Different editions of the Pali Canon?

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sgns
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Different editions of the Pali Canon?

Post by sgns » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:09 pm

I came across the digitized Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project version of the Pali Canon on Access to Insight the other day, and found this note intriguing:

"the translations that appear on Access to Insight are not derived from this SLTP edition, but from other Tipitaka editions — most notably the PTS, Thai, and Burmese editions. There are significant differences between the various editions. "

I am understanding right that this is not a matter of translated versions but there are actually multiple Pali versions of the Canon? And what are the "significant differences"?

Alternatively, if this is a matter of translations... are English suttas translated from Pali, Burmese, Thai, and Sinhalese? And what differences might we find as a result?

Digitized SLTP (and note) found at https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... index.html

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Kim OHara
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Re: Different editions of the Pali Canon?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:34 pm

The short answer is easy: the differences are only 'significant' to scholars and you can trust PTS, ATI and Sutta Central https://suttacentral.net.
The longer answer gets complicated fairly quickly: the Buddha's teachings spread north where they were preserved in Sanskrit, and South to Sri Lanka where they were preserved in Pali. The Sanskrit versions went to China and were translated into Chinese, and the Pali went to Burma, Thailand, etc where they were still preserved in Pali. At each step, individual suttas were lost or misplaced (e.g. combined with another), but comparisons between the different versions show that not much was lost or mangled.
Translations into English don't start until the late nineteenth century so we know a fair bit about them.
Poke around Sutta Central if you want to know more.

:reading:
Kim

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mikenz66
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Re: Different editions of the Pali Canon?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:51 pm

As Kim says, the differences between the Pali editions are relatively small. Translators such as Bhikkhu Bodhi sometimes have comments in their footnotes where they have compared the editions to clarify obscure passages that appear to have been corrupted.

:heart:
Mike

sgns
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Re: Different editions of the Pali Canon?

Post by sgns » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:26 pm

Got it. Thank you!

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