Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

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Eko Care
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Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Eko Care »

I hope to post here the first half of the commentary review article by venerable Mahawa Gnanaloka, which was in Sinhala and the google translation is unclear. And I hope to post the remaining half of the article after some hours because the editing of google translation is difficult for a non-English person.
(My translation may be not very good as well.)
How did the inconsistencies in the comments come about?
Commentary Review - Article (9),
by
Tripitaka Master
Mahawa Gnanaloka Thero

"What is the Atthakata(commentary) ? And how is it a Buddha's discourse ? Why should we accept the present commentaries ?"
We have revealed the answers to the above questions in the previous articles. In spite of this, the Adhammavadins try to reiterate that the commentary is not a discourse of the Buddha, citing various errors in the present commentaries. Ven. Polwatte Buddhadatta is the one who emphasized that the Atthakatha cannot be the Pakinnaka Deasana (Explanatary Sermons), by presenting various inconsistencies of Atthakatha.It is important for anyone who inquires about the Dhamma to pay attention to the various contradictions that arise in such commentaries. Therefore, in this article, we intend to look into the reasons for the inconsistencies in the current commentary.

The Pali text was preached by the Supreme Buddha and its interpretation (Atthakata) was maintained by the disciples such as Sariputra , Moggallayana , Mahakashyapa and Ananda. The Tripitaka with its textual interpretations was the subject of the first , second and third councils. It is pretty well known that the Pali text had memorized, bore and maintained by the Bhanaka(preacher) lineages such as Dīghabhāṇaka , Majjhimabhāṇaka. But there is no mention of a Bhanaka lineage who maintained the interpretation (Atthakatha) because each of the Bhanaka lineages also bore the interpretation of the Dhamma which they had memorized and carried. But the Pali text was maintained by memorizing and the commentary was maintained as interpretations. There is only a little space to appear inconsistencies between the two, because maintaining was done by chanting from time to time. Therefore, there are only very few differences can be seen in the text books available today .

Each lineage of Bhanakas bore only their own commentary, and there was no difference between the interpretations of the basic objectives that all of them endured. But it is not surprising that in the absence of books, there are some inconsistencies in certain numerical facts, environmental information, etc. that do not help in the realization of Nirvana. It is a wonder that so many people, including Ven. Buddhadatta, make such an unimportant point by saying that there are inconsistencies in the commentaries. The interpretations of objective doctrines do not differ between any two commentaries. Those who see such a difference will not be able to interpret the Dhamma due to pettiness.

It is timely to comment on some of the inconsistencies in the Atthakatha, pionted out by Ven. Buddhadatta from the very beginning of his criticism. One of the points he makes is the numerical error of the Brahmins who examined the features of the Bodhisattva (Commentary , pp .03, 04). In one commentary it is stated that five Brahmins said that the Bodhisattvas were definitely enlightened, and in another commentary it was said that only the Brahmin Kondanna said that. It must have been a mistake in maintaining commentaries by different lineages. Such a mistake can occur between Bhanaka lineages and there is no impediment by it to attain Nirvana. If so, did not Acariya Buddhaghosa, who edited both the Majjhima Nikaya commentary and the Anguttara commentary, see this difference ? He did see. If so, why did no he not correct them ? It is a good example of their piety. Because a Buddha himself must come down again to correct such matters . It cannot be corrected by inquiring wisely about objective doctrines. So they did as they were told, without showing any 'own views'. It ensured that there was little or no change in the Dhamma in their service.

But if there was any mismatch between the objectives that affect the Sasana, he himself said that he re-corrected them all, by the phrase "tasmahi yam atthakathasu vuttam - tam vajjayitvana pamadalekham".
We have outlined this in our fifth (5) article.
continued....
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

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English Translations of Pāli Commentaries on Canonical Texts
• Buddhist Legends Translated from the Original Pāli Text of the Dhammapada Commentary, 3 parts – trans. Eugene Watson Burlingame (1921)
• The Clarifier of the Sweet Meaning (Madhuratthavilasini): commentary on the chronicle of Buddhas (Buddhavaṃsa) – trans. I.B. Horner (1978)
• The Commentary on the Itivuttaka, 2 vols. – trans. Peter Masefield (2008-2009)
• The Commentary on the Verses of the Therīs – trans. William Pruitt (1998)
Debates Commentary: Kathāvatthuppakaraṇa-Aṭṭhakathā – trans. B.C. Law (1989)
The Dhammapada: A New Translation with the Pali Text and First English Translation of the Commentary’s Explanation of the Verses with Notes Translated from Sinhala Sources and Critical Textual Comments – trans. John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana (1987)
The Dispeller of Delusion (Sammohavinodanī), 2 parts – trans. Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli (1996)
• The Expositor (Aṭṭhasālinī): Buddhaghosa’s Commentary on Dhammasaṅgaṇi – trans. Pe Maung Tin (1921)
• Elucidation of the Intrinsic Meaning: so named the commentary on the Peta-stories (Paramatthadīpani nāma Petavatthu-āṭṭhakathā) – trans. Uba Kyaw (1980)
• Elucidation of the Intrinsic Meaning: so named the commentary on the Vimāna stories: Paramatthadīpani nāma Vimānavatthu-aṭṭhakathā – trans. Peter Masefield & N.A. Jayawickrama (2007)
• The Inception of Discipline & the Vinaya Nidāna: Being a Translation & Edition of the Bāhiranidāna of Buddhaghosa’s Samantapāsādikā, the Vinaya Commentary – NA Jayawickrama (1962)
Minor Readings and Illustrator of Ultimate Meaning (Paramatthajotikā) – trans. Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli (1960)
Udāna Commentary (Paramatthaīpani), 2 vols. – trans. Peter Masefield (1994 & 1995)
“Live” List of Pali Commentaries’ English Translations
Vinaya

Vin-a: Samantapasadika Bahiranidana, Inception of Discipline and Vinaya Nidana—N.A. Jayawickrama (Sacred Books of the Buddhists Vol.21) London-1962 (272p).pdf
Vin-a: Vinaya Commentary, Samantapasadika, Shan-Chien-P’i-P’o-Sha, Sanghabhadra’s Chinese Samantapasadika (tr. by Prof. P.V. Bapat and Prof. A. Hirakawa) (652p).pdf

Dīgha Nikāya

DN-a 1: Brahmajāla Sutta, The Discourse All Embracing Net of Views—Bhikkhu Bodhi(OCRed) (372p).pdf
DN-a 2: Sāmaññaphala Sutta and its Commentaries, The Fruits of Recluseship—Bhikkhu Bodhi, BPS-Kandy,2008(1989) (197p).pdf
DN-a 15: Mahānidāna Sutta Commentary, The Great Discourse on Causation—Bhikkhu Bodhi (OCRed) (82p).pdf
DN-a 16: Mahāparinibbāna Sutta Commentary, The Mission Accomplished—Pategama Gnanarama Phd (236p).pdf
DN-a 28: Sampasādanīya Sutta Commentary Sampasādanīyasuttavaṇṇanā—Jnan Nanda for PhD at the University of Hong Kong, 2019 (284p).pdf

Commercial

DN-a 16: Mahāparinibbāna Sutta Commentary, The Buddha’s Last Days—Yan-Gyu An (278p).pdf
https://www.abebooks.com/9780860134053/ ... 134059/plp 4

Majjhima Nikāya

MN-a 1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta Commentary, Discourse on Root of existence—Bhikkhu Bodhi, BPS (OCRed) (106p).pdf
MN-a 1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta Commentary, Discourse on Root of existence—Bhikkhu Bodhi, BPS a (OCRed) (109p).pdf
MN-a 4: The Bhayabheravasuttavaṇṇanā of the Majjhima Nikāya, An annotated translation and study—Sree D.R. Sraman for PhD University Hong Kong, 2018 (323p).pdf
MN-a 9: Sammādhiṭṭhi Sutta with Commentary—Bhikkhu Nyanamoli, Bhikkhu Bodhi (Wheels 377-9) (37p).pdf
MN-t 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta with Commentaries and Sub-Commentaries—Soma Thera (179p).pdf
MN-a 20: Vitakkasaṇṭhāna Sutta Commentary, The Removal of Distracting Thoughts—Soma Thera (17p).pdf
MN-a 33: Mahāgopālaka Sutta Commentary (from Majjhima Nikāya Anthology, The Five Nikāyas—An Anthology) Myanmar Pali-EN Translation 1978 (25p).pdf
MN-t 100: Saṅgārava Sutta Commentaries and Sub-Commentaries (Pali, English, Czech translation by Ashin Saraṇa) version 2017 (94p).pdf
MN-a 118: Ānāpānassati Sutta Commentary, Mindfulness of Breathing—Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, BPS-2010(1952) (142p).pdf
MN-a 122: Mahāsuññata Sutta Commentary, The Greater Discourse on Voidness—Ñāṇamoli Thera, wheel 087 BPS-1982(1965) (47p).pdf

Khuddakapāṭha

Kp-a: Khuddakapāṭha Commentary, Minor Readings and Illustrator (PTS) (OCRed) (384p).pdf
Kp-a: Khuddakapāṭha Tirokuṭṭa Sutta Commentary (extracted from Khuddaka Nikāya Anthology, The Five Nikāyas) MM Pali-EN 1978 (16p).pdf

Dhammapada

Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary (Buddhist Legends) vol.1—E.W. Burlingame, clickable (270p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary (Buddhist Legends) vol.2—E.W. Burlingame, clickable (385p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary (Buddhist Legends) vol.3—E.W. Burlingame, clickable (375p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary, Buddhist Legends—E.W. Burlingame (scanned) 1 (380p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary, Buddhist Legends—E.W. Burlingame (scanned) 2 (378p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary, Buddhist Legends—E.W. Burlingame (scanned) 3 (424p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada Stories—Gambiro Bhikkhu (126p).pdf
Dhp-a: Dhammapada, Treasury of Truth—Weragoda Sarada Thero (without pictures) (1250p).pdf

Commercial

Dhp-a: Dhammapada Commentary—“The Dhammapada”—John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana
https://www.amazon.com/Dhammapada-John- ... 0195108604 2 (I don’t have this book yet.)

Suttanipāta

Snp-a: Suttanipāta Commentary Paramatthajotikā (only introductions to each sutta’s Commentary)—Burma Pitaka Association, edited by Bhikkhu Pesala (48p).pdf

Commercial

Snp-a: Suttanipāta Commentary, The Suttanipāta – An Ancient Collection of the Buddha’s Discourses Together with Its Commentaries (The Teachings of the Buddha)—Bhikkhu Bodhi (1083p).pdf
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Suttanipata+ ... nb_sb_noss 5

Therīgāthā

Thig-a: Therīgāthā—Canda Therī Commentary (Eng.) (OCRed) (5p).pdf

Udāna

Commercial

Ud-a: Udāna Commentary Paramatthadīpanī—ven. Dhammapala, En tr. P. Masefield Vol.1 (581p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13
Ud-a: Udāna Commentary Paramatthadīpanī—ven. Dhammapala, En tr. P. Masefield Vol.2 (611p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13

Itivuttaka

Commercial

Iti-a: Itivuttaka Commentary Paramatthadīpanī—En tr. P. Masefield vol 1 (456p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13
Iti-a: Itivuttaka Commentary Paramatthadīpanī—En tr. P. Masefield vol 2 (407p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13

Vimānavatthu

Commercial

Vv-a: Vimānavatthu Commentary Paramatthadīpanī, Intrinsic Meaning—En tr P Masefield (PTS) (619p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13

Petavatthu

Commercial

Pv-a: Petavatthu Commentary Paramatthadīpanī—U Ba Kyaw (Eng) (336p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13

Therīgatha

Commercial

Thig-a: Therīgatha Atthakatha Paramatthadīpanī—Acariya Dhammapala, En tr. W. Pruitt (458p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13

Jātaka

Ja-a: Jātaka Commentary Jātakaṭṭhakathā, only Nidānakathā, The Story of Gotama Buddha, vol.1—N.A. Jayawickrama (294p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—Jātaka Tales of the Buddha 1—ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa, T. Anderson, BuddhaNet (265p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—Jātaka Tales of the Buddha 2—ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa, T. Anderson, BuddhaNet (193p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—Jātaka Tales of the Buddha 3 (only 512, 190, 322, 407) (14p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—Jātaka Tales Part 1-5—Ken and Visaka Kawasaki (Bodhi Leaves) (63p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—Jātaka Tales, Selected and Edited with Introduction and Notes—H.T. Francis and E.J. Thomas, Cambridge-96 (530p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—Jātakas—vocabulary and glossary—I.B. Horner (21p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (E. B. Cowell) 1 (362p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (E. B. Cowell) 2 (346p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (E. B. Cowell) 3 (358p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (E. B. Cowell) 4 (344p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (E. B. Cowell) 5 (312p).pdf
Ja-a: Jātakas—The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (E. B. Cowell) 6 (332p).pdf

Apadāna

Apad-a: Apadāna Commentary - U Lu Pe Win (Eng.) (OCRed) (5p).pdf

Commercial

05.13 Apadāna Commentary Visuddhajanavilāsinī—Daya Gunasekara, part 2, 2011 (309p).pdf
I have it. So it exists. However, you need to come to Myanmar and read it from me. Now it is out of stock. Or it is certainly available in Buddhist Cultural Center, 125, Anderson Road, Nedimala, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka.

Buddhavaṃsa

Bv-a: Madhuratthavilāsinī—Commentary on Buddhavamsa (PTS) (OCRed) (510p).pdf

Milindapañha

Mil-a: Milindapañhā Commentary—Jetavana Mingun Sayadaw (review Tony Scott, only an outline) (16p).pdf

Abhidhamma

Ab-t: A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma—Bhikkhu Bodhi (excerpt- introduction) (17p).pdf
Ab-t: Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha—Alexander S. Berger (310p).pdf
Ab-t: Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha (Manual of Abhidhamma)—Nārada Mahā Thera (486p).pdf
Ab-t: Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha, A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma—Bhikkhu Bodhi (OCRed) (425p).pdf

Commercial

Ds-a: Dhammasaṅgaṇī Commentary Aṭṭhasālinī, The Expositor—Pe Maung Tin vol.1,2 PTS (576p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13
Kv-a: Kathāvatthu Commentary Kathāvatthuppakaraṇaṭṭhakathā, The Debates Commentary—B.C. Law (261p).pdf
Translations of Pali texts 13

Visuddhimagga

Vism: Visuddhimagga—Samatha Advanced Lv 1—Mehm Tin Mon (154p).pdf
Vism: Visuddhimagga—Samatha Advanced Lv 2—Mehm Tin Mon (176p).pdf
Vism: Visuddhimagga explanation (rewritten from tapes, unknown author) (475p).pdf
Vism: Visuddhimagga, The Path of Purification—Bhikkhu Nanamoli, 2011 (853p).pdf
Vism: Visuddhimagga, The Path of Purity—Maung Tin vol.1, 1923 (107p).pdf
Vism: Visuddhimagga, The Path of Purity—Maung Tin vol.2, 1929 (415p).pdf
Vism-t: Visuddhimagga Ṭīkī—A Study in Paramatthamañjūsā With Special Reference to Paññā—Cha Myang Hee (OCRed) (581p).pdf

Sāsanavaṁsa

07.5.02 Sāsanavaṃsa—The History of the Buddha’s Religion—B. C. Law (200p).pdf

Mahāvaṁsa

Mhvs: Mahāvaṃsa—Tourner (OCRed) (383p).pdf
Mhvs: Mahāvaṃsa Extended (chapters 5, 12-15, 18-20), Asoka and the Missions—Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (86p).pdf
Mhvs: Mahāvaṃsa or the Great Chronicle of Ceylon—Wilhelm Geiger (380p).pdf
Mhvs: Mahāvaṃsa, Extended Mahāvaṃsa 12-14, Asokan Missions—G.P. Malalasekara, Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (40p).pdf

Moggallānabyākaraṇa

07.6.01 Moggallānabyākaraṇa—hand-written notes of ven. Paññādhika (47p).pdf

Kaccāyanabyākaraṇa

07.6.02 Kaccāyanabyākaraṇa—En tr. U Nandisena, 2009 (250p).pdf

Lokanīti

07.7.05 Lokanīti, LawKaNiTeat—TatToe (Myanmar and English, Pali is omitted) (199p).pdf

Thūpavaṁsa

07.9.02 Thūpavaṃsa (Introduction), Emotions and Ethics in Buddhist History The Sinhala Thūpavaṃsa and the Work of Virtue—S.C. Berkwitz (19p).pdf

Commercial

07.9.2 Thūpavaṃsa, The Legend of the Topes—B.C. Law (113p).pdf
https://www.abebooks.com/9788170690009/ ... 690005/plp

Theoretical or Planned

MN-a: Majjhima Nikāya Commentary (apparently only a draft or incomplete version.)

Need

00 Vinaya Piṭaka original Samantapāsādikā (what we have is not strict translation of the Theravāda version)
01 DN 3-14, 17-27, 29-34
02 MN Commentary 2,3, 5-8, 11-19, 21-32, 34-99, 101-117, 119-121,123-152
03 SN Commentary all
04 AN Commentary all
05.08 Theragāthā Commentary
05.11 Niddesa Commentary
05.12. Paṭisambhidāmagga Commentary
05.15 Cariyāpiṭaka Commentary
05.16 Nettippakaraṇa Commentary
05.17 Peṭakopadesa Commentary
06 Vibhaṅga, Dhātukathā, Puggalapaññatti, Yamaka, and Paṭṭhāna Commentaries
07.2 Saṃgāyana Pucchā Vissajjanā
07.3 Leḍī Sayāḍo—Nirutti, Paramattha, Anudīpanī, and Paṭṭhānuddesadīpanī
07.4 Buddhavandanāganthasaṅgaho – Namakkāraṭīkā, Mahāpanāma, Lakkhaṇāto Buddhathomanāgathā, Sutavandanā, Jinālaṅkāra, Kamalāñjali, Pajjamadhu, Buddhaguṇagāthāvalī
07.5.1 Cūḷaganthavaṃsa
07.6 Saddanīti, Padarūpasiddhi, Moggallānapañcikā, Payogasiddhi, Vuttodaya, Abhidhānappadīpikā, Subodhālaṅkāra, Bālāvatāra Gaṇṭhipadatthavinicchayasāra
07.7. Nītiganthasaṅgaho—Kavidappananīti, Nītimanjarī, Dhammanīti, Mahārahanīti, Suttantanīti, Sūrassatinīti, Cāṇakyanīti, Naradakkhadīpanī, Caturārakkhadīpanī
07.8. Pakiṇṇakaganthasaṅgaho—Rasavāhinī, Sīmavisodhanīpāṭha, Vessantaragīti
07.9. Moggallāna Vuttivivaraṇapañcikā, Dāṭhāvaṃsa, Dhātupāṭhavilāsiniyā, Dhātuvaṃsa, Hatthavanagallavihāravaṅsa, Jinacaritaya, Jinavaṃsadīpaṃ, Telakaṭāhagāthā, Milidaṭīkā, Padamañjarī, Padasādhanaṃ, Saddabindupakaraṇaṃ, Kaccāyanadhātumañjūsā, Samantakūṭavaṇṇanā
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Eko Care »

Colophons of Visuddhimagga

Modern critics who attempt to despise the Buddhaghosa Thera, often refer to the epilogue and colophon at the end of the Visuddhimagga.

There is a long sentence which praises Acariya Buddhagosa and Mahavihara at the end of the Visuddhimagga.
Ven. Nanamoli's Visuddhimagga Tranlation:
[POSTSCRIPT]
This Path of Purification was made by the elder who is adorned with supreme and pure faith, wisdom and energy, in whom are gathered a concourse of upright,gentle, etc., qualities due to the practice of virtue, who is capable of delving into and fathoming the views of his own and others’ creeds, who is possessed of keenness of understanding, who is strong in unerring knowledge of the Master’s Dispensation as divided into three Piþakas with their commentaries, a great expounder, gifted with sweet and noble speech that springs from the ease born of perfection of the vocal instrument, a speaker of what is appropriately said, a superlative speaker, a great poet, an ornament in the lineage of the elders who dwell in the Great Monastery, and who are shining lights in the lineage of elders with unblemished enlightenment in the superhuman states that are embellished with the special qualities of the six kinds of direct-knowledge and the categories of discrimination, who has abundant purified wit, who bears the name Buddhaghosa conferred by the venerable ones, and who should be called “of Morandacetaka.”
And the critics say that "It's not good to praise oneself like that".

Next to that, there is a verse which says the author of the verse wish to meet Metteyya Buddha.
Ven. Nanamoli's Visuddhimagga Tranlation:
[The following verses are only in Sinhalese texts:]
By the performance of such merit
As has been gained by me through this
And any other still in hand
So may I in my next becoming
Behold the joys of Távatiísá,
Glad in the qualities of virtue
And unattached to sense desires.
By having reached the first fruition,
And having in my last life seen
Metteyya, Lord of Sages, Highest
Of persons in the World, and
Helper Delighting in all beings’ welfare,
And heard that Holy One proclaim
The Teaching of the Noble Dhamma,
May I grace the Victor’s Dispensation
By realizing its highest fruit.
And the critics say that "he wished to meet the Metteyya Buddha without believing in Visuddhimagga he himself had written."
“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.”
Source: The Broken Buddha, by Ven. S. Dhammika
Ven. Dhammanado:
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.
Ven. Sujato:
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)
King Parakramabahu II:
"the epilogue/colophon is written by Acariya Buddhagosa's student venerable Buddhamitta.
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.)
  • The king had mentioned the epilogue starting from "This Path of Purification was made by ..." an onwards as the addition of venerable Buddhamitta.
  • Furthermore the king had stated why the name of Acariya Buddhagosa is mentioned as "who bears the name Buddhaghosa conferred by the venerable ones ("garuhi"=by the teachers/venerable ones" 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).
This has embarrassed modern critics who attempt to despise the Buddhaghosa Thera in a petty way.

Colophons of Acariya Buddhaghosa
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by SarathW »

Hi EC
Is there a place we can access commentaries in English translations?
I am personally not interested in the discussion about the validity of the commentaries.
Instead, can we analyse and discuss each Sutta in conjunction with commentaries?
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by BrokenBones »

SarathW wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:08 am Hi EC
Is there a place we can access commentaries in English translations?
I am personally not interested in the discussion about the validity of the commentaries.
Instead, can we analyse and discuss each Sutta in conjunction with commentaries?
Ditto.

Eko Care, If only you put this much energy into upholding the truth of the Suttas... do you despise them when they contradict the Great Buddhaghosa?

Let's see some examples rather than a diatribe of meaningless pronouncements from on high.
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Ditto. (Or is it "titto" if for the third time? :shrug: )

Moreover, the Buddha didn't tell us to compare commentaries to see if they are consistent. What he taught was the following...
DN 16 wrote:And there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."
Thus, the appropriate initial reaction to any commentary should be that it is "neither to be received with approval nor with scorn". Thus, it is equally inappropriate to sycophantically praise and approve it, as it would be to scorn it without having first reviewed it. Instead, we compare the content of what is said in the commentary with the Dhamma (The Suttas, which I believe the commentary takes here to include Abhidhamma) and the Discipline (the Vinaya).

Per Ven. Dhammanando...
Dhammanando wrote: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:37 am In the classical Theravāda classification atthakathā is the third of the four sources of the Dhamma:

1. Sutta: the three baskets of the Tipiṭaka.
2. Suttānuloma: a direct inference from the Tipiṭaka.
3. Atthakathā: a commentary.
4. Attanomati: the personal opinions of later generations of teachers.

In this scheme sutta is viewed as the most reliable source of authority and attanomati the least so.
All of which then leads one to wonder, given that Sutta is "the most reliable source of authority", why one is using other benchmarks, comparing the conformity of things thirdly ranked to one another, independently of their conformity to the first ranked?

The Buddha advised above that "the four great references [are] for you to preserve", but attempting to claim carte blanche legitimacy for a third-tier authority, irrespective of its content, potentially based upon allegiance to the nationality of the authors, without tracing it back to the actual Dhamma and Discipline, reeks instead of blind sectarianism.

Metta,
Paul. :)
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"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
SarathW
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by SarathW »

Perhaps some of the members wondering what is commentaries mean.
So I found the following in Wikipedea.
Aṭṭhakathā (Pali for explanation, commentary)[1] refers to Pali-language Theravadin Buddhist commentaries to the canonical Theravadin Tipitaka. These commentaries give the traditional interpretations of the scriptures. The major commentaries were based on earlier ones, now lost, in Prakrit and Sinhala, which were written down at the same time as the Canon, in the last century BCE. Some material in the commentaries is found in canonical texts of other schools of Buddhism, suggesting an early common source.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atthakatha
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by BrokenBones »

Eko Care

Your OP asks a straightforward question but since you've put this in the Classical section you are limiting the replies you might get.
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by DooDoot »

Eko Care wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:34 pm I hope to post here the first half of the commentary review article...
:zzz: most people here have never any commentaries or, otherwise, read very little

I posted elsewhere about:

1. DN1 defines annihilationism as the view an existent being & self ends at death

2. Buddhaghosa's DN 1 commentary appears to explain annihilationism as the view a being is not reborn

3. The 2nd DN 1 commentator defines annihilationism as the view an existent being & self ends at death

4. The 3rd DN 1 commentator appears to explain annihilationism as the view a being is not reborn

Therefore, DN 1 and the 2nd commentary appear to say annihilationism depends on the self-view of an existent being

But Buddhaghosa & the 3rd commentator appear to believe an existent being is actually reborn (which the annihilationist does not believe)

It appears the common worldly view of Buddhists that eternalism vs annihilationism are views of eternal vs no rebirth are the doctrine of the Brahmin Buddhaghosa but not the doctrine of the Lord Buddha. It appears for the Lord Buddha, eternalism vs annihilationism were two types of self-view
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Eko Care »

Tika Acariya Vajirabuddhi's advice on what the reader should do if they find anything that can not be accepted.
(At the end of his sub-commentary to Vinaya-atthakatha)
Ettāvatā samadhikasattavīsatisahassaparimāṇāya samantapāsādikasaññitāya vinayaṭṭhakathāya sabbapadesu vinicchayajātaṃ saṅkhipitvā gaṇṭhiṭṭhānavikāsanā katā hoti, tathāpi yaṃ ettha likhitaṃ, taṃ suṭṭhu vicāretvā pāḷiñca aṭṭhakathañca sallakkhetvā ye ācariyā buddhassa bhagavato mahānubhāvaṃ, vinayapiṭakassa ca vicitranayagambhīratthataṃ sallakkhetvā porāṇānaṃ kathāmaggaṃ avināsetvā attano matiṃ pahāya kevalaṃ saddhammaṭṭhitiyā, parānuggahakāmatāya ca vinayapiṭakaṃ pakāsentā ṭhitā, tesaṃ pādamūle vanditvā khantisoraccādiguṇasamannāgatena hutvā vattasampattiyā tesaṃ cittaṃ ārādhetvā paveṇiyā āgataṃ vinicchayaṃ kathāpetvā upadhāretvā yaṃ tena saṃsandati, taṃ gahetabbaṃ, itaraṃ chaḍḍetabbaṃ. Itarathā tuṇhībhūtena bhavitabbaṃ. Vinicchayasaṅkarakarena pana na bhavitabbameva. Kasmā? Sāsanassa nāsahetuttā.

Hoti cettha –

‘‘Asambudhaṃ buddhamahānubhāvaṃ,
Dhammassa gambhīranayatthatañca;
Yo vaṇṇaye taṃ vinayaṃ aviññū,
So duddaso sāsananāsahetu.

Pāḷiṃ tadatthañca asambudhañhi,
Nāseti yo aṭṭhakathānayañca;
Anicchayaṃ nicchayato parehi,
Gāheti teheva purakkhato so.

Anukkameneva mahājanena,
Purakkhato paṇḍitamānibhikkhu;
Apaṇḍitānaṃ vimatiṃ akatvā,
Ācariyalīḷaṃ purato karotī’’ti.

Samantapāsādikāya gaṇṭhipadādhippāyappakāsanā samattā.
Vajirabuddhiṭīkā niṭṭhitā.
https://tipitaka.org/romn/
I'll try to translate this later.
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Assaji »

SarathW wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:08 am Is there a place we can access commentaries in English translations?
BODHI, BHIKKHU The discourse on the all-embracing net of views: the Brahmajāla Sutta and its commentaries. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1992

BODHI, BHIKKHU: The Great Discourse on Causation: The Mahānidāna Sutta and Its Commentaries: Buddhist Publication Society, 1995 — ISBN 9789552401176

BODHI, BHIKKHU: The Discourse on the Root of Existence - Mūlapariyāya-Sutta. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 2006

BODHI, BHIKKHU: The Sāmaññaphala Sutta The Discourse on the Fruits of Recluseship. Kandy: BPS, 2013

NYANAMOLI, BHIKKHU: The Discourse on Right View: The Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta and its Commentary, Wheel. Bd. 377-379. Kandy: Buddhist Publication, Society, 1991

NYANAMOLI, BHIKKHU: Raṭṭhapāla Sutta: A Discourse from the Majjhima Nikaya No. 82, Wheel. Bd. 110. Kandy: Buddhist Publication, Society, 1967

NYANAMOLI, THERA: Greater Discourse on Voidness: Mahasuññata Sutta with Commentary (MN 122), Wheel. Bd. 87. Kandy: Buddhist Publication, Society, 1965

NYANAMOLI, THERA: Mindfulness of Breathing (Ānāpānasati). Buddhist Texts from the Pāli Canon and Extracts from the Pāli Commentaries: Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1952

SOMA, THERA: The way of mindfulness. A translation of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya; its Commentary, the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta Vaṇṇanā of the Papañcasūdanī of Buddhaghosa Thera; and excerpts from the Līnatthapakāsanī Tīkā, Marginal Notes, of Dhammapala Thera on the Commentary. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1981

STORY, FRANCIS; VAJIRĀ, SISTER: Last Days of the Buddha The Mahaparinibbana Sutta, Wheel. Kandy: BPS, 2010

ARAHANT UPATISSA. The Path of Freedom: Vimuttimagga. Published by Dr. D. Roland Weerasuria, Balcombe House, Balcombe Place, Colombo 8, Ceylon, 1961

:namaste:
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by SarathW »

Thank you Assaji.
Are you a monk? So I can address you correctly.
By the way, I had a look at DN1 and I can't make out what is commentary.
Could you copy a small paragraph of the Sutta and highlight what is commentary.
Sorry for my dumb request.
However in MN1 the Cy are clearly separated,
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Eko Care »

Assaji wrote:
Eko Care wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:12 pm If we have read the account of Atthakatha on this regard beforehand, then it is easier to proceed with comparative studies.

Samantapasadika Vinaya Atthakatha- Nidana Katha (English translation) : Inception of Discipline and The Vinaya Nidana
Thank you! Here's another version, somewhat better formatted:

https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/books ... a_10448437

Some people may find more convenient to read:

https://archive.org/details/sacredbooks ... 9/mode/2up
robertk wrote:
just a note that the Vimuttimagga is not a orthodox Theravada text - it may have been composed by the Abhayagiri School.

https://dhamma.discoursehosting.net/t/v ... ing-pts/43
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Eko Care »

Next passage of the article:
The wise sub-commentators (Tika Acariyas) of the Tripitaka also said in this regard: The sub-commentator of the Diganikaya said, "It must be assumed that there is a difference of opinion in the interpretations due to the opinion of the Bhanakas.

"tam sabbam annamannaviruddhampi tam tam bhanakanam matena likhita sihalatthakathasu agatanaymeva gahetva acariyena likhitam idise kathavirodhe sasanaparihaniya abhavato sodhanupayabava ca. paramatthavirodho evahi suttadinayena sodhaniyo, na kathamaggavirodhoti." the sub-commentator further elaborated.

That is to say, "if there is a mismatch between two commentaries) all those that do not match each other were written by the Acariya (Buddhaghosa) in the same way as they came in the 'Sihala Attakatas', which were written according to the opinion of the respective Bhanakas. There is no Sasana degeneration due to such mismatches and there is no way to correct it. If there is a contradiction between certain objective doctrines, it can only be corrected by the fourfold judgment of Sutta, Suttanuloma, Acharyavada and Attanomati. Inconsistencies in the storyline cannot be corrected."

So what do those who aspire to the perpetuation of the Dhamma do unless they write something as unimportant as 'the number of Brahmins' as it has been borne by each Bhanaka lineage ?
Continued ...
Eko Care wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:41 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:10 pm Ven. Anālayo points out that come of the southern commentary can actually be found in some northern sutras, as part of the text. This shows that the commentaries likely go back to the earliest time.
Chronologists like Norman said it before ven. Analayo.
Norman, K.R. Pali Literature (1983) :

there is clear evidence that some parts of the commentaries are very old, perhaps even going back to the time of the Buddha, because they afford parallels with texts which are regarded as canonical by other sects, and must therefore pre-date the schisms between the sects.
Dhammanando wrote: Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:35 pm
mabw wrote:
A shift occurred when Western scholars began studying Buddhism, where a return to the suttas seemed to have been the zeitgeist, subsequently filtering into the general populance where Buddhists began looking at the root texts again.
This framing of the matter isn't correct. To speak of a 20th century "return to the suttas" on the part of the monks of Burma and Siam implies that there had previously been a neglect of them. But the Suttas had never been neglected; the scholar monks of the 18th and 19th centuries were expected to know them like the backs of their hands. In Burma they still are.

The radical innovation of the colonial period and its aftermath wasn't that monks returned to reading the Suttas, but rather that a small number of monks began to read the Suttas in a different way. Whereas in pre-colonial days the Suttas had always been understood through the medium of the Abhidhamma and Commentaries, in the 20th century some monks set these texts aside and began interpreting the Suttas according to their own lights and /or according to whatever insights might be provided by historical philology. At the outset this development was entirely Western-inspired.
On the Origin of the Buddhist Arthakathás
It must be admitted that the point raised by Mr. Childers is one of grave importance as affecting the credibility of Buddhaghosa and the authenticity of all the commentaries on the Tipitaka. From a missionary point of view, the astounding statement that a commentary on Buddha's discourses existed during his lifetime, and was rehearsed along with those discourses at the First Great Council, appears so improbable and unnatural as at once to justify one in discrediting the testimony; and I doubt not that missionary orientalists will hail the discovery as a valuable addition to their stock of arguments against the genuineness and authenticity of the Buddhist Scriptures.
Beginning with a disrespect towards commentaries
Either by personal views of these teachers,
or by chronological approaches of them,
the beginner will have been fed,
a subtle disrespect towards commentaries.
mikenz66 wrote
They do not identify that their current interpretation of the texts is likely to be imperfect.
SDC wrote:
I used to be a “commentaries aren’t necessary” guy until several members here, along with AK Warder, took me to school on just how invaluable the work of ancient grammarians and scholars is to the translation process. So as we sit here and read the suttas, it is impossible to bypass the what the commentaries have already provided.
Have I understood the the importance of Commentaries and Abhidhamma correctly?
SilaSamadhi8 wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:35 pm I initially got into "Theravada" practice through teachers that speak very strongly against the Commentaries and Abhidhamma: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Ajahn Brahm, Bhante Vimalaramsi and the Forest Tradition in general.

But from what I understood reading resources from CLASSIC THERAVADA, the Suttas are tailored teachings the Buddha gave to specific persons or audiences (Thanks to his infinite wisdom and skillful means) and they sometimes seem very vague (specially meditation instructions) and open to different interpretations.

That's where the Commentaries (Atthakatha) come in; I was reading the Majjhima Atthakatha by Bhikkhu Bodhi and it was night/day difference on my understanding; It contains the context of audience/location of a certain Sutta and specific details like on meditation practice. From what I read these commentaries were written in an old language (Prakrit or old Sinhalese) and Buddhaghosa translated them back into Pali. Surely this means the original source would be as old as the Nikayas themselves right? [/url]
Last edited by Eko Care on Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Commentary Review - How did the inconsistencies in the commentaries come about?

Post by Assaji »

SarathW wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:41 am Thank you Assaji.
You are welcome.
SarathW wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:41 amAre you a monk? So I can address you correctly.
I'm a layman.
SarathW wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:41 amBy the way, I had a look at DN1 and I can't make out what is commentary.
Could you copy a small paragraph of the Sutta and highlight what is commentary.
Sorry, the link above provides only the Sutta. You can find the Commentary at:

https://books.google.com/books?id=6ym-v ... frontcover
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