Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

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Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:32 pm

Diṭṭheva Dhamme is generally translated as 'here and now' by Thanissaro B and B Bodhi. I used to understand the meaning of it as 'In things that can be seen', or 'in visible phenomena' which would be an equivalent for 'here and now', but this guy has a different interpretation, which is quite well backed-up by various examples:

http://justalittledust.com/blog/?p=694

any expert here could give an opinion?


It seems to me that the matter could be simply summed up as follows:

The difficulty in translating 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme' is that both these words may have different meanings:

Diṭṭheva= Diṭṭha+eva
Diṭṭha may mean visible, determined by sight or, as the pp. of dassati: has seen, has been seen, having been seen, is seen, can be seen, will be seen, should be seen, could be seen
eva means: so, thus, in this way, and may actually not be translatable here

Dhamma most of the time refers to (mental) phenomena, but can also mean the Truth, the Law, the Teaching

So we can draw different meanings from this expression:

1. "in visible phenomena" - ie. here and now, in this life, etc.
2. "having seen the Dhamma"
Last edited by Sekha on Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:38 pm

:reading:
:popcorn:

I, too, wish to see expert opinion on this matter.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:30 pm

It is a decent essay, which makes an important point about having to rely on translations.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:54 pm

Diṭṭha

Diṭṭha1 [Sk. dṛṣṭa, pp. of *dassati] 1. seen; a˚ not seen D i.222 (a˚+avedita asacchikata); M i.3 sq. (diṭṭhaŋ diṭṭhato sañjānāti); Sn 147 (diṭṭhā vā ye vā addiṭṭhā), 995 (na me diṭṭho ito pubbe na ssuto . . . Satthā); J ii.154; iii.278; Pv i.23 (sāmaŋ d.=seen by yourself); 33 (id.). -- nt. diṭṭhaŋ a vision J iii.416. -- Since sight is the principal sense of perception as well as of apperception (cp. cakkhu), that which is seen is the chief representation of any sense -- impression, & diṭṭha combd with suta (heard) and muta (sensed by means of smell, taste & touch), to which viññāta (apperceived by the mind) is often joined, gives a complete analysis of that which comprises all means of cognition & recognition. Thus diṭṭha+suta stands collectively for the whole series Sn 778, 812, 897, 1079; Pv iv.13; diṭṭha suta muta (see Nd2 298 for detail & cp. diṭṭhiyā sutiyā ñāṇena) Sn 790, 901, 914, 1082, 1086, 1122 (na tuyhaŋ adiṭṭhaŋ asutaŋ amutaŋ kiñcanaŋ atthi=you are omniscient); d. suta muta viññāta in the same sense as Sn 1122 in "yaŋ sadevakassa lokassa d. s. m. v. sabbaŋ taŋ Tathāgatena abhisambuddhaŋ" of the cognitive powers of the Tathāgata D iii.134=Nd2 276= It 121; D iii.232; Sn 1086, 1122.

-- 2. known, understood M i.486; Sn 761; diṭṭha pañha a problem or question solved J vi.532. See also conclusion of No. 1.

-- 3. (adj.) visible, determined by sight, in conn. with dhamma meaning the visible order of things, the world of sensation, this world (opp. samparāyika dhamma the state after death, the beyond). Usually in cpds. ( -- ˚): of this world, in this world. -- diṭṭhadhamma Vin ii.188; D iii.222 sq.; A i.249; ii.61; Nd2 297 (=ñātadhamma); DA i.278; Sdhp 470. -- ˚abhinibbuta attained to Nibbāna in this birth A i.142; Sn 1087 (see Nibbāna); ˚nibbāna earthly N. D i.36; DA i.121; ˚sukhavihāra (& ˚in) happy condition (or faring well) in this world Vin ii.188; M i.40, 331, 459; S ii.239; Dhs 577, 1283; DhsA 296; ˚vedanīya to be perceived in this condition A i.249, 251; PvA 145. -- Freq. in loc. diṭṭhe dhamme (in this world) It 17 (attha, opp. samparāyika attha), or diṭṭhe va dhamme (already or even in the present existence) D i.156, 167, 177, 196; iii.108; M i.341 sq., 485; ii.94, 103; A ii.155, 167; iii.429; Sn 141, 343, 1053; It 22, 23, etc. -- In the same sense diṭṭhadhammika (adj.) belonging or referring to this world or the present existence, always contrasted with samparāyika belonging to a future state: Vin i.179; iii.21; D iii.130; A i.47, 98; Nd2 26; It 16; VvA 149; PvA 131, etc.
-- ânugati imitation of what one sees, emulation, competition S ii.203; M i.16; A i.126; iii.108, 251, 422;
Pug 33; DhA iv.39; -- āvikamma making visible or clear, open statement, confession Vin v.183, 187 sq.; -- kāla the time of seeing (anybody), opportunity VvA 120; -- ppatta one who has obtained (Nibbāna) in this world Nett 190; -- padā (pl.) visible signs or characteristics A iv.103; -- mangalika (adj.) of puccha, a question concerning visible omina. J iv.390; as ˚ikā (f.) Np at J iv.376 sq.= SnA 185 sq. -- saŋsandana Nd2 447=DhsA 55.

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2429.pali
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:It is a decent essay, which makes an important point about having to rely on translations.

which is why everyone has interest in learning at least the very basics of Pali:
http://www.suttapitaka.net/



I would actually tend to agree with the definition 3) in PTS dictionary:
3. (adj.) visible, determined by sight, in conn. with dhamma meaning the visible order of things, the world of sensation, this world
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:30 am

It seems to me that the matter could be simply summed up as follows:

The difficulty in translating 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme' is that both these words may have different meanings:

Diṭṭheva= Diṭṭha+eva
-- Diṭṭha may mean visible, determined by sight
or, as the pp. of dassati: has seen, has been seen, having been seen, is seen, can be seen, will be seen, should be seen, could be seen
-- eva means: so, thus, in this way, and may actually not be translatable here

-- Dhamma most of the time refers to (mental) phenomena, but can also mean the Truth, the Law, the Teaching

So we can draw different meanings from this expression:

1. "in visible phenomena" - ie. here and now, in this life, etc.
2. "having seen the Dhamma"


But as pointed out by the author of the quoted document, dhamme is at the locative case, so it would rather be "in the dhamma(s)", which is in favor of interpretation 1. Moreover, in the case of interpretation 2, it seems rather logical that the verb dassati would rather call an object than an adverbial noun phrase, and the case here should rather be an accusative: dhammaṃ.

At the same time, the way in which words and their function in sentences are put together in Pali can be quite different from what happens in English, which is why the opinion of an expert would be appreciable here.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby morning mist » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:03 am

This article shows various suttas in which the above appear :

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... f2haN78tog
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Kare » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:57 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:It seems to me that the matter could be simply summed up as follows:

The difficulty in translating 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme' is that both these words may have different meanings:

Diṭṭheva= Diṭṭha+eva
-- Diṭṭha may mean visible, determined by sight
or, as the pp. of dassati: has seen, has been seen, having been seen, is seen, can be seen, will be seen, should be seen, could be seen
-- eva means: so, thus, in this way, and may actually not be translatable here

-- Dhamma most of the time refers to (mental) phenomena, but can also mean the Truth, the Law, the Teaching

So we can draw different meanings from this expression:

1. "in visible phenomena" - ie. here and now, in this life, etc.
2. "having seen the Dhamma"


But as pointed out by the author of the quoted document, dhamme is at the locative case, so it would rather be "in the dhamma(s)", which is in favor of interpretation 1. Moreover, in the case of interpretation 2, it seems rather logical that the verb dassati would rather call an object than an adverbial noun phrase, and the case here should rather be an accusative: dhammaṃ.

At the same time, the way in which words and their function in sentences are put together in Pali can be quite different from what happens in English, which is why the opinion of an expert would be appreciable here.


I suppose the expression 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme' can be analyzed as 'Diṭṭhe + eva Dhamme'. Since both the participle and the noun are in locative, the whole expression can then be seen as an absolute locative. The meaning then would be 'when the dhammas are seen'.

But this still opens for both interpretations. If the stress is on 'when', we get meaning 1: 'in the visible phenomene' - ie. 'here and now'. If the stress is on 'dhamma', we get meaning 2: 'having seen the dhamma'.

But dictionaries and grammars can only take us part of the way. The final test - as always in language - must be usage and context. Every living language (and a dead language once was alive, too) has idioms and expressions where the totality of the idiom gives a meaning or a nuance that is different from its constituent elements. The only way of finding a solution is to get as familiar with the language and texts as possible. Read lots and lots of texts, and see what contexts the different idioms and expressions appear in. Then, if we are lucky, we may get an idea of what the original language users intended to say.
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:02 am

Kare wrote: Every living language (and a dead language once was alive, too) has idioms and expressions where the totality of the idiom gives a meaning or a nuance that is different from its constituent elements.
This is actually a serious issue and is something people who mess around with Pali, but do not have a sound basis in it, miss.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:36 am

Kare wrote:The final test - as always in language - must be usage and context. (...) The only way of finding a solution is to get as familiar with the language and texts as possible. Read lots and lots of texts, and see what contexts the different idioms and expressions appear in.

That is possible thanks VRI's CST. See the useful post there:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2790#p39717

But this would still be time consuming
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Kare » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:45 pm

Dukkhanirodha wrote:
Kare wrote:The final test - as always in language - must be usage and context. (...) The only way of finding a solution is to get as familiar with the language and texts as possible. Read lots and lots of texts, and see what contexts the different idioms and expressions appear in.

That is possible thanks VRI's CST. See the useful post there:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2790#p39717

But this would still be time consuming


So is life ... :mrgreen:
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:58 pm

second thoughts...
Kare wrote: Every living language (and a dead language once was alive, too) has idioms and expressions where the totality of the idiom gives a meaning or a nuance that is different from its constituent elements. The only way of finding a solution is to get as familiar with the language and texts as possible. Read lots and lots of texts, and see what contexts the different idioms and expressions appear in.

it is also possible that the meaning of an expression would vary according to its context...


Kare wrote:
Dukkhanirodha wrote:...
But this would still be time consuming


So is life ... :mrgreen:

... which is the exact reason why I personnally do not want to explore the difficulties of Pali language too deeply. Since time is very limited, my main focus remains meditation, and there is only little left for intellectual studies.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:59 pm

So let's analyze the following context:

AN 6.63:
Tividhāhaṃ, bhikkhave, kammānaṃ vipākaṃ vadāmi – diṭṭheva dhamme, upapajje vā, apare vā pariyāye.


Thanissaro B:
The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later [in this lifetime], and that which arises following that.


B Bodhi:
Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: in this life, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.


I don't see any room here for "having seen the Dhamma"... it would look like:
Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: having seen the Truth, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.
Doesn't make any sense to me.

But this:
Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: in the visible order of things, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Kare » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:02 pm

Dukkhanirodha wrote:So let's analyze the following context:

AN 6.63:
Tividhāhaṃ, bhikkhave, kammānaṃ vipākaṃ vadāmi – diṭṭheva dhamme, upapajje vā, apare vā pariyāye.


Thanissaro B:
The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later [in this lifetime], and that which arises following that.


B Bodhi:
Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: in this life, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.


I don't see any room here for "having seen the Dhamma"... it would look like:
Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: having seen the Truth, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.
Doesn't make any sense to me.

But this:
Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: in the visible order of things, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.


I agree. Excellent context-based reasoning! :anjali:
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Re: Meaning of 'Diṭṭheva Dhamme'

Postby Sekha » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:48 pm

:anjali:
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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