Buddhism and History
Monday, December 27, 2010
The Pali Commentary
The Atthakatha or commentary is very importance in Buddhist Literature there are importance foe critical study of Texts (Pali Canon). There is also importance for the study of Buddhist Sangha; for the study of history of Buddhism and Dhamma the commentary made a contribution literary world in Buddhism they gave the explanation of meaning to difficult words.
Therefore, they are called ex-objective critical (explain more) on the texts of the Pali canon the main of objective is given a clear explanation of different words and points of Dhamma found in the canon.
The commentary means reading new meanings back into all texts according to once on education and outlooks commentary explains words and argument are given accurately as possible they are reached in meaning and used to say of words therefore, we understand that the commentators task to explain further the Pali Canon.
The main features of Commentary
1. Explaining difficult words.
2. The commentators select words according to his own wish.
3. There are many similar words are given.
4. The commentator explains grammar of those words selected.
5. The commentary is similar to a dictionary.
6. A commentary is like a lexical.
7. The commentary gave historical information.
8. Commentary gave economic condition.
9. Commentary gave social condition.
10. Commentary gave political condition.
11. The commentary gave interesting story explaining monasteries…
12. The commentary was written to explain difficult point of the Dhamma.
The Origin of Commentary
During the time of Buddha the need arose to explain in detail what Buddha preached sometimes when the Buddhist monks found difficult to understand what the Buddha preached they went in searching of learner monks like,
Kassapa, Mahaccāyana thera those learner monks explain to them simple words the difficult points and the Buddha always preaches in short and then go to his Gandhakuti Gove the learner monks destined the difficult points of the Dhamma it was beginning interpretation.
During the time of Buddha, they were discussion on Buddhist philosophy.
In the Pali canon itself we observe section of commentarial types they are many Suttas which are similar to commentaries:
1. Madupindika Sutta M.N
2. Mahakamma Vibhanga Sutta M.N
3. Aggi Vacchagota Sutta M.N
The above Sutta in the Sutta Pitaka has commentarial characteristic. The development of commentarial characteristic can be seen in Vinaya Pitaka in the Parājika Pali and Pācitiaya Pali there are many interpretations of vinaya rules in the Khundaka Vinaya historical background of Sangha is given.
The Abhiddhamma Pitaka is full with many kinds of analysis. Therefore, it also includes method of interpretation.
Commentary of Sri Lanka
The Pali commentaries were prepared in India during the Third Buddhist Council these commentaries were brought to Sri Lanka by Mahinda Thera when he introduced Buddhism to Srilanka Mahinda Thera translated those Pali commentaries into Sihala language. He thought it would be useful for the people to read them it’s their own language. According to the Vinaya commentary Sammantapāsādikā it is staked thus the commentaries which were written in the Pali language were translated into Sihala language by scholars.
During the Anurudhapura period there is a book written called (Dhampiya Atuwa Getīpada). In this book there are many descriptions about Sihalatthakatha. Buddhaghosa came to Srilanka during the 5th century A.D he translated the Sihalatthakatha into Pali language we can understand that the pali language had been very closed to the Sihala language after Buddhaghosa translated the Sihalese commentary they have got lost we do not know what happen to them.
Buddhaghosa had mainly taken Three Social Forms translation from the Srilankan Commentary:
2. Mahapaccariya atthakatha
3. Kurundi atthakatha
Buddhaghaso when he translated them into Pali, he said that thus (I am translating them according to Theravada Buddhism following the pali language summarizing the long details).
In the Sihalatthakatha there are many concepts taken from commentary in India the Sihalatthakatha the great knowledge of Mahinda Thera is included these commentaries of Srilanka was prepared during the 3rd century B.C Buddhaghosa came to Srilanka the commentary of India had feat destruction this had been spoiled wrong views perhaps due to the change of language it may have been difficult to read.
This is the most prominent Sihala commentaries this is also called (Mūlatthakatha) Buddhaghosa translating all the commentaries had used these commentaries mostly this is a common book prepared best on the whole pali canon according to subject matter this is mostly complete than the others Buddhaghosa always respected Mahatthakatha Sammantapāsātikā the Vinaya commentary also mentioned about Mahatthakatha when Buddhaghosa was writing Sammantapāsātikā he had taken Mahatthakatha as the best.
The name of this commentary indicated it has been written staying on a raft of a high watch tower the subject matter of this commentary is to explain reasons for the enforcement of Vinaya rules. These commentaries gave interpretation to Vinaya rules.
3. Kurundi Atthakatha
This is called Kurundi because it was written in a monastery called Kurunda Velu the name of this commentary is given in the Sammantapāsādikā there are very few forces about this commentary.
Apart from the above Three Sihalatthakathas there are many Sihala commentaries. For example Andhakatthakatha, Sankhepattatthakatha they also included various facts.
Sihalatthakatha Mahavamsa this is also considered a Srilankan Atthakatha the name of this Sihalatthakatha is given in the sub commentary of pali Mahavamsa this is also called Pūranatthakatha it has many details but today this Sihalatthakatha Mahavamsa is also lost.
The following example taken from Dhampiya Atuwa Getīpada indicated the language of Sihalatthakatha,
1. Sāmāvatiya vathu nāma pathamaki.
2. Lakuntaka vadānaki rassa nāmi.
3. Luddako vijjitvā māresi.
4. Appamādahi panditaka jene
1. The story of Sāmāvatiya comes first.
2. The meaning of the word Lakuntaka is short.
3. The hunter having shot.
4. People are wise in his faithfulness.
When we examine the above sentences we can observe that they had Prakrit similarity therefore Sihalese Prakrit is closed to Pali language. For example Sihalatthakatha had used the word Appamāda vathu the word pathamaki and with (i) this is a characteristic of Prakrit language in India in the inscription in Srilanka we can observe the early language used by the Srilankan people. These sentences taken from Dhampiya Atuwa are very useful for the philosogists who are making research on language.
The Pali books of commentary had taken facts from Sihalatthakatha therefore we understand that Sihalatthakatha the point out the method of interpretation in the Sihalatthakatha there may have had interesting stories of literature but unfortunately we do not come across them therefore Sihalatthakatha had been very useful for the study of ancient Srilankan language.
Buddhadatta and His Works
He was elder on contemporary of Buddhaghosa he came to Srilanka before Buddhaghosa but he was unable to complete his work while he was going back to India from Srilanka he met Buddhaghosa who was coming to Srilanka he spoke to Buddhaghosa and asked to complete the work he started the following other works done by Buddhadatta.
Buddhadatta was the author of Vinaya Vinichaya and Uttara Vinicchaya.
Vinaya Vinicchaya summaries of vinaya pitaka they composed in an abridged form and were written in verse. there are 31 chapters they gave interpretations and applications of vinaya rules language is very simple words are used well there are discussions of mature vinaya rules as Parājika, Sanghadesessa…….etc.
Vinaya Vinicchaya is a supplement to Vinaya. This is an introduction to the study of Buddhist philosophy and Abhiddhamma there is a similarity between Visudhi magga written by Buddhghosa and Abhiddhammavattara both these books are best on the material from sihala commentary however Buddhadatta style was not so rich as Buddhaghosa. Buddhadatta outlook was liberal it includes of the main topics of Abhiddhamma as Citta Cettasika Rūpa Nibbāna
Rūparūpa Vibbanga this is a prose book he brought this book for the beginner on the Abhiddhamma system of thought. This is the shortest introduction of entire Abhiddhamma.
Madurattha Vilāsini this is a commentary on Buddhavamsa description was given about the life of Gotama Buddha during this period they had been 24 Buddhas. The lives of those Buddhas have been explained very well.
Jinalankāra this is a Pali poem it has 250 verses the language is very beautiful it describes the life of Buddha.
Buddhaghosa and His Works
Ven. Buddhaghosa occupied and importance place in the world of pali literature as a great commentator and exegetic born in a Brahmana family near Buddhagayā later inter the order since they were no commentator at Cambūdipada (Boddhimandappa samipannhi jato Brahmana manavo). The precept of Buddhaghosa told him to go to Srilanka and translated into Pali the Sihalatthakatha of Mahinda thera in the Mahavira monk sangharāja met Buddhaghosa to test gave certain verse,
“Anto jatā bahi jatā
jatāya jatiyam jatā
Tam tam gotama pucchāmi
Ko imam vijataye jatam”.
He wrote a commentary on these words and it was called Visuddhi magga. The Visuddhi magga began with these words.
“Sīla patitthāya naro sapańńo
Cittam pańńan ca
Bhāvayam ātāpi nipako
Bhikkhu so imam vijataye jatam”.
The meanings of two verses are thus:
1. A tangle within, a tangle without, all are tangles together. I ask you Gotama who is the person capable disentangling the tangle.
2. One who is established in virtue that is wise and has concentration such a monk who is enexegetic and skillful he will be a person who will be disentangle the tangle.
Buddhaghosa first way in Srilanka was Visudhi magga which is called
“the path of purification” various scholars had given their opinion about this book according to Visudhi magga is a preparation for his commentarial was Visudhi magga is mentioned by the author of Mahavamsa thus Buddhaghosa after taking up three pitakas together with commentary brought it in bridge it is noted as short but completed in encyclopedia.
The word visudhi magga means Nirvana it is therapy purify it is free from the dirk therefore it is the path which leads purification he mentioned this path as completed purification according to the teaching of Mahavihara. Mahavihara is the monastery of Anurudhapura which preserved the Theravada tradition.
The style of Visudhi magga is very clear and lucid Buddhaghosa now and then used parable and also legend they are not his own invention but he must have taken them from older sources there are also miracle tales there is a wonderful story about a snake coming out from a birth at one they come a big hill and a snake disappears.
The spirit of Visudhi magga is about Sila, Samadhi and Paňňā these explanations there are best on the verse altered by Buddha the first stage is to observe Sila. Sila means to become pure in the body and word Samadhi brings purity of mind. Paňňā gives perfect wisdom. A wise man can keep himself a way from the next of craving and desire and he is not doubt a worth man able to obtain Nibbana the final goal is to disentangle the tangle it means to give up he will ask Raga, Dosa and Moha. A wise man in this manner can reach the final stage Nibbana.
Visudhi magga is an encyclopedia of Buddhism it is a Mavela production, Jeam Gray says “If he had written nothing else Visudhi magga along would have given Buddhaghosa and undying fame.
Visudhi magga is the only which described the whole of Buddhist system as conduction, meditation, contemplation sense truth and causation. The chapter breaks down of Visudhi magga gives the summary of facts,
Chapter 1. Silanidesa in this chapter the term Sila is explained various times of Sila are given new interpretation of term given example, Silam nāma sitalam “Sila is too cool”
Chapter 2. Dhutāga nidesa there are 13 ascetic practices.
Chapter 3. Kamanatthana nidesa taking object of meditation.
Chapter 4. Pathavikasina nidesa.
Chapter 5. Deal with ten types of Kasina
Chapter 6. Deal with Asubhakammattam
Chapter 7. Deal with Anusati
Chapter 8. Deal with Asubhokammattam
Chapter 9. Deal with Brahma Viharana
Chapter 10. Deal with Arūpa
Chapter 11. Deal with Samadhi
Chapter 12. Deal with Iddhipa
Chapter 13. Deal with Abhiňňā
According to the above chapter Visudhi magga gives a full description of Buddha teaching it deals with the important of kusal and avoid of Akusal there is description about Lokiya and Lokutara what belongs to the world and what belongs to the world about, they are called Moonday and supreme Moonday. Nibbana is explained cessation of five aggregates visudhi magga gives statement thus,
Ekam hi soccam nadutiyam “there is only one truth and no second”.
In this manner visudhi magga gives a good interpretation of Buddha teaching. Buddhaghosa became very famous by writing this first attempt as a beginning. The commentary written by Buddhaghosa,
This is a Vinaya commentary this was the first commentary he wrote on Vinaya this is a commentary on the Five Vinaya books.
He wrote Sammantapāsādikā at the request of Therā Buddhasiri this was his first commentary on a canonical text since Vinaya was the foundation of Buddhist fact it was for this reason he started his work with Vianaya and not Dhamma he wrote this during (429-430)
A.D at that time king Mahānāma was ruling in Srilanka it gives this discussion about rule of morality mentions in Vinaya. Moreover, it is description of history of Buddhism introduction of Sammantapāsādāk (Nidanakattha) there is an explanation how Buddhism was brought to Sri lanka, the establishment of Mahavira and also Buddhist council all the three Buddhist councils are explained. In this manner, Sammantapāsādikā is importance with regarding to two reasons, Firstly it gives detail interpretation Vinaya. Secondly the text builds with the history Buddhism in Srilanka.
The followings regarding the Buddhist council Sammantapāsādikā explains the courses that let to the holding the First Buddhist Council the selection of numbers for the council is given the council can’t detail without Ven. Ănanda Thera and therefore, the place was researched for him at that end Ănanda Thera joined the council as an Arahant.
Sammantapāsādikā describes the situation after the Buddha passed away Ven. Ănanda Thera who was the chief supporter of Buddha did all the duties as exist Buddha living Ven. Ănanda cleaned the perform chamber (Gandakuda) he used to prepare seat for the Buddha and all necessary things. Sammantapāsādikā also gave explanation of 18 of Mahaviras. In this manner, Sammantapāsādikā is very importance in this describing history of India and Srilanka.
Sammantapāsādikā also gave the group description background of Buddhism describing and council, King Asoka is given. As an importance person propagation of Dhamma Asoka’s mission responsible for spreading of Dhamma.
Sammantapāsādikā was written as specially to interpret Vinaya text there is a discussion on four Parājika dhammas there are interpreted well it also gave a discussion on topic as
Kammathana = object of meditation
Sati = mindfulness
Samadhi = concentration
Patisampidha = ontological knowledge
Citta = mind
Indriya = faculty
Viññāna = consciousness.
Sammantapāsādikā also gave interpretation of certain term for example the word Bhatavanga. In this commentary the word Bhatavanga means having beautiful body and becoming very good in mind in this commentary there is also an explanation of certain term as Pāriyati dhamma which means to study of the contents of three Pitakas. Patipada dhamma which gives good conduct, Adhikamma which helps often Four Noble Truths.
Sammantapāsādikā is too importance for the study of vinaya it is free from taleberate similar and metaphor and written in simple language.
This is a commentary on the position of vinaya Pitaka namely the Pātimokkha. Buddhaghosa wrote between A.D 410 – 432 some scholars think the Therā name Sonā requested him to write it. This commentary existed mature judgment all the author the style of Kankhavitarani is excellent showing the controlling the author hands is explaining with vinaya because it is written in a wood style it was easy for the monks and nuns to commit it to memory. This commentary also gave an account of letter development of monastic life of Buddhism.
It is commentary on Digha Nikaya he wrote this at the request of a Therā names Sanghatha who lived at Somaggala perinea this commentary is divided into three parts:
1. Silakkhandha Vagga
2. Mahā Vagga
3. Patika Vagga
This is very importance because of the historical volume from this we can get an account of sport geographical procession of country and life of reclusions (monks) in ancient day it also gives the description of social political philosophical of ancient India at that time of Buddha.
Sommaggala clearly mentions about the daily life of monks at that time in the day time it is the duty of the monk to his mind free from all of obstacle by walking and sitting. The monk has the duty of cleaning the Cetiya and Bodhi tree the monk should fulfill his duty for the teacher the monk has to go to the village for aim he also should give religious discourses.
Sommaggala gives the long description about the Buddha it explained why the Buddha is called Tathagata it also gives description about pervious Buddhas it explains in Buddha’s knowledge of Four Noble Truths dependent origination it also mentions the Fivefold duties of Buddha, Ten perfections his life there is a description about Buddha renunciation, his Six years self-mortification, victory over Mara and final attainment of Buddha hood.
Sommaggla describes how the Buddha preaches the Dhamma to the people sometimes to Turitacārikā sometimes Adhutacārikā. Sommaggala gives description the First Buddhist Council further more it describes Buddha method teaching sometimes he selected sutta according to his wish sometimes the selection was according to intention of others sometimes sutta was delivered as answer the question there are also in stanza where he gave the preaching suitable for the moment. This commentary also liberates the percepts of killing and stealing there are two sects as Mahasāvajja and Appasāvajja the Akusala of killing differ size of animal of stealing according to what you steal.
Papañca Suttani commentary on Majjhima nikaya, Buddhaghosa wrote at the request of Therā names Buddhanitta there are historical geographical archaeological moral and religious information it has three parts:
This commentary deals with all sections dharma preaching by Buddha it mentions Buddha Sammutidessanā and Paramanthadessanā it describes Anicca Dukkha and Anatta. It also describes five kinds of medicine and five kinds of god. It also defined wrong action as killing, stealing and false speech. It also describes the six teachers as Purana Kassapa and Moggali Kossala it also explains Buddha great disciples Anāthappidhika and Visākkhā.
It was written at the request Jotipala it is commentary on Samyutta Nikaya there are three volumes in this commentary:
1. Sagatha Vagga
2. Khandha Vagga
3. Salāyatana Vagga
It mentios the Buddhas as great teacher Buddha explains as Ten power one four times of Buddha are mentioned:
1. Sampaññu Buddha
2. Pacceka Buddha
3. Catusaca Buddha
4. Sutha [[Buddha
]] It is explained about all these four Buddhas and differs to the main section Buddha-dhamma:
There are 4 organs = Palms
Further more this commentary mentions about six teachers who were Sramanas there are description about social condition of India.
This was the commentary on Anguttara Nikaya, it was written at request lay person called Jivaka it has description about the 80 great disciples these stories are very interesting they gave the incident during the life time of Buddha this story describes the social situation of the country Buddha preachings are included.
The Buddhaghosa also wrote Paramantha Jatika a commentary on Kudapada and also another by the same name for Suttanipada he also wrote Dhammapadakatha and Jāthakatha, the Dhammapadakatha gave story on the verse, Jāthakatha also gave story on the verses.
Buddhaghosa also wrote Abhidhamma commentary for Dahmmasaghinī, Athasālinī, Vibhavanga, and Samohavinālinī for another five Abhidhamma texts he wrote Paramathadepanī.
Vocation before Sihala New Year 2010
Dhammapala and His Works
Dhammapala lived at Badarapitta in the Dhammila kingdom near Srilanka probably he was a Tamila by birth and wrote his commentary in South India. He wrote the following commentary:
1. Vimānavathu Atthakatha
Dhammapala wrote the Vimānavathu Atthakatha on the Khundaka Nikaya text Vimānavathu he gave and account of the Buddhist Idea of heaven and hell. It explains various grade of heaven, the pleasure of Tāvatinsa heaven, joy and comfort of those who live in Vimānas. The study of his commentary shows that the Tāvatinsa heaven was the place where most of the depart souls went. It states that only in rare cases a spirit passed to region of higher Gods. Many occasions the spirit in order to listen to these courses of the Buddha came to the earth by the Vimānas. There are many stories in the Vimānavathu.
Dhammapala wrote Paramathadepanī which is a commentary on the Petavathu. It deals with the Petas or spirits of those who are dealing; it has stories compiled from Buddhist tradition handed out orally. The Petavathu commentary has several stories. These stories inform the readers about the affect of Kamma after death. When a person does a good deed, he will be born in heaven if he does bad, he will be born in hell (Peta or Peti) and he will suffer a lot. When he performs some good work, he will be able to get rid of these Akusalas.
It is also known as the Paramathadepanī it refers to many importance place of ancient India. For example, Sāvathi, Rājagha, Kapilavathu, Maggadha……etc. there are many importance kings as king Kosal, Bimpisara, Malas, Vajja also lived there. There belonging to there many families lived in unity.
Dhammapala wrote it, it is known as Paramathadepanī. It gives account of theirs as Rohinī, Sobā, Sīla, Bunna and Vimala…..etc.
Dhammapala wrote it he also wrote the commentary on Udāna and Itivuttaka, he wrote the Paramathadepanī on the Cariyapitaka, Theragāthā, Therīgāthā, Petavathu, Vimānavathu, Itivuttaka and Udāna.
Origin of Bhanakas
Three months after the passing away of the Buddha the First Buddhist Council was held during this period the Dhamma was classified it was considered that each section of dhamma should be handed over to separate group of monks at that time there was oral tradition because printing facility wasn’t found the vinaya pitaka was handed over to Upāli Thera and his pupils the dhamma was handed to those monks who were compiled in various section Dīgha Nikaya handed over to Ănanda Thera, Majjhima Nikaya handed over to tye pupils of Sāriputta Thera, Samyutta Nikaya handed over to Mahakassapa Thera, Anguttara Nikaya was handed over to Anurudha Thera.
It was suitable for pupils of Sāriputta Thera to become in charge of Majjhima Nikaya. Majjhima Nikaya is section which included main source of Abhidhamma. Sāriputta Thera had a good knowledge of Abhidhamma. Therefore, his pupils were naturally well developed in Abhidhamma.
At the very beginning there was an oral tradition Bhanaka was those who started memorizing portion of the Dhamma even over to them.
The Division of Bhanaka
In the Dīgha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Anguttara Nikaya and Ubhuto Vibhanga (Vinaya). There was Bhanaka however for the Khundaka Nikaya there was no special Bhanaka all the other Bhanakas of Nikaya had the responsibility looks after the Khanda Nikaya.
In order to become a Bhanaka in one Nikaya it isn’t necessary to know the whole nikaya if he is a Majjhima Bhanaka he should know Mullapanasa of Majjhima nikaya, if he is a Dīgha Bhanaka he should know the Mahavagga. If he is a Samyutta Bhanaka he should know the three beginning Vaggas og Mahavagga, Anguttara Bhanaka should know the earliest section of Nikaya all later section or Tikanipāda whole of Dīghanipāda. If he is a Jātaka Bhanaka, he will know Jātaka together Atthakatha the Bhanaka of one nikaya was really expected although they don’t know other Nikayas.
The protection studies of Dīgha Nikaya was done by them it is difficult to say that the Srilankan Bhanaka of Dīgha Nikaya was pupils of Ănanda Thera this Bhanaka wasn’t prohibited to study the other Nikayas according to Sommggalavisālinī Dīgha Bhanaka recited Brahmanacālla sutta and great earth shook king Vasabha was over –joy to hear the Mahāsodassana sutta recited by Dīgha Bhanaka Abhiya Thera and Mahasiva are two prominent Dīgha Bhanakas. Abhiya Thera put on the right path the thrice who came to plunder the Cetiya Bhappata Vihara.
In the commentary there is only one Majjhima Bhanaka mentions this Majjhima Bhanaka was explained as those who made very great effect to protect the Majjhima Nikaya.
Samyutta Bhanaka protected the Samyutta Nikaya they gave a lot of interpretations regarding Samyutta Nikaya.
We don’t find the name a single Bhanaka of Anguttara Nikaya this Bhanaka believed that accepted Parājika all other Vinaya percepts are Khundakhundaka.
Jātaka was very famous from a long time the sculpture joined Jātaka can be seen in the 3rd century B.C. A Jātaka Bhanaka who lived during the time of Buddha said in Papañcasuttani of Majjhima nikaya. There are facts about Jātaka in Srilanka. Jātaka became very popular there was a king in the kingdom, Rona this king listened to the Kapijātaka from Mahapadoma Thera the Vesanajātaka was recited by Jātaka Bhanaka of Dīghavāpi according to commentary Jātaka Bhanaka had to study the Dhammapada including the stories connected to it.
There are very few details about this Bhanaka there are views about the Buddha first words some scholars had a view that the Buddha first said;
“Yathā hāve phato pavati dhammam”
But Dhamma Bhanaka accepted that the Buddha first said the words
“Aneka cāti samsāra”
A comparison of fact given by Dīgha Bhanaka and Majjhima Bhanaka.
1. According to Dīgha Bhanaka for the First Buddhist Council Ănanda Thera came last showing that he has attained Arahanthood. Majjhima Bhanaka Bhanaka reported the method in a difference way according to them when the seat is empty other monks asked where Ănanda Thera is advance one Ănanda Thera appears splitting the earth or go through to sky.
2. According to Dīgha Bhanaka monks who came to First Buddhist Council recited Jātaka Mahanidesa, Cullanidesa, Patisampidāmagga, Suttanipāda, Dhammapada, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Vimānavathu, Petavath, Theragātha and Therīgātha. Dīgha Bhanaka included all these books in the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Majjhima adapted some more books those books are Cāriya Pitaka, Apadāna, Buddhavamsa they included all these books in the Sutta Pitaka.\
3. According to Dīgha Bhanaka when practicing Anāpānā meditation the lowest Jhāna is the most subtle.
According to Majjhima Bhanaka when practicing Anāpānā meditation the upper Jhāna (topmost) is the most subtle.
4. According to Dīgha Bhanaka when the object of meditation arises one should not mention it.
According to Majjhima Bhanaka when the object of meditation it should be said it is the object.
5. The Bodhisattva according to Dīgha Bhanaka before his renunciation saw the four sighs as Old man, Sick man, Death body and Ascetic on the same day. According to Majjhima Bhanaka, Bodhisattva saw this four sighs on four separate days.
In this manner, we can see that both Dīgha Bhanaka and Majjhima Bhanaka reported the same method in difference ways there are difference in the explanation of certain world.
The meaning of term is ancient there are various views for the term Porānas. According to Olden Barge Porāna means ancient commentary. According to Rhys David, Porānas are not among those who wrote Tripitaka book if they were there. They would have been mentioned of them they may have left later Porānas were further Theravada Sāssana they introduced a philosophy best on simple ancient world they were (eradiate) educated scholars according to the time they lived but since they followed traditional opinion they were unable to follow a free path. The Porānas did not have attained to spread the Dhamma into great emancipation but yet they were ordained writer who owner books.
There are Porānas passengers in commentary there are 116 sections in Visudhimagga pali commentary out of them 85 are poems in the Buddhaghosa text also there are Porānas sections. In the Nidesa and Patisampidā there are Porāna sayings in the work of Dhammapada they are very few Porāna sayings. In the Nidipukarana Porāna sayings are included one single was of Porāna can be seen in commentaries. For example,
“Bhagavadi vaccanam settam
Bhagavadi vaccanam buddhamam
Garu gāravayotto so bhagavā tena vucceti”
This stanza is found in 12 commentaries in this manner, Porānas verses are included in Buddhavamsa atthakatha, Paramathaghatikā.
When we read Pali commentary we can see that there a lot of verses it is not recorded from where these verses have been taken most properly they may have been taken from Porānas.
The fact of Buddhadhamma included in Porāna one must consider a monk Adattana (steal monk) on following 5 facts:
1.The object stolen
2.The time of stealing
3.Place of stealing
4.Value of the object
5.Whether use or not use by the owner.
Bhavanā and Dhayana one who meditated inter a solitary place like a king and spent the whole day there. He will give up Kammachanta, Vyāpada, Tīnamiddhā, Uddhacca, Vichikichā, advise given to attain Nibbana according to Porānas to attain Nibbana one must end quickly like a person whose head is burning. Concentration on impermanent the aggregates are breaking away that means death one who is headful seen the aggregates breaking away like parsing with and arrow as diamond.
Porānas viewed on Abhidhamma according to Porānas there is a stress Anatmāvaka there is no such thing as the soul there is only mind and matter and it is like a machine which is made only thing in Dukkha.
Porānas called Anumāna sutta of Majjhima Nikaya, Mullapanasaka section as Bhikkhu Pātimokkha.
Buddhacarita Porāna gathā included facts about life of the Buddha how prince Sidhatha walked soon after birth is also explained his visit Kapilavathu. Legend in Porānas there are Porānas legend included in Pārimathajotika one queen gives birth to a peace of place this was through into water it was protected by devās and a set took it later it what God divided into portion. One portion became a girl and one portion became a boy both of them got married and they became the king and queen of Vesāli.
The Historical Fact
In Sammantapāsādikā there are Porāna gathās they explain Mahinda Thera arrival in Sri Lanka they are similar to Dĕpavamsa verses. About the universe the mountain Cakravada is submerged about 8200 yoganas in the sea. Its high is also the same it surrounds the whole universe.
They interpretated the term Manusa thus,
“Mana Ussanathaya manussā”.
According to Porānas there is no different in Tasamaye, Tena Samayena, Tam Samayam.
In ppapañca Sudani and Uppadana Atthakatha there are Porānas passenger. Porānas are defined thus,
1. Porānaka therā
These groups are found in commentary and the term Porāna And
Porānaka therā are no the same.
Pubbācāriyā means porānas. For example in order to explain Paticchasampādiya, Buddha gave porana gathās.
This word is found in abandon in Pali Atthakatha. According to Kantavamsa Porānacāriyā means those who took part in the 3rd Buddhist council one porāna gathā is found in Mallinda panhā in the Visudha magga also the same verse it puts as the Porānapada therefore there is no different between Porāna and Porānācāriyā. Porāncāriyā means commentator Buddhaghosa has used the term Porāna for Atthakathācāriyā. Buddhaghosa said thus,
They are supposed to be Porānas. Commentator of Suttanibbada briefly explaining the Ratana Sutta says that Porāna writer interepretation.
According to Oldern Barge the two terms Porāna and Porānāthakathā are the same. Geiger said that there are the same Porāna was a group of expected teachers there were responsible for protection there were Sāssana. Porāna started at Jombhûdĕpa in the opinion included in all Atthakathas were called Porāna passenger those who wrote them was called Porānas. In this manner, these ancient groups of Porānas contributed a lot of for development of Pali literature.
The Independent Nature of Commentators
The commentators were independence in writing their commentary. Buddhaghosa who wrote commentary had the task of translating Sihala Atthakathā into Pali. He hasn’t given a word to word translation of Sihala Atthakathā when he was writing commentaries he had done away with repetition it was really a new addition he said thus,
“Hitvam Puññā Katamanam Atam pakāsissā”.
I explain the meanings avowing repetition he also says he had given for example “Adivitaram Pahāya” further more he said he has taken issue of all the either commentaries Porānātthakathānam Sāram ādāya nittam patta taking issue earliest commentary came conclusion. In this manner, we observed that the commentators did not attain to repeat everything given in the earliest text having, examining the fact in a summering form they had included ideal of earliest author therefore, we can consider the commentaries we have today are written independently pay respect to the earliest tradition.
The commentators examine the source well and came to their own conclusion for example, when the commentators examine under the Kathakathā and found out that fact given in it does not tally with other commentaries therefore; they decided that those facts should be left out. In this manner, the commentators who wrote Pali commentaries were free to decide according to their own views.
The Pali commentators stated that what is given contrary to Sihalatthakathā should be examined very carefully sometimes there were various opinion in Sihalatthakathā which do not agree in all respects therefore, the commentators said thus,
“Atthakathāsu paññā na āgathatā vimansitvā ghetapā”
What is not given in the commentaries should be accepted after
Carefully examination. Pali commentators careful examined primary sources as any words interpreted according to Dhamma they were ready to accept it whenever they came across something doubtful they intended to do further research therefore, we can see they were quite free in their compositions.
The Pāli commentators were very careful in translating Sihala commentaries into Pāli they always wanted to arouse suspicion in the mind of reader.
Sometimes Pāli commentators included their own views and such cases they were careful of inclusion according to concepts of commentators were always subject to criticism.
Pāli commentators like Venerable Buddhaghosa taking Sihala commentaries as the source became very careful they did not give up anything included in the Sihala commentaries they always considered carefully what is not given in the Sihala commentaries. Pāli commentators made long explanation short sometimes where necessary short explanations were made long.
In this manner, according to one’s own wish, one’s own desire Pāli commentators carried on their works. In this manner, we observed that the commentators were very carefully making a comparative studying gave their own interpretation.
They were three Pāli commentators as Buddhadatta, Buddhaghosa and Dhammapala they gave interpretation of Buddhist words according to their own views for example the words Dhamma can be defined various ways the commentators Dhammapala quite free his own definitions, for example:
“Dhammoti catu scca dhammo.
Dhammoti samandha vipassanā.
Dhammoti navalokutara dhammā.
Dhammoti vacārana paññā”.
Buddhaghosa as well as Dhammapala interpreted words giving them some philosophical importance. For example, the word Pantida which literary means education have been defined philosophically. For example,
“Pantidoti dhātu kusalatā āyatana kusalatā, paticasamopāda kusalatā”.
The word “Panti” means skill in elements, skill faculties, skill independent originations.
The word “Bodhi” has been defined by the commentators giving a deep sense.
The term “Bodhi” is generally meant as Bodhi tree the commentators defined the word in this manner,
“Bodhidi rokhopī maggapī sabbāññata ñānampī nibbānampī”.
The term Bodhi is Bodhi tree, the magga is the path to Nibbana, Sampañño the knowledge of omniscience.
The word Dhammacakkhu generally means the path and fruit of Sotāpañña. According to commentaries the meaning mere words Dhammackkhu to attain Arahantship therefore, we understand that in the commentary there is different meaning.
Sometimes commentators gave interpretation to one single word in different ways. For example, the word Avāda, Anusāssanī has been explained in various places in different ways. We observed that one single word is defined differently by Buddhaghosa and Dhammapala.
The word Paduma means red lotus, Pundarika white lotus but here the commentary Manoradhuranī gave a different interpretation it asid Paduma means white lotus, Pundarika means red lotus.
Buddhaghosa and Dhammapala are different in their interpretation.
Living according to the middle path is to be free from defilement.
Living in the middle path is living with loving-kindness.
The Situation of Sri Lanka depicted in Pali commentary
The Pali commentary explained the economic social and political situation of Sri Lanka during the early period the commentators have collected these facts from Sihala commentaries and also from other sources there are also some facts take from various legends.
The Economic Condition
From 3rd century B.C up to the 5th century A.D Sri Lanka had a sound economical standard this period was known period of gold coin people had exchanged gold coin and therefore, historical believes ancient Sri Lanka was very developed economically according to archaeologists, Sri Lankan people had even used upper coin. Except the great famine during Brahmanatissa all other periods were very prosperous the glory was spreading to other countries also.
Sri Lanka was called Tambapanni this island became famous in other countries they spoke about Sri Lanka. In this manner, “Sri Lanka is a place shining with many Stupas people can sit and sleep anywhere they wish the weather suitable for living people are very hospitable. Sri Lanka is a place very suitable for monks to practice Dhamma”.
According to commentary, the monasteries were very rich, even the king did not have such a lot of wealth. The Cetiya Pabhavihara had very valuable carpet on the flood these carpets were the amount of food given to 500 people. There is a story where the chief monk saved the richest monastery by giving food to thieves.
The monastery at Tissa Maharama and also at Cettala Pabhata had paddy stored in the storehouse for three years to feed twelve thousand monks.
Sri Lanka was very rich in trade during the period of king Kavamtisaa the Northern part of Sri Lanka was very prosperous at that time they had been separated groups of people who were engaged in trade. Commentaries mentioned these groups by the name Puya. The term Puya is derived from Sanskrit language these traders from other countries enter into agreement with Sri Lanka traders.
Sri Lanka reached its prosperous with regard agriculture cultivation of paddy became very importance. Sometimes even the king wentpaddy field there were tanks to provide the water there were also other types of cultivation. For example, coconuts and sugar cane. In Sri Lanka there were machines to make sugar the people who are working in these centers were paid in gold coin.
In Sri Lanka, people reared cattle they respected cattle and protected their life at that time one cow is work ten gold coins. The Vinaya Atthakatha explains many types of occupation people were engaged in tethers were weaving pottery …..Etc.
There were also technician these people were able to repair vehicles, utensil necessary for various industrious. In this manner, Sri Lanka was supporting at that time. According to commentary, commentaries we really hear about people who are very poor. Sri Lanka was very rich in precious stones there were valuable pearls, gems and jewels.
The situation of Sri Lanka after went of Mahinda Thera was very well-coming the king of Sri Lanka at that time was Devānampiyatissa. He had a friendship with King Asoka in India. As a result of friendship the Devānampiyatissa made his second consecration this ceremony took place with great order. King Asoka sent to Sri Lanka all the things necessary for this ceremony with his friendship Buddhism took foundation in Sri Lanka with the introduction of Buddhism.
Sri Lanka became a develop country. The next king who brought fame to Sri Lanka was Duttugamunu (Duttugamuni). King Duttugamunu had to invade several battles in order to save the country from Tamila invasion. Finally, he defeated the Tamila, he was so happy about the victory and it is said for one month he could not sleep. According to commentary, eight Parita Arahants started reciting and thereafter, king was able to sleep.
The next king who was importance according to commentary, is Vallagampa, according to Vatapakāsālīnī this king was in the forest 14 years after coming back to the kingdom he constructed Abhiyagiri.
Abhiyagiri monastery became the central of Mahayana Buddhism this monastery served as an educational institution.
Sri Lanka according to commentary, Anuradhapura was the First Capital, Rohana was separated from Anuradhapura by meant of river in the kingdom of Nāgadipa there have been importance king named Kavamtissa. He was a father of Duttugamunu at that time Sri Lankan kings brought prosperity to the country by not allowing Tamila to attack Sri Lanka. Sometimes even the monks had helped king to protect the country.
We observed according to the description of commentary, monks had always helped the king to protect the country. Therefore, the prosperity of Sri Lanka lays unity between kings and monks.
Sri Lanka became very prosperous because the king was always developed to Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. The king Sadhātissa was a very virtue king on Poyā day he used to listen to Dhamma preaches by Kalabuddharakkhita.
He was so pleasant that he offered the whole country to this Thera. In this manner, commentaries pointed out the facts that the always acted, according to the Dhamma. The monks helped the king during the early period some monks even had judicial power the Thera Ăbhidhammika Godhatta acted judge he had judicial power who did not act according to the verdict of this Thera had been hiving royal punishment. In this manner, they had been a close connection between the monks and kings.
The glory of Sri Lanka is given the commentary stating that people were made respect animals.
King, Bhātkābhaya enforces rules that punishment will be given to those who eat the meat, beef and pork…….Etc.
The king pronounced the act of Māgātha non-killing between these manners we observed that ancient Sri Lanka was very prosperous making the country completely free from the killing cow for their places.
The king at that time invited the monks to their palaces for meal. Therefore, we see that the monks became very good advisers of king. The social condition of Sri Lanka has been given in the commentary there were people belonging to various clans as Brahmin, Sakya, householder, cantala…..Etc.
Therefore, we can see that there were people of high ranks as well low caste. Cantala means low caste.
The commentary explains that there had been a group of people called Dāsa this group always did mental work the king offered this Dāsa to monastery. In this manner, the king supported the monastery.
In ancient Sri Lanka, people had sufficient food to eat the staple food was rice. A part from that Sri Lanka was very rich in various other kinds of food. For example, curd, ghee, honey, vegetable, green leaf as well as fish. Sri Lanka had a lot of cows they had plenty of flesh meats. Therefore, according to commentary Sri Lanka had enough food. Sri Lanka was saved to support country.
According to commentary, Sri Lankan people follow a simple life the meal was very simple even king Kavamtissa was seen among the people at importance places, wearing very simple dresses. According to commentary Sommaggalavisālinī it is said that women use flowers for their hair dress. In this manner, people did not spend much for dress ornament.
In Sri Lanka, education was of various time the study area histories, legends… dhamma vinaya. Māliyadeva was well in the Tripitaka dhamma Cûlābhaya Thera went from Anuradhapura to Rohana to study the dhamma Kālabuddharakkhita was a very famous dhamma preacher. King Bhādiya has skillful Brahmin minister who had a good knowledge of language. At that time teaching and learning was not retreated to one period on time. Sometimes teaching was done even at night.
According to commentary, Sri Lanka was reading arts and architectures there was a monk called Cettaggutta in his cave there was beautiful painting of the renunciation of seven past Buddhas. It shows Sri Lanka was a country where there were people skill in painting the Buddha did not allow monks to paint picture of the couple. The commentary instead further and said Buddha did not paint animals also. Sri Lankan monastery was well required Cettiyagara, Bodhigara, Sammajjani attha, Dāru attha, Vacchakuti. In this manner, we observed that Sri Lanka was very different arts and architectures according to commentary.
The Custom of Ceylon
During the early period in Sri Lanka there had been various customs in the commentary there are details about these customs it was a custom of Sri Lankan people when they visited a house if the door is close, do not knock at the door. At that time, the people inside the house understood the person who is knocking according to the way of knocking. If the knocking comes strait from the key-hold they understand it is a human being. If the knocking is at that top of the door they understand it is a non-human.
If the knocking is down it means an animal. It was custom of people at that time to relate stories they enjoy listening to stories about Warfare.
The Situation of Order
The commentary gave a feature of the life in the monastery in ancient Sri Lanka sometimes there had been problem among the monks. One they had been famine called Brahmana Tissa, monks forced a lot of difficulties they had no food some had to leave the country.
The commentary described about various views of monks regarding the dhamma there was split between two groups of monk regarding Khandaka Vinaya. Monks from other countries came to Ceylon and had discussion about the dhamma there were debated about Pariyatti (Learning) and Patipati (Practicing) there were two groups of monk called Dhammakathika and Pamsokûlika in these debates Dhammakathika monks won. In this manner, we observed that there had been two groups of monk problem arose among the Sangha when king Valagamba offered Abhiyagiri monastery to the Sangha (To Tissa Thera). According to Vinaya, it is wrong to offer monastery to a single monk. As a result always there were conflicted between these two monasteries Mahāvihara and Abhiyagiri. Thereafter, School of Buddhism arose (Nikaya) in the Mahāvihara monks were Theravada monks and Abhiyagiri monks became Dhammaraci after sometimes other Nikayas arose called Sāgaliya. In this manner, the commentary explained the situation of the Sangha at first the monks were very pious they respected Vinaya but later they didn’t act according to Vinaya. The commentaries speak about the rich of monastery king offers land to the monastery. The monastery had coconut estates paddy field from them. They got a lot of money the monasteries were very rich. Kings and ministers offered monasteries to the Sangha. Some monks practice medicine as well as astrology there were also monks who had judicial power Ăbhidhammika Godhatta Thera was a famous judge.
The commentary Manorathapuranī speaks a famous ceremony called Ariyavamsadessa these were practicing with regard to practice of monks. People of Anuradhapura walked miles and miles to attend this ceremony. The people were dressed well most of women carried even the infants. There were festivals called Giribhanda Pûjā the king Mahādātika Mahānāga started this ceremony from the top of Mahindale in Anuradhapura up to town many things were offered to the people even today we have the influence of this festival during the Poson season.
1. Explains the situation of Sri Lanka during the ancient period according to commentary.
2. Discusses with example the glory of Sri Lanka as given in the commentary.
Vocation Second Term 23/07/2010s
The Origin of Commentaries depicted in the Pali Canon
The origin of Pali commentary can be found in the canonical literature. The Sutta Pitaka includes many commentarial characteristics out of them the Dīgha, Majjhima and Samyutta Nikaya are specially importance. These three Nikayas texts are supposed to be the oldest books in Pali literature. Most of the suttas excusive commentarial characteristics.
The Dīgha nikaya includes the Satipatthana Sutta there are Satipattha Suttas in other Nikayas also the Dīgha Nikaya. Satipatthana Sutta is longer than the others. Therefore, we can assume that in the Dīgha Nikaya there is a descriptive new addition when we compare the Dīgha Nikaya Satipatthana Sutta with the Majjhima and Samyutta Nikaya Satipatthana Sutta we can see that the Dīgha Nikaya Satipatthana Sutta is longer than others.
In the Majjhima Nikaya Satipatthana Sutta there are four sections as:
In the Dīgha Nikaya Satipatthana sutta a part from that there are extra explanations about the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Noble Paths.
In the Dīgha Nikaya there is a sutta called Mahaparinibbana sutta this sutta has developed during many periods this sutta includes later addition the content of Mahaparinibbana sutta is similar to a commentary style this sutta includes fact pertaining to the life of the Buddha, history of the Buddhist Order the Buddhācārika (wondering) the Buddhaparinibbana, the cremation, the distribution of relic, the enshrining of relic. All these facts are historical therefore, Mahaparinibbana sutta has commentarial characteristics.
The Majjhima and Samyutta Nikaya also have commentarial characteristics in the Majjhima Nikaya there are two Suttas as Cullavedala and Mahavedala and also Vibhanga sutta in this sutta the deep Dhamma sections of the Buddha are analysis in the form of questions and answers. In the Mahavedala sutta there is a discussion between Mahakotthita Thera and Sāriputta Thera these two monks have been very famous to interpret the summarizing Dhamma giving long explanation Mahakotthita Thera gives some importance statements of Dhamma and request Sāriputta to explain it. Sāriputta Thera then gives a vivid explanation:
1. Saññā saññāti avuso vuccati kittāvadānukho āvuso saññāti vuccati samjānāti samjānātīti kho avuso tasmā saññāti vuccati kim ca samjānāti? Nilakampi samjānāti pitakampi samjānāti lohitakampi samjānāti samjānātīti kho āvuso tasmā saññāti vuccati.
2. Duppañño duppaññoti āvuso vuccati kittāvtānukho avuso duppañño oti vuccati nappajānāti nappajānātīti kho avuso tasmā duppaññoti vuccati kim nappajānāti? Idam dukkhamti nappajānāti ayam dukkha nirodhoti nappajānāti ayam dukkho nirodhagāminī patipadīti nappajānātīti kho avuso tasmā duppaññoti vuccati. (Mahavedalla sutta in M.N).
The Cullavedalla sutta also gives a discussion of Dhamma that to place between the householder Visākha and Therī Dhammadinā the householder Visākha requests Dhammadīnā to interpret the following words: (Sakhāya, sakhāyasamudaya, sakhāya nirodha, sakhāya nirodha Kāminīpatipādā, Sakhāyadhi, atthagikamagga, samādhi sankhara.)
“Sakhāyo sakhāyoti aye vuccati katamo nukho aye sakhāyo vutto bhagavatīti pañca kho ime avuso visākha upādānakkhandhā sakhāyo vutto bhagavatā seyyathidam rûpapādānakkhandho vedanānupādānukkhandha saññupādanakkhadho samthārûpapādānakkhandho viññānupādānakkhandho ime kho avuso visākha pancupādānakkhandhā sakhāyo vutto bhagavatāti”. (Cullavedalla sutta).
According to the interpretation given by Therī Dhammadinā regarding the word Sakhaya Rûpa, Vedana, saññā, sankhara and viññāna (form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness) these are called five aggregates known as oneself or sakhaya (Cullavedalla sutta).
The Cullavedalla sutta is different from Mahavedalla sutta here there is an interpretation of words Visākha the householder went on questioning the Therī Dhammadinā after explaining several words she asked Visākha to go to the Buddha and get the explanation of rate of words. Visākha then went to Buddha and told him that he got some explanations from Dhammadinā Therī Buddha listened to his explanations and said Dhammadinā had correctly interpreted the words. In this manner, we observed that the Cullavedalla sutta includes commentarial characteristics.
In the Majjhima Nikaya, Vibhanga Vagga we can observe the Lomasakamgiya Bhaddekaratta sutta in this sutta there are two words as Uddesa and Vibhanga. Uddesa means verses; Vibhanga means interpretation of these verses.
Atitam nānvāganeyya_ nappatikam khe anāgate yedatitam
pahinamtam_ appatamca nāgatam paccupannaca yo dhamma_
tatthatattha vipassati asambhiram asamkuppam tamvidvā_
manuhrāhaye ajjeva kiccam ātappam_ ko jaññā maranam sare
nahi na sagarantena_ mahāsenena maccunā evam vihārim
ātāpim_ anorattamatanditam tam ve bhaddekarattoti_ santo
ācikkhate munīti.(Lomasakamgiya Bhaddekaratta Sutt of M.N).
This is the Uddesa or the verses. This verses are interpreted in the sutta itself this interpretation is called Vibhanga.
Katam ca bhikkhu atitam anvāgameti? Evam rûpo ahosim
atitamaddhānanti tattha nandum sananvānet _ evam vedanā
ahosi …..do…. evam sañño ahosim…..do…..evam samkhāro
ahosi…..do…evam viññāno ahosi_ atitamaddhānanti tattha
nandim samanvāneti_evam kho bhikkhu atitam anvāgameti
katamica bhikkhu atitam nānvāgameti? Evam rûpo ahosi
atitamaddhānanti tattha nandim nasamanvāneti _evam vedanā
ahosim….do… evam sañño ahosim…..do….. evam samkhāro
ahosim…..do… evam viññāno ahosim atitamaddhananti tattha
nandim na samanrāneti_evam kho bhikkhu atitam nānvāgameti.
The interpretation is given as Vibhanga is a characteristic of a commentary.
This method of Uddesa and Vibhanga have been preached by the Buddha it was his method of preaching the Dhamma when the Buddha was living he always delivers the Dhamma in short some monks who were eager to learn something more went to the learner Thera to get more explanations Mahakaccayana Thera was a prominent monk clever in interpretation most of monks went him to get something explains in details.
The Vibhanga suttas are very rich interpretation. In the Majjhima Nikaya, Arana Vibhanga Sutta we can see the method of interpretation.
How is it monk one gets attached to the language the countryside and deviates from the recognizing language monk in some territory it is known as Bhatta, vitta, sarrava, dharupa, pano and pisala in whatever way there are known in various territory they get attached to it saying that this is the true all others are from monks. In this manner, they get
Attached the language of the countryside and deviates from recognizing language.
In this manner, the above sutta of Majjhima nikaya explains method of interpretation.
In the Samyutta Nikaya also we can see a very development form of interpretation here certain word is handed over to a disciple who is very learner he will interpret it word to word in the Suddanippada and Atthavagga also we can see the same method the following verse is given for interpretation.
Okam pahāya anihela sāri gāme okubbum muni santthavāni
kāmehi rotto apurekkharāno katham na viggayaha jane na kairā.
This verse which is given in brief can be explained in detail in this manner. This explanation is similar to commentarial in charac- teristic.
“Rupadhatu kho gahapati vinnanassa oko rupadhatua vagaviniban- dhanca pana vinnanam okasariti vaccati vedanadhatu kho gahapati Vinnsassa oko. Vedana dhata raga vinibandhamca pana Vinnanam Okasariti vuccati sannadhatu kho gahapati vinnanassa Oko sanna-dhatu ragavinibandhamca panna vinnanam okasariti Vuccati samkharadhatu kho gahapati Vinnanasso oko samharadhatu vinibandham ca panna vinnanam okasariti Vuccati. Evam kho gahapati okasarihoti kathamca gahapati Anokasarihotii rupadhatuya kho gahapati Yo chando Yo rago Yo nandi ya tanha ye upayapadaa cetaso adhi tthanbhinivesanusaya te tathagatassa pahina ucchinnamuta tala vatthukatha anabhavamgata ayatim anuppada shamma tasma tathagato anokasariti vuccati …… samkhara dhatuya……”
The above description explains the word Okasari and Anokasari very well. In the same way, the sanyutanikaya gives commentarial explanation to the two words “Niketasari and Santhavajat”
When we consider the Vinaya text all the Vinaya texts apart from Patimokkha include commentarial characteristic. Those texts include and interpretation of the history of the Buddhist order. To give the list accomplishes explanation of the present, for example the two Vinaya books. Baracika and Paccitiya are called Vibhanga. The word Vibhanga is the ancient term used in the place of commentary. There are many Sutta in the Sutta pitaka under the term Vibhanga. This can be seen according to their commentarial characteristic. The Vinaya vibhanga is called Sutta Vibhanga. The term Vibhanga means explanation. This can be explained thus.
“Yo pana bhikkhu bhikkhunam Sikkhasajiva sampanno sikkham apaccakkhaya dubbalyam Anavikatva methunam dhammam pantiseveyya antamso tiracchanagatayai parijikohoti asamvaso”
Bhikkhuti bhikkatoti bhikkhu
Bhinna pata dharoti
In the vinapitaka, there are called Khandaka. That poison is called Mahavagga and Suravagga pali. In this section, there are details regarding the ethical background of the society of monks to give the vida history of the dispensation. In the Suravagga, there are two chapters at the end given records about the first and second Council. The Mahakhandaka of Mahavagga Pali explains the origin and evolution of the society of Sangha. The other Khandaka explain Buddhist ethic. This shows a certain development in the commentary type.
The last book of Vinaya pitaka is Parivala pali. It has questions and answers given interpretation. Palivala has two sections. The first section has Bholana verses. It explains how Buddhist was brought to Sri Lanka and also about the monks who live in Sri Lanka. Therefore, apart from Patimokkha order other Vinaya texts include commentarial characteristic. The two books Palacika Pali may have been composed in between the first Council and the second Council. Khandaka may have got prepare after the second Council. The first part of the Palivala may have been during the period of King Asoka and the other sections belong to the period of Vaddagamami Abhaya.
In the Abhidhamma Pitaka, there are commentarial characteristic the Dhammasagani includes the following section
All these sections are based on the preaching of Buddha the First section Mātikā means topic. The last section Atthakathākhānda section means explanation. Therefore, in the Abhadhamma also we can see the method of interpretation.
In this manner, when we consider commentarial characteristic presented in the canon we can come to the following conclusion.
1. In the Pali Canon Dhamma terms are taken separately after those similar words are given for example (Māranam cuti cavanata maccumaranam kalagiriya).
2. The Canon gave division
(Katamam ca bhikkhave salayadana cakkhayadana sotayadana ghanayadana jivhayadana kayayadana).
3. Giving story as example in the S.N regarding the division of dependent origination stories are given explaining how the seven Buddhas realize dependent origination.
4. Underlining words
(Kiñca bhikkhave rûpam vadetha rûppatīti kho bhikkave tasmā rûpanti vaccati kena rûppati? Sītena rûppati…).
Monk, because it gets change. Therefore, it is called Rûpa.
By what will it get change by coldness?
5. In the Canon there are historical facts also.
It is the commentary of Dhammasanganī. In this commentary the problem of Abhidhamma as Buddhavacna is death with. The Theravadins argued that Abhidhamma is Buddhavacana the Vitandavadin argued that is not Buddhavacana the followings are the question put for word by the Vitandavadin and also the answer given by the Theravadin.
1. The Heretic said that during the First Buddhist Council, Mahakassapa Thera said thus (That we shall rehear the Dhamma and Vinaya. He did not refer to Abhidhamma).
The Theravada monks answered this question said that at the end
Of The council Buddhavacana was complete it was called tripitaka?
Means Vinaya and Sutta and Abhidhamma.
2. The Buddha preached only Sutta and Vinaya during this Cariya (wondering) he did not preach to any one.
The Theravadin answered the question saying that the Buddha preached Abhidhamma to his mother who was at Tavatinsa heaven. The Buddha who a human being came to the human world for his bodily need than he met Sāriputta Thera to whom he preached Abhidhamma. Therefore, Sāriputta preached to others.
3. The Heretic did not accept Katthāvathu because it was combined by Moggaliputtatissa 218 years after the Buddha passed away. Therefore, they said they can not accept Abhidhamma Buddhavacana.
The Theravadin answered this question saying that Abhidhamma is of two times
1. Buddhapassita = preached by Buddha
2. Buddha annudīta = approved by Buddha.
The Theravadin said that before the Buddha passed away he said that in the future there will be a monk named Moggaliputtatissa who will write Katthāvatthu. In this manner, Buddha had already approved the topic of this book.
4. The Heretic do not accept the Abhidhamma book made by Theravadin instead of Katthāvatthu they mention another book called Mahadhammahadiya but when Theravadin question them about this book they are unable to give the content of this book. In this manner, the Heretic was unable to answer anything about Mahadhammahadiya.
5. The Heretic said that there is no Nidana story in the Abhidhamma including the time, place, and person. According to Heretic Abhidhamma has no introduction like this. Theravadin challenges they said that there is Nidanakatthā in the Abhidhamma.
At once time when the blessed one was staying at Tavatinsa deva world among the Deva under the Pariccatika tree seated on it made of stone, he preached Abhidhamma. Therefore, Abhidhamma is also having Nidana.
6. Heretic said that although there are words as Vinayatara and Dhammatara and there is no word as Abhidhammatara. The Theravadin answered this question saying that Buddha refers person according to their temperament those know about Abhidhamma had been considered very intelligence and they were approved by the Buddha.
Origin of Canonical
Importance feature presented in commentary. There were three outstanding commentators, Venerable, Buddhadadha came to Sri lanka first he was unable to finish the work he started to thereafter came Buddhaghosa who did a great service to commentarial works after Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala came to Sri lanka. These commentators composed many commentaries on Vinaya, Sutta and Abhidhamma. They were very skillful they included many features in their commentaries.
1. Commentaries are called exegetical treatise therefore, one feature is commentary explained difficult words in the Pali canon there are many difficult words these words are explained giving various meanings. For example, Visudhimagga explains the word Sila as (Silam nam sitalam) is also explains the word Bhikkhu (Samsāre bhayam ikkhatīti bhikkhu) “One who sees the danger cycle of birth”.
In the interpretation of words commentators gave innovations in normal explanation Sila means controlling the body and word. In the explanation of canon the word bhikkhu means (Bekkhatīti bhikkhu). Theregfore, the commentators has the skill to interpret the words and gave new meaning.
2. The commentators when explaining words gave synonym. Therefore, we observed the skill of commentator in giving many Pali terms.
3. Sometimes the commentators gave explanation of the pali language they were skillful to say whether it is past tense, present tense or gerund.
4. The commentators were skillful to record about historical fact in the commentary there are stories above incident in Sri Lanka they have mentioned above places like Cetiyapabbata and Cettalapabbata. The commentator was skillful to add various features in this monastery. For example the number of monks, architectural feature and the king who looked after this monastery.
5. The commentators were also very skillful to include stories in between to make the commentary interesting sometimes there are stories about monks who were very alert about their meditation. In the Visudhimagga there is a story about a monk who saw a beautiful woman while he was meditating he considered this woman as a skeleton. Finally a monk attained arahantship.
6. The commentary shows a lot of independent the monks who wrote commentaries gave their own explanation they never forced the reader to accept fully what they have written. They expected the reader to criticize anything.
7. The commentators had the skill to follow various methods of exegetic the method can be classified as follow,
The commentators were employing many types of method according to the Sutta, they are dealing we can see slid various actions in their method.
1. Here, there is some about the beginning of the Sutta the commentators wrote about when the Sutta was preached where it was preached. For example, this method is seen in the Pahira Nidana one of Summaggalavisālinī.
2. Padato this means the commentator used word to word explanation as nouns, verbs, prepositions and prefixes. Here, the commentators selected word according to his own wish. He is free to explain only the word he had selected.
3. Padavibhāgato the commentator is skillful to evaluate word according to grammar and philology.
The commentators considered that Padavibhāga is necessary to understand well.
4. Atthato the commentator always gave correct interpretation of words according to the meaning the difficult words are explained with help of simile and metaphor.
5. Anuyogato in this case the commentator raise a question and he himself examine it.
6. Parihāra means answering the question and argument given regarding it.
The Sommaggalavisālinī is a commentary on D.N this was composed by the Thera called Sanghadatha who lived in Sommaggala Peravadana has three parts,
Nidana kattha or introduction of Sommaggalavisālinī his gives importance discussion about first council it described the reason for the first council and also where places were held there is also description about Ananda Thera who first attained the Buddha even after his passing away. Daily he went to place where the Buddha lived and did all the offering as if the Buddha was living later Ananda Thera attained arahantship and joined the first council, Sommaggalavisālinī Nidana kattha gave a good feature First Buddhist council giving all details.
Thereafter starting from the Brahmanala Sutta the commentary gave details in this commentary words are explained grammatically and author act his own concept there are many pali words giving synonym therefore Sommagglavisālinī is a commentary very useful for the study of Pali language as well as many suttas includes into the D.N. Buddhaghosa has included facts belonging to various fields, religious facts geographical condition, political background, physical background, religious background. Because it includes various fields a feature of history of ancient India can be seen.
The commentary gave more details about the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. The commentators mentioned the Buddha as Tathagata he explained the term Tathagata. Thereafter he specks about missionary life. Buddhaghosa also mentions the previous Buddhas the whole life of Gotama Buddha. He is given with reference to various Suttas. This commentary defined the Buddha dhamma well Mahasatipatthana sutta explains mindfulness it shows how far Bhavanā is useful for Buddhists the Callaraholava sutta advice gives to novice. Buddhaghosa explained the dhammadaya sutta pointing out the importance of dhamma the commentary starts with Brahmacālla sutta pointing out heretical views in the society of India. It also refers to term as,
The commentary mentions the daily life of the monks during the daily time. It is the duty of the monks to mark his mind free from all abstracted by walking and sitting. The monks should clean Cetiya and Boddhi tree he should attain his teacher the monastery. This
Commentary also mentions about geographical condition and social condition of the country at that time.
1. There are other commentaries prepared by Mahinda Thera.
2. They were composed by the Thera in Sri Lankan language.
3. There are various views about these Sihalatthaktha. Some scholars have pointed out that they were put into Sinhalese by the monks in Sri Lanka; they believed that Mahinda Thera introduced them in the oral tradition and Sri Lankan monks put them into writing.
4. The Sihalatthakatha was supposed to be one of the ancient literally produced during king Walagambhā, all the books were written in Pali. Sihalatthakathā also had been written. Therefore, according to Sāratthadipani we can come to be conclusion that what was brought by Mahinda Thera had been put into writing by Sri Lankan monks. Therefore, Sihalatthakathā is very important as the first group of literally produce.
5. There are three commentaries Sihalatthakathas which are very important; they are; 1. Mahāathakathā,
3. Kurunti atthakathā.
6. According to the scholars Malalasekera, there are six Sihalatthakathā; 1. Mahāthakathā, 2. Udaravihāra-atthakathā, 3 Mahāpaccariya-atthakathā, 4. Andha-atthakathā, 5. Kurundhi- atthakathā and Sankepa-athakathā.
7. Contains of Mahā-atthakathā. This includes the whole Tripitaka; the subject matter is very important, it has been used to write the Samanthapāsādikā by the Buddhaghoso.
8. Mahāpaccariya- atthakathā, this includes Vinaya; there is a good explanation of Vinaya precepts. This can be considered as a commentary which gives an interpretation to the Vinaya Pitaka. The Vinaya Pitaka includes Five books – Parrajika…………
9. Kurundhi-atthakathā; this commentary is mentioned in the Samanthapāsātika and therefore, it also includes Vinaya facts.
10. The language can be seen by certain sentences taken from the commentary. For example, Lagutaka wadāki rasha nami- the word Lagutaka means “short”, Samāvadiyā vatthu nāma pattamakI – the story of Sāmāvati is the first. In the Sahalatthakathā; the language is prakri style Sinhala language very close to Prakrit; therefore, we can call language to the Sihala Prakri. Moreover, the language is very close to Pali. The following words Sihala point out that “there is similarity to the Pali Language”. For example; Appamāda, Puppha, vathu, etc. the Sinhalatthakatha accepted a language very close to Pali.
11. The method of explaining meaning. Sinhalatthakathas have always given similar words to explain the difficult words, sometime interpretation done. The word Lagumtaka has been explained and interpreted making use of the Pal word “rassa –short”
1. Bhankas are the monks who were given the responsibility to handle various sections of the cannon during the first council.
2. Dhighanilkay by, Anada thera
M.N by Sariputta thera
S.N Mahākassapa thera
A.N by Anurudha thera
Kh.N incharged of all.
3. At the beginning it was an oral tradition, they protected what had been given over to them. Sometimes, when there were troubles in the country; the Bhanakas tried their best to protect the Dhamma by putting it into memory.
4. The responsibility of Bhanka
They were given the responsibility to memorise certain sections of the Nikāyas. Therefore, the Bhanakas of one Nikāya was experted in that area although they did not know the others.
5. The Jātaka bhanakas were very famous. The Majjhima bhanakas were mentioned in various places. Dhigha bhānaka had a responsible task.
6. When we compare this Bhānaka, there are differences of opinions among them.
The Glory of Sri Lanka
1. In the past Sri Lanka had been very glorious.
2. In the field of economic, social ethic, political background, education and religious background were very successful.
3. Economic was very developed people at that time had used gold coin sometimes they had used carpet coin. The usage of gold coin points out the prosperity Srilanka at that time had very a little occasion of economic downfold it was due to repellian to the Brahmanatissa. Srilanka became famous in foreign country also due to the trade between Srilanka and other countries. The monasteries were very rich at Citiyabhabbada there were expensive carpets. The value of this cappet is so high that money taken from this cappet can be used to the feed 500 people. Acriculture industry developed in ancient Srilanka.
There were many coconut states, labors were paid in gold coins. The people were skillful in various works. For example, later were pottery and weevil.
4. Political background Anuradhapura was the center during the ancient period many kings ruled this capital city king Devanapiyatissa was a famous king at that time he brought peace to the country. King Dudugāmumu was a famous king and he also brought peace to the country. He was king how was interested in serving Buddhism. Therafter there was king as Valagabha who took an interested to put the Pali canon into writing.
5. Social background was stable people plenty of food the stable was rich. They ate vegetable and leaf in plenty. They had gee and honey. the people were heathy though who ate beef were punished they were people who did not like to kill animals most of the people were simply dress. They used flowers on their hat instead of onormal.
6. Educations ancient Srilanka gave information about development education in many field dhamma educations, language education, art and architecture became very famous outstanding educated monks were Maliyadeva and Kālabubharakhita.
7. Custom ancient Srilanka was polite they never entered the house without khoncking the door they were very hospitable they were kind and sympathy they did not like to kill even an animal.
8. Religious Situation there were bhikkhus who were very learners some practice Athesism and some study the tripitaka Mahavihara monks were Theravada, Abhiyagirivihara monk Dhammarucchi. The monks were treated well by the people they offered the paddy land and even tanks as prosperity of Vihara. A leading monk named Godaddhatissa was a judge he gave various solution when there were problem in Srinlanka some monks practice medicine.
9. Leisure people were harmless they were enaganed water sports, observing peack of dancers and attending religious festival. For example, Ariyavamsa dessanā these people made their leisure very fruitful.
The Names of topic will ask on the Examination
1. Buddhaghosa and Dhammapala.
4. Origin of Commentary
5. Condition of Sri Lanka given in commentary
6. Sinhala Commentary
7. Various features in commentary
8. Independent Nature of commentary.