Sad news : sudden death of Dr. Primoz Pecenko
- Dear friends
I am forwarding the heart broken news of the sudden death of Dr. Primoz Pecenko, a well respected Pali teacher, a good friend to some members in our list. He is not noly a great Pali scholar, but also a energetic practitioner of Buddhist Vipassana meditation. I shall always remember all the good he has done for me.
with much metta
Subject: Primoz Pecenko
Date: August 6, 2007 3:52:33 PM CDT
It is with great sadness that we must inform you of the sudden and
unexpected death of Dr Primoz Pecenko, Senior Lecturer in Eastern
Religions and Co-Director of the Centre for Buddhist Studies at the
University of Queensland. Primoz was also an Executive committee member
of the Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies (AABS), a friend to
many of us, and an important contributor to our organization. Primoz
suffered a heart attack on the evening of the 1st August while out
walking with his family and dog. This was a few days short of his 60th
Primoz, who completed a Masters degree at Pune in India and a PhD at the
Australian National University, was a major figure in Buddhist Studies
in Australia and his passing represents a great loss to our discipline.
He and his wife, Dr Tamara Ditrich, with whom he shared the positions at
the University of Queensland, have worked tirelessly to maintain
Buddhist Studies at the University of Queensland and to promote Buddhist
Studies in Australia.
Primoz's specialization was in Pali commentarial literature,
particularly the sub-commentaries (.tiikaa), a field that has been
little researched. One of his major contributions to this field is his
edition of the sub-commentary on the Anguttaranikaya
(Anguttaranikayatika. 3 vols. to date, Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1996,
1997, 1999). A fourth volume was in progress. This represents only the
second critical edition of a Pali sub-commentary. Primoz also
contributed to our understanding of this class of Pali literature
through several important articles, including "Sariputta and his works"
(Journal of the Pali Text Society 23, 1997: 159-79) and
"Linatthapakasini and Saratthamanjusa: The Puranatikas and the Tikas on
the Four Nikayas" (Journal of the Pali Text Society 27, 2002: 61-113).
Primoz presented a stimulating paper in the AABS seminar series on Pali
commentarial literature, entitled "Pali texts and their manuscripts: a
case of 'lost' manuscripts mentioned in old Pali bibliographic sources,"
in April, 2006.
Many of Primoz's publications are in his native tongue, Slovenian. This
includes numerous Slovenian translations of Pali texts, such as the
Dhammapada (2001) and Milindapanha (1989, 1990), plus translations of
individual suttas, such as the Mahasatipatthana-sutta (1988).
At the time of his death, Primoz was engaged in several important and
interesting research projects. One entailed editing a Pali commentarial
text that was previously thought to have been lost, but was discovered
by him in Burma. Apart from making this text available to scholars in
the form of a critical edition, this work promised to throw light on the
creation of commentaries, the nature of the commentarial project, and
other hitherto little understood aspects of this field. Another research
project entailed the study of the Kuthodaw Pagoda Inscriptional Complex
in Burma, which would have helped to establish the relationship between
this "edition" of the Pali canon and other versions current in the
Theravada Buddhist world. It further promised to contribute towards our
understanding of textual authority in Buddhist communities. Primoz was
also working on Buddhist meditation in theory and practice and Pali
Much of Primoz's research was funded by grants from such prestigious
bodies as the Pali Text Society, the Australian Research Council, and
ANU and University of Queensland research fellowships.
At the University of Queensland Primoz taught Pali, Sanskrit, and
courses on Buddhism, Hinduism, and World Religion, and supervised
numerous postgraduate students including many international students. He
was well-respected and liked by his students and will be greatly missed.
Primoz's premature death robs us of a wonderful colleague, an admired
teacher, and a great Pali scholar, who undoubtedly would have gone on to
improve our understanding of Pali texts, specifically Pali commentarial
The Executive Committee of the AABS would like to extend our condolences
to Tamara and Alexander, Primoz's son. We wish them strength at this
Sotthi te hotu sabbadaa 願幸福永遠伴隨您May there always be happiness for you
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