Jump to content


Photo

A Question About Translations at Access to Insight


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Virgo

Virgo

    leading member

  • Administrators
  • 605 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:A deed is good
    That one doesn't regret having done,
    That results in joy
    And delight.

    - Dhammapada Verse 68

Posted 07 March 2010 - 02:46 PM

"I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana." - Jhana Sutta: Mental Absorption
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu http://www.accesstoi...9.036.than.html

In translation like this, and in those of other suttas with similar passages, does any one know what actual pali word/s are being translated as "depends on"? I wonder what the pali word/s might be, and wether the translation captures the correct connotations or not. I know that in the Buddhas teachings, the ending of the fermentations in not dependent upon jhanas, but on wisdom. I also know that the good bhikkhu believes that he can enter jhanas.

Kevin

#2 Guest_Scott_*

Guest_Scott_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 March 2010 - 03:41 PM

QUOTE(Alexander @ Mar 7 2010, 07:46 AM) View Post

"I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana." - Jhana Sutta: Mental Absorption
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu http://www.accesstoi...9.036.than.html

In translation like this, and in those of other suttas with similar passages, does any one know what actual pali word/s are being translated as "depends on"? I wonder what the pali word/s might be, and wether the translation captures the correct connotations or not. I know that in the Buddhas teachings, the ending of the fermentations in not dependent upon jhanas, but on wisdom. I also know that the good bhikkhu believes that he can enter jhanas.

Kevin

Dear Kevin,

The Paa.li is:

Pa.thamampaaha.m , bhikkhave, jhaana.m nissaaya aasavaana.m khaya.m vadaami...

The term in question is (PTS PED):

"Nissaya... that on which anything depends, support, help, protection; endowment, resource, requisite, supply; foundation, reliance on..."

Scott: This, to me, merely asserts that while jhaana-citta is in ascendence, the 'fermentations' (aasavaa) are suppressed. The aasavaa are not eradicated by jhaana.

Sincerely,

Scott.

#3 Virgo

Virgo

    leading member

  • Administrators
  • 605 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:A deed is good
    That one doesn't regret having done,
    That results in joy
    And delight.

    - Dhammapada Verse 68

Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:05 AM

Hi Scott.

I agree with what your conclusion that jhana merely suppresses the taints.

Thank you very much for translating and for posting your opinion.

Kevin

#4 Guest_Scott_*

Guest_Scott_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:56 AM

QUOTE(Alexander @ Mar 7 2010, 08:05 PM) View Post

Hi Scott.

I agree with what your conclusion that jhana merely suppresses the taints.

Thank you very much for translating and for posting your opinion.

Kevin

Dear Kevin,

You're welcome.

Sincerely,

Scott.

#5 mike

mike

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:53 AM

QUOTE(Alexander @ Mar 7 2010, 07:46 AM) View Post

"I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana." - Jhana Sutta: Mental Absorption
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu http://www.accesstoi...9.036.than.html

In translation like this, and in those of other suttas with similar passages, does any one know what actual pali word/s are being translated as "depends on"? I wonder what the pali word/s might be, and whether the translation captures the correct connotations or not. I know that in the Buddhas teachings, the ending of the fermentations in not dependent upon jhanas, but on wisdom. I also know that the good bhikkhu believes that he can enter jhanas.

Kevin


Hi Kevin,

I'm sceptical of the connotation of the translation, but am not really competent to challenge it in detail. (This translator frequently translates in such a way as to suggest (or explicity state) that the cultivation of absorption is crucial to attainment, an idea I believe to be contrary to the texts.) One thought though: for those who used absorption/insight as a vehicle (I use the past tense because I think it possible that this approach is no longer an option), the first jhaana is the only one allowing for vitakka/vicaara. Since the second noble truth is sammā-saṅkappa, I assume that, for the absorption practitioner, the arising of the path would have depended on the first absorption (as an indispensible path factor).

I'm no expert, just spit-ballin' here.

mike

#6 Virgo

Virgo

    leading member

  • Administrators
  • 605 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:A deed is good
    That one doesn't regret having done,
    That results in joy
    And delight.

    - Dhammapada Verse 68

Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE(mike @ Mar 9 2010, 12:53 AM) View Post

Hi Kevin,

I'm sceptical of the connotation of the translation, but am not really competent to challenge it in detail. (This translator frequently translates in such a way as to suggest (or explicity state) that the cultivation of absorption is crucial to attainment, an idea I believe to be contrary to the texts.) One thought though: for those who used absorption/insight as a vehicle (I use the past tense because I think it possible that this approach is no longer an option), the first jhaana is the only one allowing for vitakka/vicaara. Since the second noble truth is sammā-saṅkappa, I assume that, for the absorption practitioner, the arising of the path would have depended on the first absorption (as an indispensible path factor).

I'm no expert, just spit-ballin' here.

mike


Hi Mike. Thanks a lot for your feeback. I understand that it is possible to use samatha as a vehicle to insight but only for those that have accumulations for that. I don't know the specifics of how it works. I know that vipassana bhavana does not require samatha development at all.

kevin