Chronology of the Pali Canon

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Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:03 am

Hello Pali friends,

I would like to share some sources and thoughts on the chronology of the Pali Canon.

First, the research on chronology.

CHRONOLOGY OF THE PALI CANON
BY DR. BIMALA CHURN LAW

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/bcl.htm

CHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE NIKĀYAS
Bhikkhu Thich Minh Thanh

http://www.viet.net/anson/ebud/mind/02_chap2.htm

STUDIES IN THE ORIGINS OF BUDDHISM
GOVIND CHANDRA PANDE

http://www.exoticindia.ru.com/book/deta ... sm-IDC304/

The Buddha Spoke Pāli
by Stefan Karpik

http://pali.nibbanam.com/kosalan.htm

How old is the Suttapitaka? The relative value of textual and epigraphical sources for the study of early Indian Buddhism.
by Alexander Wynne

http://www.ocbs.org/images/documents/Wynne.pdf

"Cooking the Buddhist Books: The Implications of the New Dating of the Buddha for the History of Early Indian Buddhism"
by Charles S. Prebish

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... rticle.pdf

Recovering the Buddha's Message
R.F. Gombrich

http://www.scribd.com/doc/64865244/Reco ... h-TBF-1988
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Re: Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:12 am

Next, the epigraphic evidence.

The Hati-Gumpha inscription of Kharavela, dated the 160th year of the Maurya era (second century BCE) is written in a language which is very close to Pali:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hathigumpha_inscription
http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=QYx ... 9&lpg=PA19
http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=XdC ... A5&lpg=PA5
http://orissa.gov.in/e-magazine/Journal ... f/9-10.pdf
http://gujaratisbs.webs.com/Abstracts%2 ... 20More.pdf

The language of Girnar Asokan edicts is also very close to Pali.

Research of Dr Meena Talim:

http://www.exoticindia.ru.com/book/deta ... on-IHF006/
http://www.aryanbooks.co.in/product.asp?pro_id=65

The minor differences between the languages of these inscriptions and Pali are described on the pages 4-5 of K.R. Norman's work "The Pali Language and the Theravadin Tradition":

http://www.scribd.com/doc/61312930/The- ... orman-1983
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Re: Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:37 am

Now, as to the question of the stratification of Pali Canon by lexical and grammatical markers.

Rhys-Davids'es Pali-English dictionary mentions the words which are used only in the later texts:

ānubhāva
kilesa
bhāva
mālaka
yujjhati
yogin
rasmi
laddhi
vaḍḍhaki
vasabha
viññāṇaka
vimāna
vetulla

Sanskritized prefixes:

ava-
samabhi-

plural of "citta"
yuvassa

There's also a formidable work on the evolution of the Pali metre:

http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... utline.htm

Paul Kingsbury has done a great work on inducing the chronology through the grammatical markers:

Inducing a Chronology of the Pali Canon
Paul Kingsbury

http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/publications/C ... gsbury.pdf

The chronology of the Pali Canon: The case of the aorists
by Kingsbury, Paul

http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3073020/

The results of his work support the conclusions of Dr. Bimala Churn Law - the gradual evolution of sigmatic vs non-sigmatic aorists is evident from early to late texts, from Sutta-Nipata to Apadana.

So the thorough approach to chronological analysis of the Pali Canon, which will use grammatical, lexical and metrical markers, will make it possible to produce more accurate chronology.

It may even be possible to sort out the chronology of suttas by geographical locations, from the first Buddha's rainy season at Deer Park, to the Mahaparinibbana sutta.

http://stylomilo.com/files/mv/YMBASr1/D ... ddhism.doc

Meta, Dmytro
Last edited by Dmytro on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby Sekha » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:00 am

Excellent!

Thanks for sharing!

This is very useful info!
:namaste:
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:09 am

There's a certain synchronicity in evolution of various Indo-European languages:

http://universalium.academic.ru/240829/ ... _languages
http://folk.uio.no/eysteind/PaperICHL.pdf

So it may be possible to establish the linguistic timeline of evolution of grammatical forms.
Then we would be able to date the strata of the Pali Canon in the global context.
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Re: Chronology of the Pali Canon

Postby danieLion » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:07 am

Hi Dmytro,
Stellar.
Best Wishes,
Daniel
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