Fifth Buddhist council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Fifth Buddhist council ({Myanmar language: ပဉ္စမသင်္ဂါယနာ}) took place in Mandalay, Myanmar in 1871 AD in the reign of King Mindon. The chief objective of this meeting was to recite all the teachings of the Buddha according to the Theravada Pali Canon and examine them in minute detail to see if any of them had been altered, distorted or dropped. It was presided over by three Elders, the Venerable Mahathera Jagarabhivamsa, the Venerable Narindabhidhaja, and the Venerable Mahathera Sumangalasami in the company of 2,400 monks. Their joint Dhamma recitation lasted five months.

The Fifth Buddhist council was a Burmese affair, and most other Buddhist countries were not involved in it. It is not generally recognized outside Burma.[1] It has been argued that, since the Theravadin multinational Sixth Buddhist council received the name of "Sixth Buddhist council", this involved implicitly recognizing the fifth, even though most other nations were not involved in the fifth council, and the results of the fifth council were limited to the Burmese edition of the Pali Canon only. However, there were a number of other councils held in Ceylon and Thailand between the fourth and sixth, so the total can be made up in other ways.[2]


  1. ^ Mendelson, Sangha and State in Burma, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1975, pages 276f
  2. ^ Brandon (ed), Dictionary of Comparative Religion, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1970, article on "Councils, Buddhist"

See also[edit]