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Manapa wrote:hi Chris
* Translations by North American poets who don't know a word of Pali. E.g., Thomas Byrom.
how do you know they don't know a word of Pali, and not just using a method which they are use too?
* Translations by western monks who do know Pali but erringly imagine themselves to be poets. E.g., Khantipālo, Thanissaro.
how do you know they are imagining themselves to be poets? and not just put their knowledge and understanding of the phrases accross
* Translations by men called Thomas. E.g., Thomas W. Rhys Davids, Thomas Cleary, Thomas Byrom
whats wrong with the name Thomas? what if a thomas translated it better than has been done before, should it be discarded?
I'll stick to reading what is available and only discard things which I find not to be useful, instead of reading what others think is useful.
the proof is in the pudding. not the recommendation of the pudding.
Better your own truth,
than the truth of another,
Better is your own Dhamma, however weak,
than the Dhamma of another, however noble.
Look after your self, and be firm in your goal.
166. Let one not neglect one's own welfare for the sake of another, however great. Clearly understanding one's own welfare, let one be intent upon the good.
Don't sacrifice your own welfare
for that of another,
no matter how great.
Realizing your own true welfare,
be intent on just that.
STRIVE FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL WELFARE
For the sake of others' welfare, however great, let not one neglect one's own welfare.* Clearly perceiving one's own welfare, let one be intent on one's own goal.
As the Buddha was about to pass away His disciples flocked from far and near to pay their last respects to Him. A monk named Attadattha instead of joining them, retired to his cell and meditated. The other monks reported this matter to the Buddha. When questioned as to his conduct. the monk replied. "Lord, as you would be passing away three months hence I thought the best way to honour you would be by attaining Arahantship during your lifetime itself." The Buddha praised him for his exemplary conduct and remarked that one's spiritual welfare should not be abandoned for the sake of others.
* Here "welfare" denotes one's ultimate goal, i.e., Nibbàna. Personal sanctification should not be sacrificed for the sake of external homage.
One must not misunderstand this verse to mean that one should not selflessly work for the wealfare of others. Selfless service is highly commended by the Buddha.
bahunaa' pi na haapaye
sadatthapasuto siyaa. 166.
Manapa wrote: but the question everyone should ask themselves is, what is more important scriptural accuracy, or developing understanding.
Since this part appears to be addressed to everyone, I hope you won't mind if I answer it.
If an eclectic approach is helpful to you, then that is good. For me the situation is different. The only "religion" or philosophy that I have found helpful in my experience and the only thing that makes sense to me is Theravada Buddhism.
I would like more of the same help and insight, therefore it is important to me to know what is Theravada and what is not. Thus in my situation accuracy and understanding go hand in hand. The teachings of a confused translator seem far less likely to be helpful to me than the teachings of the only system of thought and practice that has been able to begin to transform the way I see, think, feel, and live for the better, that has calmed my anxiety, that has made me hopeful, that has given me joy, that has helped me to love supposedly unlovable people. Nothing else comes even close in my experience. For me that is the answer.
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