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Re: [Pali] The term 'kusala'

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  • ������� ���������� ��������� (Dimitry A.
    RE Lance Cousins has a very thorough discussion of this term in his article RE Good or Skilful? Kusala in Canon and Commentary , published in the online RE
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 15, 2002
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      RE> Lance Cousins has a very thorough discussion of this term in his article
      RE> "Good or Skilful? Kusala in Canon and Commentary", published in the online
      RE> Journal of Buddhist Ethics: http://jbe.gold.ac.uk/3/cousins1.html

      And here is a conclusion of this article with which I largely agree:

      ************************************************************

      Semantic development

      Returning to ku"sala, the semantic evolution I see is:

      - An original meaning of "intelligent" or "wise";

      - Expert in magical and sacrificial ritual (in the Braahma.nas); for
      brahmins, of course, this would precisely constitute wisdom.

      -- Skilled in meditational/mystical (/ascetic?) practices (in the
      early Pali sources and, no doubt, in other contemporary
      traditions), including skilled in the kind of behaviour which
      supports meditation, etc. i.e. siila, etc.

      -- Skilled in performing daana and ya~n~na, now interpreted in
      terms of Buddhist ethical concerns; and associated with keeping the
      precepts and so on.

      - Kusala in later Buddhist and Jain sources becomes generalized to
      refer to something like wholesome or good states.

      So there is no reason to doubt that by a later period (i.e. in the
      commentaries and perhaps later canonical sources) kusala in
      non-technical contexts meant something which could be translated as
      "good".

      ****************************************************************

      So in early Pali texts 'kusala' mostly means 'skilful', and in later
      'good'.

      Best Regards,
      Dimitry
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