Pali Primer - Lesson 1
- A Quick Glance
This lesson covers the following topics:
1. Nominative Case (Masc-a nouns)
Singular: + o
Plural: + aa
2. Present Tense, 3rd Person
Singular: + ati
Plural: + anti
Translate into English:
1. Bhuupaalo bhu~njati.
bhuupaalo = king (sing.)
bhu~njati = eats
Ans: The king eats.
2. Puttaa sayanti.
puttaa = sons (plur.)
sayanti = sleep
Ans: Sons sleep.
3. Vaa.nijaa sayanti.
vaa.nijaa = merchants (plur.)
sayanti = sleep
Ans: Merchants sleep.
4. Buddho passati.
Ans: The Buddha sees.
5. Kumaaro dhaavati.
Ans: The boy runs.
6. The uncle ploughs.
7. Brahmins speak.
8. Friends go.
9. Farmers cook.
10. The man cuts.
11. Men run.
12. The friend eats.
13. The Buddha speaks.
14. The man cooks.
15. The friends plough.
16. Buddha comes.
Translate into Paali:
1. Sons run.
Ans: Puttaa dhaavanti.
2. The uncle sees.
Ans: Maatulo passati.
3. The Buddha comes.
Ans: Buddho aagacchati.
4. Kumaaraa bhu~njanti.
5. Vaa.nijaa gacchanti.
6. Manusso/puriso/naro sayati.
7. Bhuupaalaa gacchanti.
8. Braahma.no chindati.
9. Mittaa bhaasanti.
10. Kassako kasati.
11. Vaa.nijo aagacchati.
12. Puttaa chindanti.
13. Maatulaa bhaasanti.
14. Kumaaro dhaavati.
15. Mitto bhaasati.
16. Buddho passati.
- Dear all,
I've been absent since November as I was somewhat busy then for our Kathina day (18 Nov) and after that on some other matters, including a much needed meditation retreat. I've also been spending much time in learning and memorizing the Patimokkha under the guidance of my acariya, Ven. Aggacitta Bhikkhu. I'm at the end of Sanghadisesa now. The Pali does appear rather different from what I've learnt in "Pali Primer".
Anyway, here's my very, very belated comments on Yong Peng's notes.
As mentioned earlier, Lesson 14 is (relatively) a breeze. This chapter however give us some interesting Pali food for thought.
At 10:20 PM 13-11-01, Ong Yong Peng wrote:
>Translate into English:My teacher's answer:
>7. Pu~n~na.m kaatu.m icchantaa tumhe sappurisaa paapamitte
>pu~n~na.m = merit (acc.)
>kaatu.m = to do
>icchantaa = wishing
>tumhe = you
>sappurisaa = good men (nom.)
>paapamitte = evil friends (acc.)
>ovadissatha = will advise
>Ans: Wishing to do merit, you good men will advise evil/wicked
You good/virtuous men who wish to do merit shall advise evil/wicked friends.
I think there's an important difference in meaning. If the Pali sentence were to have been
pu~n~na.m kaatu.m icchantaa
sappurisaa paapamitte ovadissatha.
then the English translation would be as given, i.e.,
Wishing to do merit, you good men will advise evil/wicked friends.
or, to put it in a different way,
You good men, wishing to do merit, will advise evil/wicked friends.
>14. Buddhe pasiiditvaa upaasako devaputto hutvaa saggaloke uppajjati.Literally, "devaputta" means a deity's son or god's son (Jesus Christ?!). But it's actually just something like saying "Sakyaputta", which means "Sakyan son". I get the idea that it connote something like an "offspring of the Sakyan clan". In the same way, I think "devaputta" carries the idea of "a son of the deva community", and not the literal "son of a deity". Would appreciate any differing opinions.
>devaputto = deity (acc.)
Also, I don't think this can be rightly taken as an accusative, since it's obviously in the nominative form. In the sense of English grammar, it's an "object". But in terms of Pali grammar, I don't know what it can be called. My teacher calls it a "transferred subject". This is just grammar talk, of course, but if anyone knows of another term for it, I'll be happy to know.
>20. Paapa.m parivajjetvaa kusala.m karonte sappurise devaaI prefer to think that "vajjeti" by itself already mean "avoid".
>Ans: Deities will honour virtuous men avoiding evil and doing good.
The prefix "pari" carries the meaning of
"parisuddhi": thorough purity;
"parinibbana": complete release;
"paripucchati": interrogate (lit. ask thoroughly),
or "around", e.g.
"paribbajati": wander about;
"paribbaajaka": wondering ascetic;
"parisiñcati": sprinkle all over.
So, I think "parivajjeti" is better translated as "completely avoid" or "shun" (which I think carries a stronger connotation than just "avoid").
>21. Sacca.m bhaasantaa asappurise anusaasantaa pa.n.ditaa upaasakaaDon't you find something funny in the meaning of the sentence?
>Ans: Wise people who speak the truth and admonish evil men will
>become lay devotees.
My teacher says a suitable English translation of that should be:
The wise people who speak the truth and instruct evil men are probably lay devotees.
[Note: upaasakaa here probably refers to "lay followers of the Buddha", making the sentence: The wise people who speak the truth and instruct evil men are probably lay followers of the Buddha.]
Here, the "ssa" future tense is used to convey probability.
Some of you may have read or heard about a conversation between the Buddha and Do.na the brahmin (AN IV 36):
Devo no bhava.m bhavissatiiti?
Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, devo bhavissaamiiti.
Gandhabbo no bhava.m bhavissatiiti?
Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, gandhabbo bhavissaamiiti.
Yakkho no bhava.m bhavissatiiti?
Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, yakkho bhavissaamiiti.
Manusso no bhava.m bhavissatiiti?
Na kho aha.m, braahma.na, manusso bhavissaamiiti.
A literal translation:
'Will you, sir, be a deva?'
'No, braahmin, I will not be a deva.'
'Will you, sir, be a gandhabba?'
'No, braahmin, I will not be a gandhabba.'
'Will you, sir, be a yakkha?'
'No, braahmin, I will not be a yakkha.'
'Will you, sir, be a human?'
'No, braahmin, I will not be a human.'
You may find that the above translation does not fit well in the context. A better English rendering of what Do.na the brahmin was saying may be:
'Would you, sir, be a deva... gandhabba... yakkha... human?'
'Could you, sir, be a deva... gandhabba... yakkha... human?'
From the context, we could see that the Buddha purposely answered in the same "ssa" form, so that He could tell the brahmin that he will not become any of those things as He had freed himself from rebirth.
>Translate into Paali:This answer may give the impression that:
>2. I will advise the king to rule the island righteously with his
>Ans: Aha.m amaccehi saha dhammena diipa.m paaletu.m bhuupala.m
"I together with the ministers will advise the king to rule the island righteously."
Would be better to put the "bhuupala.m" after "Aha.m":
"Aha.m bhuupala.m amaccehi saha dhammena diipa.m paaletu.m ovadissaami."
>13. Paaniiyena patta.m puuretvaa daarako odana.m bhu~njantaayaWhat the book tells us in Chapter 5 gives us the impression that "aaya" and "assa" are interchangeable as singular dative case endings for "-a" masculine nouns. However, from what my teacher told me, "aaya" has a more specific usage, that is "for the sake of", e.g.: Naro puttaaya kamma.m karoti.
Therefore, it would be better to substitute "bhu~njantaaya yaacakaaya" with "bhu~njantassa yaacakassa".
>23. Dhammena vasanto/jiivanto tva.m sappuriso hosi."Jiivanto" would be a better choice. "Vasati" means something like "stay, abide, reside (somewhere)".
As always, I'd appreciate any sharing of differing views.
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