corn, rice, grain

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corn, rice, grain

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:16 am

I've been reading my way through the Walshe's DH and come across a curious reference to corn in a frequently used pericope. I have seen other translations in which corn is replaced with rice or the more generic grain. My understanding is that corn developed in the Americas and probably wasn't available to the people of Gangetic plain until many years after the canonization of the Buddhist texts. So why might Walshe have used corn?

Thus Have I Heard. Once the Venerable Kumara-Kassapa was touring around Kosala with a large company of about five hundred monks, and he came to stay at a town called Setavya. He stayed to the north of Setavya in the Simsapa forest. And at that time Prince Payasi was living at Setavya, a populous place, full of grass, timber, water, and corn, which had been given to him by King Pasenadi of Kosala as a royal gift and with royal powers.
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby culaavuso » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:10 am

It seems that the word translated there is sadhaññaṃ.

Pali-English Dictionary: Dhañña wrote:Dhañña1 (nt.) [Ved. dhānya, der. fr. dhana] grain, corn. The usual enumn comprises 7 sorts of grain, which is however not strictly confined to grain -- fruit proper ("corn") but includes, like other enumns, pulse & seeds. These 7 are sāli & vīhi (rice -- sorts), yava (barley), godhuma (wheat), kangu (millet), varaka (beans), kudrūsaka (?) Vin iv.264; Nd2 314; DA i.78. -- Nd2 314 distinguishes two oategories of dhañña: the natural (pubbaṇṇa) & the prepared (aparaṇṇa) kinds. To the first belong the 7 sorts, to the second belongs sūpeyya (curry). See also bīja -- bīja. -- Six sorts are mentioned at M i.57, viz. sāli, vīhi, mugga, māsa, tila, taṇḍula. <-> D i.5 (āmaka˚, q. v.); A ii.209 (id.); M i.180; A ii.32


It seems that the word corn is meant in the British English sense of cereal or grain as opposed to the American English sense of maize.

Since Maurice O'Connell Walshe was born in London and educated in London and continental Europe, it would make sense that he would be using the word in the British English sense.
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:55 am

Until quite recently, corn was a synonym for grain or seed.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:05 am

Good answer. Or as the English might say: Brilliant!

Now the question is, why would corn be a substitute for grain, given that corn didn't make its way to Europe any sooner than it did India? Perhaps it was a result of fadishness, like iPad replacing an earlier and more representative generic term such as tablet.
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:56 am

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Etymology+of+corn

Please keep in mind the Pali language forum is for the study of Pali, not English.
Questions regarding the etymology and usage of non-Pali words is beyond the purview of this sub-forum.
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:03 am

Of course, of course. Just thought since we were on the topic, and all things being interdependent...
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:16 am

Jeffrey wrote:Good answer. Or as the English might say: Brilliant!

Now the question is, why would corn be a substitute for grain, given that corn didn't make its way to Europe any sooner than it did India? Perhaps it was a result of fadishness, like iPad replacing an earlier and more representative generic term such as tablet.


It's not a matter of "substitution". The point is, as explained above, in British English, corn can mean any grain, such as wheat, or oats. And that's the usage in the translation. American English uses the word corn for a particular grain, which British would call maize. English has a variety of dialects: British, American, Australian, Indian, etc... The dialects differ in a number of subtle and not so subtle ways...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/corn
corn 1 (kôrn)
n.
1.
a. Any of numerous cultivated forms of a widely grown, usually tall annual cereal grass (Zea mays) bearing grains or kernels on large ears.
b. The grains or kernels of this plant, used as food for humans and livestock or for the extraction of an edible oil or starch. Also called Indian corn, maize.
2. An ear of this plant.
3. Chiefly British Any of various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland.

:anjali:
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:26 am

Ha, I was looking at this backward. Corn was the original word for grains (e.g., barleycorn), but then became associated with one grain, maize.

Thanks for sorting me out, and sorry for all the English language chat here, Ben.
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Re: corn, rice, grain

Postby bharadwaja » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:14 pm

Dhañña (grain) was also once viewed as wealth (dhana) in India, these words for grain and wealth are etymologically related.

Trade was (probably even in the Buddha's time) done as barter (with measures of grain being used as money and exchangeable with gold).
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