Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Introduction to Pabbajjavinicchaya (1)

The exposition:
The decision on the state of being ordained
In this introduction I would like to discuss on the subject matter of definition of pabbajja (ordination) and the current practice that is relevant to the understanding of an ordination. I will also include the feature of pæli construction and its difficulty involved in the translation.
 I have translated the pabbajjavinicchayakathæ (the exposition of disciplinary decision upon Ordination) from vinayæla³kæra tikæ into English. This vinayæla³kæra tikæ was written by Taungphilar Sayædaw, a learned Burmese monk, at the request of the monks who were living around Taungphilar hill, Sagaing Division, Myanmar. His sub-commentary was to be based upon commentarial source of vinayasa³gaha a¥¥hakathæ written by Særiputtathera, a commentary to the vinaya canon. This vinayasa³gaha commentary is however different from samantapæsædika, the oldest commentary to the vinaya canon composed by the Buddhaghosa around fifth century. The vinayasa³gahaa¥¥hakathæ different from the samantapæsædika is that it is only dedicated on the monastic procedures and activities of the monks. According to the information reported in vinayasa³gaha a¥¥hakathæ, the date of composition is considered to be around 1153-1186. There are 34 sections in the vinayæla³kæra sub-commentary which are dealt with the different aspect of monastic procedures and activities, and the Pabbajjaviniccayakathæ [the exposition of disciplinary decision upon Ordination] is included as the 22nd section. The author, Taungphilar Sayādaw, also known as tipi¥akæla³kæra sayædaw, willingly devoted his life to the progress of Buddhism and the welfare and happiness of the others all over the land. He was well versed in Tipi¥aka, astrology, etc, and completed his work of writing this sub-commentary by 1647 AD (Vinayæla³kæra¥økæ, vol, 2, p-432). Pabbajjaviniccayakathæ in Vinayæla³kæra ¥økæ contains 37 pages [page number 229 to 266].  I, however, could have it done only 11 pages [page number 229 to 240] due to word limitation in this field.

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