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Jataka = Birth Stories? (Re: [Pali] Re: Vimaanavatthu)

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  • Kumara Bhikkhu
    You got it right. The actual Jataka text consists of only verses. You may notice that sometimes the story does not even gel with the verses. The rather
    Message 1 of 16 , Jul 7 8:45 PM
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      You got it right. The actual Jataka text consists of only verses. You
      may notice that sometimes the story does not even gel with the
      verses. The rather strained connection gives the impression of a
      force fit. The is parallel to the Dhammapada verses and the stories
      that are attached to them.

      While the word Jataka has popularly been translated as Birth Stories,
      per se it only means "born; arisen". My teacher, Bhante Aggacitta,
      said that it originally probably refers to the verses that has
      spontaneously arisen in the mind of the person/people who uttered these words.

      Btw, I'd like to invite you all to www.Dhammawheel.com. It's a better
      platform for discussions, and more active.

      kb

      tharpachozang wrote thus at 01:10 AM 29-06-13:





      >A follow-up:
      >
      >I just start reading PTS's big three-volume translation of the
      >Jatakas. 95% of the time, PTS is honest about their titles. If a
      >book is part of the Tipitika, then the translation is only a
      >translation of the Tipitika, uncorrupted by commentary. Certainly
      >the translators refer to the commentaries when making their
      >translations, sometimes overriding them, and sometimes there's a
      >little bit of commentary in the footnotes, which is great, but
      >there's no way anyone could mistake commentary for Tipitika.
      >
      >Reaching the Khuddhaka, I was surprised to discover that the PTS
      >Vimaanavatthu translation was not just Tipitika, but had commentary
      >mixed in. When I started reading the PTS Jataka translation, and
      >got to the eighth sutta and it seemed to be speaking in the
      >translator's voice, I became suspicious and got out my trusty DPR
      >and came to the startling conclusion that the Jatakas are only a few
      >verses each, having nothing to do with previous incarnations. The
      >fat three-volume set is mostly commentary. A translation of the
      >Jatakas would be a single slim volume.
      >
      >This was startling to me because I had always heard that the Jatakas
      >are about previous incarnations of the bodhisatta, and now I realize
      >that that's just commentary. The Jatakas themselves are just a few
      >verses each, similar to the Dhammapada, etc. Nina suggested that the
      >Jataka verses might be older, but I hadn't realized that only the
      >verses were in the Tipitika.
      >
      >I hope that one day a translation of the Jatakas free of commentary
      >is produced. For now I will just read the verses and skip over the commentary.
      >
      >If I'm mistaken about this that only the verses are in the Tipitika,
      >then correct me, but I've double-checked on Metta.lk and the Jatakas
      >appear to be very small and only the verses.
    • tharpachozang
      Thank you, Bhante, I appreciate your response. What seems to make the Jatakas different from all of the other books in the Sutta Pitaka, is that most of the
      Message 2 of 16 , Jul 12 5:29 PM
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        Thank you, Bhante, I appreciate your response. What seems to make the Jatakas different from all of the other books in the Sutta Pitaka, is that most of the verses seem to *demand* commentary. That is, the verses contain references to proper names, and so they are unintelligible by themselves. Different than say, the verses in the Dhammapada, which have tremendous Dhammic value and do not seem to require commentary. So much so, that it is difficult to read the Jataka verses systematically without knowing the background stories.

        Do you have any thoughts on what this means, why the verses in the Jatakas contain proper names and do not seem to stand by themselves, unlike all of the other books in the Sutta Pitaka?

        I appreciate the invitation to DhammaWheel. I have not checked it out yet, but one thing I like about this group is that because it has Pali in the name it seems to get a higher level of discussion than you sometimes get in other Buddhist groups.


        Mudita,

        tharpa

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Kumara Bhikkhu <kumara.bhikkhu@...> wrote:
        >
        > You got it right. The actual Jataka text consists of only verses. You
        > may notice that sometimes the story does not even gel with the
        > verses. The rather strained connection gives the impression of a
        > force fit. The is parallel to the Dhammapada verses and the stories
        > that are attached to them.
        >
        > While the word Jataka has popularly been translated as Birth Stories,
        > per se it only means "born; arisen". My teacher, Bhante Aggacitta,
        > said that it originally probably refers to the verses that has
        > spontaneously arisen in the mind of the person/people who uttered these words.
        >
        > Btw, I'd like to invite you all to www.Dhammawheel.com. It's a better
        > platform for discussions, and more active.
        >
        > kb
        >
      • Nina van Gorkom
        Dear Arber, In which way can I helpyou? I see that the question is already attached to. Nina. ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 16 , Jul 13 12:05 AM
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          Dear Arber,
          In which way can I helpyou?
          I see that the question is already attached to.
          Nina.
          Op 6-jul-2013, om 18:39 heeft a6a44357 het volgende geschreven:

          > Dear Pali group
          > I am most interested to learn the question that this reply from
          > Nina refers
          > to, I unfortunately missed it.
          > Would you please be so kind as to send me a link to it.
          > I usually stay in the background but this answer from Nina looks
          > important,
          > too important to miss.
          > Thank You,
          > Respectfully
          > R Arber
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          > Of Nina
          > van Gorkom
          > Sent: July-06-13 12:08 AM
          > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [Pali] Re: Vimaanavatthu
          >
          > Dear Tharpachozang,
          > Op 28-jun-2013, om 19:10 heeft tharpachozang het volgende geschreven:
          >
          > > If I'm mistaken about this that only the verses are in the Tipitika,
          > > then correct me, but I've double-checked on Metta.lk and the Jatakas
          > > appear to be very small and only the verses.
          > -------
          > N: This need not be any problem. In reality there are no persons, no
          > deities, only citta, cetasika and ruupa. What can I learn from the
          > Jaatakas
          > and commentary? They teach me how to develop what is wholesome,
          > sobhana
          > cetasikas, in daily life. That is what really matters. When reading
          > we can
          > always consider: what is real now and what can I learn here?
          > Some people doubt about the truthfulness of the commentaries, but
          > then, let
          > us read them and see what they tell us. That is more convincing than
          > historical arguments. Any teaching that helps me to understand
          > reality now I
          > find reliable, because I can check it myself.
          > Nina.
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Nina van Gorkom
          Dear Robert Arber, Thanks for your good question. ... N: We believe that Robert sees, Nina sees, but in reality seeing is one moment of consciousness, citta,
          Message 4 of 16 , Jul 16 6:10 AM
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            Dear Robert Arber,
            Thanks for your good question.
            Op 15 jul 2013, om 05:49 heeft a6a44357 het volgende geschreven:
            >
            > � In reality there are no persons, no deities, only citta, cetasika and ruupa. � What does this mean please?
            ---------
            N: We believe that Robert sees, Nina sees, but in reality seeing is one moment of consciousness, citta, that sees. It sees for an extremely short moment and is then gone completely. It is the same with hearing, thinking, any moment of experience. They are all elements, arising because of conditions. They arise for a very short moment and are then gone. It seems that seeing lasts, but in reality it is succeeded by other moments of citta, such as thinking about what is seen. They are all different moments and none of them lasts.
            This is not theory. We shall have more understanding of what citta is if we are aware of seeing at this very moment. It arises because of visible object or colour and eyesense. It just sees visible object, it does not see a person or thing. There is no one there only different cittas, accompanied by different cetasikas, mental factors. Visible object and eyesense are ruupa, physical phenomena and these do not know anything. In fact our life is naama, realities which experience something, and ruupas which do not experience anything. Just elements arising because of conditions.
            Seeing is one citta and when it arises there cannot be hearing at the same time. Seeing experiences visible object. Hearing is another citta that experiences sound. It may seem that we can see and hear at the same time, but this is a delusion. Each citta can experience only one object at a time, and it falls away immediately. After it has fallen away we think of what has been seen and heard, and then we live in the world of concepts.
            When realities are taken as a mass, a collection, there is the world of many people. Cittas arise and fall away in succession very rapidly, they are like a flash. That is why we have a concept or idea of what appears as something permanent. We have to be brave in order to understand that what appears is just a reality. We need courage to let go of wrong view that clings to the idea of person or �self�. Right understanding leads to detachment, but our nature is attachment.
            ----------
            Nina.




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • a6a44357
            Dear Nina van Gorkom Thank you for your kind reply, I would very much like to follow up on your answer is there a book you could recommend please. Most
            Message 5 of 16 , Jul 16 7:45 PM
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              Dear Nina van Gorkom
              Thank you for your kind reply, I would very much like to follow up on your
              answer is there a book you could recommend please.
              Most grateful,
              Robert Arber

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Nina
              van Gorkom
              Sent: July-16-13 6:10 AM
              To: pali@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Pali] Re: Vimaanavatthu

              Dear Robert Arber,
              Thanks for your good question.
              Op 15 jul 2013, om 05:49 heeft a6a44357 het volgende geschreven:
              >
              > " In reality there are no persons, no deities, only citta, cetasika and
              ruupa. " What does this mean please?
              ---------
              N: We believe that Robert sees, Nina sees, but in reality seeing is one
              moment of consciousness, citta, that sees. It sees for an extremely short
              moment and is then gone completely. It is the same with hearing, thinking,
              any moment of experience. They are all elements, arising because of
              conditions. They arise for a very short moment and are then gone. It seems
              that seeing lasts, but in reality it is succeeded by other moments of citta,
              such as thinking about what is seen. They are all different moments and none
              of them lasts.
              This is not theory. We shall have more understanding of what citta is if we
              are aware of seeing at this very moment. It arises because of visible object
              or colour and eyesense. It just sees visible object, it does not see a
              person or thing. There is no one there only different cittas, accompanied by
              different cetasikas, mental factors. Visible object and eyesense are ruupa,
              physical phenomena and these do not know anything. In fact our life is
              naama, realities which experience something, and ruupas which do not
              experience anything. Just elements arising because of conditions.
              Seeing is one citta and when it arises there cannot be hearing at the same
              time. Seeing experiences visible object. Hearing is another citta that
              experiences sound. It may seem that we can see and hear at the same time,
              but this is a delusion. Each citta can experience only one object at a time,
              and it falls away immediately. After it has fallen away we think of what has
              been seen and heard, and then we live in the world of concepts.
              When realities are taken as a mass, a collection, there is the world of
              many people. Cittas arise and fall away in succession very rapidly, they are
              like a flash. That is why we have a concept or idea of what appears as
              something permanent. We have to be brave in order to understand that what
              appears is just a reality. We need courage to let go of wrong view that
              clings to the idea of person or "self". Right understanding leads to
              detachment, but our nature is attachment.
              ----------
              Nina.




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



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            • Kumara Bhikkhu
              I get what you mean. As they say in America, beats me. (shrug) If you start a topic on this in DW (under Classical Theravada), you might get an answer. Members
              Message 6 of 16 , Jul 26 9:17 PM
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                I get what you mean. As they say in America, beats me. (shrug)

                If you start a topic on this in DW (under Classical Theravada), you
                might get an answer. Members there are less orthodox.

                tharpachozang wrote thus at 08:29 AM 13-07-13:

                >Thank you, Bhante, I appreciate your response. What seems to make
                >the Jatakas different from all of the other books in the Sutta
                >Pitaka, is that most of the verses seem to *demand*
                >commentary. That is, the verses contain references to proper names,
                >and so they are unintelligible by themselves. Different than say,
                >the verses in the Dhammapada, which have tremendous Dhammic value
                >and do not seem to require commentary. So much so, that it is
                >difficult to read the Jataka verses systematically without knowing
                >the background stories.
                >
                >Do you have any thoughts on what this means, why the verses in the
                >Jatakas contain proper names and do not seem to stand by themselves,
                >unlike all of the other books in the Sutta Pitaka?
                >
                >I appreciate the invitation to DhammaWheel. I have not checked it
                >out yet, but one thing I like about this group is that because it
                >has Pali in the name it seems to get a higher level of discussion
                >than you sometimes get in other Buddhist groups.
                >
                >
                >Mudita,
                >
                >tharpa
              • Nina van Gorkom
                Dear Robert A, ... N: Would you like to try my Introducion to Abhidhamma, it may be in the files section of our list. Or try Zolag:
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 30 5:15 AM
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                  Dear Robert A,
                  Op 17 jul 2013, om 04:45 heeft a6a44357 het volgende geschreven:

                  > Thank you for your kind reply, I would very much like to follow up on your
                  > answer is there a book you could recommend please.
                  -------
                  N: Would you like to try my Introducion to Abhidhamma, it may be in the files section of our list.
                  Or try Zolag: <http://www.zolag.co.uk/index.html> You could try my 'Abhidhamma in Daily Life'.
                  ------
                  Nina.



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