Studies in Ven. Buddhadatta's Prosody
(Vinayavinicchaya; Uttaravinicchaya;
Abhidhāvatāra; Buddhavaṁsa-aṭṭhakathā)

An analysis and study of the metres in Ven Buddhadatta’s four main commentaries.



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1: Vinayavinicchaya

2: Uttaravinicchaya

3: Abhidhammāvatāra

4: Madhuratthavilāsinī (Buddhavaṁsa-aṭṭhakathā)



The texts examined in this series are as found on the Chaṭṭha Sangāyana CD-ROM version 3, published by the Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri (no date given, but = 1999). The quotations from the text have been reformatted to comply with the standards employed on this website.

The analysis which follows is what we may call a rough analysis, as it has not proved possible to re-establish the text, owing to the time restraints involved in making these studies. To arrive at a complete and satisfactory text for examination would have required re-editing all four texts, which is obviously beyond the scope of the current enquiry.

I have therefore sometimes made changes to the texts when they seem to be me to be necessary, but they have been made on no other authority than their intrinsic likelihood. They do, of course, affect the description of the metres and their usage, but they are never so great as to affect anything fundamental. The greatest number of changes introduced was in the Vinayavinicchaya, where they amounted to 18 in the whole text (containing 3,200 verses). Any changes that have been introduced into the verses that are quoted in the examples, have been noted in the appropriate place.

These studies, besides describing a more or less unique prosody, which seems to stand somewhere between the Canonical and Classical periods, also provide some excellent examples of Classical metres, some of which are so rare in the literature that they haven't even been described in the prosodic literature itself, so far as I am aware.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
September 2005