Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

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Assaji
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Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Assaji »

Hello Pali friends,

In the article from Rhys-Davids'es dictionary this term is explained as:

Gaṇhati & Gaṇhāti
Meanings: to take, take up; take hold of; grasp, seize; assume; ...

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1074.pali" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This spectrum of meanings does not include the meaning of this word in the context of perception.


Monier-Williams dictionary gives such meanings:

grah [RV. in a few passages only AV. &c.] or grabh [RV. rarely AV.], cl. 9. P. gṛbhṇāti gṛhṇā́ti (also Ā. gṛhṇīte, irreg. gṛhṇate MuṇḍUp. 3. pl. gṛbhṇate RV.

• to perceive (with the organs of sense or with mánas), observe, recognise RV. i, 139, 10 and 145, 2 VS. i, 18 ŚBr. xiv MuṇḍUp. ŚvetUp. &c
• to receive into the mind, apprehend, understand, learn Nal. R. Ragh. v, 59 Pañcat. i, 1, 23

http://faculty.washington.edu/prem/mw/g.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


And the new Pali-English dictionary by Margaret Cone also gives:

gaṇhāti,
5. receives into the mind, apprehends, learns; accepts (instuction or criticism); ...

gāhi(n), mfn. [S. grāhin], seizing, grasping; holding; taking, receiving; apprehending; ...


In the context of perception, thuis term means 'apprehends', 'becomes conscious of, through the senses', 'perceives'.

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Sylvester
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Sylvester »

Thank you.

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Assaji
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Assaji »

Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:07 pm "Prehend" is a very obscure word, I will say. Most people have absolutely no native intuition of what it means. Why this specifically? It is because of that?
The "apprehend" option has many extra meanings, so I opted for "prehend" since it is more narrow in its meaning. Still, I would appreciate any proposals.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Coëmgenu »

The problem with "prehend" is that English speakers won't know what it means and will look it up and take the first dictionary entry they see for it. In this case, they might look at Merriam-Webster and see 1) to seize 2) to apprehend. Using prehend forces you to explain either by a note or footnote why you are specifically not using "apprehend." It seems like you wanted to remove the prefix to make it more "general" or "abstract" and less "to take with the hand," but that's just what it seems like to me. Apprehend would be equivalent, and you'd still likely need to use the same explanatory note at one point while using it.
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by ssasny »

Thanks for an interesting discussion.
It seems to me that when using a rather obscure word as a translation choice, (as a native English speaker I can't recall ever having heard the word 'prehend' before), the translation takes on a formal and abstract nature, when often the text is describing a rather ordinary, everyday occurrence.
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Assaji
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Assaji »

Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:44 pm The problem with "prehend" is that English speakers won't know what it means and will look it up and take the first dictionary entry they see for it. In this case, they might look at Merriam-Webster and see 1) to seize 2) to apprehend. Using prehend forces you to explain either by a note or footnote why you are specifically not using "apprehend." It seems like you wanted to remove the prefix to make it more "general" or "abstract" and less "to take with the hand," but that's just what it seems like to me. Apprehend would be equivalent, and you'd still likely need to use the same explanatory note at one point while using it.
ssasny wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:13 pm It seems to me that when using a rather obscure word as a translation choice, (as a native English speaker I can't recall ever having heard the word 'prehend' before), the translation takes on a formal and abstract nature, when often the text is describing a rather ordinary, everyday occurrence.
Thank you, I'm going to use "apprehend" instead.
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by frank k »

Assaji wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:22 pm ...
Thank you, I'm going to use "apprehend" instead.
I think apprehend is better than prehend for the reasons others have stated,
but as an english speaker, I want to point out the first thing I think of for 'apprehend' is a policeman grabbing a criminal to arrest him.
And wasn't 'grasp', 'grab' the two meanings you were trying to avoid?


Just adding my thoughts here, not trying to annoy you or talk you out of 'apprehend', I think it's fine.
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Assaji
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Assaji »

frank k wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:28 pm I think apprehend is better than prehend for the reasons others have stated,
but as an english speaker, I want to point out the first thing I think of for 'apprehend' is a policeman grabbing a criminal to arrest him.
And wasn't 'grasp', 'grab' the two meanings you were trying to avoid?
Seems like there's nothing better. "To receive into the mind" would also be hardly understandable.
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by ssasny »

Have you considered the word 'notice'?
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Assaji
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Assaji »

ssasny wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:41 pm Have you considered the word 'notice'?
IMHO, this doesn't quite fit.

What about "pick up" or "pick up on"?

Ven. Thanissaro uses it:
"In the same way, there are cases where a wise, experienced, skillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself... feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, his mind becomes concentrated, his defilements are abandoned. He takes note of that fact. As a result, he is rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, together with mindfulness & alertness. Why is that? Because the wise, experienced, skillful monk picks up on the theme of his own mind."
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn ... .than.html
ssasny
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by ssasny »

'Pick up on' seems good to me.

Tathā hi so, bhikkhave, paṇḍito byatto kusalo sūdo sakassa bhattu nimittaṃ uggaṇhāti.

and

Tathā hi so, bhikkhave, paṇḍito byatto kusalo bhikkhu sakassa cittassa nimittaṃ uggaṇhātī”ti.

The verbal prefix ud, 'out in an upward direction' helps give it that sense.
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Assaji
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Re: Pali Term: Gaṇhāti

Post by Assaji »

ssasny wrote: Wed Jun 16, 2021 2:10 pm 'Pick up on' seems good to me.
Thank you! I went with this option now.
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