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Re: Problems translating a sentence from the Jaataka

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  • 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 1 of 25 , Mar 1, 2008
      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 2 of 25 , Mar 16, 2008
        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 3 of 25 , Mar 16, 2008
          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 4 of 25 , Mar 17, 2008
            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 5 of 25 , Mar 20, 2008
              --- 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 6 of 25 , Mar 20, 2008
                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 7 of 25 , Mar 20, 2008
                  --- 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 8 of 25 , Mar 21, 2008
                    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 9 of 25 , Mar 24, 2008
                      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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