Studying Pali

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Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:33 pm

Hello all,

One of the Dhamma friends at the forest monestary I attend on weekends (Dhammagiri - Queensland) is John Kelly (a translator) who has some of his work on AccessTo Insight: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/cgi/sear ... erms=Kelly
He is encouraging me to return to studying Pali. I did a couple of first year Pali subjects at Queensland University before the untimely death of Dr. Primoz Pecenko - which eventually resulted in the complete closing of the Buddhist, Pali and Sanscrit studies courses at that institution.

I am wondering if anyone else is studying to enable the reading of the Canon in the original - and to be able to check the (sometimes) unusual translations of others?
I have the textbook which John has recommended "A New Course in Reading Pali" Entering the Word of the Budda by James W. Gair and W.S. Karunatillake - and which, coincidentally, is the one at this site:
http://www.bodhimonastery.net/bm/about- ... guage.html

metta
Chris
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:10 am

Thanks Chris

In my new life in Van Dieman's Land from February this year, I may have an abundance of free time during the day until I find appropriate employment. The thought has crossed my mind to begin studying Pali and I was looking for some quality sources and guidance.
Kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:40 am

Hello Ben,

This is great! Maybe we can start together and do Gair and Karunatillake's 'A new Course in Reading Pali 'with Bhikkhu Bodhi''s tutorial talks using the same book?

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:43 am

That would be fantastic!
I'll need to organise myself and get the texts first. Life won't settle down for me until the second week of Feb.
I'm looking forward to it!

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:58 am

Hello Ben, all,

As grammar and sentence structure is a little different in Pali than in English, it is very worth while to get this book also Pali Grammar for Students by Steven Collins (2006, Silkworm Books, ISBN 978-974-9511-13-8) - Bhikkhu Bodhi recommends that it be used in conjunction with book by James W. Gair and W.S. Karunatillake.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/974951 ... ive=380601

So ... the time frame will allow us (and anyone else interested in joining us) to get both books and be ready to go by the end of February, 2009.

One funny thing ... although I have now forgotten most of the Pali I learned at Uni. .... on my last trip to India, the Pilgrimage group was down at the Burning ghats, very tired at the end of a long day of visual, vocal, aural, gustatory, olfactory, tactile sensations that make up Indian cities.
I had been 'harassed' by an indian male beggar for an hour or more, and I finally dispensed with politeness and told him quietly to go away as I was not giving him any more. He drew himself up and stalked away, curling his lip and sneering "Pandaka" and spitting on the ground. I wasn't insulted but almost ran after him to ask him (with a smile) to say it again please so I could record it on my mobile.
Pandaka is a Pali word, and he was using it as a modern obscenity fueled by anger ~ basically commenting (I think) on my short hair and make-up (Indian women having beautiful hair down to their waists.
So Pali isn't as dead a language as we sometimes think. :jumping:
Homosexuality and the original meaning of Pandaka
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 22,0,0,1,0

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:39 pm

Wow!
I remember having some pretty bizarre experiences in India as well. Its like another planet!
I'll endeavour to get onto amazon tomorrow and order Pali Grammar for Students and A New Course in Reading Pali.
Kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Studying Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:13 pm

I would not rule out A.K. Warder's excellent INTRODUCTION TO PALI. It is a sutta based Pali, primarily drawing from the Digha. Since it can be gotten fairly cheaply, I'd recommend trying it by working through the first 10 to 15 lessons. Actually, if you are working on you own, using more than one book is quite helpful.
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.

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Re: Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:01 am

Thanks Tilt.

I have got Warder somewhere - it was one of the texts used at Uni - and I think I can find my book by A.P. Buddhadatta The New Pali Course — Parts I & II,though it was so poorly bound that pages were coming out from day one.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:42 am

Greetings Chris,

I'm not sure if you check your e-mail often, but I've e-mailed you a text you might find beneficial.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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


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Re: Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:18 am

Hello Paul,

Thanks!! I just checked gmail and found your email. Mostly I try to check it daily but sometimes I let it go a little longer.

Much appreciated!! :twothumbsup:

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:01 am

Hello Ben, all,

My "Pali Grammar for Students" by Steven Collins arrived today. So I'll have a bit of time to have a look through it before settling down to doing the hard yards.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Kare » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:30 pm

Both Gair & Karunatilleke and Collins are good and useful, but in my view Warder is still the best. Once you have worked your way through Warder, you will be able to read canonical Pali fairly easily (of course with the PTS Pali-English Dictionary by your side - and Geiger's grammar not too far away). The commentarial language is another cup of tea - even after mastering Warder you will need some time to get use to the syntax in the commentaries. :reading:

Another book that is very helpful to the beginner, is Rune E.A. Johansson: "Pali Buddhist Texts". Johansson takes you directly into important and interesting texts from the suttas, explaining every word and grammatical feature along the way. Warder gives a far better and broader foundation, but Johansson at least gives you a nice and pleasant "illusion" of being able to read the word of the Buddha from day one. :reading:

If you read German, and are interested in comparing Pali with other Indo-European languages, Mayrhofer "Handbuch des Pali" is a real joy to read - but this is not a good book for learning Pali from scratch. :reading:
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby cooran » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:12 am

Hello Kåre,

Thank you for these suggestions and comments. They are much appreciated.

I found learning Pali with a small group with Dr. Primoz Pecenko at University of Queensland - before his untimely and regretted death - was very helpful.
But that was a few years ago. I'm hoping it comes back a little easily when I begin again.

..... which is why anyone else who is interested is very welcome to study along with Ben and I.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:20 am

you know if i wasnt trying to learn thai i'd so be right there with you guys...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:17 am

jcsuperstar wrote:you know if i wasnt trying to learn thai i'd so be right there with you guys...


Why not do both Thai and Pali? I had studied Pali for some years before I started learning Thai, but then I found that Pali was very useful. As you know, English and other Western European languages have imported lots and lots of words from Greek and Latin, and in the same way Thai has imported lots and lots of words from Sanskrit and Pali. The syntax and grammar are very different, but when I knew some Pali, I found that lots of words in Thai were "old friends" - although in a slightly different phonetic garb. For instance, the Thai word "roth" (car) is the Pali word "ratha" (wagon, chariot, cart). In Thai writing the two words are spelled exactly the same way, only the pronounciation is different.
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:31 am

basicly because thai is kicking my butt...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Ben » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:42 am

Kare wrote:Both Gair & Karunatilleke and Collins are good and useful, but in my view Warder is still the best. Once you have worked your way through Warder, you will be able to read canonical Pali fairly easily (of course with the PTS Pali-English Dictionary by your side - and Geiger's grammar not too far away). The commentarial language is another cup of tea - even after mastering Warder you will need some time to get use to the syntax in the commentaries. :reading:

Another book that is very helpful to the beginner, is Rune E.A. Johansson: "Pali Buddhist Texts". Johansson takes you directly into important and interesting texts from the suttas, explaining every word and grammatical feature along the way. Warder gives a far better and broader foundation, but Johansson at least gives you a nice and pleasant "illusion" of being able to read the word of the Buddha from day one. :reading:

If you read German, and are interested in comparing Pali with other Indo-European languages, Mayrhofer "Handbuch des Pali" is a real joy to read - but this is not a good book for learning Pali from scratch. :reading:


Hi Kare

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel and thank you for your review. Like Chris, I am intending to learn Pali and so your comments are especially welcome.
Metta

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Studying Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:02 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:basicly because thai is kicking my butt...


For those that do not know, Thai, being a tonal language, does present some problems, having five distinct tones, any one tone will often make a word a very different word from what it might look and sound to us Amero-European types as being the same word pronounced with an indistinguishable different tone. Before I ordained in 1974 in Bangkok with Keith Morgan, Ajahn Munindo, we were staying at this odd little hotel run by a crazy Australian. One of the girls who worked there was named Moi, and every time Keith and I would say her name she would giggle, which got us wondering why. We asked. The way we were pronouncing her name, we were calling her pubic hair. I can't remember now if it was a rising tone or a high tone, but it was sufficient enough that it was a totally different word from how her named should have been pronounced, though it sounded no different to our tin ears. One needs to be careful asking for bananas in Thai.

As for butt kicking, I have been studying Irish diligently for about a year now. I love the language, but sutta Pali is a much easier go. And again I would strongly recommmend Warder's book.
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: Studying Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:52 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:basicly because thai is kicking my butt...


Accept the kicks and have fun! :D
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Re: Studying Pali

Postby Kare » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:56 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Kare

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel and thank you for your review. Like Chris, I am intending to learn Pali and so your comments are especially welcome.
Metta

Ben


Thank you. Hmmmm .... I should have written a presentation. I'll see what I can do ...
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