Difference between the Tipitaka and the Pāli Canon

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Stephen18
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Difference between the Tipitaka and the Pāli Canon

Post by Stephen18 »

Is it true, as I assume, that the Pāli Canon contains the Tipitaka plus the Commentaries and Subcommentaries, whereas the Tipitaka only includes the Vinaya, Suttas and the Abhidhamma books?
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Dhammanando
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Re: Difference between the Tipitaka and the Pāli Canon

Post by Dhammanando »

The Pali Canon and the Tipiṭaka are the same thing. They don't include the commentaries.

The Three Baskets (tipiṭaka, tīṇi piṭakāni)

= "Root Canon" (mūlapāḷi)
= "Ninefold Dispensation of the Master" (navaṅga satthusāsana)
= "Speech of the Buddha" (buddhavacana)

* * * * *

The Three Baskets with their commentaries (atthakathā), sub-commentaries (ṭīkā), clarifiers of knotty terms (gaṇṭhipadatthavaṇṇanā), clarifiers of grammar and syntax (yojanā), concordances (nissaya), disciplinary adjudications (vinaya-vinicchaya) etc., etc.

= "Books" (potthakāni)
= "Texts" (gambhīrā)
= "Scriptural Doctrine" (pariyattidhamma)

* * * * *

In papers by modern academic scholars you might occasionally see a commentarial work like the Visuddhimagga being referred to as "canonical". In calling it so they are referring to its de facto status in Theravadin countries rather than its de jure status in the ancient tradition.

You might also see a canonical work like the Niddesa or the Paṭisambhidāmagga being referred to as a "commentary". In calling it so they are not claiming that it's an atthakathā but are merely referring to the character of its literary genre.
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
Stephen18
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Re: Difference between the Tipitaka and the Pāli Canon

Post by Stephen18 »

Thank you, Bhante, for this exhaustive reply!
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