YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

The Danger of Rebirth - Page 29 - Dhamma Wheel

The Danger of Rebirth

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Virgo
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Virgo » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:38 pm



User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:14 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:20 am

I have this conviction that there are Buddhist terms that we should not attempt to translate from the Pali because translating them causes more problems than it solves.
Dhamma, Kamma, Buddha ( which we dont usually translate ) Dukkha etc. High on the list would be Punabhavo. So many of the sometimes emotional discussions about "rebirth " which happen on Buddhist websites are actually to do with poor or uninternalised understanding of the concepts around Punabhavo.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:48 am

I think that the problem is not so much a matter to be solved by "don't translate", but by simply having a deeper and correct understanding of these terms. Any fool can start a website, or even write a book. Many people who have no discernment in their choice of study material will be deceived, almost willingly. We should support those with clear understanding, promote their writings and material. In this way, correct understanding will prevail.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:59 am

Greetings venerable Paññāsikhara,

Do you have any examples in either category (i.e. those to be promoted vs those not) to recommend?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:39 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:13 pm

I think we need to translate every Pali word, but the readers need to be reminded that it is a translation. My policy is to give the Pali term in parentheses the first time it is used, but not thereafter. I sometimes add a glossary or index with Pali terms.

I have spent a great deal of my time editing works that had supposedly been translated from Burmese discourses to English, but which were so full of Pali terms as to be unreadable for anyone who was not already well-versed in Buddhism.

When purchasing antiques or precious gems the onus is on the buyer to ensure that what is on offer is genuine.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:50 pm

So Bhante how do you generally translate Dukkha ?
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:44 pm

The translation “suffering” is a very unsatisfactory translation for the Pali term “dukkha.” Although the term does embrace all kinds of obvious suffering like physical pain, mental sorrow, and grief, it means much more. Even pleasure and joy are dukkha, because they are subject to instability, must be striven for, and are the cause of grief when they change. I trasnslate the term “dukkha” as “unsatisfactoriness” in most places, but as suffering when the context demands it.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

meindzai
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:10 pm

People don't seem to like Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation to "stress," but he gives a few reasons why he uses it instead of suffering. First, as Bhikkhu Pesala pointed out, dukkha is too specific. Stress can be in any kind of activity, including the most sublime and blissful states of meditation - something which people would hardly describe as "suffering." The other main reason was that "stress" is harder to romanticize than suffering. People claim to suffer for this or that reason (love, art, whatever), or attribute some sort of nobility to their suffering, but you never hear anybody talk about "my noble stress."

In the "Pali Word a Day" from Buddhanet.net (http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/paliwordday.pdf) they break down dukkha as du = difficult / +kha (to endure)

But "du" and "kha" don't seem to translate quite that way when I try it in the online PTS pali dictionary.

Du

Du3 ( -- ˚) (adj. -- suff.) [Sk. druha, druh, see duhana & duhitika] hurting, injuring, acting perfidiously, betraying, only in mitta˚ deceiving one's friends S i.225; Sn 244 expl. as mitta -- dūbhaka SnA 287, v. l. B mittadussaka; cp. mitta -- dubbhika & mitta -- dubbhin.


Kha

Kha syllable & ending, functioning also as root, meaning "void, empty" or as n. meaning "space"; expld. by Bdhgh with ref. to dukkha as "khaŋ saddo pana tucche; tucchaŋ hi ākāsaŋ khan ti vuccati" Vism 494. -- In meaning "space, sky" in cpd. khaga "sky -- goer" (cp. viha -- ga of same meaning), i. e. bird Abhp 624; Bdhd 56

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:46 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:00 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:07 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:07 am

Going back to the meaning of Dukkha for a minute, you see all of the above discussion suggests to me that it is more expeditious to ask interested people to internalise the term, rather than rely only on a translation. We see discussion after discussion concerning whether life really is suffering, clearly this is an extended strawman because that is such an incomplete rendition of The First Noble Truth. Personally I dont see that "there is dissatisfactoriness or unsatisfactoriness " or "there is stress" solves anything. In fact they each throw up new problems.
No culture has sprung into existance already influenced by Indic language and thought, not even Indian culture . We are seeing the influence of Indic culture on the English speaking world even as we write, its ongoing now. "Karma"as a concept has already passed into mainstream western thought, even if not always in ways consistant with Buddhadhamma. I see no reason to suppose that dukkha wouldnt do the same if we didnt insistant on chaperoning it.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

chownah
Posts: 6161
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:58 pm


chownah
Posts: 6161
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:09 pm


meindzai
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:18 pm


seanpdx
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:56 am

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:48 pm


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:42 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:22 am

Yes. I have been most direct and frank on my statement. Is that really the word you wish to use?

Just because somebody is a respected scholar is, in my books, insufficient reason to accept what they say in all cases. Scholarship is one thing, and though it overlaps the "Dhamma", the two terms are not synonymous. In some - not all - cases of scholars, though there is an understanding of the word, there is little experience with what it means.

eg. I see time and time again the struggles that some "famous scholars" make about describing basic meditative states, for instance. It is obvious they've never meditated before, or at least no further than the most basic of meditation.

eg. Or, for those who a priori assume that teachings such as rebirth, knowledge of others' minds, and even the elimination of defilements and attainment of nirvana, are ultimately just "myth" and "superstitious belief" - in other words, there is no such thing in truth, these a priori assumptions on their part make them then come to conclusions about the Dhamma that are not in conformity with the tradition. (Not that the tradition is a priori infallible - I wish to point out a priori assumptions.) For instance, they could not accept the content of a sutta wherein a deva speaks to the Buddha, so have to come up with some other explanation, the most basic being "this is a latter invention", "this is an attempt to subvert brahmanic teachings to the Buddhist cause", etc. Or, when the Buddha knows the mind of a prospective disciple and teaches appropriately, they a priori reject this as possible, and so have to come up with some other explanation.

Anecdotally, I recall one "famous scholar" saying that "although the Buddha and buddhist believe in rebirth", he himself did not, because he "had not a shred of evidence" for it. Not a shred? This scholar could benefit from broader reading at least, and spending some serious time with yogins of deep attainments. Even if the evidence does not convince them entirely, it will leave one thinking that there are at least some "shreds", and agnosticism may be more honest than out-right rejection.

Just as those bhikkhus chosen by Mahakassapa to compile the canon at the first convocation were chosen for having both spiritual attainment and knowledge of the teachings, so too should we nowadays first begin with the teachings of those who have both sides.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .


Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 13 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine