Commentaries and other Old Texts

Though SC has been focussing on the Tipitaka it might be worthwhile to also collect originals and translation of related literature also as some are not found in central place and also to preserve. Perhaps this can be started with populating PTS translations?

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SuttaCentral focusses on the Early Buddhist Texts and not on the commentaries.
More information you can find in the introduction to Discuss & Discover.
And also in various other posts on this forum like here.
Hope this helps :slight_smile:


Then we have to respect that choice, though I regret it as (translated) commentaries are difficult to find for “ordinary” buddhists like me.
If anyone knows of available downloads of (into English/French/German translated) commentaries, please let me know.
A list of the most important, translated commentaries that are not too expensive, would be welcome, too.

Hardly any commentaries have been translated into any languages. None of the major commentaries have ever been translated into English. The only major commentarial text that has been translated is the Visuddhimagga. Apart from that there are only some collections of stories (Jataka and Dhammapada).

In addition there are translated commentaries to a few suttas and small texts, none of which, so far as I know, are available digitally. Off the top of my head. The ones that I know of (with translator) are:

  • Khuddakapatha (Ñāṇamoḷi)
  • Udāna (Masefield)
  • MN 10 Satipatthana
  • DN1 Brahmajala and DN 2 Sāmaññaphala (Bodhi)
  • Kathāvatthu
  • Sudassanavinayavibhāsā (from Chinese, Vinaya commentary)

There is a Visuddhimagga translation in German, and a few other shorter texts, on
(Scroll down a bit to “Kommentar Literatur”)

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Some BPS Publications offer suttas with selected commentaries if I remember correctly, but it needs some browsing:

Odd, not listed there is Bhikkhu Nyanaponika’s German translation of Buddhaghosa’s AtthasaliniDarlegung der Bedeutung: Der Kommentar zur Dhammasangani (2005 PTS, originally translated ca. 1942).

Also odd to see the title “Bhikkhu”, but it turns out Nyanaponika was ordained in 1936, so at that time of the translation not yet a “Thera”?

I got a copy of this a couple of years ago through AbeBooks, thinking that when I re-read the Dhammasangini (Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids translation) to do it proper, parallel with the Pali, and the Commentary in both Pali and German. The magnitude of that task (the German commentary alone has 650 pages) consigns this task to the back-burner at the moment. (If / when I do get around to it, fashioning an English translation of the commentary wouldn’t add that much to the task.)

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