The Analysis of the Topics Published

During the Rains Retreat this year I was mainly working on a transliteration and translation of an early Buddhist text that is not found in the Pāḷi canon, the Arthaviniścaya, or, The Analysis of the Topics.

This is one of the finest collections of material I know of inside or outside the Canon, giving a good overview of the teaching, and providing lists of some of the most important Dharma teachings, together with explanations of many of them, some in a way which is different from the Pāḷi texts.

The work has been preserved in Sanskrit, and was edited in Devanagari script together with an edition of the commentary by Prof. N. H. Samtani in 1971, from several manuscripts preserved mainly in Nepal. The fact that the text has a commentary preserved along with it is very rare in the Sanskrit tradition. Prof. Samtani has a translation of both text and commentary, which is published in hard copy here.

The Topics are divided roughly in to four main areas, dealing with Abhidhamma-type teachings, meditation topics, the 37 things of the side of Awakening and the qualities special to the Buddha. The Twelve Factors of Conditional Origination and The Noble Eightfold Path are analysed in considerable depth, and provide extensive teachings in their own right.

I have never seen such a comprehensive collection of teachings in the Pāḷi suttas, and I am now working on producing a Pāḷi parallel, which collects these teachings in one place. Only two of them are in extra-Canonical, and the rest are central to the teaching.

The work is available in different editions: the Text and Translation has the Sanskrit text, together with a line-by-line (interlinear) translation and extensive notation; the English only version has only the translation, but includes a reading of the text. For a better understanding of the text I recommend reading the Introduction first.

The work is published in two editions, in the following formats: html, pdf, flipbook, epub, mobi and mp3 formats.

 

 




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