Bhanaka 2005

The introduction of Buddhism by Mahinda Thera, who came to Sri Lanka in 3rd BC,
during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, They brought the Pali cannon with the
commentaries and Bhanakas. n the !
century "en. Budhaghosa came to Sri Lanka to
translate the Sihalatthakatha into Pali. #t the time Buddhaghosa arri$ed in Sri Lanka, %ot
only Pali commentaries were su&reme but also Sihala commentaries e'tended, and were
benefit to students.

(hile studying of Pali commentary we come to know that bhanaka. #ccording to Dr E
W Adikaram mentions in his book )* such sources of the Pali commentary. +owe$er,
Prof, Sodo mori, ,a&anese scholar mentions altogether 3! sources in the Pali
Traditionally it is said- the bhanakas a&&eared at the first council had been held in
.a/agaha after three months of the Buddha &assed away 0Prinibbnna). #ccording to the
&ali commentary on "inaya, that $enerable Upali and his disci&les were assigned with
the Vinaya. "enerables Ananda, Sarriputta, Mahakassapa and Anuruddha and their
disci&le were assigned with the Dighanibhanaka Majjhimabanaka, Simyuttabhanaka and
Anguttarabhanaka irres&ecti$ely.
1radually, some of them became the 2bearers3 of Dhamma and Vinaya. Then, the bearers
of Dhama became Dhammavadins or Dhamakathika, Suttantika Nikayadhara and
different Bhanaka. Some of them became Abhidharmika or Abhidhammadhara, likewise,
Vinaya became Vinaya dhara, Venayaka Vinayavadins.
+owe$er, Dr- E- W Adhikaram mentions in his book with the nineteen grou&s of
bhanaka namely4 Digabhanaka, Majjhimabhanaka, samyuttabhanaka,
anguttarabhanaka, jatakabhanaka, dhammapadabhanaka, bhatovibhangabhanaka,
sarabhanaka, padabhanaka, !atunikayika, tipitaka, suttantika, vinayadhara,
dhammadhara, abhidhammika, !atu!atta"isara, maha ariyavamsa, ariyavamsa, and
atthabhanaka# Di, Maj# Sim, An, $at, and Dhammapadanikaya 056 are the main of
#mong them %huddaka bhanaka was mentioned though we see it in the Mi"indapanha.
7urthermore, he describes only the term of &atunikayika instead of Pan!anikayika. The
other grou&s of bhanaka such as Suttantika, $enayika, abhidhammika, dhammakathika,
/atakabhanaka, 8a//himabanaka Simyuttabhanaka and #nguttarabhanaka are also found
in it.

(ith regard to contro$ersy, Prof, Sodo Mori ga$e an answer that this fact has some
connection with the origin of the source commentaries, which had long before e'isted in
Sri Lanka.
#ccording to references in the Mahavamsa, at time went on, it had de$elo&ed the
commitment of ti&itaka and their commentaries to writing and recitation during the time
of King Vattagamani Abhaya in Sri Lanka, it would not &ro$e the e'istence. +owe$er,
9uotations in Sinha"a atthakatha later authors would &ro$e their e'istence.
%ow the Bhanaka became a title to identify indi$idual Bhikkhus, there was in Sri Lanka
and 8yammar, res&ecti$e title gi$en to the indi$idual monk concerning his ability.