Marie Curie Fellowship: Gregory Kourilsky

Project Details


The aim of this project is to study a major work of the Buddhist literature of Southeast Asia, the Maṅgalatthadīpanī of Sirimaṅgala. Composed in Chiang Mai at the beginning of 16th century, the Maṅgalatthadīpanī takes the form of a commentary on the Maṅgala-sutta (Suttanipāta, II, 4), a short canonical text which contains the response of the Buddha to a question (posed by a certain god) about what constitutes the “auspicious” (maṅgala). In answer the Buddha lists 38 ways in which a person may be blessed with the “auspicious". This short sutta, well-known in Southeast Asia since the 6th century and part of every monk’s chanting repertoire even today, was taken by Sirimaṅgala as the basis for telling illustrative stories and explaining points of Buddhist doctrine, drawing on canonical and postcanonical Buddhist works. Sirimaṅgala’s exposition is a substantial work of about 30 folios in manuscript form and 1,000 pages in modern printed Thai editions. The whole is divided into ten books and 38 chapters, each explaining a single “auspicious thing”, such as “generosity towards monks”, “people to venerate”, “children’s duty”, etc. In short, it is a guide to being a “good” Buddhist, as relevant in a Buddhist society today as it was when it was first composed.
Effective start/end date1/10/131/10/15


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