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The '''Pali Canon''' (English) or '''Tipiṭaka''' (Pali) is the scripture collection of [[Theravada Buddhism]]. The other forms of Buddhism at the present day group themselves under the heading of Mahayana,<ref>Keown, ''Buddhism'', Oxford University Press, 1996, page 11</ref> which tends to regard the Tipiṭaka as a sort of "[[Old Testament]]".<ref>''Encyclopaedia Britannica'', 2002 printing, volume 11, page 791</ref>. Most scholars recognize the Canon as the oldest source for the Buddha's teachings.<ref>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; also, quoted in [http://www.ocbs.org/images/stories/awynne2005wzks.pdf], page 37; Mousa, ''World Religions Demystified'', McGraw-Hill, 2014, page 35</ref>
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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 (see below)
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==Background==
  
==Authorship and date==
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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]).
  
*The Canon is traditionally regarded as "The Word of the Buddha" (Buddhavacana),<ref>Gombrich, ''Theravada Buddhism'', Routledge, 2nd edition, 2006, page 20</ref> compiled by a council shortly after his death,<ref>''Theravada Buddhism'', Routledge, London, 2nd edition, 2006, page 128</ref> which the tradition dates around 544 BC.<ref>[http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha133.htm] says 544; [http://indology.info/papers/cousins/] says 543; Hinüber, ''Handbook of Pali Literature'', de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996, page 4, says the 2500th anniversary was celebrated in 1956, implying a date of 545 (remembering there is no year 0 between 1 BC and 1 AD)</ref>
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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>
*Professor von Hinüber calls the Canon "anonymous".<ref>''Handbook of Pali Literature'', de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996, page 24</ref>
 
*According to Professor Norman, the earliest material in the Canon may be pre-Buddhist.<ref>''Collected Papers'', volume II, Pali Text Society, page 193; reprinted from ''Indologica Taurinensia'', volume VII, page 330</ref>
 
*According to Professor Holder ([http://www.hackettpublishing.com/pdfs/Timeline_of_Early_Buddhism.pdf]), the Canon reached its present form by about 250 BC; Professor Gombrich says only that it was much like it by then.<ref>''Theravada Buddhism'', Routledge, London, 2nd edition, 2006, page 129</ref>
 
*Some scholars claim that little or nothing has been added since the Canon was written down from oral tradition in the last century BC.<ref>Harvey, ''Introduction to Buddhism'', Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2013, page 3; Norman in ''Buddhist Heritage'', ed Skorupski, 1989, page 40/''Collected Papers'', Pali Text Society, volume IV, page 107</ref>  
 
*The late Professor Nakamura says the Canon cannot have been composed earlier than the 2nd century AD.<ref>''Indian Buddhism'', Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980, reprinted Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987, 1989, page 48</ref>
 
*Professor 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>
 
*In addition to the above (apparently) straightforward positions on the Canon as a whole, many scholars have presented more complicated accounts, or statements about parts of the Canon.
 
  
==Text==
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The Canon has now been printed and posted on the internet: see links below.
  
The climate of Theravada countries is not conducive to the survival of manuscripts. Apart from brief quotations in [[inscription|inscriptions]], the oldest known [[manuscript]] is a two-page fragment from the 8th or 9th century found in [[Nepal]], and there are few from before the 18th century. 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 same applies to the printed editions of the Canon: these have been published in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, but not yet in Laos. The Burmese edition is nominally the "official" edition for the whole of the Theravada, having been approved by the sixth ecumenical council of the Theravada, representing all five Theravada countries. The Council, however, was dominated by Burmese monks, and the other countries tend to pay only lip-service to it, though the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand did sponsor a transcript of its edition in 2005. Modern scholars try to compare these editions, which is made easier by the existence of electronic transcripts, except for the Khmer edition, of which few copies survived the Khmers Rouges.
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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>
  
==Outline of contents==
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==Table of contents==
  
Arrangement varies, but the following seems commonest.
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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.
  
*Vinayapiṭaka, on monastic discipline
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*Vinaya Pitaka (Book of the discipline)
**Suttavibha&#7749;ga: commentary on Pātimokkha, a basic code of rules for monks and nuns, not itself in the Canon except in so far as embedded here; the commentary includes stories of the occasions for the Buddha's laying down of the rules; subdivided into Pārājika and Pācittiya, or into Mahāvibha&#7749;ga and Bhikkhunīvibha&#7749;ga, in different editions
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*Sutta or Suttanta Pitaka
**Khandhaka: futher rules, mainly organizational, arranged topically, with stories and explanations; at the end, this book gives accounts of the first two councils; subdivided into Mahāvagga and Cūḷa- or Cullavagga
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**Digha Nikaya (Dialogues of the Buddha)
**Parivāra: further analysis
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**Majjhima Nikaya (Middle length discourses of the Buddha)
*Sutta- or Suttantapiṭaka, discourses: divided into five nikayas (nikāya). The first four of these are in a fairly uniform style, mainly prose
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**Samyutta Nikaya (Connected discourses of the Buddha)
**Dīghanikāya: 34 long discourses
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**Anguttara Nikaya (Numerical discourses of the Buddha)
**Majjhimanikāya: 152 medium discourses
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**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>
**Saṃyuttanikāya: thousands of short discourses arranged topically in 56 groups (saṃyuttas)
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***Khuddakapatha (Minor readings)
**A&#7749;guttaranikāya: thousands of short discourses arranged numerically, from 1s to 11s
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***Dhammapada (Word of the doctrine)
**Khuddakanikāya: a miscellaneous collection of books in prose and/or verse; contents vary between editions, as can be seen from the links below; some include all the following, others omit some
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***Udana (Verses of uplift)
***Khuddakapāṭha: 9 short texts in prose or verse
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***Itivuttaka (As it was said)
***Dhammapada: popular book of 423 verses in 26 chapters, topically
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***Suttanipata (Group of discourses)
***Udāna: "inspired utterances", mostly verse, with introductory narratives
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***Vimanavatthu (Stories of the mansions)
***Itivuttaka: prose pieces followed by verse paraphrases or supplements
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***Petavatthu (Stories of the departed)
***Suttanipāta: basically poetry, but sometimes with prose frames
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***Theragatha (Poems of early Buddhist monks)
***Vimānavatthu: verse descriptions of heavenly "mansions" and the karma leading to them
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***Therigatha (Poems of early Buddhist nuns)
***Petavatthu: an obverse, sufferings of ghosts and the karma leading to them
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***Apadana (Legends<ref>"Illustrator of ultimate meaning" (in 1 volume with "Minor readings"), page 2</ref>)
***Theragāthā: verses ascribed to senior monks
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***Buddhavamsa (Chronicle of Buddhas)
***Therīgāthā: similar for nuns
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***Cariyapitaka (Basket of conduct)
***Jātaka: 547 poems understood as referring to previous lives of the Buddha
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***Jataka (Stories of the Buddha's former births)
***Niddesa: commentary on parts of Suttanipāta, traditionally ascribed to the Buddha's disciple Sāriputta; subdivided into Mahā- and Cūḷa- Cullaniddesa
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***Niddesa (Exposition<ref>Suttanipata translation, page 18</ref>)
***Paṭisambhidāmagga: 30 treatises on various topics, also ascribed to him
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****Maha Niddesa
***Apadāna: about 600 poems, mostly in the names of monks or nuns telling how meritorious deeds in past lives led to good karmic results and eventual nirvana
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****Culla or Cula Niddesa
***Buddhavaṃsa: verse book mainly on previous Buddhas and "our" Buddha's meritorious acts towards them in his past lives
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***Patisambhidamagga (Path of discrimination)
***Cariyāpiṭaka: more Jātaka-type verse
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***Netti (The guide)
***Netti(ppakaraṇa): treatise on methods of interpretation, in the name of the Buddha's disciple Kaccāna
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***Petakopadesa (Piṭaka-disclosure)
***Peṭakopadesa: similar and overlapping
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***Milindapanha (Milinda's questions)
***Milindapañha: dialogue between King Menander of Bactria ( c. 150 BC) and a monk called Nāgasena
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*Abhidhamma Pitaka
*Abhidhammapiṭaka, higher or special teaching, more formal and analytical than the discourses
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**Dhammasangani (A Buddhist manual of psychological ethics)
**Dhammasa&#7749;gaṇi: enumeration and classifcation of mental and physical phenomena
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**Vibhanga (Book of analysis)
**Vibha&#7749;ga: analysis of various topics using, among other things, ideas and material from the previous book
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**Dhatukatha (Discourse on elements)
**Dhātukathā: analysis of interrelations among various ideas, mostly from the previous two books
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**Puggalapannatti (Designation of human types)
**Pugalapaññatti: classifications of persons
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**Kathavatthu (Points of controversy)
**Kathāvatthu: debates on doctrinal points
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**Yamaka (Book of pairs)
**Yamaka: converse pairs of questions, with answers
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**Patthana (Conditional relations)
**Paṭṭhāna: analysis of 24 types of causal conditionality
 
  
==Role==
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==Where next?==
  
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.
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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.
 
+
* Detailed outlines (from shortest to longest)
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.
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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
 
+
** ''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]
==Comparison==
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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]
 
+
** ''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]
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]].
+
* ''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
 
+
* [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
==External links==
+
*Complete text (in Pali)
 
+
**image files
 
+
***''Braḥ Traipiṭakapāḷi'', 110 volumes, Phnom Penh, 1931-1969: [https://web.archive.org/web/20120606015925/http://dhamma4khmer2.org/Tipitaka_Reading_1.html]
* [http://www.palitext.com/ The Pali Text Society] publishes Pali texts (including the Canon), translations (including most of the Canon), 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 browser, click on Sitemap at left
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***''Buddhajayanti Tripitaka'', 52 volumes [in 58], published under the patronage of the government of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, 1957-1989:
*[https://sites.google.com/a/worldtipitaka.info/society/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/comparative-tipitaka-volumes Parallel volume-by-volume table of contents of a number of editions]; see [https://sites.google.com/a/worldtipitaka.info/society/world-tipitaka-project/world-tipitaka-roman-script/reference-to-pali-tipitaka-editions-in-various-scripts] for the code letters used there.
+
****[http://www.pali-text-images.net/bjt/index.htm]
 
+
****[http://www.aathaapi.net/tipitaka/]
===Selections (in English)===
+
***''Chaṭṭhasa&#7749;gītipiṭaka&#x1E41;'', 40 volumes; various printings:
 
+
****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]
*''Wings to Awakening: an Anthology from the Pali Canon'', ed & tr Thanissaro Bhikkhu: [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/wings/index.html]; selections from all five nikayas of Suttanta Pitaka
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****[http://www.pali-text-images.net/cst/index.htm]  
* ''The Word of the Buddha: An Outline of the Teachings of the Buddha in the Words of the Pali Canon'', ed & tr Nyanatiloka, 1935: [http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/N/Nyanatiloka/WOB/]; selections from all five nikayas of Suttanta Pitaka
+
****[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
===Complete text online (in Pali)===
+
***Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project: [http://web.archive.org/web/20100615203958/http://buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html]; also includes many other Pali texts
 
+
***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
*[[Sixth Buddhist Council]]'s edition
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***Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri, India: [http://www.tipitaka.org]; also includes commentaries, subcommentaries and other Pali texts
**[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
+
**watch  this space:
**[http://www.tipitaka.org]
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***[https://www.pali-text-images.net/]: site provider hopes to add more editions
**[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]; also at [https://www.shemtaia.com/BU/csptipi.shtml]
+
***[http://www.budsir.org] has carried an under construction notice for many months
*Buddhajayanti edition (Ceylon/Sri Lanka)
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***[https://opencontext.org/projects/b6de18c6-bba8-4b53-9d9e-3eea4b794268]
**images: [http://www.sri-lankan-pali-texts.net/]
 
**unproofread transcript: [http://web.archive.org/web/20100615203958/http://buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html], [http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/#Tipit], [http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Pali/pali_tipitaka_index.htm]
 
*[https://web.archive.org/web/20120606015925/http://dhamma4khmer2.org/Tipitaka_Reading_1.html pdfs of Khmer edition]
 
 
 
===Sites aspiring to complete translation===
 
 
 
* [http://tipitaka.pbworks.com/w/page/22282156/FrontPage TipitakaWiki]; based on the (Sinhalese) Buddha Jayanti edition
 
* [http://wipitaka.org/index.php?title=Main_Page WiPitaka], sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies; based on the 6th Council edition
 
* [http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page Wikipitaka]
 
 
 
===Books about the Canon===
 
 
 
* ''Guide to Tipitaka'', Ko Lay; written from a traditional point of view; originally published in Burma, which has never signed any international copyright treaties, so in the public domain in the rest of the world; reprinted in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand; available at many internet sites, 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]
 
* ''Analysis of the Pali Canon'', Russell Webb, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka; [http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh217-u.html]; another "inside" view, but from the modernist wing of the Theravada; includes extensive bibliography
 
* ''History of Pali Literature'', B. C. Law, volume I; [http://tera-3.ul.cs.cmu.edu/cgi-bin/reader.pl?call=35453]; a more academic point of view, but old
 
 
 
==Further reading==
 
 
 
*Matthew Meghaprasara, ''New Guide to the Tipitaka. A Complete Reference to the Pâli Buddhist Canon'', Delhi, Sangha of Books, 2013: [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1926892682?keywords=meghaprasara&qid=1444125598&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1]
 
 
 
===Selections (in English)===
 
 
 
*''Some Sayings of the Buddha According to the Pali Canon'', ed & tr F.L. Woodward, Oxford World Classics, 1924; reprinted Buddhist society, London, 1974; from the first two pitakas
 
*''The Life of Gotama the Buddha, Compiled Exclusively from the Pali Canon'', Ed & tr E. H. Brewster, Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner, London, 1926; from the first two pitakas
 
* ''The Lion's Roar: an Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings Selected from the Pāḷi Canon '', ed & tr David Maurice, Rider, London, 1962; American printing Citadel, Newrk, 1967; includes selections from all three pitakas
 
* ''The Life of the Buddha As It Appears in the Pali Canon, the Oldest Authentic Record'', ed & tr Nanamoli, [[Buddhist Publication Society]], Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1972: [http://www.bps.lk/bookshop-search.php?styp=lst&&s=1&d=bp101s]; from the first two pitakas
 
* ''In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon'', ed & tr Bodhi, Wisdom Pubns, 2005: [http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/buddhas-words]; from the first four nikayas of the Suttanta Pitaka only
 
* ''Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon'', ed & tr Sarah Shaw, Routledge, 2006: [http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415485685/]; from Suttanta Pitaka only
 
  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
  
 
<references/>
 
<references/>

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