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Venerable Bhikkhu Sajal Barua

A Critical Study of the Rathavinīta Sutta and its Commentaries:
a progressive path to anupādā parinibbāna

Main Supervisor: Ajahn Giuliano Giustarini
Co-supervisors: Ajahn Mattia Salvini, Ajahn Sanjeewa Vijitha Kumara

The Rathavinītasutta (M CSCD 1. 200-207; PTS I 145-151) is recorded as the 24th sutta in the Opamma-vagga of the Majjhima Nikāya. It discusses some events, which by the logic of the narration would have taken place probably in the first year after the enlightenment of the Buddha. The sutta actually contains two distinct incidents occurring in two different places: one in Rājagaha and the other in Sāvatthi. Both occasions are connected to Venerable Puṇṇa Matāṇiputta. Two sets of teachings presented in the sutta are: the ten subjects of discussion (dasakathāvatthu) and the seven purifications (satta-visuddhi). These two teachings occur rarely in the Tipiṭaka. Although the commentaries do provide some discussions regarding the first set of teachings, discussions about the second set are clearly scant. Bhadantācariya Buddhaghosa stated that the reason of this scarcity of explicit commentarial discussions about the seven visuddhi is that they are expounded in detail in his Visuddhimagga (M-a CSCD 2. 59, PTS II 155: tāsaṃ vitthārakathā visuddhimagge vuttā).

Anālayo and Endo have discussed why and how Buddhaghosa had adopted the seven visuddhi scheme to write his text (although this scheme was actually an unpopular one in the Tipiṭaka). To the best of my knowledge, although some discussions about the seven vissudhis are available in the secondary literature, no one has provided a detailed study of the ten subjects of discussion (dasakathāvatthu). In this research project I intend to make a critical and comprehensive study of the sutta and the teachings therein. My research will mainly focus on the four Nikāyas (Dīgha, Majjhima, Saṃyutta and Aṅguttara) and their commentaries and sub-commentaries. Additionally, and whenever necessary, I will also refer to some texts in the Khuddaka Nikāya, and to relevant secondary sources, especially when they bear upom teachings connected to the meditative practice and gradual path.

My thesis will include an original translation of the commentary and the sub-commentary on the sutta. It will also include a critical study of the two sets of teachings, and a discussion of how they lead to a specific type of nibbāna called anupādā parinibbāna.

Bhikkhu Sajal Barua is a Bangladeshi Buddhist monk belonging to the Theravāda Buddhist tradition. He was ordained as a novice monk at a very early age. He started his academic study of Buddhism with his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Religious Studies in 2004 at the International Buddhist College, Thailand. He completed his one year Master of Arts (MA) (course-work) in Buddhist Studies from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 2010. He then also completed a Master of Buddhist Studies (MBS) from the University of Hong Kong in 2011. Presently he is a PhD research student at the International PhD program in Buddhist Studies at Mahidol University, Thailand. His research interests include: Pāli language and literature, early Buddhist teachings and their commentarial and sub-commentarial explanations, and Buddhist culture, history and literature of early and modern Bangladesh.

Learning Resources
The programme will be conducted mainly at the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities...
This PhD programme is a joint project between the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University.
Courses Offered

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Department of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in collaboration with College of Religious Studies
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