The Benefits & Drawbacks of Pali

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:46 am


danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:47 am


danieLion
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:50 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:52 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:53 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:56 am


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polarbear101
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:00 am

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:05 am

So, are the (Chinese) Agamas inferior to the Pali manuscripts because the latter are "closer" to the language(s) the Buddha spoke?

Didn't the Buddha tell his followers that when they encountered other cultures to teach the dhamma in their language?

Do we have any records of the Buddha making any rules about which language his teachings should be preserved in?

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polarbear101
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:23 am

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

Nyana
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Nyana » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:16 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:37 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:39 am


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manas
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby manas » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:49 am

How did Venerables Thanissaro, Bodhi, and others come up with all those wonderful translations, that we can compare with each other? They studied pali thoroughly and deeply, that's how. I admit I have relied on translations also for the vast majority of my practicing life, and still do. But I do intend to change that, although progress is very slow, myself being a householder with kids and all, but still I think we gain much from reading the texts in the original pali, hearing the word placements and the syntax, and learning gradually how to think in pali rather than just in English. I admit it's a long-term task, and that I've made some progress in the Dhamma (I hope) even knowing very little pali. Yes, that's true. But even so, I see it as a useful thing to study for all practitioners to whatever extent they are able, who wish to get a little bit closer to how the Buddha's words might have sounded. Closer...

As for the words pointing to concepts beyond words - well yes that's true, but we shouldn't let go of the raft until we've made it safely across to the other side. So in the meantime, words and their accuracy still matter.

:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Mr Man
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Mr Man » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:36 am


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Kare
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kare » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:48 pm

Whenever I see someone try to convince themselves and others of the unimportance of studying Pali, I can't help thinking of one of Aesops fables:

One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour."

:stirthepot:
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Kamran
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kamran » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:57 pm

It was reading in Pali about metta meditation that Bikhu Analayo realized that the metta that he had been taught was not the same as in the suttas, and that the sutta method worked much better for him.

This set him on the path to learn source languages including Pali and Chinese and compare the sources against each other to glean new insights.

Even though he is an intensive scholar, Analayo spends 3 days in self-retreat each week, as well as longer retreats throughout the year, so it is possible to do intensive intellectual work, and still have the energy to advance in you practice.

As of yet, there is no English translation of the Agamas and the original Chinese can't be read by modern Chinese readers.

I believe there is a need for more people to learn the source languages, and I am thankful for those that have.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:14 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:15 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:16 am


danieLion
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby danieLion » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:17 am



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