Mai pen rai in Pali?
- Hello all
As I mentionned in a post to James, I have been having trouble
overcoming my addiction to the news, which is causing a lot of
hostility to arise in me. When I am having success in resisting the
urge to check out news, I find myself saying "it doesn't concern me,
it doesn't concern me" which probably came about because of my
growing interest in examining my susceptibility to the eight worldly
This morning as I was washing the dishes, I thought of the Thai
expression "mai pen rai" for the first time in about 10 years. Many
in this group are very familiar with it but if anyone isn't I guess
it could be translated as "don't worry about it" or "it doesn't
matter" and it is a very common phrase and has even been called a
kind of daily life philosophy in Thailand.
Today, as I was cycling, I found "mai pen rai" coming into my head
again and again when I found my mind wandering on to some kind of
worldly concern. So I can see that it will be a new kind of mini-
mantra to bring me back to examining present realities for the next
I have two questions for the Thaiophiles in the group.
1) Does "mai pen rai" have any Buddhist etymological roots?
I know that in Japan some everday expressions actually have
Buddhist etymolgical origins that people aren't aware of. (In case
Rob K or anyone else interested in Japanese is reading this, did you
know that "hidoi" - a catchphrase word for "terrible" - comes from hi-
doui"ñ "¹j , as in "not of the way?")
2) How would you say "mai pen rai" in Pali? Or what term or phrase
in the canon would you say catches its meaning?
I think "mai pen rai" is very helpful if we take it to mean not
letting ourselves get caught up in worldly concerns. On the other
hand, there is samvega, which means that we should have a sense of
urgency. Maybe samvega for examining present realities, and mai pen
rai for the eight worldly concerns.