What is the future of Sutta Central?


But nowadays we have other materials too that might be slightly easier to work with than stone.


Any ideas? I’m thinking marine grade stainless steel. Cheap, durable, portable, easily inscribed with laser.


The whole idea is not new, and neither is the reason for it:

When the British invaded southern Burma in the mid-19th century, Mindon Min was concerned that Buddhist dhamma (teachings) would also be detrimentally affected in the North where he reigned. As well as organizing the Fifth Buddhist council in 1871, he was responsible for the construction in Mandalay of the world’s largest book, consisting of 729 large marble tablets with the Tipitaka Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism inscribed on them in gold. One more was added to record how it all came about, making it 730 stone inscriptions in total.

But we have modern materials to work with which they did not have back then. So yes, marine grade stainless steel would be good. And do please add one that records how it all came about …


is there a more expanded backstory?


this will be the most expensive Tipitaka to date


If there is a will, there is a way.:slight_smile:


And do future archeologists out of a job? They just love a mystery!

We contacted him and it turns out he had it archived. It’s one of the options available in the DPR. For the DPR of course it had to be massaged somewhat into the form he uses, so we started again from the original XML files from the original.

Not really, it’s nothing compared to the stone Tipitakas in Myanmar or Thailand, or the wooden plates in Korea. In terms of the relative economics, you might even find that the cost of producing engraved stainless steel today is not that different from producing hand-made manuscripts in days not so long past.


not to speak of paleographers/philologists who literally subsist on mystery


Another way to keep SC around is to keep it a good source for information and discussion.
Sometimes I use another site for suttas:
The advantage there is you hover over a pali word and it gives you the translation. It’s mostly chinese or burmese, but a lot in english too. Any chance something like that can be implemented (in an automated way) in the SC pali pages?
And thanks everyone for maintaining and kindly feeding this site!


Like this?

Also available in several other languages from the menu in the left sidebar. And if you click on the bold words in the pink box, it will take you to the page with the full dictionary entries.

But that site you gave also has other language dictionaries so it would be good to have this on SC also in the future.


I’m confused, is this a SC screenshot? if it is this feature doesn’t work with my opera or edge browser.
correction: found it! left sidebar - controls - pali-english



Cool! I was just about to write instructions. Great that it works!


Incidentally, they currently have a donor who is matching donations 1-for-1, so if anyone wants to support them, now’s a good time.


Thanks Bhante.
I cant access the link.


While in this discussion I wish to share a another wonderful project accomplished in Sri Lanka.

Construction and Destruction
Eight centuries after the haughty historic creations of the statues of Galvihara Polonnaruwa, another sinhala hero is leading the way today to regenerate the last historic pride of our past. The person who shoulder this Herculean task of regenerating the down trodden splendor glory and magnificence of the nation, is a Venerable Sinhala Buddhist monk. He is Ven. Egodamulla Amaramoli Threro, the chief incumbent of Vidyasagara Priven Vihara, Monaragala, Rambodagalla, Rideegama, Kurunegala, Ven. Amaramoli Thero is shouldering the gigantic task of carving the Samadhi Buddha Statue 67.5 feet high, utilizing a massive rock situated in the temple Premises, once the carving is completed it will go down in the history as the largest rock carved. Buddha Statue in Sri Lanka.


Fixed now.

Thanks for that. It’s beautifully carved.


Perhaps we should start a world wide Tipitakadhara challenge.

How do monks memorise Sutta

Amazing sati/memory

First noteworthy aspect: When the OP author posted, the same day, a nearly identical question on the DhammaWheel forum, in both cases, the relative powers-that-be immediately responded reassuringly, suspiciously so, and discussion went on from there about the various ins-and-outs of a noble quest to counteract anicca.

One comment noted:
“Not rarely, online interactions are low-efficacy, low-committment, low-quality. From that perspective, it would actually help to shut down various online Buddhist establishments.”

It’s laborious enough trying to sift through material here (either, any forum) while it’s still fresh; imagine some poor anthropologist a millennium or so down the road trying to make sense of it. :smirk:

In my own case, I do occasionally note how fishing for something to add a post about somewhere on a forum reeks of a sort of tanha, the need for some burningly salient viewpoint to “become”; not to mention archiving stuff locally here for future reference as clearly a form of upadana, like stock-piling food or firewood…

sujato 2016-12-16 23:59:21 UTC #2
"Digital data is by its nature transient, and there is no guarantee that any of the data that exists today will survive the many existential threats we face.“
improvateur 2016-12-17 07:57:12 UTC #6
"As technology changes, the problem becomes how to migrate information to the new ‘standard.’ And who will keep a functional museum of obsolete equipment with which to extract data from outdated media that turn up from time to time.”

The picture takes on a certain vividness when one’s been around the block a time or two. After paper-tape and punch cards (I still have boxes of the Fortran II code for Max Matthews’ original “Music V” program), then came ½-inch mag tapes and 3/4-inch DEC-tapes; then 8-inch floppies; I still have boxes of 5-1/4 inch “floppies” (Apple ][ vintage), and 3.5 inch rigid floppies, original low-density and generations of higher densities; not to mention Zip-drives; then CDs, CVDs, and now rapidly proliferating generations of USB media. In another 10-20 years will any of this be readable on then “state-of-the-art” devices? As the old-timers die out, perhaps new generations will take a fascination with resurrecting media.

That something with the label “geek” lasts no more than 10 years – another occasion for Steven Levine’s memorable exclamation “Big Surprise!” (Who remembers him?). With luck, the effects of which (geekdom) will also wear-off, and Buddha Dhamma will again have a life of its own – oral memorization and person-to-person transmission of practice and realization of the teaching.

btw: Some flavors of “geek” lifestyle are comparable to monastic life, or at least “ascetic” – working 20-hour days for months on end. (Think the apocryphal story of Bill Gates showing up for a meeting with high-level IBM executives in clothes he worn for a week or so of all-nighters.) And s/t the spirit of the “warrior”, like the once famed and universally feared Knights Templar: monastic warriors with religious fervor and no fear of death. (Think present-day “jihad” warriors.) As in the fad here in Silicon Valley over the last few years of “hacker Dojos”, where kids hang-out all hours of the day glued to keyboards and screens. The “soterilogical” aspect is just a bit different; no particular goal, other than perhaps spawning a viral “start-up” and becoming a billionaire overnight.


Can we preserve the Buddha’s teaching for another 5000 years?
Perhaps we can. It seems the technology is now available.


If the early Sangha could memorise the teachings, perhaps we could