Dhammapada verse 194

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Dhammapada verse 194

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:09 am

Dear all

Inspired in part by the discussion on verse 1 here:http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=55&p=310#p310
I wanted to ask about verse 194 of the Dhammapada:

Sukho Buddhānam uppādo
Sukhā saddhammadesanā
Sukhā sanghassa sāmaggi
Samaggānam tapo sukho


Variously translated:

Happiness lies in the arising of the Enlightened Ones.
Happiness lies in the teaching of true Dhamma.
Happiness lies in concord among the Sangha.
Happiness lies in meditating together.
-- VRI

Joyful is the arising of the Buddha;
Joyful the teaching of the holy Dhamma;
Joyful the harmony of the Sangha;
and Joyful the practice of those who live in harmony.
-- d'Ge-'dun Chos-'phel

Blessed is the birth of the Buddhas;
Blessed is the discourse of the Noble Law;
Blessed is the harmony of the Community of Monks;
Blessed is the devotion of those living in brotherhood.
--Harischandra Kaviratna

Blessed is the birth of the Buddhas;
blessed is the enunciation of the sacred Teaching;
blessed is the harmony in the Order,
and blessed is the spiritual pursuit of the united truth-seeker.
-- Ven Buddharakkhita

A blessing: the arising of Awakened Ones.
A blessing: the teaching of true Dhamma.
A blessing: the concord of the Sangha.
The austerity of those in concord
is a blessing.
-- Ven Thanissaro


Firstly, is the translation by VRI an acceptable rendering?
Secondly, can anyone detail the context of the utterance of verse 194?
Many thanks

Ben
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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:22 am

Greetings Ben,

As for the term 'sukha', I understood that to refer to 'happiness' so in that respect it seems a good rendition. Either way, the intent and spirit of all the translations seems common.

You may also want to check out the dictionary references I provided in another thread here in the Classical Theravada section.

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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby Will » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:39 am

Ben,

Over at Buddhasasana site are Dhammapada Stories, this is the one for 194:

Verse 194

XIV (8) The Story of Many Bhikkhus

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (194) of this book, with reference to many bhikkhus.

Once, five hundred bhikkhus were discussing the question "What constitutes happiness?" These bhikkhus realized that happiness meant different things to different people. Thus, they said, "To some people to have the riches and glory like that of a king's is happiness, to some people sensual pleasure is happiness, but to others to have good rice cooked with meat is happiness." While they were talking, the Buddha came in. After learning the subject of their talk, the Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, all the pleasures you have mentioned do not get you out of the round of rebirths. In this world, these constitute happiness: the arising of a Buddha, the opportunity to hear the Teaching of the Sublime Truth, and the harmony amongst the bhikkhus,"

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 194: Happy is the arising of a Buddha; happy is the exposition of the Ariya Dhamma; happy is the harmony amongst the Samgha; happy is the practice of those in harmony.


At the end of the discourse the five hundred bhikkhus attained arahatship.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby christopher::: » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:48 am

What a wonderful passage and story! I think that just as the Buddha spoke in different ways at different times, depending on his audience, the wisdom he shared might be phrased in different ways also, and still maintain it's core message? The important thing (imo) is that we are able to use the words imparted to guide our chosen community's actions and practice now, here, in the present.

May the Dhamma Wheel become such a community, as Buddha described.

Namaste,
Chris
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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:37 am

Hi Ben,

Firstly, is the translation by VRI an acceptable rendering?


The first three lines are fine, but I don't think you can get "Happiness lies in meditating together" out of "samaggānam tapo sukho."

The fourth line is connected to the third, which speaks of harmony or unity (sāmaggī) in the saṅgha. Here the bhikkhusaṅgha is meant, as can be seen from the use of the same phrase in the Itivuttaka's Saṅghasāmaggī and Saṅghabheda Suttas.

As for tapo, I don't know any really good word for this in English, but "meditating" is too narrow. Buddharakkhita's "spiritual pursuit" and Thanissaro's "austerity" are better renderings. My own would be "earnest striving." In its pre-Buddhist usage tapo refers to the sort of practices that the Buddha rejected as belonging to the extreme of self-mortification and also to the practices of the Jaṭilas (top-knotted, fire-worshipping ascetics). But in the Buddha's hands it covers just about any activities aimed at oppose the mental defilements and developing wholesome dhammas. So although proper meditation is one example of tapo, so are many other things: resisting the urge to break a precept, being contented with little, eating in moderation etc. If you have a copy of the Dīgha Nikāya, the Mahāsīhanāda Sutta (DN. 8) is a good source for the old and new meanings of tapo.

In the Abhidhamma tapo in most contexts is identified with skilful energy (kusala viriya).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:42 am

From the world of cutting-edge Pali scholarship, here is K.R. Norman's translation:

    Happy is the arising of awakened ones;
    happy is the teaching of the good doctrine;
    happy is unity in the Order;
    happy is the austerity of those who are united.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:52 am

this is from the Link I posted in the Dhamic Stories section it also has a break down of how it is translated there so may be helpful to try doing your own translation with the help of one of the dictionaries I think Retro posted?

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/DBLM/olcourse/pa ... tha194.htm

Some monks were discussing what is the true happiness. Everybody defined the word in different way and so they realized that happiness could mean completely dissimilar things to different people. For some, money and fame were happiness, for some sensual pleasures, for some good food…
They asked the Buddha what the true happiness really was. He replied them with this verse, saying that only these things constitute real happiness: arising of a Buddha in this world, opportunity to hear the Dharma, unity and harmony amongst monks.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Re: Dhammapada verse 194

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:41 am

Thank you all for your responses.

Thanks Ajahn - I was interested to learn of the specificity of the verse to the bhikkhu sangha, Will for providing the historical context - thanks for the cut and paste, Manapa for the website address- I'll check it out!
Chris - discovering the alternative translations made me realise that v.194 resembled my aspirations for Dhamma Wheel!
Thanks also to Retro.

One of these days I'm going to bight the bullet and learn Pali!
Metta

Ben
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