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Loving Kindness translation - Dhamma Wheel

Loving Kindness translation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Digger
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Loving Kindness translation

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:11 pm

Is "loving kindness" a good translation of the meaning and intent of the Pali - or is "compassion" a better term? The reason for my question is that "loving" is usually thought to have an attachment component whereas generally compassion does not. One can feel sorry for and try to help another without attachment. But once you throw the word "loving" in, is attachment assumed by the way most people interprete the word?
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Prasadachitta
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Re: Loving Kindness translation

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:18 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Digger
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Re: Loving Kindness translation

Postby Digger » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:11 pm

Thanks for your response. I thought there would be a lot more discussion here because I feel that this is an important topic and common misunderstanding of the original intent.

Anyway, if metta can mean either goodwill or loving-kindness, these are two quite different meanings. Again I go back to my original post above, is “loving-kindness” a good term to use since loving is usually thought of as being linked to attachment – the exact thing we are trying to avoid. But you can have good will towards someone or something without attachment.

Please friends – I would really like to hear your opinions on this.
He is different. He thinks.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Loving Kindness translation

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:46 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Kim OHara
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Re: Loving Kindness translation

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:43 am

The translation is context-dependent at the English end as well: 'Love' is used for everything from passionate, totally immersive, romantic attachment through to impersonal goodwill-to-all-beings, and even to a greedy appetite for a particular food.
A lot of people have accepted 'loving-kindness' as an acceptable translation of 'metta', and that's near enough for me to begin with. Beyond that, you could just about make a list of related words in English, then a list of related words in Pali, and see how they line up.
:namaste:
Kim


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