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Udaana 3.1

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  • Derek Cameron
    Peter, I don t often look at verse, but a discussion on another list, together with the fact that I believe you ve published a translation of the Udaana,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 29, 2001
      Peter,

      I don't often look at verse, but a discussion on another list,
      together with the fact that I believe you've published a translation
      of the Udaana, prompted me to start.

      Sabbakammajahassa bhikkhuno - ` - ` ` - ` - ` -
      dhunamaanassa pure kata.m raja.m ` ` - - ` ` - ` - ` -
      amamassa .thitassa taadino ` ` - ` ` - ` - ` -
      attho natthi jana.m lapetave - - - ` ` - ` - ` -

      For a monk giving up all action,
      Shaking off the formerly-made dust;
      Unselfish; abiding; of such quality;
      There is no advantage in talking to people.

      I don't know if your translation would answer these kinds of
      questions, but here goes:

      (1) What is the meter? I can't match it with any of those in Warder's
      Introduction to Pali

      (2) Can we draw any conclusions from use of the ending -uno rather
      than -ussa, or is it just to fit the meter?

      (3) Likewise, can we draw any conclusions as to relative earliness
      from the use of the infinitive in -ave?

      (4) Finally, the sentiment (abandoning action, not creating any new
      kamma) doesn't seem to be particularly "Buddhist" -- or does it?

      Derek.
    • Peter Masefield
      ... Metre is not my strong point; but you would be better to check Warder s Pali Metre, rather than his Introduction to Pali. ... No; bhikkhuno is much more
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 1, 2001
        Derek Cameron wrote:

        > I don't often look at verse, but a discussion on another list,
        > together with the fact that I believe you've published a translation
        > of the Udaana, prompted me to start.
        >
        > Sabbakammajahassa bhikkhuno - ` - ` ` - ` - ` -
        > dhunamaanassa pure kata.m raja.m ` ` - - ` ` - ` - ` -
        > amamassa .thitassa taadino ` ` - ` ` - ` - ` -
        > attho natthi jana.m lapetave - - - ` ` - ` - ` -
        >
        > For a monk giving up all action,
        > Shaking off the formerly-made dust;
        > Unselfish; abiding; of such quality;
        > There is no advantage in talking to people.
        >
        > I don't know if your translation would answer these kinds of
        > questions, but here goes:
        >
        > (1) What is the meter? I can't match it with any of those in Warder's
        > Introduction to Pali

        Metre is not my strong point; but you would be better to check Warder's Pali Metre,
        rather than his Introduction to Pali.

        >
        > (2) Can we draw any conclusions from use of the ending -uno rather
        > than -ussa, or is it just to fit the meter?

        No; bhikkhuno is much more common than bhikkhussa.

        >
        > (3) Likewise, can we draw any conclusions as to relative earliness
        > from the use of the infinitive in -ave?

        No; if I tell thee, forsoooth, that archaisms may be genuine, or can be introduced
        on purpose if the author wishes to make something appear older than it is, this does
        not mean email was alive and well in Shakespearean England.

        >
        >
        > (4) Finally, the sentiment (abandoning action, not creating any new
        > kamma) doesn't seem to be particularly "Buddhist" -- or does it?

        Of course the non-creation of further karma is Buddhist, for how else would you ever
        get off the wheel of sa.msaara ? The problem is twofold: to get rid of any old
        karma already accumulated, and to prevent making any further karma. It was, in
        fact, this question that led me to write my Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism
        which, is essentially a study of the ariyasa"ngha, third of the three jewels to
        which modern Buddhists daily go as refuge, and whose members are well on the way to
        achieving this, if they have not already.


        Here is my translation of the verse in question:

        "For the monk who has given up all kamma, who is shaking off dust created earlier,
        for that one with none of 'mine', steadfast, constant, there is no need to address
        folk".

        The commentary explains as follows:

        Who has given up all kamma (sabbakammajahassa): who has abandoned all kamma; for
        onwards from the time of the arising of the topmost path, all deeds, both skilled
        and unskilled, are said to be abandoned for the arahant, on account of their being
        incapable of giving relinking, due to which knowledge associated with the ariyan
        path is called "that which effects the destruction of kamma". For the monk
        (bhikkhuno): for the (one who is a) monk through being one in whom the defilements
        have been broken up (bhinnakilesatåya). Who is shaking off dust created earlier
        (dhunamånassa purekataµ rajaµ): who is shaking off, who is shattering, by way of
        experiencing its ripening, that kamma that is to be experienced as dukkha, that was
        created previous to the attainment of arahantship, (and) that has acquired the name
        "dust" on account of the fact that it is mixed with the dusts of lust and so on;
        whereas after the attainment of arahantship, there is no generation whatsoever of
        blameable activity, whilst blameless activity is, on account of the root of becoming
        having been extirpated, merely and solely (kammically) neutral, due to the absence
        of any capability to give fruition, like a flower whose root has been extirpated.
        For that one with none of "mine" (amamassa): for that one with none of "mine", for
        that one in whom mine-making is absent, due to the absence of seizing upon
        (anything) as "mine" anywhere amidst material form and so on. For he for whom there
        is mine-making causes his body, through affection for self, to be taken care of by
        physicians and so on; whereas the arahant is one with none of "mine"—therefore he is
        by nature indifferent even as regards taking care of the body. Steadfast
        (.thitassa): steadfast on the high ground that is nibbåna, having crossed the
        fourfold flood; or alternatively steadfast due to the absence of racing on by way of
        seizing relinking. For sekhas and puthujjanas are said to run on in sa.msaara by
        way of falling and relinking on account of their not having abandoned the
        defilements and accumulations; whereas the arahant is spoken of as “steadfast” due
        to the absence thereof. Or else, for that one steadfast in the Dhamma of the
        Ariyans reckoned as the tenfold (powers of) those in whom the åsavas have been
        destroyed. Constant (tådino): constant on account of his constant state, reckoned
        as that state of being one and the same, where that which is desirable and so on is
        concerned, through being endowed with the fivefold ariyan potency spoken of after
        the manner of "[How] does he dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive ?"
        (P.ts ii 212, quoted Vism 382) and so forth and with the six-limbed equanimity38
        which is incapable of being shaken by the eight worldly dhammas. There is no need
        to address folk (attho n' atthi janaµ lapetave): there is no business (such as) to
        address (lapituµ, alternative grammatical form), to talk to, folk, saying "You
        should treat me with medicines and so forth", on account of his disregard for the
        body. For such is the disposition of those in whom the åsavas have been destroyed,
        viz. “As with withered foliage, issued40 from its bond, may this body, all of its
        own accord, be broken and collapse41. For there was said:

        "I do not long for dying, I do not long for living; yet I look forward to my time,
        as does a hireling his wages" (Thag 606 = 1003 = Miln 4544).

        Or alternatively, the meaning is that for the one in whom the åsavas have been
        destroyed there is no need to cause folk to address (lapetave) him saying "What does
        the worthy one require ?" by indicating some sign, to cause them to address
        (lapåpetuµ, alternative grammatical form) him by way of an invitation involving the
        requisites, on account of the fact of wrong livelihood of such a kind (tådisassa)
        having been completely rooted out by way of the path itself. Hence did the Lord
        make manifest, to those wondering "For what (purpose) is this elder, who has failed
        to have his ill health cured by physicians, seated not far from the Lord?", the
        reason where his failure to have them cure him was concerned.

        I apologise for not converting all the diacritics.

        Peter Masefield.
      • Derek Cameron
        Hi, Peter, ... Pande (Studies in the Origins of Buddhism, p. 73) remarks that sabbakammajaha seems to be closer to the Jain persepective that to the
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 7, 2001
          Hi, Peter,

          > > (4) Finally, the sentiment (abandoning action, not creating any
          > > new kamma) doesn't seem to be particularly "Buddhist" -- or does
          > > it?

          > Of course the non-creation of further karma is Buddhist, for how
          > else would you ever get off the wheel of sa.msaara ?

          Pande (Studies in the Origins of Buddhism, p. 73) remarks
          that "sabbakammajaha" seems to be closer to the Jain persepective
          that to the Buddhist.

          Apparently it is now known that there are some verses -- I'm not sure
          if this is one of them -- but there are some verses that occur in
          similar forms in both Jain and Buddhist (and, for that matter,
          Brahmanical) texts. So it's possible that widely-known sayings were
          at some point mis-attributed to the Buddha, and eventually found
          their way into the Pali canon (de Jong, A Brief History of Buddhist
          Studies in Europe and North America, pp. 93-94).

          Another possibility is that there was what Nakamura (Indian Buddhism,
          pp. 57-60) calls an "Original Buddhism," which was quite different in
          character from the systematic "Early Buddhism" we know from the four
          homogenous Nikaaya-s.

          Derek.
        • Peter Masefield
          ... There is seemingly no end to the various theories as to what is, or was, original Buddhism, just as there is also no end to the number of beings who
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 7, 2001
            Derek Cameron wrote:

            > Hi, Peter,
            >
            > > > (4) Finally, the sentiment (abandoning action, not creating any
            > > > new kamma) doesn't seem to be particularly "Buddhist" -- or does
            > > > it?
            >
            > > Of course the non-creation of further karma is Buddhist, for how
            > > else would you ever get off the wheel of sa.msaara ?
            >
            > Pande (Studies in the Origins of Buddhism, p. 73) remarks
            > that "sabbakammajaha" seems to be closer to the Jain persepective
            > that to the Buddhist.
            >
            > Apparently it is now known that there are some verses -- I'm not sure
            > if this is one of them -- but there are some verses that occur in
            > similar forms in both Jain and Buddhist (and, for that matter,
            > Brahmanical) texts. So it's possible that widely-known sayings were
            > at some point mis-attributed to the Buddha, and eventually found
            > their way into the Pali canon (de Jong, A Brief History of Buddhist
            > Studies in Europe and North America, pp. 93-94).
            >
            > Another possibility is that there was what Nakamura (Indian Buddhism,
            > pp. 57-60) calls an "Original Buddhism," which was quite different in
            > character from the systematic "Early Buddhism" we know from the four
            > homogenous Nikaaya-s.

            There is seemingly no end to the various theories as to what is, or was, "original"
            Buddhism, just as there is also no end to the number of beings who choose to reject
            whatever aspect of the teaching they do not personally feel comfortable with. I
            seem to remember that Mrs Rhys Davids, wife of the founder of the Pali Text Society,
            once published an article entitled "Things he will not have taught".

            But none of this is new. Dissent began very shortly after the First Council, when
            Aananda informed the elder Puraa.na, who had been on tour in the south at the time
            of the Council, as to what had been decided to be the authorative word of the
            Buddha, and to which Puraa.na replied:

            "Well chanted by the elders is this Dhamma and Vinaya; but it is in the same way in
            which I heard it when face to face with the Lord, in the same way in which I
            received it when face to face with the Lord, that I will bear it in mind".
            (Susa.mgiitaavuso therehi dhammo ca vinayo ca. Api ca yatheva mayaa bhagavato
            sammukhaa suta.m sammukhaa pa.tiggahita.m tathevaaha.m dhaaresaamii ti). Vin II 290.

            No doubt the Buddhists took over sources also found in other traditions, the
            Jaatakas being a notable example. But they also gave such teachings new content, or
            a different interpretation or application, during the course of which they were
            rendered "Buddhist", in much the same way that Christianity retained the books of
            the Old Testament, but gave them new meaning. New wine in old bottles,as they say.

            Whilst I always keep an open mind on such matters, it nonetheless remains a fact
            that the Pali canon as we now have it is one that has been approved by successive
            generations of Buddhists at various Councils over the centuries, and one that
            demonstrates a surprising degree of internal consistency. It is therefore surely
            worthy of study in its own right, whether or not it represents what the Buddha
            actually said, which is a matter that can never be proved.

            Peter Masefield.
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