On the problem of Paisaci i got this piece of information
from my friend Dr Sven Bretfeld (Indology/Buddhology departments of
University Goettingen & Basel):
It is such a thing with Paisaci. It is described in the sources
as a "language of the ghosts" what the name also literally means
(pisaca=ghost). I believe that one has doubted long whether this
language really existed. However, the Indian grammarians knew and dealt
A famous story collection (lost a long time ago) was
written in Paisaci, the Brhatkatha of Gunadhya. The
connection with the Pali is, I believe, not clear. As far as I
remember, in a Sarvastivada list of canonical texts (or was in any
Tibetan historiographic text? [see below Dimitry's link] ), it is mentioned
Theravadins have had a canon in Paisaci. But this might be based on
unawareness and the usual Buddhist addiction to systematization. Pali is,
as I learned, likely to be the language that Mahinda has spoken. This
is, actually, logical, because he has brought the canon, as it is used
today in the Theravada countries, from his home (Ujjaini). But it is
nevertheless not a natural, but an artificial language which has been
reworked only in the course of the time (in addition see: O. von Hinuber,
"Pali as in Artificial Language", Indologica Taurinensia, vol. X
(1982), 133-140). Anyway Pali is not Magadhi as the Singhalese believe it to
be spoken by the Buddha. Few text
pieces only have been handed down completely which are written in Paisaci.
addition F.B.J. Kuiper, " The Paisaci fragment of the Kuvalayamala ",
Indo-Iranian journal 1 (1957), 229-240 in. As far as I know, the
thesis that Pali and Paisaci are identical is confirmed neither by
this fragment nor by the Indian grammarians. The grammarian Hemacandra
expels, e.g., the replacement of voiced by voiceless consonants as a
characteristic of the Paisaci: tamotara for damodara, nakara for
nagara etc this is not very much close with the Pali.
The Paisaci is indeed mentioned in Tibetan historical text as a
language of Theravada canon.
"A late Tibetan history, from the fourteenth century, records the
regions where the four main sects of Buddhism flourished and the
languages used for the scriptures. According to it, the Sarvastivada
flourished in Kashmir and Gandhara and used Sanskrit. The Theravada in
western India in the area of Ujjaini recited the scriptures in the
Paishac¬ language, a variety of prakrit very close to Pali. The
Mahasanghika was in the Maharashtra area and used Maharashtri, and the
Sammitiya in the Shurasena area used Shuraseni."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Дмитрий Алексеевич Ивахненко (Dimitry A. Ivakhnenko)"
To: "Robert Eddison" <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 1:57 PM
Subject: [Pali] Paishaci version
> Dear Pali friends,
> One can read in the article:
> "The Theravada in western India in the area of Ujjaini recited the
> scriptures in the Paishac¦ language, a variety of prakrit very close
> to Pali."
> and on the website:
> "The Abhidharma is the glory of the Sthaviravada school and consists of
> 7 treatises. All the versions of the Pitaka were actually based upon
> one common original in Magadhabhasa (the dialect used by the Buddha).
> Therefore the Pali version of the Tripitaka was not the original
> version. Pali is a literary form of Paisaci that is supposed to be the
> spoken dialect of Ujjayini (therefore the home of Paisaci is at
> Ujjayini or more accurately about the Vindhya mountains). Because
> there was a version of the Pitaka in Paisaci therefore the Pali
> Tripitaka is probably based upon this version."
> an opinion that Pali originated from Paishaci prakrit,
> spoken in Ujjaini (western India).
> Can you please tell more about the Paishaci language and the
> feasibility of this version?
> Thank you in advance,
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Yahoo! Groups members can set their delivery options to daily digest or
> [Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net
> [Send Message] firstname.lastname@example.org
> [Mailing List] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pali
> [Discussion] http://www.tipitaka.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
Do you Yahoo!?
New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!