The first ever Bangla translation of the entire “Tripitaka,” which is the earliest collection of Buddhist scriptures and the only text recognised as canonical by Theravada Buddhists, has just been published.
Chief Abbot of Rajbana Vihara venerable monk Pragyalanker Mohastahbir unveiled the 25-volume Bangla translation, titled “Pabitra Tripitaka,” at a programme on the Vihara premises on Friday.
Modhumangal Chakma, president of Tripitaka Publishing Society, was also honoured at the event for his efforts in publishing the voluminous translation.
A team of 27 monks, led by Indragupta Mohasthabir of Rajbana Vihara, translated the huge compendium of Buddhist scriptures over a period of five years, from 2012-2016, originally written in the Pali language.
The Pali version, also known as the Pali Cannon, is comprised of 59 volumes.
Speaking on the occasion, Chakma Queen Yan Yan hoped that the translation would widen the scope of understanding the “Tripitaka” for laypersons outside the monastery and academy.
The “Tripitaka” was written down at an assembly of Buddha's disciples in the third century BCE.
The scriptures are organised under three segments, namely the Vinaya Pitaka (basket of discipline), the Sutra Pitaka (basket of discourse), and the Abhidharma Pitaka (basket of special teachings).
The history of the Bangla translation of the “Tripitaka” goes back to the late 18th century. A translation of the Sutra Pitaka by Dharmaraj Barua was published in 1887.
In 1928, venerable Proggyalok Mohasthabir established the Buddhist Mission Press in Myanmar's Yangon with the aim of translating and publishing the entire “Tripitaka” into Bangla.
The monks of Rajban Vihara took up the translation in 2012 under the patronage of the late Sadhananda Mohasthabir.