Petakopadesa (Pitaka disclosure)

Yes, bhante. It’s a Pali text publication and translation foundation, founded in 1973, based at Wat Saket in Bangkok, and formerly sponsored by the late King and now by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Its editors and translators are mostly Thai mae chees and ex-bhikkhus who had reached an advanced level in either the Thai or the Burmese pariyatti system before disrobing.

The greater part of their work consists in the transcribing into Thai script of the Burmese Sixth Council texts, supplementing these with variant readings from Khom, Lanna and other regional editions that weren’t represented at the Council, the translation of the same into Thai, and their publication in easily affordable paperback editions. As the Foundation’s volunteers are doing their work for merit rather than money, the quality of their output (predictably enough) is very much higher than that of the monks at Bangkok’s two monastic universities (who are not only paid, but paid by piecework, which often results in hurried and sloppy work).

Of their work to date there probably isn’t much that would greatly interest those involved in EBT studies. The bulk of their output has been atthakathās, ṭīkās and yojanas (mainly to Abhidhamma and Vinaya texts), Pali grammars, and a multi-volume Pali-Thai dictionary.

Here’s a video intro to the Foundation…


Oh, nice, well it’s good work that they’re doing. I had a quick look through the website and, as you say, it was mostly later texts. Which is of course valuable, but it would be nice to see some updated Thai sutta translations!

The Paṭṭhāna seems to be digitized now:

Is there a plan to have the translation of the Paṭṭhāna on SuttaCentral in the near future?

Also, I was wondering, the PTS says that in 2013 they voluntarily released these texts under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence. But isn’t the Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics (the translation of the 1st book of the Abhidhamma) free of copyrights since 2012 anyway (since Mrs C.A.F. Rhys Davids passed away in 1942 so more than 70 years ago)?


I think I was referring to actual digital texts, not just scans. Getting the Patthana into a proper form would take a lot of work, and no, we are not going to undertake it any time soon. However if a volunteer wants to do it, we’d be happy to support them.

It would seem so. But it is, unfortunately, normal for publishers to assert rights that they do not have. Legally, it seems there is no penalty for doing so, so it happens constantly; for example, virtually all the Buddhist roots texts have copyright claims against them, even though obviously there is no copyright. It’s as if I could walk down the street and claim ownership of a house that I happened to like, and that claim would legally stand unless the actual owner contested it in court. :man_shrugging:


Bhante I have posted a link to download a Petakopadesa pdf that seems better to make digital. I would love that.

It seems this pdf can be converted to text easier. It really understandable. It doesn’t even seem scans.


1 Like

Thanks. It is a good quality scan. You can try converting to text if you like, but this kind of complex book usually doesn’t convert well. It will require a lot of hand editing afterwards.

1 Like

Yeah. But I was thinking there was a very good program. I understand. :+1: