Download Tipitaka Atthakathas and Tikas inscribed on Stone Slabs in Myanmar

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Tipitaka Atthakathas
and Tikas inscribed
on Stone Slabs in
in the Mahaparanibbana Sutta Ananda was reminded by
the Buddha shortly before he entered parinibbana that his
followers should afterwards take refuge in the dhamma.
The Tipitaka, made up of the monastic discipline
(Vinaya), the discourses (Suttas) and the further teaching
(Abhidhamma), would now take his place.
Since the time of Mahakassapa, these ‘baskets’ of the
teaching have been followed, remembered and handed
down the ages by the Sangha. Meanwhile, Buddhist
Synods have from time to time re-examined the Pali
Canon. At the Fifth, a cross-checked, corrected version
was inscribed on seven hundred and twenty-nine stone
slabs in Mandalay.
Since then the Mandalay pattern had been followed
and many other towns in Myanmar have erected stone
slabs of the Tipitaka. To size up their whereabouts and
contents, U Aung Thu, a former official of the Telecommunications department, spent two years travelling on
this religious quest and in September 1998 produced the
following list of Pitaka treasures from the 18 sites he had
Suggestions for the improvements were made for the
eight of these sites as follows:
Minkin - 1) To remove banyans and other types of tree
which have grown in the vicinity of the stone slabs. 2)
The lettering there has become blurred and needs sharpening. 3) Numbering of the stone slabs should be made
and the contents of the five Vinayas should be listed.
Mandalay - 1) At Sandamuni the lettering has become
worn due to exposure over the last eighty years. 2) iron
railings are needed to guard the slabs. These railings
should be run as close to the ground as possible so that
men and beasts cannot enter the enclosure and soil it.
Meiktila - Atthakathas in Myanmar exist only in Mandalay and Meiktila. Some of the texts in Meiktila were
lacking and work on them is needed.
Thedaw - When dealing with Thedaw previously, it had
been noted that the Second World War had disrupted the
erection of certain textual stone slabs. Efforts should be
made to achieve this now.
Nyaungyan - Not all stone slabs are under cover there.
The libraries originally built have also deteriorated.
Attempts should therefore be made to remedy this situation.
Yangon - 1) The stone slabs in the Pancanikaya monastary in Kambe are those of the Sixth Buddhist Synod
version. The 130 Vinaya stone slabs, though inscribed,
have not been erected and lie unattended in the open.
Their assembling and erection should be continued. 2)
Only three texts of the Suttas are found here. Many texts
remain to be completed. These versions from the Sixth
Buddhist Synod should be treated in the same way as
those of the Fifth Buddhist Synod. 3) The leaking roofs
need to be replaced.
Thaton - 1) Many Tipitaka stone slabs are incomplete.
For instance, in the seven Abidhamma texts, the Pathan
and Yamaik sections are missing. The stone slabs were
found in the precints of Mandalay’s Kyauktawgyi
Pagoda, neglected and unattended. They should be
brought to Thaton to be erected. 2) Out of the five hundred and eighty-five slabs at Thaton, only one hundred
and twenty-six seemed to be kept well under cover. The
remaining four hundred and fifty-nine are exposed and
in danger of deterioration. Arrangements should be
made to protect them too.
Mingun - The Pitaka stone slabs at Mingun are the
verbatim dialogue records of Ven. Mahasi and Ven. Vicittasara, conducted during the Sixth Buddhist Synod. But
they are only on the Vinaya and Suttas and none on the
Abhidamma. To make it a complete set, those on Abhidamma should also be carried out.
May 2014 LOTUS 9