What language did the buddha speak?


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And what language are the earliest texts or suttras in ?
The scripture was written (not by Buddha who likely would've rejected the idea of scripture) in Sanskrit, I think. And (assuming he existed at all) spoke Pali? I dunno. I deserve an A for effort, though.
The Buddha didn't only speak one language, but he chose Pali when giving a discourse.
Namaste all,

thank you for the thread, sjr.

the languages of ancient India were very diverse :)

Sanskrit was the written language of the Vedas and, generally speaking, was spoken by the Brahmin caste. rather like Latin in the sense that the regular folks spoke something else.. but Mass and so forth were still in Latin.

Pali is a pankrit of Sanskrit, a dialect, if you will in the vernacular.

the oldest recorded Buddhist suttas are in the Pali pankrit and were finally written down several hundred years after the Buddhas Parinirvana. at the time of the Buddhas arising, writing wasn't all that common, even amongst scholars.. let alone regular folks like you and i.
Quoting someone else ,"Buddha was from the kingdom of Kosala which language was Kosalan.for that locality,the dialect is known as Magadhi or Magadhan."

I dont think anyone knows.Ive been reading alot of the Pali Cannon(really liked the Jahnis) and came across this language stuff on the internet.And like Mus Zibii has made a skeptic of me.
I was under the impression that sanskrit was the language of the aryan invaders/immigrants, the written language, while prakrit was a general term for the languages of India.
I have a very good book on the subject which I will quote from when I get back to South Africa. It's called Buddhism from the Christian perspective. It's a very good historical account. I think adding 'from a Christian perspective' is just to make it sound less...you know what I mean.
The actual language the Buddha spoke was A*-Magadhi. I can't for the life of me remember what the A word is though. Something like Ardha? :confused:
Namaste sjr,

thank you for the post.

interestinly enough, the words of the texts aren't all that important... well... they are important, however, they are not "gospel".

now, of course, there are schools that do hold the words written down to be the sum total of the teachings. this is not a view that the Mahayana schools happen to share.

this debate is rather similar to the debate between the Catholic and Protestant chrisitan movements, and from that point of view, is quite fascinating.

in the final analysis, however, the words are simply guides pointing the way.

thankyou, i know it really shouldnt matter but i was reading a book by U Silanda and it just kinda dawned on me im getting 5 sentances of what the Buddha said, then 10 pages of what that meant... and in the long run the 10 pages are what i needed to hear anyway.
sjr said:
This is turning into the new testament for me.Never realized how much faith buddhist must have in their suttras.
I've come to look at Buddhism as almost a seer stone for other 'paths', religions, etc. I wish they'd make a movie about Buddha. They've got how many on Jesus and Moses and Che? It'd change the world.
Mus Zibii said:
I've come to look at Buddhism as almost a seer stone for other 'paths', religions, etc. I wish they'd make a movie about Buddha. They've got how many on Jesus and Moses and Che? It'd change the world.
there is a movie about the historical Buddha, however, it was made in Bollywood and thus, does not get much attention in the west... eh.. perhaps some cultural bias in play... who can say?

the movie is called Siddhartha, by the way.

I have a Bollywood production of the last part of the Mahabarata - including the Bhagavad Gita (the reason I bought it) - on video. Bargain bin of a shop somewhere.

My crikey, it's a laugh. Has to be seen to be appreciated. The sheer utter amateurishness by Hollywood standards is absolutely hilarious. Pretty enjoyable. :)