What is Pali?

发布日期:2018-10-06   字体大小:   

Pali is a language used in ancient India. To be more specific, it was a popular dialect in Magadha at the time of the Buddha. The Buddha was said to have preached his summons in this language, so his disciples used this language to memorize and recite his teachings. Although it is no longer a living language now, Pali has been preserved through the Buddhist scriptures. The word “Pali” means “classics”. The ancient Indians were in the habit of reciting and passing on canonical texts orally instead of in writing. According to The History of the Island of Ceylon, Buddhists texts began to be written down during the 1st century BC in Ceylon. By the 5th century AD, Ven. Buddhaghosa, Tipitakacariya from Magadha, came to Ceylon and made a copy of the whole Pali Tipitaka in the Sinhalese script. (According to another account, when Buddhaghosa was in Ceylon, he translated a great many Sinhalese commentaries of Tipitaka to Pali.) As the original Pali alphabet is no longer in existence, the current Pali Tipitaka of Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand are all recorded in the indigenous alphabets. Recently India too has been engaged in recording and publishing the Pali Tipitaka in the Hindi alphabet. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)

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