Samadhi (best English translation?)

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries
User avatar
Posts: 709
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Post by Kumara »

Buckwheat wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:50 pm Composure seems like a good, usable word. I'm realizing that anything over three syllables, while fine for academics, seems too academic or like technical jargon to convey a meaning that goes straight to the "citta". With that in mind, I also suggest "poise"...
poise [poiz] noun, verb, poised, pois·ing.

1. a state of balance or equilibrium, as from equality or equal distribution of weight; equipoise.
2. a dignified, self-confident manner or bearing; composure; self-possession: to show poise in company.
3. steadiness; stability: intellectual poise.
4. suspense or wavering, as between rest and motion or two phases of motion: the poise of the tides.
5. the way of being poised, held, or carried.
While looking for my old post, I found this and have something to add to it.

For poise, or more originally equipoise, the equivalent Pāli word would be ekodibhāva. That's something that occurred to me only last March, and still working it into my book.

It's commonly assumed that the eka here means one, but it's more likely same or equal. (If you suspect a linguistic connection between eka and equal, you're quite right.)

While I’m dissatisfied with PED’s conclusion for ekodi, its analysis “odi for odhi” gives me a clue: Just as samādhi is from the verb samādahati, odhi is probably from the verb odahati.

The literal meaning of “dahati”, according to Vipassanā Research Institute’s Pāli Dictionary, includes “to put, to hold, to bear”. The o prefix carry a variety of nuances, one of which is “inside”, as in the o in okappati: “feel confident, put (trust) in” and okappanā: “putting (trust) in, confidence” (PED).

So, putting odi (for odhi) together with eka (as equal), we get ekodi meaning “equal-inside-holding”.

Now compare that with the meanings provided above. What do you think, Buckwheat?
The purpose of Dhamma learning is to gain freedom, not accumulate knowledge.
Mr. Seek
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:45 am

Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Post by Mr. Seek »

"Abandoning", 'freeing', or something along those lines, as in abandoning hindrances, craving, clinging, fetters, etc., all bad things stopping a person from unbinding. I don't think concentration, absorption, focus, etc., are right interpretations. This is particularly in the context of Buddhist samadhi, where one, stage by stage, abandons the coarse in favor of the refined, and then abandons the refined in favor of the unconditioned, etc. I'm not good with words though!

Edit: Unexcelled victory in battle. :D
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
Post Reply