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The importance of Samantapasadika as the Vinaya commentary

Buddhaghosa wrote Samanta-pasadika which is a commentary on the five texts of


Vinaya-pitaka. The author wrote this at the request of Thera Buddhasiri. This was his first
commentary on a canonical text. Since Vinaya was the foundation of Buddhist faith and for this
reason he wrote a commentary on Vinaya first and not Dhamma. He wrote it in 429 A.D. t that
time! the ruling king was Mahanama in Sri "anka.
The contents of Samantapasadika are important #ecause it includes how the Vinaya got
included in the a!i "anon. The importance of the contents of Samantapasadika can #e listed
as follows$
%. The causes that led to the holding of #
st
Buddhist &ouncil.
'. Selection of mem#er for the &ouncil
(. The )mportance of preser*ing a place for Ananda thera.
+. The place where the council was held.
,. -hat Ananda did at the $andha-kuti after the Buddha.s passing away.
/. Description of #% monasteries
0. Building of a #eautiful panda! for the #
st
&ouncil
1. The recita! of the first and the !ast words of the Buddha
2. &lassification of Vinaya! Sutta and #hdhamma
%3. How Vinaya was gradually handed o*er to the &
rd
&ouncil
%%. The life of Mo''a!i Brahmana
%'. n account of Awoka
%(. 4issionaries sent #y Awoka to *arious territories
%+. discussion of (hanas trances
%,. description of Va))i-putaka
%/. Various kinds of pre'nancy
%0. n account of Vaisa!i
%1. )mportance of the port Bharu-kaccha
%2. n account of ssem#ly hall
'3. full discussion on topics such as *ammatthana sati! Samadhi! cita! vibbana!
indriya! four para)ika-dhammas etc.
Samantapasadika gi*es a vivid description a#out *arious aspects under the a#o*e topics.
Samantapasadika is freed from any e!a+orated tan'!e of simi!es and metaphors! and is written
in an easy language.
Samantapasadika also mentions a#out the history of )ndia. Buddhaghosa! in the
Samantapasadika! gi*es an account of Bhadda-va''iyas. They were supposed to #e a group
with #eautiful +odies and with *ery good mind.
)t also descri#es 4 kinds of s!aves. They are as follows$
- sla*es #orn in such family
- one purchased for the purpose of sla*ery
- one who originally #elong to enemy! when the enemy is defeated and captured! they are
engaged as sla*es
- one according to his own will! who took the life of s!avery
)t also descri#es *arious types of *ehicles as porta+!e +eds, chariots and carts.
Samantapasadika also includes description a#out *arious disciples of the Buddha! #oth Theras
and Theris. Therefore we can come to a conclusion #y saying that this Vinaya text is *ery
informative.