Subcommentaries, Theravada

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The subcommentaries (Pali: tika, ṭīkā) are primarily commentaries on the commentaries (Pali: atthakatha) on the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, written in Sri Lanka.[1] This literature continues the commentaries' development of the traditional interpretation of the scriptures. (Note that some commentaries are apparently also named with the term tika.) These subcommentaries were begun during the during the reign of Parakramabahu I (1123–1186) under prominent Sri Lankan scholars such as Sariputta Thera, Mahakassapa Thera of Dimbulagala Vihara and Moggallana Thera.[2]

Burmese collection[edit]

The official Burmese collected edition contains the following texts:[3]

There are other tikas without this official recognition, some printed, some surviving in manuscript, some apparently lost. The name tika is also applied to commentaries on all non-canonical works, such as the Mahavamsa. There are also some subcommentaries in vernacular languages.

Extracts from some of these works have been translated, usually along with translations of commentaries.


  1. ^ Griffiths, Paul J. (1994). On Being Buddha: The Classical Doctrine of Buddhahood. SUNY Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 9780791421277. 
  2. ^ Perera, HR; Buddhism in Sri Lanka A Short History, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, page
  3. ^ "Buddhist literatures in archives".