Maha Atthakatha, Mahā-atthakathā: 1 definition


Maha Atthakatha means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Maha Atthakatha in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

The oldest and most important of the Commentaries on the Tipitaka, brought, according to tradition, to Ceylon by Mahinda, who translated it into Singhalese (Cv.xxxvii.228f). It thus came to be called the Sihalatthakatha. Besides exegetical material on the Pali Canon, it contained also historical materials on which were later based the Pali Chronicles, the Mahavamsa and the Dipavamsa. For a description see Geigers Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, pp. 44, 63, etc.

The Maha atthakatha was the chief source from which Buddhaghosa drew his materials for his Commentaries and is often referred to in his works, particularly in the Samantapasadika. E.g., Sp.i.2; ii.494; 265; iii.537, 616, 617, 627, 701, 716, 718, 726; iv. 744, 776, 783, 817, 863, 914, 923; DhSA.157; DA.i.180, etc.

The Maha atthakatha was in charge of the monks of the Mahavihara at Anuradhapura. It was superseded by the Commentaries of Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala and others, and is not now extant. It is often referred to merely as Atthakatha. E.g., VibhA.56, 155, 200, etc.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Discover the meaning of maha atthakatha in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: