mikenz66 wrote:I come to boards like this because I get some useful guidance on details of the Buddha's teaching. ... What do these passages mean? What are the contradictions or agreements between the Dhamma and other path? And so on. Intellectual analysis. Not to be confused with other things...
And also not to be confused with debate for
the sake of debate itself. These discussions work best if they are collaborative rather than adversarial. When one person begins telling others that they must be joking, etc., then the discussion no longer supports the pursuit of intellectual analysis. Instead, it turns into ... somehing else.
tiltbillings wrote:Part of the problem that has been seen here is that we have a god advocate who does not understand the difference between god and godhead. If I were to use “protector” as do Vens Thanissaro and Bodhi, I would explain that abhi-issaro is a word, in this context, inclusive of the idea of God/god, and not just an anthropomorphic god. Then what?
I understand your perspective here. At the same time, I see no reason for
you to be so dismissive of my contributions to this discussion. It seems to me that the term "abhi-issaro" as uttered in its original context could reasonably be understood by some of the listeners as being a "supreme master" of some sort other than a God. Yes, it could be understood as Supreme God, but yes, it also could be understood as seeking refuge in any kind of supreme master, such as a fortified self of some kind.
Based on this discussion, it seems to me that the term "abhi-issaro" does not have a precise, adequate Enlish-language equivalent. I am not wed to the wording of "great liberator" as a translation, and I acknowledge that it is not precise. But in looking at other alternatives for
"issaro" -- ruler, for
example -- there is the implicit action of a master, namely, one who rules. In the same manner, liberator could be understood in this way. But you're right, it's by no means
a perfect translation, and it would need a footnote.
Supreme God, on the other hand, is unlikely to be understood in the broader sense of "supreme master." For
example, I think it's unlikely that in this modern day and age, a listener would hear "Supreme God" and think that it might be understood as seeking refuge in another kind of supreme master, such as a fortified self of some kind. In that respect, I think "Supreme God" does not adequately convey was was uttered in the original language at the time (which also was not what we imprecisely call Pali).
In a collaborative discussion, Tilt, you and I would be able to talk about this without feeling the need to defend our positions as if we're fighting for
something valuable. We'd be able to acknowledge weaknesses with our positions, we'd be able to treat one another's viewpoints with respect, without dismissing them as "jokes." That's the kind of discussion I come here for
. I don't come here to bicker.