Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

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Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Victorious » Thu May 27, 2010 8:51 pm

Hello Everybody, Hi Kåre.

I am new here but not entirely new to buddhism.

I have a question about the correct wording of a portion of the MN 117 sutta.

From cscd Tipitaka I got this portion of

‘‘Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi? Sammādiṭṭhiṃpahaṃ, bhikkhave, dvāyaṃ [two sorts] vadāmi – atthi, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā; atthi, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi ariyā anāsavā lokuttarā maggaṅgā.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā ?

‘Atthi dinnaṃ, atthi yiṭṭhaṃ, atthi hutaṃ, atthi sukatadukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko, atthi ayaṃ loko, atthi paro loko, atthi mātā, atthi pitā, atthi sattā opapātikā, atthi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā sammaggatā sammāpaṭipannā ye imañca lokaṃ parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedentī’ti – ayaṃ, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā."

But I have found other pali resources using para loka instead of the highlighted "paro loko".

I am wondering which it is in that particular highlighted place?

I have found translations translating both para loka and paro loko at the same time as Next World but also suttas translating them as Other World or even Another World.

But in case the highlighted text really is paro loko then the meaning of the sutta should be Next World (future life) in the first place and Other World (heavenly realm) in the second place...which is a big difference.

If anybody has any input I am grateful

Thanks
Victor
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Sunrise » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:00 pm

Hi Victor

Why would paro loko be translated as next world? I'm sure para loka means other worlds not next world
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby yuttadhammo » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:38 am

Sunrise wrote:Hi Victor

Why would paro loko be translated as next world? I'm sure para loka means other worlds not next world

It is use in the sense of "next world" in many places in the Tipitaka... sometimes it seems that no other translation would fit the case, for instance:

paralokavajjabhayadassāvi = one who sees the danger of faults in regards to the next world (ie one's next life)

puññāni paralokasmiṃ patiṭṭhā honti pāṇinaṃ = meritorious deeds are a solid foundation for beings in the next world.

Though, perhaps "another world" might work, if one were picky?

As to the original question, paraloka is a compound, paro loko is the proper declension. In the above examples, paraloka is used. Paro loko is the subject of the sentence, therefore the "o".

Whether it means "other world" or "next world", I would say the meaning is simply another existence after this one, and should not be construed as positive (i.e. having to do with heaven) or "other" (i.e. spatially removed from this world). But then, I've been known to be wrong :)
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Sunrise » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:19 am

Couldn't "other worlds" (I am not sure if next world is the best interpretation) here mean mental realms? There are many mental states aka other worlds: hungry ghost, angry hell, peaceful heaven etc... Meritorious deeds give mental happiness. Misconduct produce mental turmoil. Maybe it's not a next world as in the world you go after physically dieing but a mental state we experience. I'm just asking...
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:27 am

Sunrise wrote:Couldn't "other worlds" (I am not sure if next world is the best interpretation) here mean mental realms? There are many mental states aka other worlds: hungry ghost, angry hell, peaceful heaven etc... Meritorious deeds give mental happiness. Misconduct produce mental turmoil. Maybe it's not a next world as in the world you go after physically dieing but a mental state we experience. I'm just asking...

i would say it's fine if you want to take it to mean that, and many people do want to leave these sorts of things as mental states only, however tradition states that these things are literal, and unless we want this to turn into another rebirth argument thread maybe we should just leave it at that.
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby yuttadhammo » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:04 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:
Sunrise wrote:Couldn't "other worlds" (I am not sure if next world is the best interpretation) here mean mental realms? There are many mental states aka other worlds: hungry ghost, angry hell, peaceful heaven etc... Meritorious deeds give mental happiness. Misconduct produce mental turmoil. Maybe it's not a next world as in the world you go after physically dieing but a mental state we experience. I'm just asking...

i would say it's fine if you want to take it to mean that, and many people do want to leave these sorts of things as mental states only, however tradition states that these things are literal, and unless we want this to turn into another rebirth argument thread maybe we should just leave it at that.

Agreed; it doesn't really matter which way you take it, in the next world there will be mind and in most cases body. The important point is that "paraloka" as is used in the canon doesn't generally refer to just any other world, but the next world, or "another world" (after this one).
Last edited by yuttadhammo on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Sunrise » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:32 pm

yuttadhammo wrote:unless we want this to turn into another rebirth argument thread maybe we should just leave it at that.


I didn't intend to argue; just discuss

:namaste:
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Victorious » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:41 pm

Thanks guys!

I think that It seems clear everybody is inclined to believe any of the two phrases to indicate a next exsistance however the spelling? Not a heavenly abode?


/Victor
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Kare » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:10 pm

It is important to recognize the difference between translating and interpreting. The borderline is admittedly fluid, since most translations also contain an element of interpreting. The translator translates according to his/her best understanding of the word and the phrase, and that understanding is based on an interpretation of the text, including its philosophic, religious and cultural (etc.) background.

Still - even an interpretational translation ought to strive to keep as close to the original as possible.

Now - paro loko means "another world". "Paro" generally means "other", and not "next". The ending of -o in both words means that they are in nominative, a grammatical function which signifies that the words function as subjects in the sentence. "Para loka" is the dictionary forms. You would not find them in a live sentence, where nouns and adjectives necessarily have case endings signifying their function. But as for basic meaning, there is no difference between "para loka" and "paro loko".

As for translating "paro" as "other" or "next", the basic meaning is "other". To translate it as "next" is an interpretation. It may be a right interpretation, but it may also be a wrong interpretation. For the sake of honesty, anyone who chooses to translate "paro loko" as "next world", ought to tell that this is an interpretation. On the other hand, to insert a discussion of interpretational choices into a text, would make it rather cumbersome to read, so usually that is not done.

Back to the understanding of "paro loko". As far as I can see, in the texts it usually refers to the worlds of heavens and hells, of gods, demons and ghosts, etc. If you believe in rebirth Old Indian style, it is a reasonable interpretation to see the other world as synonymous with the next world. I still would call it a mistake. For if you are reborn as a human, your next world is THIS world. In that case the other world (paro loko - heavens, hells) is NOT synonymous with the next world for you, which would be the human realm.

So it would be better to avoid this kind of interpretational confusion.
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Victorious » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:51 am

Thanks a bunch Kåre.

That does make sence. I am also inclined to believe that other world is a better translation.

Could I then further ask is the phrase parañca lokaṃ synomymous to paro loko ?
And where do I start if I want to learn Pali? Or is it better to start with Sanskrit?

Br
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Kare » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:19 am

Victorious wrote:Thanks a bunch Kåre.

That does make sence. I am also inclined to believe that other world is a better translation.

Could I then further ask is the phrase parañca lokaṃ synomymous to paro loko ?


The same words, with different case endings. The basis is paraṃ lokaṃ, which is just paro loko with accusative endings instead of nominative. Accusative means that the words are the object of the sentence, not playing an active part in just that phrase.

In addition the little word ca is added, meaning "and". In Pali, this small word can never stand first in a phrase, it is always inserted after another word. Therefore it comes second: paraṃ ca lokaṃ. And due to economy of movement (some call it laziness), the tongue takes a shortcut, so that ..aṃ ca gets assimilated into ...añca.

In short - parañca lokaṃ means "and another (the other) world".

And where do I start if I want to learn Pali? Or is it better to start with Sanskrit?

Br
Victor[/quote]

If you want to learn Sanskrit, you start with Sanskrit. If you want to learn Pali, you start with Pali. To start with something you do not want to learn, is a detour and a waste of time and energy. On the other hand - once you have found a good footing in either Pali or Sanskrit, it is very useful to get acquainted with the other one, in order to broaden your reading of early texts. Pali and Sanskrit are so much alike that once you know one of them, getting to know the other one is fairly easy. But start with the one you really want to learn.

If you spoke Norwegian, you could start with my small book of introduction to Pali.

There are several good tutors in English and in German, so take your choice. My recommendation is to start with Warder, "An Introduction to Pali", and to work your way patiently and doggedly through it from beginning to end.

You can find other books recommended in the Pali subforum. Take a look: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=950
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Victorious » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:59 am

Hi Kåre and thanks again.

Even though I do read norwegian I think I will go with your suggestion of Warder since I am more comfortable with english.
I also see there are some Pali resources on this site...


What I want to do is get my own opinion of the translations of the early texts. Instead of as you say read the interpretation of others. Even if that too is helpful
If I need to learn both languages to do that then I will .It is not as if I have anything better to do anyway. :).

It was more or less an accident that I spotted the above malinterpretation. I guess I have missed out on many such places.

Thanks
Be well
/Victor

EDIT:
Yes But obviously it will gonna take some time.
Cheers
/Victor
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Kare » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:02 pm

The best way of learning Pali is to take the time it takes!

If you start with Warder (or any other tutor), read and take notes, write the exercises and make frequent repeats.

A good way of really learning the stuff is to take an A4 notebook and make 3 columns on the page. In the first column write a list of new Pali words from the lesson (a short or a long list, as you feel like). Put the book away for at least some hours. Pick it up again and see if you can write the translations of the words in column 2. Put it away for some hours again. Then pick it up, cover column 1 and see if you can write the words in Pali in column 3. Every miss or mistake is written into a new list for the next "test". Do the same kind of exercise with the paradigms.

Go on like that for 5 lessons or so. Then, after lesson 5, repeat lesson 1 as if it were new. Then go on to lesson 6, repeat lesson 2, and so on.

By working systematically you'll make good progress.

If you start with Pali, wait a couple of years before you start with Sanskrit. Then you won't be confused by the similarities and differences between the two languages.

Good luck, and enjoy your studies!
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Victorious » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:43 pm

Thank you for your tip.

That is very interesting. I experiment some with learing techniques and your approach is both new and old.
I will be sure to try that. I think it is a lack in Swedish and Sri Lankan educational system that we never are taught HOW to learn.
That should be the first lesson you get.

When I searched for the book on Amazon I got a few hits
several for the title Introduction to Pali by Anthony Kennedy Warder from 2007. 2006 and 1963 do you recommed any special? otherwise I will go with the latest.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/ ... arder+pali

/Victor
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Kare » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:55 pm

I've only got the 1963 edition of Warder. I do not know if later editions are changed, but go for the latest. I think maybe it also contains answers to the exercises, which was not in the edition I've got.

If you read Swedish, you might start with the Swedish version of Rune E. A. Johanson's introduction to Pali from 1968. It is not as complete as Warder's Introduction, but you get started at once on central texts, so it is a very good start. You can download it from here:

http://www.lienet.no/objects/Hele%20pal.pdf
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Re: Meaning of Para loka vs paro loko

Postby Victorious » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:41 pm

Thanks!

Will do!

/Victor
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