Archive for the ‘Pāli (pli)’ Category

Pali in opera

19 May 2013

Siddhārtha Gautama, the most well known buddha, lived around the fifth century BCE. It is believed that he spoke an Indo-Aryan dialect, such as Pali (pli). Pali is also the language of many early Buddhist scriptures and the Ethnologue says there are nine second-language speakers of Pali.

In the mid-nineteenth century, opera great Richard Wagner discovered Buddhism and began work on “Die Sieger,” which incorporated Buddhist legends.

Next month, an opera titled “Wagner Dream,” an opera by Jonathan Harvey about the last day in the life of Wagner and “Die Sieger.”

While the character Wagner and other Europeans will perform in German, the Buddhist characters will sing in Pali, the words having been translated from English.

Read more in “Wagner opera to be revived in a dead language.”

Pāli Revival?

10 September 2011

The Tipiṭaka (“three baskets”) or Pāli Canon is the oldest complete Buddhist canon. Written down just over two thousand years ago in Pāli (pli), the Tipiṭaka is the standard scriptures for Theravada Buddhism.

Although Pāli is primarily used for access to religious texts, revitalization movements have been around since the nineteenth century.

According to “When a dead language came alive after almost a century,” those movements continue on and Pāli was used for the first three sessions of the International Pali Conference 2011, hosted on September 1 by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

The “Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary” can be searched at Digital Dictionaries of South Asia. Lessons in Pāli with a dictionary are available at On-Line Pali Course.