Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

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frank k
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Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by frank k »

Why did Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?
This was after he had translated it from Sinhala to Pali.

I suspect there were competing schools with contradicting commentaries, and this was a move to select one school of thought and eliminate the competition. What's the official reason given for the burning?
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Pulsar
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Re: Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by Pulsar »

Good question
Why did Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?
This was after he had translated it from Sinhala to Pali.
We will never know, this will remain an eternal mystery. Did he think the native commentaries too
idiotic, and want to hide this embarrassing facts? Anyways in the final result embarrassing
contradictions still exist.
I suspect there were competing schools with contradicting commentaries, and this was a move to select one school of thought and eliminate the competition. What's the official reason given for the burning?
Official reason? Do we have an official reason for burning of all the Sautrantika stuff?
Were they burnt, 'cause they looked too similar to what Vasubandu came up with, yogacara,
that was later assimilated into Mahayana? Or by the Muslim invaders?
Who will ever know? We only know rivalries exist among scholars today, as also
then.
Be well! :candle:
Stephen18
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Re: Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by Stephen18 »

He didn't burn ALL of them. He burned them because they were wrong and would confuse and delude people.
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Volo
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Re: Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by Volo »

I was trying to find the source of this (that he burned the scriptures). It is not stated in Culavamsa (which contains the main account of Buddhaghosa's life). Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Malalasekera ed.) says that it is stayed in the text called Buddhaghosuppatti. It's not clear when was it written, but probably somewhere between 13th and 16th centuries. That is what DPPN says about it:
DPPN wrote:Buddhaghosuppatti A very late account of the life of Buddhaghosa; it is more a romance than a historical chronicle. For an account of this see Law, Pāli Lit. 558 f. The work has been translated and edited by Gray (London).
Encyclopedia of Buddhism also points out that Buddhaghosuppatti mistakenly states that Buddhaghosa went to Sri Lanka to translate tipitaka itself, which is obviously wrong (it was the commentaries what he translated). So the text is not very reliable.

In any case, Buddhaghosuppatti indeed says that Buddhaghosa set on fire Sinhalese books, but doesn't give the reason for, simply mentions that the heap of books was as high as seven elephants of middle size.

Also, according to Culavamsa, the teacher of Buddhaghosa (Revata) when sending him to Sri Lanka said that the commentaries in Sinhalese language are faultless, so why would Buddhaghosa burn them if he heard this from his teacher?
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

:candle:
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JiWe2
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Re: Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by JiWe2 »

"Living" spoken languages, like Sinhala and English, are in a constant process of change. Were these old Sinhala commentaries, written perhaps hundreds of years earlier, still understandable to the Sinhala speakers of Buddhaghosa's time?
And if thou kanst nat tellen it anon
Yet shal I yeve thee leve for to gon
A twelf-month and a day to seche and leere
An answere suffisant in this mateere.


-The Canterbury Tales, ca 1400 CE
"Dead" languages like Pali, Sanskrit and Latin were/are better for long term preservation purposes?
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confusedlayman
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Re: Why did Vism.'s Buddhaghosa burn all of the Sri Lanka commentaries?

Post by confusedlayman »

JiWe2 wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:32 pm "Living" spoken languages, like Sinhala and English, are in a constant process of change. Were these old Sinhala commentaries, written perhaps hundreds of years earlier, still understandable to the Sinhala speakers of Buddhaghosa's time?
And if thou kanst nat tellen it anon
Yet shal I yeve thee leve for to gon
A twelf-month and a day to seche and leere
An answere suffisant in this mateere.


-The Canterbury Tales, ca 1400 CE
"Dead" languages like Pali, Sanskrit and Latin were/are better for long term preservation purposes?
Vism is correct. kasina practice is bit complicated but vism spoke from experience. im sure he sent himself to nibbana or atleast pure abode.
dont think
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