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