Paññāya - instrumental or dative?

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Paññāya - instrumental or dative?

Postby danielgbg » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:33 am

Hello everyone, this is my first post :)

I have a question about the word paññāya.

Here is an excerpt from Silasutta (SN 46.3)

so tathā sato viharanto taṃ dhammaṃ paññāya pavicinati pavicarati parivīmaṃsamāpajjati.

And this is the explanation of paññāya (found in Digital Pali Reader):

Paññāya (indecl.) [ger. of pajānāti, in relation ˚ñāya: ñatvā as uṭṭhāya: ṭhatvā; so expld by P. Commentators whereas modern interpreters have taken it as instr. of paññā] understanding fully, knowing well, realising, in full recognition, in thorough realisation or understanding.


My question is why modern interpreters take it as instrumental of paññā and not as dative? My translation of the word, as dative, would be "for [the sake of] wisdom", because the instrumental would be paññena. Isn't wisdom a result of examining the Dhamma (taṃ dhammaṃ pavicinati pavicarati parivīmaṃsamāpajjati), rather than the means to acquire understandning?

So, what do you say? :popcorn:
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Re: Paññāya - instrumental or dative?

Postby Kare » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:07 am

danielgbg wrote:Hello everyone, this is my first post :)

I have a question about the word paññāya.

Here is an excerpt from Silasutta (SN 46.3)

so tathā sato viharanto taṃ dhammaṃ paññāya pavicinati pavicarati parivīmaṃsamāpajjati.

And this is the explanation of paññāya (found in Digital Pali Reader):

Paññāya (indecl.) [ger. of pajānāti, in relation ˚ñāya: ñatvā as uṭṭhāya: ṭhatvā; so expld by P. Commentators whereas modern interpreters have taken it as instr. of paññā] understanding fully, knowing well, realising, in full recognition, in thorough realisation or understanding.


My question is why modern interpreters take it as instrumental of paññā and not as dative? My translation of the word, as dative, would be "for [the sake of] wisdom", because the instrumental would be paññena. Isn't wisdom a result of examining the Dhamma (taṃ dhammaṃ pavicinati pavicarati parivīmaṃsamāpajjati), rather than the means to acquire understandning?

So, what do you say? :popcorn:


Since paññā as a noun is feminine gender, the masculine declination paññena would be highly irregular. So I think that one can be safely ruled out. But paññāya can be interpreted as gerundium (having understood), dative (for the sake of wisdom) or instrumental (by means of wisdom). In such cases where more than one interpretation is grammatically possible, context must decide which one is better. Here all three of them makes sense, so let's just say that we are lucky here, getting three for the price of one! :D
Mettāya,
Kåre
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Re: Paññāya - instrumental or dative?

Postby danielgbg » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:43 am

You are right, Kåre!

I didn't notice that the Digital Pali Reader gave de declension of pañña (adj. "wise, endowed with knowledge"), and not of paññā. And then it didn't come to my mind, being a novice, that -ena is a masculine declension. Back to my pali studies :reading: Thank you Kåre!
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