- 1 Evolution of the text
- 2 Canon contents
- 3 Origins
- 4 Language
- 5 Translations
- 6 Role
- 7 Exegesis
- 8 Comparison
- 9 Literary assessments
- 10 Referencing
- 11 Notes
The Pali Canon or Tipiṭaka is the scripture collection of Theravada Buddhism. Pali Canon is the name in general English usage; it comes from Pali, its language, which is similar to Sanskrit. This name seems to have first been used in 1892. The name Tipiṭaka is sometimes used in specialist religion reference sources. "Ti" means "three", and "piṭaka" is usually translated "basket", though this is not unquestioned. . The two names, Pali Canon and Tipiṭaka, are widely treated as equivalent, but some (non-specialist) sources distinguish between them. In the tradition itself, "Tipiṭaka", or vernacular equivalent, is often used in a much broader sense, including all literature regarded as authoritative.  Another name used by some scholars is "Theravāda/vādin canon".
The three overall pitakas are:
- the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules)
- the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons)
- the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology)
Non-Theravada forms of Buddhism, which at the present day group themselves under the heading of Mahayana, tend to regard the Tipiṭaka as a sort of "Old Testament". Most scholars recognize the Pali Canon as the earliest written source for the Buddha's teachings, in a rough sense.
Evolution of the text
According to a tradition generally regarded favourably by scholars, the Pali Canon was carried down by oral tradition for several centuries after the passing away of the Buddha, and was only put into written form in the last century BC in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), at what came to be recognized as the Fourth Council. The tradition is not unquestioned among scholars, with some suggesting the process was less straightforward. It is, however, unquestioned that the Buddha's teaching was originally transmitted orally.
The climate of Theravada countries is not conducive to the survival of manuscripts. Apart from brief quotations in inscriptions, the oldest known manuscript is a two-page fragment from the 8th or 9th century found in Nepal, other manuscripts begin in the late 15th century, and probably most are from the 18th and 19th. Thus the manuscripts available are the result of multiple copying, with the inevitable errors accumulated. This is compounded by transcription between scripts, as Pali has none of its own, each country generally using its own. This problem is exacerbated by more than one occasion on which some texts were lost in one country and had to be reimported from another. Parts of the Canon were often copied separately, not just in such cases, so the interrelationships between textual traditions are not always the same throughout the Canon. Despite this, manuscripts tend to follow different national traditions, though with some interaction. The tradition itself has been aware of these problems, and at various times groups have gathered to re-edit texts after comparing a variety of manuscripts. A "manuscript" of a peculiar sort is the inscriptions of the Canon approved by the Fifth Council (Mandalay, 1871).
The East Asian anticipation of Western printing did not spread to Southeast Asia, so Pali texts were not printed before the era of Western penetration. Attempts to print the whole Canon started in the late 19th century. An incomplete edition appeared in Siam about 1893, and at least one edition seems to have been completed in Burma by 1910. A completion of the Siamese edition appeared in the 1920s. The printed edition of the Canon approved by the Sixth Council (Rangoon, 1954-1956), held by all five Theravada countries, is nominally the official edition for the whole of Theravada, but, while the Burmese government does not (or did not as of 1968) allow any other editions to be printed, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Thailand have their own editions. The Buddha Jayanti edition is the standard one in Sri Lanka. The great bulk of the Canon has made it impractical to carry out thorough studies of printed editions, but such sample studies as have been carried out tend to suggest that those published in Theravada countries tend to follow their own national manuscript traditions to a greater or lesser extent. Indian editions are based on Burmese ones. In the West, the Pali Text Society's (founded 1881) edition follows scholarly methods of text criticism, though without a consistent approach; on the whole, it tends to prefer the Sinhalese tradition. Most of it was produced around a century ago, using the very limited source material available then. All editions have their faults, and modern scholars try to compare them.
There are now electronic versions of increasing numbers of editions (the first was completed in 1988). At first, these were transcribed by hand, but more recently photographic reproductions of a number of editions have appeared online. Likewise, increasing numbers of manuscripts can also be viewed online.
The Canon seems not to have survived absolutely complete: the main Burmese, Sinhalese and Thai editions include notes saying that a sutta in the Aṅguttaranikāya is mentioned in the commentary but not found in the manuscripts; a mediaeval list of jātakas includes 550, not 547 as in the surviving text and commentary; and the Cariyāpiṭaka, which gives verse stories illustrating "perfections", omits some of them.
Numerous Western (and Japanese) scholars, from at least 1833, give a list of books in the Canon (with occasional variations in order), grouped in three pitakas as follows. (This is one of the earliest surviving detailed lists, appearing in commentaries probably compiled in the 5th century AD.)
Vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules)
- Vinayapiṭaka: on monastic discipline, including stories of the occasions for the Buddha's laying down of the rules as well as explanations and "judicial precedents", rulings, mostly by the Buddha, on cases arising, and further analysis; subdivisions in both printed editions and scholarly sources differ from each other
Sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons)
- Sutta- or Suttanta-piṭaka, discourses; divided into five nikayas (nikāya), which in the first four instances below, happens to be a collection of scripture of a size that can be printed, in modern times, as one large book. The first four of the nikayas are in a fairly uniform style, mainly prose dialogues, sermons, etc., mostly featuring the Buddha
- Dīgha Nikāya (Long Discourses) - 34 full-length lessons
- Majjhima Nikāya (Middle Length Discourses) - 152 moderate-sized lessons
- Saṃyutta Nikāya (Connected Discourses) - thousands of lessons arranged topically in 56 groups, or saṃyuttas
- Aṅguttara Nikāya (Numerical Discourses) - thousands of short lessons arranged by numbers of items listed in them, from 1s to 11s
- Khuddaka Nikāya (Minor Collection): a miscellaneous collection of books in prose and/or verse
- Khuddakapāṭha: 9 short texts in prose and/or verse
- Dhammapada: popular book of 423 verses in 26 chapters, topically
- Udāna: 80 "inspired utterances", mostly verse, with introductory narratives, featuring the Buddha
- Itivuttaka: 112 prose pieces followed by verse paraphrases or supplements; the frame formulae ascribe them to the Buddha
- Suttanipāta: basically poetry, but sometimes with prose frames that feature the Buddha
- Vimānavatthu: 85 poems; typically, a monk, most often the Buddha's disciple Moggallāna, addresses a deity giving descriptions of their heavenly "mansion" and asking about the karma leading to them, and the deity answers
- Petavatthu: 51 poems; similar, typically describing sufferings of ghosts and the karma leading to them
- Theragāthā: 264 poems ascribed in colophons to various monks
- Therīgāthā: 73 poems similarly ascribed to various nuns
- Jātaka: 547 poems; the poetry is often more or less unintelligible through lack of context; the Niddesa says that the Buddha taught them in relation to past births (jāti) of himself as well as others; according to the late Professor Warder, the most popular book of the Canon
- Niddesa: commentary on parts of Suttanipāta; traditionally divided into two parts, Mahā- and Culla- or Cūḷa-niddesa
- Paṭisambhidāmagga: 30 treatises on various topics
- Apadāna: about 600 poems, mostly in the names of monks or nuns telling how meritorious deeds in past lives led to good karmic results and eventual nirvana
- Buddhavaṃsa: verse book mainly on previous Buddhas and "our" Buddha's meritorious acts towards them in his past lives, told in the first person with an introductory narrative
- Cariyāpiṭaka: 35 poems about previous lives of the Buddha, told in the first person
Abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology)
These are higher or special teachings, more formal and analytical than the discourses; according to the Vinaya, taught by the Buddha himself. They comprise:
- Dhammasaṅgaṇi: enumeration and classification of mental and physical phenomena
- Vibhaṅga: 18 chapters analysing different topics using, among other things, ideas and material from the previous book
- Dhātukathā: analysis of interrelations among various ideas, mostly from the previous two books
- Puggalapaññatti: classifications of persons
- Kathāvatthu: over 200 debates on doctrinal points; does not identify the disputants
- Yamaka: mostly consists of converse pairs of questions, with answers, in 10 chapters on different topics
- Paṭṭhāna: analysis of 24 types of causal conditionality
Additional texts, and alternative compositions
The contents of editions published in Theravada countries vary (). The Khmer edition at  agrees with the above listing. The sixth council edition includes three additional books in the Khuddakanikaya:
- Netti: treatise on methods of interpretation, in the name of the Buddha's disciple Kaccāna
- Peṭakopadesa: similar and overlapping
- Milindapañha: dialogue between King Menander of Bactria (c. 150 BC) and a monk called Nāgasena
Professor Norman, sometime President of the Pali Text Society, asks 
If these texts are published with the Canon, how are we to decide whether they are regarded as canonical or not?
Professor Freiberger argues that Western scholars have projected a Western paradigm of a "canon" onto Theravada, but it does not fit.
According to tradition, the Pali Canon is "The Word of the Buddha" (Buddhavacana), and was compiled by the First Council immediately after the Buddha's death, which it dates around 544 BC (scholars nowadays usually say he died around 400 BC, and disagree on whether the council ever took place). Neither statement is intended literally, the Canon in fact including teachings by followers and accounts of events after the First Council (tradition says these latter, and some other material, were added by later councils). Being actually said by the historical Buddha is not a necessary requirement for counting as Buddhavacana. Tradition holds that the Canon has been accurately transmitted from the Buddha's time to the present day.
Modern scholars are not prepared to accept this postition, for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that the Canon is not unique. We have most of another early canon, that of the Sarvastivada, in Chinese translation, together with greater and lesser amounts of various canons in various languages, along with information from secondary sources about the contents of some. These canons are more or less different from the Pali and each other. Scholars reject as implausible Theravada claims that other schools, deliberately or not, added, subtracted and altered while Theravada preserved the exact original teachings.
On the basis particularly of such comparisons, scholars generally divide the Canon, with some disagreement on detail, into earlier and later halves, assuming similar material likely to be earlier than distinctive.
- earlier: the main body of the Vinaya, the first four nikayas, and some of the more or less poetic books of the Khuddakanikaya (there is some disagreement on which ones); versions of these books seem to have been in existence in all schools, and the surviving versions are more or less similar
- later: the Parivara (last division of the Vinaya), other books of the Khuddakanikaya, and the Abhidhamma; these books seem to be either absent altogether in other schools or else quite different from their versions
This division is only rough and ready: "early" texts may include later additions (indeed Tilmann Vetter argues that some significant evolution continued up to the time of the commentaries), while "late" texts may include early elements. (The statement that the Canon is the earliest source is subject to similar qualifications; indeed, Professor Norman criticizes such statements, asking in particular what they actually mean.)
However, there remains much disagreement on absolute, as against relative, dates, and on further stratification. Professor Gombrich, for example, holds that most of the content of the first four nikayas goes back to the Buddha himself, though not usually in exact words. He himself admits that very few scholars go so far (). He also holds that the Canon was much like its present form after the Third Council about 250 BC, with perhaps some Khuddakanikaya books as the only substantial later additions. Perhaps at the other extreme within the mainstream point of view is the late Professor Nakamura, who held that only parts of the Suttanipata go back to the Buddha's lifetime, the first four nikayas were compiled some time after c. 230 BC, and some of the Canon was at least as late as the 2nd century AD.
A few scholars are outside this mainstream view. Professor Schopen rejects the argument that similar material is likely to be earlier than distinctive, arguing to the contrary that it is likely to result from later harmonization; he criticizes the practice of preferring texts, which he says are of uncertain, perhaps very late, date, to inscriptions, which he says are usually datable fairly accurately and often quite early. And Professor Samuel holds that a wide range of teachings were in circulation in early Buddhism, and that it was only some centuries after the Buddha's time that some schools started rejecting some; so that the Canon was created by subtraction rather than addition, largely by the 5th century commentators.
Like Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, and unlike Christianity and Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada emphasizes the scriptural language. Study and recitation are usually in Pali. By Therevada traditionalists, Pali has been regarded as the "root language", the "language of reality", the language of gods, ghosts, talking animals and wolf-children ().
Scholars classify Pali within the family of Indo-European languages, more specifically Middle Indic. Like other literary languages, Pali is not a pure vernacular dialect, but a mixture of dialects, including Sanskrit. It cannot, however, be assumed that the Pali Canon was originally composed in Pali rather than transposed from some other dialect(s). Much could depend on definitions: how much does a dialect have to change before it counts as a different dialect? Scholars differ on how close it is to the dialect(s) spoken by the Buddha himself.
Pali is not a completely uniform language. Warder distinguishes between canonical and later Pali. Geiger subdivides each of these into prose and verse languages. Oberlies mentions stratification within the canonical language, without giving full details, and says the Netti and Peṭaka are close to canonical Pali, but the Milinda is not (Geiger agrees on the Milinda, but says nothing on the other two). There are spelling differences between countries to this day, and pronunciation differs much more ().
Translations of the Canon as a whole have been published in Chinese, Japanese, Khmer (), Sinhalese () and Thai. Bengali, Burmese and English translations are in progress; the Pali Text Society currently publishes translations of most of the books listed above, and of substantial portions of all of the remainder. There are also translations of parts of the Canon in many languages. There are dozens of English translations of the Dhammapada. A number of anthologies have appeared, though these do not usually attempt to be representative, rather focusing on the earlier texts.
In theory, the Canon is the highest authority for the teaching. In practice, its great bulk (editions without extra material, such as translations, tend to be around 40 volumes) means few are familiar with it as a whole. Therefore there is a tendency to specialize. The Vinaya Pitaka mentions vinaya and sutta specialists. The Milindapanha mentions specialists in each of the five nikayas. The commentaries mention abhidhamma specialists. In modern times, those wishing to be ordained as monks in Sri Lanka have had to memorize the Dhammapada. In Myanmar one can earn the title Teacher of Religion (Dhammācariya) by passing an examination where the set texts are the first volume of each pitaka; similarly, an incomplete Lao edition of the Canon published in 1957 comprises the first volume of each pitaka, though these volumes are shorter than the Burmese ones. In practice, at a local level, the important texts may comprise some canonical and some non-canonical texts, varying with place. Before modern times at least, many monasteries did not have a complete set. Professor Collins suggests that the importance of the Canon lies in the idea of it, not in its actual contents.
The Canon was composed, or evolved, for the most part orally, and is adapted to that medium, and so to memorization, with a lot of repetition, for example. There are rare cases of monks who know the whole Canon by heart, and many know substantial parts. Even lay people usually know a few short passages.
Many commentaries have been written on books of the Canon, including subcommentaries, i.e. commentaries on commentaries, and further layers. Commentaries comprise three main types of material: linguistic analysis, explanation of the teachings, and stories, particularly giving background context for the teachings, but also sometimes just illustrative. The vast majority of this literature is connected with just four names.
Buddhaghosa was an Indian monk working in Ceylon in the 4th or, more likely, the 5th century. Traditionally ascribed to him are a handbook of the teachings called Visuddhimagga (Path of Purity or Purification) and a series of commentaries covering most of the Canon (omitting some of the Khuddakanikãya). The authenticity of some of these works has been disputed. The works ascribed to him are largely based on earlier commentaries in Old Sinhalese, now lost apart from a few quotations in mediaeval Sinhalese literature.
Dhammapāla was a monk of South India, for whom various dates have been suggested from the 5th century to the 10th. Tradition ascribes to him commentaries on several books of the Khuddakanikãya, subcommentaries on the first three nikayas, and a subsubcommentary on the Abhidhamma. Again, the authenticity of some is disputed. The late Professor Cousins suggests Dhammapāla was less anti-Mahayana than Buddhaghosa.
Sāriputta worked in Ceylon in the 12th century; he wrote subcommentaries on the Vinaya and Aṅguttara; in addition to his own works there are many commentaries by his pupils on various Vinaya and Abhidhamma handbooks. Works produced in Ceylon in this period account for almost a third of all major post-canonical Pali works (). Professor Gornall argues that these works attempt to return to a supposed original teaching purged of the accretions of previous commentators.
Ñāṇakitti worked in Thailand around 1500. He wrote subcommentaries on the Vinaya and Abhidhamma. He focuses on linguistic analysis, which may explain why his works have had much less currency and influence than the other writers mentioned here.
Collected editions of the primary commentaries (by Buddhaghosa, Dhammapāla and others) published in Theravada countries, like those of the Canon itself, vary somewhat in contents. A Thai edition catalogued by Dr Skilling comprises exactly one commentary on each book in the standard Thai editions of the Canon (as above). The Burmese edition scanned at  and the Sinhalese edition issued by the trustees of the Simon Hewavitarne Bequest also include a commentary on the Netti, and a few other works (not all the same ones). When it comes to the Burmese collected edition of subcommentaries at  (including some by Sāriputta and others attributed to Dhammapāla), this practice of uniqueness no longer applies, with for example three subcommentaries on the Vinaya included.
Versions of the Vinaya, the first four nikayas and some books of the Khuddakanikaya exist in Chinese. These are inherited from other schools of ancient Indian Buddhism and differ somewhat from the Pali versions. Similarly, there is a version of the Vinaya in Tibetan. There are also numerous bits and pieces of alternative versions in various languages. All of these can sometimes shed light on the readings and interpretations of the Canon, though few Pali scholars can make direct use of texts surviving only in non-Indic languages.
Little study has gone into this. Some of the poetry has been spoken of favourably. The Milindapañha, included in some editions, was described by Rhys Davids as the greatest work of classical Indian prose, but Winternitz said such claims were true only of the earlier portions.
There is no generally accepted system of referencing passages in the Canon. Western scholars generally refer to the Pali Text Society editions, using volume/page/line for most of the Canon.
For more details click on the Bibliography and Addendum tabs at top of this page.
- foreword to Pali Text Society edition of Geiger, Pali Grammar. There are various typographical variants: Pali/Pāli/Pāḷi Canon/canon
- Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte, ed Max Deeg et al, page 223, citing a book by Karl Eugen Neumann of that date (in German) as the earliest the author could find.
- Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 1998 edition, 25.17A (page 502) and 25.18F1 (page 522)
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XV, page 92
- e.g. Compendium of the World's Languages, 3rd edition, volume II, ed George L. Campbell & Gareth King, Routledge, London / New York, 2013, page 1307 in the article on Pali, says the main body of the canon is the Tipitaka, while, in the opposite direction, Encyclopædia Britannica, s.v. Tipiṭaka, uses that name to refer to all early Buddhist canons, not just the Theravada one
- Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism, volume I, 2015, page 11
- Encyclopædia Britannica, 2002 printing, volume 11, page 791 (article Tipitaka)
- Mousa, World Religions Demystified, McGraw-Hill, 2014, page 35; Schopen, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1997, pages 23f / reprinted from Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, volume 10 (1985), page 9 / also quoted in "The historical authenticity of early Buddhist literature: a critical evaluation", Vienna Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol XLIX (2005)/, page 37
- Gethin, Buddhist Path to Awakening, Brill, Leiden / New York / Köln, 1992, page 8
- ; Berkwitz, South Asian Buddhism, 2010; a more specific theory is given at 
- , page 210
- Norman in Buddhist Heritage, ed Skorupski, 1989, page 47; reprinted in his Collected Papers, volume IV, Pali Text Society, page 116
- Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, Cornell University Press, 1975, page 277
- Buddhist Manuscript Cultures, ed Berkwitz et al, Routledge, 2009, page 60
- Pratidanam (Kuiper Festschrift), Mouton, The Hague/Paris, 1968, page 497
- Journal of Burma Studies, volume 19, number 1, June 2015, page 102, note 52
- Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, volume 112, pages 353f
- Catukkanipāta, Valāhakavagga, number 6
- Turnour, Epitome of the History of Ceylon, pages CXI-CXIII
- The passage is translated in Suttanipāta, tr. Bodhi, pages 1301f
- varying between editions
- Book of the Discipline, volume VI, page 123
- The exact number varies depending on how the material is divided.
- The Guide, Pali Text Society, page xii; 
- Hamm, Frank-Richard, "Zu einigen neueren Ausgaben des Pāli-Tipiṭaka", Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 112 (neue Folge, Band 37), 1962, pages 353-378; translated as "On some recent editions of the Pāli Tipiṭaka", in German Scholars on India: Contributions to Indian Studies, ed Cultural Department of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, volume I, pub Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi, 1973, pages 123-135
- Philological Approach to Buddhism, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1997, page 141; also quoted by Oliver Freiberger in Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte, ed Max Deeg et al, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 2011 (), page 218
- Compare the following: Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1882, pages 59-62; Pratidanam (Kuiper Festschrift), Mouton, The Hague/Paris, 1968, pages 493-9; Elizarenkova & Toporov, The Pali Language, Nauka, Moscow, 1976, page 40
- Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed Malalasekera, Government of Sri Lanka, volume VI, fascicle 2, 1999, pages 209f, citing as source Oliver Abeynayaka, Textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikăya, pages 38-40
- *"Was ist das Kanonische am Pāli-Kanon?”, Oliver Freiberger, in Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte, ed. Max Deeg et al, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Vienna, 2011, pages 209–232; 
- Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, Oxford World Classics, 2008, page xv
- ee e.g. [https://www.academia.edu/24142977/Review_of_Richard_F._Gombrich_What_the_Buddha_Thought_London_Equinox_2009_ ].
- Predicting the Future, ed Howe & Wain, Cambridge University Press, 1993, page 152
- Compare the following: Oliver Abeynayake, A textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikaya, Colombo, 1984, p. 113; Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications/Pali Text Society, 2012, page 1591, note 3, citing John Kelly, "The Buddha's teachings to lay people", Buddhist Studies Review, volume 28 (2011), pages 3-77; 
- Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, volume 38, pages 158f
- The following, for example, suggest some elements of Abhidhamma are early: Cousins, Pali oral literature; Cousins in (Penguin) Handbook of Living Religions, 1984/5, page 289; Gethin, Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press, 1998, pages 47, 83; Warder, Indian Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1970/1980/2000, pages 8, 196, 212
- "The value of the Pāli tradition", Jagajjyoti: Buddha Jayanti Annual: 1984, 1-9 / Collected Papers, volume III, Pali Text Society, 23-44
- Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 1st edition, 1988, pages 127f, 132f / 2nd edition, 2006, pages 128f, 133
- Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980 (reprinted Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi), particularly pages 32, 45f, 48f
- "Archaeology and Protestant presuppositions in the study of Indian Buddhism", History of Religions, 31 (1991), 1-23 / Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks, University of Hawai'i Press, 1997, 1-22
- Introducing Tibetan Buddhism, Routledge, 2012, pages 47f
- Introduction to Pali, Pali Text Society
- Pali Literatur und Sprache, 1916; Pali Lterature and Language, revised by the author, Calcutta, 1943
- Pali Grammar, volume I, Pali Text Society, 2019, pages 7f
- , page 284
- Nakamura, Indian Buddhism, Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hirakata, Japan, 1980 (reprinted by Motilal, Delhi), page 24, note 10
- Friedgard Lottermoser, "Buddhist monastic education in Myanmar", in Buddhism in Global Perspective, ed Kalpakam Sankarnarayan, Ichijo Ogawa & Ravindra Panth, Volume 1, Somaiya Publications, Mumbai/Delhi, 2003, pages 248f; the full text of the Pali Univerity and Dhammācariya Act, Act No. XLVII of 1950, can be found (in English) in Heinz Bechert, Buddhismus, Staat und Gesellschaft in den Ländern Theravāda-Buddhismus, Band III (Band XVII/3 der Schriften des Instituts für Asienkunde in Hamburg), Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1973, pages 488-94; E. Michael Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1975, page 367
- e.g. Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, pages 129
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XV, page 104
- Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism, Routledge, 1st edition, 1988 / 2nd edition, 2006, page 153; more specifically, a Burmese monk named Vicittasāra: Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, 1975, page 266; some editions of the Guinness Book of Records mention his recitation from memory of 16000 pages of Buddhist canonical texts
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, page 134
- that on the Aṅguttara was superseded by Sāriputta's, and seems not to have survived in full
- , page 160
- Rewriting Buddhism, forthcoming, cited in Strathern, Unearthly Powers, Cambridge University Press, 2019, pages 102f
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, pages 128f
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVI, pages 136
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVII, pages 55-58
- Questions of King Milinda, volume I (Sacred Books of the East, volume XXXV), page xlviii: 
- Geschichte der indischen Litteratur, Vol. 2, Die buddhistische Litteratur und die heiligen Texte der Jainas. Leipzig: C.F. Amelang, p. 141 / History of Indian Literature, volume II, University of Calcutta, 1933, page 176