NEWS

Tobunken-Seminar "Gaṇṭhipada commentaries in Pāli literature. What do we know about this class of commentaries?"

Date and time: February 3, 2020 (Mon.), 4:00-6:00PM

Venue:Room 302, 2nd Conference Room (3rd Floor), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo

Speaker: Petra Kieffer-Pülz(Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz)

Title: Gaṇṭhipada commentaries in Pāli literature. What do we know about this class of commentaries?

Abstract:
The class of Gaṇṭhipada commentaries is very much neglected in our histories of Pāli literature, probably because, first, only few Gaṇṭhipadas survived to date; second, most of the Gaṇṭhipadas in Pāli were commentaries on philosophical (Abhidhamma) and legal texts (Vinaya); third, most Gaṇṭhipadas are known only from quotations in the subcommentarial legal Pāli literature, which is itself an understudied field.
Gaṇṭhipadas originally were mere glossaries of select difficult words (gaṇṭhi = “knotty”, pada = “word”) in a canonical text and its aṭṭhakathā commentary (4th to ca. 10th c. CE). They originated between the 5th/6th and the 18th century in Sri Lanka, Siam, Burma, and possibly in South India, and probably were local commentaries. Texts of greater importance like the Vinaya or the Pātimokkha were commented upon in a number of different Gaṇṭhipadas, which then served as sources for the authors of the subcommentarial Ṭīkā literature (10th to 13th c. CE). The mass of Gaṇṭhipadas to the same mūla text lead to an increase of exegetical discussions in younger Gaṇṭhipadas.
In this talk I will introduce you to the world of the Gaṇṭhipadas trying to show their importance for our knowledge of the time period between the Aṭṭhakathā and the Ṭīkā literature, a period for which we otherwise have little information.