Source for the Pāli Canon in English

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BKh
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by BKh »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:31 am but hopefully a favored one.
No
Has anyone read this particular volume?
Yes.

You know that the reason you are finding all of these books is because people take public domain books and try and make a buck off of unsuspecting people. It's a good business model. Very little work for pure money if people buy the print on demand.

A side issue that no one in this thread has brought up is that there is no way to ensure the quality of the book itself for these public domain print on demand things. Someone just takes the file from Gutenberg and hacks something together. It could be fine. Or it could be missing parts. I had this experience once. Buyer beware.
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Thank you BKh. I just keep thinking (coming from a Christian background and using the Bible as my frame of reference), how much variance in the content and the essential message could there be? The answer I am getting is, "a lot". Thank you again for helping me learn.

Someday, I can see myself having the entire Pāli Canon, complete with multiple volumes of many of its components, some in Pāli or Sanskrit.

Can somebody link me to the titles of some quality versions of the books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. I am having more difficulty finding these than books of the Vinaya Pitaka or the Sutta Pitaka. Thank you.

-Michael
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Dhammanando
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by Dhammanando »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:52 pm Can somebody link me to the titles of some quality versions of the books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. I am having more difficulty finding these than books of the Vinaya Pitaka or the Sutta Pitaka.
With the exception of the Dhammasangani and Yamaka each of the seven books has only one English translation so far. The Dhammasangani and Yamaka have two, of which the more recent ones are better (as is usually the case with translations of Pali texts).

Dhammasaṅganī
A Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics (C.A.F. Rhys Davids, 1900)
Dhammasaṅganī (U Kyaw Khine, 1996)

Vibhaṅga
Book of Analysis (U Thittila, 1969)

Dhātukathā
Discourse on Elements (U Nārada, 1962)

Puggalapaññatti
Designation of Human Types (B.C. Law, 1922)

Kathāvatthu
Points of Controversy (S.Z. Aung, 1915)

Yamaka
Book on Pairs (U Nārada, 1998)

Book of Pairs and its Commentary (L.S. Cousins and C.M.M. Shaw. Only first two of the three parts complete).

Paṭṭhāna
Conditional Relations (U Nārada, 1969. Only first two of three parts complete)
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Excellent Dhammanando. I think I will look at putting together the complete Abhidhamma Pitaka first and will look for these versions of each of the respective books.

Out of curiosity, who here has the whole Pāli Canon in print? How did you go about assembling your collection?

-Michael
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mikenz66
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by mikenz66 »

I don't have the whole cannon, but I do have the modern translations of the first four Nikayas (translations by Bodhi, Nanamoli, Walshe) and many of the older parts of the Kuddhakanikaya (Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata, Udana, Itivuttaka). I've also found it useful to have EPUB versions, as they are easier to search.

We are lucky to now have the alternative https://suttacentral.net/ translations, which allow direct comparison with the Pali source. It's also worth checking out the translations on https://www.dhammatalks.org/ (Thanissaro) and https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ (older versions of Thanissaro's translations, and various translations by others).

Some of the old translations are interesting, but in many ways they miss the point, since many were done by people who were still learning about the Dhamma.

Unless you want to study them intensively, I wouldn't rush into the Abhidhamma texts. They can be useful, but they are extremely dense.

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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

What about this version of the Vibhanga?
Screenshot_20210307-203833.png
This version of the Dhammasaṅgani?
Screenshot_20210307-204122.png
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

I did just buy the following from AbeBooks:

Designation of human types (Puggala-paññatti) translated into English from the first time by Bimala Charan Law . (1924)[Leather Bound]
Screenshot_20210307-215427.png
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Dhammanando
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by Dhammanando »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:42 am What about this version of the Vibhanga?
That's not a translation. It's the romanised Pali.

The Dhammasangani is the one I recommended.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

I went ahead and ordered this one as well.

Vibhaṅga Book of Analysis (U Thittila, 1969)
Screenshot_20210308-181758.png
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Is it safe to assume the any publication in English by the Pāli Text Society is a sound translation?
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mikenz66
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by mikenz66 »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:04 am Is it safe to assume the any publication in English by the Pāli Text Society is a sound translation?
I think so, though note that in many cases they have translations of a varity of ages. Note that the modern translations of the MN, SN, AN, and Suttanipatta by Bhikkhu Bodhi [and Nanamoli for the MN] are co-published with Wisdom publications (https://wisdomexperience.org/interest/a ... ali-canon/), so the text is the same, but the binding different

This page helpfully has the dates, so you can see what came where.
http://www.palitext.com/palitext/tran.htm

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BKh
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by BKh »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:04 am Is it safe to assume the any publication in English by the Pāli Text Society is a sound translation?
As many people have told you, age matters. They still publish many of the first generation translations. These may be necessary for scholarly and historical purposes, but they are not what you should consider reading first, especially if there are newer ones available.

As well, some of the translations are intentionally very literal. This is the case with KR Norman's translations. They are kind of dry and awkward. But they are accurate, in their own way.
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Thank you for the resources mikenz66. I will check these out and use them when deciding what to order. Though my bank account tells me to read more and order less for now. :jumping:

BKh, sorry if my questions are a bit redundant at times. I don't mind dry and awkward. It is the message that counts.

I held off on The Book of Analysis for now since it is $140.
48vows
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by 48vows »

BKh wrote: Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:32 am As many people have told you, age matters. They still publish many of the first generation translations. These may be necessary for scholarly and historical purposes, but they are not what you should consider reading first, especially if there are newer ones available.
As I have said before, I disagree with this.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Source for the Pāli Canon in English

Post by Dhammanando »

48vows wrote: Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:05 am
BKh wrote: Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:32 am As many people have told you, age matters. They still publish many of the first generation translations. These may be necessary for scholarly and historical purposes, but they are not what you should consider reading first, especially if there are newer ones available.
As I have said before, I disagree with this.
Are you by any chance a Pali scholar who has undertaken a comparison of, say, Chalmers' translation of the MN with the later one by I.B. Horner, or of Horner's with the still later one by Ñānamoli? Or Oldenberg's Vinaya Pitaka with Horner's and then Horner's with Brahmali's? Or Woodward's and Hare's AN and SN with the later ones by Bhikkhu Bodhi? Have you ever compared any pioneering English translation of a Pali text with a later one, and with reference to the Pali original?

I'm pretty confident that the answer is no and that therefore your disagreement with BKh doesn't deserve to carry any weight at all.

If you knew anything at all about the field of English-language Pali studies then you would know that, as in the hard sciences, knowledge is cumulative. That is, the later a translator happens to have been born, the greater the number of editions that will be available to him, the greater the number of pioneers' errors that will have been detected and corrected, the more thorough the dictionaries and concordances that will have been compiled, the more comprehensive and surefooted the scholarly grasp of Pali grammar etc., etc.
You could give Aristotle a tutorial. And you could thrill him to the core of his being. Aristotle was an encyclopedic polymath, an all time intellect. Yet not only can you know more than him about the world. You also can have a deeper understanding of how everything works. Such is the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Planck, Watson, Crick and their colleagues.

I'm not saying you're more intelligent than Aristotle, or wiser. For all I know, Aristotle's the cleverest person who ever lived. That's not the point. The point is only that science is cumulative, and we live later.

Richard Dawkins, Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder


http://hermiene.net/essays-trans/scienc ... onder.html
And so ceteris paribus we can usually (though not invariably) anticipate that a later translation will be superior to an earlier one.

To this general rule there are two exceptions: (1) those where the later translator is simply less capable that the earlier one (e.g., Walshe's DN and Horner's Milinda are inferior to the earlier ones by Thomas Rhys Davids, because the earlier translator was a lot more intelligent than Miss Horner and had a lot more years of Pali study behind him than Maurice Walshe); and (2) verse translations where the later translator has decided to prioritize the creation of good poetry over fidelity to the text's meaning (e.g., as a translation of the Suttanipāta E.M. Hare's Woven Cadences is far better poetry than the pioneering rendering by Fausboll, but if it's accuracy you want, then Fausboll's the man.

Or at least Fausboll would be the man if it weren't for the fact that his translation has been superseded by those of Norman, Jayawickrama and Bodhi. Why superseded? Because Fausboll, though arguably the greatest of all 19th century Western Pali scholars, only had one version of the Suttanipāta to translate from and it happened to be a bad one. The three later scholars had many editions to consult, as well as the commentary.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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