It gives me special pleasure o introduce Dr. ABE's doctoral dissertation on the Sankhepatthajotani, which
is now being published in the Bhandarkar Oriental Series, for, I know very well the amount of time and
travail which its preparation has entailed. I still remember how, a few years ago, a shy young man from
Japan came over to the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute for a deeper study of Pali Buddhism; how,
by his affability, keenness, and diligence, he soon endeared himself to the academic and administrative
staff of the Institute; how he strove tenaciously to get over the many Initial difficulties which he had to
encounter; and how, having once found his tune, he finally exerted all his strength to complete
successfully the task which he had set himself. That was Jion ABE! ABE was, no doubt, exceedingly
fortunate to have received throughout his studies the solicitous help and expert guidance of such an
eminent Budhologist as Professor P.V. But I can vouch for the fact that ABE too did not shirk making great
demands on himself in order to be able to conform to the schedule and standards set by his teachers.
Poona, it may be recalled, is one of the two centres in India (the other being Calcutta) where regular study
of Pali and Buddhism, at different levels, was started for the first time in the modern period. The work of
the late Professor Dharmananda Kosa MBI in that connection was, indeed, of a pioneering character. He
may be said to have initiated a distinguished tradition in that field. It has been the constant endeavour of
the Bhandarkar Institute not only to maintain that tradition but also to augment it in every possible
manner. Many scholars from Japan, senior and junior, have come to the Institute for the study of and
research in Buddhism and have thereby actively fostered the Institute's efforts in the direction. I am glad
that Dr. ABE has now qualified himself to be counted among such scholars I also feel sure that, apart from
his study of Pali Buddhism and related subjects, his fairly long stay in India has enabled him to acquire
first-hand knowledge of various aspects of Indian life and culture. This is bound to prove great asset in his
This book represents the results of my study of Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga and its commentaries,
especially the Silaniddesa (I) and the Dhutanganiddesa (II).
It is generally admitted that the Visudhimagga is the most authoritative text for the study of Pali
Buddhism. It consists of twenty-three chapters, of which chapters I-II discuss "sila". III-XIII "samadhi",
and XIV-XXIII "panna". The Visuddhimagga has three well-known commentaries, Dhamapala's
Paramatthamanjusa (Mahatika), Chapada ("da)'s Visudhimaggaganthi, and the Sankhepatthajotani
(Cullatika), a work of unknown authorship. Of these the Sankhepatthajotani alone is yet to be published.
Following a suggestion of Prof. P.V. Bapat, I went to Thailand in April of 1975 and again in 1977 to
examine a MS. of the Sankhepatthajotani preserved in the National Library, Bangkok, and was allowed by
the same Library to make a microfilm copy. To my knowledge, a similar MS. has not been found in
Srilanka, Burma, or elsewhere.
The main body of this book is an introduction to the Sankhepatthajotani and a critical edition of its first
and second chapters. The importance of the text lies in the fact that it records views which differ those
found in the other two commentaries In the Introduction, I first present the Mss. of the
Sankhepattajotani as a Pali source for the study of the Visuddhimagga. Then I discuss the date and place
of the Composition of this text, and compare its content with that of the Paramatthamanjusa.Next I
point out the new views found in this text on such subjects as "athanga" and "sattanagaraparikkhara", and
compare them with the various views of the Nikayas and other commentaries. In parts 2 and 3, I clarify
the meaning of the words "sila" and "dhutanga" which form the main subjects of the first and second
chapters of the Visuddhimagga. Lastly, I discuss how Buddhaghosa and Dhammapala criticized the
Abhayagiri Schools's view of " dhutanga".
I have added as appendices lists of the Pail texts quoted in the Visuddhimagga and the passages from the
Pali texts in the first and second chapters of the Sankhepatthajotani. I have also added a comparative
table listing the HOS edition of the Visuddhimagga with the corresponding pages of the PTS edition of
the same book and the paragraph or folio numbers of the three commentaries including the
Sankhepatthajotani. This should provide the reader with a cross-reference guide for comparing the
contents of the editions of the Visuddhimagga and its commentaries.
This book provides only a beginning to the study of the Sankhepatthajotani. The task of critically editing
the remaining chapters, a complete translation and index still remains to be done. The author sincerely
hopes, however, that this small book will give some help to scholars studying the Visuddhimagga.
It is my pleasure to express my gratitude to those who have helped me in many ways toward the
completion of this book. I have first to express my profound indebtedness to Profound indebtedness to
Prof. Dr. P.V. Bapat, who has been my teacher in the study of Pali Buddhism and the doctrines of the
Visuddhimagga since November of 1974 when I first came to Poona. He was also kind enough to read
through the first draft of this book, and his suggestions were of great value in its revision. I have also to
express my sincere thanks to Prof. A.M. Ghatage, Prof. S.D. Joshi, Prof. A. Hirakawa, Prof. K. Takasaki, and
Prof. J. Takasaki, all of whom encouraged me throughout my doctoral studies.
Prof. R.N. Dandekar has earned my deep gratitude for encouraging me in the study of Pali Buddhism and
by kindly offering to write the Foreward to this book. I must also acknowledge the kindness and good
offices of Mr. B.N. Paranjape and Mr. V.L. Manjul (M.A.) of the Bhandarkar O.R. Institute. I am also very
thankful to Prof.V.V. Gokhale, the late Prof. P.L. Vaidya, and Prof. H. Nakamura who all encouraged me in
a personal way and contributed to my overall understanding of the Buddhist tradition. I must also
mention my feeling of gratitude to Prof. Dr. K. Mizuno, who first initiated me into field of Buddhist
studies. In completing this book, I have received the help of many other persons, too numerous to
mention; to them also grateful.
Finally, the author must express his thanks to the Authorities of the National Library, Bangkok, and his
gratitude to Prof. Dandekar, Mr. Paranjape, and Mr. E.R. walvekar and his staff at the Bhandarkar Press,
for all their help in bringing the publication and printing of this book to successful completion.
The dimensions show 'length of a leaf'', 'width at middle', and 'width at ends'. About the volume, we have
two kinds of Sj-Ms., namely, a twenty-four volume MS. (A MS. etc.) and a twenty-three volume one (B
MS., etc.) Each volume consists of 24 folios. The total number of folios is 561. However, the 24th vol. of A
(and K) consists of only 9 folios, but the 23rd vol. of B (and H, I. J) consists of 33 folios. So the total
number of folios of A and B is the same.
Of these Mss. only A and B are complete. C and E have only the first 12 vols., and D and F have only the
first 11. On the other hand, II,I, J, and K have the latter half only. G has the first 21 vols., and not the rest.
The leaves of the 10th and 11th vols. of E are somewhat damaged.
The editors names appear as Rama I to V of the Bangkok Kingdom, Thailand. The reign of each is; Rama I
(1782-1809), Rama III (1824-51), Rama IV (1851-68), and Rama V (1868-1910). The Rama II edition of Sj. is no
The number of lines in each folio is 5. The folio is written in the Cambodian (Khmer) script. The
numbering proceeds duodecimally on reverse-side of each folio as follows:
The first and second chapters of Sj. continue into sixteenth folio of the vol. 4, "ji", in other worlds they fill
three and two-third volumes. The total number of folios is 87 and a half.
A has been taken as the basic MS. in this critical edition, with B,C,D,E,F, and G being compared against it.
G especially has many mistakes and omitted words or syllables. In editing the text, I have noted all
variants, even though some of them obviously scribal errors.
(b) The Composition of Sj.
Sj. is the Cullatika of Vis. It is clear that Sj. was composed in order to supplement Pm., the Mahatika of
From this gatha it is not clear who wrote the text, and when or where it was written. It is also not clear at
whose instance it was composed. Even the closing gatha does not mention anything about this.
However, Gv. gives us a clue. Gv. says "Visudhimaggacullatika" (p. 62), but does not supply an individual
name such as "Paramatthamanjusa", "Sankhepatthajotani", etc. So it is certain ie the text referred to in
Gv. is the same as our text Sj. or not. If it is, we can say that Sj. was composed before the 16th cent. A.D.
because Gv. was composed in the same century. Furthermore, Gv. says that twenty texts including Ganthi.
and "Visuddhimaggacullatika" were composed by twenty Acariyas (p.62). Ganthi. was written by Chapada
who stayed in Ceylon from 1170 to 1180 A. D. according to W. Geiger. If this correct, Sj. was composed at
the same time or at a time later than the composition of Ganthi. From this evidence I feel that the date of
the composition of Sj. be somewhere from the 13th to 15th cent.
Further, Gv. says that those twenty Acariyas are from Ceylon (p.67). So, following this reference of Gv., the
author of Sj. would be a Ceylonese.
Regarding the place of the composition of Sj., the worlds in which Vis. is quoted in Sj. are almost the same
as those of the Sinhalese edition of Vis. Therefore, it can be said that the author of Sj. commented on Vis.
by using the above edition. Also, we come across the words "Anuradhapura" and "Abhayagiri" in Sj., which
are place and school names in Ceylon, but not in "Abhayagiri" in Sj., which are place and school names
Ceylon, but not in Thailand, or elsewhere We may, for these reasons, assume that Sj. was composed in
However, the passage "Svatti namo Buddhassa" is found in all the Mss. of sj. at the beginning of the text
(Sj. I-al). Usually the passage "Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa" is used as the
opening Benediction in the texts composed in Ceylon or Burma. Furthermore, the word "svatti" (or
svaddi, SKt. svasti) is often used in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. The word "svatti" itself is not a regular
Pall word The word corresponding to the Sanskrit "svasti" should be 'sotthi' or "suvatthi". So we may
conclude from this that the text was composed in the area of Thailand or Cambodia, but not in Ceylon or
Burma. Of course, we can think that the word "svatti" or the Passage "Svatti namo Buddhassa" may have
been added later.
Therefore, we cannot say clearly whether Sj. composed in Ceylon or in the area of Thailand and
Cambodia, but can only conclude that the text was composed in one place or the other. More detailed and
minute studies on Sj. will be necessary to decide the date and place of the composition on Sj. will be
necessary to decide the date and place of the composition of Sj.
(c) The Relation of Sj. to Pm.
As mentioned above, Sj. is a commentary which follows the Commentary Pm. and was composed in order
to supplement it. However, it is not a direct commentary (i.e. Anutika) of Pm., but like the latter it is
considered a Tika. Therefore, Pm. is called the Mahatika (Big Commentary) of Vis., and Sj., is the
Cullatika (Small Commentary) of the same.
Abridgements of many passages from Pm. appear in Sj. as Pm. is a very detailed composition and
sometimes has lengthy explanations. For that reason the text was named "Sankhepatthajotani" (which
means 'the abridged explanation of the meaning of the meaning of the Visuddhimagga').
However, Sj. is not a mere digest of Pm. It has many words and passages which are not commented on in
Pm., and also has several fresh views. It is in this aspect that we will consider the importance of Sj.
Furthermore, as far the first two chapters are concerned, Ganthi. has no similarity with Pm. and Sj. at all.
we can see the relation between Pm. and Sj. in the following examples.
One example of abridgement is as follows:
Buddhaghosa refers to catu-paccaya (or-nissaya, the four kinds of equipment) in the silaniddesa of Vis.
(I-85 ff.) The Pali Nikayas tell us that a mendicant should reflect upon his clothes, food given as alms,
dwelling-place, and medicine (civara, pindapata, senasana, and bhesajja) while using or taking them. Of
these four, "pindapata" should be reflected upon in this way:
To being with, Upatissa, the author of Vim., re-arranges the portions of this passage into 'eight ways' (pa
hsing). Dhammapala also arranges them into atthangas, and gives his own view and that of Mahasiva
There in Pm. (I-70). Sj. introduces a new view of 'some people' (kect) after having shown the two views
mentioned in Pm. Buddhaghosa arranges them into thirteen or twelve padas, but does not sdjust them to
the eight ways. Ganthi. has done neither.
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