What is the "Subodha'Lankara, Or Easy Rhetoric"?

Dear all,

I came across a Pali text that seems to be called the ‘Subodha’Lankara’ or Easy Rethoric; but I could not find any information about what it is.


Do you know what that text is?

It’s a treatise by Saṅgharakkhita, a Sinhalese monk of the late 12th century. G.P. Malalasekera gives a brief overview:

“The Subodhālaṅkāra is a work on the art of poetry, as the following table of contents show, apart from the technique of prosody, which is dealt with in the Vuttodaya. It is a learned and important work and treats chiefly of the gāthā verse. It is divided into five chapters: (1) Incongruity of sense and tautology; (2) the art of avoiding such faults; (3) elegance of words and phrases; (4) the elegance of sense and how it can be acquired; (5) the elegance of sound and the art of making verse pleasant to the listener. The work is much used in Ceylon and Burma, where a Nissaya or scholiast has been written on it as late as 1880 called the Alaṅkāra-nissaya.”
(The Pali Literature of Ceylon. pp. 199-200)

There is also a ṭīkā to it by Vācissara the Younger. Both are available online from the Vipassanā Research Institute.


Click on “Anya” and then on “Byākaraṇa gantha-saṅgaho”.


Thank you very much Bhante! :anjal:

My pleasure.

By the way, Malalasekera’s book, along with Mabel Bode’s Pali Literature of Burma, are both available online.

Pali Literature of Ceylon

Pali Literature of Burma

Also available is Mabel Bode’s doctoral thesis on the Burmese monk Paññasāmī, author of the Sāsanavaṃsa.

A Burmese Historian of Buddhism

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Thanks for this Bhante. I downloaded a pdf version of ‘Pali Literature of Ceylon’ after reading the quote you provided, it looks like a useful resource indeed!

I was not aware of the 2 other references you’re providing, thanks for mentioning them.