, not being revelations by a god, but being a path-way leading to Nibb±na, constitute the discovery of one who, on his own, realized Nibb±na. The Dhamma contains guidelines to truth, as directly experienced and proved by the Buddha.
P±li canon is based upon truth (Dhamma), whereas other religious scriptures are based on a supernatural entity or god, who demands blind faith and can never be questioned. Divine revelations are dogmas which can never be proved whether they are right or wrong, true or false.
In contrast, the teachings of the Buddha, found in the canonical scriptures, are to be directly experienced by each follower and to do that one should investigate and question, to validate its reality in one’s own life. No one else, can act as a proxy to experience Truth.
Therefore the teachings of the Buddha are defined in the following terms.
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1. The teachings of the lord are so perfectly delivered that they can be experienced by all followers (Sv±kkh±to Bhagavat± Dhammo).
2. Because they are clearly enunciated, they can be experienced ‘Here and now’ (Sandiμμhiko).
3. Because of the clarity of the teachings as to be verifiable and visible here and now, they produce ‘Immediate’ (Ak±liko) fruit and are timeless in nature.
4. Because of all these reasons, they invite personal realization. Hence the term ‘Come and see’ for yourselves (Ehipassiko).
5. Because of all the reasons that they can be seen, tested and proved, they definitely and unmistakably ‘Lead one onwards’ (Opanayiko) to enlightenment.
6. And because of all the above reasons, they are to be directly and personally experienced, i.e. realized by oneself alone, not by any proxy, whether a guru or a god, (Paccatta1⁄2 veditabbo viññuhi’ti).
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Q- 22. Is there any place for blind adherence in P±li Buddhism, if not, why or if so, why?
A- As mentioned above in answer –21 there is absolutely no place for or relevance of blind faith, unquestioned belief and unexamined adherence in Therav±da Buddhism based on P±li canon.
Q- 23. Why is the P±li Canon called Tipiμaka? State the significance of the term Piμaka, (basket). Why are the Buddhist canonical scriptures termed ‘Basket’?
A- The P±li Canon is called Tipiμaka, Three baskets, because it preserves and passes on to posterity every word of the original teachings of the Buddha, taught during his forty five years of ministration of Dhamma. These consist of Vinaya, Suttta and Abhidhamma Piμakas.
Just as, a basket is used:
a) To preserve something.
b) To use for day to day work.
c) To carry something from one person or place to another person or place.
Even so, the P±li canon is called Tipiμaka (the three Baskets) because:
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a) It preserves the original teachings of the Buddha taught about 2600 years ago.
b) It guides the followers of the Buddha in their daily life to make verifiable spiritual progress and to live a happy life both here and hereafter, until Nibb±na is attained.
c) It carries the message of Dhamma from generation to generation through a teacher-to-disciple-chain or tradition.
Q- 24. When the Buddha passed away,
a) What did Subhadda say?
b) Why did he say so?
c) What step did the Arahat Mah±kassapa take to meet the situation?
A- When the Buddha passed away, Subhadda said to the monks who were lamenting and crying:
“Monks, don’t lament, don’t cry. Now that the Great monk (Buddha) has passed away, we will live at ease. When he was alive he used to say: ‘don’t do this, do that.’ Now, we are freed from such disciplinary rules, so we can do what we like.”
Subhadda said this, because he was a fake monk. The following is the story of his entering
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the Saagha: Subhadda was a barber living in a village called 3⁄4lavi. He had his wife and two sons.
One day the Buddha accompanied by his disciples visited the 3⁄4lavi village. At that time Subhadda noticed that many people devotedly followed the Buddha and offered d±na with great respect.
Seeing this, Subhadda made a plan to earn money and reputation. Accordingly he had his two sons ordained as monks and collected material things from the people in the name of the Buddha and his Saagha. People gave them whatever they could with great devotion and trust.
After collecting the offerings he invited the Buddha and his disciples to his house where many people were also invited. But the Buddha and his disciples did not accept his offering because it was obtained through wrong means and with selfish intention for gain and fame.
When the Buddha was asked why he did not accept his offering, he told him that the things which he was going to offer were collected through wrong means and violated the precept of right livelihood (samm± ±j2va).
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Since then people, even his own family members, started taunting him.
Thus, being despised by everybody he bore a grudge against the Buddha.
As he became older, he lost the ability to carry out his job. And people stopped coming to him fearing that he may cause injuries while shaving and so on. So to get rid of all these problems and to live comfortably, he became a monk for the rest of his life.
However as a monk, he did not follow the vinaya rules and did not obey his elders, not even the Buddha. This is the reason why he said ‘don’t cry, don’t lament’ and so on.
Subhadda’s statement was heard by Venerable Mah±kassapa who thought that this attitude poses a great threat to the Buddha S±sana. So he immediately had five hundred Arahats assembled. This Holy Saagha decided to conduct the first Buddhist Council (Paμhama Saag±yana), at Sattapanni Cave in R±jagaha. King Aj±tasattu supported the Council and Venerable Mah±kassapa presided over it. The Council recited the entire Tipiμaka as found today for seven months. The reciters were the Venerable Up±li who recited the Vinaya Piμaka
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and the Venerable 3⁄4nanda, who recited the Sutta and Abhidhamma Piμakas.
Thus the original teachings of the Buddha has continued to be preserved till the present generation of the Therav±da Saagha.
Q- 25. Write a detailed account of the first Buddhist Council.
A- When the Arahat Mah±kassapa heard the irreverent statement of the old monk Subhadda, he became aware of the great threat it posed to the Buddha S±sana. So he decided to convene a Council of Arahats for the recital of the Tipiμaka in order to preserve the original teaching of the Buddha in its pristine purity.
He held a meeting of the Holy Saagha which selected five hundred eminent Enlightened Disciples (Arahats) who were endowed with Paμisambhid± ñ±na i.e., Direct knowledge and mastery over the teachings of the Buddha, to recite the Tipiμaka. The Great Council was conducted in a specially constructed structure (pandal) in front of the Sattanpanni Cave at R±jagaha.
King Aj±tasattu, son of King Bimbis±ra, made all the necessary arrangements for
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holding the Council. He had a decorated pandal erected in front of Sattapanni Cave, and provided the four requisites for the great Arahats and others attending the Synod.
After all the preparatory arrangements had been completed, the Great Council began on the fourth month, following the Mah±parinibb±na of the Buddha. This historic First Buddhist Council lasted for seven months in which five hundred Enlightened Direct Disciples recited, thus authenticating, the sacred P±li Buddhist Canon, the Tipiμaka.
Venerable Mah±kassapa, the senior most Arahat presided over the proceedings of the Council.
At first he asked the Venerable Up±li, the Vinayadhara, about the Vinaya Piμaka, containing the disciplinary rules prescribed by the Buddha, as to when, where and why a certain rule was laid down and so on. And Venerable Up±li answered all the questions in detail.
In the same manner Venerable 3⁄4nanda, the Dhammadhara and M±tik±dhara answered the questions about Sutta and Abhidhamma Piμakas. M±tika is another name for Abhidhamma Piμaka.
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Thus the entire Teaching of the Buddha, viz. The Tipiμaka, was recited and validated by all the five hundred great Arahats.
This is how the teaching of the Buddha has been protected and preserved in its pristine purity as is available today.
Q- 26. Write an account of the Second Great Council.
A- The Second Great Council was held a hundred years after the Mah±parinibb±na of the Buddha at V±luk±r±ma in Ves±li.
The purpose for holding the Second council was as follows:
Having become monks, many Vajji princes, did not follow the Dhamma and Vinaya as taught by the Buddha. Instead they lived in their own way violating the rules laid down by the Buddha. And on top of that they made their own rules to fit their lax life-style.
Venerable Yasa, the direct disciple of Venerable 3⁄4nanda became aware of this departure from monastic discipline. After foreseeing the future threat to the Buddha S±sana through Paμisambhid± ñ±na, he made a strong vow to conduct the second Council in order to preserve the Buddha vacana.
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The Vajji monks made ten rules of their own, which are not only against the rules prescribed by the Buddha, but which destroy the very spirit of the Vinaya, thus a great threat to Buddha’s Dispensation.
These ten rules are:
1. Kappati singilona kappo
It is allowable to carry salt in a horn container during the alms-round to flavour the alms-food. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule No. 38 dealing with non-hoarding of food (sannidik±raka), laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
2. Kappati dvaagula kappo
It is allowable to eat after the sun has crossed the meridian (mid-day), two fingers breath, which becomes untimely eating (vik±labhojana). This practice violates the vinaya p±cittiya rule No. 37 dealing with eating at the wrong time, laid down by the Buddha in R±jagaha.
3. Kappati g±mantara kappo
It is allowable to eat twice in a village. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule No. 36 dealing with eating once again in a village, laid down by the Buddha in
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S±vatthi.
4. Kappati ±v±sa kappo
It is allowable to have a separate Uposatha while staying in the same monastery (±v±sa). This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule called dukkaμa dealing with Uposatha (the monastic Community reciting the rules), laid down by the Buddha in R±jagaha.
5. Kappati anumati kappo
It is allowable to conduct a formal act of Saagha without the presence of all the concerned members expecting the agreement of the absent ones. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule called dukkaμa dealing with conducting the Saagha community meeting as a whole, laid down by the Buddha in Champeyyaka.
6. Kappati ±cinna kappo
It is allowable to blindly follow the elders saying that since my teacher or preceptor has done it, so I will also do it, without understanding the purpose of such conduct. This practice goes against the Vinaya p±cittiya rule dealing with unquestioned following, laid down by the Buddha in
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Kosambi.
7. Kappati amathita kappo
It is allowable to drink butter milk at wrong time. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule, laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
8. Kappati jalogi kappo
It is allowable to drink unfermented alcoholic drink. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule dealing with drinking of intoxicating and fermented liquor, laid down by the Buddha at Kosambi.
9. Kappati adasaka1⁄2 nis2dana kappo
It is allowable to use expensive and stylish bed coverings. This practice goes against the vinaya p±cittiya rule connected with bed coverings etc., laid down by the Buddha in S±vatthi.
10. Kappati j±tar3pa rajata kappo
It is allowable to handle gold, silver etc. This practice goes against the Vinaya p±cittiya rule connected with handling of money, gold, silver etc., laid down by the Buddha at R±jagaha.
Now Venerable Yasa after creating a public
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opinion against these degenerate practices of the vajji monks discussed this matter with venerable Revata and Venerable Sabbak±mi.
These three senior Arahats together with seven hundred other Arahats, who were also endowed with Paμisambhid± ñ±na went to V±luk±r±ma M±havana to conduct second Council.
Becoming aware of their arrival, the Vajji monks falsely reported to the King, saying that some fake monks have come to remove them from the Mah±vana.
The king who was a follower of these fake monks, immediately sent one of his ministers to remove the visiting Arahats from V±luk±r±ma. But when the minister reached there, he saw not even a single monk in the Mah±vana. So he came back and reported this to the king.
This miracle of making things invisible was performed by the divine beings so that the great Arahats who had just arrived and were exhausted due to long travel would not be disturbed.
On that very night, King K±l±soka, dreamt that he was being punished in the Lohakumbi
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hell, frying him in a big pan filled with boiling oil.
In this dream the king felt as if he was actually experiencing the torture of the hell. Now at that moment his elder Sister, Venerable Nand± Ther2, who was an Arahat, appeared before him and said thus: “What you are experiencing now is because you are supporting the fake monks, and neglecting the true monks who have come to the Mah±vana in order the conduct the Second Great Council. If you continue to support them you will suffer like this in your next life in hell.
Hearing this the king was totally changed and became a good up±saka, lay devotee. And it is he who made all the necessary arrangements for the Second Great Council.
Then these Seven hundred Arahats, under the presidentship of Venerable Sabbak±mi, conducted the Second Great Council which lasted for eight months, at V±luk±r±ma in Mah±vana near Ves±li. Thus once again the pure, original teachings of the Buddha were preserved.
Q- 27. Write an account of the third Great Council.
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A- The third Great Buddhist Council was held about two hundred and fifty years after the Mah±parinibb±na of the Buddha, at Asok±r±ma, P±μaliputta, the capital city of Magadha. One thousand Paμisambhid± ñ±na Arahats, presided over by the Great Arahat Moggaliputta Tissa, the teacher of Emperor Asoka, recited the entire Tipiμaka for nine months under the patronage of Emperor Asoka.
The cause of the Third Great Council was the prevalence of large number of fake monks, who became monks on their own, without being ordained and who stayed with the good monks. They neither learnt nor practised the Dhamma and Vinaya. Instead they spread false doctrines based on their own wrong views, thus posing a great threat to the Buddha S±sana.
They prevailed because of the immense gain, and honour showered to the Buddhist monks and nuns both by the King and the public. These gains and honours attracted the evil people, who wanted to lead a luxurious life. As they grew in number, it posed a great threat to the Buddha’s Dispensation.
The gains and honours came after the
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conversion of the Emperor Asoka into Buddhism. Before his conversion into Buddhism, he was known as Cao1a (fierce) Asoka, as he was a very cruel king. He had one hundred brothers, who fought among themselves for the royal throne. Taking advantage of this weakness, Asoka succeeded in becoming the king after the death of his father Bindus±ra, two hundred and twenty years after the Mah±parinibb±na of the Buddha.
Asoka was extraordinarily intelligent and brave. As he flourished he became so powerful that he defeated the most powerful kingdom of Kaliaga and became Cakkavati, an Emperor. Though he succeeded in becoming the most powerful and famous King but he was also the most unhappy King in the world, due to his evil deeds.
One day when he was restlessly walking to and fro, near a cemetery, Venerable Nigrodha, who was meditating in that cemetery alone, seeing him in such a miserable condition, felt great compassion and called him by his personal name, three times, saying, ‘Devanampiya come here’. Nobody except his own parents, dared to call him by his personal
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name.
This made King Asoka very angry and he followed the voice from where it was coming. But as he approached the Venerable Nigrodha, he became calm. The Venerable monk spoke to him gently and taught him Dhamma about the painful consequences of evil actions, hearing which he was totally transformed. From Cao1±soka (Cruel Asoka) he became Dhamm±soka (Righteous Asoka).
At that time, the situation of the monastic community was getting very bad, and the good monks refused to conduct Uposatha with the bad monks. Hearing this, King Asoka sent one of his ministers, who was very cruel, requesting the monks to conduct Uposatha for the preservation of the Buddha’s teaching.
The minister, without making any prior investigation, ordered the monks to conduct Uposatha. When the good monks did not agree with him, he got angry and killed many of them. When the King heard about this incident, he was shocked and calling the minister, he asked him, why he killed the monks. The minister said that it was done because he thought the king wanted it done that way.
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The King felt great remorse and went to venerable Moggaliputta Tissa, who was living on the other side of the Ganga and asked him who was responsible for such an evil deed. Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa assured him that since he had no such intention nor did he order for it, he was not responsible. It is the minister who did it on his own, so he is responsible for it and he will suffer for such a deed.
Then King Asoka, wanting to learn more about Dhamma, stayed with his teacher for one full week, during which he learnt how to judge and differentiate a good monk and a bad monk. After the retreat he invited his Guru to his palace and asked him what should be done with the fake monks. His teacher told him that first the holy Saagha must be purified by expelling them from the Saagha and the Third Great Buddhist Council must be conducted to reaffirm the purity of the Buddha’s teaching.
Then King Asoka organized a disrobing ceremony by establishing two centres, one for the good monks and the other for the bad monks. He then invited the monks from all over the country. Meanwhile Venerable
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Moggaliputta Tissa prepared one thousand questions to test their knowledge of Dhamma, known as Kath±vatthu. It is now a part of Abhidhamma Piμaka.
When all the necessary arrangements were made, the disrobing ceremony began by asking questions to each monk. Those who could not answer the questions, more than sixty thousand of them, were expelled from the Saagha. And those who answered rightly were treated with great respect.
Now as his understanding of Dhamma grew more and more, the king became even more kind and righteous. He stopped killing animals in his kingdom. He established friendly relations with the neighbouring kingdoms. He was not only good himself, but did good to others by rendering humanitarian services. He appointed all his soldiers and the sixty thousand expelled monks into humanitarian services. For the first time in the history of mankind, he built hospitals for monks, nuns and the public, even for animals and birds. He built monasteries and shrines, erected Dhamma pillars, which is now the symbol of Indian republic, got rocks engraved with the
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words of the Buddha and put edicts everywhere, which are found even today, planted plants on the road sides, built resting places (Dhammas±l±) etc.
Now after purifying the Saagha, the good monks decided to uphold the purity of the Dhamma by conducting the Third Saagh±yana. King Asoka immediately made the necessary arrangements and invited all the monks for the Council. Out of them one thousand Paμisambhid± 3⁄4rahats recited the entire Tipiμaka, while Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa presided over it and the Council lasted for nine months.
Now King Asoka was not satisfied with what good he has done so far. So he asked his teacher: “What is the greatest service that I can render to Buddhas±sana?” Venerable Arahat Moggaliputta Tissa told him to give his son Mahinda and daughter Saaghamitt± into the Saagha as the greatest service he can ever render.
King Asoka gave them to the Saagha without any hesitation, for which they too were already waiting.
King Asoka not only spread the Dhamma
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in his own country but he also sent nine groups of ‘Messengers of Dhamma’ (Dhammad3ta) to many other countries. His own son and daughter were sent to Sri Lanka. Asoka was the first Emperor who brought about a truly great revolution in India, the effect of which is still felt today and his name shines in the hearts of the people.
Q- 28. Write an account of the Fourth Great Buddhist Council.
A- The Fourth Great Buddhist Council was held four hundred fifty years after the Mahaparinibb±na of the Buddha in Sri Lanka at Alu Lena Cave. It was presided over by Venerable Rakkhita Thera with five hundred Arahats reciting the Tipiμaka several times and then had it rendered into writing in Ola leaves.
At that time Sri Lanka was in a very bad condition due to a wicked king who was hostile to the Buddhist monks. So when one thousand monks left the capital city, Anur±dhapura, it became practically empty. While seven hundred of them went to South India and somehow managed to survive, fifty monks stayed back at the seashore living on leaves, fruits etc.
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Due to malnutrition they became so weak that they could not stand or walk, it was for the preservation of the teachings of the Buddha that they were living. Lying on the ground they recited the Tipiμaka while others who were stronger went to the forest nearby and brought fruits, leaves etc., and all ate together. In this way they lived there for twelve years.
The King Cao1ala Tissa of Sri Lanka, not only forced the monks to leave the city, but he destroyed all the Buddhist monasteries, study centres, shrines etc. Then as time passed the situation suddenly changed. The wicked king died and his son Vaμμag±mini Abhaya became the king. He was the very opposite of his father, a kind and righteous king. He regretted for what his father had done and asked for forgiveness from the monks for all the hardships they had to undergo. He invited the monks back to the city to continue their Dhamma mission as before for the welfare of all. He also rebuilt the monasteries and shrines destroyed by his father.
Though many monks come back to the city, the five hundred Arahats did not return, since they had determined to conduct the Fourth Saag±yana to preserve the Dhamma in its
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pristine form.
After hearing the decision to conduct the Fourth Council, the king made all the necessary arrangements. Then the Fourth Great Council was held under the presidentship of Venerable Rakkhita Thera with five hundred Arahats, who recited the entire Tipiμaka for several times to confirm its authenticity.
Till then the teachings of the Buddha were handed down and preserved orally from teacher to disciple. Now for the first time the entire Tipiμaka was written in Ola leaves. Obviously The art of writing was already developed.
After the completion of rendering the Tipiμaka into writing, the manuscript was given to the King, who had many copies made and distributed them to the Buddhist monasteries. Ancient ola leaf manuscripts are preserved and worshipped by the people even today.
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