Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:53 pm

Greetings Blackbird,

BlackBird wrote:- Theragatha
- Therigatha

Maybe. In a (partial) translation of these texts I possess, the translator/author isn't quite so convinced. If you're interested, I'll dig it out later and have a look - just let me know.

Even better, if you want to buy a copy (and you can get it cheap online from the Buddhist Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka) of Oliver Abeynayake's "A Textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikaya" I'm sure you'll get a good indication of the origins of the KN's various components.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:24 pm

That's interesting Retro,

I handn't paid too much attention to that collection, since the bits I did know about, such Angulimala's verses http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html are mostly in other Nikayas.

Mike
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Blackbird,

BlackBird wrote:- Theragatha
- Therigatha

Maybe. In a (partial) translation of these texts I possess, the translator/author isn't quite so convinced. If you're interested, I'll dig it out later and have a look - just let me know.


Yes please :)
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:50 am

Greetings Jack,

OK, from the prologue to Edmund Jayasuriya's translation of Thera-Theri Gatha, published by the Buddhist Cultural Centre...

According to Rhys Davids, canonical books were the result rather of communistic than of individual effort. Similarly, even in the Thera-Theri Gatha there is internal evidence that reveals the hand of the invisible compiler such as the presence of duplicate names in the text, ascription of identical stanzas to separate theras and the repetition of stanzas.

Moreover, some of the writings now found in the Dhammpada, Thera Gatha and Theri Gatha has been scattered over the Nikayas before they were finally incorporated into the present texts by the learned compilers.

Scholars conclude that the verses collected in the Thera-Theri Gatha were uttered over a period of 300 years, from the end of the sixth century to the middle of of the third century BC.

During these centuries gathas were probably added onto the original stock or underwent alteration. A selection and revision were done at the Third Council in Pataliputta, and it is this version that has come down to us.

Some gathas, of course, suggest that they come to us almost in the form they were uttered, while others reveal the hand of a compiler or literary composer. Mrs. Rhys Davids points out that the verses of Theri Sumedha and Theri Isidasi show unmistakable signs of literary craft. This kind of compilation or revision is to be expected in a body of literature that was passed on mainly by oral tradition. But this should not mean that these utterances were never made by the theras or theris concerned and were the compositions of some others. In fact, nothing can be further from the truth.

The importance and relevance of this body of literature lie not in who uttered them but in the utterances themselves. In the words of Mrs. Rhys Davids: "...these are for the history of human ideas the really precious truths, however legendary or lost the genuine sources may have become". It is in this sense, I believe, that these verses should be read and understood.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby texastheravadin » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:11 pm

Dharma Punx Houston is having a one-day Soto Zen-style sesshin in November, so I'm going to check the Zen Center's library while I'm there to see if there's a copy of the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha at their library...I'm pretty sure I saw one of Ven. Bodhi's Nikaya translations there.

I'd suggest seeing if you can't check out a copy from a library or Buddhist temple/center in your area first before you buy, to make sure it's what you're looking for. Not that you wouldn't want to eventually own a copy, but who knows, maybe the money could be better spent on a different book that may resonate with you more. Personally, as a layman, I have found the AN much more interesting to study daily and reflect on. That's not to say you shouldn't check out all the other Nikayas...I fully intend on buying all of them as a set as soon as I can scrounge up the money. I have to really remember the Buddha's advice on "balanced living" and what not :tongue:

On an unrelated note, I was almost beside myself with joy to find out that the local Thai wat has a large collection of old BPS translations of the Suttas in their Tipitaka case. Is it just me, or does anyone else find some of these old-school translations to be endearing? I don't know...I'm really enjoying Bodhi's work, but there's just something about the old-timey language in the BPS volumes that makes me wish I had thousands of dollars to buy a set.

:anjali:

Josh
"Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed." — AN 11.12
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:38 pm

texastheravadin wrote:I'd suggest seeing if you can't check out a copy from a library or Buddhist temple/center in your area first before you buy, to make sure it's what you're looking for.

I'm not sure whether anyone has already pointed out that you can read it online at http://www.palicanon.org/ but you have to create a login first.

texastheravadin wrote:On an unrelated note, I was almost beside myself with joy to find out that the local Thai wat has a large collection of old BPS translations of the Suttas in their Tipitaka case. Is it just me, or does anyone else find some of these old-school translations to be endearing? I don't know...I'm really enjoying Bodhi's work, but there's just something about the old-timey language in the BPS volumes that makes me wish I had thousands of dollars to buy a set.

We have such a collection, but the current MN and SN PTS versions are the Nanamoli/Bodhi versions, so I can't compare the old PTS version. I sometimes consult the PTS AN. I'm not really a big fan of the old-timey language, sometimes it sounds like they are using the King James Bible as a model... Of more significance, the numbering, indexing, cross-referencing, and notes, etc, are very primitive compared to Bhikkhu Bodhi's SN translation, so I'm really looking forward to the new AN translation.

However, it is nice to be able to browse though the other material, such as the Abhidhamma and some of the minor books that are otherwise unavailable to me.

Mike


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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Orlando » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:42 pm

I just noticed that MN 129 and 130 are among those left out on Access to Insight, and, as I saw when I found them on another site eventually, they contain extremely gruesome descriptions of hell and rather voluptuous ones of heaven. I wondered if Thanissaro Bhikku found them a bit embarrassing?... or maybe it's just a coincidence, as so many others are apparently missed out as well.
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby icyteru » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:37 pm

mettafuture wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mettafuture,

Ah, but if A2I rely on donations (either from users, or self-supported by the owner), it's really not much different to other mechanisms for distributing the Dhamma, is it?

I can't even find the donations page on Access To Insight. Maybe they're not even asking for donations, which makes them all the better, and makes me want to give to them even more.

In other words, there is always a cost involved... whether it be borne by the recipient or the giver.

Rendering a translation of a Pali text into English costs more time than it does money. And to save on printing costs, they could distribute the books electronically.

Wisdom Publications, who print Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations are a not for profit entity... what you are paying for when you buy the book, is the cost of printing,

Ebooks can eliminate this step. And, as I pointed out above, all of the Nikayas are already available in epub and kindle format. Why not put those online for half or a third of the cost of the hardcovers?

research

Research by who? The monks who translate the texts? Are they making money from Wisdom Publications?

typesetting, editing

Access To Insight is typeset and edited by 1 man and a handful of volunteers.

If Wisdom Publications needed help with typesetting and editing, I would gladly donate my services, free of charge. I'm sure others would be open to doing the same.

distribution etc.

For the heavy hardcovers, sure, but epub and kindle books can be hosted on mediafire for free.

and providing a humble income to those involved in the production of the book so they can put food on the table and pay their bills.

I understand this point, but something doesn't feel right about seeing a set of the Buddha's discourses with a $60 price tag stamped on it. This doesn't seem very Buddhist to me.

In this instance, no one is skimming profit out of the Dhamma, so what is there to complain about?

By all means, donate to Access To Insight, it would certainly be a meritorious deed, but do not over-simplify the economics involved to the point where you're dismissing those who are doing good service to the Dhamma via other media.

I'm not dismissing anything. It does costs a lot to print and distribute heavy books. What I'm wondering about is why the electronic versions cost almost as much as the hardcovers.


I agree with you. Dhamma should be free for all.

You can find most of tipitaka in my blog. Including majjhima nikaya.
The most complete english tipitaka on the internet world. http://realtruthlife.blogspot.com .
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mettafuture » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:59 am

Update: First, I want to apologize to everyone for being so rude and weird. Looking back on the posts I made 2 years ago, I can't help but cringe at my tone. I'm much calmer and more mature today. And second, I finally bought a copy of The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, and I couldn't be happier about my purchase. Reading the Majjhima Nikaya in its entirety has been a very sublime, almost meditative experience.

Thank you all again for inspiring this decision
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