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Re: [Pali] Re: Etymology and Ajaan Buddhaghosa [Dhammanando]

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  • Stephen Hodge
    Dear Bhante, Thank you for your informative input. Yes, I agree that etymology does not really do justice to nirukta which covers more than philological
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2005
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      Dear Bhante,

      Thank you for your informative input. Yes, I agree that "etymology" does
      not really do justice to "nirukta" which covers more than philological
      derivation although in practice it often does cover that too.

      Just for comparison, here is Asanga explicating the meaning of `SIK.SKAA,
      which shows well how the ancient commentators worked:

      "The purification of body and speech, and engagement in right living is the
      intrinsic nature of training (`sik.saa). By means of this right practice,
      the cultivation of morality [`siila], patience [k.saanti] and so forth
      emerges -- hence it is termed "training". Moreover, it is also termed
      "training" because one proceeds and eliminates [*k.sii] for the sake of
      tranquility and dispassion [`siita]."

      Thus, we see that in his first explanation he takes the first syllable from
      `siila and k.saanti to form the word 'sik.saa. This kind of exegesis seems
      universal to Indian religio-philosophical discourse. A similar approach was
      taken on by the Tibetans when they translated some of the key "loaded" terms
      such as "buddha", "bhagavat", "arhat" and so forth. There is even a late
      c8th manual in Tibetan which explained how and why certain translation
      choices were made.
      Best wishes,
      Stephen Hodge
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