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Fwd: Four Suttas on 'Tabba' in Padarūpasidd hi in English

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    ... Begin doorgestuurd bericht: Van: Datum: 28 september 2013 16:52:50 GMT+02:00 Aan: Nina van Gorkom
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2013
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      Begin doorgestuurd bericht:

      Datum: 28 september 2013 16:52:50 GMT+02:00
      Aan: "Nina van Gorkom" <vangorko@...>
      Onderwerp: Four Suttas on 'Tabba' in Padarūpasiddhi in English

      __________________________________________________________________________________
       
       
      Dear Bryan
       
      How are you?
       
      Thank you for your feedback and, I was impressed by your admission that you had no experience with grammatical suttas.
       
      You are not alone in that regard. Many years ago, Sarah, the owner and moderator of Dhamma Study Group (DSG), posted a page from an Abhidhamma commentary translation published long, long time ago by Pāli Text Society (PTS). When I read it, I noticed an oddly wrong translation of a concept, and I exclaimed “What the…!”
       
      As I know the original Pāli word of the oddly mistranslated concept, I consulted Pāli-English Dictionary from PTS.
       
      Surprise, surprise! Professors T W Rhys Davids and Willam Stede had also defined the same Pāli word with that odd mistranslation.
       
      No wonder that the translator of the Pāli commentary in question made the same mistake in his translation!
       
      And, successive editors of Pāli Text Society still keep the odd mistranslation in both the commentary translation and the Pāli-English dictionary.
       
      What discovery and lesson did I get from the above scholarly mishap? The compilers of Pāli-English Dictionary, the translator of the Pāli commentary in question and successive editors of Pāli Text Society had not studied the Monastic Pāli grammartical works. If they had, they had not done as adequately as they should have.
       
      The offending Pāli word was a technical term of the monastic Pāli grammar texts. Do not ask me which? I do not recall it as it was nearly 10 years ago.
       
      Bryan, you wrote:
       
      “I am now quite confused now about your translation”.
       
      Bryan, what was your mother tongue? Was it English? If it was, you need to cultivate the habit of reading carefully what other people wrote.
       
      1: The first major reason for your confusion about my translation was that you did not read my first answer carefully.
       
      I wrote the following in my first answer:
      __________________________________________
       
      Yes, I have another reading in light of my Pāli resources that have enabled me to offer the following.
       
      viññātabbanti viññāa nibbānasseta nāma.” 
      “It is called ‘Knowable’ because it is known uniquely; it is the name of nibbāna.”
       
      So, you are taking issue with my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
       
      My translation is in line with the Monastic Pāli grammar texts.
       
      Please read carefully the following quotes from Padarūpasiddhi, the commentary on Kaccāyana, the earliest Pāli grammar text.
      …<snip>…
       
      Bryan, after reading and understanding the above 4 suttas from Padarūpasiddhi, you will able to justify my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
      ___________________________________
       
      In the above excerpt, did you see that I mentioned twice how I translated ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.   
       
      They appeared in these two statements.
       
      1: So, you are taking issue with my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
       
      2: Bryan, after reading and understanding the above 4 suttas from Padarūpasiddhi, you will able to justify my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
       
      Yet, in your reply to my First Answer, you kept thinking and writing as though I translated ‘viññānam’ as ‘it is known’ by writing the following statements.
      ____________________________________
       
      In you post you said
      >“Vinnyaatabbanti vinnyaanam nibbaanassetam naamam.”  >“It is called ‘Knowable’ because it is known uniquely; it is the name of nibbaana.”
      Where you translated vinnyana? (instead of viñña?a?) as "it is known uniquely."
       
      My question was where the reading vinnyana? in the passive sense of "it is known" comes from -
      _____________________________________________
       
      So, I was forced to deny in my Second Answer to your feedback as follows.
       
      1: Bryan, I did not translate vinnyānam as “it is known uniquely”.
      2: No, I did not translate viññānam as “it is known uniquely”.
       
      And, I was also forced to write the following.
       
      “By commenting as if I translated what I did not, and by asking a wrong question consequently, you certainly seemed to have a serious problem with the syntax of Kevatta Sutta commentary Pāli line viññātabbanti viññāa nibbānasseta nāma.” ”
       
      2: Bryan, the second major reason for your confusion about my translation was your misunderstanding of the syntax of Kevatta Sutta commentary. Namely and specifically, you misunderstood the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāa”.
       
      In your first query posted to Nina, you wrote the following.
       
      “viññātabbam is the gerundive (future passive participle) of vijanati”.
       
      And, in your feedback to my first answer, you wrote as follows.
       
      “viññatabbam as future passive participle of vijanati is from the PED under vijanati:
      "-- grd. viññatabba (to be understood)"
       
      Bryan, it was unfortunate that Pāli students all over the world have recourse only to the Pāli-English Dictionary from PTS, which is still a very good authority, but now needs serious major updating and enlargement.
       
      Yes, PED describes “viññatabba” as a gerund, but not as a future passive participle, though.
       
      When I checked PED, the source reference of viññātabba is given as Vibhaňga Aţţhakathā on page 46, commonly known as Sammohavinodanī.
       
      So, I consulted Sammohavinodanī and found “viññātabbo vinicchayo”.
       
      Surprise, surprise! Pāli-English Dictionary from Pāli Text Society made another mistake.
       
      “Viññātabbo” in the Pāli syntax “viññātabbo vinicchayo” is not a gerund, let alone a future passive participle.
       
      In the context of the given source syntax, “viññātabbo” is a passive predicate complete with an object (kamma) in the form of a subject.
       
      Now, let’s look at the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāa” from Kevatta Sutta commentary.
       
      You considered “viññātabbam” in the above Pāli syntax to be a gerund (a future passive participle) by looking up the Pāli-English dictionary from PTS.
       
      As I discovered, ‘viññātabba’ quoted in PED was not a gerund, but a passive predicate in the context of the source reference.
       
      Thus, you had a chance to repeat the same mistake as did by PED.
       
      No wonder, then, that you were now quite confused about my translation!
       
      That was because I treated “viññātabbam” as a passive predicate in the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāa” and translated it in line with the context of Kevatta Sutta commentary. You know what my translation was. Go back and read it _ very carefully, this time!
       
      Now, I will briefly explain the 4 suttas of Padarūpasiddhi.
       
      545: Bhāva kammesu tabbānīyā.
       
      Tattha- akammakehi dhātūhi, bhāve kiccā bhavanti te;
                   Sakammakehi kammatthe, araha sakkatthadīpa

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    • Bryan Levman
      Dear Suan,   Thanks for your response and translation. A few questions: in your translation ... viññāṇaṃ nibbānassetaṃ nāmaṃ.”  ...
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 29, 2013
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        Dear Suan,
         
        Thanks for your response and translation. A few questions: in your translation

        >“viññātabbanti viññāṇaṃ nibbānassetaṃ nāmaṃ.” 
        >“It is called ‘Knowable’ because it is known uniquely; it is the name of nibbāna.”
         
        am I correct that you are translating viññāṇaṃ here as "knowable"? Where does this translation come from? Does not the ti after viññātabban place "it is known uniquely" in quotes, rather than "knowable"?
         
        >Yes, PED describes “viññatabba” as a gerund, but not as a future passive participle, though.
         
        PED describes viññātabba as a gerundive, not a gerund. The dictionary uses the abbreviation "grd." which in the front matter abbreviations means gerundive (see http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/frontmatter/abbreviations.html). It is not just the PED which calls viññātabba a gerundive = future passive participle. So does Whitney (§961-967), Geiger (§199) and Collins (p. 110-112). The latter translates passages from Aggavaṃsa's grammar, showing a wide range of meanings including "to be V-ed" (V = verb), "should V" (with subject in instrumental), "must be V-ed", what he calls "impersonal passive"  (tuṇhībhavitabbaṃ = "silence is to be maintained" or dāni na tena ciraṃ jīvitabbaṃ bhavissati = "now he does not have long to live"), "capable of, permitted to" (with the future passive participle of bhū, bhabba), exhortation (kattabbaṃ idaṃ bhavatā = "please do this my good man"), authorization (kim idaṃ mayā kattabban ti = "what should I do now"), opportunity (bhojanīyaṃ bhojjaṃ = "the meal is (ready) to be eaten"), inevitablity (kattabbaṃ me bhavatā kammaṃ = "you will do this task for me") or debtor (dātabbaṃ me bhavatā = "Sir, you owe me...")
         
        >That was because I treated “viññātabbam” as a passive predicate in the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāṇaṃ” and
         >translated it in line with the context of Kevatta Sutta commentary.
         
        I don't understand what a "passive predicate" is. Could you please explain in what way it is different from a future passive participle outlined above?
         
        Thank you very much for translating the passage from Padarūpasiddhi. I notice that there are a lot of technical terms here which are not in the dictionary. Is there a dictionary you would recommend which contains their grammatical meaning?
         
        >Sutta 546: ņādayo tekālikā.
         
        >“The suffixes starting with ‘ņ’ are the ones that have three tenses”.
         
        >Tikāle niyuttā tekālikā…
         
        >“They are called ‘tekālikā’ because they are associated with all three tenses.”
         
        What is a "suffix starting with "?  How do we know that he is referring to -tabba and -anīya?
         
        > Sutta 548: Kammani abhipubbo, abhibhūyate, abhibhuyittha, abhibhūyissateti >abhibhavitabbho kodho paņḍitena,
         
        I was not aware that a -tabba suffix should be understood in all three tenses, present, past and future. So per this sutta, viññātabba, would mean "It is known, it was known, it will be known." That would make sense as a definition of viññāṇaṃ as the commentary is defining it. This usage would seem to be closest to Collins "impersonal passive" (viññānaṃ means "to know"), as an infinitive has no tense, or encompasses all tenses.
         
        I am not sure that this sutta precludes the translation of a -tabba or -anīya ending as "to be V-ed". In your example of a transitive verb (viññātabba < vijānāti is transitive)

        >“udako siñcitabbo.” The water is poured.

        I would translate, "The water is to be poured," which is more in line with the grammars quoted above and with the "three tenses"  of the above sutta. For "the water is poured" is only in the present tense, but "the water is to be poured" is more of a universal, transcending any one tense - i. e. it is to be poured in the past, in the present, and in the future, i. e. water is always to be poured.
         
        Thanks for your help with this passage
         
        Regards,
         
        Bryan
         


        From: Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...>
        To: pali@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2013 1:19:21 PM
        Subject: [Pali] Fwd: Four Suttas on 'Tabba' in Padarūpasiddhi in English

         


        Begin doorgestuurd bericht:

        Datum: 28 september 2013 16:52:50 GMT+02:00
        Aan: "Nina van Gorkom" <vangorko@...>
        Onderwerp: Four Suttas on 'Tabba' in Padarūpasiddhi in English

        __________________________________________________________________________________
         
         
        Dear Bryan
         
        How are you?
         
        Thank you for your feedback and, I was impressed by your admission that you had no experience with grammatical suttas.
         
        You are not alone in that regard. Many years ago, Sarah, the owner and moderator of Dhamma Study Group (DSG), posted a page from an Abhidhamma commentary translation published long, long time ago by Pāli Text Society (PTS). When I read it, I noticed an oddly wrong translation of a concept, and I exclaimed “What the…!”
         
        As I know the original Pāli word of the oddly mistranslated concept, I consulted Pāli-English Dictionary from PTS.
         
        Surprise, surprise! Professors T W Rhys Davids and Willam Stede had also defined the same Pāli word with that odd mistranslation.
         
        No wonder that the translator of the Pāli commentary in question made the same mistake in his translation!
         
        And, successive editors of Pāli Text Society still keep the odd mistranslation in both the commentary translation and the Pāli-English dictionary.
         
        What discovery and lesson did I get from the above scholarly mishap? The compilers of Pāli-English Dictionary, the translator of the Pāli commentary in question and successive editors of Pāli Text Society had not studied the Monastic Pāli grammartical works. If they had, they had not done as adequately as they should have.
         
        The offending Pāli word was a technical term of the monastic Pāli grammar texts. Do not ask me which? I do not recall it as it was nearly 10 years ago.
         
        Bryan, you wrote:
         
        “I am now quite confused now about your translation”.
         
        Bryan, what was your mother tongue? Was it English? If it was, you need to cultivate the habit of reading carefully what other people wrote.
         
        1: The first major reason for your confusion about my translation was that you did not read my first answer carefully.
         
        I wrote the following in my first answer:
        __________________________________________
         
        Yes, I have another reading in light of my Pāli resources that have enabled me to offer the following.
         
        viññātabbanti viññāa nibbānasseta nāma.” 
        “It is called ‘Knowable’ because it is known uniquely; it is the name of nibbāna.”
         
        So, you are taking issue with my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
         
        My translation is in line with the Monastic Pāli grammar texts.
         
        Please read carefully the following quotes from Padarūpasiddhi, the commentary on Kaccāyana, the earliest Pāli grammar text.
        …<snip>…
         
        Bryan, after reading and understanding the above 4 suttas from Padarūpasiddhi, you will able to justify my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
        ___________________________________
         
        In the above excerpt, did you see that I mentioned twice how I translated ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.   
         
        They appeared in these two statements.
         
        1: So, you are taking issue with my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
         
        2: Bryan, after reading and understanding the above 4 suttas from Padarūpasiddhi, you will able to justify my translation of ‘viññātabbam’ as ‘it is known’.
         
        Yet, in your reply to my First Answer, you kept thinking and writing as though I translated ‘viññānam’ as ‘it is known’ by writing the following statements.
        ____________________________________
         
        In you post you said
        >“Vinnyaatabbanti vinnyaanam nibbaanassetam naamam.”  >“It is called ‘Knowable’ because it is known uniquely; it is the name of nibbaana.”
        Where you translated vinnyana? (instead of viñña?a?) as "it is known uniquely."
         
        My question was where the reading vinnyana? in the passive sense of "it is known" comes from -
        _____________________________________________
         
        So, I was forced to deny in my Second Answer to your feedback as follows.
         
        1: Bryan, I did not translate vinnyānam as “it is known uniquely”.
        2: No, I did not translate viññānam as “it is known uniquely”.
         
        And, I was also forced to write the following.
         
        “By commenting as if I translated what I did not, and by asking a wrong question consequently, you certainly seemed to have a serious problem with the syntax of Kevatta Sutta commentary Pāli line viññātabbanti viññāa nibbānasseta nāma.” ”
         
        2: Bryan, the second major reason for your confusion about my translation was your misunderstanding of the syntax of Kevatta Sutta commentary. Namely and specifically, you misunderstood the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāa”.
         
        In your first query posted to Nina, you wrote the following.
         
        “viññātabbam is the gerundive (future passive participle) of vijanati”.
         
        And, in your feedback to my first answer, you wrote as follows.
         
        “viññatabbam as future passive participle of vijanati is from the PED under vijanati:
        "-- grd. viññatabba (to be understood)"
         
        Bryan, it was unfortunate that Pāli students all over the world have recourse only to the Pāli-English Dictionary from PTS, which is still a very good authority, but now needs serious major updating and enlargement.
         
        Yes, PED describes “viññatabba” as a gerund, but not as a future passive participle, though.
         
        When I checked PED, the source reference of viññātabba is given as Vibhaňga Aţţhakathā on page 46, commonly known as Sammohavinodanī.
         
        So, I consulted Sammohavinodanī and found “viññātabbo vinicchayo”.
         
        Surprise, surprise! Pāli-English Dictionary from Pāli Text Society made another mistake.
         
        “Viññātabbo” in the Pāli syntax “viññātabbo vinicchayo” is not a gerund, let alone a future passive participle.
         
        In the context of the given source syntax, “viññātabbo” is a passive predicate complete with an object (kamma) in the form of a subject.
         
        Now, let’s look at the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāa” from Kevatta Sutta commentary.
         
        You considered “viññātabbam” in the above Pāli syntax to be a gerund (a future passive participle) by looking up the Pāli-English dictionary from PTS.
         
        As I discovered, ‘viññātabba’ quoted in PED was not a gerund, but a passive predicate in the context of the source reference.
         
        Thus, you had a chance to repeat the same mistake as did by PED.
         
        No wonder, then, that you were now quite confused about my translation!
         
        That was because I treated “viññātabbam” as a passive predicate in the Pāli syntax “viññātabbanti viññāa” and translated it in line with the context of Kevatta Sutta commentary. You know what my translation was. Go back and read it _ very carefully, this time!
         
        Now, I will briefly explain the 4 suttas of Pad

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