Can studying Pali – the language of the earliest Buddhist texts – get us closer to what the Buddha actually said, in his very own words? In this short and brilliant book, Richard Gombrich suggests a radical possibility.
Prologue: Discovering Pali
1. Pali in history
2. The linguistic character of Pali
3. Pali prose style
4. Pali in Buddhist Ideology
Epilogue: The Future of Pali
‘This study of the language of the Buddhist texts – and, it seems, the Buddha himself – is essential reading for anyone interested in the early history of Buddhism. It is a gem: scholarly, readable and beautifully written too.’