As some further clarification, in case it sounds like I am making light of intellectual analysis of the suttas, I'd like to mention the example of Tiltbillings' discussion of translations of "the deathless", etc. http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 69#p160907viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10378&p=159172&#p159172
The usual translations of Udana 8.3 go something like: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. But since there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned.
"Verily, there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible"
This sounds awefully mysterious, whereas Tilt's translation:
"Monks, there is freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning.
For, monks if there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning,
then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making,
conditioning, would not be known here. But, monks, because there
is freedom from birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from
making, freedom from conditioning, therefore the escape from that
which is birth, becoming, making, conditioning is known."
is a reasonably straightforward statement that says, rather forcefully, that the goal is attainable.
Now, the intellectual rigor needed to be able to make that translation accurately is considerable, and certainly not a waste of time. Similarly with Ven. Nananada's many such analyses and clarifications in his seminars on Nibbana. However
, I don't think that the challenges in making correct translations are Dhamma
challenges. They are translation and interpretation challenges. If we were as fluent in Pali and related languages as the Buddha's contemporaries there would be no such issues as poor translations sending the meaning in the wrong direction. Since we're not in that happy situation, someone
has to make some intellectual effort to unravel the translations, so that (with the benefit of those translations) we can face the Dhamma challenges.
The real Dhamma
challenges are, as I see it, to do with implementing
the instructions. It's all very well to know intellectually that the problem is craving (or a more elaborate dependent origination version), but actually accepting ("understanding") that fully and experientially is a huge challenge, as the Buddha stated in the Sutta quoted in the OP:
“This Dhamma that I have discovered is deep, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, not within the sphere of reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in adhesion, takes delight in adhesion, rejoices in adhesion. For such a generation this state is hard to see, that is, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And this state too is hard to see, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna"
This is Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation. He comments that the commentary explains ālaya
objectively as the five cords of sensual pleasure, called “adhesions
” because it is these to which beings adhere.