History of the Pali Canon

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For criticism see Criticism of History of the Pali Canon
See also Pali Canon and Buddhist Councils.

The Pali Canon is the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. For details of its content see the article on it.


Oral tradition

The Canon was originally oral, in accordance with the customs of ancient Indian culture. It is not agreed among scholars whether writing even existed there in the Buddha's day.

See [5] for a list of writings by scholars on this and related topics.

See also Dates of the Pali Canon.


Excluding the Parivāra, for which see below.

L.S. Cousins (sometime President of the Pali Text Society) wrote in that this belongs to the earliest so far identifiable stratum of the Canon, along with the first 4 nikāyas of the Suttapiṭaka and the Suttanipāta, and that attempts to distinguish earlier and later material within this are unconvincing.[1] Elsewhere,[2] he seems to make an exception to this by saying that the greater part of the Pātimokkha goes back to the Buddha himself. Maybe this apparent contradiction is to be explained by the fact that the Pātimokkha is not strictly speaking part of the Canon.

More recently, Professor Oskar von Hinüber argued that this text is markedly later than the 4 nikāyas.[3] More specifically, he dates it to the middle of the 3rd century BC or later.[4] He gives[5] a more detailed, conjectural account of the evolution of this text:

  1. Pātimokkha
  2. Suttavibhaṅga and maybe 10 khandhakas
  3. revision of both and addition of 10 more khandhakas and introduction to Suttavibhaṅga
  4. accounts of the councils

Professor Rupert Gethin (current President of the Pali Text Society) tentatively supports the position that this text is later than the 4 nikāyas.[6]

Professor Richard Gombrich holds that most of the rules go back to the Buddha himself, but the stories the Vinayapiṭaka gives of their origins are later fictions.[7] Presumably he would say most of the explanations are also later. Thus he would date only a small proportion of the Vinayapiṭaka to the Buddha, unlike the Suttapiṭaka. Thus he would agree with Hinüber and Gethin, if not necessarily for the same reasons. He seems to hold that the Vinaya was (essentially?) complete by about 350 BC,[8] not even mentioning an exception for the Parivara.

The late Professor Akira Hirakawa held that the Pātimokkha and Khandhaka date from around a century after the Buddha's death.[9]


On the relation between the first four nikāyas and unspecified early verse books in the Khuddakanikāya, on the one hand, and the original teaching of the Buddha, on the other, Professor Lambert Schmithausen, followed by other scholars, identified three different approaches among scholars.[10] The first of these argues that at least large parts of these texts show such coherence they must represent in substance the work of a single mind, that of the Buddha himself.

The second argues that there is very little hard evidence so very little can be known.

The third avoids such generalizations and concentrates on detailed examination of particular points.

In the first school, Gombrich holds that most of the content of the first four nikāyas goes back to the Buddha himself, though not usually the exact words.[11] He admits, though, that very few scholars go that far,[12] and that nearly all the Canon is anonymous, strictly speaking.[13]

The late Professor A. K. Warder, who also seems to belong to this group, says the canonical order of the nikāyas is also the chronological order of their average dates.[14]

The second school, by its very nature, has nothing definite to say. The following scholars do not seem to belong to either of the first two groups, so presumably are counted in the third, though Schmithausen does not explicitly state that this classification is exhaustive.

Hirakawa[15] envisages the First Council, shortly after the Buddha's death collecting together short passages, and then these evolving and expanding over the next century into something recognizable as a Suttapiṭaka.

According to the late Professor Hajime Nakamura, the first four nikāyas were probably compiled simultaneously after the time of Asoka (c. 250 BC).[16]

Cousins argued[17] that sutta was originally a pattern of teaching, not a body of literature, but that it gradually changed into the latter, starting perhaps at the 2nd Council, completed only when reduced to writing. Scholarly reactions to this have been mixed.

In a more recent paper he talks tentatively of "the main part of the older suttas in the Nikāyas" as dating from the 4th century BC.


It seems to be broadly accepted that this is a mixture of books of different ages. There seem, however, to be very substantial disagreements on which books are early, which are late, how early and how late.

Nakamura[18] says the Suttanipāta is the oldest of all Buddhist texts, with its oldest parts (Pārāyana and Aṭṭhaka) probably going back to the Buddha's lifetime.

According to Professor Hakuju Ui, the oldest books of the Canon are Suttanipāta, Itivuttaka and Udāna.[19]

Cousins, as noted above, places only the Suttanipāta in the earliest stratum with the first four nikāyas and the main body of the Vinaya. More recently ([6]) he seems not to go even that far. He tentatively speaks of verse works from the 3rd century BC. Elsewhere in the paper he lists Jătaka, Suttanipāta, Dhammapada, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Vimānapetavatthu and Theratherīgāthā together, mentioning no distinctions of age between them. He seems to regard them as older than the Parivāra, Niddesa, Paṭisambhidāmagga and perhaps Abhidhammapiṭaka.

Oliver Abeynayake[20] divides into two strata, the earlier comprising Suttanipāta, Itivuttaka, Dhammapada, Therīgāthā, Theragāthā, Udāna and Jātaka.

John Kelly,[21] followed by Bhikkhu Bodhi,[22] says the earlier books, contemporaneous with the other nikāyas, are Khuddakapāṭha, Dhammapada, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Suttanipāta, Theragāthā, Therīgāthā.

The Apadāna is generally recognized as one of the latest books of the Canon.[23]

Warder gives dates for several verse books based on metrical analysis:

  • Theragāthā, Therīgāthā, Jātaka: the date distribution of the material in these books is the same as the Canon as a whole;[24] he says elsewhere[25] that the Jātaka has an average date of 4th century BC
  • Dhammapada: early 3rd century BC[26]
  • Vimānavatthu, Petavatthu, Apadāna: all later than 200 BC; average date may be as much as a century later[27]
  • Buddhavaṃsa, Cariyāpiṭaka: perhaps 2nd century BC, later than Apadāna[28]

Professor K.R. Norman tentatively argues that Khuddakapāṭha is the latest text in this nikāya.[29]

On the Niddesa there seem at first sight to be two main dates given by different scholars:

  • 2nd century AD: Sylvain Lévi 1925[30] and Nakamura;[31] the latter implies may be even later
  • c. 250 BC: Hirakawa[32] and Norman;[33]

(Cousins says only later than the earlier Abhidhamma books, [34].)

Note, however, that Nakamura, after saying it "must not have been composed before" this, immediately adds "This leads us to the conclusion that the extant corpus of the Pali scripture was composed after it." Thus it appears he must be using "composed" in the sense of "completed", which leaves open the possibility that he might agree with an average date of 250 BC.

Hirakawa gives the same date for the Paṭisambhidāmagga.[35] For Warder's view see below.

Alexander Wynne cites earlier scholars as believing all Khuddakanikāya books were in existence by Asoka's time, and gives the impression of agreeing with this without explicitly saying so.[36] Professor Gombrich seems to admit only that some may be later than this.[37]


Gethin says[38] that something of the abhidhamma method must go back to the Buddha's lifetime, and[39] that the mātikās may go back to the Buddha himself. However, the actual texts are generally agreed to be on the whole later than the other piṭakas. A number of scholars have given overall dates:

  • Professor Peter Harvey:[40] 3rd century BC
  • Frauwallner:[41] 200 BC to 200 AD
  • Hirakawa:[42] C. 250 BC to start of Christian era
  • Warder:[43] 4th to 2nd century BC
  • Norman:[44] after c. 250 BC, except Dhammasangani and Kathavatthu, but earlier than Buddhavamsa
  • Gombrich:[45] late 4th to mid 3rd century BC

Warder gives a detailed conjectural account of the evolution of this piṭaka:[46]

  1. 486 BC: mātikās may well go back to the 1st Council
  2. 486-349 BC:
    • abhidhamma proper
      • With Questions section, based on mātikā of 12 dyads and 3 triads; over the centuries more dyads and triads were added
      • Without Questions section
      • section on 4 conditions; eventually became Paṭṭhāna, with 24 conditions
      • first two above later combined to become Vibhaṅga
    • grey area between sutta and abhidhamma
      • Saṃgītipariyāya
      • Dasuttarapariyāya
      • Peṭakopadesa
  3. 349-286 BC:
    • part of Without Questions section removed to form Puggalapaññatti
    • Conjunction and Inclusion; later became Dhātukathā
  4. 286-237 BC:
    • original Kathāvatthu; more debates added as occasions arose; replaced Peṭakopadesa
  5. 237-c. 100 BC:
    • Saṃgītipariyāya replaced with Dhammasaṅgaṇi
    • Yamaka; replaced Dasuttarapariyāya, which was included in Khuddakanikāya and became Paṭisambhidāmagga
  6. c. 100 BC on: possible further additions to Kathāvatthu

Cousins seems to disagree with this sequence of events, saying the Dhammasaṅgaṇi is probably the earliest.[47] Similarly, Yamada says the Paṭṭhāna is the last.[48]

In writing

Theravada tradition holds that the Canon was written down from oral tradition in Ceylon in the reign of king Vattagamani. The exact dates of early Sinhalese rulers remain a matter of debate among historians, but they agree that he ruled some time in the last century BC.[49] Scholars generally have regarded this tradition quite favourably.[50] Some scholars claim that the Canon has changed little since then.[51] The Parivara, however, is usually dated to the 1st century AD.[52] L. S. Cousins ([7]) argues for a different position on all these questions: there was a council in Ceylon about that time, though at a different location, but it did not write the Canon down, merely approving a written version brought over from India, where the Canon had been written down by a Council at some earlier date (and some verse books were written down even earlier); the Parivāra was part of the Canon as written down, but Apadāna, Buddhavaṃsa and Cariyāpiṭaka were probably added in the 1st century AD (he does not say they were composed then).

The climate in Theravada countries is not conducive to the survival of manuscripts, so those available to modern scholars are much more recent. As the exception that proves the rule, a short fragment from the 8th or 9th century has been found in Nepal. As there is no record of Theravada there before modern times, it is assumed that a monk fleeing the Muslim invasion of India around 1200 must have taken it there. (Similarly, in the 13th century there is a sudden wave of quotations from North Indian Buddhist texts in literature written in Ceylon.) Apart from this, and a few brief quotations in inscriptions, there is little before the 18th century. Thus the surviving manuscripts are the result of an unknown, but substantial, number of successive copyings. As a result, the evolution of the Canon in this period is still somewhat obscure, though of course nothing like as much so as in the oral period. Thus some scholars adopt a similarly sceptical attitude to that mentioned above, holding that we know nothing for sure about the relation between the Canon as written down and that existing nowadays.[53]

One complicating factor is the fact that Pali has no alphabet of its own. Everyone (including us) writes it in their own. The transmission of the Canon between countries therefore involved transcription from one alphabet to another, with extra opportunities for error. This happened on a number of occasions when some texts were lost in one country and had to be reimported from another.

One peculiar "manuscript" should be mentioned here. Between 1861 and 1868, the entire Canon was inscribed on 729 marble slabs, each about five feet by three. This text was formally approved by the Fifth Council in 1871, and the slabs are on display in the Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay, where tourist guides call them "The World's Largest Book".

A number of significant discrepancies imply that there have been more changes in the Canon than mere copying errors. Below, some of these and other interesting points are discussed.

The contents of the Canon

The introductions to the Sumaṅgalavilāsinī (Sv), Samantapāsādikā (Sp) and Atthasālinī (Asl),written in the 5th century, give the following list of books in the Canon:

  1. Vinaya Pitaka
    1. Patimokkha
    2. Vibhanga
    3. Khandhaka
    4. Parivara
  2. Suttanta Pitaka [the form Suttanta is used in the actual lists, but the form Sutta also appears in the subsequent explanations]
    1. Digha Nikaya
    2. Majjhima Nikaya
    3. Samyutta Nikaya
    4. Anguttara Nikaya
    5. Khuddaka Nikaya in 15 divisions:
      1. Khuddakapatha
      2. Dhammapada
      3. Udana
      4. Itivuttaka
      5. Suttanipata
      6. Vimanavatthu
      7. Petavatthu
      8. Theragatha
      9. Therigatha
      10. Jataka
      11. Niddesa
      12. Patisambhida (the Burmese edition of Sv has the fuller form Patisambhidamagga)
      13. Apadana
      14. Buddhavamsa
      15. Cariyapitaka
      • note that some editions have a single entry Theratherigatha in place of 2 entries for Theragatha and Therigatha but still state the total as 15
  3. Abhidhamma Pitaka in 7 books
    1. Dhammasangani, or Dhammasangaha in Sv
    2. Vibhanga
    3. Dhatukatha
    4. Puggalapannatti
    5. Kathavatthu
    6. Yamaka
    7. Patthana

This has come to be regarded by Western scholars as the table of contents of "the" Pali Canon (they never seem to explain what they mean by this), except that they ignore the separate mention of the Patimokkha.

However, shortly before this listing, Sv gives two lists of texts recited at the First Council, neither of which is the same as the above. First it gives a list according to the Dīgha reciters, which, in the Pali Text Society edition, omits Khuddakapatha, Apadana, Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka and has the books of the Khuddaka Nikaya and Abhidhamma Pitaka in different orders, as well as giving a different overall order for the Canon. It then adds that the Majjhima reciters also included Apadana, Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka. The Burmese edition differs somewhat, including Khuddakapatha and Apadana in the Dīgha list, with the Majjhima list therefore adding only two books instead of three, and has the books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka in the order listed above. The suspicion is that the Burmese have "normalized" the text as they often do.

A Chinese translation of Sp (see Arrangement of the Pali Canon) differs again. It too omits Khuddakapatha and has the books of the Khuddaka Nikaya and Abhidhamma Pitaka in different orders from both the above orders. These differences would seem to be too great to be accounted for by copying and trranslation errors, suggesting that the Pali texts as we have them were altered at some point after 489, when the Chinese translation was made. It may be that the commentaries originally gave different lists, which were later changed to agree. (Professor Abeynayake says the translator removed Khuddakapatha in accordance with Indian tradition, but does not explain why a member of the Dharmaguptaka school would be taking sides in a dispute between Indian and Sinhalese Theravada. His point that Sv's description of the Canon recited at the First Council includes in the Bhikkhunivibhanga all the nuns' Patimokkha rules, while the surviving Vinayapitaka and Sp omit most of those applying to monks too, is more interesting.)

The old subcommentary on SV, probably written in the 10th century, explains the apparent differences between Dīgha and Majjhima reciters by saying that books not mentioned were in fact counted as parts of other books. At least by about 1800, some authorities in Burma were using the same method to include in the Canon books not known to have ever before been mentioned as such. The head of the Burmese sangha at that time included at least the Netti and Petakopadesa.[54] This may also explain the absence of the Netti, its commentary and its subcommentary from a list of books donated to a Burmese monastery in 1442.[55]

The Netti is included in the Burmese Phayre manuscript of the Canon, dated 1841/2, where it is bound in one volume with the Patisambhidamagga.[56] The Netti, Petakopadesa and Milindapanha are included in the inscriptions of the Canon approved by the Burmese Fifth Council.[57]

Other variations

According to Hinüber,[58] there were in the time of the commentators (at least) two versions of the Canon: one in Ceylon and one in South India. Dhammapala followed the South Indian recension, which became the standard text for those books on which he wrote commentaries, while the Ceylon version prevailed for (most of?) the rest of the Canon. This explains a number of discrepancies:

  • According to the early commentaries there are 82 udanas, but the present-day text and Dhammapala's commentary have 80.
  • According to the early commentaries there are 110 itivuttakas, but the present-day text and Dhammapala's commentary have 112.
  • Dhammapala's commentary on the Theragatha and Therigatha quotes many apadanas, but apparently from a different version from the present-day book.[59]
  • Passages from the Cariyapitaka quoted in the commentary on the Jataka differ noticeably from the corresponding passages in the present-day text.[60]

Other discrepancies are not covered by this explanation:

  • Some editions include a series of verses at the end of the Parivara, others omit it.
  • The 10th of the 152 discourses in the Sinhalese and Thai editions of the Majjhima Nikaya is a shorter version of the Maha Satipatthana Sutta of the Digha Nikaya. In the 6th Council edition, the full-length version is included instead. This practice dates back at least as far as the Phayre manuscript[61] of 1841/2. Even the Burmese edition of the commentary seems not to notice the extra material.
  • In the Valahaka Vagga of the 4th book of the Anguttara Nikaya, the Sinhalese, Burmese and Thai editions all include a note saying that the 6th discourse is mentioned in the commentary but not found in any of their manuscripts. This suggests a very thin line of transmission for a major part of the Canon, with presumably either only a single, damaged manuscript, or a small number with substantial gaps overlapping here, at some point in time. (For the purposes of this argument, a memorized text must count as a manuscript.)
  • In the Maha Supina Jataka the commentary says certain verses are not canonical, yet they appear in the main editions of the Canon.
  • Some jatakas appear in different orders in different national traditions.[62]
  • According to the major commentaries there are 550 jatakas, and some mediaeval sources give a list of them, but only 547 are found in the surviving canonical text and commentary.[63]
  • The Apadana is divided into 4 parts: Buddhapadana, Paccekabuddhapadana, Therapadana and Theriapadana. The first two comprise a single apadana each, and the last 40.[64]. The third, in the 6th Council edition, has 561 apadanas, in the Thai edition 550, and the Pali Text Society edition 547; the commentary covers 561.[65] Dr Cutler has suggested[66] that only 547 actually survived in manuscript transmission, while the rest have been reconstructed in modern times. She also has suggested that the missing ones were deliberately "lost" in order to bring the number down to 547, to match the Jataka.[67]
  • The text of the Buddhavamsa covered by the commentary is noticeably different from that in the Canon we have now. In particular, the commentator seems unaware of the last chapter.[68]
  • The translator of the Petakopadesa says the text is very corrupt. Parts are in the wrong order, part is missing, a page of another book has got mixed in by mistake, and there are numerous smaller errors.
  • Variations between editions of the Yamaka are sometimes systematic. This is essentially impossible for copying errors. Either someone has gone through "correcting" the text or it has been expanded from a condensed form.
  • The commentary (5th century) on the Patthana[69] and the Mohavicchedani[70] (c. 1200) say the kenaciviññeyya duka is not used anywhere in the Patthana, but it is found in the modern editions.[71]

In print

Initially, some conservative monks opposed the use of printing for religious texts.[72]

See also Editions of the Pali Canon.


The first complete printed edition of the Canon appeared in Burma around in 38 volumes. It was based on the Kuthodaw slabs.

This has now been superseded by the edition of the text recited at the Sixth Buddhist Council in Rangoon. The council sat from to 1956, and represented all five Theravada countries. Each volume was issued once the recitation reached the end of that part of the text. It is in 40 volumes. It includes the Netti, Petakopadesa and Milindapanha.

There are some interesting differences between printings, indicating disputes among Burmese Buddhists. For example, an edition of Samyutta Nikaya, volume 3, published in 1977, has an appendix[73] headed Pāṭhabhedā, "Differences of readings": it lists 3 variant readings for the volume, continuing

[this] triad of readings exists, just this is more appropriate here

In the above case the text was not altered, but in another it was. The council expanded some elisions in the Patthana. [75] A Burmese edition of Patthana, volume 5, published in 1983[76] has the following "viññāpanaṃ" (note or notice) at the beginning:
In the 4th and 5th volumes of the Patthana book, some enumeration sections were added by the revising elders at the 6th Council, but we consider them interpolations, and they do not exist both in the 5th Council root [text] and in the Sinhalese, Siamese and English foreign books. Therefore the enumeration sections added by them should be seen as removed here.


This practice seems to have started only a few years after the council, and some printings omit both the "interpolations" and the note saying the text has been changed. The first electronic transcript of the 6th Council edition seems to have followed such an abbreviated printing, which was the, or a, reason for the publication of the version sponsored by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand (see below).


The first complete printed edition of any book of the Canon was probably Viggo Fausbøll's edition of the Dhammapada, with Latin translation, published in 1855. He also produced an edition of the Jataka, with the first volume appearing in 1877. The first volume of Oldenberg's edition of the Vinaya appeared in 1879, but the process of producing Western editions of the canonical books got organized with the founding of the Pali Text Society in 1881. It completed its edition of the Canon in with the appearance of the 2nd volume of the Apadana. The above editions of the Jataka and Vinaya form parts of it, and were reprinted by the PTS after their original publishers declined to reissue them. (The PTS produced its own Dhammapada edition.) Since then a few volumes have been replaced by updated editions. The complete set is currently available in 56 volumes, including index volumes.


An edition of most of the Canon was issued in 1893 for the silver jubilee of King Rama V, in 39 volumes. It is speculated that its incompleteness was simply due to the failure to meet the deadline for the remaining material.

A complete edition appeared in 1925-8, in 45 volumes. There seem to be (at least) two other Thai editions in the same 45 volumes, but with different pagination and apparently different text.

Recently, the Dhamma Society Fund, sponsored by the Supreme Patriarch, has produced a Latin-script transcript of the Sixth Buddhist Council's edition. This includes the Netti, Petakopadesa and Milindapanha, which the 1920s edition does not.

A longer-term project is that of the Bhumibalo Foundation. Generally, they take a particular text and prepare editions and Thai translations of it and its commentary and subcommentary in parallel. Its objective is to print every Pali text surviving in manuscript in Thailand.

Another project, which so far has produced only a pilot volume, is the Dhammakaya/Dhammachai, which aims at producing a new critical text from manuscripts.


After the Sixth Buddhist Council an Indian edition was prepared, mainly based on the council's text, but omitting the Netti, Petakopadesa and Milindapanha. It was in 41 volumes and appeared from to 1961. This edition gradually went out of print.

More recently, a full transcript of the council's edition has been produced.


The Khmer edition of the Canon was a parallel-text one, i.e. with Khmer translation on facing pages, in 110 volumes. The work of translation greatly slowed down the publication, which took from to 1969. The Khmers Rouges then burnt every copy in the country, with only a handful surviving elsewhere. After the Vietnamese "liberated" the country, a Buddhist centre was set up in Phnom Penh. It was unable to obtain a set of the native edition until one was donated by the Catholic Missionary Society.


Although all the individual books of the Canon had been published in separate editions, no collected edition of the Canon seems to have appeared until after the Sixth Buddhist Council. This edition, known as the Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka, was a parallel-text one like the Cambodian, and so likewise took decades (1957-89). The complete edition comprises 58 volumes. It includes the Nettipakarana and Petakopadesa, but not the Milindapanha.

In translation

Theravada Buddhism, like Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism, but unlike Mahayana Buddhism and Christianity, stresses the importance of the original scriptural language. Nevertheless, translations into the vernacular languages have existed for a long time. The only outside language into which the whole Canon has been translated is Japanese.

In the West, the first translation of a complete book of the Canon was Fausbøll's Latin version of the Dhammapada in 1855. The first such in English was Childers' Khuddakapatha in 1869. The Pali Text Society undertook publication of translations, including reprints of works originally published by others. Its published[78] set of translations currently runs to 42 volumes, the oldest dating from 1895. Between them they represent about 3/4 of the Canon.

The digital age[79]

An unspecified Thai edition of the Canon was transcribed electronically by BUDSIR (Buddhist Studies Information Retrieval) and made available in in WORM format, and later on CD-ROM. It went online in though there currently seem to be problems accessing the site.

The 6th Council's edition was transcribed by the Vipassana Research Institute onto CD-ROM issued in India in 1997. This transcript is now available online.

The Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project transcribed the Buddha Jayanti edition, making it available in 1994. This transcript makes changes in the text[80] and is unproofread. The printed edition is now available in online images.

The Dharmakaya Foundation in Thailand produced a CD-ROM transcript of the Pali Text Society's edition in 1996. This is no longer available, but a 2nd edition is being prepared.

More recently, the Dhamma Society Fund, sponsored by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, produced a new online transcript of the 6th Council's edition, and a complete printing has been made available in pdfs on a Spanish website.

The Khmer edition was posted online in images.

Summary of the current situation:

  1. the 6th Council edition is free online in various scripts in apparently fairly accurate transcripts
  2. the/a Sinhalese edition is free online in Sinhalese script and in an unproofread transcript in Latin script
  3. the Khmer edition is free online in Khmer script

Details can be found in Editions of the Pali Canon.

The future

Could more material be added to the Canon? Scholars disagree (maybe Theravadins do). According to Professor von Hinüber,[81] the Khuddakanikaya always remained open for additions, but Professor Collins[82] says the Canon is closed.


  1. Buddhist Studies in Honour of Hammalawa Saddhatissa ed Dhammapala, Gombrich & Norman, University of Jayawardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, 1984, page 56
  2. In his chapter on Buddhism in the (Penguin) Handbook of Living Religions [1st ed], 1984/ New (Penguin) Handbook of Living Religions [2nd ed], 1997/(Penguin) Handbook of the World's Living Religions [3rd ed],
  3. Handbook of Pali Literature, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996, page 26
  4. Der Beginn des Schrift und frühe Schriftlichkeit in Indien, Mainz, 1989, page 54
  5. HPL, pages 20f
  6. Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVIII, page 83
  7. Bechert & Gombrich, World of Buddhism, Thames & Hudson, London, 1984, page 79
  8. Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 2nd edition, page 93
  9. A History of Indian Buddhism, vol 1, Shunjusha, Tokyo, 1974, translated and edited by Paul Groner, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1990, page 69
  10. Ruegg & Schmithausen, Earliest Buddhism and Madhyamaka, Brill, Leiden, 1990, pages 1f; Williams, Buddhist Thought, Routledge, 1st ed, pages 32f/2nd ed, pages 23f; Anderson, Pain and Its Ending, Curzon, 1999, page 17
  11. Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 1st ed 1988, 2nd ed pages 20f
  12. [1]
  13. Skorupski, Buddhist Forum, volume 1, Heritage, Delhi/School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1990, page 8
  14. Indian Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 3rd ed, pages 196f
  15. loc cit
  16. Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980, reprinted Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987, 1989, page 32
  17. "Pali oral literature", in Buddhist Studies, ed Denwood & Piatigorsky, Curzon, London & Dublin/ Barnes & Noble, Totowa, New Jersey, 1982/3; reprinted in Williams, Buddhism, 8 volumes, Routledge,
  18. op cit, pages 45f
  19. Nakamura, op cit, pages 26f
  20. A textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikaya, Colombo, 1984, p. 113
  21. "The Buddha's teachings to lay people", Buddhist Studies Review, volume 28, pages 3-77
  22. The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications/Pali Text Society, page 1591, note 3
  23. Cousins in Nagoya Studies in Indian Culture and Buddhism: Sambhasa 23,
  24. , Pali Text Society, 1967, page 6
  25. Indian Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1st edition, 1970, page 298/, page 286
  26. Pali Metre, page 225
  27. Indian Buddhism, 3rd edition, page 286
  28. loc cit
  29. Pali Literature, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1983, page 58
  30. cited in Hinüber, HPL, page 59
  31. op cit, page 48
  32. op cit, page 128
  33. cited in Hinüber, HPL, page 59
  34. in Buddhist Studies in Honour of Hammalawa Saddhatissa, ed Dhammapala, Gombrich & Norman, University of Jayawardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, 1984, page 67, note 20
  35. loc cit
  36. "The Historical Authenticity of Early Buddhist Literature: A Critical Evaluation" Vienna Journal of South Asian Studies Vol XLIX, pages 36f, particularly note 9; a pdf of this paper can be accessed from [2]
  37. Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 2nd edition, pages 129, 133
  38. Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press, 1998, page 48
  39. op cit, page 83
  40. An Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press, 1st edition, 1990, page 83
  41. Hinüber, HPL, page 64
  42. op cit, page 128
  43. Introduction to Pali, Pali Text Society, 1963, page 384
  44. op cit, pages 96ff
  45. Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 2nd edition, page 129
  46. In his introduction to The Path of Discrimination, Pali Text Society, 1982, and Indian Buddhism
  47. "Pali oral literature", original 1982/3 publication, page 8, reprint, page 102
  48. Karl H. Potter, ed, Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1996, page 336
  49. foreword to PTS edition of Geiger, Pali Grammar, page xxvi/"What is Pāli", pdf at [3], page 3
  50. Gethin, Buddhist Path to Awakening, Brill, Leiden / New York / Köln, 1992, page 8
  51. Harvey, Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, page 3; Norman in Buddhist Heritage, ed Skorupski, 1989, page 40/Collected Papers, Pali Text Society, volume IV, page 107; Gethin (loc cit) says it is substantially the same, which may or may not mean exactly the same thing as that
  52. Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XV, page 109, note 16
  53. Routledge Encyclopedia of Buddhism, page 584
  54. JPTS, volume XXVIII, pages 61f
  55. The list is given in an appendix to Bode, Pali Literature of Burma, Royal Asiatic Society, London, 1909; now available at [4]
  56. JPTS, 1882, page 61
  57. Bollée in Pratidanam (Kuiper Festschrift), Mouton, Paris/the Hague, 1968, pages 493-9
  58. page 61
  59. JPTS, volume XX, pages 23f
  60. Story of Gotama Buddha, Pali Text Society, 1990, page viii
  61. Majjhimanikāya, PTS edition, volume I, page 534, note 24
  62. Bulletin de l'Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, volume LI, pages 87f
  63. Hinüber, page 55
  64. JPTS, volume XX, page 1
  65. JPTS, volume XX, page 36
  66. JPTS, volume XX, page 36
  67. JPTS, volume XX, pages 36f
  68. Norman, page 93
  69. PTS edition, page 356
  70. PTS edition, page 352
  71. e.g. Duka Patthana, PTS edition, pages 150ff
  72. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Volume One), page 422
  73. Cambridge University Library, call number 834:01.b.34.9, page 438
  74. ... pāṭhattayaṃ atthi, etad ev' ettha yuttataraṃ
  75. Conditional Relations, vol II, Pali Text Society, 1981, page x
  76. Cambridge University Library, call number 834:01.b.34.29
  77. "Paṭṭhānapotthakassa catutthapañcamabhāgesu keci saṅkhyāvārā chaṭṭhasaṅgītiyaṃ paṭivisodhakattherehi pakkhittā, te pana 'adhikā' 'ti maññāma, pañcamasaṅgītimūle c'eva sīhaḷasyāmaiṅgalisavidesikapotthakesu ca n'atthi. Tasmā tehi pakkhittasaṅkhyāvārā idha apanītā 'ti daṭṭhabbā."
  78. There is also a set for members only, which is not therefore published in the strict sense, i.e. offered to the public.
  79. for most of this section, see the Routledge Encyclopedia of Buddhism, pages 288-90
  80. The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications, notes 533, 584, 1338
  81. page 76
  82. JPTS, volume XV, page 91
  • Hinüber, Handbook of Pali Literature, de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996
  • JPTS: Journal of the Pali Text Society
  • Nakamura, Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980; reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987, 1989
  • Norman, Pali Literature, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1983

For earlier edit history see History of the Pali Canon (older version)Template:main made Template:madeTemplate:2014