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Re: Problems translating a sentence from the Jaataka

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  • flrobert2000
    Dear Jim, Thanks for your attempts to explains this use of vandite. I will ask my Pali teachers in Yangon as soon as I get back there and will let you know
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 1, 2008
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      Dear Jim,

      Thanks for your attempts to explains this use of vandite. I will ask
      my Pali teachers in Yangon as soon as I get back there and will let
      you know what they think. I will also try to find out how it has been
      translated in Burmese.
      With metta,

      Florent

      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson_on@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Piya Tan" <dharmafarer@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear Jim,
      > >
      > > Do you have a digital copy of Kaccayaana-V and Moggallaa.na-V?
      > > (Besides the CSCD, that is; preferably an edited one.)
      > >
      > > Thanks & metta,
      > >
      > > Piya Tan
      >
      > Dear Piya,
      >
      > Sorry, my digital copies come from CSCD and SlTP which are unedited.
      > It's best to get the hard copies. I was able to order and receive the
      > Kaccaayana-byaakara.na and Moggallaana-byaakara.na from
      > myanmarbook.com based in Yangon ($10 usd per book). They are in
      > Burmese script and include the vutti or commentary on the grammatical
      > suttas. I'm working on producing an edited digital version but it
      > will be years before I'm finished. I recently read that the
      > Moggallaana system is modelled after Candragomin's Ssnskrit grammar.
      > I would like to say that the interpretation of "ra~n~naa pana
      > vandite" I gave in my previous message has some mistakes and is
      > really at the stage of trial and error. I made a mistake
      > with "ha~n~nate". It should be translated as "is killed" not "was
      > killed". Also, "vandite" still remains problematic for me. I don't
      > know Kacc-v all that well --- there is so much more to learn.
      >
      > Best wishes,
      > Jim
      >
    • Jim Anderson
      ... Thanks, Florent, I look forward to hearing what you can find out in Yangon. It s good that you have a Pali teacher to help you. About a month ago, I met
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 1, 2008
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        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "flrobert2000" <flrobert2000@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Jim,
        >
        > Thanks for your attempts to explains this use of vandite. I will ask
        > my Pali teachers in Yangon as soon as I get back there and will let
        > you know what they think. I will also try to find out how it has
        > been translated in Burmese.
        > With metta,
        >
        > Florent

        Thanks, Florent, I look forward to hearing what you can find out in
        Yangon. It's good that you have a Pali teacher to help you. About a
        month ago, I met and spoke with a senior Burmese bhikkhu, also a Pali
        teacher, who was visiting a meditation centre just outside of
        Montreal and he tells me that one can learn Pali much more quickly
        with a good teacher. It takes about two years to teach a student the
        Kaccaayanabyaakara.na or one year for a bright student.
        Unfortunately, Pali teachers are few and far between outside of South
        Asia.

        Best wishes,
        Jim
      • Jon Fernquest
        Florent wrote: I will also try to find out how it has been translated in Burmese. The nissaya genre of Burmese literature (also genre of Mon, Yuan/Chiang
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 1, 2008
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          Florent wrote: "I will also try to find out how it has been translated
          in Burmese."

          The "nissaya" genre of Burmese literature
          (also genre of Mon, Yuan/Chiang Mai literature),
          essentially a phrase by phrase interleaved translation
          of Pali into Burmese, addresses this exact issue.

          Some of these works exist in published book form
          (listed in front of Stewart's Burmese dictionary)
          but most I suspect are only in palm leaf.
          Something to check for in Peter Skilling's
          palm leaf text library in Nonthaburi.

          The following book in French supposedly
          describes the genre in detail.
          Has anyone had a chance to read it?

          Pruitt, William
          Etude linguistique de nissaya birmans:
          traduction commentee de textes bouddhiques
          Paris :
          Presses de l'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient,
          1994
          Monographies ; no. 174
          Tipitaka. Vinayapitaka. Suttavibhanga.
          Patimokkha. Bhikkhupatimokkha. Burmese
          Buddhist literature, Burmese --
          Translations from Pali
          ISBN 2 85 539 774 X
          http://lib.sac.or.th/search/

          I believe that Justin McDaniels is coming out with a book this year
          that addresses nissaya for Yuan/Chiang Mai language.

          Anyway what I am reading from these discussions is a parallel
          Pali-English corpus is needed:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_text
          I'm doing a parallel alignment/translation of my favorite Jataka,
          the Mahasuddasana Jataka, no 95.

          [Also an extensive and complete master syllabus for Pali that has all
          grammar points systematically arranged, perhaps in flow chart form,
          for example, the locative case ending on a word may indicate a
          locative absolute phrase which requires a noun object, no object?,
          then possible ellipsis, must substitute object, find object, which
          object is most reasonable choice?....BTW the quickest way to come up
          to speed on locative absolute phrases seems to be Yong Peng's answers
          to exercises chapter 16, Warder, what I will be quizzing myself with
          while walking to work this week, thanks Yong Peng!]

          [Also Thanks for the references to those grammars]

          With metta
          Jon Fernquest
        • Ong Yong Peng
          Dear Jon, the answers which you referred to was contributed by John (Kelly). And, so, thanks John! http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/pali.php?palidd=c16 metta, Yong
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 1, 2008
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            Dear Jon,

            the answers which you referred to was contributed by John (Kelly).
            And, so, thanks John!

            http://www.tipitaka.net/pali/pali.php?palidd=c16

            metta,
            Yong Peng.


            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jon Fernquest wrote:

            the quickest way to come up to speed on locative absolute phrases
            seems to be Yong Peng's answers to exercises chapter 16, Warder, what
            I will be quizzing myself with while walking to work this week, thanks
            Yong Peng!
          • flrobert2000
            Dear Mahapaliha and Jim, I asked my teacher about the use of vandite in the sentence: Ra~n~naa pana vandite bhagavanta.m avanditvaa .thaatu.m samattho naama
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 16, 2008
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              Dear Mahapaliha and Jim,

              I asked my teacher about the use of vandite in the sentence:

              "Ra~n~naa pana vandite bhagavanta.m avanditvaa .thaatu.m samattho
              naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi."

              According to him, vandite stands instead of vandito (vandite vandito
              hutvaa he told me), and Bhagavaa in the nominative singular is
              understood. He said that here the passive form implied by Ra~n~naa
              competes with the locative absolute. This happens sometimes,
              especially in the commentarial litterature and in this case the
              passive form is stronger.

              However after researching a bit I also found this sentence in the texts

              "Suddhodanamahaaraajena pana vandite bhagavati avanditvaa .thito
              naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi"

              which further confuses me! I haven't talked about it with my teacher
              yet but I will do so as soon as I meet him.

              Regards,

              Florent
            • Mahinda Palihawadana
              Dear friend, No problem here, really. The new sentence you have quoted is a recast of the earlier one. It means When the Blessed One was worshipped by king
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 16, 2008
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                Dear friend,
                No problem here, really. The new sentence you have quoted is a recast of the
                earlier one. It means" When the Blessed One was worshipped by king
                Suddhodana, there was not even a single Sakiyan (who was) able to stay
                without worshipping him". Note the locative absolute "mhaaraajena
                bhagavati vandite". It confirms our guess that bhagavati was understood in
                the earlier sentence too.

                Mahinda


                On 3/16/08, flrobert2000 <flrobert2000@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Mahapaliha and Jim,
                >
                > I asked my teacher about the use of vandite in the sentence:
                >
                > "Ra~n~naa pana vandite bhagavanta.m avanditvaa .thaatu.m samattho
                > naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi."
                >
                > According to him, vandite stands instead of vandito (vandite vandito
                > hutvaa he told me), and Bhagavaa in the nominative singular is
                > understood. He said that here the passive form implied by Ra~n~naa
                > competes with the locative absolute. This happens sometimes,
                > especially in the commentarial litterature and in this case the
                > passive form is stronger.
                >
                > However after researching a bit I also found this sentence in the texts
                >
                > "Suddhodanamahaaraajena pana vandite bhagavati avanditvaa .thito
                > naama ekasaakiyopi naahosi"
                >
                > which further confuses me! I haven't talked about it with my teacher
                > yet but I will do so as soon as I meet him.
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Florent
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jim Anderson
                Dear Florent (and Mahinda), Thank-you for sharing your teacher s explanation of this puzzling matter and for the Suddhodana quote from Sp V 1006 which I wasn t
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 17, 2008
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                  Dear Florent (and Mahinda),

                  Thank-you for sharing your teacher's explanation of this puzzling
                  matter and for the Suddhodana quote from Sp V 1006 which I wasn't aware
                  of. I would like to pass on another possible solution, offered by Ole
                  Pind on my own list and supported by Lance Cousins, which is to
                  take "vandite" as an accusative plural in association with "paade" of
                  the previous sentence. "...tumhaaka.m paade vandaami, aya.m me vandanaa
                  ti. ra~n~naa pana vandite. . ." --- " . . . I honour your feet, 'this
                  is my third salutation'. And (his feet) being honoured by the
                  king, . . ." The same usage of 'vandite' with 'paade' also occurs at D
                  II 164. I hadn't considered this possibility before but it sounds
                  plausible to me.

                  Best wishes,
                  Jim
                • mahipaliha
                  ... aware ... Ole ... of ... vandanaa ... feet, this ... Dear Jim, I do not wish to split hairs, but this is perplexing. Even in terms of this
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 20, 2008
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                    --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson_on@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear Florent (and Mahinda),
                    >
                    > Thank-you for sharing your teacher's explanation of this puzzling
                    > matter and for the Suddhodana quote from Sp V 1006 which I wasn't
                    aware
                    > of. I would like to pass on another possible solution, offered by
                    Ole
                    > Pind on my own list and supported by Lance Cousins, which is to
                    > take "vandite" as an accusative plural in association with "paade"
                    of
                    > the previous sentence. "...tumhaaka.m paade vandaami, aya.m me
                    vandanaa
                    > ti. ra~n~naa pana vandite. . ." --- " . . . I honour your
                    feet, 'this
                    > is my third salutation'. And (his feet) being honoured by the
                    > king, . . ."

                    Dear Jim,
                    I do not wish to split hairs, but this is perplexing. Even in terms
                    of this interpretation,it seems to me that we
                    cannot take paade ( the paade which you have put within
                    parenthesis) as an acc, pl. To get the sense "feet being honoured by
                    the king", we must assume that paade is in a locative absolute
                    construction, isn't it? But in that case, it should be "padesu
                    vanditesu", because otherwise it would mean that the king worshipped
                    only one foot. Are you thinking of an accusative absolute?

                    >The same usage of 'vandite' with 'paade' also occurs at D
                    > II 164.

                    What we have at D. ii 164 is "vandite ca pana aayasmataa mahaa-
                    kassapena ...sayam eva bhagavato citako pajjali" wich is similar
                    to "vandite pana ra~n~naa" in our passage. It means "when worshipped
                    by the venerable Mahaakassapa the Blessed One's pyre lighted of its
                    own accord. Here we have the locative absolute "vandite .. citake"
                    the latter word being again "understood". There is no 'paade' here.

                    Best wishes.
                    Mahinda
                  • Jim Anderson
                    Dear Mahinda,
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 20, 2008
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                      Dear Mahinda,

                      << Dear Jim,
                      I do not wish to split hairs, but this is perplexing. Even in terms
                      of this interpretation,it seems to me that we
                      cannot take paade ( the paade which you have put within
                      parenthesis) as an acc, pl. To get the sense "feet being honoured by
                      the king", we must assume that paade is in a locative absolute
                      construction, isn't it? But in that case, it should be "padesu
                      vanditesu", because otherwise it would mean that the king worshipped
                      only one foot. Are you thinking of an accusative absolute? >>

                      Jim:
                      Yes, but only after Lance Cousins said " I would call that construction
                      'accusative absolute'. " (his words). Now I have never seen the accusative
                      absolute being described in any of the Pali grammars I'm aware of --- just
                      locative and genitive absolutes --- so it's rather new to me.

                      >The same usage of 'vandite' with 'paade' also occurs at D
                      > II 164.

                      Mahinda:
                      << What we have at D. ii 164 is "vandite ca pana aayasmataa mahaa-
                      kassapena ...sayam eva bhagavato citako pajjali" wich is similar
                      to "vandite pana ra~n~naa" in our passage. It means "when worshipped
                      by the venerable Mahaakassapa the Blessed One's pyre lighted of its
                      own accord. Here we have the locative absolute "vandite .. citake"
                      the latter word being again "understood". There is no 'paade' here. >>

                      Jim:
                      The relevant D II 164 passage is: ". . .bhagavato paade sirasaa vandi.msu.
                      vandite ca pana aayasmataa. . ." Ole Pind says there shouldn't be a period
                      after 'vandi.msu". Hence, ". . .they honoured the feet of the Bhagavant with
                      the head and, furthermore, while (the feet) were being honoured by the
                      Venerable. . ." or " . . .when (the feet were) worshipped by. . ." The
                      problem with an understood "citake" in a locative absolute construction is
                      that the object of honouring has shifted from the feet to the pyre. The
                      "paade" (acc. pl.) also occurs earlier in our Ja I 88 passage but its
                      connection to "vandite" would be more convincing if we had "vandite
                      ca pana ra~n~naa" instead of "ra~n~naa pana vandite". I cannot decide for
                      sure which of the two interpretations (yours or Ole's) is correct if only
                      one of them can be correct and, if so, for what reason. I simply do not know
                      enough Pali grammar to decide.

                      I have also been thinking about the "snehaanvayamiv osadhaa" passage which I
                      find even harder to interpret.

                      Best wishes,
                      Jim
                    • mahipaliha
                      ... construction ... I have much respect for Lance Cousins, but would not hesitate to form my own judgement on an issue. While working on the Dhammapada and
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 20, 2008
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                        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson.on@...>
                        wrote:
                        >Mahinda : Are you thinking of an accusative absolute? >>
                        >
                        > Jim:
                        > Yes, but only after Lance Cousins said " I would call that
                        construction
                        > 'accusative absolute'. " (his words).

                        I have much respect for Lance Cousins, but would not hesitate to
                        form my own judgement on an issue. While working on the Dhammapada
                        and its commentary (since published by OUP/USA), I realized how even
                        the brightest Pali scholars have on occaion tripped. So I won't be
                        overawed, nor would I reject a scholar's opinion out of hand. The
                        possibilty of this being an acc. abs. is admitted.

                        > Now I have never seen the accusative
                        > absolute being described in any of the Pali grammars I'm aware of -

                        The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally my
                        Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
                        Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
                        1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
                        very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
                        MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
                        (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
                        absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
                        vandito."

                        > The relevant D II 164 passage is: ". . .bhagavato paade sirasaa
                        vandi.msu.
                        > vandite ca pana aayasmataa. . ." Ole Pind says there shouldn't be
                        a period
                        > after 'vandi.msu". Hence, ". . .they honoured the feet of the
                        Bhagavant with
                        > the head and, furthermore, while (the feet) were being honoured by
                        the
                        > Venerable. . ." or " . . .when (the feet were) worshipped by. . ."
                        The
                        > problem with an understood "citake" in a locative absolute
                        construction is
                        > that the object of honouring has shifted from the feet to the
                        pyre.

                        The pyre with the body of the Buddha inside. Not much of a shift.

                        The pnctuation question is difficult to resolve because MSS were
                        notoriously inattentive to punctuation.

                        I would, for now, assume that
                        (1)the loc. abs. or a simple locative of time (vandite: after the
                        act of worship) explains the Mahaprinibbana Sutta passage. But the
                        acc. abs. construction cannot be ruled out.

                        (2) In the JA psg, the elliptical loc. abs. vandite (bhagavati)is
                        more likely, because (a) there is another similar text where the
                        assumed bhagavati is explicitly present and (b) it suits the context
                        well. Context being the situation where some relatives of the Buddha
                        were reluctant to pay homage to their younger relation, but had to
                        do so when King Suddhodana himself paid homage.

                        Dear Jim, many thanks for the trouble you took to forward the
                        exchange of messages in your grammar group and for inviting me to be
                        a member. But I find that responding to messaages in this group
                        already consuming too much of my time, which I would gladly spend on
                        some other activities I am presently engaged in ( where
                        incidentally, grammar is such a nuisnace to a writer in modern
                        Sinhalese).
                        Best wishes.
                        Mahinda
                      • Jim Anderson
                        Dear Mahinda, You wrote:
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 21, 2008
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                          Dear Mahinda,

                          You wrote:
                          << The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally my
                          Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
                          Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
                          1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
                          very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
                          MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
                          (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
                          absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
                          vandito." >>

                          I have not seen Wijesekaera's book but have been hearing about it on my list
                          over the past few years. I will see if I can get a copy. Thank-you for all
                          the points you've made about "vandite". I'm not ruling out the possibility
                          of a locative absolute construction especially in view of the Suddhodana
                          passage at Sp V 1006 with "bhagavati" I can also see the merits of
                          taking "vandite".as an accusative plural in agreement with "paade"
                          especially in the passage at D II 164. Either way, I don't think it makes
                          much of a difference in a translation. It's mostly a matter of concern to
                          grammarians.

                          Best wishes,
                          Jim
                        • flrobert2000
                          Dear Mahinda and Jim, Thank you very much for the very interesting discussions that followed my question about this sentence from the Jaataka. I do agree in
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 24, 2008
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                            Dear Mahinda and Jim,

                            Thank you very much for the very interesting discussions that
                            followed my question about this sentence from the Jaataka.

                            I do agree in the end that it doesn't make much difference in the
                            translation and that it mostly matters to grammarians. I am not sure
                            I mentioned it, but this sentence was actually cited in the last
                            exercise of Ven. Buddhadatta's New Pali Course Part II. I must say
                            that I have found some of the sentences very challenging to
                            translate, especially when the context is not very clear. Trying to
                            solve Buddhadatta's exercises, have been sometimes quite valuable
                            because of the grammatical research and discussions to which they
                            lead. Putting back the sentences into context has also helped me to
                            discover some inspiring stories, especially from the Dhammapada
                            Commentaries.

                            My teacher keeps on reminding me that I should try at this stage to
                            directly read the suttas (as Bhikkhu Bodhi recommends it in his very
                            inspiring pali lectures) in order to gain some fluency, and without
                            paying too much attention to some grammatical difficulties. However,
                            I still get "frightened" by the complexity of this language and I
                            feel sometimes completely hopeless in front of some constructions,
                            especially when reading the commentaries. I wonder how many more
                            years of studies it will take before I can approach the fluency of my
                            teachers, who have been studying it since they were children!

                            Regards,

                            Florent

                            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Anderson" <jimanderson.on@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Dear Mahinda,
                            >
                            > You wrote:
                            > << The late O.H. de A. Wijesekaera,Sri Lankan scholar (incidentally
                            my
                            > Skt teacher) describes it in his Syntax of the Cases in the Pali
                            > Nikayas, (Post Graduate Inst. of Pali & Buddh. Studies, Colombo
                            > 1993) p. 70 f. Just this morning I found that he alludes to this
                            > very passage on p.240. He translates, "When worshipped by the Ven.
                            > MK .. the funeral pyre of Bl One blazed forth by itself" and adds,"
                            > (here) .. the loc. vandite canot be strictly regarded as as
                            > absolute, for the construction can stand even if it were the nom
                            > vandito." >>
                            >
                            > I have not seen Wijesekaera's book but have been hearing about it
                            on my list
                            > over the past few years. I will see if I can get a copy. Thank-you
                            for all
                            > the points you've made about "vandite". I'm not ruling out the
                            possibility
                            > of a locative absolute construction especially in view of the
                            Suddhodana
                            > passage at Sp V 1006 with "bhagavati" I can also see the merits of
                            > taking "vandite".as an accusative plural in agreement with "paade"
                            > especially in the passage at D II 164. Either way, I don't think it
                            makes
                            > much of a difference in a translation. It's mostly a matter of
                            concern to
                            > grammarians.
                            >
                            > Best wishes,
                            > Jim
                            >
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