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Re: [Pali] re: du.t.thulla.m and Pali transl

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  • nina van gorkom
    Hi John, Very interesting, helpful suggestions about the way to translate. Could I have the link to Andi s Pali page once more, it did not come out so clear.
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 3, 2003
      Hi John,
      Very interesting, helpful suggestions about the way to translate. Could I
      have the link to Andi's Pali page once more, it did not come out so clear.
      Now see below.

      Nina: my remarks. I am glad Yang Peng shares my admiration for Buddhaghosa.
      I find that translators of commentaries have much merit, but I regret it
      that they do not put dots where they leave out passages. I shall give an
      example where I find that it makes a great difference to have the original
      text. We read on dsg list The Way of Mindfulness, commentary to the
      Satipa.t.thaana sutta by Ven. Soma. Again , he made a good translation, I
      appreciate all his efforts, but left out a passage which is to me essential:
      After the end of the summary, the sutta starts with the section on
      breathing, and after the section on the verse about the taming of the
      wild,young calf, Ven Soma goes on: gone to the forest. He translates:

      <Because the subject of meditation of mindfulness on in-and-out-breathing
      is not easy to accomplish without leaving the neighbourhood of a
      village, owing to sound, which is a thorn to absorption; and because in
      a place not become a township it is easy for the meditator to lay hold
      of this subject of meditation, the
      Blessed One, pointing out the abode suitable for that, spoke the words,
      "Gone to the forest," and so forth. >

      Right before the beginning of these phrases, <Because the subject...>
      Ven. Soma left out a passage which I believe is essential for understanding
      this subject, namely, for whom it is suitable and also what is the goal of
      anapanasati: developing insight and calm to the degree of jhana, using jhana
      as foundation for vipassana and attaining fruition of the arahat.
      Here is my translation of the left out passage (I am so glad if I get
      corrected, learning from corrections):

      apica, yasmaa ida.m kaayaanupassanaaya muddhabhuuta.m

      N: And thus also, with regard to the meditation subject of anapanasati which
      has become the topmost of Body Contemplation, being the proximate cause for
      abiding in ease here, now (di.t.thadhammasukhavihaara, fruition attainment)
      for all Buddhas, Silent Buddhas and disciples of the Buddha,

      itthipurisahatthiassaadisaddasamaakula.m gaamanta.m apariccajitvaa na
      sukara.m sampaadetu.m, saddaka.n.takattaa jhaanassa.

      N: this is not easy to undertake when one has not abandoned the border of
      the village, full of sounds of women, men, elephants, horses etc.

      agaamake pana ara~n~ne sukara.m yogaavacarena ida.m kamma.t.thaana.m
      pariggahetvaa aanaapaanacatutthajjhaana.m nibbattetvaa tadeva jhaana.m
      paadaka.m katvaa sa"nkhaare sammasitvaa aggaphala.m arahatta.m paapu.nitu.m.
      N: If the meditator does not live in a village but in the forest, it is easy
      for him, after he has mastered this meditation subject, attained the fourth
      jhana of anapana sati, and made this jhana the foundation and has thoroughly
      comprehended conditioned dhammas (sankhare),
      to fulfill the highets frutuion, the fruition of arahatship;

      tasmaassa anuruupasenaasana.m dassento bhagavaa ``ara~n~nagato

      N: Therefore the Blessed One, pointing out the dwelling suitable for that,
      said, gone to the forets etc. (As is)

      Here is also a passage translated in the Vis. VIII, 155, some time ago
      discussed by Rob K and Robert Edison:
      <Or alternatively, this mindfulness of breathing as a meditation subject-
      which is foremost among the various meditation subjects of all Buddhas,
      [some] Paccekaa Buddhas and [some] Buddhas¹ disciples as a basis for
      attaining distinction and abiding in bliss here and now- is not easy to
      develop without leaving the neighbourhood of villages... , whereas in the
      forest away from a village a meditator can at his ease set about discerning
      this meditation subject and achieve the fourth jhana in mindfulness of
      breathing; and then, by making that same jhana the basis for comprehension
      of formations [with insight] (Ch XX, §2f.) , he can reach Arahantship, the
      highest fruit...>
      This is almost the same as my translation (I saw the Vis tr later on).

      Some time ago I made a study of the Co to the Anapana Sati sutta. I quote :
      We read in the Co. to the Anapana Sati Sutta:
      <But here the mindfulness which lays hold of breathing in and out is mundane
      (lokiya); mundane breathing in and out perfects the mundane foundations of
      mindfulness; the mundane foundations of mindfulness perfect the supramundane
      (lokuttara) enlightenment factors; the supramundane enlightenment factors
      perfect nibbana as the fruit of clear vision and deliverance>
      The Co states that it is thus elsewhere (in other texts), but that in this
      sutta it is handed down that the mundane foundations of mindfulness perfect
      the mundane enlightenment factors, and that these perfect clear vision
      (vijjå), deliverance (vimutti), fruition (phala) and nibbana, which are
      lokuttara. Because in this sutta ³clear vision and deliverance² designate
      clear vision, fruition (phala) and nibbana.
      N : If jhana is not reached, and there are not the masteries (vasis) in
      jhana, such as attaining and emerging at any time, at any place, samatha,
      the development of calm, cannot be a foundation for vipassana.
      To me personally the passage above I translated puts the section on
      breathing in a different perspective. It is also in conformity with the co
      to the Anapana sati sutta. With this example I want to show the importance
      to read the Pali commentaries themselves, and I am greatly motivated to
      continue reading the Pali texts themselves.

      op 02-01-2003 22:05 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:

      > First, from Prof. Andrew Olendzki, noted Pali scholar
      > and Director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
      > in Barre, Massachussetts, USA, who is also a personal
      > friend:
      > Three points to remember: 1) context has a lot to
      > do with how best to translate a technical term; and 2)
      > there are alternate and related spellings of many Pali
      > words to consult; and 3) whenever you come across a
      > prefix always look up the word it is attached to.
      (snip) the comy to MN 127) consistently gloss this
      > compound as meaning
      > "kaayaalasiyabhaava", which might be translated
      > "lassitude of body." It was Ven. Nyanamoli who chose
      > "inertia" as the rendering, and given the comy gloss,
      > I saw no reason to change this."
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