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Re: [Pali] asatthikaa caravan or armed?

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  • Bryan Levman
    Dear All, Strictly speaking asatthika means without a caravan ; asatthaka (with the -i- -a-) would mean without a weapon. (See CPD s.v. a-sattha without
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 3, 2011
      Dear All,

      Strictly speaking asatthika means "without a caravan"; asatthaka (with the -i- > -a-) would mean "without a weapon." (See CPD s.v. a-sattha "without stick nor sword"), although change from an -a- > -i- (while retaining it's meaning) is quite common, especially in this case as the -a- comes before an accent, the long -ā in the last syllable (asatthakā > asatthikā, see Pischel, Grammar, section 101). So that does not tell us anything. Interestingly, the word satthaka, with the meaning "razor" is one of the eight parikkhāras, per the PED (s.v. satthaka and kesa), i. e. the requisites of a monastic, so presumably this bhikkhunī would have one.  But the passage would not make sense if it referred to a knife, as everyone has indicated,



      From: Rosa Grau <rgrau66@...>
      To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 1:55:28 PM
      Subject: RE: [Pali] asatthikaa caravan or armed?

      Dear sister Dipa, the reason for not being sure what the word means is
      because of homonymy.

      asatthika is made up of three parts:

      a - privative particle, meaning "not", compare in English un- or in-
      (unable, impossible)
      sattha - meaning either caravan or weapon, knife (could be even something
      else, see PED); this word has evolved from various etymologies and coalesced
      phonetically in Pali, compare English mean (v. signify), mean (n. average),
      mean (a. not generous)
      -ika - meaning that the word is an adjective, just as the English -ic
      (classic, fanatic, automatic)

      Having said that, DOP (A Dictionary of Pali) makes it a derivate of sattha,
      caravan: "asatthika, not travelling with a company or caravan", and gives
      the example you are probably referring to from Vin IV 295,15.

      In any case, just to confirm Buddhist theories, words do not have meaning by
      themselves, but only in dependence of other words, pragmatic considerations
      and so on.

      Hope this helps.


      From: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sister
      Sent: dimarts, 29 / novembre / 2011 16:09
      To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Pali] asatthikaa caravan or armed?

      In I.B.Horner's Book of Discipline Vol. 3 page 317 she has translated
      asatthikaa as weapon, with a footnote saying that "translators differ as to
      whether this means "without a weapon" or not (having joined) a caravan."

      I assume that there has been some progress made amongst translators since
      this was written. I would like to find definitive proof that this word means
      caravan and not weapon.

      I have not been able to find the definition in the Chattha Sangayana.
      In DPR the word is divided up with (as) and then (atthikaa). In the result I
      don't see any definition but "good" "bad" which doesn't help.

      Can anyone point me in a direction which will help me to resolve the meaning
      of this word and why it is so hard to find the meaning?

      with friendliness,
      Sister Dipa

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ong Yong Peng
      Dear Dipa and friends, this reflects the fact that people do not truly understand what Buddhism really is. For example, India people may not distinguish
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 3, 2011
        Dear Dipa and friends,

        this reflects the fact that people do not truly understand what Buddhism really is. For example, India people may not distinguish Buddhism and Hinduism, while China people may not know the differences between Buddhism and Taoism. It is really how Buddhism became integral to the society and culture it settled in without creating a social upheaval like what Christianity and Islam did in their history.

        This must have proved difficult for early translators like Horner, because I think they did understand the idea of translating to context, but they may have got a "not-so-correct" context to start with, which is why we see these mistakes cropping up in the early translations.

        And then, there are people who are influenced by theosophical, new-age and pseudo-Buddhist groups who like to keep their own incorrect interpretations of Buddhist teachings.

        Yong Peng.

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Sister Dipa wrote:

        I am gathering this iformation to present to the person who has the impression that I.B. Horner was correct in her translation. I hope that by providing these responses that the individual will be convinced that it does indeed mean caravan.
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