Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

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Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

Postby tilakkhana » Thu May 13, 2010 7:37 pm

I have found so far two english translations, an older one from the Pali Text Society and a more modern one by Bhikkhu Nanamoli.

I took a look at the Nanamoli one and I'm a bit worried that the language is so modern, it loses some of the technicalities of language that appear to be present in the older PTS translation.

Any thoughts?

Metta,

Zac
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Re: Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

Postby Reductor » Thu May 13, 2010 8:20 pm

tilakkhana wrote:I have found so far two english translations, an older one from the Pali Text Society and a more modern one by Bhikkhu Nanamoli.

I took a look at the Nanamoli one and I'm a bit worried that the language is so modern, it loses some of the technicalities of language that appear to be present in the older PTS translation.

Any thoughts?

Metta,

Zac


Archaic language does not a better translation make.

If you want to be sure of what the Vism actually says, you'll have to read Pali. But Nanamoli's translation seems to be lucid and usable, and the language is modern, which is it strongest point.
Michael

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: Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

Postby bodom » Thu May 13, 2010 9:06 pm

Path of Purification Translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli

This 1956 translation by the British-born monk, Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli that in itself is considered an outstanding achievement of Pāli scholarship of the 20th century. - Pariyatti

The present translation ranks as an outstanding cultural achievement perhaps unmatched by Pali Buddhist scholarship in the modern era. - Wisdom-Books

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

Postby Ben » Thu May 13, 2010 9:30 pm

Bhikkhu Nanamoli was a very highly regarded scholar and translator.
His translation is also very highly regarded.
kind regards

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saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 14, 2010 8:18 am

Hi Zac,
tilakkhana wrote:I took a look at the Nanamoli one and I'm a bit worried that the language is so modern, it loses some of the technicalities of language that appear to be present in the older PTS translation.

I've looked at the first volume of the PTS version online: http://www.archive.org/details/pathofpu ... 01budduoft and I would find it difficult to work with. The Nanamoli version generally uses the same English words for Pali terms as the Nanamoli/Bodhi and Bodhi translations of the MN and SN, has much better notes, and is written in more comprehensible language. The fact that it's a translation by a trained monk who presumably had the benefit of the experience of the established Western monks in Sri Lanka (Nyanatiloka, Nyanaponika, etc) is also an advantage.

Mike
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Re: Which english translation of the Visuddhimagga?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 15, 2010 3:16 am

mikenz66 wrote: The fact that it's a translation by a trained monk who presumably had the benefit of the experience of the established Western monks in Sri Lanka (Nyanatiloka, Nyanaponika, etc) is also an advantage.

Furthermore, scanning a few of my books, I see that Ven Nyanatiloka published a German translation (he was originally from Germany) of the Visuddhimagga, and Ven Nanamoli (who was English) acknowledges that he read the first two chapters of the English translation, but was not well enough to read the rest. Ven Nanamoli presumably benefitted from the previous work.

As an aside, I see that Ven Nyanatiloka also translated the Dhammapada, Abhidhammattha Sangaha, and the Anguttara Nikaya into German, as well as translating a number of suttas into English for "The Word of the Buddha".

Bhikkhu Bodhi, of course, is one the current successors to this group of western monks living in Sri Lanka (though he recently moved back to the USA).

The point is that this Western-Sri Lankan school has been responsible for the most modern translations of the MN, SN, Visuddhimagga, Abhidhammattha Sangaha, and, when Bhikkhu Bodhi's work is finished, the AN. If you go to the PTS website you'll note that they list those MN and SN translations along with the older translations from the early 20th C. We have the MN translation at our Wat, and it's inscribed as PTS/Wisdom. I presume they see no point in commissioning other translations of those while there are other texts unavailable in English.

Mike
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