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LESSON 2768 Sun 7 Oct 2018 PRACTICE BUDDHA VACANA for PEACE (PBVP) DO GOOD BE MINDFUL (DGBM) Rector JCMesh J Alphabets Letter Animation ClipartMesh C Alphabets Letter Animation Clipart INSIGHT-NET-Hi Tech Radio Free Animation Clipart Online A1 (Awakened One) Tipiṭaka Research & Practice University in Visual Format (FOA1TRPUVF) SARVA SAMAJ MEDIA for WELFARE, HAPPINESS AND PEACE of ALL SOCIETIES From PRABANDHAK
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PRACTICE BUDDHA VACANA for PEACE (PBVP)


DO GOOD BE MINDFUL (DGBM)



History of Pali Language and Literature

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

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.
Search domain www.quora.comhttps://www.quora.com/What-language-did-Gautama-Buddha-speak-ac…
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.
Search domain en.wikipedia.orghttps://en.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.
Search domain en.wikipedia.orghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magadhi_Prakrit
Magadhi Prakrit - Encyclopedia of Buddhism

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.
Search domain encyclopediaofbuddhism.orghttps://encyclopediaofbuddhism.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 …
Search domain www.youtube.comhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0TTGgcq3qU
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 .
Search domain www.revolvy.comhttps://www.revolvy.com/topic/Magadhi Prakrit&item_type=topic
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.
Search domain www.thefullwiki.orghttps://www.thefullwiki.org/Magadhi_Prakrit
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 …
Search domain www.livemint.comhttps://www.livemint.com/Leisure/UfPMM1NOCigt5ihzXNuqJI/Prakrit-Th…
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].
Search domain www.virtualvinodh.comvirtualvinodh.com/wp/original-language-shramanas/
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
v
Feedback
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…
2
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
More Results
We don’t track yo

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:
16

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.
20

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.
21
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.
24

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.
26

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
28

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
30

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.
31

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.
33
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.
34
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 :
38
37

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.
40

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
42

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
43

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
46

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.
49

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.
50

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.
51
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.
53
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.
54

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).
55
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).
56

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.
57
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
58

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
60

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).
61
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).
62

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
63

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.
65
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
66

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±
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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
71
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.
72
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.
74
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
78
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
79

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
80
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
82
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.
84
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
86
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.
88
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
90
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
91

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
93

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
94
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.
96
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.
——  ——
98
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.
——  —— 104
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.
120
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.
132
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
133

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
134
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
135

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
136
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.
137

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
138
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
139

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.
140
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
142
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
143

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.
144
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
145

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.
——  ——
146
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