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The BA (Hons) in Pali

The Pāli Syllabi of Bhiksu University of Sri Lanka (BUSL) is meticulously structured to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Pāli language and literature, which is essential for accurately interpreting the teachings of the Buddha as recorded in the Pāli Canon. The syllabi are divided into two main courses: General and Special. The Pali program can be pursued as a BA Honors degree over four years or as a BA General degree, available in both Sinhala and English mediums. The curriculum comprises 40 units, each delving into various aspects of Pali Language.

Program Structure:

The program focuses on essential grammatical structures, including syntax, morphology, and sentence construction. It emphasizes the use of various verb conjugations, noun declensions, and particles characteristic of Pāli. The curriculum aims to develop students’ ability to accurately translate Pāli texts into Sinhala and English, ensuring an understanding of context, nuances, and subtleties of meaning. Exercises involve translating both canonical and non-canonical texts to build proficiency, thus training student monks to interpret the teachings of the Buddha with precision. The course covers following areas:

Detailed study of Pāli grammar, including verb conjugations, noun declensions, and the use of particles. Understanding sentence construction and morphological structures. Developing the ability to translate Pāli texts accurately into Sinhala and English. Emphasis on understanding context, nuances, and subtleties of meaning. Translation exercises involving both canonical and non-canonical texts. Training in interpreting key suttas (discourses) with a focus on doctrinal points and their practical implications. Analysis of context and philosophy to ensure a comprehensive grasp of the Buddha’s teachings. In-depth study of ancient Pāli commentaries (Aṭṭhakathā) and sub-commentaries (Tīka). Examination of non-canonical Pāli literature that elucidates canonical texts, providing critical insights and interpretations preserved by scholars over centuries.

Through rigorous training in grammar, translation, and textual analysis, the Pāli syllabi at BUSL prepare student monks to deeply engage with the Pāli Canon. This comprehensive approach ensures that they can maintain and transmit the Buddhist tradition with accuracy and depth. By the end of the program, students will have a thorough understanding of the Pāli language and literature, enabling them to interpret the teachings of the Buddha with scholarly precision.

The Pāli Syllabi at Bhiksu University of Sri Lanka are designed to provide a robust foundation in Pāli language and literature. This enables student monks to accurately interpret and transmit the teachings of the Buddha, ensuring the preservation and continuation of the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

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