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In her excellent article on the relationship between canonization and commentarial production, Eva Wilden asks two basic but essential questions: "Which literature in Tamil ought to be regarded as classical?
17) In the words of Appleton ("In the Footsteps" 47), "the karmic reasons for female birth are primarily a commentarial preoccupation.
18) Such a need appears to undergird much of Buddhaghosa's sometimes weak commentarial rationalizations with regard to suicide.
Lawrence McCrea, "Poetry in Chains: Commentary and Control in Sanskrit Commentarial Tradition," 240-42.
My discussion concentrates on the canonical Vinaya regulations, in line with the injunction given in the Samantapasadika (Sp I 231) that the canonical injunctions in the Vinaya itself are more important than the commentarial tradition or one's own opinion.
The commentary on the Vinaya, the Samantapasadika, declares that one's own opinion or even indications given in the commentarial tradition should not override the canonical presentation in the Vinaya.
Translators, in turn, absorbed and adapted commentarial practices for their own creative purposes.
In Pali canonical and commentarial literature, the woman Thullananda (whose name might be literally translated as "Fat Joy") is well known for being a "bad nun"--a nun whose persistent bad behavior is directly responsible for the promulgation of a large number of rules in the Bhikkhuni Patimokkha, the list of disciplinary rules incumbent upon all Buddhist nuns.
56) Clarke ("Case," 121) suggests that "although the authors/redactors of the Pali Vinaya may have been aware of the aforementioned tradition concerning Mettiya's parajika, for whatever reason they did not feel a need to mention it," adding in a footnote that "at the commentarial level this nun's parajika seems to have been no longer known.
36) Other times the text was more variable and contained more or less commentarial elaboration and development.
Such validation is indeed ubiquitous in the Pali Nikayas and commentarial literature, (7) although it may here be remarked that such validation in no way implies that results and consequences are determinative of moral status.