Re: Help requested for Pali trans. of Mahavamsa quote
- --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "icarofranca" <icarofranca@y...> wrote:
>> There are some criteria about these matters... The Milinda Pañna,forexample, is not canonical at all: speaking the truth, it´s a paraphrasis
of some Upanishad´s excerpts <<
The Milinda Pañha was included in the Khuddakanikaaya by the editors of
the Chattha Sangaayana, so there is no reason to say that it is not
canonical. It is the latest of the books to be included, dated about 500
years after the Mahaaparinibbaana. The Kathaavatthu is also included
though it was compiled 218 years after the Mahaaparinibbaana. On what
basis would we accept your word against the 2,500 learned elders who
assembled for the Chattha Sangaayana?
If you make a typo that you feel needs correction, all you need to do is
copy your earlier message, correct it and post it again. Then delete the
earlier message. It is less confusing for others.
- Dear Bhikkhu Pesala
> basis would we accept your word against the 2,500 learned elderswho
> assembled for the Chattha Sangaayana?----------------------------------------------------------------------
More than a Council were summoned out to adjust such
inequalities and differences on Canon texts. The Milinda Pañha has
some lacks of consistency on doctrine ( and many right stands too!),
besides the FACT that it is a Paraphrasis of one of Upanishads.
I don´t know the Sixth Myanmar Council decision and other ones
about these matter, but sounds strange for my understanding to put
The Milinda Pañha with some of its weak arguments among other
classical canon texts. If 3,000 elders could raise up the Mahavamsa
or the ancient Burma Chronicles to canon pali text shelf I could
thought it strange too!
> If you make a typo that you feel needs correction, all you need todo is
> copy your earlier message, correct it and post it again. Thendelete the
> earlier message. It is less confusing for others.---------------------------------------------------------------------
- Dear John,
Today I would like to say something about the benefit of the Commentaries.
The oldest ones which are lost now were rehearsed at the great Councils.
Buddhaghosa was most conscientious to edit them and translate them again
into Pali. But apart from historical arguments, I would rather speak about
the immense benefit of studying them. But, I speak from my limited
experience with the texts.
Some time ago you gave us a beautiful Sutta, John, about five things to be
contemplated daily: old age, sickness, death, all that is dear is subject to
change, separation, we have to receive the result of our own kamma.
You said that you daily meditate on this sutta. I checked the Co I have in
Thai. This does not teach anything other than the sutta, but gives
additional explanations. It stresses that vipassana is taught here, and the
lokuttara magga of the arahat. After reading Co and then going back to the
sutta I find that we come more to the deep meaning that is contained
When insight is developed the impermanence of nama and rupa is directly
known (but this is a long, long way) and then the truth of dukkha is
penetrated: what falls away is not worth clinging to. We shall be more
convinced of dukkha at this very moment.
Buddhaghosa stresses page after page that the truth about the khandhas, the
dhaatus, the aayatanas is taught. Repeating that vipassana is to be
developed, he reminds us to be aware of them now, since they pertain to
daily life. He stresses that the Buddha taught being in the cycle, va.t.ta,
and being released from the cycle, viva.t.ta. We are in the cycle now,
subject to dukkha.
In each Sutta Abhidhamma and vipassana are implied, and people at the
Buddha's time had no misunderstandings about this. But since we are further
away from the Buddha's time we need the Commentaries which give us more
explanations and reminders about our daily life. We are lost without the
We read in the ³Discourse on the Manifold Elements² (Middle length Sayings,
no 115, P.T.S.edition) that Ånanda asked the Buddha how the monk was skilled
in the elements. The Buddha first spoke about the elements as eighteenfold.
³There are these eighteen elements, Ånanda: the element of eye, the element
of material shape, the element of visual consciousness..."
This is Abhidhamma in the sutta, and it pertains to our daily life now:
visible object and eyesense are conditions for seeing. We may forget this,
but realizing this will lead to understanding anatta.
We read in the Commentary that for those who consider this Dhamma Discourse,
all these elements appear to him, just as when someone uses a mirror, the
reflection of his face clearly appears. Therefore, the Buddha said to Ånanda
that this Discourse could also be remembered as the ³Mirror of Dhamma².
Again, Abhidhamma and vipassana in the Sutta, and a strong reminder that the
Sutta pertains to our life now, that we should not delay developing insight.
In Dhamma Study Group we are studying the Visuddhimagga, Buddhaghosa's great
Encyclopaedia, and its Tiika. I read Vis. in Pali and the Tiika I partly
translate (no English or Thai text exists). The more I study the greater my
confidence in the Co. I am glad to still have the opportunity to study these
texts, grateful that they were preserved. I find that they should be studied
with due respect.
People today speak of controversies, but I am absolutely sure these can be
solved one by one when concrete examples are given. There may be allusions
to matters we do not understand today, but then we should return to the time
of those ancient teachers, place ourselves in their way of explaining. If we
do not understand, I feel that the fault is with us.
In dsg list we study now ruupakkhandha (Vis Ch XIV), the four factors that
originate rupa: kamma, citta, aahara and tejo dhaatu. All the different
conditions for rupa are explained, they all cooperate to make this
shortlived body function. We try to make the link to daily life all the
time, otherwise study is useless. Bodily intimation and speech are rupas
that play their part when we communicate. We take them for granted, but they
occur because of their own conditions. We shall continue with the
Vissuddhimagga, all the stages of insight up to lokuttara citta. It will
take us years, but very beneficial.
To conclude, I just give an example of part of the Tiika (there are due to
be mistakes, I have no help) :
Vi. XIV, 69.. 'Impermanence of matter' has the characteristic of complete
breaking up. Its function is to make material instances subside. It is
manifested as destruction and fall (cf. Dhs. 645). Its proximate cause
is matter that is completely breaking up.
Pali: 69. paribhedalakkha.naa ruupassa aniccataa, sa.msiidanarasaa,
Parito sabbaso ²bhijjanan²ti lakkhitabbaati paribhedalakkha.naa.
The characteristic of complete breaking up should be defined as being
destroyed absolutely and in every respect *.
Nicca.m naama dhuva.m, ruupa.m pana kha.nabha"ngitaaya yena bha"ngena na
niccanti anicca.m, so aniccassa bhaavoti aniccataa.
What is lasting is called permanent, but materiality at the moment of its
falling away is not lasting because of its dissolution, and thus it is
impermanent, and that state of instability is impermanence.
Saa pana yasmaa .thitippatta.m ruupa.m vinaasabhaavena sa.msiidantii viya
hotiiti vutta.m ³sa.msiidanarasaa²ti.
He said that its function is to make (material instances) subside, since
this (impermanence) causes the materiality that has reached (the moments of)
presence ** as it were to subside.
Yasmaa ca saa ruupadhammaana.m bha"ngabhaavato khayavayaakaareneva gayhati,
tasmaa vutta.m ³khayavayapaccupa.t.thaanaa²ti.
And since this (impermanence) because of the state of dissolution of
material phenomena should be taken by way of destruction and fall, he said
that it is manifested as destruction and fall.
* The word meaning is partly lost in the translation. The prefix pari of
paribheda, breaking up, reinforces the word. The words parito, completely
and sabbaso, in every respect, are added.
** Origination, upacaya rúpa, and continuity, santati rúpa, are
characteristics indicating the moments rúpa has arisen but not yet fallen
away, whereas decay, jaratå rúpa, indicates the moment close to its falling
away and impermanence, aniccatå rúpa, the moment of its falling away. These
moments are extremely short. Thus, as soon as rupa is present it is already
time for its falling away.
Remark: The short definitions in the Vis. can be easily overlooked, and
therefore I am glad to see the Tiika text which emphasizes more the facts of
decay and impermanence occurring each moment. All rupas of the body are
decaying now and they are on the way to complete destruction. This is dukkha
and a grim reminder of being in the cycle of birth and death.
op 26-03-2004 17:24 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:
> Also, when I say that I do not consider the Mahaava.msa to be
> Buddhist scripture, I'm using scripture in the sense of "canonical
> scripture". By this definition, all the commentaries are not
> scripture either, and in the same way must be taken with a grain of
- Dear Nina,
Thanks for your thoughtful post. Your love and reverence for the
commentaries comes shining though!
My knowledge of the commentaries is extremely limited. I've never
read any myself (my Pali knowledge is not quite up to that yet). My
expereience of them is mostly through the notes to the suttas by Bh.
Bodhi or Maurice Walshe in the Wisdom Pubs sutta translations.
Sometimes I find what they say very helpful to my understanding of
the sutta, other times it seems more obscuring than enlightening -
which if course could be due to my own limited understanding.
Anyway, Nina, any time you share your wisdom of the commentaries
with this group, it is of great benefit - and we are all blessed to
have you with us.
With much metta,
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, nina van gorkom <nilo@e...> wrote:
> Dear John,
> Today I would like to say something about the benefit of the
> The oldest ones which are lost now were rehearsed at the great
> Buddhaghosa was most conscientious to edit them and translate them
> into Pali. But apart from historical arguments, I would rather
> the immense benefit of studying them. But, I speak from my limited
> experience with the texts.
> Some time ago you gave us a beautiful Sutta, John, about five
things to be
> contemplated daily: old age, sickness, death, all that is dear is
> change, separation, we have to receive the result of our own kamma.
> You said that you daily meditate on this sutta. I checked the Co I
> Thai. This does not teach anything other than the sutta, but gives
> additional explanations. It stresses that vipassana is taught
here, and the
> lokuttara magga of the arahat. After reading Co and then going
back to the
> sutta I find that we come more to the deep meaning that is
. . .
- Dear John,
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words,
op 29-03-2004 18:35 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:
> Thanks for your thoughtful post. Your love and reverence for the
> commentaries comes shining through!