Talking About Us
The Pāli Canon is indisputably one of the greatest records to survive from the early years of human civilization and systematic thought. It is therefore amazing, and sad, that so little work has been done, using the resources of modern scholarship, to try to establish a reliable text. The size of the task is daunting, but Wat Phra Dhammakaya deserves our thanks and congratulations for financing and organizing this project, which should prove to be a milestone in the history of Buddhism, far more significant than any number of conferences and celebrations.
What impressed me very much this time when I came here for the second time was really the progress because the pilot edition we saw this time was infinitely superior to what we had seen two years ago. And this is a very very good sign that you are on the right way and at least I hope to live long enough to see the Dīgha Nikāya for sure.
I’m really glad that this study has come about so this strategy is very important. In my case, I’m looking as a Buddhist and I think this is very important because up to now we have been studying our 4 traditions separately, Burmese, Lanna, Thai and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. So, now by this Project all these 4 traditions have been brought together into 1 tradition. And what I find is it is very important to see that the Buddhavacana or the words of the Buddha have remained almost in a unique way preserving in this manuscript.
今回のダンマチャイ・ティピタカプロジェックトは、本当によく出来ていると思いました。 最初に出された第一版と、それから今回改定された第二版、その進歩に、心から驚きました。 今、考えられるパリーのテキストの校訂のレベルとして、私は最高のレベルに達していると思います。
We definitely need a critical edition so that we have one thing that we can go. And it’s also something that as a Theravada monk, it touches the heart. So, it’s very powerful project and I just hope that they would be very successful.
It is very extremely useful project. Particularly, the way has been presented. It is preserving. It’s good to use, easy to use. And the usage of that scholar will then be able to make their decisions and do research. I think the website looks extremely useful, particularly, the synoptic edition and then the way which is linked and with the original manuscript can be brought up and way which they place where the word in that manuscript is located. That’s immensely helpful.
I think one of the first thing that has struck me about the project is the great variety the great range of manuscripts that have been employed and looked at in terms of setting the project up. The number of manuscripts and the ranges I think it’s very important. (So to have manuscripts in Khom script, in Tham script, in Burmese script, in Sinhalese script in the numbers that have been consulted for this project I think unprecedented.) So that is clearly I think a quite in advance in terms of getting to know what is out there in those manuscripts, so I think it is very important, initiative, and important project from that point to vivid.
According to Buddhist tradition, the teaching of the Lord Buddha has been preserved and passed on through generations by oral recitation, and the first written record was made around 400 B.E. during the reign of the pious Sinhala, King Vatta Gamani Abhaya of Sri Lanka. Since then the Pāli Tipiṭaka, commentaries, sub-commentaries and sub-sub-commentaries have been transmitted by inscribing on the palm-leaf manuscripts which can be divided into 4 mains traditions as follows:
Our ancestors had put a lot of effort into inscriping and preserving these palm-leave manuscripts which have significant historical and cultural values as Buddhist documentary heritage. Unfortunately, in times, the precious manuscripts have disappeared through "natural" causes and the ignorance of people. Nowadays, very few people can read, preserve and make use of the manuscripts.
Thus, in April 2010, Wat Phra Dhammakaya has launched “The Dhammachai Tipiṭaka Project”, with the aims to preserve the existing palm-leaf manuscripts and to create the digitalized and computerized database of the Pāli Tipiṭaka in order to support the Buddhist studies by all interested parties.Read More