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Introduction to the Text
The editions of the text that I employed when making this edition, along with their abbreviations, are as follows:
Text: Buddha Nīti Saṁgrahaya, edited by Rerukāne Candavimala Mahanāhimi; originally published 1952, reprinted Pokuṇavita, 2005.
BJT: Buddha Jayanti Tripitika Series, originally published from the 1950s - 1970s, repinted Colombo, 2005.
Thai: Royal Thai Edition, as found on Budsir for Windows CD-ROM (version 2.0, Bangkok, 1996).
ChS: Burmese edition, as found on the Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana CD-ROM (version 3, Igatpuri, no date, but = 1999).
In the original edition there were 551 verses altogether, and I have maintained that number so that the editions can be easily compared, though as stated in the General Introduction, I have replaced some of the verses with a different selection.
All the verses are drawn from the Tipiṭaka, and as can be seen from the table below around 2/3rds of them are from the Jātaka:
Dīghanikāya (24 = 4%), all but one verse are drawn Sigālasutta DN 31
Majjhimanikāya (2 = 1%)
Saṁyuttanikāya (63 = 11%), all from Sagāthavagga
Aṅguttaranikāya (51 = 9%)
Dhammapada (53 = 9%)
Udāna (3 = < 1%)
Itivuttaka (4 = < 1%)
Suttanipāta (4 = < 1%)
Jātaka (348 = 63%)
There are some interesting omissions here, which include Theragāthā, Therīgāthā, Vimānavatthu, Petavatthu, Buddhavaṁsa, Cariyāpiṭaka, and also the Apadāna, which has the largest collection of verses in the Canon.
I do not propose to give a full analysis of this work, as it is a late collection of texts, and an analysis which ignores stratification in the Canon will add little to our present knowledge, but I will make a few notes on some matters which came to my attention while working on the text.
The main metre is Siloka, and of the 1,373 lines that are found in the present text, 916 are Siloka, and here I am counting a pādayuga as a line. If we count a Siloka as normally being four lines, then we have 2,289 lines of which 1,832 are Siloka.1 They are mainly of the pathyā variety, but with the following variations:
There are 337 lines in the Tuṭṭhubha metre, of which 23 (7%) show the Vedic opening; and there are 79 lines in the Jagatī metre.
Tuṭṭhubha and Jagatī are found mixed in the following 29 verses: 27, 30, 61, 83, 160, 175, 193, 194, 253, 264, 276, 296, 298, 323, 386, 402, 443, 457, 459, 460, showing just how common these mixed verses are.
The following 12 verses are Jagatī throughout: 161, 539, 540, 480-8; verses 517 and 542 have Jagatī lines mixed with Siloka lines.
There are also 29 lines in Vetālīya metre; and 18 in Opacchandasaka metre.
While recording the variant readings, I have ignored differences that don't affect the sense or the metre, like replacement of the niggahīta with one of the nasals; and I have also written -vy- for -by-, wherever it is found, believing these differences to be trivial.
I have recorded another difference that may be considered fairly trivial; it makes no difference to the meaning or to the metre, but I have noted it as it does affect the orthography. These are the alternations that occur in the editions between the retroflexes and the dentals, which occur quite frequently: 5 t/ṭ; 8 d/ḍ; 11 n/ṇ; and 15 l/ḷ; so we find, for instance, that a line like this in the Sinhala editions (vs. 266b): Also in the text adopted here. 2
Aḍḍhā ceva daḷiddā ca sabbe maccuparāyaṇā.
is recorded in the Royal Thai Edition as:
Addhā ceva daliddā ca sabbe maccuparāyanā.
An interesting point here is that in the Royal Thai Edition of the Jātaka it is clear that the editors did not always understand the mattacchandas metres, and have occasionally sought to change them into the more familiar Siloka.
Compare for instance the following verse: The adopted readings are found in all the editions, except that Text and BJT add sammato after sādhu, making it hypermetric. 3
Jā 384 Dhammadhajajātakaṁ (vs 200 here):
Vācāya sakhilŏ manoviduggo,
Channo kūpăsayo va kaṇhasappo,
Dhammadhajo gāmanigamesu sādhu,
Dujjāno purisena bālisena. 
which the Thai edition rewrites as:
Vācāya sakhilo hoti manopavidŭggo siyā,
⏑−−−¦−−⏑−¦¦−⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑− tavipulā with a hypermetric prior line
Paṭicchanno kūpassayo kaṇhasappo va dhămmaddhajo,
−⏑⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−⏑−−¦−−⏑− ravipulā with an irregular cadence
Gāmanigamāsu sādhu sammato dujjāno ayaṁ.
In the following case words have been placed in brackets by the Thai editors, indicating that they believe they are hypermetric, and should be excluded, which would then give an Anuṭṭhubha verse:
Jā 521 Tesakuṇajātakaṁ (vs. 537 here):
Paññā va sutaṁ vinicchinī,
Paññāsahito naro idha
Api dukkhe sukhāni vindati.
which the Thai edition gives as:
Paññā sutavinicchinī paññā (kitti) silokavaḍḍhanī
Paññāsahito naro idha (api) dukkhe sukhāni vindati.
I have given a complete list of the sources for the verses at the end of the text; and have added in a alphabetic line index of all the verses, to facilitate reference.
A complete recitation of the text can be found in the English section of this website, where I have given the Pāḷi along with the English translation.
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last updated: February 2011