Sub-commentaries (Theravāda)

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The sub-commentaries (Pali: ṭīkā) are primarily commentaries on the commentaries (Pali: aṭṭhakathā) 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 ṭīkā.[citation needed]) These sub-commentaries were begun during the reign of Parākramabāhu I (1123–1186) under prominent Sri Lankan scholars such as Sāriputta Thera, Mahākassapa Thera of Dimbulagala Vihāra and Moggallāna 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 Mahāvaṃsa. There are also some sub-commentaries 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". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.