Pali Language and Literature: A Systematic Survey and Historical Study. Volume 1
Author: Kanai Lai Hazra
Publisher: DK World Press
Pages: XVII + 462 p.
Size: 8 mb
Beginning with a description of the language, its historical evolution, phonology and grammatical categories, the book studies the canonical Pali texts (the three Pitakas) and surveys the non-canonical Pali literature covering manuals and chronicles.
In Pali is preserved the Buddhist canon. Which, considered as the most authentic form of Buddhavacana, constitutes the very matrix of its 2500-year-long Theravada tradition. A refined, widely-spoken language of the early Middle Indic (Indo-Aryan) stage: about bc 600-200, Pali has also left, for posterity, a splendid legacy of secular literature that captures contemporary socio-cultural milieus not only of India, but of Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and other neighbouring countries as well. Here is, in two volumes, a fascinating, well-knit study of the Pali language, and also of its literature: both canonical and non-canonical. Beginning with a systematic description of the language, its historical evolution, phonology and major grammatical categories,
Volume 1 takes an indepth, critical look at the canonical Pali texts — all the three Pitakas : the three baskets (collections): the Vinaya, Sutta and Abhidhamma, which, among other things, embody Sakyamuni’s own universal message, the writings of his immediate monastic followers/disciples, the basic principles of shula (ethical behaviour), the disciplinary codes for the sangha and, above all, the Theravada philosophy in its truly pristine frame.