I have a question regarding the translation of a passage in AN 1-18. It is often rendered as:
"Just as a tiny bit of faeces has a bad smell, so I do not recommend even a tiny bit of existence, not even for so long as a fingersnap.".
I do not know who the translator is, but I know that . This rendering is consistent with the .
However, , the same passage is rendered as:
"320. Bhikkhus, just as a little bit of excreta smells and should be got rid of, I do not specify thinking even for the fraction of a second."
SuttaCentral.net credits this translation to Sister Uppalavana.
I am not well-versed in the suttas or Pali, though I am not Pali-phobic either. I don't even understand the numbering systems used in the Anguttara Nikaya - both "AN 1.316" and "AN 1.18.1" seem to be correct designations for this passage. I am fluent in Burmese, however, and I'm aware that the Burmese editions of the suttas are not immune to criticism, having renditions such as "discursive thinking" for "vicara". What I do know that the second translation is different from the Burmese rendering, which uses "existence" in place of "thinking".
Could anyone comment on the differences? In English, the two translations have distinctly different meanings. Maybe Sylvester would like to take a crack at it...
Last edited by waterchan
on Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)