James De Alwis.

A descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, & Sinhalese literary works of Ceylon online

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xxu pm:rA( K.

I bPi? again to press o)i the atteution of Government the
great desirability of forming such a Library, and the mani-
fold and lasting advantages which will accrue thereby to
the Sinhalese Nation and the English Community, not to
speak of the benefits which will be derived theretrora by
Scholars in Europe, and by distinguished Travellers who
visit Ceylon.

From the Coloni^v^ Secretarv to Mr. Jajies Alwis.

Colombo, 4th January, 1870.

Having laid before the Governor and the Executive
Council vour letter of the 8th ultimo, submitting suggestions
for the establishment of a Pali, Sanskrit, and Sinhalese
Library. I am desired to inform you that the project meets
with the entire approval of the Government, and that His
Excellency will be prepared to apply to the Legislative
Council for the necessary funds to carry it into effect.

It is His Excellency's wish that you should take a leading
part in the formation of the Library, and he would be glad
if you Avould from time to time furnish Lists of the Books
which you think should be procured, naming what you
consider a fair price for them, and suggesting in each case
the best agency for conducting the negotiations.

The object of this Preface, is not so much to give
information on the establishment of a Library, as to
explain the plan of the Descriptive Catalogue. Yet, as
the one is inseparably connected with the other, I may
briefiy allude to the steps which are being taken for the
formation of " the Government Oriental Library of


The Legislative Council of Ceylon has voted the funds
necessary for immediate expenditure ; and Connnittees
composed of influential priests and laymen, under
the presidency of Government Agents, have been
appointed by the Government in the Sabaragamuwa
District, in Galle, and in Mdtara, to secure in the first
instance, what I am glad to find Professor Max Miiller
in his letter on the subject to the Secretary of State
for the Colonies,* calls — "the important" viz., "the
sacred literature of Buddhism." I believe these Com-
mittees are actively engaged in the work of transcrip-
tion assigned to them, and I trust the time Avill not be
long before the existence of a Public Oriental Library
in Ceylon will be a fact. The Government have also
secured the benefit of a revision of a portion of the
canonical works of 'Buddhism, made by a body of learned
priests under the presidency of the learned High
Priest of Adam's Peak, in the monastic establishments
of Sabaragamuwa. The only want hitherto felt for
rendering this copy as accurate as possible, was that of
a complete copy of the Burmese Code, which had been
taken away many centuries ago from this Island ; but
I believe there is every probability of this being soon
obtained from the king of Burma. It is not possible
to purchase all the MSS., but where the writing pre-
sents undoubted evidences of high antiquity, it would be
desirable, as remarked by Professor Max Miiller, "that
the original MSS. should be bought and preserved;"

* See Appendix A.


and I see no objection to his proposal " to presei'A'e
carefully-made copies (of them) in Ceylon, and to
transfer the originals to England," where they would
be (not only) in safer keeping than elsewhere, but
would be more thoroughly examined and published
than in Ceylon,

Application has also been made to the authorities
at Burma ; and a copy of the Tepitaka consisting of
42 vols, is on its way to Ceylon ; and it is not unlikely
that a similar application to the king of Siam will
secure to the Colony the benefit of the version extant
in that country. The advantages to be derived from
an intercomparison of these versions with our own
cannot be overrated.

Such are briefly the facts connected with the proposed
Library: and, though its establishment, (which may
be looked upon as an accomplished fact), has in a great
measure rendered an alteration in the original design
of the Descriptive Catalogue necessary ; yet, since it
Was impossible to frame a classified Catalogue until
the very last MS. had been examined, and it would
be difficult to say when that would be possible ; and
since much valuable time, which could be devoted to
printing, would, in the meantime, be lost ; I resolved,
as desired by Mr. Murdoch, to afford "information to
Oriental scholars respecting the numerous works which
still exist," and to publish a description of each book as
it presented itself, without reference to any alphabeti-
cal order of names, or to the subjects which it treated
upon, — purposing, however, when this has been done,


to frame a "classified Index," wliicli should serve all
the purposes of the Catalogue originally designed, and
which might moreover be regarded as the official
Catalogue of the Government in connection with the
Library it has established.

The following sheets are issued as a specimen of the
Descriptive Catalogue, preparatory to the official
Classified Catalogue, the framing of which, with the
assistance of the former, will be comparatively easy,
and can be completed at the same time as the Library.
A few words may here be necessary in explanation
of the plan of my work.

With a view to concentrate as much information as
could be collected into one book from different sources,
— information which is much sought for by European
inhabitants of Ceylon, and by natives, as well as by
Oriental scholars in Europe, — I have availed myself of
my own previous labours, as well as of those of other
writers, after due acknowledgment. Where a work
appeared to possess more than ordinary interest, e. g.,
Tepitaka or Dipiivansa, I have, within legal bounds,
either noticed or embodied all the ti-anslations hitherto
made and scattered in various periodicals ; and have,
whenever possible, given a brief analysis of the unpub-
lished portions.

Though exception has been taken by some to the
course thus pursued, I see no valid objection to it,
except on the score of delay and bulk. As for " delay,"
there can be none, since, the materials are already at
hand, and have scarcely taken any time in the printing;



and a!« to "bulk," that is a matter more for my consi-
deration, than that of others. It has also been urged,
that it was " useless to include in this what was in
everybody's hands." Now, though this might be said
of my remarks under the title of Attanagaluwansa,
which previously formed part of the Preface attached
to my Translation of that work ; yet I may remark
that the Attanagaluwansa* has not had the circulation
which some have supposed, and that, as remarked by
European friends in Ceylon, whose opinions are enti-
tled to weight, "if the object of the * Descriptive
Catalogue' is to concentrate all the information re-
garding a particular work, including the subject on
which it treats, twenty-eight pages devoted for such
a purpose is an advantage rather than the reverse."
As regards the observations under the title of Kach-
chayana, a cursory perusal of them will shew the cause
which rendered them necessary. They are intended
more to correct a previous erroneous identification of
the author by myself, than for any display.

The space which I intend to devote to a proper
elucidation of different important topics connected
with the Tepitaka may, I trust, be not deemed too
great. No one has yet examined the entire text of
the Pali, much less its huge Comment. The time

* This work has not yet been completed ; and the Text is still
in the press. Only a few copies of the Translation have been
forwarded to England, and to some friends on the Continent of


indeed is far distant before such an examination can
be accomplished. In the meantime, great misappre-
hensions exist as to the real words of Buddha, his
doctrines, the authenticity of the Pali version, the
supposed admixtures into it by his pupils, the date
when it was consigned to writing, the age of its lan-
guage, etc, etc. It is therefore my intention, in the
article devoted to the consideration of Tepitaka, briefly
to notice many of the above points, and to refer to facts
and circumstances which may perhaps appear new to
many. My views may be incorrect, my inferences
wrong, and my readings inaccurate; and yet those very
errors will, I am persuaded, lead to investigations
which — as in the case of Kachchtiyana's Pali Gram-
mar — may result in the ascertainment of facts previously
unknown, or discoveries interesting to the students of

As to the only other titles under which lengthy
extracts have been admitted, viz., the Mahawansa and
Dipawansa, the course is justified by the interest which
attaches to the extracts, and the scarcity of the works
from which those extracts have been made. Except
in these instances, and few others, I have not thought
proper to elaborate particulars beyond describing the
work, ascertaining the name of the author, fixing his
age, and presenting the reader with a specimen of each
writer, with a translation such as I was able to produce
according to my humble ability, aided and directed by an
accomplished Pandit "whose critical acumen" has been
already acknowledged by learned Eurojiean Scholars.


It. is perhaps needless for me to say, that, with all
the attention I have bestowed, there still appear errors
of both omission and commission; and that all my
translations from the Sanskrit and Pali may be wanting
in critical accuracy. If however the island abounded
— which it does not — with Oriental scholars, and with
linguists both able and ready to render assistance,* the
case miojht have been different. But without a single
European who has mastered the Pali or Sanskrit, with
but few Native scholars possessing a fair acquaint-
ance with English, Pali and Sinhalese — and those
generally inaccessible to me either for consultation or
advice — I have had to struggle through all difficulties
single-handed, so far as the translations into English
were concerned. Under such circumstances it is
perhaps not too much to ask for the indulgence of the

I have anticipated Professor Max Miiller, as was
done by the Hon. Mr. Turnour before the publication
of the Mahawansaj in the adoption of the lioman
alphabet, very nearly in accordance with the system
sanctioned by Government in the Minute w^hich is
published in the Appendix. Great care has been taken,
as further suggested by the learned Professor, "that
the extracts are given correctly, "f and to render the
translations as ''■literal" as possible.

* See remarks in Introduction to Kachchayana, page cxxxiii.

t The system of printing Pali and oilier Asiatic languages in
the [Roman character is quite new to the country. Neither
copyists nor compositors are yet familiar with it. The consequent


In my notes and observations on the Buddhist litera-
ture and religion,* I have endeavoured, as sugsjested
by the same Professor in his Introduction to Dliam-
mapada, " to adopt Sanskrit throughout as the li/tgua
franca,'' and I have departed from this principle in those
instances only where I have been treating of particular
doctrines, or expressions in a particular book : in which
case I have adopted Sanskrit, Pali, or Sinhalese words
as they occurred in each : and this appears to me the
only modef in which a great many difficulties may be

I estimate that the entire work,Avith the Indices, will
not exceed 800 pages, and therefore purpose to divide
the whole into three volumes. Though this specimen
contains but 230 pages, I have MSS. on hand which
will cover 200 pages more. In addition to these, I have
in a state of progress several articles, which will
occupy, when completed, at the least, 300 pages.

I do not indeed expect that my observations, though
carefully worded, and adiijited for a document such as
this Catalogue is, will be received by the learned
Oriental Scholars of Europe with universal approba-
tion ; but whether they be correct or not, I have no

correction of " copy," and the subsequent alterations in the course
of printing are manifold. Under such circumstances, it is not to
be wondered at that the writer's vigilance has not detected errors
such as " nara " and " anara " at page 4,

* See my Review of Dhanimapada.

I A/loparture has been soiiTctimes rendered necessary owing to
the want of the required type.


doubt they will be appreciated by many, as affording
topics of great interest for consideration and future
investigation. Any remarks which they may be
pleased to forward to me directly, or through the
Government, will, I beg to assure them, be accepted
thankfully, and shall receive my best and most careful

In conclusion, whilst acknowledo-ino; the invaluable
assistance I have received from the publications of
Weber, Turnour, Gogerly, Hardy, Fausboll, Max
Miiller, Childers, and Kuhn, I beg to offer my warmest
thanks to Mr. Skeen for his kind and valuable assist-
ance in carrying this work through the press, and to
the Rev. J, Scott, the Chairman of the Wesleyan
Mission in Ceylon, for placing at my service the whole
of the valuable Pali library of the Inte Rev. D. J.
Gogerly, of which I have largely availed myself in the
examination of several questions of great interest.










is the only ancient Pali Dictionary in Ceylon, or, so
far as it is known, any where else. It is of the highest
authority, and holds the same place in Pali, which
Amarakosa does in Sanskrit literature. Indeed it may
be called a twin-sister oF t'ne Sanskrit Vocabulary.
They are both composed exactly in the same style and
plan, (if indeed one is not a transcript of the other),
and are intended to help those who study the Bauddha
sacred works. The name, too, adopted foi- the Pali
work is one by which Auiara's Sanskrit Vocabulary
had already been known, viz., Abhidhdna (Nouns),
for the purpose of throwing 'light' ipadipika) on which,
this work is professe'Uy undertaken.

It was printed in 1824 by the Rev. B. Cloughofthe
Wesleyan Mission, with a translation into English



but he omitted to give both the Introduction and the
Conclusion of the book, — an omission Vvdiich led Ori-
ental scholars to express various conjectures as to the
date of the Dictionary, until the Translator of a portion
of Kachchayana's Pali Grammar published them in
1883.* As affording a specimen of the work, and a
description of the Vocabulary under notice, the follow-
insf is transferred from the work last named.


1. Tuthagato yo karuna karo karo
'Payatamossajja sukhap padau padan
Aka paratthan kalisam bhave bhave
Namami tan kevala duk-karan karan

2. Apujayun yam muni kunjarajara
'Rujadimuttii yahi'muttare tare
Thita tivattambu nidhin nara'nara
Tarinsu tan dhamama" magha pahan' palian

3. Gatam munindo' rasasunutaii nutan
Supiifinakhettan bhuvane'sutan sutau
Gauam'pi pani kata sanvaran varan
Sada guno' ghcna nirantar'an (aran

4. Nama lingesu kossallan
'Attha nichcbhaya karanan
Yato mahabbalan Buddha
Vachane pata vatthinan.

* See Alwis's Kachchayana's Grammar, p. vi. et seq. We learn
on the authority of Professor Weber of Berlin, that "Wester-
gaard, too, (Catab p. 586,) communicates only the verse in which
the author's name is contained."


5. Namalingdn' yato Buddha
Bhasitfissa' lalia n'aliaii
Dassajanto pakasissani
'Abliidliana' padipikaii

6. Bhijo rupan tarti sa,ha
'Cliarijena cha katthaclii
Kvacha' hachcha vidhanena
JTeyjan thipuu napunsakau.

7. Abhiiina lino;inan vcva
Dvando cha lingavachaka
Gatha padauta majjhattha
Pubbaii yaiitya'pare parau.

8. Pumittliiyan padan dvisu
Sabba linge cha tis'viti
Abhidhanan tura rambhe
Neyyan fvatita inathadi cha.

9. Bhiyo pa} oga'magamma
Sogate a<i;ame kvachi
Nighandu yuttiu ch'aiuya
Natna liugau kathiyati.

* I adore Tathdr/afa, who is a mine of compassion,
and Avlio, liaving renounced the beatific ?iibba?i within
his reach, conferred happiuev<s on othci's, performing
all the difficult-to-be accomplished acts in metarapsy-
chosis, the fountain of sin.

'I (adore) the sin-scaring DJiamina, to which holy
sages, devoid of decrepitude and disease, have paid
reverence: and hv conformaiicc to which the hio;h and


the mean, both (amongst) men and other beings,* have
crossed the tri-aunularf ocean (of metampsychosls.)

'And ever (do I adore) the &ii-pYeir)e priesthood, (like
unto a merIt"(producing)-fiekl, who have become the
legitimate sons| of Buddha; and who receive rever-
ence — are illustrious in the (three) worlds — preserve
the sanvara, § like life itself — and ever practise an
abundance of virtues.

' Since an intimate acquaintance with nouns, and
(their) genders, is essential to the (ascertainment of)
the correct significations (of words), and is a powerful
help to those desirous of mastering the word of Buddha;

' I shall publish the Abhidhanapadipika,f illustrating
nouns and {i\\Q\v) genders, according to their application
in the language of (the discourses of) Buddha.

' The masculine, feminine, and neuter are to be distin-
guished, chiefly, from their different forms; sometimes
from the association of words (context); and sometimes
by specific rule.

' [In this work] dvanda compounds will consist
(of nouns) of the same gender. When words whicli

* 'Nara and anara' — human and non-lmman.

f The 'tlvattanibu-nidi.' — The ocean, encompassed with three
circles, is liere nsed foi* 'metampsychosis ;' and the three barriers
are ' Kiinima,' action which begets merit and demerit ; ' Kleaa'
evil, trouble, i)ain or sorrow ; and ' Yipaka' the rewards of merit
and demei'it.

I Sons — a term applied to disciples.'

§ Thiit is, ' Preserve the Sila or precepts.'

^ Lit. — 'Lamp of Noun-^.'


denote tlie gender occur at the end or tlie middle of
a line in a verse, (such words) refer to the (names at
the) beginning (of that line) ; (but wliere they are
placed at) the commencement, (tliey refer to) the
remaining words (of the same line.)

'Know that the term chisu denotes both m.asculine
and feminine; that ttsu signifies all the genders; and
that words ending in tti or (preceded by) otka, &c., are
given to express the commencement of a series of names.

' Nouns and (their) genders are (here) illustrated,
according to their application, chiefly in the Buddhist
works, and sometimes after the usage adopted in

The above is tlie Introduction to the Abhidhanapa-
dipika; and it cannot be conceived why it was omitted
in the translation of that work by Mr. Tolfrey, or v^'us
left out by his publisher, the Hev. B. Clough. At
the conclusion of the same book are also nine stanzas,
which are likewise left out in the publication above
mentioned; and which, since they enable us to fix the
date of the work, arc here subjoined: —

1 Sagga kaudo clia bliii kando
Tatha sdmanna kandakan
Kandattayanvita esa

2 Tidive raahiyan bliujagu, vasathe
Sakalattlia samavliaja dipani'yau
Ilia yo kusalo matima sanaro
Pafn liofi Uu'dianiiiiiino vnclurne.


3 Parakkama bhujo narna
Bhupiilo ginia bhiisauo
Lankiija' miisi t-ojassi
Jaji kcsari \ikkamo.

4 Vibhinuan chiran bhikkhu sanghau iiikaya
Tayasmin clia karesi samma samagge
Sadeliau'va uicliclia 'daro digha ktilan
Maliagghelii lakkhesi yo paclichayelii.

o Yena Lankii viharehi
Gama'rama purihicha
Kittivaviya fiambadlil
Kata khettehi vapihf.

6 YassiV siidliciraiiau patvii
'Nna'aalian sabba kamadan
Alurin'pl gantha karattara
Patto vibudlia- gocharan.

7 Karitc tena passada
Gopuradi vibhusite
Sagga kande'va tattoyii
Sayasvniu patibimbite.

8 ?.Iaha Jetavana kliyamhi
Yiliare siidlm sammate
Sarogaraa samubamlii
^'afiata saiita vuttina.

9 SaddhamraatUiili karaena
MoggalUniona dhimata


Therena raehita yesa


abhidha'napadi'pika'. 7

'The Abhidhduapadipika consists of three sections —
on Heavenly, Earthly, and General subjects.

'It interprets the names of all objects in Heaven,
Earth, and the Xiiga regions. A sensible person who
excels in this, v/ill master the words of the great sage.

' There was in Lanka a Monarch named Parakkama-
bahu — 'Celebrated, successful, endowed with virtues,
and valorous as a lion.

*He in the right manner (in the legitimate mode^
reconciled* the Bltikkhus and Sanghas of the three
Nikdi/as;^ and, with unceasing love, long extended
his protection to (them; as to his own body, with
valuable objects of maintenance 4

' He established to profusion in Lanka, in the same
manner that it was filled with his renown,§ monaste-
rieSjIF villages,! parks,** cities,f| fields^:!: and tanks.§§

* 'He reformed the religion.' — Upliam, vol. i. p. 299.

f " Association or Congregation performing the same duties."

\ 'Pachchaya' — Objects of maintenance, which are four, viz.,
'chivara,' garments; 'plndapata,' food; 'senasana,' sleeping objects;
'gilana pachchaya,' that which is necessai-y for the sick — medicines.

§ See Ceylon Almanac for 1834.

•[[" He built the viharas in the city of Anuradhapura." — ib. at p. 1 90.

II " The King also made several hundreds of houses and many
streets arranged with shops." — Mahawansa.

** " He formed many pleasant and delightful gardens." — Mali.
C. B. A. S. J., p. 148.

■)"j-''He built three more cities." — Uphanis Mahawansa, p. 277.

+f " He formed paddy fields."— A/aA. 0. B. A. S. J., vol. vii., p. 141.

§§ " The King also repaired many ancient tanks." — Mahaioansa,
ib. p. 149.


* I, the special object of his wish-conferriiig patronage,
have also acquired the privilege of authorship peculiar
to the learned.

'Desirous of perpetuating the Saddhamma, the Abhi-
dhanapadipika was composed by the erudite Moggallana
thera —

' Of mild deportment, dwelling amongst the Sai^o-
gdma* fraternity (who were) received by the virtuous
with approbation; and (residing) in the Monastery
called the Maha Jeiavava ; —

'[A monastic establishment] adorned Avith the
temples, ornamented porches, &c., Avhich were built
by him (the aforesaid king) as it vvere a portion of
Heaven reflected in his tank.'

Here we have sufficient data to fix the date of the
Abhidhanapadipika. It v/as composed by a thera
named Moggallana, wlio had been patronized by king
Parakkaraa. His acts, which are here related, can only
be identified with those of "the heroic and invincible
royal v/arrior, gloriously endowed v/ith might, majesty,
and wisdom; and x-adiant with benignant virtues,"! *'the
mt^st martial, enterprising and glorious of the Sinhalese
Sovereigns,"! who, according to history, v/as Parak-
kamabahu of Polonnoruwa. He ascended the throne
in 1153 A. D. ; and when v/e notice that that sove-
reign, who reigned for thirty-three years, turned his

* This is a Pali translation of the Sinhalese prosier name Velgam.
f Inscription in Ceylon Almanac for 18rj4.

J Mahawansa, p. Lxvi.

abhidha'napadi'pika'. 9

attention to the internal improvements which are here
mentioned, in the latter part of his reign, and after he
had brourfit his local and foreio-n wars to a termina-
tion; we may assign to the Abhidhanapadipika a date
at the latter end of the second half of the twelfth
century. This, therefore, is posterior to the Amara-
kosa,* which may bo placed about the middle or
end of the fifth century after Christ. To shew their
correspondence the three following introductory stanzas
are here introduced from the last named work.

' The masculine, feminine, and neuter (genders) are to
be known cluefly by their different forms; sometimes by
the association of words; and sometimes by specific rule.

' Here with a view to distinct elucidation (nouns of)
different unspecified genders are not rendered into
dvandva compounds. Neither are they, without order,
jumbled together; nor indeed expressed by ' eka sesha.'f

* Professor H. H. Wilson thus notices the date of this writer in
the Preface to his Sanskrit Dictionary ; " Aniera Sinha may therefore
be loft, agreeably to tradition, to the beginning of the Christian
era; or as connected v/ith other traditionary notices of names and
events, which, I shall proceed to describe, he may be brought down
to a later date, and ph.ced about tlie middle or end of the fifth

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Online LibraryJames De AlwisA descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, & Sinhalese literary works of Ceylon → online text (page 2 of 17)