Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

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yamaka
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Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by yamaka »

Dear All,

In Vinaya Pitaka>Cula Vagga>Khuddaka Vatthu Khandaka>285(CSCD)

There were two Bhikkhus complained to the Buddha, that some of the Bhikkhus were reciting the Buddha's word by not using the Chandaso language but their own dialects , thus they requested Buddha to unify the recitation of Buddha's word by using Chandaso language but refused by the Buddha, then Buddha has spoke this:
Anujānāmi, bhikkhave, sakāya niruttiyā buddhavacanaṃ pariyāpuṇitu’’nti.

Translated by Prof.Rhys Davids & Oldenberg:
“I allow you, oh Bhikkhus, to learn the words of the Buddha, each in his own dialect”
But in the other hand, the Pali Tipitaka commentator, Ven. Bhadanta Achariya Buddhagosha in his commentary:
Sakāya niruttiyāti ettha sakā nirutti nāma sammāsambuddhena vuttappakāro māgadhiko vohāro.
“I ordain the words of the Buddha to be learnt in his own language (in Māgadhī, the language used by the Buddha himself)”.
So, which context is correct?

:anjali:
Last edited by yamaka on Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Buddha's Language?

Post by DNS »

I have not seen that commentary, nor do I have a copy of it. But assuming it is correct and there is a conflict between the Buddha's words and Buddhaghosa's words, I'd go with the Buddha.

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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Buddha's Language?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

I don't think it's a case of Buddhavacana vs Buddhaghosa, but whether Buddhaghosa or Prof.Rhys Davids & Oldenberg made the appropriate translation of the the Buddha's recorded words.

I recall reading recently someone making an argument in favour of Buddhaghosa's rendering but I can't quite remember where I read that. If I work it out, I'll bring it here.

Wasn't the context behind this quote in relation to avoiding exclusivity in the Dhamma through transmission in language/texts/scripts known and used only by certain classes? Sorry if that's a bit hazy - my brain has shut up shop for the day.

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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Buddha's Language?

Post by Gena1480 »

my mistake
both are speaking of samething
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Buddha's Language?

Post by yamaka »

David N. Snyder wrote:I have not seen that commentary, nor do I have a copy of it. But assuming it is correct and there is a conflict between the Buddha's words and Buddhaghosa's words, I'd go with the Buddha.

:buddha2:
David,

The topic is about rendering of Ven.Buddhagosha's vs prof. Rhys Davids & Oldenberg regarded to the said Vinaya texts.

:anjali:
Last edited by yamaka on Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Buddha's Language?

Post by yamaka »

Gena1480 wrote:my mistake
both are speaking of samething
Gena,

What did you mean by same thing? Own dialects=Magadhi(The Asoka's official Language?)


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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Nirutti in the PTS also means pronunciation. If that is what it means here it makes sense in both contexts.

The discourses need to be learnt in Pali (Magadhi), not English, Thai, Sinhala, or Burmese. The pronunciation is sure to vary between those with different mother tongues. Unless the pronunciation is completely wrong, there won't be any confusion about the meaning. However, if we were to learn the teachings in English (for example), which translation would we use?
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by yamaka »

Another instances from the Vinaya commentary:(Samantapadasika- Vinaya Atthakatha)
“...Dhammoti Pāḷi...”
“... Pāḷi is, therefore, the Dhamma Language of the Buddha...”
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by gavesako »

You can read more about this in this article which explains the underlying idea behind the World Tipitaka project:

http://society.worldtipitaka.org/mds/co ... ew/226/49/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Unique Characteristics of Pāḷi

See in particular their take on "sakaya niruttiya..." (a kind of "linguistic elitism") which is in marked contrast to the modern scholarly view.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Buddha's Language?

Post by daverupa »

retrofuturist wrote:Wasn't the context behind this quote in relation to avoiding exclusivity in the Dhamma through transmission in language/texts/scripts known and used only by certain classes?
Basically, the Buddha wasn't dealing with different languages, only dialects. Therefore the statement has to be drawn out to apply to a scenario with different languages; this perspective is reported by Gombrich in What the Buddha Thought. He believes, as do I (and as did Walpola Rahula) that the Dhamma can be taught without a single foreign word, yet I think this is best done by extrapolating from the Pali afresh, rather than sticking with one translation from the Pali and plowing ahead.
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by Alex123 »

yamaka wrote: Translated by Prof.Rhys Davids & Oldenberg:
“I allow you, oh Bhikkhus, to learn the words of the Buddha, each in his own dialect”
I wonder about the exact translation and meaning of "his own". his own = ours, or the Buddha's?
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by Kare »

Alex123 wrote:
yamaka wrote: Translated by Prof.Rhys Davids & Oldenberg:
“I allow you, oh Bhikkhus, to learn the words of the Buddha, each in his own dialect”
I wonder about the exact translation and meaning of "his own". his own = ours, or the Buddha's?
The wording in Pali is ambiguous. That is, as long as we focus narrowly on "sakāya niruttiyā" - "in own dialect/speech" - it can be interpreted in two different ways. But once we look at the context, once we look at the whole story where this saying occurs, the meaning is clear. The Buddha was asked about the different dialects of monks from different clans, families, etc., so naturally his answer also must point to those different dialects that he was asked about. The context gives no room for doubt here, so the Commentary is mistaken on this point.

On the other hand, if that misunderstanding helped contribute to preserving the texts in Pali, I, for one, am very happy for that misunderstanding! :D
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Re: Learning Buddha's Word By Own Dialects Or Magadhi?

Post by Gena1480 »

Do you mean MaggaPali?
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