Saṁvaṅṅanā : The Method Of Explanation In Commentary (Atthakathā) And Sub-Commentary (Tikā) On The Dhammapada

Phra Srigambhirayarn Manit Viriyadharo


This academic article is a part of dissertation entitled ‘Saṁvaṇṇanā: A Study of Explanation Method in Commentary (Aṭṭhakathā) and Sub-commentary (Tikā) on the Dhammapada’ aims at 3 objectives; to study the history and structure of Saṁvaṇṇanā in Theravada Buddhism, to study the types of Saṁvaṇṇanā of Pali literature in Inwa dynasty period of Myanmar and to analyze the explanation method in commentary and sub-commentary on the Dhammapada. The findings were that the Buddha and his disciple had given explanation of Pali terms by themselves. In 9-10 B.E. Ven. Buddhaghosa officially had composed commentaries on Pali, then in 14-18 B.E. some sub-commentators had explained Pali terms of commentators and being used until present. There are 2 types of explanation method; 1) Explanation of general terms consists of 3 kinds; Ullingasaṁvaṇṇanā or the explanation of meaning of Pali terms with ‘Iti’ word as main topic, Vuttisaṁvaṇṇanā or the explanation of meaning of continuing terms without ‘Iti’ word and Sambandhasaṁvaṇṇanā or the explanation of term meanings related to other terms, 2) The explanation of 4 classified terms of Pali; noun explanation, prefix explanation, Nipata explanation and declension explanation. 

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