"Best", "most correct", "most functional" MN10 punctuation?


JUST THE MAIN QUESTION: I understand the Pali version of the MN10 here on SC is actually a DN22, without the expanded Truths section. And that is because it comes from the current standing Burmese version (the replacement story). Is the numbering and sectioning they use in their original similar/identical to what we see in the Pali version here at SC?

(There are numbers at the ends of sentences in brackets, specific wordings signifying the beginnings and endings of sections - which differ some other Latinized Pali sources - etc). I’m looking for a good conservative standard (even if odd).

(BACKGROUND TO THE QUESTION, not a required read)

I’m trying to understand the “standard” ways the sutta(s) ha(s(/(ve) either been numbered or titled (headings, passage titles etc) in their Latinized Pali formats. It actually seems quite difficult to make sense of this. (I think) I’ve seen the/a PTS version in addition to the Burmese version here. The PTS version I saw just looked confusing on the screen in plain text without a legend to make sense of it (many insertions, notes and distracting… well, "things). I’ve also spotted some cleaned up versions here and there. There seem to be random “cleanups” at the discretion of the English or other language version editors even of the Pali source etc). Too many unsystematic differences to figure out a pattern.

I’m looking for a good conservative standard (even if odd).


I’m seeing a large variety of sectioning solutions of MN10 amongst various translations and adaptions published here. And I’d like my adaption to adhere to the most academic, conservative standard at this point. Rather than an easy-read literary one.

I’m essentially doing a tedious and slow work of octangulating between Pali, English, French, Finnish, Russian, German and then a bunch of “extra” sources to see how different culture bases worked around some specific problems of nuanses Pali terms. Sometimes it is clear these are translations from someone’s English version rather than from Pali. It seems many sources have their own take even on the Latinized Pali somehow. And that seems unnecessary, even dangerous, really. My intention is to adopt a good Latinized Pali standard as far as the punctuation/numbering grammar of my own language allows it.


It’s a bit hard to answer this question without more specifics. But just as a general guide.

The SC numbers derive from the Mahasangiti edition, and are a straight count of paragraphs from the beginning of the text. The original Mahasangiti numbers are complicated, so we hide them, but they are still present in the metadata; use view source to see them, or download the text from Github. But really, they just add complication.

As far as I know, these numbers derive from the VRI edition on which the MS is based. I do not know if there are any variations, and I also do not know what the VRI edition based its numbers on. Obviously it is based on the “Sixth Council” edition, but whether they are actually listed in any print editions, or merely inferred for the digital edition, I cannot say.

Note, too, that according to the people at Mahasangiti, the VRI edition is in fact based on the reprints of the “Sixth Council”, but between the first and second printing there was a revolution in Burma, and the reprinting was confused, so it, and all subsequent print and digital editions, including the Buddha Jayanthi, in fact stem from the Fifth Council, not the Sixth. The Mahasangiti people, according to their own account, revised the text to agree with the actual first edition of the Sixth Council. However I have not seen an independent verification of all this. I also don’t know what the actual differences might be; in any case, the expanded MN 10 was already present in the Fifth Council.

The WP numbers are the numbers introduced by Ven Nyanamoli in his translation, and thus correspond with the Wisdom Publications edition by Bhikkhu Bodhi. This does not correspond with any earlier editions, or so far as I know, any genuine manuscript tradition. However, many secondary translations were made from this edition, so they may include these numbers.

As for the numbers on the section headings, these would have been introduced in modern editions, although I do not know exactly when.

I would also guess that the bracketed numbers at the end of some sections were introduced in modern editions. However, this may not be the case, for they take the traditional position at the end. You’d have to check against manuscripts for this.

Anyway, let me know if you have any other questions.

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Thank you, bhante. This covers most of what’s one needed to know at this point.

PS. No adaption here I’ve seen so far seems to be using the “Dhātu ma nasikā ra pabbaṃ niṭṭhitaṃ” etc placeholders systematically except the main English one. Are these standard across various Pali versions? I think I’ve seen minor variations.

Do we know where they are stored? Maybe one day that will be a curious possiblity.


So, I currently understood it like this: For the purposes of readability SC has simplified the paragraph numbering to have it make sense and facilitate reading (and it does) and uses its “own” simple system. (And the more complicated original numbering is visually hidden but easily accessible, and not useful for general audiences).

And indeed, the numbering seems to be one of the giveaways of the source of secondary translations (if not explicitly indicated already), or, possibly of the primary Pali source sometimes. Also, for example, the French translation here uses no numbers and no paragraph headings at all, just one big text, yet shares the initial main title approach with the Russian adaption, which stands out as a peculiar one, but they differ in the rest. The Russian one preserves the bracketed numbers at the ends of the sentences from the/a Latinized Pali. The Finnish one has moved those numbers to the begining of the paragraph instead and uses letters instead of numbers for subheadings. (could have to do with grammar requirements, or, personal preference).


Yes. They’re functionally equivalent, though. The MS had a super-powerful and complicated system that I don’t think anyone ever actually understood or used. We just number the paragraphs per text.

Just FYI, the Pootle segmenting will not contradict this, but will add granularity. Each segment will be addressable as a point number within the existing paragraphs.

One of the main benefits of using Pootle is to eliminate all such variations. Each translation has identical accompanying metadata.


[quote=“mhviriyo, post:3, topic:5149”]
Do we know where they are stored? Maybe one day that will be a curious possiblity.
[/quote]I endeavoured to see if I could find a database of online Pāli manuscripts for you to see if I could, but alas my search was largely fruitless. It would seem that many small assortments of diverse fragments are housed in a number of networked, but disparate, collections accessible to academics (there surely has to be something open-access on the Internet though).

I know nothing about the text in question but this is a manuscript fragment of the Upasampada Kammavaca here, I cannot say if this specific manuscript is considered “early” or not (I would suspect not, given the context in the article), but it was all I could find, which surprised me.


I’ll address this in your question on manuscripts.


Thank you, @Coemgenu. I’m in Thailand, and will have the possibility to visit places in Bangkok soon, so I’m thinking there must be a) physical place (probably inaccessible without excellent connections and time, unless a museum) or b) an copy-exhibit somewhere in town. Never thought of looking into it before. I’ll ask around a bit. If something comes up, I’ll share the info. It is not so important, but – it is very interesting.

EDIT: Just saw @sujato’s post on your thread pointing to digital sources. So just for the reference, found three (maha)satipatthanas in the Lanna database. Here, here, here. Lanna script.