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The '''Pali Canon'''<ref>This is the name usually used by Pali scholars, subject to variations such as Pali canon, Pāli Canon etc. Google search suggests Tipitaka may be a commoner name among non-specialists. The Title pages of the Sixth Council, Sinhalese and Thai editions have Piṭaka, Tripiṭaka and Tepiṭaka respectively</ref> is the scripture collection of [[Theravada Buddhism]] and, in the view of most scholars, the most important source for early Buddhism. It was written down from oral tradition in the last century BC.  
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The '''Pali Canon''' is the scripture collection of Theravada Buddhism.<ref>Gethin, ''Sayings of the Buddha'', Oxford World Classics, 2008, page xiii</ref> "Pali Canon" is the usual English name;<ref>Gombrich, foreword to Pali Text Society edition of Geiger, ''Pali Grammar''; there are typographical variants: Pali/Pāli/Pāḷi Canon/canon</ref> it is also known by the name "Tipiṭaka".<ref>Harvey, ''Introduction to Buddhism'', Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2012, page 459</ref> It is in [[Pali]],<ref>Harvey, ''Introduction to Buddhism'', Cambridge University Press, 1st ed, 1990, page 3</ref> which is a language of ancient India.<ref>Harvey, ''Introduction to Buddhism'', Cambridge University Press, 1st ed, 1990, page xx</ref> Mahayana Buddhism tends to regards the Tipiṭaka as a sort of "[[Old Testament]]"<ref>''Encyclopaedia Britannica'', 2002 printing, volume 11, page 791 (article Tipitaka)</ref>. Most scholars recognize the Canon as the oldest source for the Buddha's teachings.<ref>Mousa, ''World Religions Demystified'', McGraw-Hill, 2014, page 35; Schopen, ''Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks'', University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1997, pages 23f / reprinted from ''Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik'', volume 10 (1985), page 9 / also quoted in "The historical authenticity of early Buddhist literature: a critical evaluation", ''Vienna Journal of South Asian Studies'', Vol XLIX (2005)/[https://ocbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/awynne2005wzks.pdf], page 37</ref>
  
The English name comes from [[Pali]], its language. The commonest name in the tradition is Tipitaka (tipiṭaka), meaning "thee baskets", after the commonest arrangement of the Canon:
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==Background==
  
#Vinaya Pitaka, on monastic discipline
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The Canon is traditionally regarded by the [[Theravada]] as the Word of the Buddha (died around 400 BC<ref>consensus of scholars: Gethin, ''Sayings of the Buddha'', Oxford World Classics, 2008, page xv</ref>), though not always literally.<ref>Gombrich, ''Theravada Buddhism'', Routledge, London, 1st edn, 1988 / 2nd edn, 2006, page 20</ref>  It is said in the Canon itself that whatever is well said is the Word of the Buddha.<ref>''The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha'', Wisdom Publications / Pali Text Society, page 1120; ''Gradual Sayings'', Pali Text Society, volume IV, page 112</ref> Modern scholars tend to regard at least large amounts of the Canon (with disagreements on how much) as the work of a number of unknown authors ([http://www.academia.edu/15576817/Understanding_Early_Buddhist_Terminology_in_Its_Context]).
#Sutta or Suttanta Pitaka, discourses
 
#Abhidhamma Pitaka, higher or special teaching, more formal and analytical than the discourses
 
  
The Sutta Pitaka is in turn divided into five nikayas (nikāya). The first four of these are in a fairly uniform style, mainly prose. The fifth, the Khuddaka Nikaya, is a miscellaneous collection of books in prose and/or verse.
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According to a tradition generally regarded quite favourably by scholars, the Canon was written down from oral tradition in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in the last century BC.<ref>Gethin, ''Buddhist Path to Awakening'', Brill, Leiden / New York / Köln, 1992, page 8</ref> The oldest known manuscript fragment of the Canon dates from the 8th or 9th century, but in general manuscripts have not survived from before the 15th century, and the majority are probably no older than the 18th.<ref>Gethin, ''Sayings of the Buddha'', Oxford University Press, pages xxiif</ref>
  
==Authorship and date==
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The Canon has now been printed and posted on the internet: see links below.
  
The Canon is traditionally described as "The Word of the Buddha" (Buddhavacana). This is not intended literally, the Canon in fact including teachings by followers and accounts of events after the Buddha's death. Being actually said by the historical Buddha is not a necessary requirement for counting as Buddhavacana. Nevertheless, most of the Canon is presented by itself, and accepted by traditional Theravadins, as his actual words, though modern Theravadins do not always take this view.
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The vast majority of commentarial literature is connected with just four names: Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala, Sariputta and Nanakitti.<ref>[http://www.palitext.com/JPTS_scans/JPTS_2000_XXVI.pdf ''Journal of the Pali Text Society'', volume XXVI], page 134</ref>
  
At the other extreme, Tibetologist Geoffrey Samuel says the Canon largely derives from the work of Buddhaghosa and his colleagues in the 5th century AD.<ref>''Introducing Tibetan Buddhism'', Routledge, 2012, page 48</ref>
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==Table of contents==
  
However, three main approaches have been identified among scholars. One group of scholars argue that substantial parts of the Canon show such coherence that they must in substance be the work of a single mind, that of the Buddha himself (around the 5th century BC). A second group, on the contrary, argue that the lack of hard evidence before the writing down of the Canon, or even later, makes it impossible to reach any definite conclusions. The third group avoid such generalizations, focusing on detailed studies of particular points.<ref>This classification of approaches was delineated by Lambert Schmithausen in the Preface to Ruegg & Schmithausen, ''Early Buddhism and Madhyamaka'', Brill, Leiden,1990, pp 1f, where he includes himself in the third group. A leading exponent of the first is Richard F. Gombrich, who summarizes his position in his book ''Theravada Buddhism'', Routledge, London, 1st edition, 1988/2nd edition, 2006, pp 20f. The leading scholar in the second group is Gregory Schopen, who gives his arguments in ''Journal of the Pali Text Society'', volume XVI, pp 104–6, reprinted in his book ''Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks'', University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1997, pp 80f.</ref>
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English titles are taken from the Pali Text Society: titles of translations published by them, except for 2 books they haven't yet translated.
  
==Canon==
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*Vinaya Pitaka (Book of the discipline)
 +
*Sutta or Suttanta Pitaka
 +
**Digha Nikaya (Dialogues of the Buddha)
 +
**Majjhima Nikaya (Middle length discourses of the Buddha)
 +
**Samyutta Nikaya (Connected discourses of the Buddha)
 +
**Anguttara Nikaya (Numerical discourses of the Buddha)
 +
**Khuddaka Nikaya: the contents of this section vary between editions, with some including all the following but others omitting one or more ([https://web.archive.org/web/20120820132850/http://society.worldtipitaka.info/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/comparative-tipitaka-volumes]); Professor Norman asks how one is supposed to tell whether books included in printed editions are regarded as canonical.<ref>''Philological Approach to Buddhism'', School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1997, page 141; also quoted by Oliver Freiberger in ''Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte'', ed Max Deeg et al, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 2011, page 218</ref>
 +
***Khuddakapatha (Minor readings)
 +
***Dhammapada (Word of the doctrine)
 +
***Udana (Verses of uplift)
 +
***Itivuttaka (As it was said)
 +
***Suttanipata (Group of discourses)
 +
***Vimanavatthu (Stories of the mansions)
 +
***Petavatthu (Stories of the departed)
 +
***Theragatha (Poems of early Buddhist monks)
 +
***Therigatha (Poems of early Buddhist nuns)
 +
***Apadana (Legends<ref>"Illustrator of ultimate meaning" (in 1 volume with "Minor readings"), page 2</ref>)
 +
***Buddhavamsa (Chronicle of Buddhas)
 +
***Cariyapitaka (Basket of conduct)
 +
***Jataka (Stories of the Buddha's former births)
 +
***Niddesa (Exposition<ref>Suttanipata translation, page 18</ref>)
 +
****Maha Niddesa
 +
****Culla or Cula Niddesa
 +
***Patisambhidamagga (Path of discrimination)
 +
***Netti (The guide)
 +
***Petakopadesa (Piṭaka-disclosure)
 +
***Milindapanha (Milinda's questions)
 +
*Abhidhamma Pitaka
 +
**Dhammasangani (A Buddhist manual of psychological ethics)
 +
**Vibhanga (Book of analysis)
 +
**Dhatukatha (Discourse on elements)
 +
**Puggalapannatti (Designation of human types)
 +
**Kathavatthu (Points of controversy)
 +
**Yamaka (Book of pairs)
 +
**Patthana (Conditional relations)
  
A standard list of books in the Canon appears in a number of classic commentaries (5th century?). One of those commentaries, however, gives some alternative listings of contents of the Khuddaka Nikaya. A subcommentary on this, probably written in the 10th century, explains the apparent differences in lists by saying that books not mentioned were in fact counted as parts of other books, and a later subcommentary, wriiten about 1800, uses the same method to include in the Canon at least two books not known to have been ever before mentioned as such.<ref>JPTS, volume XXVIII, pages 61f</ref> The inscriptions of the Canon approved by the Fifth Council, and the printed edition approved by the Sixth Council, include three such books (the edition puts them at the end of the Khuddaka Nikaya<ref>Norman, ''Collected Papers'', Pali Text Society, volume IV, 1993, page 108, note 4</ref>). These councils are generally recognized by all Theravada countries, all of them took part in the Sixth Council, and a transcript of the Sixth Council edition, including these books, has been sponsored by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. Nevertheless, the Thai national edition (1925-8) omits them, and the Sinhalese national printed edition includes only two of them.
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==Where next?==
  
There is disagreement on whether it is still possible for material to be added to the Canon.
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*[https://web.archive.org/web/20120820132850/http://society.worldtipitaka.info/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/comparative-tipitaka-volumes Parallel volume-by-volume table of contents of a number of editions]; see [https://web.archive.org/web/20120722154929/http://society.worldtipitaka.info/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/reference-to-pali-tipitaka-editions-in-various-scripts] for the code letters used there.
 
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* Detailed outlines (from shortest to longest)
The table below gives the corresponding material in the three main editions in use in the Theravada world (nearly all copies of the Khmer edition were burnt by the Khmers Rouges). In the left column are the titles of the books. The other columns list the volumes in those editions in which the corresponding material is included. The volume numbering is taken from the following sources.
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** ''An Analysis of the Pāli Canon'', edited by Russell Webb, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 3rd edition, 2008; online at [http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh217_Webb_Analysis-of-the-Pali-Canon.html]; includes extensive bibliography
 
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** ''An Outline Of the Pāḷi Canon'', compiled from various sources by Allan R. Bomhard, Charleston Buddhist Fellowship, Charleston, SC USA, 2013 (2557); online at [https://www.academia.edu/38036561/An_Outline_Of_the_P%C4%81li_Canon?email_work_card=title]
*B: imprints pages of the 2008 Latin-script printing of the 6th Council edition available in pdfs at[http://www.btmar.org/content/tipitaka-del-sexto-concilio-buddhista-textos-pali]
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** ''Guide to Tipiṭaka'', compiled by U Ko Lay, Burma Piṭaka Association, Rangoon, 1986; reprinted in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand; now online at numerous websites, e.g. [http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tipitaka.pdf], [http://www.archive.org/details/guidetotipitaka029042mbp], [http://www.archive.org/stream/guidetotipitaka029042mbp#page/n1/mode/2up], [http://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book/guide-to-tipitaka/d/doc3409.html]
*C: title pages of the Buddhajayanti edition (Ceylon/Sri Lnka)
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** ''A History of Pali Literature'' by Bimala Churn Law, originally published in 2 volumes in 1933 (Volume I on the Canon), reprinted in 1 volume, online at [http://www.academia.edu/4088767/A_History_of_Pali_Literature_by_Bimala_Churn_Law]
*S: (apparently rebound) spines of the set of the 2nd Siamese edition donated to Cambridge University Library in 1931 by the King of Siam
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* ''The Lion's Roar: an Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings Selected from the Pāḷi Canon'', David Maurice, Rider, London, 1962; American printing Citadel, New York, 1967: online at [http://www.kbrl.gov.mm/book/download/002593]; this seems to be the only anthology including selections from all three pitakas; it also represents all five nikayas, but not all the individual books listed above
 
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* [http://www.palitext.com/ The Pali Text Society] publishes Pali texts, translations, an ''Introduction to Pali'', a ''Pali-English Dictionary'', etc.; if some of the tabs at the top of the home page don't work on your computer, click on Sitemap at left
{|
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*Complete text (in Pali)
!book
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**image files
!B
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***''Braḥ Traipiṭakapāḷi'', 110 volumes, Phnom Penh, 1931-1969: [https://web.archive.org/web/20120606015925/http://dhamma4khmer2.org/Tipitaka_Reading_1.html]
!C
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***''Buddhajayanti Tripitaka'', 52 volumes [in 58], published under the patronage of the government of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, 1957-1989:  
!S
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****[http://www.pali-text-images.net/bjt/index.htm]
|-
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****[http://www.aathaapi.net/tipitaka/]
|Vinaya Pitaka
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***''Chaṭṭhasa&#7749;gītipiṭaka&#x1E41;'', 40 volumes; various printings:
|1-5
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****Ministry of Religious Affairs, Yangon, 2008: [http://www.btmar.org/content/tipitaka-del-sexto-concilio-buddhista-textos-pali]; complete set, including commentaries and subcommentaries, can be downloaded free of charge from [http://www.btmar.org/content/tipitaka-del-sexto-concilio-buddhista-inicio]
|1-6
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****[http://www.pali-text-images.net/cst/index.htm]
|1-8
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****[http://www.kbrl.gov.mm/catalog/Index/39?page=32] (click on Eng to get the page in English instead of Burmese); also includes English translations of a lot of the Canon
|-
+
**text files
|Digha Nikaya
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***Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project: [http://web.archive.org/web/20100615203958/http://buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html]; also includes many other Pali texts
|6-8
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***Sutta Central: [http://suttacentral.net/]; see [https://suttacentral.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/suttacentral-upgrade-2014/], [https://sites.google.com/a/worldtipitaka.info/society/world-tipitaka-project/the-project/introduction] for background on this; also includes early Buddhist literature in other languages
|7-9
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***Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri, India: [http://www.tipitaka.org]; also includes commentaries, subcommentaries and other Pali texts
|9-11
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**watch  this space:
|-
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***[https://www.pali-text-images.net/]: site provider hopes to add more editions
|Majjhima Nikaya
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***[http://www.budsir.org] has carried an under construction notice for many months
|9-11
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***[https://opencontext.org/projects/b6de18c6-bba8-4b53-9d9e-3eea4b794268]
|10-12
 
|12-14
 
|-
 
|Samyutta Nikaya
 
|12-14
 
|13-17
 
|15-19
 
|-
 
|Anguttara Nikaya
 
|15-17
 
|18-23
 
|20-24
 
|-
 
|Khuddakapatha
 
|18
 
|24
 
|25
 
|-
 
|Dhammapada
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Udana
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Itivuttaka
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Suttanipata
 
|,,
 
|25
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Vimanavatthu
 
|19
 
|26
 
|26
 
|-
 
|Petavatthu
 
|,,
 
|27
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Theragatha
 
|,,
 
|28
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Therigatha
 
|,,
 
|29
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Jataka
 
|22-23
 
|30-32
 
|27-28
 
|-
 
|Maha Niddesa
 
|24
 
|33
 
|29
 
|-
 
|Culla Niddesa
 
|25
 
|34
 
|30
 
|-
 
|Patisambhidamagga
 
|26
 
|35
 
|31
 
|-
 
|Apadana
 
|20-21
 
|36-37
 
|32-33
 
|-
 
|Buddhavamsa
 
|21
 
|38
 
|33
 
|-
 
|Cariyapitaka
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Netti(ppakarana)
 
|27
 
|39
 
|—
 
|-
 
|Petakopadesa
 
|27
 
|40
 
|—
 
|-
 
|Milindapanha
 
|28
 
|—
 
|—
 
|-
 
|Dhammasangani
 
|29
 
|41
 
|34
 
|-
 
|Vibhanga
 
|30
 
|42-43
 
|35
 
|-
 
|Dhatukatha
 
|31
 
|47
 
|36
 
|-
 
|Puggalapannatti
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|,,
 
|-
 
|Kathavatthu
 
|32
 
|44-46
 
|37
 
|-
 
|Yamaka
 
|33-35
 
|48-49
 
|38-39
 
|-
 
|Patthana
 
|36-40
 
|50-52
 
|40-45
 
|}
 
 
 
See further [http://society.worldtipitaka.info/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/comparative-tipitaka-volumes] (and [http://society.worldtipitaka.info/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/reference-to-pali-tipitaka-editions-in-various-scripts] for the code letters used there).
 
 
 
 
 
==Text==
 
 
 
The climate of Theravada countries is not conducive to the survival of manuscripts. Apart from brief quotations in [[inscription|inscriptions]], and a two-page fragment from about the 9th century found in [[Nepal]], the oldest known [[manuscript|manuscripts]] date from the 15th century, and there are few from before the 18th. Thus the manuscripts available are the result of multiple copying, with the inevitable errors accumulated. This is compounded by transcription between alphabets, as Pali has none of its own, each country generally using its own. Manuscripts tend to follow different national recensions, though with some interaction. The Sixth Council was dominated by Burmese monks, and its edition of the Canon tends to follow Burmese readings, though by no means always. Similarly, the Sinhalese and Thai printed editions tend to follow their own national traditions, though not entirely so. Modern scholars try to compare these three editions, which is made easier by the existence of electronic transcripts.
 
 
 
==Role==
 
 
 
In theory, the Canon is the highest authority for the teaching. In practice, its great bulk means few are familiar with it as a whole. Therefore there is a tendency to specialize. The Vinaya Pitaka mentions vinaya and sutta specialists. The Milindapanha mentions specialists in each of the five nikayas. The commentaries mention abhidhamma specialists. In modern times, those wishing to be ordained as monks in Sri Lanka have had to memorize the [[Dhammapada]]. In [[Myanmar]] one can earn the title Teacher of Religion (Dhammācariya) by passing an examination where the set texts are the first volume of each pitaka.
 
 
 
Like [[Hinduism]], [[Islam]], [[Judaism]] and [[Sikhism]], and unlike [[Christianity]] and [[Mahayana Buddhism]], Theravada emphasizes the original scriptural language. Study and recitation are usually in Pali. The Canon was composed, or evolved, for the most part orally, and is adapted to that medium, and so to memorization. There are rare cases of monks who know the whole Canon by heart, and many know substantial parts. Even lay people usually know a few short passages.
 
 
 
==Comparison==
 
 
 
Versions of the Vinaya and most of the Sutta exist in Chinese. These are inherited from other schools of ancient Indian Buddhism and differ somewhat from the Pali versions. Similarly, there is a version of the Vinaya in [[Tibetan]].
 
 
 
==Bibliography==
 
 
 
===Editions of the Canon===
 
 
 
*1st Siamese edition (incomplete), 39 volumes, 1893. This edition is now available in electronic form at [http://hall.worldtipitaka.org/].
 
*1st Burmese edition, based on the Fifth Council inscriptions, 1900, 38 volumes. It was later superseded by the Sixth Council edition.
 
*Pali Text Society edition, 1877-1927, 57 volumes, including index volumes. Individual volumes and subsets are also available separately. Details can be found on [http://www.palitext.com the Society's website]. A few volumes have been replaced with new editions since 1927.
 
**CD-ROM from Dhammakaya Foundation, Thailand: 1st edition no longer available; 2nd edition in preparation
 
*2nd Siamese edition, 45 volumes, 1925-1928. It is more accurate than the PTS edition, but gives fewer variant readings.<ref>Warder, ''Introduction to Pali'', 1963, PTS, page 382</ref>
 
**CD-ROM available from [http://www.budsir.org/order.htm BUDSIR (BUDdhist Studies Information Retrieval), Mahidol University, Thailand]
 
**it is also supposed to be available online at [http://budsir.mahidol.ac.th/], with options for Latin, Thai, Sinhalese and devanagari scripts, but there seem to be problems with accessing this site.
 
*edition approved by the Sixth Council (Rangoon, 1954-1956), 40 volumes. This is more accurate than the Siamese edition, but with fewer variant readings.<ref>Hamm in ''German Scholars on India'', volume I, ed Cultural Department of the German Embassy in India, pub Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi, 1973, translated from ''Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft'', 1962</ref> Recently, in addition to the original Burmese script edition, Latin and devanagari versions have appeared in print. Three online transcripts are now available:  
 
**[http://tipitakastudies.net]: sponsored by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, displays in Latin script
 
**[http://www.tipitaka.org]: has options for a variety of scripts; downloadable free of charge.
 
**[http://www.btmar.org/content/tipitaka-del-sexto-concilio-buddhista-textos-pali]: pdfs of a Latin-script printing; downloadable free of charge from [http://www.btmar.org/content/tipitaka-del-sexto-concilio-buddhista-inicio]
 
**?[http://buddhism.goldenlandpages.com/download.html?cat=61 mp3/pdf] downloadable (seems to be only selections, but more being added continually)
 
*Nalanda edition (first Indian edition), 39 nominal volumes in 41 actual volumes (in devanagari script), 1957-1961. It was based mainly on the 6th Council text. It gradually went out of print.
 
*Khmer edition: This is a parallel-text edition, with Khmer translations on facing pages.  1931-1969. The Khmers Rouges burnt every set in the country, with only a few surviving elsewhere.  
 
*Buddha Jayanti edition: This Sinhalese edition is another parallel-text one, 1958-?1993, 52 nominal volumes in 58 actual volumes.
 
**transcript of the Sinhalese edition (not yet fully proofread), Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project: it's not clear where, if anywhere, the original files are; the following 4 sites at present have partial copies:
 
***searchable database at [http://www.bodhgayanews.net/pali.htm], apparently public-domain; seems to omit Maha Niddesa and Puggalapannatti
 
***[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sltp/]: Suttanta Pitaka only (including Maha Niddesa), and omitting Nettippakarana and Petakopadesa
 
***[http://www.pali.pratyeka.org/#Canon-etexts]: Vinaya and first 4 nikayas
 
***[http://metta.lk/tipitaka/index.html]: many segments of the Canon, but this too seems to omit the Puggalapannatti, which thus seems to be unavailable anywhere
 
*Bhumibalo edition (Thailand) This is a currently ongoing project.
 
 
 
===Translations===
 
 
 
*''Pali Canon in English Translation'', 1895- , in progress, 43 volumes so far, Pali Text Society, Bristol; for details see [http://www.palitext.com website].
 
 
 
Selections from all three pitakas:
 
 
 
* ''The Lion's Roar'', ed & tr David Maurice, Rider, London, 1962
 
 
 
Selections from the Vinaya and Suttanta pitakas:
 
 
 
* ''Some Sayings of the Buddha'', ed & tr F. L. Woodward, [[Oxford World Classics]], 1924
 
* ''The Life of Gotama the Buddha'', ed E. H. Brewster, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., London, 1926
 
* ''Buddhist Scriptures'', ed & tr E. J. Thomas, Wisdom of the East Series, John Murray, London, 1931
 
* ''The Vedantic Buddhism of the Buddha'', ed & tr J. G. Jennings, pub Geoffrey Cumberlege, London, 1947
 
* ''The Living Thoughts of Gotama the Buddha'', ed [[Ananda K. Coomaraswamy]] & [[I.B. Horner]], Cassell, London, 1948
 
* ''The Life of the Buddha'', ed & tr Nanamoli, [[Buddhist Publication Society]], Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1972
 
 
 
Selections from Suttanta Pitaka only:
 
 
 
* ''Buddhist Suttas'', ed & tr T. W. Rhys Davids, ''Sacred Books of the East'', volume XI, Clarendon/Oxford, 1881; reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi (& ?Dover, New York)
 
* ''The Word of the Buddha'', ed & tr Nyanatiloka, 1935
 
* ''Early Buddhist Poetry'', ed I. B. Horner, Ananda Semage, Colombo, 1963
 
* ''The Book of Protection'', tr Piyadassi, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1981; translation of [[paritta]]
 
* ''In the Buddha's Words'', ed & tr Bodhi, Wisdom Pubns, 2005
 
* ''Early Buddhist Discourses'', ed & tr John J. Holder, 2006
 
* ''Basic Teachings of the Buddha'', ed & tr Glenn Wallis, Modern Library, New York, 2007
 
* ''Sayings of the Buddha'', ed & tr Rupert Gethin, Oxford University Press, 2008
 
* [http://www.suttapitaka.org A Taste of Salt, ed M. Breneman, 2009]
 
 
 
===Secondary sources===
 
 
 
Books specifically about the Canon:
 
 
 
* ''History of Pali Literature'', B. C. Law, volume I
 
* ''Analysis of the Pali Canon'', Russell Webb, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka
 
* ''Guide to Tipitaka'', Ko Lay, originally published in Burma, reprinted in India and Thailand, now
 
**pdf
 
***downloadable from
 
****[http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tipitaka.pdf]
 
****[http://www.archive.org/details/guidetotipitaka029042mbp]
 
***viewable online at [http://www.archive.org/stream/guidetotipitaka029042mbp#page/n1/mode/2up]
 
**online at [http://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book/guide-to-tipitaka/d/doc3409.html]
 
 
 
More general books:
 
 
 
* ''Pali Literature'', K. R. Norman, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1983
 
* ''Handbook of Pali Literature'', Oskar von Hinüber, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996
 
  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
  
 
<references/>
 
<references/>

Latest revision as of 09:54, 21 September 2019

The Pali Canon is the scripture collection of Theravada Buddhism.[1] "Pali Canon" is the usual English name;[2] it is also known by the name "Tipiṭaka".[3] It is in Pali,[4] which is a language of ancient India.[5] Mahayana Buddhism tends to regards the Tipiṭaka as a sort of "Old Testament"[6]. Most scholars recognize the Canon as the oldest source for the Buddha's teachings.[7]

Background

The Canon is traditionally regarded by the Theravada as the Word of the Buddha (died around 400 BC[8]), though not always literally.[9] It is said in the Canon itself that whatever is well said is the Word of the Buddha.[10] Modern scholars tend to regard at least large amounts of the Canon (with disagreements on how much) as the work of a number of unknown authors ([2]).

According to a tradition generally regarded quite favourably by scholars, the Canon was written down from oral tradition in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in the last century BC.[11] The oldest known manuscript fragment of the Canon dates from the 8th or 9th century, but in general manuscripts have not survived from before the 15th century, and the majority are probably no older than the 18th.[12]

The Canon has now been printed and posted on the internet: see links below.

The vast majority of commentarial literature is connected with just four names: Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala, Sariputta and Nanakitti.[13]

Table of contents

English titles are taken from the Pali Text Society: titles of translations published by them, except for 2 books they haven't yet translated.

  • Vinaya Pitaka (Book of the discipline)
  • Sutta or Suttanta Pitaka
    • Digha Nikaya (Dialogues of the Buddha)
    • Majjhima Nikaya (Middle length discourses of the Buddha)
    • Samyutta Nikaya (Connected discourses of the Buddha)
    • Anguttara Nikaya (Numerical discourses of the Buddha)
    • Khuddaka Nikaya: the contents of this section vary between editions, with some including all the following but others omitting one or more ([3]); Professor Norman asks how one is supposed to tell whether books included in printed editions are regarded as canonical.[14]
      • Khuddakapatha (Minor readings)
      • Dhammapada (Word of the doctrine)
      • Udana (Verses of uplift)
      • Itivuttaka (As it was said)
      • Suttanipata (Group of discourses)
      • Vimanavatthu (Stories of the mansions)
      • Petavatthu (Stories of the departed)
      • Theragatha (Poems of early Buddhist monks)
      • Therigatha (Poems of early Buddhist nuns)
      • Apadana (Legends[15])
      • Buddhavamsa (Chronicle of Buddhas)
      • Cariyapitaka (Basket of conduct)
      • Jataka (Stories of the Buddha's former births)
      • Niddesa (Exposition[16])
        • Maha Niddesa
        • Culla or Cula Niddesa
      • Patisambhidamagga (Path of discrimination)
      • Netti (The guide)
      • Petakopadesa (Piṭaka-disclosure)
      • Milindapanha (Milinda's questions)
  • Abhidhamma Pitaka
    • Dhammasangani (A Buddhist manual of psychological ethics)
    • Vibhanga (Book of analysis)
    • Dhatukatha (Discourse on elements)
    • Puggalapannatti (Designation of human types)
    • Kathavatthu (Points of controversy)
    • Yamaka (Book of pairs)
    • Patthana (Conditional relations)

Where next?

  • Parallel volume-by-volume table of contents of a number of editions; see [4] for the code letters used there.
  • Detailed outlines (from shortest to longest)
    • An Analysis of the Pāli Canon, edited by Russell Webb, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 3rd edition, 2008; online at [5]; includes extensive bibliography
    • An Outline Of the Pāḷi Canon, compiled from various sources by Allan R. Bomhard, Charleston Buddhist Fellowship, Charleston, SC USA, 2013 (2557); online at [6]
    • Guide to Tipiṭaka, compiled by U Ko Lay, Burma Piṭaka Association, Rangoon, 1986; reprinted in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand; now online at numerous websites, e.g. [7], [8], [9], [10]
    • A History of Pali Literature by Bimala Churn Law, originally published in 2 volumes in 1933 (Volume I on the Canon), reprinted in 1 volume, online at [11]
  • The Lion's Roar: an Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings Selected from the Pāḷi Canon, David Maurice, Rider, London, 1962; American printing Citadel, New York, 1967: online at [12]; this seems to be the only anthology including selections from all three pitakas; it also represents all five nikayas, but not all the individual books listed above
  • The Pali Text Society publishes Pali texts, translations, an Introduction to Pali, a Pali-English Dictionary, etc.; if some of the tabs at the top of the home page don't work on your computer, click on Sitemap at left
  • Complete text (in Pali)
    • image files
      • Braḥ Traipiṭakapāḷi, 110 volumes, Phnom Penh, 1931-1969: [13]
      • Buddhajayanti Tripitaka, 52 volumes [in 58], published under the patronage of the government of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, 1957-1989:
      • Chaṭṭhasaṅgītipiṭakaṁ, 40 volumes; various printings:
        • Ministry of Religious Affairs, Yangon, 2008: [16]; complete set, including commentaries and subcommentaries, can be downloaded free of charge from [17]
        • [18]
        • [19] (click on Eng to get the page in English instead of Burmese); also includes English translations of a lot of the Canon
    • text files
      • Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project: [20]; also includes many other Pali texts
      • Sutta Central: [21]; see [22], [23] for background on this; also includes early Buddhist literature in other languages
      • Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri, India: [24]; also includes commentaries, subcommentaries and other Pali texts
    • watch this space:
      • [25]: site provider hopes to add more editions
      • [26] has carried an under construction notice for many months
      • [27]

Notes

  1. Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, Oxford World Classics, 2008, page xiii
  2. Gombrich, foreword to Pali Text Society edition of Geiger, Pali Grammar; there are typographical variants: Pali/Pāli/Pāḷi Canon/canon
  3. Harvey, Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2012, page 459
  4. Harvey, Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press, 1st ed, 1990, page 3
  5. Harvey, Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press, 1st ed, 1990, page xx
  6. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2002 printing, volume 11, page 791 (article Tipitaka)
  7. Mousa, World Religions Demystified, McGraw-Hill, 2014, page 35; Schopen, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1997, pages 23f / reprinted from Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, volume 10 (1985), page 9 / also quoted in "The historical authenticity of early Buddhist literature: a critical evaluation", Vienna Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol XLIX (2005)/[1], page 37
  8. consensus of scholars: Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, Oxford World Classics, 2008, page xv
  9. Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, London, 1st edn, 1988 / 2nd edn, 2006, page 20
  10. The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications / Pali Text Society, page 1120; Gradual Sayings, Pali Text Society, volume IV, page 112
  11. Gethin, Buddhist Path to Awakening, Brill, Leiden / New York / Köln, 1992, page 8
  12. Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, Oxford University Press, pages xxiif
  13. Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, page 134
  14. Philological Approach to Buddhism, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1997, page 141; also quoted by Oliver Freiberger in Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte, ed Max Deeg et al, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 2011, page 218
  15. "Illustrator of ultimate meaning" (in 1 volume with "Minor readings"), page 2
  16. Suttanipata translation, page 18