The Benefits & Drawbacks of Pali

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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:23 am

Sylvester wrote:
Kare wrote:I don't know what you are referring to here. A nexus? In Pali the whole phrase is one composite word: surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā. And all of the elements are nouns. So I'm sorry, but I see no basis for your analysis.



Hi Kare

I'm sure that you're aware that the compound occurs as 2 slightly different variants in the various editions, ie surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhāna and surāmerayamajjappamādaṭṭhāna. The former (based on a word count in the Burmese edition) is more frequently encountered than the latter. I take the presence of the undoubled "p" to be evidence that this compound started life as 2 separate compounds, and that the doubled "p" form is part of the ongoing evolution of the redaction. That is how I parsed the compound into 2 distinct compounds.



The single 'p' may just as well be a scribal error, so I would not base too wide reaching conclusions on this detail.


I take surāmerayamajja to be an aggregative compound, while the pamādaṭṭhāna is a bahubbīhi compound. The bahubbīhi would thus be an attributive/"adjectival" compound, notwithstanding that it is made up of nouns. The attribute would then stand in that relation to the nouns (surāmerayamajja). I put this into the class of bahubbīhis dealt with by Warder under Bahubbīhi Compounds (I), p.137 and how this fits into his syntactical analysis of the nexus at p.61.

The Comy parse of pamādaṭṭhāna also suggests that it was treated as an attributive bahubbīhi -

Surāmerayamajjappamādaṭṭhānānuyogoti ettha surāti piṭṭhasurā pūvasurā odanasurā kiṇṇapakkhittā sambhārasaṃyuttāti pañca surā. Merayanti pupphāsavo phalāsavo madhvāsavo guḷāsavo sambhārasaṃyuttoti pañca āsavā. Taṃ sabbampi madakaraṇavasena majjaṃ. Pamādaṭṭhānanti pamādakāraṇaṃ.

DA, Pāthikavaggaṭṭhakathā 247


Just out of curiosity, how would you translate the original compound?


Some years ago I wrote a detailed analysis and translation of it at this forum. I tried to find it, but I can not make the search function work. Maybe someone else is able to find it? If not, I'll see if I can do it once more.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:18 pm

Is this the one, kare?

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=2642#p37052

and a connected post:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2667#p37368
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The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby polarbuddha101 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Start now. Start with Lily de Silva's very easy PALI PRIMER then go to A.K. Warder's sutta based INTRODUCTION TO PALI. And depending upon how good you are with languages, expect to put in several years, at least.


I downloaded the Pali Primer so here goes nothing. Thanks for the suggestion and the source.

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Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:38 pm

Reductor wrote:Is this the one, kare?

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=2642#p37052

and a connected post:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2667#p37368


Yes. Thanks a lot! I don't know why the search didn't work for me.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:49 pm

Kare wrote:
Reductor wrote:Is this the one, kare?

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=2642#p37052

and a connected post:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2667#p37368


Yes. Thanks a lot! I don't know why the search didn't work for me.


Search is broken. I used google.

just put "site:www.dhammawheel.com" in the search so only results from here are returned.
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The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Sylvester » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:49 pm

Slurp. I'm glad I've not thrown away my bottle of Mavrodafni!
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:53 pm

Kare wrote:Not learning Pali = not knowing Pali. Not knowing = ignorance.


IMHO, it is good to check various translations of KEY words and examine their meaning.

On the other hand, I don't think that it is necessary to become fluent in Pali. We don't even know from what dialects it was translated to Pali. We don't know even if every pali word came correctly. For example I've noticed that some pali texts have anicca, and some have aniccha which drastically changes the meaning of one of contemplations in girimananda sutta. So I don't believe that pali canon is word for word accurate anyways.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:19 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kare wrote:Not learning Pali = not knowing Pali. Not knowing = ignorance.


IMHO, it is good to check various translations of KEY words and examine their meaning.
And do not forget that meaning is determined by usage.

On the other hand, I don't think that it is necessary to become fluent in Pali. We don't even know from what dialects it was translated to Pali. We don't know even if every pali word came correctly. For example I've noticed that some pali texts have anicca, and some have aniccha which drastically changes the meaning of one of contemplations in girimananda sutta. So I don't believe that pali canon is word for word accurate anyways.
This is an odd statement. I do not see here any reason not to learn Pali, and please give us the actual Pali of the that uses "aniccha" as opposed to anicca.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:44 pm

Sylvester wrote:Slurp. I'm glad I've not thrown away my bottle of Mavrodafni!


But remember the Middle Way, and don't go to excesses! :toast:
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:48 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kare wrote:Not learning Pali = not knowing Pali. Not knowing = ignorance.


IMHO, it is good to check various translations of KEY words and examine their meaning.



Yes, key words are important. But what many people seem to forget (or ignore), is that in Pali the grammar is equally important. The grammar says how the key words relate to each other, and there is quite a difference between 'dog bites man' and 'man bites dog', although all the key words are the same.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:01 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And do not forget that meaning is determined by usage.


And cultural context of the people hearing it.


tiltbillings wrote:
On the other hand, I don't think that it is necessary to become fluent in Pali. We don't even know from what dialects it was translated to Pali. We don't know even if every pali word came correctly. For example I've noticed that some pali texts have anicca, and some have aniccha which drastically changes the meaning of one of contemplations in girimananda sutta. So I don't believe that pali canon is word for word accurate anyways.
This is an odd statement. I do not see here any reason not to learn Pali, and please give us the actual Pali of the that uses "aniccha" as opposed to anicca.


If learning pali comes at the EXPENSE of practice, then I wonder if it is worth it. If not, then great. Do what you want.

As for that word in Girimananda sutta:
For example in one edition there is: aniccasaññā somewhere I have seen anicchasaññā (one letter difference, sounds too similar, but entire word is different).
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:03 pm

Kare wrote:Yes, key words are important. But what many people seem to forget (or ignore), is that in Pali the grammar is equally important. The grammar says how the key words relate to each other, and there is quite a difference between 'dog bites man' and 'man bites dog', although all the key words are the same.


Yes, I understand that. What I was doing was reading best translation I could find (from Ven BB or TB) and then checking key words in pali.

If learning Pali does NOT come at expense of practice, then I have no problem. If one studies rather than meditate, then it is different.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:08 pm

Alex123 wrote:
As for that word in Girimananda sutta:
For example in one edition there is: aniccasaññā somewhere I have seen anicchasaññā (one letter difference, sounds too similar, but entire word is different).
In other words, you cannot reproduce this "anomoly." But tell us, anyway, what the "h" does to the word in question.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:17 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
As for that word in Girimananda sutta:
For example in one edition there is: aniccasaññā somewhere I have seen anicchasaññā (one letter difference, sounds too similar, but entire word is different).
In other words, you cannot reproduce this "anomoly." But tell us, anyway, what the "h" does to the word in question.


I found it. "The Book of the Gradual Sayings Vol. 5"EM Hare 1936, page 76. Some years ago I read all 4 Nikayas (and some books from KN) and at that time that was the only complete set of AN that I could get.

anicca = impermanence
anicchā = disliking.

I was reading OLD translation of AN and there rather than saying something like: " perception of the undesirability of all fabrications" it was "idea of impermanence". The translator didn't notice "h" or that letter was missing in pali text used.

Checking that sutta again, there was mis-translation of impermanence as permanence as well... I believe that Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi is 100x better, but who knows. Everyone is human.

The reason I noticed was because when I read the translation it didn't make sense so I checked the pali.


In any case, I don't believe that Buddha always spoke Pali. It appears that most likely Pali is already a translation of Buddha's speech. So we can't speak about 100% accuracy and be too dogmatic on precise meaning words. We can also know the "technically correct" meaning of a pali word, but what meaning did the Buddha intend when he was speaking to simple farmers?
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:04 pm

Alex123 wrote: . . .
And all of that is no reason to learn 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: The Problem With Pali

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote: . . .
And all of that is no reason to learn Pali?



As long as learning doesn't interfere with practice, it is OK.
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:53 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote: . . .
And all of that is no reason to learn Pali?



As long as learning doesn't interfere with practice, it is OK.


Make it part of the practice. To study Pali is to study Dhamma - and how can a study of Dhamma interfere with practice?
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:28 am

Kare wrote:Make it part of the practice. To study Pali is to study Dhamma - and how can a study of Dhamma interfere with practice?


To study the Dhamma is to meditate and contemplate the truths. If you can make it part of your practice, then great!
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Re: The Problem With Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:43 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote: . . .
And all of that is no reason to learn Pali?



As long as learning doesn't interfere with practice, it is OK.
Is not learning part of practice?
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: The Problem With Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:46 am

Alex123 wrote:
Kare wrote:Make it part of the practice. To study Pali is to study Dhamma - and how can a study of Dhamma interfere with practice?


To study the Dhamma is to meditate and contemplate the truths. If you can make it part of your practice, then great!
Yeah, well. The "truths" that one might contemplate, and the way of meditative practice, are all part of what is carefully described in the suttas.
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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