Last year I was asked to prepare the new Pa-Auk Chanting Book for their main monastery at Moulmein. Most of the material for the book – Paritta and Satipaṭṭhāna texts – were already prepared and so only required assembling.
But there were some texts which required a new Text and Translation, and one of them was the first part of The Analysis of Conditional Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda) from the Vibhaṅga, which is considered the earliest book of the Abhidhamma collection.
After preparing that section, which gives an outline and analysis of the doctrine according to the discourses, I had a look at the second section which looks at the same material from the Abhidhamma point-of-view, and decided to continue the translation.
A few years previously I had translated another section of the Vibhaṅga, the one on Mindfulness (Satipaṭṭhāna), which had proved very useful in understanding that teaching, so I was interested in what the Abhidhammikas had to say about Conditional Origination also.
The task, even for just this one section, proved to be formidable, as, in line with my usual practice, I decided to fill in the repetition (peyyāla) passages, and this was by no means an easy thing to do this time because of the subtleties in variation in each facet of the text.
The intensive study of the text however has brought home to me two things: the very great importance of this doctrine in the array of the Buddha’s teaching, and the immense subtlety of the Abhidhamma analysis, which looks at the teaching as it applies to each mind-moment according to its ethical quality.
After six months the work is now published on Ancient Buddhist Texts, in two different forms, and a number of formats. The first is meant more for the Pāḷi student who may still need help with reading the text, that is the Text with a line by line Translation; the second is in English only, and with slightly less footnotes.
The former is published in html and pdf (429 pages long), and here it is worth noting that in the html version it is possible to expand and contract the repetition passages at will. When expanded the text is more than twice the size of the abbreviated text, which gives some idea of how much is normally left out of published editions these days, and as the hardest work involved in preparing this text was re-establishing the complete text I doubt if a neophyte would be able to do it at all without a help such as this.
The latter, in English only, is also available in pdf (272 pages), epub, mobi, flip-book and mp3. The latter are embedded in the page and can be played or downloaded one by one from there, or the set can be downloaded from the Audio page.