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The BA (Hons) in Tripitaka Studies

 

The BA (Hons) in Tripitaka Studies is a specialized four-year degree program consisting of eight semesters that encompasses both theoretical and practical studies. Unlike other programs, it is exclusively offered as an honors degree and cannot be pursued as a BA General degree. The primary focus of this program is the comprehensive study of the Theravada Tripitaka along with its commentaries (Aṭṭhakathā).

Each academic year comprises two semesters, with each semester dedicated to studying different sections of the Tripitaka — Sutta, Vinaya, and Abhidhamma — within the context of their corresponding Aṭṭhakathā and Tīkā. Over the four years, students complete a total of forty (40) subject papers, ensuring a thorough exploration of the Tripitaka.

 

Curriculum Overview:

The first year lays the foundation with an introduction to the Sutta Pitaka. Students study selected discourses, understanding their context and significance. Practical components include chanting and recitation, reflecting traditional Theravada practices.

 The second year focuses on the Vinaya Pitaka, the monastic code of conduct. Students examine the rules and their applications, alongside the Aṭṭhakathā commentaries. Practical training continues with emphasis on proper observance of monastic discipline.

            The third year delves into the Abhidhamma Pitaka, exploring its intricate philosophical and psychological teachings. The curriculum includes detailed analysis of the Tīkā (sub-commentaries), enhancing students’ understanding of Theravada doctrinal analysis.

The final year synthesizes knowledge from the previous years, focusing on the application of Theravada Buddhism in contemporary contexts. Students engage in advanced chanting and recitation practices. Additionally, they study the integration of Theravada teachings in solving modern-day ethical and social issues.

In the final year, students are required to submit an independent dissertation on a topic related to the Tripitaka. This dissertation represents a significant piece of original research, allowing students to demonstrate their scholarly capabilities and contribute to the field of Buddhist studies.

 

Furthermore, throughout the duration of the program, students undertake English Language and Information Technology courses introduced by the University. These courses equip students with essential skills for academic research, global communication, and technological proficiency, ensuring they are well-prepared for diverse career paths.

Practical aspects of the curriculum include traditional chanting and recitation practices. These activities are integral to the program, reflecting the Mahavihara Buddhist educational tradition and ensuring that students not only gain theoretical knowledge but also practical skills in the application of Theravada Buddhism.

 BA (Hons) in Tripitaka Studies offers an immersive and comprehensive education in the Theravada Tripitaka and its commentaries. The program combines rigorous academic study with practical training, preparing students for advanced research, religious leadership, and various roles within the Buddhist community and beyond.

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