English terminology

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mydoghasfleas
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English terminology

Postby mydoghasfleas » Sun May 16, 2010 3:10 pm

Perhaps someone here can help me understand some of the ENGLISH terms used for Pali words. (Or point me to some resources for better understanding.)

I find terms like "volitional formations," "becoming," "rapture" and "effluents" (among other terms) not very clear in their meanings.

For instance, "rapture" to me always meant a type of euphoria. Is this really what is meant by this term? Is euphoria a stage of jhana?

Is "volitional formations" just another way of saying "will," or is it more like "intention?" Or is it anything that enters the mind, like the alternate translation of "fabrications" would seem to indicate?

"Becoming" seems to mean a catalyst for action from what I can gather. Is that correct? (As in, "a catalyst for action [becoming] is dependent on clinging.")

Even the way the term "perception" is used seems to be different than how I would normally use the word. (Example: Some people have a perception that Philadelphia is a lousy place to live.)

And I'm totally lost on "effluents."

Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Tex
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Re: English terminology

Postby Tex » Sun May 16, 2010 4:03 pm

Hi, bdah.

This is a great resource. It's mostly in Pali, but sometimes you can look up the English word and that will direct you to the Pali counterpart.

http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/bu ... ic_idx.htm

Check out the passage on paticca samuppada and hopefully that will help with formations (sankhara) and becoming (bhava).
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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Re: English terminology

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 4:23 pm


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Tex
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Re: English terminology

Postby Tex » Sun May 16, 2010 4:24 pm

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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Re: English terminology

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 5:27 pm


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retrofuturist
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Re: English terminology

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 17, 2010 4:44 am

Greetings bdah,

It is best to learn the meaning of key words terms in Pali, so that regardless of which English word a translator uses, you get the full sense of what was originally intended.

To that end, check out this existing topic...

Pali Dictionaries
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=70

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

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Re: English terminology

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 17, 2010 5:27 am


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mydoghasfleas
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Re: English terminology

Postby mydoghasfleas » Mon May 17, 2010 12:13 pm

Wow, thanks for all the input. Thanks especially to all those who took the time to post excerpts and links. These are all really helpful. It's also helpful to know that I'm not the only one confused by some of these terms.

It's really hard to learn the meaning of the Pali terms, when I find the English terms just as baffling. You've all pointed me to some great resources, though.

Thanks for all your help.

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Kim OHara
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Re: English terminology

Postby Kim OHara » Tue May 18, 2010 4:20 am


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Re: English terminology

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue May 18, 2010 6:53 am

Many decades ago, a linguistic distinction was made between orthodox post-Paninian Sanskrit, and that used by early Buddhist Sanskrit texts, especially of the Mahayana. The latter became known as "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit".

What we are seeing above, in this thread, is now known in the field as "Buddhist Hybrid English".
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.: .

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Re: English terminology

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 18, 2010 8:11 am


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Re: English terminology

Postby Dmytro » Tue May 18, 2010 8:41 am



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Re: English terminology

Postby Nibbida » Thu May 20, 2010 4:24 am


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Re: English terminology

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 20, 2010 4:28 am


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Re: English terminology

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu May 20, 2010 4:39 am

As any translator will point out, criticizing established terms is easy.
Proposing alternatives that are both accurate and accepted, is not.

Any better suggestions for translations of "asava", "samudaya" (?), "agantuka" and "samaropa"?

(This is not a rhetorical question, as a translator, I'm always interested in what people think of various English Buddhist terms.)
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.: .

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retrofuturist
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Re: English terminology

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 20, 2010 4:55 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

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Re: English terminology

Postby Dmytro » Thu May 20, 2010 6:28 am



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adosa
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Re: English terminology

Postby adosa » Fri May 21, 2010 9:14 pm

Hi all,

Throw 'Samma' in the mix. I always accepted it to mean 'Right' until recently listening to a dhamma talk saying a better translation would be 'Harmonious' which then massages my understanding of the eight-fold path a touch.


adosa :shrug:
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183


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