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Re: [Pali] pubba"ngama

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  • rett
    Hi Rene, ... I think this reading is exactly right. You ve clearly seen how the imagery in the last line is tied into the general statement of the first line.
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 11, 2005
      Hi Rene,

      >This strongly suggests to me that 'mano' and 'dhammaa' in the first line are to be interpreted karmically (at least in this verse). The dhammaa that are produced = good and evil states (and the insight or ignorance that comes from these?), and the 'mano' = cetano/intention, etc.

      I think this reading is exactly right. You've clearly seen how the imagery in the last line is tied into the general statement of the first line. It's a really nice verse, poetic in imagery and sound, didactic and inspirational all at the same time. It also gets right to the heart of the Buddha's teaching and touches on many of the most important themes in the Dhamma. I suppose this shouldn't surprise us since the verse was chosen to open the book.

      >With this view in mind, I wonder (and here I may only be revealing my grammatical ignorance of Paali) if a different grammatical interpretation of the first compounds are possible. Namely, that it is THROUGH mind that the dhammaa are produced. Isn't this really what manomayaa means? Here is an instrumental usage. In other words: is it possible that manopubba.ngamaa is instrumental singular and not nom.pl.?? Thus: "Dhammaa [are] produced by mind that comes first. by mind that is foremost (also instr.sg.). are mind-made (nom.pl.)."

      I don't think the compound is instrumental singular, but I still think you're on to an important idea. manopubba"ngama means more than just 'preceded by mind' in an ad hoc way, that mind just happens to occur before dhammas as a coincidence. It is stronger, in the sense you describe above. Dhammas (i.e. good or bad states) have a mental predecessors that are preconditions or causes of them. You can read it this way even if you take manopubba"ngamaa as nominative plural. The extra sense you want to put into it is covered by the extended semantic field of 'preceding', namely 'preceding as a cause or precondition'.

      best regards,

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