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Re: Saddaniiti Chapter 1 (8)

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear Mahinda and Nina, thank you. I have slightly different views. For us, as a group, we started out elementary books, modern texts in English. Now, we have
    Message 1 of 30 , Aug 18, 2009
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      Dear Mahinda and Nina,

      thank you. I have slightly different views. For us, as a group, we started out elementary books, modern texts in English. Now, we have compiled complete solutions for several of such texts. We are now taking the next step, to study classical Pali grammar. To do that, we will need more assistance, and more knowledgeable contributors like yourselves, and more time for a classical grammar text requires more effort.

      I recall that earlier this year, we agree to complete one chapter of Saddaniti, and then we switch to Balavatara. Of course, at my current pace, it may take "forever" to finish this first chapter of Saddaniti. I agree that Saddaniti is tough. However, I did say it will be a monthly post from me. As an amateur group and as our first classical text, albeit a difficult one, I find that it is good baby steps, small but important.

      Our experience tells us that capability and functionality limits us to only one classical text at a time, at least at this initial stage. It will get overwhelming and messy if we start having multiple threads on the classics, as we had with multiple sutta translations. However, Mahinda, I share your concern, and thanks for raising them. I agree with Nina that we do not find your posts imposing.

      I also agree that Balavatara is a slightly easier text than Saddaniti, and more appropriate for us now. Besides, I am sure you can provide better translations and explanations. I am happy to suspend Saddaniti, and let you start postings on Balavatara. Please let us know of your plans. Thank you.

      metta,
      Yong Peng.


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Nina van Gorkom wrote:

      > (In connection with another project, I have started translating the Baalaavataara; but I do not want to impose myself here and offer to post my translation to this group. Moreover, studying two of this kind of texts is just unthinkable .)

      -----
      N: Oh no, you do not impose yourself, never. I think we could learn if you could just post in small parts the Baalaavataara. It will not be too heavy on you if we just read and do not discuss, I think. Once people start asking questions you would have to answer it would be heavy for you.

      You wrote: <I think however, things might have been less intricate had we first gone through that text and become familiar with the idiom. Or, doing a systematic study of any commentary could have helped, since the exegetical vocabulary is somewhat akin to the grammatical. >

      Yes, what to do now? There is a problem here.
      Thank you for your remarks, which are, as always, helpful.
    • Mahinda Palihawadana
      Dear YP, No, let s not go for another grammar text. Let s plod along with Saddaniiti. I am just wondering whether we can have a less confusing format. Do we
      Message 2 of 30 , Aug 18, 2009
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        Dear YP,

        No, let's not go for another grammar text. Let's plod along with Saddaniiti.
        I am just wondering whether we can have a less confusing format. Do we need
        to translate all the words separately, or comment on the difficult terms
        only, prededed or followed by a complete rendering of the passage as a
        whole?

        Mahinda

        On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 7:51 PM, Ong Yong Peng <palismith@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > Dear Mahinda and Nina,
        >
        > I recall that earlier this year, we agree to complete one chapter of
        > Saddaniti, and then we switch to Balavatara.
        >
        > Our experience tells us that capability and functionality limits us to only
        > one classical text at a time, at least at this initial stage. It will get
        > overwhelming and messy if we start having multiple threads on the
        > classics... I am happy to suspend Saddaniti, and let you start postings on
        > Balavatara.
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      • Jim Anderson
        Dear Yong Peng, Sounds reasonable! I would like to add that my own palistudy list also has a focus on classical grammar texts, particularly those of the
        Message 3 of 30 , Aug 18, 2009
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          Dear Yong Peng,

          Sounds reasonable! I would like to add that my own palistudy list also
          has a focus on classical grammar texts, particularly those of the
          Kaccaayana school. Here are the texts I'm working on:

          Kaccaayanabyaakara.na.
          Nyaasa (aka Mukhamattadiipanii), an 11th cent. commentary on Kacc.
          Thanbyin-.tiikaa (aka Nyaasappadiipa), a rare 12th cent. .tiikaa on
          the Nyaasa.

          There is quite a bit of commentary on the introductory verses of
          Kaccaayana to work through and it's going to be more a study of the
          jewel-triad for a long time before we get to the first sutta of Kacc
          in detail.

          For Pali texts from the Tipitaka:

          A detailed study of the Dhammapada in conjunction with its commentary
          and classical grammatical studies of the vocabulary of the Dhp text.

          Also, I've been thinking of introducing Abhidhamma studies starting
          with a detailed study of the Maatikaa at the beginning of
          Dhammasa"nga.nii along with its a.t.thakathaa and 2 .tiikaas.

          However, this is all progressing at a snail's pace.

          If anyone is interested in participating in this venture, they can
          contact me offlist.

          Best wishes,
          Jim

          > Dear Mahinda and Nina,
          >
          > thank you. I have slightly different views. For us, as a group, we
          started out elementary books, modern texts in English. Now, we have
          compiled complete solutions for several of such texts. We are now
          taking the next step, to study classical Pali grammar. To do that, we
          will need more assistance, and more knowledgeable contributors like
          yourselves, and more time for a classical grammar text requires more
          effort.
        • Nina van Gorkom
          Dear Jim, ... N: Whatever you can share with us is most welcome, but it all depends on your time. I applaud everything you mention here. Your contributions are
          Message 4 of 30 , Aug 18, 2009
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            Dear Jim,
            Op 18-aug-2009, om 18:17 heeft Jim Anderson het volgende geschreven:

            > I would like to add that my own palistudy list also
            > has a focus on classical grammar texts, particularly those of the
            > Kaccaayana school. Here are the texts I'm working on:
            >
            > Kaccaayanabyaakara.na.
            > Nyaasa (aka Mukhamattadiipanii), an 11th cent. commentary on Kacc.
            > Thanbyin-.tiikaa (aka Nyaasappadiipa), a rare 12th cent. .tiikaa on
            > the Nyaasa.
            >
            > There is quite a bit of commentary on the introductory verses of
            > Kaccaayana to work through and it's going to be more a study of the
            > jewel-triad for a long time before we get to the first sutta of Kacc
            > in detail.
            >
            > For Pali texts from the Tipitaka:
            >
            > A detailed study of the Dhammapada in conjunction with its commentary
            > and classical grammatical studies of the vocabulary of the Dhp text.
            >
            > Also, I've been thinking of introducing Abhidhamma studies starting
            > with a detailed study of the Maatikaa at the beginning of
            > Dhammasa"nga.nii along with its a.t.thakathaa and 2 .tiikaas.
            >
            > However, this is all progressing at a snail's pace.
            >
            > If anyone is interested in participating in this venture, they can
            > contact me offlist.
            --------
            N: Whatever you can share with us is most welcome, but it all depends
            on your time.
            I applaud everything you mention here. Your contributions are always
            very helpful.
            Nina.



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jim Anderson
            Dear Nina, Thank-yon! I will still continue to contribute to the Saddaniiti project for as long as I m able to. Best wishes, Jim ... depends
            Message 5 of 30 , Aug 18, 2009
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              Dear Nina,

              Thank-yon! I will still continue to contribute to the Saddaniiti
              project for as long as I'm able to.

              Best wishes,
              Jim

              > --------
              > N: Whatever you can share with us is most welcome, but it all
              depends
              > on your time.
              > I applaud everything you mention here. Your contributions are always
              > very helpful.
              > Nina.
            • Jim Anderson
              Dear Yong Peng, ... mean subject proper . Kappa has several meanings. In the first introductory verse of Kaccaayana there is the word susandhikappa.m at the
              Message 6 of 30 , Aug 19, 2009
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                Dear Yong Peng,

                > The word kappa literally means rule, but I originally thought it to
                mean "subject proper".

                Kappa has several meanings. In the first introductory verse of
                Kaccaayana there is the word 'susandhikappa.m" at the end. The Nyaasa
                (Mmd p. 4) gives the following nibbacana on 'kappa' which is along the
                lines of Aggava.msa's nibbacana on 'paccayaa' :

                kappiiyati etthaati kappo. It is circumscribed or delimited at this
                place, thus it is 'kappa'.

                The .tiikaa (Mmd-p.t p. 24) glosses 'kappiiyati' with
                'paricchijjiiyati' in the following comment:

                kappiiyati etthaati kappoti ettha paricchedappadese attho aacariyena
                kappiiyati paricchijjiiyaiti yasmaa, iti tasmaa kappo.

                I don't fully grasp this comment nor the one before but it suggests to
                me an area where the subject-matter is circumscrbed or marked out by
                the teacher.

                Of course we could go further and investigate and compare other
                meanings of kappa (e.g your rule) but I think this is enough.

                Best wishes,
                Jim
              • Ong Yong Peng
                Dear Mahinda, Jim and Nina, thank you for all your generous support for this Saddaniti study, without which I wouldn t have come thus far. metta, Yong Peng.
                Message 7 of 30 , Aug 19, 2009
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                  Dear Mahinda, Jim and Nina,

                  thank you for all your generous support for this Saddaniti study, without which I wouldn't have come thus far.

                  metta,
                  Yong Peng.


                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jim Anderson wrote:

                  I will still continue to contribute to the Saddaniiti project for as long as I'm able to.
                • Ong Yong Peng
                  Dear Mahinda and friends, once again, thank you for your kind support for this Saddaniti study. I respect your decision not to venture away from Saddaniti.
                  Message 8 of 30 , Aug 19, 2009
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                    Dear Mahinda and friends,

                    once again, thank you for your kind support for this Saddaniti study. I respect your decision not to venture away from Saddaniti.

                    When we first began this discussion group, there were some who argued that Pali was a language almost impossible to master. But, we had worked through many of the modern Pali texts, and now we are studying one of three great Pali grammar classics. It is like using English to learn English grammar, without using any other language. This, I believe, is an important achievement for us. And, yes, I am ready to keep working through the text. However, because I have other priorities too, so if I am the only person providing the translation, then it has to be the pace I set.

                    As an online discussion group with an open membership, all members can post freely and participate in any group discussion. Moderation is provided to prevent abuse of this facility.

                    When we started with Saddaniti, there were suppose to be three threads in parallel. (Jim has completed the introductory verse, but the third thread did not start.) Because of the differences in individual's time and proficiency, style of translation varies from person to person. This can be seen from our group's sutta translations in the past. As I recall, out of about a dozen people who had shared with us sutta translations, only I used the trilinear method. I retained trilinear in sutta translations as an enabling mechanism so that those weak in Pali but good in sutta knowledge can also join the discussion.

                    For Saddaniti study, or study of any classical Pali grammar, I think the trilinear method is unnecessary. I believe that Saddaniti is an advance text, and all participants should be able to use Pali dictionaries and other tools well. I also expect that participants are already capable of acquiring new words with some level of ease. This may require at least some elementary Pali knowledge, which is needed to learn more (advance) Pali grammar. Also, without trilinear, we focus on the technical content of the text, not so much about which English word is the best rendering for a non grammatical term. However, that does not mean we should forbid such discussions. I will not provide translation of individual words in my original posts, but in subsequent replies, if anyone raises any such question, I may choose to discuss based on the merit of the question. In the same way, you decide what is necessary for the understanding of the text and what to discuss in your mails.

                    I will still highlight the grammatical terms, such as vikarana. I will also provide a line-by-line literal translation. And, as you suggest, I will make a full renderings at suitable points as I did for the most recent post (within braces).

                    Btw, Mahinda, would you mind sharing with us what you think is the best approach in learning from the classics. What are some of the prerequisites, and what are the tools which are useful. Thank you.

                    metta,
                    Yong Peng.


                    --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Mahinda Palihawadana wrote:

                    No, let's not go for another grammar text. Let's plod along with Saddaniiti. I am just wondering whether we can have a less confusing format. Do we need to translate all the words separately, or comment on the difficult terms only, prededed or followed by a complete rendering of the passage as a whole?

                    > Our experience tells us that capability and functionality limits us to only one classical text at a time, at least at this initial stage. It will get overwhelming and messy if we start having multiple threads on the classics... I am happy to suspend Saddaniti, and let you start postings on Balavatara.
                  • Mahinda Palihawadana
                    ... Dear YP, I took some time to reflect a bit on what am I doing here? See, one doesn’t want to make another addiction, another ‘bondage’. I would like
                    Message 9 of 30 , Aug 20, 2009
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                      On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM, Ong Yong Peng <palismith@...> wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Btw, Mahinda, would you mind sharing with us what you think is the best
                      > approach in learning from the classics. What are some of the prerequisites,
                      > and what are the tools which are useful.
                      >


                      Dear YP,

                      I took some time to reflect a bit on what am I doing here? See, one doesn’t
                      want to make another addiction, another ‘bondage’. I would like my
                      involvement with Pali to be light, not too serious. I want to take it
                      somewhat as’fun’.

                      Having said that, I think there is no fast paced approach. One has to
                      become familiar with the ways of expression of these texts. Language of
                      post-canonical texts is an almost dialectal variation of the Pali of Sutta
                      and Vinaya texts. Most of the authors knew classical Sanskrit, even refer to
                      it (as “sakkate: in Sanskrit” or “sakkata-ganthesu: in Skt texts”). The
                      Kaccaayana grammar for example definitely follows Paanini, as James De Alwis
                      pointed out long ago. Many commentaries, especially those of Dhammapala,
                      often take recourse to the ‘debating style’ adopted by Sanskrit
                      commentators.

                      So, what can one do? One has to read these texts. Perhaps in bits, not large
                      chunks at a time. You are doing that. You are reading from the Suttas to
                      become familiar with those texts. And now this Saddaniiti, a very different
                      terrain. Specially for these texts, it helps to be able to break up a word
                      into all its constituent parts. Ex. aṭṭhivācakatte(pi) =
                      aṭṭhi+vāc+aka+tta+i_(api). How does one identify these elements? There is no
                      short cut. One has to learn the stems, roots, affixes. One who enjoys maths
                      might like it. That’s the other tool , a compatible frame of mind.

                      Good luck!

                      Mahinda

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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • ypong001
                      Dear Nina, thanks for iccaaneka. As for kaara.na.m, cause/reason is appropriate, but that is from what we have read so far. I suggest we proceed with the text
                      Message 10 of 30 , Aug 21, 2009
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                        Dear Nina,

                        thanks for iccaaneka. As for kaara.na.m, cause/reason is appropriate, but that is from what we have read so far. I suggest we proceed with the text to have better understanding.

                        metta,
                        Yong Peng.


                        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Nina van Gorkom wrote:

                        > Pa.ticca kaara.na.m ta.m ta.m,
                        > Due to various causes...

                        Can we not just keep cause for kaara.na instead of function?

                        > Y.P.: Iccaanekavidhesu paccayesu "vikara.napaccayaa naama ime"ti
                        > sallakkhetabbaa.
                        > Among the various forms (of) verbal suffixes,

                        N: Iccaaneka: iti aaneka: here among the various forms...
                      • ypong001
                        Dear Jim, thank you. I should have written ...I originally guessed it to mean subject proper . Of course, that is based on how I understood the verse at
                        Message 11 of 30 , Aug 22, 2009
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                          Dear Jim,

                          thank you. I should have written '...I originally guessed it to mean "subject proper"'. Of course, that is based on how I understood the verse at that time, then (and even now) without knowledge of the rest of the content.

                          I could have put ??? for it, but then I would be putting ??? in every other line. So, I would rather put in my humble suggestion, and leave it open for comments.

                          ettha pariccheda-p-padese attho aacariyena kappiiyati paricchijjiiyaiti
                          here, the meaning is prepared (defined) and resolved by the teacher within a bounded range.

                          It looks like we will only find out what the chapters Namakappa and Akhyatakappa contain till we get to it. Stay tuned? ;-)

                          metta,
                          Yong Peng.


                          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jim Anderson wrote:

                          > The word kappa literally means rule, but I originally thought it
                          > to mean "subject proper".

                          Kappa has several meanings. In the first introductory verse of Kaccaayana there is the word 'susandhikappa.m" at the end. The Nyaasa (Mmd p. 4) gives the following nibbacana on 'kappa' which is along the lines of Aggava.msa's nibbacana on 'paccayaa' :

                          kappiiyati etthaati kappo. It is circumscribed or delimited at this place, thus it is 'kappa'.

                          The .tiikaa (Mmd-p.t p. 24) glosses 'kappiiyati' with 'paricchijjiiyati' in the following comment:

                          kappiiyati etthaati kappoti ettha paricchedappadese attho aacariyena kappiiyati paricchijjiiyaiti yasmaa, iti tasmaa kappo.

                          I don't fully grasp this comment nor the one before but it suggests to me an area where the subject-matter is circumscrbed or marked out by the teacher.

                          Of course we could go further and investigate and compare other meanings of kappa (e.g your rule) but I think this is enough.
                        • Jim Anderson
                          Dear Yong Peng, ... paricchijjiiyaiti ... within a bounded range. I would translate it as: Here, in this division-place, the subject-matter is cut, is defined
                          Message 12 of 30 , Aug 22, 2009
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                            Dear Yong Peng,

                            > ettha pariccheda-p-padese attho aacariyena kappiiyati
                            paricchijjiiyaiti
                            > here, the meaning is prepared (defined) and resolved by the teacher
                            within a bounded range.

                            I would translate it as:

                            Here, in this division-place, the subject-matter is cut, is defined by
                            the teacher.

                            > It looks like we will only find out what the chapters Namakappa and
                            Akhyatakappa contain till we get to it. Stay tuned? ;-)

                            Much of the material in the AAkhyaatakappa is discussed in the first 2
                            paricchedas of the Padamaalaa. The main difference is that the
                            material is laid out in the form of rules, usually with a commentary
                            and examples, .in the AAkhyaatakappa.

                            H. Smith's edition of the Saddaniiti can be used as an encyclopedic
                            reference manual. About half of it is filled with tables and indices
                            that enable one to look up items in the main text such as roots and
                            suffixes. This is how I've been able to make good use of the text but
                            this edition of three thick volumes, available from PTS, is expensive.

                            Best wishes,
                            Jim
                          • ypong001
                            Dear Mahinda, thank you for sharing your personal reflection. There is no doubt Pali is influenced by classical Sanskrit, which was the scholarly and religious
                            Message 13 of 30 , Aug 22, 2009
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                              Dear Mahinda,

                              thank you for sharing your personal reflection. There is no doubt Pali is influenced by classical Sanskrit, which was the scholarly and religious language of ancient Brahmanical India.

                              As to whether the study of classical Sanskrit is necessary for Pali students, and if so when, I think is an academic matter. It is almost like asking if a student of Sinhala should also study Sanskrit, and if so at what age. We shall not push for it on this list, but leave it to the individual member to pursue as an additional 'bondage', to use your word.

                              On the other hand, we will definitely continue with our readings of the suttas and Saddaniti and other Pali readers.

                              metta,
                              Yong Peng.


                              --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Mahinda Palihawadana wrote:

                              One has to become familiar with the ways of expression of these texts. Language of post-canonical texts is an almost dialectal variation of the Pali of Sutta and Vinaya texts. Most of the authors knew classical Sanskrit, even refer to it (as "sakkate: in Sanskrit" or "sakkata-ganthesu: in Skt texts"). The Kaccaayana grammar for example definitely follows Paanini, as James De Alwis pointed out long ago. Many commentaries, especially those of Dhammapala, often take recourse to the 'debating style' adopted by Sanskrit commentators.

                              So, what can one do? One has to read these texts. Perhaps in bits, not large chunks at a time. You are doing that. You are reading from the Suttas to become familiar with those texts. And now this Saddaniiti, a very different terrain. Specially for these texts, it helps to be able to break up a word into all its constituent parts. Ex. aṭṭhivācakatte(pi) = aṭṭhi+vāc+aka+tta+i_(api). How does one identify these elements? There is no short cut. One has to learn the stems, roots, affixes. One who enjoys maths might like it. That's the other tool , a compatible frame of mind.
                            • gdbedell
                              Friends, ... I agree with Mahinda that we are not making much progress, and it not just that the going is slow, but also that the result (so far, at least) is
                              Message 14 of 30 , Aug 23, 2009
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                                Friends,

                                Mahinda deserves our gratitude for his forthright assessment last week of the state of the Saddaniiti project:

                                > I am sorry to say that I don't think we are making much progress in this
 venture. It is
                                > not possible to translate (i.e., understand) this kind of text unless one (gradually) gets
                                > used to the peculiar idiom found in Indian
 grammatical and exegetical works. Saddaniti > is just too difficult for anyone
 who is not familiar with this idiom. Even the
                                > Baalaavataara, which is meant
 for the 'baala' (children, i.e., beginners) is not all that
                                > easy to
 translate. I think however, things might have been less intricate had we
 first
                                > gone through that text and become familiar with the idiom. Or, doing
 a systematic
                                > study of any commentary could have helped, since the exegetical
 vocabulary is
                                > somewhat akin to the grammatical. The vocabulary and style of
 Pali grammatical texts
                                > are heavily influenced by the corresponding texts
 written for Sanskrit grammar.



                                > Contributing to the present discussion of the Saddaniiti is, at least for
 me, a tiring and > unproductive effort. Please forgive me for saying this. I
 would be glad if the experience > of others who are more patient than me is
 different.


                                I agree with Mahinda that we are not making much progress, and it not just that the going is slow, but also that the result (so far, at least) is not an accurate and readable translation that might be of use to others. I also feel that `contributing to the present discussion of the Saddaniiti is ... a tiring and unproductive effort.' In my case that feeling is not based so much on the material that others have posted, as on my own efforts to continue the translation of pariccheda 2 that I started in January. I think this must be the `third thread' which Yong Peng said `did not start'. That does not seem a very fair statement, since the amount of text I covered (37 lines in Smith's edition) in my one post is roughly the same as what he has covered in all eight of his (40 lines). It is true that there wasn't much discussion of my translation, but I would like to think that is because little was called for. If anyone wishes to know why I have not continued posting, the answer is simple: my Pali is not adequate. I do not fully understand the following definitions of vibhatti or the discussion of noun and verb forms which lack them. It is impossible for me (not to mention pointless) to translate a text which I do not understand. The throw-enough-mud-against-the-wall-and-some-of-it-is-bound-to-stick method does not strike me as very effective in translation.

                                We find the Saddaniiti difficult not because it is `advanced Pali' but because (i) it was written at least a thousand years after the Tipitaka in another country and another culture and (ii) it belongs to a highly specialized and technical genre: grammar. The majority of Pali reference works (dictionaries and grammars) were compiled to be used in reading the Tipitaka, and did not put much (if any) effort into medieval technical prose. Mahinda is right that we need to beome familiar with this variety of the language. He is also right about the role of Sanskrit and Sanskrit grammar in understanding Aggava.msa. This point is quite separate from any help a knowledge of Sanskrit might provide in learning Pali. The Pali grammars were written by people who were familiar with Sanskrit and Sanskrit grammar, and who were trying to show that Pali could be analyzed in the same way. Their work cannot be understood out of that context. So I am disappointed that Mahinda's remarks have not been taken very seriously.

                                George
                              • ypong001
                                Dear George and friends, thank you for your feedback. ... Allow me to say that what we doing is unconventional. For a typical translation be published, it
                                Message 15 of 30 , Aug 23, 2009
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                                  Dear George and friends,

                                  thank you for your feedback.

                                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, gdbedell wrote:

                                  > I agree with Mahinda that we are not making much progress, and it not just that the going is slow, but also that the result (so far, at least) is not an accurate and readable translation that might be of use to others.

                                  Allow me to say that what we doing is unconventional. For a typical translation be published, it would be going through several rounds of drafts, proof-readings, and revisions, before it sees daylight. Here, we are only making the first draft, and purely for the purpose of group discussion and self-discovery.

                                  > I think this must be the `third thread' which Yong Peng said 'did not start'.

                                  You are correct. It was my mistake to have missed it. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/13095

                                  > The throw-enough-mud-against-the-wall-and-some-of-it-is-bound-to-stick method does not strike me as very effective in translation.

                                  Rome was not built in a day.

                                  Translation is never an easy task. I know that some may prefer we work on something which has already been translated, as we do now for AN (not its commentary, or something not yet available in English). I thought people would appreciate that Saddaniiti is of a different genre, and a different mindset can be acquired in this project, that we be less conscious of making mistakes.

                                  > We find the Saddaniiti difficult not because it is `advanced Pali' but because (i) it was written at least a thousand years after the Tipitaka in another country and another culture and (ii) it belongs to a highly specialized and technical genre: grammar. The majority of Pali reference works (dictionaries and grammars) were compiled to be used in reading the Tipitaka, and did not put much (if any) effort into medieval technical prose. Mahinda is right that we need to beome familiar with this variety of the language. He is also right about the role of Sanskrit and Sanskrit grammar in understanding Aggava.msa. This point is quite separate from any help a knowledge of Sanskrit might provide in learning Pali. The Pali grammars were written by people who were familiar with Sanskrit and Sanskrit grammar, and who were trying to show that Pali could be analyzed in the same way. Their work cannot be understood out of that context. So I am disappointed that Mahinda's remarks have not been taken very seriously.

                                  I have been highlighting that Saddaniti is a classical grammar, and had also pointed out a grammar is a different genre, a technical text for language study. I have also provided a brief background of Saddaniti and its author Aggavamsa, including the time and place the text was written. In addition, I consider Saddaniti an advance text, as I similarly consider Kaccayana and Moggallana.

                                  I had offered to stop Saddaniti and let Mahinda run us through Balavatara. I thought that is a constructive move. Otherwise, we will have to progress with Saddaniti. I do not see how we can become familiar with classical grammars without getting our hands dirty. But, that doesn't mean we can just throw mud against the wall.

                                  As for classical Sanskrit, I am all with Mahinda's remarks. The two languages are closely related, and we can comfortably discuss similarities and differences. Still, we have to rely on members who have that knowledge for assistance. Our group focus is on Pali, and we are not abandoning that just yet.

                                  I hope this would generate some ideas how we can improve our group discussions, particularly on Saddaniti.


                                  metta,
                                  Yong Peng.
                                • Jim Anderson
                                  Dear Yong Peng and others, ... discussions, particularly on Saddaniti. My suggestion would be, that when one comes up against a passage that is too difficult
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Aug 23, 2009
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                                    Dear Yong Peng and others,

                                    > I hope this would generate some ideas how we can improve our group
                                    discussions, particularly on Saddaniti.

                                    My suggestion would be, that when one comes up against a passage that
                                    is too difficult to translate, to leave it untransalted and to explain
                                    what one does make of it and point out the difficulty. If one doesn't
                                    understand it, it is certainly going to show in a translation.
                                    Pretending to understand it is counter-productive. We have to be
                                    honest about it and not be afraid to admit our lack of knowledge.

                                    I would also suggest that in addition to work on the 1st pariccheda
                                    that a start be made soon on the 25th pariccheda, the aakhyaatakappa.
                                    The concise sutta style is very different from the verbose style of
                                    the 1st pariccheda. I wouldn't mind making a start on this kappa by
                                    posting 1 sutta a week. At that rate it would take 5 years to go
                                    through all 249 suttas unless others chip in to speed things up.

                                    Learning Pali takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. There is no
                                    easy way. One reason why the project is moving so slow is the low
                                    interest (globally) in traditional Pali grammar and the fact that so
                                    very few are willing or able to put in the time and effort needed to
                                    learn it.

                                    Best wishes,
                                    Jim
                                  • ypong001
                                    Dear Jim and friends, thank you, Jim. I hope our group s little work has not upset some bigger ego out there. I hope to address some of the concerns which were
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Aug 24, 2009
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                                      Dear Jim and friends,

                                      thank you, Jim. I hope our group's little work has not upset some bigger ego out there.

                                      I hope to address some of the concerns which were raised over the last few posts.

                                      I like to say that "pretending to understand" is different from "trying to understand". I do not claim to be an expert in classical Pali grammar. And, this is not the first occasion I spend time typing something like this, but I shall make it the last. If people do not like how we conduct our discussions, it does not bother me anymore.

                                      As George noted, it took me 8 posts to cover 40 lines, when it took him just one post to cover 37 lines. If I had left them untranslated, I could have covered 40 lines in one post, and we would be completing the first chapter in no time. However, this is not a commercial project with some dateline. The moving is slow not because of any of the reasons anyone has listed so far. I am the only one making the postings for chapter 1, and I am still trying to get use to the style, so I set the pace.

                                      Each post, I give my best attempt to provide a good rendering. The last post was even a rework of the previous, as I would also do for some of the sutta translations, when I believe that I did not get most of the text right the first time. I am abhorred if that is being misconstrued as "pretending to understand".

                                      After this episode, I have decided to take a break for as long as a year, which I hope to catch up on other stuff. So, I will stop further postings of the 1st pariccheda for the next twelve months.

                                      Jim, I am grateful for your assistance so far, and I am glad that you offer to start the 25th pariccheda, which isn't available on CSCD, meaning that you would have to type out the text.

                                      I do not have the text, but I like to make an appeal to everyone to consider helping Jim with the typing.

                                      Thank you.

                                      metta,
                                      Yong Peng.


                                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jim Anderson wrote:

                                      My suggestion would be, that when one comes up against a passage that is too difficult to translate, to leave it untransalted and to explain what one does make of it and point out the difficulty. If one doesn't understand it, it is certainly going to show in a translation. Pretending to understand it is counter-productive. We have to be honest about it and not be afraid to admit our lack of knowledge.

                                      I would also suggest that in addition to work on the 1st pariccheda that a start be made soon on the 25th pariccheda, the aakhyaatakappa. The concise sutta style is very different from the verbose style of the 1st pariccheda. I wouldn't mind making a start on this kappa by posting 1 sutta a week. At that rate it would take 5 years to go through all 249 suttas unless others chip in to speed things up.

                                      Learning Pali takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. There is no easy way. One reason why the project is moving so slow is the low interest (globally) in traditional Pali grammar and the fact that so very few are willing or able to put in the time and effort needed to learn it.
                                    • Jim Anderson
                                      Dear Yong Peng, ... last post was even a rework of the previous, as I would also do for some of the sutta translations, when I believe that I did not get most
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Aug 24, 2009
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                                        Dear Yong Peng,

                                        > Each post, I give my best attempt to provide a good rendering. The
                                        last post was even a rework of the previous, as I would also do for
                                        some of the sutta translations, when I believe that I did not get most
                                        of the text right the first time. I am abhorred if that is being
                                        misconstrued as "pretending to understand".
                                        >
                                        > After this episode, I have decided to take a break for as long as a
                                        year, which I hope to catch up on other stuff. So, I will stop further
                                        postings of the 1st pariccheda for the next twelve months.

                                        I'm sorry to hear this and I apologize for my remarks which were never
                                        meant to offend you or anyone else. I do not entirely share the
                                        criticism that Mahinda and George have raised concerning the progress
                                        of your work on the 1st pariccheda and, in fact, I was agreeing with
                                        you in your responses to the criticism. I think progress is being made
                                        in gaining a better understanding of traditional Pali grammar. I know
                                        you're trying your best and you're to be commended for launching the
                                        Saddaniiti project. I wholehearedly agree that we need to keep it
                                        going in sptie of the obstacles and setbacks.

                                        > Jim, I am grateful for your assistance so far, and I am glad that
                                        you offer to start the 25th pariccheda, which isn't available on CSCD,
                                        meaning that you would have to type out the text.
                                        >
                                        > I do not have the text, but I like to make an appeal to everyone to
                                        consider helping Jim with the typing.

                                        I think I can do most of the typing. I already have the suttas typed
                                        out and only need to proofread ihem and type in the commentary. In
                                        addition to Smith's edition, I also have the Thai script BBF edition
                                        to work with. There are 241 suttas, not the 249 I mentioned earlier.
                                        The entire kappa takes up 33 pages in Smith's edition which is about
                                        the same no. of pages as the 1st and 2nd pariccheda combined. The
                                        kappa starts off with the definitons of parassapada, attanopada,
                                        purisa, pa.thama, majjhima, and uttama then takes up the uses of the
                                        tenses which should be interesting. I still have a lot more to learn
                                        about Pali grammar and will be dealing with troublesome terms. Well,
                                        let's see how far we can go with the 25th paricched without getting
                                        derailed!

                                        Best wishes,
                                        Jim
                                      • Nina van Gorkom
                                        Dear Jim and Yong Peng, ... N: I heartily agree with this. I am very grateful to you Jim, that you are willing to help us with the 25th pariccheda. Yong Peng,
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Aug 24, 2009
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                                          Dear Jim and Yong Peng,
                                          Op 24-aug-2009, om 17:53 heeft Jim Anderson het volgende geschreven:

                                          > I think progress is being made
                                          > in gaining a better understanding of traditional Pali grammar. I know
                                          > you're trying your best and you're to be commended for launching the
                                          > Saddaniiti project. I wholehearedly agree that we need to keep it
                                          > going in sptie of the obstacles and setbacks.
                                          ------
                                          N: I heartily agree with this. I am very grateful to you Jim, that
                                          you are willing to help us with the 25th pariccheda.
                                          Yong Peng, I am sorry about your break, but it is understandable. All
                                          the work you do must be a heavy burden taking many, many hours. I
                                          admire all the work you do and have done.

                                          Nina.



                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • ypong001
                                          Dear Jim, Nina and friends, I will still be providing administrative support as previous. I just wonder if anyone is interested to compile the material Jim
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Aug 27, 2009
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                                            Dear Jim, Nina and friends,

                                            I will still be providing administrative support as previous. I just wonder if anyone is interested to compile the material Jim will be providing over the next few years. It would be good if someone with good secretarial skills can help to put the materials in PDF format for people to download and read offline.


                                            metta,
                                            Yong Peng.
                                          • Jim Anderson
                                            Dear Yong Peng, ... wonder if anyone is interested to compile the material Jim will be providing over the next few years. It would be good if someone with good
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Aug 27, 2009
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                                              Dear Yong Peng,

                                              > I will still be providing administrative support as previous. I just
                                              wonder if anyone is interested to compile the material Jim will be
                                              providing over the next few years. It would be good if someone with
                                              good secretarial skills can help to put the materials in PDF format
                                              for people to download and read offline.

                                              As for typing in the text of the 25th pariccheda, I can look after
                                              that and the proofreading. Help in this area will not speed things up.
                                              I have not studied this pariccheda on verbs before in any
                                              thoroughgoing fashion so this will be an opportunity for me to learn
                                              and try to understand as well. Most of my work will no doubt involve
                                              research on difficult points that usually entail extensive reading of
                                              otheruntranslated grammatical commentaries. I'm planning to make my
                                              first contribution this coming Monday. It will consist of the text and
                                              translation of the one introductory verse followed by an etymological
                                              definiton of the term "aakhyaata.m" (the finite verb) which I've
                                              already done some reading up on. I have the 3 lines of text translated
                                              in my mind. I will try to post an instalment each Monday with an
                                              average of 1 sutta per week. Some of the postings will contain 2 or
                                              more suttas if it can be done easily. In my readings so far it is
                                              becoming clear that the aakhyaata.m is the most important word in a
                                              sentence, grammatically speaking, as it carries vital information
                                              about the sentence structure. It is for a good reason that it is
                                              called the teller or the informer.

                                              There will be periods when I'll be in another location with limited
                                              access to my research materials especially from late December to early
                                              April. I may also lose access to the Internet should my old laptop
                                              suddenly die. Just to let you know that things may not always go as
                                              smoothly as one would like.

                                              Best wishes,
                                              Jim
                                            • ypong001
                                              Dear Jim, it is good if you are alright with the typing. I was referring to compiling your postings, including your translations and probably follow-up
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Aug 29, 2009
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                                                Dear Jim,

                                                it is good if you are alright with the typing. I was referring to compiling your postings, including your translations and probably follow-up discussions and ensuing conclusions.

                                                I can understand if you have to take occasional breaks in-between the postings, which will last for a few years. Keeping it short, I look forward to the very first post on "aakhyaata.m".

                                                metta,
                                                Yong Peng.


                                                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jim Anderson wrote:

                                                > I will still be providing administrative support as previous. I just wonder if anyone is interested to compile the material Jim will be providing over the next few years. It would be good if someone with good secretarial skills can help to put the materials in PDF format for people to download and read offline.

                                                As for typing in the text of the 25th pariccheda, I can look after that and the proofreading. Help in this area will not speed things up. I have not studied this pariccheda on verbs before in any thoroughgoing fashion so this will be an opportunity for me to learn and try to understand as well. Most of my work will no doubt involve research on difficult points that usually entail extensive reading of otheruntranslated grammatical commentaries. I'm planning to make my first contribution this coming Monday. It will consist of the text and translation of the one introductory verse followed by an etymological definiton of the term "aakhyaata.m" (the finite verb) which I've already done some reading up on. I have the 3 lines of text translated in my mind. I will try to post an instalment each Monday with an average of 1 sutta per week. Some of the postings will contain 2 or more suttas if it can be done easily. In my readings so far it is becoming clear that the aakhyaata.m is the most important word in a sentence, grammatically speaking, as it carries vital information about the sentence structure. It is for a good reason that it is called the teller or the informer.

                                                There will be periods when I'll be in another location with limited access to my research materials especially from late December to early April. I may also lose access to the Internet should my old laptop suddenly die. Just to let you know that things may not always go as smoothly as one would like.
                                              • Jim Anderson
                                                Dear Yong Peng, ... compiling your postings, including your translations and probably follow-up discussions and ensuing conclusions. Please feel free to do
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Aug 30, 2009
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                                                  Dear Yong Peng,

                                                  > it is good if you are alright with the typing. I was referring to
                                                  compiling your postings, including your translations and probably
                                                  follow-up discussions and ensuing conclusions.

                                                  Please feel free to do what you like with the postings on the 25th
                                                  pariccheda. I agree it's a good idea to put the material and the
                                                  discussions all together. I will probably be doing some compiling
                                                  myself and maintaining a master file for the text, translation, and
                                                  notes which will all be subject to future revisions. I won't be typing
                                                  in the text exactly as found in Smith's edition in that I'll be using
                                                  lower case letters only and leaving out the apostrophes that mark
                                                  elision. I will also compare with the Thai script edn. and take note
                                                  of significant differences in the readings. I find both editions very
                                                  reliable.

                                                  > I can understand if you have to take occasional breaks in-between
                                                  the postings, which will last for a few years. Keeping it short, I
                                                  look forward to the very first post on "aakhyaata.m".

                                                  I'll be sending in my first post tomorrow on Monday as planned.

                                                  Best wishes,
                                                  Jim
                                                • ypong001
                                                  Dear Jim, thank you. I shall see what I can do. I hope you can start the 25th pariccheda on a new thread, rather than replying to this post. Thank you. metta,
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Aug 31, 2009
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                                                    Dear Jim,

                                                    thank you. I shall see what I can do. I hope you can start the 25th pariccheda on a new thread, rather than replying to this post. Thank you.

                                                    metta,
                                                    Yong Peng.


                                                    --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jim Anderson wrote:

                                                    Please feel free to do what you like with the postings on the 25th pariccheda. I agree it's a good idea to put the material and the discussions all together. I will probably be doing some compiling myself and maintaining a master file for the text, translation, and notes which will all be subject to future revisions. I won't be typing in the text exactly as found in Smith's edition in that I'll be using lower case letters only and leaving out the apostrophes that mark elision. I will also compare with the Thai script edn. and take note of significant differences in the readings. I find both editions very reliable.
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