what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries
Post Reply
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by frank k »

Ran into this translating KN Mil today:

sīlasamādhipaññāvimuttivimuttiñāṇadassanaparibhāvitaṃ

A few years ago, I complained about this B. Sujato, he said you get used to this after a while.
No Bhante, you don't get used to it, and you shouldn't get used to it. Just like you could never get used to this:

ethicsconcentrationwisdomfreedomfreedomknowledgeandvision


If I want to do a word find puzzle to torture myself, I can do that with puzzle books designed for that. If I'm trying to read suttas, I want it written legibly and neatly.

sīla - samādhi - paññā - vimutti -vimutti - ñāṇa - dassana - paribhāvitaṃ

I fix some of these monstrosities as I come across them, but it's going to take a community to help out. I don't have time to clean them all.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 5739
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by Coëmgenu »

What you are objecting to mostly it looks like are the dvandva or co-ordinating compounds.

(namaḥ) sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ

This is a simple one with three elements:

sarva (all)
buddha
bodhisattva

And then there is a dative ending. The co-ordinating compound links all the elements of the list with the final declined element. Since the final element of the dvandva compound is in the dative, the entire string is in the dative. So the above means "(Homage) To all, to the Buddhas, and to the Bodhisattvas." Take a longer one:

bhikṣubhikṣuṇyupāsakopāsikā

"Upāsikā" is in the nominative. So this compound means "the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen."

These aren't Pāli examples, so if this is off-topic chatter I guess it can go, but a lot of the huge Pāli compounds are built on this same principle.

This is an insane compound from the Lotus Sūtra:

prajñāpāramitāgatiṃgatairbahulokadhātuśatasahasraviśrutairbahuprāṇikoṭīnayutaśatasahasrasaṃtārakaiḥ

That's one word.

Matthew 16:16 in the New Testament has a famous declaration by the apostle Peter to Jesus: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." In the Sanskrit translation, this is one word:

tvamamareśvarasyābhiṣiktaputraḥ
"you, the deathless lord's anointed son"

Look on page 171 here: https://books.google.ca/books?id=HoVEAQ ... 22&f=false

It's Kācchāyano's Pāli Grammar, the chapter called "The Longest Pali Word."

My guess is the elements of the list in your compound are

1) sīla
2) samādhi
3) paññā
4) vimutti
5) vimuttiñāṇa
6) dassana
7) paribhāvitaṃ

This way, "vimutti" is not redundantly repeated. The last element has the declension that applies to all 7 elements in the list.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Not the one and not another,
unending and impermanent --
of the many Buddhas' transformative teachings,
this is that sweet nectar's taste.

For if a Buddha is not born in the world,
or if the Buddhadharma is completely extinct,
all of the wisdom of the Pratyekabuddhas
would separately arise (from it).

(MMK XVIII.11-12 Madhyamakaśāstra T 1564.23c16)
User avatar
rhinoceroshorn
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 7:27 pm

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Pāli is a simplified version of Sanskrit. Sanskrit means literally put together.
One of the major features of Sanskrit is this agglomeration of words. It makes a lot of sense that they remain all together in Pāli for etymological purposes. Removing it would be equivalent to removing genders from Romance languages words. :tongue:

It's very common for Asian languages having no space between words. Generally, spaces are put for beginners only.
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 12032
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by DooDoot »

frank k wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:14 pm sīlasamādhipaññāvimuttivimuttiñāṇadassanaparibhāvitaṃ
sounds fine to me. the only word i had to look up was paribhāvitaṃ
paribhāvita
pp. of paribhāveti
trained; penetrated; practised; mixed or filled with; fostered.
a mere standard doctrine, namely, morality-concentration-wisdom-liberation-knowledge & vision of liberation penetration
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by frank k »

Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:53 pm What you are objecting to mostly it looks like are the dvandva or co-ordinating compounds.
...
Thanks for the explanation. I can understand why they do it, and maybe in the days of printing presses and limited imagination that's the best way they could come up with (stringing compound words together with no spaces).

But for legibility, some kind of hyphen or dot between each word to separate them helps greatly.

On rhino's comment on chinese example:
I have a very small written chinese character vocabulary, but I have no problem differentiating borders between Chinese characters for thousands of words I don't know the meaning of, because single glyph character words naturally have a rectangular border. In roman script, it's not comparable, just as my example of using ethicsconcentrationwisdomknowledgeandvision. It would really piss you off if I did that in English writing wouldn't it?
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
rhinoceroshorn
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 7:27 pm

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

frank k wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:45 pm On rhino's comment on chinese example:
I have a very small written chinese character vocabulary, but I have no problem differentiating borders between Chinese characters for thousands of words I don't know the meaning of, because single glyph character words naturally have a rectangular border. In roman script, it's not comparable, just as my example of using ethicsconcentrationwisdomknowledgeandvision. It would really piss you off if I did that in English writing wouldn't it?
It's not just Chinese, though. Japanese doesn't feature spaces but it has the kana syllabary which helps a bit...

Image

Thai also doesn't use spaces apparently.

And curiously, late Classical Latin and Classical Greek used not to have spaces too.

Image

Image

Image

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scriptio_continua

ITSDIFFICULTREADINGLIKETHATBUTITHINKTHEYGOTUSED
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 5739
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by Coëmgenu »

frank k wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:45 pm In roman script, it's not comparable, just as my example of using ethicsconcentrationwisdomknowledgeandvision. It would really piss you off if I did that in English writing wouldn't it?
Yes, but it would be a lot easier if English had stem forms to compound instead of the whole word. Instead of a string of stems followed by a declined element, ethicsconcentrationwisdomknowledgeandvision has a variety of morphological endings -- "ics," "tion," "edge," "sion." All of these add complexity not in the original, which is a string of stems with only one declined element at the end.
Not the one and not another,
unending and impermanent --
of the many Buddhas' transformative teachings,
this is that sweet nectar's taste.

For if a Buddha is not born in the world,
or if the Buddhadharma is completely extinct,
all of the wisdom of the Pratyekabuddhas
would separately arise (from it).

(MMK XVIII.11-12 Madhyamakaśāstra T 1564.23c16)
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by frank k »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:50 pm ...
ITSDIFFICULTREADINGLIKETHATBUTITHINKTHEYGOTUSED
They got used to it because they had to with scarce resources. When you're carving into a rock with precious limited time and real estate, you can't afford to leave spaces between words.

Remember pali is an oral tradition, and the point of it is to transmit information.

We no longer have to carve in stone, we have the luxury to trasnmit information in an EASY TO READ WAY, and can luxuriously waste all the real estate we want to do so to make things easy to read.

We also don't have printing book costs, so it's just completely insane to preserve unreadable compound conventions. Yet everyone keeps doing it (except me).
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
User avatar
rhinoceroshorn
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 7:27 pm

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

The reason I mentioned before remains: it's a trait which comes from Sanskrit. We should preserve it for etymological purposes.
But I understand your pain. I study Sanskrit and I frequently get confused about sandhi rules and agglomeration.

Here is an image of when I asked help on Reddit. I didn't even know that it was atithiṃ and not tithiṃ, so I thought: ok, where does this misterious ma come from? :tongue:

Image
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
User avatar
rhinoceroshorn
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 7:27 pm

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

From my notes.

Part of the work in this language is deciphering each word. :tongue:

Image
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 9216
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by Sam Vara »

Just a baby compared to some of the leviathans quoted above, but while paddling in the shallows I recently bumped into saňňāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā.
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 12032
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by DooDoot »

Sam Vara wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:03 pm saňňāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā.
frank k wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:14 pm sīlasamādhipaññāvimuttivimuttiñāṇadassanaparibhāvitaṃ
These compounds are beautiful rather than obnoxious because they show all of these dhammas must coexist together, as explained in MN 117:
The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.
These compounds appear obnoxious to the "fake jhana" adherents, who, similar to Hindi yogis, separate samadhi and jhana from the Noble Path.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 9216
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by Sam Vara »

DooDoot wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:58 am
Sam Vara wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:03 pm saňňāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā.
frank k wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:14 pm sīlasamādhipaññāvimuttivimuttiñāṇadassanaparibhāvitaṃ
These compounds are beautiful rather than obnoxious because they show all of these dhammas exist together,
Yes, that's a nice way of putting it. They are beautiful like an English bull terrier is beautiful.
SarathW
Posts: 17586
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: what is the longest most obnoxious compound pali word you've run into?

Post by SarathW »

DooDoot wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:58 am
Sam Vara wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:03 pm saňňāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā.
frank k wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:14 pm sīlasamādhipaññāvimuttivimuttiñāṇadassanaparibhāvitaṃ
These compounds are beautiful rather than obnoxious because they show all of these dhammas must coexist together, as explained in MN 117:
The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.
These compounds appear obnoxious to the "fake jhana" adherents, who, similar to Hindi yogis, separate samadhi and jhana from the Noble Path.
Actually for a Sri Lankan this long words are quite normal.
My full name has about 40 letters break in to for separate names.
However, I can write this in Sinhalese in less than 20 letters.
For me some Pali words make total sense when it separate to small bits.
It is a skill which Chinese and English people do not have.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
Post Reply