alan... wrote:you know better than modern authoritative commentators, for example, on the yoga sutra and all translators who render "nimitta" of jhana as "sign"? what qualifications do you have to make such bold, sweeping statements?
that's impressive and surely deserves further explanation as to how you came to be such an authority on these topics.
It's amazing that you consider a bold and sweeping statement my opinion on the meaning of the term 'nimitta' in jhana.
Seems like that anyone who dares to have such opinion should have authority and status?
The 'sign' translation was introduced at the times of Thomas Rhys-Davids Pali-English dictionary, which was considered then to be a milestone with much to improve later. However it did not undergo improvement for almost a century, and all the imperfections and errors of this dictionary came to be "canonized" in the Western Buddhism. Now hardly anyone will question the inventions like "The Four Noble Thuths"
Well, if you are looking for authorities with qualifications, I can refer you to Stephen Hodge, viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2770#p39219http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Stephen_Hodge
and to the President of the Pali Text Society, Rupert Gethin, who in agreement with Stephen Hodge connects the term 'nimitta' with 'pratibimba' in his book "Foundations of Buddhism".
Also, as for the dictionaries, I would recommend you the new Pali-English dictionary by Margaret Cone. You may definitely enjoy reading the definition of 'nimitta' from there, which is much improved over the Rhys-Davids'es version.