Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

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DooDoot
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Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by DooDoot »

Dear Pali gurus

Possibly I have created this topic before.

In his Visuddhimagga, borrowing some phrases directly from the suttas, but not about "nāma" & "namati", Bhadantácariya Buddhaghosa famously wrote:
Buddhaghosa wrote:It cognizes (vijánáti), thus it is consciousness (viññána—see M I 292). It bends (namati), thus it is mentality (nāma). It is molested (ruppati), thus it is materiality (rúpa—see S III 87). It provides a range for the origins (áye tanoti) and it leads on what is actuated (áyatañ ca nayati), thus it is a base (áyatana—see XV.4). It touches (phusati), thus it is contact (phassa). It is felt (vedayati), thus it is feeling (vedaná— see M I 293). It frets (or it thirsts—paritassati), thus it is craving (tanhá). It clings (upádiyati), thus it is clinging (upádána). It becomes (bhavati) and it makes become (bhávayati), thus it is becoming (bhava).

Page 544: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... on2011.pdf
"Nati", "namati" & "nāmeti" are found in MN 19 & Snp 5.19 to mean "incline" or "inclination".

The Pali dictionary says:
namati - nam + a
pr. 3 sg.
bends; bows; inclines; turns towards

https://suttacentral.net/define/namati
nāmeti
at Snp.1143 (Fsb.) is to be read as nâpenti. Otherwise see under namati.

https://suttacentral.net/define/n%C4%81meti
It appears the Pali dictionary does not differentiate between "namati" & "nāmeti".

My question: Does the Pali language support Bhadantácariya Buddhaghosa's notion of: "It bends/inclines (namati), thus it is mentality (nāma)"? Is the word nāma related to "nati", "namati" & "nāmeti"?

Thank you :smile:
MN 19 wrote:Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination (nati) of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines (namati) to thoughts of sensual desire. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of ill will…upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty.
Snp 5.19 wrote:My confidence, happiness, mind, and mindfulness,
do not depart [incline] from (nāpentime) Gotama’s teaching.
Whatever direction the One of Great Wisdom goes to
it is that very place that I am inclined (natohamasmi).

https://suttacentral.net/snp5.19/en/anandajoti
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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by Sam Vara »

DooDoot wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:37 am It appears the Pali dictionary does not differentiate between "namati" & "nāmeti".

My question: Does the Pali language support Bhadantácariya Buddhaghosa's notion of: "It bends/inclines (namati), thus it is mentality (nāma)"? Is the word nāma related to "nati", "namati" & "nāmeti"?
The main question is above my pay grade, I'm afraid. But the bit about namati and nameti not being differentiated by the PTS dictionary is not quite right: the latter is the causative of the former. It is the equivalent of "causes, or makes, to bend"; so I guess "he bends it", rather than "it bends".

Nati is the noun. Interestingly, we have the term is English "one's bent", which means one's inclination or tendency.
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by Volo »

DooDoot wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:37 am It appears the Pali dictionary does not differentiate between "namati" & "nāmeti".
As Sam Vara pointed out, according to PED namati and nameti are related forms (the second is the cusative). PED seems to treat nāmenti as a mistake which should be corrected by n'āpenti in Sn 1143 (I think Burmese edition on SC has it correctly). Although, Warder (as well as Buddhadatta) says that Caus of namati is nāmeti.
PED wrote:Namati [Ved. namati, Idg. *nem to bend; also to share out, cp. Gr. ne/mw, Goth. niman=Ger. nehmen. See cognates in Walde loc. cit. under nemus] to bend, bend down (trs. & instr.) direct, apply S ;i.137 (cittaŋ) Sn 806; J i.61 (aor. nami, cittaŋ). -- Caus. nameti (not nāmeti, Fsb. to Sn 1143 nāmenti, which is to be corrected to n' âpenti) to bend, to wield Dh 80=145 (namayati). As nāmeti at J vi.349. pp. namita (q. v.).
My question: Does the Pali language support Bhadantácariya Buddhaghosa's notion of: "It bends/inclines (namati), thus it is mentality (nāma)"?
Probably not. Namati (as well as nati, nameti and nāmeti if we take the later as the Caus of namati) is from the root nam. I couldn't find root for nāma. I think even Monier Williams is not sure about this, but he doesn't derive nāma from the root nam (see for nāman, which is a Sanskrit form for nāma).

But in the same way rūpa is not related etymologically to ruppati.
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by mikenz66 »

While this particular case does not seem to be in any suttas, it is similar to many of the puns that do appear in suttas, playing on similarly-sounding words to make a point. For example, Bhikkhu Sujato's translation of SN 35.82 has https://suttacentral.net/sn35.82/en/sujato
“It wears away, mendicant, that’s why it’s called ‘the world’.
Lujjatī’ti kho, bhikkhu, tasmā lokoti vuccati.
Bhikkhu Bodhi’s tranlation:
“It is disintegrating, bhikkhu, therefore it is called the world. And what is disintegrating? The eye, bhikkhu, is disintegrating, …
Ven Ñāṇananda, in Nibbana Sermon 20 http://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/ comments:
Here the Buddha is redefining the concept of the world, punning on the verb lujjati, which means to “break up” or “disintegrate”. To bring about a radical change in outlook, in accordance with the Dhamma, the Buddha would sometimes introduce a new etymology in preference to the old. This definition of `the world’ is to the same effect.
So, I presume that Bhikkhu Sujato has chosen the translation “wears away” to preserve some sense of the Pali pun.

This imagery that all that we take to be the World is disintegrating/wearing away, is both inspiring and terrifying…

:heart:
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by Polar Bear »

On the subject of creative etymologies, you might read be interested in the following article:
Sanskrit plays a very special role in the traditional world view of Brahmanism. It is, to begin with, the language of the Veda. Since for many Brahmanical thinkers the Veda is uncreated and eternal, Sanskrit, too, is without beginning. Other languages are often looked upon as corruptions of Sanskrit which, being the source from which other languages have derived, better perhaps: degenerated, is the original language.1
But Sanskrit is more than just the original language. It is also the language which is closest to reality. The words and sentences of the Sanskrit language are believed to have some kind of inherent connection with the world we live in. This belief is no doubt linked to the belief in the efficacy of mantras, which, when correctly pronounced at appropriate occasions, are supposed to have various effects, from securing the success of a particular ritual act to curing a disease.2 It also finds expression in the numerous etymological and related speculations which fill the Bråhmaˆas. The theme that seers have given names to things is no doubt connected with this same belief, because it provides something like a justification for it. We find it already in the Ùgveda (e.g. 10.71.1).3 We find it also in Yåska's Nirukta, as it seems.4 Elsewhere the [110] Nirukta refers to seers with direct insight into the nature of things.5 It is no doubt this insight which allows the seers of the Bråhmaˆas to "see" their hymns and "find" rites.6

Perhaps the belief in the close connection between language and reality is not all that surprising. Psychologists from Jean Piaget onward have drawn attention to what they call the nominal realism in young children.7 If young children in the modern West need time to separate words from things, perhaps certain other cultures, like that of Vedic India, allowed their members to hold on to the essential identity, or inseparability, of words and things right into adulthood.
Be this as it may. The truly amazing thing in India is that these etymological speculations of the Bråhmaˆas, and the presuppositions which underlie them, came to be rationalised in respectable branches of knowledge. The first one that comes to mind is, of course, the "science of etymology" (nirukta), one of the six so-called "limbs of the Veda" (vedå∫ga). This "science of etymology" claims to offer a method to find the meanings of unknown words. This method consists, essentially, in drawing other, similar, words into the picture whose meanings are known. The principle underlying all this can be stated briefly as follows: similar words must have similar meanings. Traditional "grammar" (vyåkaraˆa), which is another "limb of the Veda", appears to be based on the same principle. Its own contribution consists in the attempt to identify the — or rather: a certain number of — constituent parts of words that have meaning, and to show how these constituent parts join up so as to produce the words and sentences of the Sanskrit language....

Article continued here... https://serval.unil.ch/resource/serval: ... 9.P001/REF
My theory is that the Buddha’s use of creative etymology was held lightly by him but when used to inform others of some truth it held an extra significance for them because they believed that by revealing some creative etymology the Buddha was uncovering a kind of sacred reality for them. The Buddha himself however probably thought of creative etymology in such a way...
These are the world’s usages, terms, expressions, and descriptions, which the Realized One uses without misapprehending them.

https://suttacentral.net/dn9/en/sujato
It isn’t clear whether Buddhaghosa believed his creative etymologies were factual or a kind of skillful means language game that doesn’t count as deception but isn’t straightforwardly factual either.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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DooDoot
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by DooDoot »

Volo wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:05 am I think even Monier Williams is not sure about this, but he doesn't derive nāma from the root nam (see for nāman, which is a Sanskrit form for nāma).
The is some views below:
Attachments
Nama.png
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by DooDoot »

The follow verse is elucidating, showing why the ancient philosophers or "linguists" emphasized "nāma".
Attachments
nama 2.png
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by Volo »

DooDoot wrote: Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:03 am The is some views below:
Where is this picture from (the first one, about the "thought of water")?
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by DooDoot »

Volo wrote: Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:30 amWhere is this picture from (the first one, about the "thought of water")?
I found it here: Comparative etymological Dictionary of classical Indo-European languages
Volo wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:05 am Namati (as well as nati, nameti and nāmeti if we take the later as the Caus of namati) is from the root nam.
So returning to the old topic, 'namati' is probably related to 'nama'; namely, the mind bending, bowing down or obedient to the underlying tendencies, defilments & such (or otherwise the Dhamma).
nama(s)
neuter
obeisance, homage, veneration; esp. as exclamation (namo) of veneration.
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.

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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by Volo »

The book looks quite suspicious to me. I couldn't find much information about the author in English, but here is one review on Goodreads:
Tristan Miller rated it did not like it
6 months ago
One need read no further than the preface to understand that this is not a scholarly resource but rather a work of pseudoscientific nonsense. The author explicitly rejects established linguistic methods and knowledge, including (incredibly) Saussure's notion of the arbitrariness of the sign. In its place he advances "an interpretive method which is brand new", but which is actually nothing more than the long-discredited idea that sound motivates meaning. Among the other howlers in the preface are the claims that Latin and Greek are "simple phonetic variants" of Sanskrit, and that Western culture originated from a Proto-Indo-European homeland near the North Pole. It would be highly irresponsible to take any of the book's findings seriously.
I would be careful with the book.
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by auto »

https://suttacentral.net/sn12.39/en/sujato wrote:When consciousness is established, name and form are conceived.
Tasmiṁ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe nāmarūpassa avakkanti hoti.
name and form in one sutta is replaced with nati in next sutta
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.40/en/sujato wrote:When consciousness is established and grows, there is an inclination.
Tasmiṁ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe nati hoti.
https://dictionary.sutta.org/browse/n/nati/ wrote:Pali Word Grammar from Pali Myanmar Dictionary

nati: nati(thī)
နတိ(ထီ)
[namu+ti.nīti,dhā.133.(nati-saṃ)]
[နမု+တိ။ နီတိ၊ ဓာ။ ၁၃၃။ (နတိ-သံ)]
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by DooDoot »

auto wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 3:34 pm name and form in one sutta is replaced with nati in next sutta
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.40/en/sujato wrote:When consciousness is established and grows, there is an inclination.
Tasmiṁ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe nati hoti.
:jawdrop: brilliant find :goodpost: :thanks: :bow: :bow: :bow:
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by asahi »

What nati means ?
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Re: Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga: nāma, nati, namati & nāmeti ???

Post by auto »

DooDoot wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:32 am
auto wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 3:34 pm name and form in one sutta is replaced with nati in next sutta
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.40/en/sujato wrote:When consciousness is established and grows, there is an inclination.
Tasmiṁ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe nati hoti.
:jawdrop: brilliant find :goodpost: :thanks: :bow: :bow: :bow:
you're welcome
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