Re: wings to awakening
- Hello all,
The dictionary I use is one based on Buddhadatta's concise dict., and it
gives the following translations:
pakkhiya: belonging to a faction; siding with; fortnightly.
pakkhii: a bird; the winged one.
pakkha: a cripple; a lamp person; side; party; faction; side of the body; a
flank, a wing; a fortnight. (adj.) adherent; associated with.
Curiously, the Anagata-bhayani Suttas sent by Dimitry where translated
by the same Thanissaro Bhikkhu who translated bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma as Wings
to Awakening. Again in the AN IX.1 available at ATI 'sambodhipakkhikaana.m
dhammaana.m' appears as "the wings to self-awakening".
The messages posted about this subject made me think that both
renderings are acceptable depending on the context where they're used. It
sounds well in Thanissaro's book title and there is no problem with such
usage since this choice did not obscure the meaning of the expression in the
book. On the sutta refered to above, however, I think that the choice was
not so appropriate.
It seems that when the Buddha used this expression he didn't mean
anything related to "wings", but it's even possible that he constructed the
phrase this way to give it a sort of "double meaning", likewise the ariyan
custom of worshipping the six quarters as father, mother, etc.
JD> If I'm not mistaken, I believe the word 'bodhipakkhiydhammaa' is
JD> commentarial. Buddhaghosa explains the meaning of the term in the
JD> Visuddhimagga as states or things 'partaking' of enlightenment,
JD> but I don't think it appears in the Pali Canon.
Well, 'bodhipakkhiyaa dhammaa' occurs many times in Samyutta Nikaya
(5.231, etc.), with clear explanation 'bodhaaya sa.mvattati' 'leading
It also occurs several times in Anguttara Nikaya (3.70, 3.300, etc.)
And why 'states'? Is, for example, 'faith' a state? It is clearly a
- Dear Flavio,
you are right that "Wings to Awakening" is a poetic translation. i was not
aware that it is the "common" translation for bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma. If you
want as complete an introduction to the 37 factors as you can get i suggest
that you buy a copy of "The Buddhist Path to Awakening" by R M L Gethin,
published last year by Oneworld books. It is available through Amazon in
paperback. It was Dr Gethin's PhD thesis at Manchester University in England
and is comprehensive account of the textual references to the 37 factors,
covered by each factor and by group of factors. It is a wonderfully written
book and it has been very helpful to me in coming to appreciate the
interwoven complexity of the Buddha's teaching.