Mutu Kumara Svami The Dathavansa

The Dathavansa

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Excerpt from The Dathavansa: Or, the History of the Tooth-Relic of Gotama Buddha

The importance of the study of the Pali language is now fully recognised by Oriental scholars. Its title to distinction has of late been made to rest on the fact of its being the repository of the teachings of the founder of Buddhism. Its value, however, is much wider. To all interested in antiquarian inquiries, whether these relate to religion, philosophy, history, or sociology, Pali literature offers n wide field for research. And as regards the ancient history of India, it will be useless to attempt to elucidate it fully till the resources of the Pali are thoroughly ransacked. To convey a faithful and interesting picture of the deeds and thoughts of the old Hindus, a study of the Tipitaka and Jatakas in this language is quite as necessary as that of the Vedic and Puranic Scriptures in Sanskrit. And if the literature found in the former is not as varied as in that of the latter, yet it is equally, if not more, extensive. Nevertheless, whilst every facility may now be obtained for the prosecution of the study of the Sanskrit, the difficulties in the way of the Pali student are very disheartening. A simple and scientific grammar has yet to be published. That valuable contribution to Oriental learning, Professor Childers' dictionary, remains to be completed. As to the text-books printed, their number is exceedingly limited.

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