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Re: [Pali] (pali) 'samma'

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  • Thiele Everett
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 25 11:56 AM
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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 2 of 18 , Jul 26 5:57 AM
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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 3 of 18 , Jul 26 9:56 AM
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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 4 of 18 , Jul 26 6:36 PM
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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 5 of 18 , Jul 27 5:51 AM
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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 6 of 18 , Jul 27 5:58 AM
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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 7 of 18 , Jul 28 6:46 AM
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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 8 of 18 , Jul 28 7:31 AM
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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 9 of 18 , Jul 29 11:07 AM
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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 10 of 18 , Jul 29 11:46 AM
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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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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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