The Pali Canon, or Tipiṭaka, is the scripture collection of Theravada Buddhism. The name "Pali Canon" is a Western term, apparently invented (in German) by Karl Eugen Neumann in 1892, and comes from Pali, its language, which is similar to Sanskrit. Before 1892, and often after, Western scholars used the Pali name Tipiṭaka. This is one of the names used within the tradition, probably the commonest among Theravadins writing in English. Traditionally, it has often been used in a much broader sense, covering far more literature. Another name used by some scholars is "Theravāda/vādin canon".
The main divisions of the Pali Canon are the three piṭakas (which is what "Tipiṭaka" means):
- the Vinaya-piṭaka (monastic rules)
- the Sutta-piṭaka (Buddhist sermons etc.)
- the Abhidhamma-piṭaka (philosophy and psychology)
For more detail see below.
Non-Theravada forms of Buddhism, which at the present day group themselves under the heading of Mahayana, tend to regard the Tipiṭaka as a sort of "Old Testament". Most scholars recognize the Pali Canon as the earliest source for the Buddha's teachings, in a rough sense.
Evolution of the text
According to a tradition generally regarded favourably by scholars, the Pali Canon was carried down by oral tradition for some centuries after the passing away of the Buddha, and was only put into written form in the last century BC in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), at what came to be recognized as the Fourth Council. The tradition is not unquestioned among scholars, with some suggesting the process was less straightforward. It is, however, unquestioned that the Buddha's teaching was originally transmitted orally.
The climate of Theravada countries is not conducive to the survival of manuscripts. Apart from brief quotations in inscriptions, the oldest known manuscript is a two-page fragment from the 8th or 9th century found in Nepal, other manuscripts begin in the late 15th century, and probably most are from the 18th and 19th. Thus the manuscripts available are the result of multiple copying, with the inevitable errors accumulated. This is compounded by transcription between scripts, as Pali has none of its own, each country generally using its own. This problem was exacerbated on more than one occasion in which some texts were lost in one country and had to be reimported from another. Parts of the Canon were often copied separately, not just in such cases, so the interrelationships between textual traditions are not always the same throughout the Canon. Despite this, manuscripts tend to follow different national traditions, though with some interaction. The Theravādin tradition has been aware of these problems, and at various times groups have gathered to re-edit texts after comparing a variety of manuscripts. A "manuscript" of a peculiar sort is the inscriptions of the Canon approved by the Fifth Council (Mandalay, 1871).
Although printing had been introduced to the area in the 1830s, the first collected edition was apparently published about 1893. (Compare this with the West, where the Bible was the first printed book.) There may have been opposition to printing from some conservative monks. A number of books of the Canon had already been published by Western scholars. The printed edition of the Canon approved by the Sixth Council (Rangoon, 1954-1956), held by all five Theravada countries, is nominally the official edition for the whole of Theravada, but, while the Burmese government does not (or did not as of 1968) allow any other editions to be printed, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Thailand have their own editions. The Buddha Jayanti edition is the standard one in Sri Lanka. The great bulk of the Canon has made it impractical to carry out thorough studies of printed editions, but such sample studies as have been carried out tend to suggest that those published in Theravada countries tend to follow their own national manuscript traditions to a greater or lesser extent. Indian editions are based on Burmese ones. In the West, the Pali Text Society's (founded 1881) edition follows scholarly methods of text criticism, though without a consistent approach; on the whole, it tends to prefer the Sinhalese tradition. Most of it was produced around a century ago, using the very limited source material available then. All editions have their faults, and modern scholars try to compare them.
There are now electronic versions of increasing numbers of editions (the first was completed in 1988). At first, these were transcribed by hand, but more recently photographic reproductions of a number of editions have appeared online. Likewise, increasing numbers of manuscripts can also be viewed online.
First, here is the list of contents of the 6th Council edition, with the books arranged in the order indicated by the volume numbers on the imprints pages of the 2008 Latin-script printing, 
- Vinaya-piṭaka: on monastic discipline, including stories of the occasions for the Buddha's laying down of the rules as well as explanations and "judicial precedents", rulings, mostly by the Buddha, on cases arising, and further analysis; subdivisions in both printed editions and scholarly sources differ from each other
- Sutta- or Suttanta-piṭaka, discourses; divided into five nikāyas, which in the first four instances below, happens to be a collection of scripture of a size that can be printed, in modern times, as one large book, though this involves cutting many repetitions, which has been criticized for changing the emphasis (). The first four of the nikāyas are in a fairly uniform style, mainly prose dialogues, sermons, etc., mostly featuring the Buddha
- Dīgha-nikāya: 34 full-length discourses
- Majjhima-nikāya: 152 moderate-sized discourses
- Saṃyutta-nikāya: thousands of short discourses arranged topically in 56 groups, or saṃyuttas
- Aṅguttara-nikāya: thousands of short discourses arranged by numbers of items listed in them, from 1s to 11s
- Khuddaka-nikāya: a miscellaneous collection of books in prose and/or verse
- Khuddakapāṭha: 9 short texts in prose and/or verse
- Dhammapada: popular book of 423 verses in 26 chapters, topically
- Udāna: 80 "inspired utterances", mostly verse, with introductory narratives, featuring the Buddha
- Itivuttaka: 112 prose pieces followed by verse paraphrases or supplements; the frame formulae ascribe them to the Buddha
- Suttanipāta: basically poetry, but sometimes with prose frames that feature the Buddha
- Vimānavatthu: 85 poems; typically, a monk, most often the Buddha's disciple Moggallāna, addresses a deity giving descriptions of their heavenly "mansion" and asking about the karma leading to them, and the deity answers
- Petavatthu: 51 poems; similar, typically describing sufferings of ghosts and the karma leading to them
- Theragāthā: 264 poems ascribed in colophons to various monks
- Therīgāthā: 73 poems similarly ascribed to various nuns
- Apadāna: about 600 poems, mostly in the names of monks or nuns telling how meritorious deeds in past lives led to good karmic results and eventual nirvana
- Buddhavaṃsa: verse book mainly on previous Buddhas and "our" Buddha's meritorious acts towards them in his past lives, told in the first person with an introductory narrative
- Cariyāpiṭaka: 35 poems about previous lives of the Buddha, told in the first person
- Jātaka: 547 poems; the poetry is often more or less unintelligible through lack of context; the Niddesa says that the Buddha taught them in relation to past births (jāti) of himself as well as others; according to the late Professor Warder, the most popular book of the Canon
- Niddesa: commentary on parts of Suttanipata; traditionally divided into two parts:
- Culla- or Cūḷa-niddesa
- Paṭisambhidāmagga: 30 treatises on various topics
- Netti: treatise on methods of interpretation, in the name of the Buddha's disciple Kaccāna
- Peṭakopadesa: similar and overlapping
- Milindapañha: dialogue between King Milinda and a monk called Nāgasena
- Abhidhamma-piṭaka (philosophy and psychology) These are higher or special teachings, more formal and analytical than the discourses; according to the Vinaya, taught by the Buddha himself. They comprise:
- Dhammasaṅgaṇi: enumeration and classification of mental and physical phenomena
- Vibhaṅga: 18 chapters analysing different topics using, among other things, ideas and material from the previous book
- Dhātukathā: analysis of interrelations among various ideas, mostly from the previous two books
- Puggalapaññatti: classifications of persons
- Kathāvatthu: over 200 debates on doctrinal points; does not identify the disputants
- Yamaka: mostly consists of converse pairs of questions, with answers, in 10 chapters on different topics
- Paṭṭhāna: analysis of 24 types of causal conditionality
More detailed information about the individual books of the Canon can be found in the /Addendum subpage.
Braḥ Traipiṭaka Pāḷi (Cambodia), , is different in the Khuddaka-nikāya: it omits the last three books listed above, and arranges the rest in a different order. Three Thai editions likewise omit those books (). Numerous Western (and Japanese) scholars, from at least 1836 to the present day (see Pali Text Society website), give a list of books in the Canon (with occasional variations in arrangement) agreeing with this.
Buddhajayanti Tripitaka (Ceylon / Sri Lanka), , is in between, including the first two of those books but not the third. It follows the order of the remaining Khuddaka-nikāya books as in the Khmer edition, but has a different order for the Abhidhamma books.
Opinions on canonicity seem to vary even within the same country: for example, one Burmese teacher says the 6th Council added the Netti to the Pali Canon, while another describes it as post-canonical.
The historical background of all this is inevitably more or less obscure. Many people may have expressed opinions on issues of canonicity orally that neither they nor anyone else ever wrote down, many written texts are lost, many survive in manuscript only and have never been printed, and scholars have not carried out a thorough search of all surviving texts for relevant information. In addition there are issues of interpretation. After all, "Pali Canon" is a Western term hardly used, and only recently, within Theravada. A variety of Pali equivalents exist, but none unambiguous, all being often used much more broadly. It seems likely that there was always variation in contents. The earliest source to give detailed lists of contents of the Canon is the Sumaṅgalavilāsinī, Buddhaghosa's commentary on the Dīgha-nikāya, which gives three different ones. The "short" canon above, followed by the Khmer and most Thai editions and by Western scholars, corresponds almost exactly to one of those, and appears frequently in later literature, but is not the only one appearing there. So far, no scholar seems to have published any reference to the inclusion of any of the three "extra" works in the 6th Council Canon before the 19th century, though another work, the Anāgatavaṃsa, seems to be included in the Canon by at least two earlier sources, in the 10th and 18th centuries. It is not clear what proportion of manuscripts of the Canon have been catalogued, but there does not seem to be any overall collation of their contents (though one scholarly source says most Burmese manuscripts include the three books mentioned above, and also the Suttasaṅgaha).
Comparison with other Buddhist canons
The other two major branches of the Buddhist tradition at the present day have their own canons, in Chinese and Tibetan respectively. These three canons differ so substantially that it is misleading to talk of them as different versions of "the Tripiṭaka". Nevertheless, they overlap substantially.
All three canons include versions of the Vinaya and the Dhammapada. The Chinese canon additionally includes versions of the first four nikāyas, the Itivuttaka and the Milindapañha. Also included in one or both of these other canons are versions of parts of certain books: the Suttanipāta, the Apadāna () and the Peṭakopadesa. Likewise, in one or both of these other canons can be found texts similar to the Vimānavatthu, Petavatthu, Jātaka and Abhidhamma. All of these can sometimes shed light on the readings and interpretations of the Canon, though few Pali scholars can make direct use of texts surviving only in non-Indic languages.
According to the Theravada tradition, the Pali Canon is "The Word of the Buddha" (Buddhavacana), and was compiled by the First Council immediately after the Buddha's death, which it dates around 544 BC (scholars nowadays usually say he died around 400 BC, and disagree on whether the council ever took place). Neither statement is intended literally, the Canon in fact including teachings by followers and accounts of events after the First Council (tradition says these latter, and some other material, were added by later councils). Being actually said by the historical Buddha is not a necessary requirement for counting as Buddhavacana. The Canon itself says that whatever is well said is the Word of the Buddha. The tradition holds that the Canon has been accurately transmitted from the Buddha's time to the present day.
Modern scholars are not prepared to accept this position, for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that the Canon is not unique. We have most of another early canon, that of the Sarvastivada, in Chinese translation, together with greater and lesser amounts of various canons in various languages, along with information from secondary sources about the contents of some. These canons are more or less different from the Pali and each other. Scholars reject as implausible Theravada claims that other schools, deliberately or not, added, subtracted and altered while Theravada preserved the exact original teachings.
On the basis particularly of such comparisons, scholars generally divide the Canon, with some disagreement on detail, into earlier and later halves, assuming similar material likely to be earlier than distinctive.
- earlier: the main body of the Vinaya, the first four nikāyas, and some of the more or less poetic books of the Khuddaka-nikāya (there is some disagreement on which ones); versions of these books seem to have been in existence in all schools, and the surviving versions are more or less similar
- later: the Parivāra (last division of the Vinaya), other books of the Khuddaka-nikāya, and the Abhidhamma; these books seem to be either absent altogether in other schools or else quite different from their versions
This division is only rough and ready: "early" texts may include later additions (indeed Tilmann Vetter argues that some significant evolution continued up to the time of the commentaries), while "late" texts may include early elements. (The statement that the Canon is the earliest source is subject to similar qualifications; indeed, Professor Norman criticizes such statements, asking in particular what they actually mean.) The late Professor Warder says that most books were not composed at some particular time but grew over a period. It seems likely this would be generally accepted by other scholars, but subject to a lot of disagreement on details.
However, there remains much disagreement on absolute, as against relative, dates, and on further stratification. There is, after all, almost no hard evidence; relative dating, beyond comparison of different branches of the Buddhist tradition, is based on arguments about the development of ideas, language and metre, while absolute dating uses traditions about when schisms took place (those traditions themselves recorded centuries later and open to question), and comparison with ideas in inscriptions and other archaeological evidence. This of course has not prevented scholars developing all sorts of often quite detailed theories. Professor Gombrich, for example, holds that most of the content of the first four nikayas goes back to the Buddha himself, though not usually in exact words. He himself admits that very few scholars go so far (). He also holds that the Canon was much like its present form after the Third Council about 250 BC, with perhaps some Khuddaka-nikaya books as the only substantial later additions. Perhaps at the other extreme within the mainstream point of view is the late Professor Nakamura, who held that only parts of the Suttanipata go back to the Buddha's lifetime, the first four nikayas were compiled some time after c. 230 BC, and some of the Canon was at least as late as the 2nd century AD.
A few scholars are outside this mainstream view. Professor Schopen rejects the argument that similar material is likely to be earlier than distinctive, arguing to the contrary that it is likely to result from later harmonization; he criticizes the practice of preferring texts, which he says are of uncertain, perhaps very late, date, to inscriptions, which he says are usually datable fairly accurately and often quite early. And Professor Samuel holds that a wide range of teachings were in circulation in early Buddhism, and that it was only some centuries after the Buddha's time that some schools started rejecting some; so that the Canon was created by subtraction rather than mainly by addition, largely by the 5th century commentators.
Like Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, and unlike Christianity and Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada emphasizes the scriptural language. Study and recitation are usually in Pali. By Theravada traditionalists, Pali has been regarded as the "root language", the "language of reality", the language of gods, ghosts, talking animals and wolf-children ().
Scholars classify Pali within the family of Indo-European languages, more specifically Middle Indic. Like other literary languages, Pali is not a pure vernacular dialect, but a mixture of dialects, including Sanskrit. It cannot, however, be assumed that the Pali Canon was originally composed in Pali rather than transposed from some other dialect(s). Much could depend on definitions: how much does a dialect have to change before it counts as a different dialect? Scholars differ on how close it is to the dialect(s) spoken by the Buddha himself.
Pali is not a completely uniform language. Warder distinguishes between canonical and later Pali. Geiger subdivides each of these into prose and verse languages, with canonical verse in a more archaic form of language than canonical prose. Oberlies mentions stratification within the canonical language, without giving full details, and says the Netti and Peṭaka are close to canonical Pali, but the Milinda is not (Geiger agrees on the Milinda, but says nothing on the other two). There are spelling differences between countries to this day, and pronunciation differs much more ().
According to Professor von Hinüber, some of the canon was composed after Pali ceased to be a living language.
For more information, see the separate article on Pali.
Translations of the Canon as a whole have been published in Chinese, Japanese, Khmer (), Sinhalese () and Thai. Bengali, Burmese and English translations are in progress; the Pali Text Society currently publishes translations of most of the books listed as the PTS canon, and of substantial portions of all of the remainder. There are also translations of parts of the Canon in many languages. There are dozens of English translations of the Dhammapada. A number of anthologies have appeared, though these do not usually attempt to be representative, rather focus on the earlier texts.
In theory, the Canon is the highest authority for the teaching. In practice, the situation varies. In a visit to a monastic university in Vientiane, Justin McDaniel found two complete editions of the Canon (Burmese and Thai), both apparently unused. Professor Collins suggests that the importance of the Canon lies in the idea of it, not in its actual contents.
The Canon's great bulk (editions without extra material, such as translations, tend to be around 40 volumes) means few are familiar with it as a whole. Therefore there is a tendency to specialize. The Vinaya-piṭaka mentions vinaya and sutta specialists. The Milindapañha mentions specialists in each of the five nikāyas. The commentaries mention abhidhamma specialists. In modern times, those wishing to be ordained as monks in Sri Lanka have had to memorize the Dhammapada. In Myanmar one can earn the title Teacher of Religion (Dhammācariya) by passing an examination where the set texts are the first volume of each piṭaka; similarly, an incomplete Lao edition of the Canon published in 1957 comprises the first volume of each piṭaka, though these volumes are shorter than the Burmese ones.
The Canon was composed, or evolved, for the most part orally, and is adapted to that medium, and so to memorization, with a lot of repetition, for example. There are rare cases of monks who know the whole Canon by heart, and many know substantial parts. Even lay people usually know a few short passages.
Many commentaries have been written on books of the Canon, including subcommentaries, i.e. commentaries on commentaries, and further layers. Commentaries comprise three main types of material: linguistic analysis, explanation of the teachings, and stories, particularly giving background context for the teachings, but also sometimes just illustrative. The vast majority of this literature is connected with just four names.
Buddhaghosa was an Indian monk working in Ceylon in the 4th or, more likely, the 5th century. Traditionally ascribed to him are a handbook of the teachings called Visuddhimagga (Path of Purity or Purification) and a series of commentaries covering most of the Canon (omitting some of the Khuddaka-nikāya). The authenticity of some of these works has been disputed. The works ascribed to him are largely based on earlier commentaries in Old Sinhalese, now lost apart from a few quotations in mediaeval Sinhalese literature.
Dhammapāla was a monk of South India, for whom various dates have been suggested from the 5th century to the 10th. Tradition ascribes to him commentaries on several books of the Khuddaka-nikāya, subcommentaries on the first three nikāyas, and a subsubcommentary on the Abhidhamma. Again, the authenticity of some is disputed. The late Professor Cousins suggests Dhammapāla was less anti-Mahayana than Buddhaghosa.
Sāriputta worked in Ceylon in the 12th century; he wrote subcommentaries on the Vinaya and Aṅguttara; in addition to his own works there are many commentaries by his pupils on various Vinaya and Abhidhamma handbooks. Works produced in Ceylon in this period account for almost a third of all major post-canonical Pali works (). Professor Gornall argues that these works attempt to convey the essence of the commentaries, which Sāriputta, unlike Dhammapāla, treats as equal to the Canon, that essence having been obscured by previous subcommentators.
Ñāṇakitti worked in Thailand around 1500. He wrote subcommentaries on the Vinaya and Abhidhamma. He focuses on linguistic analysis, which may explain why his works have had much less currency and influence than the other writers mentioned here.
Collected editions of the primary commentaries (by Buddhaghosa, Dhammapāla and others) published in Theravada countries, like those of the Canon itself, vary somewhat in contents. A Thai edition catalogued by Dr Skilling comprises exactly one commentary on each book in the standard Thai editions of the Canon (as above). The Burmese edition scanned at  and the Sinhalese edition issued by the trustees of the Simon Hewavitarne Bequest also include a commentary on the Netti, and a few other works (not all the same ones). When it comes to the Burmese collected edition of subcommentaries at  (including some by Sāriputta and others attributed to Dhammapāla), this practice of uniqueness no longer applies, with for example three subcommentaries on the Vinaya included.
Little study has gone into this. Some of the poetry has been spoken of favourably. The Milindapañha, included in some editions, was described by Rhys Davids as the greatest work of classical Indian prose, but Winternitz said such claims were true only of the earlier portions.
There is no generally accepted system of referencing passages in the Canon. Western scholars generally refer to the Pali Text Society editions, using volume/page/line for most of the Canon.
For more details click on the Bibliography and Addendum tabs at top of this page.
- Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte, ed Max Deeg et al, page 223, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press (February 8, 2011)
- , page 24
- Encyclopædia Britannica, 2002 printing, volume 11, page 791 (article Tipitaka)
- Mousa, World Religions Demystified, McGraw-Hill, 2014, page 35; Schopen, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1997, pages 23f / reprinted from Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, volume 10 (1985), page 9 / also quoted in "The historical authenticity of early Buddhist literature: a critical evaluation", Vienna Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol XLIX (2005)/, page 37; the latter reference, though mentioning that this is the general view, is critical
- Gethin, Buddhist Path to Awakening, Brill, Leiden / New York / Köln, 1992, page 8
- Berkwitz, South Asian Buddhism, 2010; a more specific theory is given at 
- , page 210
- Norman in Buddhist Heritage, ed Skorupski, 1989, page 47; reprinted in his Collected Papers, volume IV, Pali Text Society, page 116
- Bechert & Gombrich, World of Buddhism, Thames & Hudson, London, 1984, page 78; see also Wiles et al in Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXXIV / 
- Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, Cornell University Press, 1975, page 277
- Buddhist Manuscript Cultures, ed Berkwitz et al, Routledge, 2009, page 60
- Pratidanam (Kuiper Festschrift), Mouton, The Hague/Paris, 1968, page 497
- Journal of Burma Studies, volume 19, number 1, June 2015, page 107, note 52
- Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, volume 112, pages 353f
- Routledge Encyclopedia of Buddhism, page 288
- varying between editions
- The passage is translated in Suttanipāta, tr. Bodhi, pages 1301f
- Book of the Discipline, volume VI, page 123
- The exact number varies depending on how the material is divided.
- Turnour, Epitome of the History of Ceylon, pages CXI-CXIII
- Sayadaw Nandamāla, Introduction to Nettipakaraṇa, page 5
- Rewata Dhamma, The Buddha and His Disciples, Dhamma Talaka Pubns, Birmingham, 2001, page 91
- ; A Textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikāya, Oliver Abeynayake, Colombo, 1984, pages 38-40, cited in Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed G. P. Malalasekera, Government of Sri Lanka, volume VI, fascicle 2, 1999, pages 209f.
- Elizarenkova & Toporov, The Pali Language, Nauka, Moscow, 1976, page 40
- Warder, Indian Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 3rd edition, 2000, pages 496f
- Nakamura, Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, pages 40-43
- Warder, pages 493f; Nakamura, 1980, pages 33-39
- Warder, page 495
- Nakamura, page 114, note 5
- Warder, pages 494f
- Stefano Zacchetti, "An early Chinese translation corresponding to Chapter 6 of the Peṭakopadesa: An Shigao's Yin chi ru jing T603 and its Indian original: a preliminary survey", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 65.1 (2002), pages 74ff
- Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, Oxford World Classics, 2008, page xv
- The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications / Pali Text Society, page 1120; Gradual Sayings, Pali Text Society, volume IV, page 112
- See e.g. [https://www.academia.edu/24142977/Review_of_Richard_F._Gombrich_What_the_Buddha_Thought_London_Equinox_2009_ ].
- Predicting the Future, ed Howe & Wain, Cambridge University Press, 1993, page 152
- Compare the following: Oliver Abeynayake, A textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikaya, Colombo, 1984, p. 113; Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications / Pali Text Society, 2012, page 1591, note 3, citing John Kelly, "The Buddha's teachings to lay people", Buddhist Studies Review, volume 28 (2011), pages 3-77; 
- Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, volume 38, pages 158f
- The following, for example, suggest some elements of Abhidhamma are early: Cousins, Pali oral literature; Cousins in (Penguin) Handbook of Living Religions, 1984/5, page 289; Gethin, Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press, 1998, pages 47, 83; Warder, Indian Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1970/1980/2000, pages 8, 196, 212
- "The value of the Pāli tradition", Jagajjyoti: Buddha Jayanti Annual: 1984, 1-9 / Collected Papers, volume III, Pali Text Society, 23-44
- Path of Discrimination, Pali Text Society, 1982, page xxix
- Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 1st edition, 1988, pages 127f, 132f / 2nd edition, 2006, pages 128f, 133
- Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980 (reprinted Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi), particularly pages 32, 45f, 48f
- "Archaeology and Protestant presuppositions in the study of Indian Buddhism", History of Religions, 31 (1991), 1-23 / Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks, University of Hawai'i Press, 1997, 1-22
- A number of other scholars have said or suggested that some material has been lost or deliberately removed from the Canon at various points in its evolution: e.g. Path of Discrimination, Pali Text Society, pages xxxiii, xxxviii; Norman, Pali Literature, 1983, pages 79 (note 316), 95; Hinüber, Handbook of Pali Literature, 1996, pages 55, 61; see also Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom/PTS, page 488.
- Introducing Tibetan Buddhism, Routledge, 2012, pages 47f
- Introduction to Pali, Pali Text Society
- Pali Literatur und Sprache, 1916; Pali Lterature and Language, revised by the author, Calcutta, 1943
- Pali Grammar, volume I, Pali Text Society, 2019, pages 7f
- Handbook of Pali Literature, de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996, page 66
- , page 284
- Nakamura, Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980 (reprinted by Motilal, Delhi), page 24, note 10
- , page 25
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XV, page 104
- Friedgard Lottermoser, "Buddhist monastic education in Myanmar", in Buddhism in Global Perspective, ed Kalpakam Sankarnarayan, Ichijo Ogawa & Ravindra Panth, Volume 1, Somaiya Publications, Mumbai/Delhi, 2003, pages 248f; the full text of the Pali Univerity and Dhammācariya Act, Act No. XLVII of 1950, can be found (in English) in Heinz Bechert, Buddhismus, Staat und Gesellschaft in den Ländern Theravāda-Buddhismus, Band III (Band XVII/3 der Schriften des Instituts für Asienkunde in Hamburg), Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1973, pages 488-94; E. Michael Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1975, page 367
- Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 1st edition, 1988 / 2nd edition, 2006, page 153; more specifically, a Burmese monk named Vicittasāra: Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, 1975, page 266; some editions of the Guinness Book of Records mention his recitation from memory of 16000 pages of Buddhist canonical texts
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, page 134
- that on the Aṅguttara was superseded by Sāriputta's, and seems not to have survived in full
- , page 160
- Rewriting Buddhism, , pages 90-93
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, pages 128f
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, pages 136
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVII, pages 55-58
- Questions of King Milinda, volume I (Sacred Books of the East, volume XXXV), page xlviii: 
- Geschichte der indischen Litteratur, Vol. 2, Die buddhistische Litteratur und die heiligen Texte der Jainas. Leipzig: C.F. Amelang, p. 141 / History of Indian Literature, volume II, University of Calcutta, 1933, page 176