Pali Language: the Preserving Language of the Buddha’s Doctrines

Uthai Satiman, Viroj Koomkrong, Phramaha Weeratis Varindho


The aim of this academic article is to illustrate Pali language as original language to preserve the Buddha’s teaching appeared more than 2500 year ago. Pali was the local language where local people communicated in Maghdha state called as Magadhabhasa due to its original source. When the Buddha got enlightenment, he used this Pali for propagating his teaching. The records of the Buddha’s teachings were classified into 3 periods; 1) Dhamma-Vinaya period starting from his great enlightenment, delivering first sermon up to his complete Parinibbana totally was full 45 years. In this time, he preached doctrines by oral method, that is, he taught by himself and then the disciples memorized his words, 2) Tipitaka period starting after his passing away up to the Third Council (around 235 BE). This period the oral tradition still continued in use, 3) post Tipitaka period. In this time, many scholar Buddhist monks tried to explain the true meaning of teachings in Tipitaka which was also divided into 6 sub-periods; commentary age, sub-commentary age and so on. The Pali, therefore has played important roles for continuity of Buddhism. It may be said that Pali never ceases away by time, functioning as a Buddhism safeguard, it is the Buddha’s language recorded in Tipitaka, its commentaries and sub-commentary and so on.

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ISSN: 2539-5777