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Colophons of Acariya Buddhaghosa

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:10 pm
by Eko Care
The Australian monk Shravasti Dhammika is also critical of contemporary practice based on this work. He concludes that Buddhaghosa did not believe that following the practice set forth in the Visuddhimagga will really lead him to Nirvana, basing himself on the postscript to the Visuddhimagga:

Even Buddhaghosa did not really believe that Theravada practice could lead to Nirvana. His Visuddhimagga is supposed to be a detailed, step by step guide to enlightenment. And yet in the postscript [...] he says he hopes that the merit he has earned by writing the Vishuddhimagga will allow him to be reborn in heaven, abide there until Metteyya (Maitreya) appears, hear his teaching and then attain enlightenment.
wikipedia
Venerable Panditha of Burma in the paper "The_Authorship_of_the_Vinaya_and_Abhidhamma_Commentaries_A_Response_to_von_Hinuber" says:
  • Those colophons have not come from Acariya Buddhaghosa’s hands.
  • Acariya Buddhaghosa wanted to have all the credit transferred to the Mahāvihāra community.
  • Those introductions, epilogues, and colophons still have certain aspects not yet sufficiently examined.
  • Traditional scholars hardly believe that those colophons are written by Acariya Buddhaghosa.
  • All the works of Acariya Buddhaghosa were anonymous at the beginning.
  • This anonymity is the reason for someone in posterity to add such colophons in order to save the author’s name.
  • The reason for anonymity was to get the works endorsed by the prestige and authority of Mahāvihāra, expecting the longevity of books. If only a less number of people were interested in manually copying his book, it would remain “unpublished".
  • In this way, Acariya Buddhaghosa could successfully publish his works inland and internationally.
  • This circumstance of Acariya Buddhaghosa can be compared to presidential speech-writers. Although writer's name is not a secret, no president would acknowledge the writer in the speech itself.
Venerable Dhammanando says:
Ven. Dhammika is making the common mistake of confusing Buddhaghosa’s colophon with that of the scribal copyist. The former dedicates the the merit of composing the Visuddhimagga to the happiness of all beings. It’s the scribe, not Buddhaghosa, who wants to go to heaven and later meet Metteyya.
Bhikkhu Sujato Says:
In any case, the passage that expresses a wish to be reborn with Metteyya has multiple indications that it is a later addition, probably a scribal remark by a copyist.

It is only found in Sinhalese manuscripts
It doesn’t identify Buddhaghosa at all, merely saying “through the merit I have gained by this”.
It appears after the rather elaborate praise of Buddhaghosa, which itself appears to be a later addition (it’s not good form to praise oneself in this way).
It is right at the end, exactly where a copyist’s scribal mark would be added
This belief is implicitly rejected in the text itself (Vism 1.135)

Have you found more counter evidence to the ven. S. Dhammikas argument?

Re: Colophons of Acariya Buddhaghosa

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:15 pm
by mikenz66
I was slightly surprised that Ven Analayo repeated this claim in his new book Superiority Conceit in Buddhist Traditions:
Buddhaghosa also concludes his Visuddhimagga by expressing his own aspiration to be reborn, after a life spent in heaven, at the time of the future Buddha Maitreya (Ñāṇamoli 1991: 743).
:heart:
Mike

Re: Colophons of Acariya Buddhaghosa

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:33 pm
by Ceisiwr
mikenz66 wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:15 pm I was slightly surprised that Ven Analayo repeated this claim in his new book Superiority Conceit in Buddhist Traditions:
Buddhaghosa also concludes his Visuddhimagga by expressing his own aspiration to be reborn, after a life spent in heaven, at the time of the future Buddha Maitreya (Ñāṇamoli 1991: 743).
:heart:
Mike
I’m surprised too. I thought he would have known better. I guess we all make mistakes.

Re: Colophons of Acariya Buddhaghosa

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:22 am
by Eko Care
King Parakramabahu II of Kingdom of Dambadeniya had written a Sinhala glossary (Sannaya) to Visuddhimagga within 1234 to 1269CE .
It is called Visuddhimárga-mahásannaya or Parákramabáhu-sannaya.
Ven. Nanamoli's Visuddhimagga Bibliography:
Sinhala: Visuddhimárga-mahásanne, ed. Ratanapala Medhankara et al, 2 vols., Kalutara, 1949. (Also called Parákramabáhu-sannaya. A Pali-Sinhala
paraphrase composed by King Pandita Parákramabáhu II in the 13th cent. CE.)
In this glossary the king had mentioned "the epilogue/colophon is written by a monk called Buddhamitta who was a student of Acariya Buddhagosa".
  • The king had mentioned the epilogue starting from "Vipula visuddha buddhina ..." an onwards as the addition of venerable Buddhamitta.
  • Furthermore the king had stated why the name of Acariya Buddhagosa is mentioned as "Buddhaghosoti garuhi gahita nama dheyyena" in this epilogue. The king had said this is because the student-monk can't mention the teacher-monk's name directly. (A convention practiced by Venerable Ananda towards his teacher Venerable Mahakassapa and said to be practiced by Sri Lankan forest monks even in the present day).
If there are any Sri Lankans here, they can help translating and posting this last pages of the book.
The Kingdom of Dambadeniya was a medieval kingdom in what is present day Sri Lanka. The kingdom's rulers reigned from 1220–1345.

King Parakramabahu II was the king who inherited the throne after King Vijayabahu. He was considered a genius, who was a great poet and a prolific writer. Among the books he wrote are Kausilumina, which is considered a great piece of literature. Unifying the three kingdoms that existed within Sri Lanka at that point of time is regarded as greatest achievement.

The Dambadeniya period is considered as the golden era of Sinhala literature.
Parakramabahu II wrote two books namely Visuddi Marga Sannasa and Kavisilumina.
Kingdom_of_Dambadeniya
Parakkamabahu II was King of Dambadeniya in the 13th century, who ruled from 1234 to 1269.
Parakramabahu_II_of_Dambadeniya