Which reading of the tipitaka do we consider the most authentic/precise?
Have any of us compared the different Tripitaka readings? Or do we know a study which compares e.g. one sutta or a book between the different editions.
I know about a few, PTS, SLTP, CST.
I am just reading the early PTS Journals from the 1800 years. And I’ve just learned how they selected the leaves, what to work on, how they did it. How did they get and where from the different MSS-es.As I understand, they have done a very careful work.
The editors and Rhys Davids asked Theras from different Buddhist countries through mails oftentimes using pali as the common language. And they regularly asked the Theras how to do it well and asked feedback about the published works. They asked the Theras which works are the most important to work on, to get a priority etc.
Just an interesting point, I’ve just read that e.g. the Theras (e.g. Thera Sri Saddhananda from Ratgama) were not satisfied with the abbreviations so they dropped their practice regarding those further abbreviations in the texts.
An excerpt from Rhys Davis:
“Apart from myself, many learned members of the Order have declared to me how much they dislike any such other abbreviations.”
But I don’t really know much about the other editions. Do you have experiences with the other editions?
It should be noted that DPR and Suttacentral use an edited version called the World Saṅgha Tipitaka which is edited by Westerners. Tipitaka Pāḷi Projector uses CST or text from VRI. DPR and SuttaCentral versions have taken liberties to break up a lot of words which were glued together. I know this because when we ran the DPR word breakup program against nearly 1,000,000 words, it crashed or went into an infinite loop. The crash was based on double vowels which are found in the CST/VRI but not DPR or Suttacentral.
I am leading a project to translate a Myanmar dictionary. Both our translation and the making of the dictionary are work in progress. We will soon have ~182,000 words and 2 more volumes just came out which will add another ~15,000 words.
My argument is that taking literal word definitions like “under” + “stand” do not make the combined word as “understand”. It is this reason why I am hoping to make a dictionary. We ran 168,000 words through Google and it is actively available with Tipitaka Pāḷi Projector (TPP) as PEU (Pāḷi English Ulimate). The real dictionary is called Abhidhān in Myanmar language. I think there are 26 volumens now including the 2 new ones I heard about only a few days ago. ~70,000 words have been re-translated from Google by real people now.
If you ever listen to the lecture series on the VSM by the late ven Sīlananda Sayadaw, you will know that literal-word-building definitions are very dangerous. Maybe more wrong than Google. Why? Both are wrong, but we know it is Google when Google is wrong.
Really a lot of information to process… thanks a lot for the lot of insights!
I looked up several abbreviations. Maybe it is useful if we have a list generally about them.
PTS: Pali Text Society
SLTP: Sri Lankan Tripitaka Project
CST: Chattha Sangayana Tipitaka; The Sixth Council (1954-1956) version
DPR: Digital Pali Reader; A Pali text reader for reading the Tipitaka.
World Saṅgha Tipitaka: edited by westerns and may have alterations (broken up words)
VRI: Vipassana Research Institute; CST is edited and published by VRI
TPP: Tipitaka Pāḷi Projector
PEU: Pāḷi English Ultimate
I wonder whether the PTS edition has these errors that you mentioned.
< I am leading a project to translate a Myanmar dictionary.
I guess it involves a lot of effort. Is it made by your monastery?
My argument is that taking literal word definitions like “under” + “stand” do not make the combined word as “understand”
It is totally so. And another area which does not fit to word for word translations are the sayings, it may be meaningless if you just translate them word to word. E.g. “guinea pigs” in my language are not pigs but rabbits. And e.g. if you refer to Karen it means totally different in different languages.
When I learned English, after a while I started using English-English dictionaries. Do we have anything similar in pali?
If you ever listen to the lecture series on the VSM by the late ven Sīlananda Sayadaw
I do not know what VSM stands for.
That is a majority of the commentaries.
There are pāḷi to pāḷi grammar books included in the TPP archive and other apps as well.