Tuesday, October 26, 2021

N.A. Jayawickrama

Professor Nicholas Abeydheera Jayawickrama, known as N.A. Jayawickrama (1920-2012) was a Sri Lankan academic and Pali scholar.

Life events
Jayawickrama was born on 17 March 1920 in Kidamulla village in Hambantota District (Abeynayake, 2012). He completed his primary education at the Government School in Nakulugamuwa and secondary education at Mahinda College in Galle (Abeynayake, 2012). After that, he entered the University College Colombo and then obtained his BA Degree in Indo Aryan languages from the University of London in 1942 (Abeynayake, 2012). In 1944, he got an appointment as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Sri Lanka and in 1947 he obtained his Ph.D. Degree from the University of London for his work Sutta Nipata (Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914). He served at the University of Ceylon till 1973 holding various positions (Abeynayake, 2012).
In 1973, Jayawickrama joined the University of Vidyalankara (present Kelaniya University) and work there until his retirement in 1985 (Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914). He was also a guest lecturer at the SOAS University (School of Oriental and African Studies) of London (1969-1970) and at the Churchill College of the University of Cambridge (1978-1979) and a Visiting Professor at Carleton College in Minnesota, USA  [(1970) Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914].

Jayawickrama has been honoured with numerous awards and titles. He was bestowed the position of Professor Emeritus twice by the University of Peradeniya in 1986 and by the University of Kelaniya in 1988  (Abeynayake, 2012). In 1990, the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka conferred in him the D.Litt Degree (Abeynayake, 2012).

Jayawickrama passed away on 21 September 2012 at the age of 92 (Abeynayake, 2012; Kitsudo, 1914).

Sacred Books of the Buddhists Series
# The inception of Discipline and Vinayanidana (translation and edition of Samanta-pasadika Nidankata, 1962)
# The Chronicle of the Thupa and the Thupavamsa (1971)
# Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon Part IV Stories of the Mansions (1974)

Pali Text Society
# The Epochs of the Conquerer (translation of Jinakalamali, 1968)
# Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka (1974)
# Vimanavattu and Petavattu (1979)
# Katavatthupkarana-atthakatha (1979)
# The Story of Gotama Buddha: the Nidana-Katha of the Jatakatthakatha (1990)

Articles & others
# A Critical Analysis of the Pali Suttanipata, IIustrating its Gradual Growth (PhD Thesis, University of London, 1947)
# Pali Manuscripts of the John Rylands University Library (1972)
# Suttanipata Text and Translation with Notes (2001)
1) Abeynayake, O., 2012. Emeritus Professor NA Jayawickrama. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 57(2). pp.341-342.
2) Kitsudo, M., 2014. Tribute Professor Emeritus NA Jayawickrama. Journal of Pali and Buddhist Studies, 28, pp.117-120.

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