Pali and Sanskrit in Sri Lanka
- Dear Mahipaliha,
[I hope you read this, after starting a new thread]
> I taught Sanskrit in a Sri Lankan universityI was wondering whether you could advise a westerner thinking of
> and courses in Hinduism
> and Buddhism in a US university. Several non-SL students sought my
> assistance in learning Pali, which I willingly gave. Now, however,
> living in retirement, I see the self-assertive aspect of the acdemic
> enterprise more clearly than I did before.
studying Pali and Sanskrit in Sri Lanka. Are there foreign students
from western countries who pursue such graduate studies in Sri Lanka.
The relation between Pali and Sanskrit is a question that keeps
arising in my studies and is a topic I would like to pursue in further
detail. For example, how the different shastra applied sciences
(astronomy, medicine, arthasastra, etc...) were translated into Pali
or coexisted alongside Pali and were used in Pali writing, for
instance. Today someone even sent a query about indigenous Burmese
astronomical works to the Burma list. I know of one Sanskrit treatise
but could think of nothing in Pali or Burma-specific. Often searches
for shastra related books come up empty handed, as if the books had
been purged or disappeared, or heavily guarded.
Some examples of questions: Geiger claims an author of the Mahavamsa
was influenced by Kautilya's Arthasastra. Were Kamandaki's aphorisms
on political science a condensation of Kautilya's Arthasastra? The
Thai military treatise Phichai Songkram (Victorious warfare)
supposedly came from Burma but the title is Sanskrit? Historians of
Burma often claim that nearby Manipur was a conduit for Sanskrit into
Burma, but some items of the famous 1442 Pagan book list in Mabel
Bode's history of Pali literature in Burma are Sanskrit. The four
upayas (bheda, sama, danda, dana) found in the Mon Rajadhirat history
seem to come from a Sanskrit source since they are originally found in
Kautilya's Arthasastra. Much of the Burmese Lokapa~n~natti treatise on
cosmology was originally Sanskrit (Lokapraj~napti). There seems to be
a lot of shared intellectual history on the Bay of Bengal with flows
of people and books between Sri Lanka, Burma, Arakan, and the West
Coast of India.
Anyway, sorry if I gave too many examples, but the combination of
Sanskrit and Pali or Sanskrit in a predominantly Pali culture seems to
be a perplexing combination.
Any advise you could give would be appreciated. It is very nice to
have this opportunity to talk to an expert.
- --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jon Fernquest" <bayinnaung@...> wrote:
> Dear Mahipaliha,
> [I hope you read this, after starting a new thread]
I'll try to answer some of your questions, though nowadays this kind
of thing doesn't interest me much. This might initiate a long
conversation, so I need to take time, as I am occupied with some other
matters right now. And, please, don't treat me as an expert. It feels
more comfortable to be known as one who is prone to make mistakes.I
must make it known that I am an 82 year old man with failing memory.
So pl. don't expect too mush from me.
Thanks and best wishes.
- Dear Mahipaliha
> I'll try to answer some of your questions...IDon't worry.
> must make it known that I am an 82 year old man with failing memory.
> So pl. don't expect too much from me.
Thank you for all your help.
I'm just a beginner who is very happy to have the opportunity
to listen to a teacher of Sanskrit.
Also I'm very interested in Sri Lanka and its history
and hope to go there one day.
With metta, Jon Fernquest