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(pali) 'samma'

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  • Thiele Everett
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 25, 2001
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      >
      > how about discussing the Pali word SAMMA?

      I'm interested in discussing this word. Care to
      start?

      --Rett

      >
    • ������� ��������� (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)
      TE I m interested in discussing this word. Care to TE start? Probably the lack of discussion about the translation of sammaa as right brings about
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 25, 2001
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        TE> I'm interested in discussing this word. Care to
        TE> start?

        Probably the lack of discussion about the translation of 'sammaa' as
        'right' brings about radical stances.

        Indeed, two months ago I have been translating "The Word of Buddha" in
        Russian and came upon many old-fashioned English equivalents, and
        'Right' is one of them.

        Some local Russian translators, inspired by this English inexact
        equivalent, have gone as far as to translate 'sammaa' with Russian
        'correct'.

        I have never seen another alternative in English translations, though
        obviously 'sammaa' also implies 'perfect'.

        Currently I consider translating the elements of Eightfold Path
        as 'perfect' ones. What would you suggest?

        Dimitry
      • Thiele Everett
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 25, 2001
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          >
          > Some local Russian translators, inspired by this English inexact
          > equivalent, have gone as far as to translate 'sammaa' with Russian
          > 'correct'.
          >
          > I have never seen another alternative in English translations, though
          > obviously 'sammaa' also implies 'perfect'.
          >
          > Currently I consider translating the elements of Eightfold Path
          > as 'perfect' ones. What would you suggest?
          >

          The Ven. Henepola Gunaratana in _Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness_
          translates them all as 'skilful'. This may seem unliteral (as
          there is another word, kusala, for that meaning, but as Gunaratana
          is (to me anyhow) a master at striking the right tone and
          getting nuances to work in English, it might be worth considering
          some Russian equivalent along those lines.

          --Rett
        • Ong Yong Peng
          To add my 2-cent worth: in Chinese the word samma is zheng4 (which can mean right, correct or upright), as oppose to xie2 (which means evil). There is no one
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 26, 2001
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            To add my 2-cent worth: in Chinese the word samma is zheng4 (which can mean
            right, correct or upright), as oppose to xie2 (which means evil). There is
            no one single character in chinese for perfect. The closest is shi2 quan2
            shi2 mei2, which is not suitable for a oral/religious/philosophical use. The
            next closest will be zhen2 shang4 mei3 as given in confucius teaching, but
            will not fit into the buddhist context.

            According to my buddhist studies in chinese, the word zheng4 (right) should
            not be understood as the opposite extreme of xie2 (evil, or wrong). It has
            to be understood in the context of the Middle Way, or zhong1.

            Therefore, I think context is important to the understanding of buddhist
            terms, especially the background the Buddha taught (in this case) the Noble
            Eightfold Path. Additional information such as what samma means in Pali will
            be helpful, but right understanding and explanation of dhamma is more
            important than the word itself.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: evelyn chew
            Date: Thursday, July 26, 2001 5:50 PM


            >heard a talk by Ven S Dhammika who told us that samma in the 8-fold path is
            >used to mean 'right' but he prefers it to mean 'perfect'.
            >when i look at the homage - namo tassa.... - i guess samma sambuddha would
            >mean the highest (more perfect than perfect - if there's such a thing)
            >'my 2-cent'
            >Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. - GB Shaw
            >
            >>From: Thiele Everett <Thiele.Everett@...>
            >>Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            >>To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            >>Subject: [Pali] (pali) 'samma'
            >>Date: Wed, 25 Jul 101 19:09:28 +0200 (MET DST)
            >>
            >> >
            >> > how about discussing the Pali word SAMMA?
            >>
            >>I'm interested in discussing this word. Care to
            >>start?
            >>
            >>--Rett
          • evelyn chew
            heard a talk by Ven S Dhammika who told us that samma in the 8-fold path is used to mean right but he prefers it to mean perfect . when i look at the homage
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 26, 2001
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              heard a talk by Ven S Dhammika who told us that samma in the 8-fold path is
              used to mean 'right' but he prefers it to mean 'perfect'.
              when i look at the homage - namo tassa.... - i guess samma sambuddha would
              mean the highest (more perfect than perfect - if there's such a thing)
              'my 2-cent'
              Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. - GB Shaw

              >From: Thiele Everett <Thiele.Everett@...>
              >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [Pali] (pali) 'samma'
              >Date: Wed, 25 Jul 101 19:09:28 +0200 (MET DST)
              >
              > >
              > > how about discussing the Pali word SAMMA?
              >
              >I'm interested in discussing this word. Care to
              >start?
              >
              >--Rett
              >
              > >


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            • Peter Masefield
              Sammaa and micchaa are very common Pali terms, and there really is no mystery about them. The real meaning of the Pali term sammaa (Sanskrit samyak) is right
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 26, 2001
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                Sammaa and micchaa are very common Pali terms, and there really is no
                mystery about them.

                The real meaning of the Pali term sammaa (Sanskrit samyak) is "right" in
                the sense of "proper", and is usually glossed in the commentaries by
                hetunå (with (good) cause, reasonable, etc.and thus, by extension,
                perhaps "factual"), ~naayena (in the right/correct manner, etc.) and
                avipariita.m (unequivocal, incontravertible).

                This sense is also illustrated by its opposite, micchaa (Sanskrit
                mithyaa), which means "wrong", or "incorrect".

                So sammaadi.t.thi is "right/correct" view, i.e. seeing things properly
                (and as they really are--yathaabhuuta.m), as opposed to micchaadi.t.thi,
                "wrong/incorrect" view, i.e. not seeing things properly (or as they
                really are).

                Peter Masefield.
              • Piya Tan
                Hi Peter, Welcome aboard this cyber ship. We are very honoured by your joining us with a succinct and authoritative definition of sammaa. [Those who are new
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 27, 2001
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                  Hi Peter,

                  Welcome aboard this cyber ship. We are very honoured by your joining us with a
                  succinct and authoritative definition of sammaa.

                  [Those who are new should know that Peter wrote "Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism"
                  published in 1986. Besides his growing number of academic appointments, he has
                  translated the commentaries on the Petavatthu and trhe Vimaanavatthu for the Pali
                  Text Society.]

                  I read "Divine Revelation" about a decade ago, quite stimulated by it, especially
                  after reading the reviews by Paul Harrison (Numen 24, 2, 1987) and Charles Hallisey
                  (JIABS 11,1, 1988). Too bad these journals are not found in Singapore (let me know
                  if otherwise, please).

                  [Peter discuss terms relateed to sammaa in chapter 2 of his book.]

                  Piya.

                  Peter Masefield wrote:

                  > Sammaa and micchaa are very common Pali terms, and there really is no
                  > mystery about them.
                  >
                  > The real meaning of the Pali term sammaa (Sanskrit samyak) is "right" in
                  > the sense of "proper", and is usually glossed in the commentaries by
                  > hetunå (with (good) cause, reasonable, etc.and thus, by extension,
                  > perhaps "factual"), ~naayena (in the right/correct manner, etc.) and
                  > avipariita.m (unequivocal, incontravertible).
                  >
                  > This sense is also illustrated by its opposite, micchaa (Sanskrit
                  > mithyaa), which means "wrong", or "incorrect".
                  >
                  > So sammaadi.t.thi is "right/correct" view, i.e. seeing things properly
                  > (and as they really are--yathaabhuuta.m), as opposed to micchaadi.t.thi,
                  > "wrong/incorrect" view, i.e. not seeing things properly (or as they
                  > really are).
                  >
                  > Peter Masefield.
                  >
                  >
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                • Ong Yong Peng
                  Welcome to the group, Prof. and thanks for your profound definition of sammaa . Yong Peng. ... From: Peter Masefield Date: Friday, July 27, 2001 9:30 AM
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 27, 2001
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                    Welcome to the group, Prof. and thanks for your profound definition of
                    'sammaa'.

                    Yong Peng.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Peter Masefield
                    Date: Friday, July 27, 2001 9:30 AM


                    >Sammaa and micchaa are very common Pali terms, and there really is no
                    >mystery about them.
                    >
                    >The real meaning of the Pali term sammaa (Sanskrit samyak) is "right" in
                    >the sense of "proper", and is usually glossed in the commentaries by
                    >hetunå (with (good) cause, reasonable, etc.and thus, by extension,
                    >perhaps "factual"), ~naayena (in the right/correct manner, etc.) and
                    >avipariita.m (unequivocal, incontravertible).
                    >
                    >This sense is also illustrated by its opposite, micchaa (Sanskrit
                    >mithyaa), which means "wrong", or "incorrect".
                    >
                    >So sammaadi.t.thi is "right/correct" view, i.e. seeing things properly
                    >(and as they really are--yathaabhuuta.m), as opposed to micchaadi.t.thi,
                    >"wrong/incorrect" view, i.e. not seeing things properly (or as they
                    >really are).
                    >
                    >Peter Masefield.
                  • Derek Cameron
                    ... in Pali Buddhism That s certainly an eyebrow-raising title! :-) Would either of you care to give a 1-line summary of where exactly we find Divine
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 28, 2001
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                      --- In Pali@y..., Piya Tan <libris@s...> wrote:
                      > Those who are new should know that Peter wrote "Divine Revelation
                      in Pali Buddhism"

                      That's certainly an eyebrow-raising title! :-)

                      Would either of you care to give a 1-line summary of where exactly we
                      find Divine revelation in Pali Buddhism?

                      Derek.
                    • Peter Masefield
                      ... Yes, isn t it; but it is, after all, only a title and, at that, one not chosen by its author, though all too many reviewers have concerned themselves
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 28, 2001
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                        Derek Cameron wrote:

                        > "Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism"
                        >
                        > That's certainly an eyebrow-raising title! :-)

                        Yes, isn't it; but it is, after all, only a title and, at that, one not chosen by
                        its author, though all too many reviewers have concerned themselves solely with
                        reviewing the title, rather than the contents of the book.

                        The book is simply the publication of a doctoral thesis, submitted under the title
                        of "Thus they once heard--oral initiation in the Pali Nikayas", published over 25
                        years ago, when young scholars had to accept titles that publishers deemed
                        "commercial".

                        > Would either of you care to give a 1-line summary of where exactly we
                        > find Divine revelation in Pali Buddhism?

                        Why a "1-line summary" ? Why not buy the book and read it--it only costs $14.00
                        from Amazon--and then form your own considered opinion ?

                        But if you can bear with a rather longer summary, here is the one which appears on
                        the book jacket:

                        "This work seeks to show that the earliest texts of the Pali Canon, compiled by the
                        Buddha’s contemporaries immediately following his death, reveal that in his own day
                        the Buddha and his mission were regarded quite differently to the manner in which
                        they are presented today. For far from being seen as one teaching a means to
                        liberation open to all to follow, he was instead regarded - as is still the typical
                        Indian guru - as one imparting liberating teachings only to those few whom he deemed
                        capable of benefiting therefrom.

                        Such teachings were imparted through an oral progressive revelation, culminating in
                        a vision of the goal, nirvana, being communicated to the convert, as a result of
                        which the latter was not only severed from his past karma, both good and bad, but
                        also spiritually reborn onto the supermundane path which, since it prevented further
                        accumulation of karma, guaranteed attainment of liberation from rebirth.

                        To those deemed incapable of such attainment, a totally different teaching was
                        given, encouraging the accumulation of good karma through cultic acts of charity to
                        the Buddha and his chosen few, who now claimed to represent the true seat of the
                        Vedic sacrifice and to be those through whom that sacrifice could alone acquire
                        efficacy".

                        As the above extract demonstrates, the word "divine" denotes simply nibbaana, and I
                        think all will agree that there are numerous instances in the texts in which the
                        Buddha is portrayed as revealing nibbaana to his converts.

                        Peter Masefield.
                      • ������� ��������� (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)
                        Peter Masefield wrote: PM Such teachings were imparted through an oral progressive PM revelation, culminating in a vision of the goal, nirvana, being PM
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 29, 2001
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                          Peter Masefield wrote:

                          PM> Such teachings were imparted through an oral progressive
                          PM> revelation, culminating in a vision of the goal, nirvana, being
                          PM> communicated to the convert, as a result of which the latter was
                          PM> not only severed from his past karma, both good and bad, but also
                          PM> spiritually reborn onto the supermundane path which, since it
                          PM> prevented further accumulation of karma, guaranteed attainment of
                          PM> liberation from rebirth.

                          Does it imply that "oral initiation" suttas, especially those after
                          monks were enlightened, are actually deliberately designed
                          step-by-step instructions on investigating sankharas, and reading them
                          as analytical treatises with unnecessary repetitions means missing the
                          whole point of suttas?

                          Dimitry
                        • Derek Cameron
                          Peter, it s a great thesis, but I live in Canada and the structure of both taxes and shipping charges mean that it s uneconomic to order books one at a time.
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 29, 2001
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                            Peter, it's a great thesis, but I live in Canada and the structure of
                            both taxes and shipping charges mean that it's uneconomic to order
                            books one at a time. I'll have to wait until there are several I want
                            to buy.

                            Derek.
                          • Peter Masefield
                            ... I am sorry to say that I do not entirely understand the question. The oral revelation, known as the anupubbikathaa, is constantly documented throughout
                            Message 13 of 18 , Aug 1, 2001
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                              "Äìèò?èé Èâàõíåíêî (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)" wrote:

                              > Peter Masefield wrote:
                              >
                              > PM> Such teachings were imparted through an oral progressive
                              > PM> revelation, culminating in a vision of the goal, nirvana, being
                              > PM> communicated to the convert, as a result of which the latter was
                              > PM> not only severed from his past karma, both good and bad, but also
                              > PM> spiritually reborn onto the supermundane path which, since it
                              > PM> prevented further accumulation of karma, guaranteed attainment of
                              > PM> liberation from rebirth.
                              >
                              > Does it imply that "oral initiation" suttas, especially those after
                              > monks were enlightened, are actually deliberately designed
                              > step-by-step instructions on investigating sankharas, and reading them
                              > as analytical treatises with unnecessary repetitions means missing the
                              > whole point of suttas?

                              I am sorry to say that I do not entirely understand the question. The oral
                              revelation, known as the anupubbikathaa, is constantly documented throughout the
                              Nikaayas, though it should be added that many of the early editions of these texts,
                              and their translations, by the Pali Text Society are so highly abbreviated, that
                              this point frequently becomes lost on the casual reader.

                              Typical is the case of Suppabuddha who, as a leper, could never have beccome a monk.
                              I will let the Udaana passage speak for itself:

                              And Suppabuddha the leper saw, even from afar, that great body of people who had
                              congregated together and, upon seeing them, this occurred to him: “Without doubt,
                              some food, either hard or soft, is being distributed here. Suppose I were now to
                              approach that great body of people. I reckon that I might obtain some food, either
                              hand or soft, here”.
                              Then Suppabuddha the leper approached that great body of people. And Suppabuddha
                              the leper then saw the Lord seated teaching Dhamma, surrounded by a great assembly
                              and, upon seeing them, this occurred to him: “No food, either hard nor soft, is
                              being distributed here. The recluse Gotama is this, teaching Dhamma amidst an
                              assembly. Suppose I, too, were to hear Dhamma”, whereupon he, there and then,
                              seated himself to one side, thinking that he, too, would hear Dhamma.
                              Then the Lord [49] embraced and attended to, with his (own) mind, the mind of that
                              that all-inclusive assembly, wondering whether there were, in the present case,
                              anyone capable of perceiving Dhamma. And the Lord saw Suppabuddha the leper seated
                              amidst that assembly and, upon seeing him, this occurred to him: “This one is, in
                              the present case, one capable of perceiving Dhamma”. (So) for Suppabuddha the
                              leper, he talked a progressive talk, that is to say, talk on almsgiving, talk on
                              morality, talk on heaven; he made manifest the peril, the degradation, the
                              corruption, of sense-desires, the advantage associated with (their) renunciation.
                              When the Lord knew Suppabuddha the leper to be of ready heart, of malleable heart,
                              with a heart devoid of the hindrances, of uplifted heart, of devout heart, then did
                              he make manifest that which is the Dhamma-teaching of the Buddhas they have
                              themselves discovered, viz. dukkha, uprising, cessation (and the) path. Moreover,
                              just as they say a cleaned cloth from which the black specks have departed might
                              properly accept the dye, even so did there arise to Suppabuddha the leper, still on
                              that same seat, the dustless, stainless Dhammacakkhu, viz. that whatever is of a
                              nature to uprise, all that is of a nature to cease.
                              Then Suppabuddha the leper, as one who had seen Dhamma, reached Dhamma, fathomed
                              Dhamma, become completely immersed in Dhamma, as one who had crossed over doubt, one
                              for whom inquisitive talk had disappeared, one who had reached confidence, one not
                              conditional upon another where the Teacher’s Teaching is concerned, arose from his
                              seat and approached the Lord; and, having approached, he greeted the Lord and then
                              seated himself to one side. And, so seated to one side, Suppabuddha the leper said
                              this to the Lord:
                              “It is a marvel, Lord, it is a marvel, Lord. Moreover, just as, Lord, one might
                              set upright that which had been turned upside down, or reveal that which had been
                              hidden, or identify the path to one who had got lost, or bring an oil-lamp into the
                              dimness so that those with eyes would see sight-objects, even so has this Dhamma
                              been made manifest in countless ways by the Lord. This same I, Lord, goes to the
                              Lord as refuge, to the Dhamma and to the order of monks; may the Lord accept me as a
                              layfollower such that: ‘Beginning with today, whilst furnished with life’s breath, I
                              be one gone (thereto) as refuge’ ”.
                              Then Suppabuddha the leper, as one who had had (Dhamma) indicated to him, who had
                              been made to take it up, who had been made keen and who had been made to bristle
                              with excitement with Dhamma-talk by the Lord, having rejoiced at that spoken by the
                              Lord, and shown his appreciation, arose from his seat, greeted the Lord,
                              circumambulated him by the right and then departed, whereupon a cow with a year-old
                              calf collided with Suppabuddha the leper, not long after he had departed, and
                              deprived him of his life.

                              When the monks subsequently enquire as to Suppabuddha's fate, the Buddha replies:

                              “Wise, monks, was Suppabuddha the leper; he practised that Dhamma that accords with
                              Dhamma. And he was not one to vex me on the basis of Dhamma. Suppabuddha the
                              leper, monks, through the complete exhaustion of three fetters, is a sotåpanna, one
                              not liable to the Downfall, one who is assured, one whose final recourse is
                              enlightenment”.

                              In other words, Suppabuddha had become, through this single Dhamma-talk, a
                              sotaapanna, and thus a member of the third jewel, or aiyasa"ngha.

                              Now, a good many monks were members also of this sa"ngha, as were many laymen and
                              devas; and one must always remember, when reading the texts, to consider whether the
                              sutta in question, including those dealing with the sa"nkhaaras, was delivered to
                              those who had already been enlightened by means of such a progressive talk, or to
                              people in general.

                              I hope I may have answered the question. If not, please be a little more specific.

                              Peter Masefield.
                            • ������� ��������� (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)
                              ... PM I am sorry to say that I do not entirely understand the question. The oral PM revelation, known as the anupubbikathaa, is constantly documented
                              Message 14 of 18 , Aug 2, 2001
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                                >> Peter Masefield wrote:
                                PM> I am sorry to say that I do not entirely understand the question. The oral
                                PM> revelation, known as the anupubbikathaa, is constantly documented throughout the
                                PM> Nikaayas, though it should be added that many of the early editions of these texts,
                                PM> and their translations, by the Pali Text Society are so highly abbreviated, that
                                PM> this point frequently becomes lost on the casual reader.

                                Sorry am I for insufficient clarity of my question. Thank you very
                                much for your detailed description of anupubbikathaa (oral revelation).

                                As you have pointed out, the discourses were gelivered in different
                                manner to people in general, and to those who had already been enlightened
                                by means of such a progressive talk. Accordingly the results were
                                different, from attaining the level of stream-winner, or in another
                                terms, arising of the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye "Whatever is subject
                                to origination is all subject to cessation," as in case of
                                Suppabuddha, to full release from fermentation/effluents.

                                The latter cases are of special interest, since they embody the attainment
                                of the ultimate goal of Buddhist path. However reading the
                                suttas after which numerous monks were enlightened, like
                                Anatta-lakkhana, Aditta-pariyaya, or Chachakka, the casual reader
                                finds just some kind of philosophical dispute, and hardly progresses
                                an inch further on the Path. The compilers and translators, apparently
                                finding repetitions to be tiresome and uninteresting, just leave them
                                out.

                                So we may ask a question: how exactly the listeners attained full
                                release from aasavas (fermentation/affluents), and what was the purpose
                                of the repetitions.

                                Some people may answer that full release was due to the personal
                                powers of Tathagata and that repetitions were used for memorizing of
                                the suttas. However such answers don't stand up to careful
                                examination: the suttas for attaining full or partial release have
                                characteristic patterns, and it is certain elements of them which are
                                repeated.

                                Investigating the famous Anatta-lakkhana sutta, or less known but more
                                detailed Chachakka sutta, we find that Buddha guided his disciples in
                                experiential exploration of khandhas (aggregates of clinging/becoming)
                                and salayatana (six senses). Apparently the advanced diciples, while
                                these suttas were given, were able to connect words of Buddha with
                                their personal experience. So when Buddha asked:
                                "How do you consider, monks -- Is form constant or inconstant?"
                                the monks were able to investigate their experience and give the
                                appropriate answer. The usual translation of 'ta.m ki.m ma~n~natha' as
                                'what do you think' gives the impression of theoretical discussion,
                                however the words went deeper.

                                So we can ask ourselves, can we read such suttas on a deeper level,
                                investigating the experience? And if we can do so at least with more
                                detailed suttas, such as Chachakka, will it give us a real progress on
                                the Path?

                                Metta,
                                Dimitry
                              • Peter Masefield
                                ... In the third chapter of my book, I give textual references for five distinct ways in which this seems to have taken place: (1) by hearing a further
                                Message 15 of 18 , Aug 2, 2001
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                                  "Äìèò?èé Èâàõíåíêî (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)" wrote:

                                  > So we may ask a question: how exactly the listeners attained full
                                  > release from aasavas (fermentation/affluents)

                                  In the third chapter of my book, I give textual references for five distinct ways in which
                                  this seems to have taken place:

                                  (1) by hearing a further discourse (e.g. Vin I 13f);

                                  (2) by being exhorted with Dhamma-talk (e.g. Vin I 181f);

                                  (3) by receiving an exhortation in brief (Vin I 18);

                                  (4) by a teaching involving the four verbs of sandasseti, samaadapeti, samuttejeti, and
                                  sampaha.mseti (e.g. D II 42)

                                  (5) by reviewing Dhamma heard (e.g. M I 501).

                                  In addition, I append tables citing occassions upon which various individuals (a) received
                                  the Dhammacakkhu via an anupubbikathaa; and (b) attained arahantship through a further
                                  oral tecahing.

                                  Peter Masefield.
                                • Äìèòðèé Èâàõíåíêî (Dimit
                                  Peter Masefield wrote: PM In the third chapter of my book, I give textual references for five distinct ways in which PM this seems to have taken place:
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Aug 2, 2001
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                                    Peter Masefield wrote:
                                    PM> In the third chapter of my book, I give textual references for five distinct ways in which
                                    PM> this seems to have taken place:

                                    Currently your valuable book is unavailable for me, however I may
                                    consider buying it in the future.

                                    PM> (5) by reviewing Dhamma heard (e.g. M I 501).

                                    The excerpt from this Magandiya sutta is available at
                                    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/majjhima/mn75.html

                                    PM> In addition, I append tables citing occassions upon which various individuals (a) received
                                    PM> the Dhammacakkhu via an anupubbikathaa; and (b) attained arahantship through a further
                                    PM> oral tecahing.

                                    So far I have found ten instances of (b) with oral teaching included
                                    in the sutta:

                                    Mahaapu.n.nama MN 3.1.9 (109) III.15 (available at metta.lk)
                                    Chachakka MN 3.5.6 (148) III.280 (available on the net)
                                    Ti.msamatta SN 2.4.3 II.187
                                    Anatta-lakkhana SN 22.59 III.66 (available)
                                    Khemaka SN 3.1.7 III.126
                                    Aaditta SN 35.28 IV.19 (available)
                                    Aggikkhandhopama AN 7.7.8 IV.128
                                    Dvayatanupassana Snp III.12 139 (available)
                                    Pañcavaggiyakathaa Vin 1.6 I.7
                                    Uruvelapaa.tihaariyakathaa Vin 1.12 I.24


                                    Dimitry Ivakhnenko
                                  • OlBeggaO@pacbell.net
                                    I say it ain t right There are two problems connected with translating sammaa as right : The first is that here in the West this word has been taken from its
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Aug 6, 2001
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                                      I say it ain't right

                                      There are two problems connected with translating sammaa as "right":

                                      The first is that here in the West this word has been taken from its
                                      origins as a carpenters term for an upright or perpendicular angle, a
                                      right angle, or Upright, and made into a term standing for power and
                                      authority: "righteous" (or, as "correct" it means "the only correct"
                                      or as "propper" it means the rest is impropper) and "with the right
                                      to". The use as Upright is not heard at all, and that would be the
                                      meaning that was needed, at least for the elements of the Magga,
                                      although it would be awkward elsewhere. But that is not how, even, I
                                      see the elements of the Magga, that is to say as being the upright
                                      ways of things; I see them rather as the ways that work in a system
                                      designed to accomplish something. This will become apparent if you
                                      examine the structure of the individual elements. They are not stated
                                      in terms of static states, they are stated in terms that will be
                                      interpreted differently by different individuals at different stages
                                      of progress. So what is needed is not a term that describes an
                                      absolute.

                                      So the second is that this is a term that must be used as to describe
                                      a conditional state of things, not an absolutely correct
                                      position. "Right" allows only for any other alternative to
                                      be "wrong", and that is not what is being said in most cases where
                                      samma is being used, it is simply saying that this is the best for
                                      those going This Way, second best is not necessarily wrong, and
                                      certainly not wrong for those who are going that way. Samma ditthi is
                                      the point of view you adopt in order to overcome views of self and
                                      existence, once those have been overcome, samma ditthi too must be
                                      abandoned as just one of the limitless ways of seeing things. (All
                                      views are to be let go.) Remember the simile of the raft.If right
                                      were right and wrong were wrong, then right view would be right for
                                      the Arahant as well as for the student, and that is not the case. It
                                      needs to be a word that stands for "best under these conditions".

                                      I think that reliance on the fact that Pali is the root (or close to
                                      it) of all IndoEuropean languages, as has been said, is a good
                                      justification for seeking in the etymology of the word for the best
                                      translation. From summa then, we have (at least) two alternatives:
                                      the terms "high" (I suppose we could say "top") and "consummate"
                                      depending on how closely you want to stick to the sound of the root.

                                      Both these terms allow for understanding the thing it is conditioning
                                      to be conditionally the best, and yet allow for that which is second
                                      best to not necessarily be wrong, just not the highest, or the best
                                      in this case.

                                      My preference is for High, because that word fits all round, as
                                      in. . . ahum. . . sammasamadhi = high getting high, or
                                      sammasambuddhassa=the high #1 wide awakened one.

                                      As for miccha, it breaks down (me>wee) into "small-stuff"; so you
                                      could say "low", which is my preference. PED has, as well
                                      as "wrong", "contrary".

                                      By the way, a Google search reveals 500 plus references to Buddhology
                                      and several universities and other institutions that offer degrees in
                                      the science (many of them in Asia) (I have no idea what it is all
                                      about). That fellow was a tad on the blunt side, for sure, and did
                                      not consider his audience, but I believe a close look will reveal
                                      that it was he that was being attacked and that there was a bit of
                                      the pack mentality going on here. Not exactly something to be proud
                                      of.

                                      obo

                                      Please understand, I must be off, it is not right that I should
                                      linger where I have taken a stand against the owner of the list! I do
                                      it wishing only that you not neglect to wish well even to your
                                      enemies. This not being you, yourself, who then may they be but
                                      suchas suchas you?

                                      best to you all!

                                      obo
                                      My next actions will be to resign from the list.
                                      Bye bye, adios or better yet Ni banna!
                                    • ypong001@yahoo.com
                                      Generally, I believe that the word sammaa can be appropriately translated into several English terms. To me, however, it is more important to understand the
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Aug 7, 2001
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                                        Generally, I believe that the word sammaa can be appropriately
                                        translated into several English terms. To me, however, it is more
                                        important to understand the meaning of "right" view than to enter a
                                        hot debate as to whether "right" is right.

                                        I have also pointed out in an earlier mail that the context in which
                                        doctrine fit in is comparatively more important. I did mention that
                                        "right" does not mean that only what the Buddha taught are "holy" and
                                        good while the rest are evil and wrong. That's certainly not the
                                        buddhist approach. The word "right" has to be understood in the
                                        context of the Middle Path, in its effect of the eradication of
                                        dukkha.

                                        At times, the selection of words for English translation can be
                                        disputable. This list is certainly open for members to post their
                                        opinions for discussion and consideration, but the tone used has to
                                        be friendly and non-agressive.

                                        metta,
                                        Yong Peng.
                                        moderator
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