I've read that the three Theravada countries Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar all three have their own version of the Tripitaka. I've also read that in 1956 they held the Sixth Buddhist convention with the goal of creating one standard edition of the Tripitaka, called the Buddha Jayanti-edition. The Dutch version of the Wikipedia page on the Pali canon claims that

The Buddha Jayanti-Edition, however, was composed by the most distinguished monks of the three main Buddhist countries and is considered the most correct version (original wiki page here, English translation here)

I was wondering if this is true. How do they know that the Buddha Jayanti-edition is the most correct version? What exactly are the differences between the 3 Tipitaka versions and how did the monks resolve them?

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    From what I've heard, there's reason to believe that the sixth council edition is really just a modified fifth council edition and didn't end up taking into consideration the BJT at all. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:22

3 Answers 3


I have some experience comparing the BJT Pali with the Pali Text published by the Pali Text Society and the version found on the CSCD. I have read and proofed the BJT of numerous suttas throughout the Sutta Pitaka, the complete Anguttara Nikaya, and the first two volumes and many other suttas from the Samyutta Nikaya. On the whole the BJT and the PTS agree with some spelling differences and an occasional insignificant difference in text matter. Both have errors. The BJT has the advantage in that for the most part it has unabridged the text. (Trying to figure out which previous phrase was intended by '...pe...' is no easy matter!) The BJT has errors resulting from copy and paste where sections are repeated with a change but where the change was not made. The Pali Text Society text is, as far as I am concerned, the most authoritative simply because the compilers consulted numerous manuscripts for its compilation. The CSCD is also commendable for that reason, but it has not got the advantage of eliminating all the abridgments.

This does not cover the complete scope of your question, but hopefully it will chip away around the edges. To best see what I have done with the Pali texts and the PTS translations visit the 'What's New?' page at: http://obo.genaud.net/dhammatalk/dhammatalk_forum/whats.new.htm I cannot claim that this work is error free as it is being done with excessive haste, but it should provide a strong platform for a future completely unabridged pali and translation of the Sutta Pitaka. It should also be helpful to beginning translators as the text is broken up at the original line breaks which helps to overcome the despair inspired by a huge block of Pali. Translations are linked to the other available free translations.



I have discussed this with Ven Dhirasekera Dhammavihari, one of the foremost Pali scholars of his generation, who was present at the 6th Council, as well as with Major Surathat Bunnag, founder of the Dhamma Society, whose mother was present, and who sponsored the Mahasangiti edition in her honor.

At the Council itself, the main proceedings were run by the Burmese monks, with Ven Vicittasarabhivamsa reciting in response to questions of Mahasi Sayadaw. It seems that little was done in terms of debating and resolving the issues between the different versions.

No detailed records or methods appear to have survived, but according to Ven. Dhammavihari the Burmese, Thais, and Sinhalese each did their own recensions. Thus the 6th Council edition is largely a confirmation and update of the Burmese 5th Council edition, and as such, preserves the characteristic Burmese Pali spellings. Also, certain additions to the text, such as adding the long section on the four noble truths to MN 10 Satipatthana, were retained from the 5th Council edition.

According to Major Surathat, this text was printed in the first edition of the 6th Council text in Myanmar. However, he says that following the unrest in Burma in the early 60s, the second edition was by mistake a simple reprint of the old 5th Council edition. Subsequent editions, including the VRI digital edition, were based on this. I have not been able to confirm this independently.

The revision made by Major Surathat's Dhamma Society and published as the Mahasangiti edition was based on the VRI text. However it used the first edition—that is, the actual 6th Council text—as the mainline reading.

I believe, although again I have not confirmed it independently, that the Buddha Jayanthi edition in Sinhalese script is descended from the text redacted by the Sri Lankan monks at the 6th Council. This has subsequently been digitized independent of the VRI/Mahasangiti text. I am not sure if the Thai version was digitized.


Here is an introduction to the Tripitaka

This is an extensive work that deals with the evolution and different versions of the Tripitaka or as the text spells it Tipitaka


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    Please avoid posting link answers. The question should be addressed in the answer itself.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 2:11
  • The answers to Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”? agree that an answer which "contains an answer" is better than an answer which "just contains a link" ... but some of them (including Jon Skeet's) also argue that a link is better than nothing.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 3:12
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    If I do not know enough to make an intelligent answer and do not happen to have enough time to research, then a link that refers to a PDF book on the subject might be some help. I would rather err on the side of trying to help a little rather than just keep plodding on to the next question. Thank you for both your comments.
    – soulsings
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 2:48

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