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"the Pali" {Re: [Pali] RE:Etymology and Ajaan Buddhaghosa}

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  • Kumaara Bhikkhu
    Dear Stephen, Usually the Pali refers to the canonical texts. It s used in the commentaries that way. I m told the word Pali originally meant only text ,
    Message 1 of 15 , May 28, 2005
      Dear Stephen,

      Usually "the Pali" refers to the canonical texts. It's used in the commentaries that way.

      I'm told the word 'Pali' originally meant only "text", but the commentaries use the word to mean "the canonical texts", then this somehow led to having it understood as the name of the language, and it got stuck. Perhaps others can tell me how this happened.

      On the point about people not responsible for "the Pali", Rett hit it right at the spot again. Saadhu!

      kb

      At 07:26 AM 27-05-05, Stephen Hodge wrote:
      >Dear Bhante,
      >
      >> I might... please tell me what part of the Pali they were responsible for?
      >
      >I'm glad to hear that -- there's hope for you yet :) But why would the
      >language used be an issue ? Don't forget that your hero used the old
      >Singhalese attakathas as the basis of much of his work. Are you implying
      >that any commentorial material that happens to be written in Pali is
      >superior to something written in another Prakrit or Sanskrit ? Supposing
      >Buddhaghosa had chosen to write in Sanskrit (see below) -- would that be a
      >problem for you. It would not have been strange if the texts he on which
      >he comments are in Pali with the commentary in Sanskrit. There are
      >numerous cases in India where a root text is in a Prakrit and the commentary
      >in Sanskrit.
      >
      >Moreover, Buddhaghosa hismelf evidently respected the work of Asanga since
      >it is well-known (to some) that he was familiar with the YBS and utilizes at
      >least parts of the Bodhisattva-bhuumi in his own work. There have been
      >studies detailing this, although I don't have the references immediately to
      >hand. Tangentially this is interesting because it confirms that Buddhaghosa
      >could read Sanskrit -- not that this is surprising for a person of his
      >stature.
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