Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries
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Ceisiwr
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Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Ceisiwr »

Greetings,


Is “idaṃ” best translated as “this, this” or “this, that” in the following passage?


“When this exists, that is; due to the arising of this, that arises. When this doesn’t exist, that is not; due to the cessation of this, that ceases. That is:”

“iti imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti, imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati; imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti, imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati-”

SN 12:61
Saññāvirattassa na santi ganthā,
Paññāvimuttassa na santi mohā;
Saññañca diṭṭhiñca ye aggahesuṃ,
Te ghaṭṭayantā vicaranti loke”ti.


“For one detached from perception, there exist no ties,
for one by wisdom freed, no delusions are there,
but those who have grasped perceptions and views,
they wander the world stirring up strife."


Māgaṇḍiya Sutta
Spiny Norman
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:59 pm Greetings,


Is “idaṃ” best translated as “this, this” or “this, that” in the following passage?


“When this exists, that is; due to the arising of this, that arises. When this doesn’t exist, that is not; due to the cessation of this, that ceases. That is:”

“iti imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti, imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati; imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti, imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati-”

SN 12:61
It's describing the general principle of conditionality, ie one thing/process arising or ceasing in dependence upon another.
So "this, this" doesn't make any sense here, IMO. It would be the same thing/process arising or ceasing in dependence upon itself.
(please don't introduce Nagarjuna here :tongue: )
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Ceisiwr »

please don't introduce Nagarjuna here
Never crossed my mind :)
Saññāvirattassa na santi ganthā,
Paññāvimuttassa na santi mohā;
Saññañca diṭṭhiñca ye aggahesuṃ,
Te ghaṭṭayantā vicaranti loke”ti.


“For one detached from perception, there exist no ties,
for one by wisdom freed, no delusions are there,
but those who have grasped perceptions and views,
they wander the world stirring up strife."


Māgaṇḍiya Sutta
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Volo
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Volo »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:59 pm Greetings,


Is “idaṃ” best translated as “this, this” or “this, that” in the following passage?


“When this exists, that is; due to the arising of this, that arises. When this doesn’t exist, that is not; due to the cessation of this, that ceases. That is:”

“iti imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti, imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati; imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti, imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati-”

SN 12:61
Pali uses locative absolute (imasmiṃ sati): imasmiṃ is loc of idaṃ, sati is locative of santo, which is present participle of atthi to be. And since locative absolute is used, the subjects in two sentences must be different: "this, that", would the subjects be the same ("this, this") the text would use simple present participle: idaṃ santaṃ, idaṃ hoti (it would be also a bit strange statement: when this exists, it exists").

So, in English we should use "this, that" for translation.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Dhammanando »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:59 pm Is “idaṃ” best translated as “this, this” or “this, that” in the following passage?
Idaṃ and imasmiṃ are, respectively, the neuter nominative and neuter locative of the same demonstrative pronoun, ima. That being so, one can imagine that a translator who's strongly committed to form-equivalence (i.e., to replicating the grammatical and syntactical forms of the source language in the target language) might wish to render both pronouns as "this".

In practice, however, almost no translator does this. Indeed the only one I can think of is that hapless hyperliteralist Ñāṇavīra:
"But, Udāyi, let be the past, let be the future, I shall set you forth the Teaching: When there is this this is, with arising of this this arises; when there is not this this is not, with cessation of this this ceases."
(A Note on Paṭiccasamuppāda)
More competent translators than he recognize that demonstrative referencing in Pali is governed by different conventions than those of English. Whereas in English a speaker will indicate two different referents by using two different demonstratives ("this, that"; "these, those"), in Pali he will repeat the same demonstrative (ima, ta, eta or amu) and trust that the cataphoric frame of reference (as described in this thread by Dinsdale and Volo) will suffice to make clear the intended meaning. But if this is to be conveyed in natural English, then the translator has no choice but to resort to a dynamic-equivalent rendering: "this ... that". Even I.B. Horner —normally a feisty advocate of form-equivalence translation— in this case departs from her usual practice:
"If this is, that comes to be; from the arising of this, that arises."
(Middle Length Sayings, Greater Discourse on Craving)
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
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mikenz66
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by mikenz66 »

Thanks, Bhante,

Ven Nananada also uses "this this", but I never could understand his logic, and wondered whether being a native Sinhalese speaker influenced his preference.
In English it appears to me to make little sense, unless one is physically pointing:
"From this [points finger at something] this arises [points finger at something else]":
Nanananda - Nibbana Sermon 4 wrote:Another aspect of the same thing, in addition to what has already
been said about nissaya, is the understanding of the relatedness of
this to that, idappaccayatā, implicit in the law of dependent arising.
In fact, we began our discussion by highlighting the significance of
the term idappaccayatā. The basic principle involved, is itself often
called paticca samuppāda. "This being, this comes to be, with the
arising of this, this arises. This not being, this does not come to be.
With the cessation of this, this ceases.
"
:heart:
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Dhammanando
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Dhammanando »

mikenz66 wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:56 am Ven Nananada also uses "this this", but I never could understand his logic,
Right, I'd forgotten about him. I too don't understand his logic. In the first sermon of the first volume of The Law of Dependent Arising he states:
One might wonder why the statement has ‘this’ and ‘this’ where we expect to have ‘this’ and ‘that’ as ‘This being that comes to be’. There is a subtle point involved in this apparently awkward statement. The reason is that if we take up any couple of links in the twelve-linked formula of illustration of the Law conjoined by ‘paccayā’, such as for instance ‘avijja paccayā saṅkhārā’ (with ignorance as condition preparations), we have to say this being this arises. Only if we are referring to something outside the context, i.e. outside the couple of links we have taken up, we have to say ‘that’.
But to me the use of 'that' simply doesn't carry the implication of denoting a referent outside of the said links and it's a mystery to me why Ñāṇananda thinks it would.
mikenz66 wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:56 amand wondered whether being a native Sinhalese speaker influenced his preference.
Possibly. To judge from the translations at Sutta Central, Sinhala translators do seem to favour using two "thises" (මෙය ... මෙය).
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Ceisiwr »

Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated :)
Saññāvirattassa na santi ganthā,
Paññāvimuttassa na santi mohā;
Saññañca diṭṭhiñca ye aggahesuṃ,
Te ghaṭṭayantā vicaranti loke”ti.


“For one detached from perception, there exist no ties,
for one by wisdom freed, no delusions are there,
but those who have grasped perceptions and views,
they wander the world stirring up strife."


Māgaṇḍiya Sutta
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DooDoot
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by DooDoot »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:06 amVen Nananada also uses "this this"...
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translations into English also use "this this".
Newer wrote:Idappaccayatā means ‘conditionality,’ that is, with this as condition, this arises; because there is this thing, this thing arises.

https://www.suanmokkh.org/books/18
Older wrote:When this exists, this naturally exists;
Due to the arising of this, this consequently arises.
When this does not exist, this naturally does not exist;
Due to the quenching of this, this consequently is quenched.

https://www.liberationpark.org/companion.pdf
Oldest wrote:Imasmim sati idam hoti
When this exists, this naturally exists;
Imassuppada idam uppajjati
Due to the arising of this, this consequently arises.
Imasmim sati idaµ na hoti
When this does not exist, this naturally does not exist;
Imassa nirodha idam nirujjhati
Due to the quenching of this, this consequently quenches

https://www.liberationpark.org/study/pdf/ps_handout.pdf
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Volo »

DooDoot wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:45 am Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translations into English also use "this this".
I thought he wasn't fluent in English, at least all his dhamma talks I have listened were translated by (at that time Ven) Santikaro. Maybe someone could check Thai translations.
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Volo »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:06 am Possibly. To judge from the translations at Sutta Central, Sinhala translators do seem to favour using two "thises" (මෙය ... මෙය).
I'm wondering what would be the way to say "this... that" in Pali? Some kind of "imasmiṃ sati, amu/aduṃ hoti"? Is it possible in Pali?
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by Dhammanando »

DooDoot wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:45 am Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translations into English also use "this this".
When he was writing and speaking in Thai I don't thing Ajahn Buddhadāsa had any fixed policy on this. For example, in his inscription on the Tibetan wheel of life at Wat Suan Mokkh he uses "this thing" and "that thing" (สิ่งนี้ / สิ่งนั้น). On the other hand, in Paṭiccasamuppāda he uses "this thing" (สิ่งนี้) to translate all eight occurrences of ima. But then he inserts the clarifying words koh ('then', indicating subsequence) and jeung ('then' or 'thus', indicating consequence). To a Thai ear this would suffice to make it clear that the two 'thises' on each line stand for different referents.
Buddhadāsa wrote:
เมื่อสิ่งนี้มี สิ่งนี้จึงมี
เพราะสิ่งนี้เกิดขึ้น สิ่งนี้จึงเกิดขึ้น
เมื่อสิ่งนี้ไม่มี สิ่งนี้ก็ไม่มี
เพราะสิ่งนี้ดับไป สิ่งนี้ก็ดับไป

When there is this thing, jeung this thing is.
Because this thing arises, jeung this thing arises.
When there is not this thing, koh this thing is not.
Because this thing ceases, koh this thing ceases.
This differs from the rendering in the Mahachula translation of the Tipiṭaka only in that the latter uses koh on the first and third lines and jeung on the second and fourth.
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by DooDoot »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:59 pm เมื่อสิ่งนี้มี สิ่งนี้จึงมี
เพราะสิ่งนี้เกิดขึ้น สิ่งนี้จึงเกิดขึ้น
เมื่อสิ่งนี้ไม่มี สิ่งนี้ก็ไม่มี
เพราะสิ่งนี้ดับไป สิ่งนี้ก็ดับไป
Very informative & excellent explanation. :bow:
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SDC
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by SDC »

Whether "this, this" or "this, that", is it the Pali that so generously grants the temporal distinction, or do we owe that the commentarial tradition?
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Re: Idaṃ this and Idaṃ that

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:56 pmWhether "this, this" or "this, that", is it the Pali that so generously grants the temporal distinction, or do we owe that the commentarial tradition?
"This, that" implies conditionality, does it not (as in "this causes that")? If you say "When this is, that is" -- this implies conditionality.

Whereas "this, this" doesn't imply conditionality.


(Ven. Thanissaro's rendition "dependent co-arising" also implies "this, this" -- co-arising.)
Last edited by binocular on Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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