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Stefan Karpik article

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  • Dhivan Thomas Jones
    Dear Stefan Karpik, Hello and thanks for getting in touch directly with this group concerning your article The Buddha Spoke Pali . I have already found and
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 28, 2010
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      Dear Stefan Karpik,

      Hello and thanks for getting in touch directly with this group concerning your article "The Buddha Spoke Pali". I have already found and read the 'short' version available on-line and found it thought-provoking. I am not a linguist, rather a Pali scholar with a knowledge of Sanskrit, but I foresee several objections to your line of thinking:
      1. You doubt that the oral tradition which preserved the Buddha's teaching would have translated that teaching from one language or dialect into another language or dialect, which we now know as Pali. Hence you infer that Pali was in fact the language originally spoken by the Buddha. However, it is well known that the Pali canon is simply the one surviving complete version of the early Buddhist scriptures, that happens to be in the Pali language, probably because missionaries who travelled to Sri Lanka knew this version of the Buddhist scriptures. There is evidence from the Chinese translations, for instance, that suggest that the early Buddhist teachings were also preserved in other Prakrits, no longer extant. So your argument assumes a privileged position for Pali among the vernaculars in which the Buddha's teaching were memorised, which I do not think is warranted.
      2. My understanding from the scholarly work of Norman, Von Hinuber, etc., is that the 'translation' involved between versions of the Buddha's teaching would have been between various Middle-Indo-Aryan dialects, which may have been mutually intelligible to some well-travelled people like Buddhist monks. This possibly gets round the problem you raise, that of the unlikelihood of an oral tradition translating between languages.
      3. The idea that Pali corresponds to any single original language or dialect is problematic. The Pali of the early records of the Buddha's teaching has gone through a 'Sanskritization' process which blocks our knowledge of many original forms, though some, like 'baahma.na' for 'braahma.na', can be reconstructed. Because we do not have very much evidence for actual languages that existed at the time of the Buddha except for the language preserved as Pali, which has been Sanskritized and modified, it is going to be difficult to pin down the relationship of Pali to the language actually spoken by the Buddha, except as conjecture.
      4. Your idea that the Buddha spoke Pali sounds like Theravadin orthodoxy but given a new twist.
      But in conclusion it seems to me very reasonable to say, from a certain point of view, that it is likely that Pali is more or less similar to whatever language or dialects the Buddha spoke, and it is a marvellous thing that we have access to a language that may preserve echoes of the Buddha's very words.
      Best wishes
      Dhivan

      www.dhivan.net



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lennart Lopin
      Hi Stefan @all, Just finished reading your article (the short version :-) It is funny, just 2 weeks ago while reading some material on Mahinda s mission to Sri
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 29, 2010
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        Hi Stefan @all,

        Just finished reading your article (the short version :-)

        It is funny, just 2 weeks ago while reading some material on Mahinda's
        mission to Sri Lanka and re-thinking this whole topic for the 100th time, I
        could not help myself as to write down some of the argument on both sides
        for myself - but especially those arguments in favor of Pali being the
        Buddha's language. In that little resume of mine I came to similar rational
        (not philological) conclusion as you. This was not always the case. When I
        learnt Pali I was under the impression it was Buddha's language. Then, like
        most, I learnt about the scholar's objections and had no way to argue
        against it...however, over the last decade my doubts grew and now I am back
        to my former position. Here some of my thoughts on this matter:

        The first time I ever came across someone making a case for Pali as the
        language of the Buddha, was Wiliam Stede (Pali <goog_1264813484893> English
        Dictionary.<http://books.google.com/books?id=dHWHmHnMLtAC&pg=PR5&dq=pali+kosala+stede&ei=xotjS9y6FKiuyQTnkYki&cd=1#v=onepage&q=kosala&f=false>He
        made the convincing argument, that Kosala, and not Magadha, was the
        center of affairs at the time of the Buddha. Yes, Kosala's dominant power
        was about to fade during the next few centuries, but we should never
        interpret history based on future events. Buddha was raised in Kosala, lived
        in Kosala, spent most of his adult life in Kosala. Most rain seasons start
        with Sāvatthiyam and not Nalanda or Rajagaha. Yes, it may have been that
        Magadha was "hip" and "cool" as the Aryan conquest had pushed further and
        further eastward and the power-centers of the Veda time shifted further and
        further east. But still, the culture and learning was in the West and so the
        Buddha's Kosalan dialect may have well been influenced by
        Magadha-dialectism. What would that result in? Right, a nice mix. A prakrit
        with some heavy vedic/sanskrit features...et voila, "Pali" is born.

        Now, fast forward to the time of Ashoka. Kosala is gone, swallowed up by
        Magadha. It is the heartland of Magadha now as well. The Buddha is seen as a
        son of the Magadhan empire - at least from the perspective of the Sinhala!!
        They of course take Mahinda's transmission to be "Magadhan". Even Mahinda
        may have felt that way.

        Also: (But maybe some of the very knowledgeable philologists can help me
        understanding) why does Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit read like someone trying to
        translate Pali into Sanskrit...and not just any Prakrit - it reads just like
        a Sanskritized pali text. The amount of Pali vocabulary and forms are so
        staggering (esp. compared to other brahmanic Sanskrit texts) that I would
        not look at a few examples which time and place may have changed, but at the
        overall picture...to me it seems so blatant that Brahmanic Buddhist monks
        pushed the usage of that "new" and "hype" Sanskrit, but because most of
        their terminology was so influenced by the Buddha (in Pali?!) the best way
        to move Buddhist philosophy into a Sanskrit language (as a medium to express
        new philosophic ideas because Pali became to sacred to touch) was by simply
        basing it on Pali and then formulate the new ideas in Sanskrit.

        There is that other argument you brought up, Buddhaghosa's interpretation
        that the Buddha did not want a translation of his teaching...I am ambivalent
        about that, as from a teaching standpoint the Buddha clearly advocates that
        we should not grasp at nirutti - but, at the same time, we see the monks and
        lay people at the life time of the Buddha take extreme care (!) not to
        misrepresent the Buddha's words (unlike today, unfortunately)...

        Now, if for a moment I acknowledge however, that it was understood to mean
        that you are supposed to learn the Buddha's word in your own language, then
        why did Mahinda not tell that the Sinhalese people? Why did they
        "misunderstand" Mahinda in such a big way that they were supposedly the only
        ones learning Mahinda's "dialect" by heart and not keeping the canon in
        their own Sinhalese dialect. This does not make any sense at all! It only
        makes sense, if we acknowledge that Pali was indeed Buddha's language and
        they were instructed by Mahinda to keep it that way.

        So any way, Geiger, Windisch, Stede seem to be - at least on the grounds of
        reason - much closer to the truth than the idea that there has been this
        "mysterious" Pali coming out of nowhere - at the same time while the
        Buddhist tradition was able to transmit one of the best and most complete
        literary canons in the world through 2500 years... I just guess when in
        doubt one would favor the simplest solution and that would just be that Pali
        was the Kosalan dialect of the Buddha, influenced by his tours through
        Magadha and probably filled with altenative forms as the centuries passed by
        before it was "solidified" in writing.


        thanks Stefan, Bryan, Dhivan for your interesting insights,

        Lennart


        On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 6:13 AM, Dhivan Thomas Jones <thomas@...>wrote:

        >
        >
        > Dear Stefan Karpik,
        >
        > Hello and thanks for getting in touch directly with this group concerning
        > your article "The Buddha Spoke Pali". I have already found and read the
        > 'short' version available on-line and found it thought-provoking. I am not a
        > linguist, rather a Pali scholar with a knowledge of Sanskrit, but I foresee
        > several objections to your line of thinking:
        > 1. You doubt that the oral tradition which preserved the Buddha's teaching
        > would have translated that teaching from one language or dialect into
        > another language or dialect, which we now know as Pali. Hence you infer that
        > Pali was in fact the language originally spoken by the Buddha. However, it
        > is well known that the Pali canon is simply the one surviving complete
        > version of the early Buddhist scriptures, that happens to be in the Pali
        > language, probably because missionaries who travelled to Sri Lanka knew this
        > version of the Buddhist scriptures. There is evidence from the Chinese
        > translations, for instance, that suggest that the early Buddhist teachings
        > were also preserved in other Prakrits, no longer extant. So your argument
        > assumes a privileged position for Pali among the vernaculars in which the
        > Buddha's teaching were memorised, which I do not think is warranted.
        > 2. My understanding from the scholarly work of Norman, Von Hinuber, etc.,
        > is that the 'translation' involved between versions of the Buddha's teaching
        > would have been between various Middle-Indo-Aryan dialects, which may have
        > been mutually intelligible to some well-travelled people like Buddhist
        > monks. This possibly gets round the problem you raise, that of the
        > unlikelihood of an oral tradition translating between languages.
        > 3. The idea that Pali corresponds to any single original language or
        > dialect is problematic. The Pali of the early records of the Buddha's
        > teaching has gone through a 'Sanskritization' process which blocks our
        > knowledge of many original forms, though some, like 'baahma.na' for '
        > braahma.na', can be reconstructed. Because we do not have very much
        > evidence for actual languages that existed at the time of the Buddha except
        > for the language preserved as Pali, which has been Sanskritized and
        > modified, it is going to be difficult to pin down the relationship of Pali
        > to the language actually spoken by the Buddha, except as conjecture.
        > 4. Your idea that the Buddha spoke Pali sounds like Theravadin orthodoxy
        > but given a new twist.
        > But in conclusion it seems to me very reasonable to say, from a certain
        > point of view, that it is likely that Pali is more or less similar to
        > whatever language or dialects the Buddha spoke, and it is a marvellous thing
        > that we have access to a language that may preserve echoes of the Buddha's
        > very words.
        > Best wishes
        > Dhivan
        >
        > www.dhivan.net
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • stefan_karpik
        Dear Dhivan, Thank you for your comments. Here are my observations: 1. I am indeed claiming a privileged position for Pali as it is the only known recorded
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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          Dear Dhivan,

          Thank you for your comments. Here are my observations:

          1. I am indeed claiming a privileged position for Pali as it is the only known recorded oral tradition and I believe it is a feature of oral traditions that that they do not get translated orally. I think that the availability of writing materials around 100 BCE allowed translation into other Prakrits. If I have got this wrong, please point me to the Chinese sources regarding other Prakrits used in an oral tradition.

          2. I like your attempt to resolve the issue of translation, but this creates the problem of why mutually intelligible dialects needed translation, let alone the method whereby this could have been done on such a large scale without writing materials and never noted in any surviving history.

          3. I have yet to see proof of Sanskritisation, many of these forms could have evolved in spoken languages from Vedic. Once the scriptures were written, then copying errors and "corrections" would have almost certainly have crept in. As the Theravadin commentarial tradition has claimed Pali to be the original words of the Buddha, this is not conjecture. Pali has the features of an oral tradition - large amounts of repetition and is similar, as you admit, to North Indian languages. why disregard this evidence?

          4. This is the only thing about my argument that I have problems with. I would not like to foster some kind of Theravadin fundamentalism as this would turn the Buddha speaking Pali from a source of inspiration to an inconvenient truth. I wonder if this is one reason why modern scholars shy away from a potentially sectarian position. Another would be to generate fascinating learned speculations on what else the Buddha could have spoken.

          I do like your conclusion.

          With Metta,

          Stefan

          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Dhivan Thomas Jones <thomas@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Stefan Karpik,
          >
          > Hello and thanks for getting in touch directly with this group concerning your article "The Buddha Spoke Pali". I have already found and read the 'short' version available on-line and found it thought-provoking. I am not a linguist, rather a Pali scholar with a knowledge of Sanskrit, but I foresee several objections to your line of thinking:
          > 1. You doubt that the oral tradition which preserved the Buddha's teaching would have translated that teaching from one language or dialect into another language or dialect, which we now know as Pali. Hence you infer that Pali was in fact the language originally spoken by the Buddha. However, it is well known that the Pali canon is simply the one surviving complete version of the early Buddhist scriptures, that happens to be in the Pali language, probably because missionaries who travelled to Sri Lanka knew this version of the Buddhist scriptures. There is evidence from the Chinese translations, for instance, that suggest that the early Buddhist teachings were also preserved in other Prakrits, no longer extant. So your argument assumes a privileged position for Pali among the vernaculars in which the Buddha's teaching were memorised, which I do not think is warranted.
          > 2. My understanding from the scholarly work of Norman, Von Hinuber, etc., is that the 'translation' involved between versions of the Buddha's teaching would have been between various Middle-Indo-Aryan dialects, which may have been mutually intelligible to some well-travelled people like Buddhist monks. This possibly gets round the problem you raise, that of the unlikelihood of an oral tradition translating between languages.
          > 3. The idea that Pali corresponds to any single original language or dialect is problematic. The Pali of the early records of the Buddha's teaching has gone through a 'Sanskritization' process which blocks our knowledge of many original forms, though some, like 'baahma.na' for 'braahma.na', can be reconstructed. Because we do not have very much evidence for actual languages that existed at the time of the Buddha except for the language preserved as Pali, which has been Sanskritized and modified, it is going to be difficult to pin down the relationship of Pali to the language actually spoken by the Buddha, except as conjecture.
          > 4. Your idea that the Buddha spoke Pali sounds like Theravadin orthodoxy but given a new twist.
          > But in conclusion it seems to me very reasonable to say, from a certain point of view, that it is likely that Pali is more or less similar to whatever language or dialects the Buddha spoke, and it is a marvellous thing that we have access to a language that may preserve echoes of the Buddha's very words.
          > Best wishes
          > Dhivan
          >
          > www.dhivan.net
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • stefan_karpik
          Dear Lennart, Thank for the Stede link and thank you for your arguments. I agree with everything you said about Pali. It was very interesting. As for Buddhist
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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            Dear Lennart,

            Thank for the Stede link and thank you for your arguments. I agree with everything you said about Pali. It was very interesting.

            As for Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, I am not sure; I wonder if the North Indian Prakrit of 100 BCE, when writing materials began widely available, was the foundation of BHS. Such a Prakrit would have been a descendant of the Pali of the suttas, which I believe would have been almost unchanged since about 400 BCE.

            With metta,

            Stefan

            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Lennart Lopin <lenni_lop@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Stefan @all,
            >
            > Just finished reading your article (the short version :-)
            >
            > It is funny, just 2 weeks ago while reading some material on Mahinda's
            > mission to Sri Lanka and re-thinking this whole topic for the 100th time, I
            > could not help myself as to write down some of the argument on both sides
            > for myself - but especially those arguments in favor of Pali being the
            > Buddha's language. In that little resume of mine I came to similar rational
            > (not philological) conclusion as you. This was not always the case. When I
            > learnt Pali I was under the impression it was Buddha's language. Then, like
            > most, I learnt about the scholar's objections and had no way to argue
            > against it...however, over the last decade my doubts grew and now I am back
            > to my former position. Here some of my thoughts on this matter:
            >
            > The first time I ever came across someone making a case for Pali as the
            > language of the Buddha, was Wiliam Stede (Pali <goog_1264813484893> English
            > Dictionary.<http://books.google.com/books?id=dHWHmHnMLtAC&pg=PR5&dq=pali+kosala+stede&ei=xotjS9y6FKiuyQTnkYki&cd=1#v=onepage&q=kosala&f=false>He
            > made the convincing argument, that Kosala, and not Magadha, was the
            > center of affairs at the time of the Buddha. Yes, Kosala's dominant power
            > was about to fade during the next few centuries, but we should never
            > interpret history based on future events. Buddha was raised in Kosala, lived
            > in Kosala, spent most of his adult life in Kosala. Most rain seasons start
            > with Sāvatthiyam and not Nalanda or Rajagaha. Yes, it may have been that
            > Magadha was "hip" and "cool" as the Aryan conquest had pushed further and
            > further eastward and the power-centers of the Veda time shifted further and
            > further east. But still, the culture and learning was in the West and so the
            > Buddha's Kosalan dialect may have well been influenced by
            > Magadha-dialectism. What would that result in? Right, a nice mix. A prakrit
            > with some heavy vedic/sanskrit features...et voila, "Pali" is born.
            >
            > Now, fast forward to the time of Ashoka. Kosala is gone, swallowed up by
            > Magadha. It is the heartland of Magadha now as well. The Buddha is seen as a
            > son of the Magadhan empire - at least from the perspective of the Sinhala!!
            > They of course take Mahinda's transmission to be "Magadhan". Even Mahinda
            > may have felt that way.
            >
            > Also: (But maybe some of the very knowledgeable philologists can help me
            > understanding) why does Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit read like someone trying to
            > translate Pali into Sanskrit...and not just any Prakrit - it reads just like
            > a Sanskritized pali text. The amount of Pali vocabulary and forms are so
            > staggering (esp. compared to other brahmanic Sanskrit texts) that I would
            > not look at a few examples which time and place may have changed, but at the
            > overall picture...to me it seems so blatant that Brahmanic Buddhist monks
            > pushed the usage of that "new" and "hype" Sanskrit, but because most of
            > their terminology was so influenced by the Buddha (in Pali?!) the best way
            > to move Buddhist philosophy into a Sanskrit language (as a medium to express
            > new philosophic ideas because Pali became to sacred to touch) was by simply
            > basing it on Pali and then formulate the new ideas in Sanskrit.
            >
            > There is that other argument you brought up, Buddhaghosa's interpretation
            > that the Buddha did not want a translation of his teaching...I am ambivalent
            > about that, as from a teaching standpoint the Buddha clearly advocates that
            > we should not grasp at nirutti - but, at the same time, we see the monks and
            > lay people at the life time of the Buddha take extreme care (!) not to
            > misrepresent the Buddha's words (unlike today, unfortunately)...
            >
            > Now, if for a moment I acknowledge however, that it was understood to mean
            > that you are supposed to learn the Buddha's word in your own language, then
            > why did Mahinda not tell that the Sinhalese people? Why did they
            > "misunderstand" Mahinda in such a big way that they were supposedly the only
            > ones learning Mahinda's "dialect" by heart and not keeping the canon in
            > their own Sinhalese dialect. This does not make any sense at all! It only
            > makes sense, if we acknowledge that Pali was indeed Buddha's language and
            > they were instructed by Mahinda to keep it that way.
            >
            > So any way, Geiger, Windisch, Stede seem to be - at least on the grounds of
            > reason - much closer to the truth than the idea that there has been this
            > "mysterious" Pali coming out of nowhere - at the same time while the
            > Buddhist tradition was able to transmit one of the best and most complete
            > literary canons in the world through 2500 years... I just guess when in
            > doubt one would favor the simplest solution and that would just be that Pali
            > was the Kosalan dialect of the Buddha, influenced by his tours through
            > Magadha and probably filled with altenative forms as the centuries passed by
            > before it was "solidified" in writing.
            >
            >
            > thanks Stefan, Bryan, Dhivan for your interesting insights,
            >
            > Lennart
            >
            >
            > On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 6:13 AM, Dhivan Thomas Jones <thomas@...>wrote:
            >
            > >
            > >
            > > Dear Stefan Karpik,
            > >
            > > Hello and thanks for getting in touch directly with this group concerning
            > > your article "The Buddha Spoke Pali". I have already found and read the
            > > 'short' version available on-line and found it thought-provoking. I am not a
            > > linguist, rather a Pali scholar with a knowledge of Sanskrit, but I foresee
            > > several objections to your line of thinking:
            > > 1. You doubt that the oral tradition which preserved the Buddha's teaching
            > > would have translated that teaching from one language or dialect into
            > > another language or dialect, which we now know as Pali. Hence you infer that
            > > Pali was in fact the language originally spoken by the Buddha. However, it
            > > is well known that the Pali canon is simply the one surviving complete
            > > version of the early Buddhist scriptures, that happens to be in the Pali
            > > language, probably because missionaries who travelled to Sri Lanka knew this
            > > version of the Buddhist scriptures. There is evidence from the Chinese
            > > translations, for instance, that suggest that the early Buddhist teachings
            > > were also preserved in other Prakrits, no longer extant. So your argument
            > > assumes a privileged position for Pali among the vernaculars in which the
            > > Buddha's teaching were memorised, which I do not think is warranted.
            > > 2. My understanding from the scholarly work of Norman, Von Hinuber, etc.,
            > > is that the 'translation' involved between versions of the Buddha's teaching
            > > would have been between various Middle-Indo-Aryan dialects, which may have
            > > been mutually intelligible to some well-travelled people like Buddhist
            > > monks. This possibly gets round the problem you raise, that of the
            > > unlikelihood of an oral tradition translating between languages.
            > > 3. The idea that Pali corresponds to any single original language or
            > > dialect is problematic. The Pali of the early records of the Buddha's
            > > teaching has gone through a 'Sanskritization' process which blocks our
            > > knowledge of many original forms, though some, like 'baahma.na' for '
            > > braahma.na', can be reconstructed. Because we do not have very much
            > > evidence for actual languages that existed at the time of the Buddha except
            > > for the language preserved as Pali, which has been Sanskritized and
            > > modified, it is going to be difficult to pin down the relationship of Pali
            > > to the language actually spoken by the Buddha, except as conjecture.
            > > 4. Your idea that the Buddha spoke Pali sounds like Theravadin orthodoxy
            > > but given a new twist.
            > > But in conclusion it seems to me very reasonable to say, from a certain
            > > point of view, that it is likely that Pali is more or less similar to
            > > whatever language or dialects the Buddha spoke, and it is a marvellous thing
            > > that we have access to a language that may preserve echoes of the Buddha's
            > > very words.
            > > Best wishes
            > > Dhivan
            > >
            > > www.dhivan.net
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Bryan Levman
            Hi Lennart, That s a good point about Kosala, but I don t think anything has survived from that language at all. Rhys Davids wrote the preface to the PED which
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 30, 2010
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              Hi Lennart,

              That's a good point about Kosala, but I don't think anything has survived from that language at all. Rhys Davids wrote the preface to the PED which you quote and he says that "the Pali of the canonical books is based on that standard Kosala vernacular as spoken in the 6th adn 7th centuries B.C. He also says that in "one of the earliest Pali documents he [the Buddha] is represented as calling himself a Kosalan." Does anyone know which document he is referring to?

              Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit is in fact a translation of a Prakrit into Sanskrit. Edgerton has a long article on the BHS phenomenon in the introduction to his grammar (which is part of the dictionary). Pali was a Prakrit of western India, and BHS supposedly translated (Bechert would prefer the term uebertragt, which means "transferred", as both BHS and the source Prakrit were too closely related to call it "translation") other Prakrits from the centre of India (what was called the Madhyade"sa or "middle country",- but perhaps also Pali) - the Mahaavastu is supposed to be the earliest of these hybrid works, per Edgerton,- it was from from the Buddhist school of the Lokottaravaadins. This was part of an overall Sanskritizing tendency that was taking place in India in the first few centuries B. C. E. to add "prestige" to the Prakrits (and supposedly to the Buddha's teachings).

              I agree with you about learning the Dhamma in the Buddha's language. That's always what he prescribed. The changes above are not translations, but smaller dialect changes, like Newfoundland English to Candian English or British Cockney to the Queen's English,

              Metta, Bryan




              ________________________________
              From: Lennart Lopin <lenni_lop@...>
              To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Fri, January 29, 2010 9:01:41 PM
              Subject: Re: [Pali] Stefan Karpik article


              Hi Stefan @all,

              Just finished reading your article (the short version :-)

              It is funny, just 2 weeks ago while reading some material on Mahinda's
              mission to Sri Lanka and re-thinking this whole topic for the 100th time, I
              could not help myself as to write down some of the argument on both sides
              for myself - but especially those arguments in favor of Pali being the
              Buddha's language. In that little resume of mine I came to similar rational
              (not philological) conclusion as you. This was not always the case. When I
              learnt Pali I was under the impression it was Buddha's language. Then, like
              most, I learnt about the scholar's objections and had no way to argue
              against it...however, over the last decade my doubts grew and now I am back
              to my former position. Here some of my thoughts on this matter:

              The first time I ever came across someone making a case for Pali as the
              language of the Buddha, was Wiliam Stede (Pali <goog_1264813484893 > English
              Dictionary.<http://books. google.com/ books?id= dHWHmHnMLtAC& pg=PR5&dq= pali+kosala+ stede&ei= xotjS9y6FKiuyQTn kYki&cd=1# v=onepage& q=kosala& f=false>He
              made the convincing argument, that Kosala, and not Magadha, was the
              center of affairs at the time of the Buddha. Yes, Kosala's dominant power
              was about to fade during the next few centuries, but we should never
              interpret history based on future events. Buddha was raised in Kosala, lived
              in Kosala, spent most of his adult life in Kosala. Most rain seasons start
              with Sāvatthiyam and not Nalanda or Rajagaha. Yes, it may have been that
              Magadha was "hip" and "cool" as the Aryan conquest had pushed further and
              further eastward and the power-centers of the Veda time shifted further and
              further east. But still, the culture and learning was in the West and so the
              Buddha's Kosalan dialect may have well been influenced by
              Magadha-dialectism. What would that result in? Right, a nice mix. A prakrit
              with some heavy vedic/sanskrit features...et voila, "Pali" is born.

              Now, fast forward to the time of Ashoka. Kosala is gone, swallowed up by
              Magadha. It is the heartland of Magadha now as well. The Buddha is seen as a
              son of the Magadhan empire - at least from the perspective of the Sinhala!!
              They of course take Mahinda's transmission to be "Magadhan". Even Mahinda
              may have felt that way.

              Also: (But maybe some of the very knowledgeable philologists can help me
              understanding) why does Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit read like someone trying to
              translate Pali into Sanskrit...and not just any Prakrit - it reads just like
              a Sanskritized pali text. The amount of Pali vocabulary and forms are so
              staggering (esp. compared to other brahmanic Sanskrit texts) that I would
              not look at a few examples which time and place may have changed, but at the
              overall picture...to me it seems so blatant that Brahmanic Buddhist monks
              pushed the usage of that "new" and "hype" Sanskrit, but because most of
              their terminology was so influenced by the Buddha (in Pali?!) the best way
              to move Buddhist philosophy into a Sanskrit language (as a medium to express
              new philosophic ideas because Pali became to sacred to touch) was by simply
              basing it on Pali and then formulate the new ideas in Sanskrit.

              There is that other argument you brought up, Buddhaghosa' s interpretation
              that the Buddha did not want a translation of his teaching...I am ambivalent
              about that, as from a teaching standpoint the Buddha clearly advocates that
              we should not grasp at nirutti - but, at the same time, we see the monks and
              lay people at the life time of the Buddha take extreme care (!) not to
              misrepresent the Buddha's words (unlike today, unfortunately) ...

              Now, if for a moment I acknowledge however, that it was understood to mean
              that you are supposed to learn the Buddha's word in your own language, then
              why did Mahinda not tell that the Sinhalese people? Why did they
              "misunderstand" Mahinda in such a big way that they were supposedly the only
              ones learning Mahinda's "dialect" by heart and not keeping the canon in
              their own Sinhalese dialect. This does not make any sense at all! It only
              makes sense, if we acknowledge that Pali was indeed Buddha's language and
              they were instructed by Mahinda to keep it that way.

              So any way, Geiger, Windisch, Stede seem to be - at least on the grounds of
              reason - much closer to the truth than the idea that there has been this
              "mysterious" Pali coming out of nowhere - at the same time while the
              Buddhist tradition was able to transmit one of the best and most complete
              literary canons in the world through 2500 years... I just guess when in
              doubt one would favor the simplest solution and that would just be that Pali
              was the Kosalan dialect of the Buddha, influenced by his tours through
              Magadha and probably filled with altenative forms as the centuries passed by
              before it was "solidified" in writing.

              thanks Stefan, Bryan, Dhivan for your interesting insights,

              Lennart

              On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 6:13 AM, Dhivan Thomas Jones <thomas@dhivan. net>wrote:

              >
              >
              > Dear Stefan Karpik,
              >
              > Hello and thanks for getting in touch directly with this group concerning
              > your article "The Buddha Spoke Pali". I have already found and read the
              > 'short' version available on-line and found it thought-provoking. I am not a
              > linguist, rather a Pali scholar with a knowledge of Sanskrit, but I foresee
              > several objections to your line of thinking:
              > 1. You doubt that the oral tradition which preserved the Buddha's teaching
              > would have translated that teaching from one language or dialect into
              > another language or dialect, which we now know as Pali. Hence you infer that
              > Pali was in fact the language originally spoken by the Buddha. However, it
              > is well known that the Pali canon is simply the one surviving complete
              > version of the early Buddhist scriptures, that happens to be in the Pali
              > language, probably because missionaries who travelled to Sri Lanka knew this
              > version of the Buddhist scriptures. There is evidence from the Chinese
              > translations, for instance, that suggest that the early Buddhist teachings
              > were also preserved in other Prakrits, no longer extant. So your argument
              > assumes a privileged position for Pali among the vernaculars in which the
              > Buddha's teaching were memorised, which I do not think is warranted.
              > 2. My understanding from the scholarly work of Norman, Von Hinuber, etc.,
              > is that the 'translation' involved between versions of the Buddha's teaching
              > would have been between various Middle-Indo- Aryan dialects, which may have
              > been mutually intelligible to some well-travelled people like Buddhist
              > monks. This possibly gets round the problem you raise, that of the
              > unlikelihood of an oral tradition translating between languages.
              > 3. The idea that Pali corresponds to any single original language or
              > dialect is problematic. The Pali of the early records of the Buddha's
              > teaching has gone through a 'Sanskritization' process which blocks our
              > knowledge of many original forms, though some, like 'baahma.na' for '
              > braahma.na', can be reconstructed. Because we do not have very much
              > evidence for actual languages that existed at the time of the Buddha except
              > for the language preserved as Pali, which has been Sanskritized and
              > modified, it is going to be difficult to pin down the relationship of Pali
              > to the language actually spoken by the Buddha, except as conjecture.
              > 4. Your idea that the Buddha spoke Pali sounds like Theravadin orthodoxy
              > but given a new twist.
              > But in conclusion it seems to me very reasonable to say, from a certain
              > point of view, that it is likely that Pali is more or less similar to
              > whatever language or dialects the Buddha spoke, and it is a marvellous thing
              > that we have access to a language that may preserve echoes of the Buddha's
              > very words.
              > Best wishes
              > Dhivan
              >
              > www.dhivan.net
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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            • DC Wijeratna
              Attention: Bryan   He also says that in one of the earliest Pali documents he [the Buddha] is represented as calling himself a Kosalan. Does anyone know
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                Attention: Bryan
                 
                "He also says that in "one of the earliest Pali documents he [the Buddha] is represented as calling himself a Kosalan." Does anyone know which document he is referring to?"
                 
                "Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is noble and I am a noble; the Blessed One is is a Kosalan and I am a Kosalan; ...." MN 89 Dhammacetiya sutta, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, p. 733.
                 
                Possibly, RhD refers to the above passage. 
                 
                Mettaa


                D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

                --- On Sat, 1/30/10, Bryan Levman <bryan.levman@...> wrote:





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • DC Wijeratna
                Attention Stefan:   4. This is the only thing about my argument that I have problems with. I would not like to foster some kind of Theravadin fundamentalism
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                  Attention Stefan:
                   
                  "4. This is the only thing about my argument that I have problems with. I would not like to foster some kind of Theravadin fundamentalism as this would turn the Buddha speaking Pali from a source of inspiration to an inconvenient truth."
                   
                  The Buddha never spoke "Pali" (the language). Pali was a later creation. However the Buddha's  speech was referred to as 'paali' by the commentators. This is textual evidence.
                   
                  Mettaa,

                  D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

                  --- On Sat, 1/30/10, stefan_karpik <stefankarpik@...> wrote:





                   

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                • Gunnar Gällmo
                  ...
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                    --- Den sön 2010-01-31 skrev DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@...>:

                    <The Buddha never spoke "Pali" (the language). Pali was a later creation. However the Buddha's  speech was referred to as 'paali' by the commentators. This is textual evidence.>
                     
                    I think the primary mening of "paa.li" is "text"; the full name of the language is "paa.li-bhaasa", "text language", and e. g. "diigha-nikaaya-paa.li" does not mean "DN in Pali" but "the text of the DN", as distinct from the commentary and subcommentary.

                    Gunnar

                    http://hubpages.com/profile/Gunnar+G%C3%A4llmo
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                  • Lennart L
                    Also in the Sutta-Nipata v. 424 talking to king Bimbisara: `Ujuṃ janapado rāja, himavantassa passato; Dhanavīriyena sampanno, kosalesu [kosalassa (syā.
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                      Also in the Sutta-Nipata v. 424 talking to king Bimbisara:

                      `Ujuṃ janapado rāja, himavantassa passato;
                      Dhanavīriyena sampanno, kosalesu [kosalassa (syā. ka.)] niketino.

                      ``Ādiccā [ādicco (ka.)] nāma gottena, sākiyā [sākiyo (ka.)] nāma jātiyā;

                      Tamhā kulā pabbajitomhi, na kāme abhipatthayaṃ.




                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Attention: Bryan
                      >  
                      > "He also says that in "one of the earliest Pali documents he [the Buddha] is represented as calling himself a Kosalan." Does anyone know which document he is referring to?"
                      >  
                      > "Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is noble and I am a noble; the Blessed One is is a Kosalan and I am a Kosalan; ...." MN 89 Dhammacetiya sutta, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, p. 733.
                      >  
                      > Possibly, RhD refers to the above passage. 
                      >  
                      > Mettaa
                      >
                      >
                      > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
                      >
                      > --- On Sat, 1/30/10, Bryan Levman <bryan.levman@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • DC Wijeratna
                      Attention: Stefan, Nina   I started with the PTSD. The Foreword of the Dictionary has a lot of information about the origins of Pali. I am sure you have
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 31, 2010
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                        Attention:
                        Stefan, Nina
                         
                        I started with the PTSD. The Foreword of the Dictionary has a lot of
                        information about the origins of Pali. I am sure you have access to the
                        dictionary (printed). The online version also has the Foreword (See
                        under Front Matter). I will give you my opinion on some of the
                        statements therein later.
                         
                        Here I will give you some points from the PTSD entry
                        on Paali.
                         
                        1. a line, row
                        This is really the original meaning of 'paali'. Not a
                        language. paali is a word coined by the commentators.
                         2. a line, norm, thus the canon
                        of Buddhist writings; the text of the Pāli Canon, i. e. the original
                        text (opp. to the Commentary; thus "pāliyaŋ" is opposed to "aṭṭhakathāyaŋ"
                        at Vism 107, 450, etc).
                        This is the view of Buddhaghosa (reference) and Rhys Davids following
                        him. The Abhidhamma
                        pi.taka has never been considered as Buddha-word. Many books in the
                        Khuddhaka is of late origin. Last book of the Vinaya had been written
                        in Sri Lanka. So where we find the Buddha-word is the five-nikaayas,
                        subject to my comment above on the Khuddhaka.
                        For me Paali is the Buddha-word. I believe on the
                        basis of internal evidence that Buddha-word is  what is attributed to
                        the Buddha in the
                        suttas. And those words in the Paali suttas are the actual words of the
                        Buddha (historical Buddha).  
                        3. It is the literary language of the early Buddhists,
                        closely related to Māgadhī.
                        This statement is not acceptable. There is no such
                        thing as 'the literary language of the early Buddhists. Maagadhii means
                        the speech of the people of Maghadha.
                        4. The word is only found in Commentaries, not in the
                        Piṭaka. 

                        D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

                        ---
                        On Sat, 1/30/10, Stefan Karpik <stefankarpik@...>
                        wrote:

                        D. G. D. C. Wijeratna


                        P.S. This is a copy of an e-m I sent around the 30th. For some reason it seems to have not been received as there is no response.
















                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Ong Yong Peng
                        Dear Lennart and all, sorry for the interruption, but the Unicode is not showing up. If you can discuss how you had inserted the text, because that would be
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                          Dear Lennart and all,

                          sorry for the interruption, but the Unicode is not showing up. If you can discuss how you had inserted the text, because that would be helpful to Frank and myself, who are trying to understand how well supported Unicode is with Yahoo! Groups. Thank you.

                          metta,
                          Yong Peng.


                          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Lennart L wrote:

                          `Ujuṃ janapado rāja, himavantassa passato;
                          Dhanavīriyena sampanno, kosalesu [kosalassa (syā. ka.)] niketino.

                          ``Ādiccā [ādicco (ka.)] nāma gottena, sākiyā [sākiyo (ka.)] nāma jātiyā;

                          Tamhā kulā pabbajitomhi, na kāme abhipatthayaṃ.
                        • Bryan Levman
                          Hi DC, Yes that might be it. Thanks very much for finding it, Mettā, Bryan ________________________________ From: DC Wijeratna To:
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                            Hi DC,

                            Yes that might be it. Thanks very much for finding it,

                            Mettā, Bryan






                            ________________________________
                            From: DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@...>
                            To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Sun, January 31, 2010 7:16:39 AM
                            Subject: Re: [Pali] Stefan Karpik article


                            Attention: Bryan

                            "He also says that in "one of the earliest Pali documents he [the Buddha] is represented as calling himself a Kosalan." Does anyone know which document he is referring to?"

                            "Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is noble and I am a noble; the Blessed One is is a Kosalan and I am a Kosalan; ...." MN 89 Dhammacetiya sutta, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, p. 733.

                            Possibly, RhD refers to the above passage.

                            Mettaa

                            D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

                            --- On Sat, 1/30/10, Bryan Levman <bryan.levman@ yahoo.com> wrote:

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                          • Bryan Levman
                            Thanks very much Lennart, Mettā, Bryan ________________________________ From: Lennart L To: Pali@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sun, January 31,
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                              Thanks very much Lennart, Mettā, Bryan




                              ________________________________
                              From: Lennart L <lenni_lop@...>
                              To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sun, January 31, 2010 3:41:42 PM
                              Subject: [Pali] Re: Stefan Karpik article


                              Also in the Sutta-Nipata v. 424 talking to king Bimbisara:

                              `Ujuṃ janapado rāja, himavantassa passato;
                              Dhanavī riyena sampanno, kosalesu [kosalassa (syā. ka.)] niketino.

                              ``Ādicc& #257; [ādicco (ka.)] nāma gottena, sākiy&# 257; [sākiyo (ka.)] nāma jātiy&# 257;;

                              Tamhā kulā pabbajitomhi, na kāme abhipatthaya& #7747;.

                              --- In Pali@yahoogroups. com, DC Wijeratna <dcwijeratna@ ...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Attention: Bryan
                              >
                              > "He also says that in "one of the earliest Pali documents he [the Buddha] is represented as calling himself a Kosalan." Does anyone know which document he is referring to?"
                              >
                              > "Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is noble and I am a noble; the Blessed One is is a Kosalan and I am a Kosalan; ...." MN 89 Dhammacetiya sutta, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, p. 733.
                              >
                              > Possibly, RhD refers to the above passage.
                              >
                              > Mettaa
                              >
                              >
                              > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
                              >
                              > --- On Sat, 1/30/10, Bryan Levman <bryan.levman@ ...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >





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                            • Ong Yong Peng
                              Dear DC and friends, before we all get too carried away and start dumping the group with chunks of Pali passages, please take note of the following: If unsure
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                Dear DC and friends,

                                before we all get too carried away and start dumping the group with chunks of Pali passages, please take note of the following:

                                If unsure whether a Pali passage is in Unicode, please convert to Velthuis before posting to the group.

                                Thank you.

                                metta,
                                Yong Peng.


                                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, DC Wijeratna wrote:

                                 2. a line, norm, thus the canon of Buddhist writings; the text of the Pāli Canon, i. e. the original text (opp. to the Commentary; thus "pāliyaŋ" is opposed to "aṭṭhakathāyaŋ" at Vism 107, 450, etc).
                              • Ong Yong Peng
                                Dear friends, pardon me. I meant chunks of illegible Pali passages . metta, Yong Peng. ... before we all get too carried away and start dumping the group with
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                  Dear friends,

                                  pardon me. I meant "chunks of illegible Pali passages".

                                  metta,
                                  Yong Peng.

                                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Ong Yong Peng wrote:

                                  before we all get too carried away and start dumping the group with chunks of Pali passages, please take note of the following:

                                  If unsure whether a Pali passage is in Unicode, please convert to Velthuis before posting to the group.

                                  >  2. a line, norm, thus the canon of Buddhist writings; the text of the Pāli Canon, i. e. the original text (opp. to the Commentary; thus "pāliyaŋ" is opposed to "aṭṭhakathāyaŋ" at Vism 107, 450, etc).
                                • DC Wijeratna
                                  Attention: Yong Peng    2. a line, norm, thus the canon of Buddhist writings; the text of the Pāli Canon, i. e. the original text (opp. to the Commentary;
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                    Attention: Yong Peng
                                     
                                    " 2. a line, norm, thus the canon of Buddhist writings; the text of the Pāli Canon, i. e. the original text (opp. to the Commentary; thus "pāliyaŋ" is opposed to "aṭṭhakathāyaŋ" at Vism 107, 450, etc).".
                                    There are two Paali words here. They are there because it is a quote from the PTSD.
                                    ------------------------------
                                    "before we all get too carried away and start dumping the group with chunks of Pali passages, please take note of the following:"
                                     
                                    What 'dumping the group with chunks of Pali passages'. are you referring to?
                                    ----------------------------------------
                                     


                                    D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

                                    --- On Mon, 2/1/10, Ong Yong Peng <palismith@...> wrote:





                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Nina van Gorkom
                                    Dear DC, thanks for your info, Nina. ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Feb 1, 2010
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                                      Dear DC,
                                      thanks for your info,
                                      Nina.
                                      Op 1-feb-2010, om 5:19 heeft DC Wijeratna het volgende geschreven:

                                      > Attention:
                                      > Stefan, Nina
                                      >
                                      > I started with the PTSD. The Foreword of the Dictionary has a lot of
                                      > information about the origins of Pali.



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