Tuesday, May 30, 2023

🔗📝ASND, Meaning of "percipient of light", warding off drowsiness with that perception

4👑☸ → ASND 🌕🌟 

Forum discussion

Dhammapardon wrote: Sun May 28, 2023 10:03 amHello Venerables and friends,

It appears often in translation associated with abandoning sloth and drowsiness but there isn't much else said.

https://suttacentral.net/dn12/en/thanissaro?reference=none&highlight=false wrote:Abandoning sloth & drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light.Attempting to understand this phrase experientialy and making an educated guess, percipient here usually gets translated from saññī of ālokasaññī (percipient of light). Saññī and saññā probably mean something very similar? Saññā being what one does with phenomena through one of the 5 aggregates (pancakhanda).

So likely means someone notices/recognizes the brightness of their immediate surroundings. Similar to leaving a darkened office or building into a sunny day and think "Wow it's bright outside" but the noticing is not with the verbal. More like in-the-moment noticing how bright the grass-covered area you often walk by is on a particular sunny day. Dwelling percipient of the light brightening the grass nearby brings alertness/abandons sloth & drowsiness..

Post by frank k » Tue May 30, 2023 7:44 am
These are all the sutta references to perception of light, all day all night, mind luminous...
(excluding the 5 hindrance short pointer that you refer to)

AN 6.29 is the best one, showing the full context.

If you have a lamp that's charged with solar panels, if you only charge it up 20-30%, it's not as bright as it is charged up to 100%.

Jhāna and perception of light works the same way.
Most people living a 'normal' worldly lifestyle, their jhāna battery is never going to be more than about 30% charged.

If you do high quality jhāna meditation everyday, I'd say 6-10 hours for at least several weeks are necessary to get to the point where you'll experience what the suttas describe of seeing super bright light, all day all night even with your eyes closed.
You don't need much sleep, maybe 1-2 hours a night, and you may just be lying there awake letting your body rest.
You see light even with your eyes closed.
The light is so bright it's like someone tore off your eye lids and shining a bright flashlight in your face.
Some people may see visions, with their eyes closed.
Some people develop this to the point of divine eye, they can see real things accurately from past, present future, in vivid color with their eyes closed, as if standing in front of the vision with eyes open.

If you develop that, THEN you can ward off drowsiness with perception of light.
Otherwise, the only way it could work is if you open your eyes.
And if you're really sleepy, then even opening your eyes wouldn't work.

But if you have your jhana battery charged up really high, then you can see bright light all day all night, some see visions, and you'll be very energetic and need little sleep.
This is what MN 127 and MN 128 is talking about, it's not about VRJ (vism. redefinitiion of jhāna and nimtta of light about the size of a dime in front of your face).

It's all about charging up the jhāna battery, using the Buddha's authentic instructions on jhāna.

Doing Vism. redefinition of jhāna, it's also possible to reach the same state (of Buddha's jhāna and perception of light), but odds are highly against you because Vism. instructions cause great mental and physical tension for most people, which either blocks Buddha's jhāna completely, or retards its growth and full potential.

Re: "Hypnogogic" imagery during long meditation sits.

Post by frank k » Thu Jun 15, 2023 8:29 am

..Perfectly normal [to experience imagery].
Most people would be slumped over, fallen asleep and snoring.
So if you can keep an upright body posture sitting, it shows pretty good jhānic force and good store of energy charged up in your jhana batteries.
The more you keep celibacy, noble silence, the more your jhana batteries will charge up and the more awake, lucid you can remain while in this state.
People with less charged up jhana batteries, their mind will be more murky, the visions less vivid, or no visions at all and just perceptions of dream like narratives, or they fall into the dream and believe the dream is real just like someone lying down falling asleep.

The more lucid and alert you can develop, the more control you have over whether you want to observe the visions, or make them go away instantly.

Friday, May 26, 2023

KN Snp 5 memory keys 🐘🔑

Applying techniques I learned from here:

Top memorization techique is worth the investment: mentally create movie with distinct memorable visual, audio, smell, etc.

 Things I noticed and memory aids I devised to memorize the 16 main suttas of Snp 5 pārāyana vagga.

KN Snp 5.4 Puṇṇaka-māṇava-pucchā: The Questions of Puṇṇaka

“Anejaṁ mūla-dassāviṁ,
“To the imperturbable, the seer of the root,”

🐘🔑name punnaka looks and sound like Puna (district in Hawaii)

So I visualize the setting puna, hawaii, and punnaka is looking at the Buddha, who is standing frozen like a statue (frozen to remember the word imperturbable).

The Buddha is frozen, staring (dassa)  at the root (mūla)  of a tree .

I visualize a movie of this part just as sutta describes, in same order:

Kiṁ nissitā isayo manujā,
On what grounds have hermits and men,
Khattiyā brāhmaṇā devatānaṁ;
warrior-nobles and brahmins
Yaññam-akappayiṁsu puthūdha loke,
performed so many different sacrifices here in the world to the gods?

🐘🔑visualize humans being tied up and aging super quickly on torture racks with stacks of food and paper money and other sarcrificial items all around them for this part:
Āsīsamānā puṇṇaka itthattaṁ;
Hoping for some state of existence,
Jaraṁ sitā Yaññam-akappayiṁsu”.
all performed sacrifices bound to old age.”

KN Snp 5.5 Mettagū-māṇava-pucchā: The Questions of Mettagū

“Pucchāmi taṁ bhagavā brūhi me taṁ,
“I ask you, Blessed One; please tell me this,”
(iccāyasmā mettagū)
(said Venerable Mettagū,)
Maññāmi taṁ vedaguṁ bhāvitattaṁ;
“for I think you are a knowledge master, evolved.
Kuto nu dukkhā samudāgatā ime,
Where do all these sufferings come from,
Ye keci lokasmim-aneka-rūpā”.
in all their countless forms in the world?”

🐘🔑 Visualize a brahmin skilled in 'metta', chewing gum, but wincing in pain because his teeth are rotten. He approaches the Buddha, also chewing gum (Buddha is veda-guṁ), to ask about the dukkha from the tooth ache. 

KN Snp 5.10 🐸Todeyya-māṇava-pucchā: The Questions of Todeyya

“Yasmiṁ kāmā na vasanti,
“In whom sensual pleasures do not dwell,”
(iccāyasmā todeyyo)
(said Venerable Todeyya,)
Taṇhā yassa na vijjati;
“and for whom there is no craving,
Kathaṅ-kathā ca yo tiṇṇo,
and who has crossed over doubts—
Vimokkho tassa kīdiso”.
of what kind is their liberation?”

🐘🔑The name Todeyya sounds like the word 'Toad' 🐸.
And the theme of the sutta, is the frequent them of conquering lust.
So I visualize brahmin Todeyya has a toad head for his head, and is surrounded by beautiful women.

KN Snp 5.12 Jatukaṇ­ṇi­-māṇava-­pucchā: The Questions of Jatukaṇṇī

“Sutvān-ahaṁ vīram-a-kāma-kāmiṁ,
“Hearing of the hero with no sensual desire for sensual pleasures,”
(iccāyasmā jatukaṇṇi)
(said Venerable Jatukaṇṇī,)
Oghātigaṁ puṭṭhum-a-kāmam-āgamaṁ;
“who has passed over the flood, I’ve come with a question for that desire-less one.

🐘🔑For hero (vīra) I picture the George Reeves version of superman, because his skin tight clothing will make another part of the sutta very easy to remember

Bhagavā hi kāme abhi-bhuyya iriyati,
For, having mastered sensual desires, the Blessed One proceeds,
Ādiccova pathaviṁ tejī tejasā;
as the blazing sun shines on the earth.
🐘🔑Of the 32 marks of a great man, one that has to do with lust is the retractable penis.
In that photo of superman above, I visualize there's no bulge where superman's family jewels are, representhing that mark of a great man. 

Several suttas in the 16 suttas of Snp 5 have to do with removing lust, and sometimes is the process of memorizing you can mix up passages from other suttas. So having very detailed, distinct visuals that differentiate from each other really makes this sutta memorable. 

🔗📝 collection of notes on LBT


4👑☸ → STED → EBT  ,   LBT

telephone: game of broken telephone, chinese whispers, 🔗📝


Why the fuss over LBT and EBT versions of jhāna? Aren't they both 99% Buddha's definition?

Forum discussion

Re: Sutta method and Abhidhamma method

Post by frank k » Fri May 26, 2023 1:46 am
I appreciate that you took the time to acknowledge and respond, but this doesn't really explain why you think the two types of jhāna vism. and the commentaries talk about are the same as the jhāna and satipatthāna are described in MN 111, MN 125, MN 119.

I'm all for people wanting to support their flavor of Buddhism, whether mahāyana, theravada abhidhamma, any other abhidharma, visuddhimagga, as long as they're honest about the real differences between them.

If one is going to claim their LBT flavor of Buddhism is the legitimate word of Buddha that doesn't contradict EBT, and if one doesn't agree there are real differences, one should be able to at least openly disclose a published, detailed audit explaining how, why, and refuting the claims from an EBT sutta based examination showing clear contradiction.

Re: EBT-People Don't Have a Base. (An Evidence)
Post by frank k » Wed Apr 27, 2022 8:09 am
And anyone who read mahāyana doctrines and vajrayana texts all know they're also all completely coherent and consistent with the EBT and there are no contradictions.

According to Mahayana, one month after the first council, Ananda convened another secret council where all the mahayana disciples recited the mayahana texts and confirmed they were the genuine word of the Buddha.

The moral of the story is, everyone wants to believe they have the authentic lineage preserving the true word of the buddha. It's up to each of us to do our own homework, audit those claims and verify that they're coherent and consistent.

You want to believe Vism. and Mula Atthaka and Tika and Petakopadesa are all ancient sanghas with no contradicitons, but it doesn't take that much digging around to see it's just a web of deceit and an empty claim.

Re: Sutta method and Abhidhamma method

Post by frank k » Fri May 26, 2023 2:07 am
from a thread about a year ago of RobertK and I attempting to cover the same ground

Still waiting for your reply Robert. (and Ven. Dhammanando, and any other Abhidhamma expert)
Your silence is going to be taken as an acknowledgment that you've read the links and confirmed that:
1) The Ab Vibhanga 12 third jhāna gloss contradicts Aṭṭhakathā AN 5.28, DN 2 jhāna formula gloss which says kāya body is flesh and blood. Ab Vb 12 says kāya is mind only, not physical at all.
2) Vism. does a confusing and poor job of trying to explain how (1) is not a contradiction.
3) Petakopadesa, which is part of the tipitaka, obviously didn't get the same memo as Buddhaghosa with the time machine and the secret decoder ring where the Buddha confusingly really meant "mind only", when he says "body", he meant "not thinking" when he said "thinking", etc. In other words, Petakopadesa glosses the jhāna formula taking the Buddha's words at face value, body = physical body, thinking = thinking, etc. So if Vism. is right and "there is no contradiction" between sutta (jhāna involves body) and abhidhamma (jhāna is mind only), then why did the "ancient Sangha" that composed Pe differ from the ancient sangha that composed Vism.?

I've only presented the very clear and easy to see contradiction with 'kāya' in the 4 jhānas. There are many more contradictions with vitakka, rūpa, and the frozen appana state that only happens in Vism. redefinition of jhāna, and not in EBT sutta, not in Petakopadesa, and not in Vimuttimagga (which uses an earlier Abhihdhamma).
Another very easy and clear cut contradiction. Abhidhamma gloss of vitakka and vicāra in first jhāna includes samma sankappo, which would allow for linguistic thinking of renunciation, good will, etc. in first jhāna, whereas Vism. redefined first jhāna does not allow for any kind of linguistic or free subverbal mental processing while in appanā samādhi. Vism. contradicts canonical Abhidhamma in vitakka and vicara in first jhāna.

Can you at least reply and acknowledge you've seen these contradictions for yourself?
Every Buddhist has their own reasons for which sect they gravitate towards, but at least we should be honest with ourselves about how things really are. Abhidhamma contradicts the suttas in some very important doctrinal points. If you think the composers of the Abhidhamma made a better product than the Buddha's suttas, fine, but be honest about what it is. You can't look at the very clear and obvious evidence of contradictions and pretend the Buddha wrote both the Abhidhamma and sutta pitaka.

Monday, May 22, 2023

A robust definition of 'jhāna': meditation with singular focus based on any postive or negative emotion or thought

 (from conversation with digital pāḷi dictionary team)

jhāna jhāyati
I know everyone translates it like what you currently have here:

jhāyati 3

pr. broods; thinks moodily; hangs the head down [√jhā + ya + ti] 

but I suspect it has a much more general meaning.
I show all the sutta references where "wrong" types of jhāna can be based on any of the 5 hindrances.
I propose the proper meaning should be 'an obsessive singular focus on any positive or negative emotion or mind state.'

Also, jhāna need not be calm, if it's not wrong jhana.
for example, MN 36 when buddha was trying to hold his breath, or the wrong jhanas of 'brooding' , seeking revenge (jhana based on ill will and harming), tantric sex (jhana based on kama chanda).

What's the need for jhana 1? Dhp 372 is referring to the same as jhana 2.

jhāna 1

nt. state of deep meditative calm; lit. meditating [√jhā + ana] 

n'atthi jhānaṃ apaññassa,
paññā n'atthi ajhāyato,
yamhi jhānañ'ca paññā ca,
sa ve nibbānasantike.

DHP 372 bhikkhuvaggo

jhāna 2

nt. meditation; stage of meditation; lit. meditating [√jhā + ana] 

so ime pañca nīvaraṇe pahāya cetaso upakkilese paññāya dubbalīkaraṇe, vivicc'eva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi, savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.

MN 39 mahāassapurasuttaṃ

jhāna 3

adj. having meditation; related to meditation [√jhā + ana] ~



med·​i·​tate ˈme-də-ˌtāt 
meditated; meditating

intransitive verb

: to engage in contemplation or reflection
He meditated long and hard before announcing his decision.
: to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

transitive verb

: to focus one's thoughts on : reflect on or ponder over
He was meditating his past achievements.
: to plan or project in the mind : intend, purpose
He was meditating revenge.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Top memorization techique is worth the investment: mentally create movie with distinct memorable visual, audio, smell, etc.


Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by frank k »

I now have about 14/16 of Snp 5 memorized, when completed, it's going to be about 30min. of pretty fast chanting.

I recently borrowed a book from the library on memorization skills, authored by someone acclaimed as American world champion.

I'd read or heard about many of the techniques he talks about before, but I had never seriously practiced any of those methods before since I had nothing very challenging to memorize.
Also, the technique is quite challenging in some ways, requiring the mental equivalent, of starting up a moderate physical exercise regime for someone who doesn't like to exercise.

Now that I've undertaken memorizing Snp 5, I have a much deeper appreciation of why those techniques are worth investing the time in.

It's taken me about a year to memorize Snp 5, I probably spend an average of 40min. a day to gradually add more material and maintain what I've memorized from there.
It's a lot more time than I had anticipated.
The reason? It's not that hard to memorize a few new lines everyday, but the problem is how to add new material without corrupting the recently memorized material.
So really a lot of my time was spent trying to repair damaged material that sounded similar in some ways.
The 16 suttas in Snp 5, they're all about jhāna meditators crossing over the flood to realize nirvana, so in a way a bunch of them are very similar.

The first and foremost memorization technique that the memory expert recommended, I wish I had done that right from the beginning.
It's to vividly create a mental movie of all the action involving all 5 senses: visual, audio, smell, etc., being very creative, adding very memorable wild features.
The reason for that, I realized through direct experience, is that it then makes your whole memorization product differentiated clearly from each other.
That detailed differentiation leads to a faster cummulative time memorizing the entire project, since you won't need to repair fuzzy memory.

So for my particular Snp 5 project, had I done this from the very beginning, instead of starting from the last 4 of 16 remaining suttas to memorize, it would have saved me a lot of time doing memory repair work.
In other words, if you construct your sutta movie well, with distinct visual, audio, smell, etc., then all 16 suttas would be very differentiated from each other, memorable.

So that's why that memory expert emphasizes that technique so much.
It takes more upfront energy to learn that skill, but it will save you much time and give you much more robust memorized product in the end, more resilient to memory loss and corruption from the simple brute force ways people usually do.

With the suttas, one big advantage with this technique,  is you don't even have to be all that brilliant or creative. The suttas already are descbribing interesting movies with distinctive visual, audio, odiferous things going on already. 
You just need to add some creative touches to help you with difficult words for you.

Forum discussion

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by frank k » 

Cause_and_Effect wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 1:04 pm...
You know this is most interesting.
I wonder if a 'hidden' benefit of memorizing suttas, which are so rife with imagery and analogy but are seldom memorized now, is that it ingraines some of these visual similes in visual memory both as a memory aid but perhaps deepens comprehension also?

My contribution to this thread would be not necessarily to memorize long sutta passages, I personally memorize some short verses.
However I do like the idea of visualizing and memorizing some of the Buddha's numerous similes in more vivid detail, as often it summarizes the heart of the suttas in a sense that you describe but also as a means of contemplation for insight to sink in.
Adding visual imagery, sounds, smells, creative multimedia flourishes that give the memory distinct features makes that memory more robust and resistant to memory loss.

It's like making multiple copies of a bank safety deposit box key and giving them to your 5 best friends so you have multiple entry points.

So by having a stronger memory, easier to recalled, and then recalling it more, then recalling it and frequently reflecting on the meaning of it with vicāra, vimamsa, dhamma-vicaya, upekkha, gives you the opportunity to deepen comprehension of its meaning.

On the science side of things, when you add visual and audio memory cues, it uses more of your physical brain unit, strengthening and increasing the number of synapses that can access those memories.

Monday, May 15, 2023

'ariya' defn.: ethically-noble different from enlightened-noble. In MN 4, Buddha was unenlightened at the time so he was ethically-noble

 From a conversation I had with 

ariya 1 adj noble; distinguished; of the Buddha
ariya 2 masc ethically noble person; person of moral integrity
ariya 3 masc awakened being; enlightened one; arahant
ariya 4 masc name of a privately enlightened Buddha
ariya 5 masc speaker of an Indo-Aryan language
ariya 6 adj (abhidhamma) supra-mundane

Ariya 2

> So in MN 4 the Buddha (not enlightened then) was an ariya "being of integrity who is not enlightened" correct?

 I also checked the commentary which has 

tesamahaṃ aññataroti tesaṃ ahampi eko aññataro. bodhisatto hi gahaṭṭhopi pabbajitopi parisuddhakāyakammantova hoti.

I am one of them. Of them I too am one of them. Even a bodhisattva, even a householder, even a monk who has purified their physical conduct.

Ariya 5

is ariya 5 referring to the pre-buddhist meaning of ariya? 
Can any caste be ariya, in pre-buddhist meaning?

Ariya 6 gets used in Vinaya contexts when an Ariyan language speaker says something to a milakkhaka (barbarian, non-indo-aryan languge) and his words are not understood, the conditions for proper disrobing are not fulfilled. 

It is unrelated to caste, but to a person of a cultural language group. 

Yes the older meaning of arya. According to the latest genetic studies they entered India from modern day Turkmenistan about a millennia before the Buddha's time.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

viveka = judicious-seclusion, not mutually exclusive 'physical seclusion' or 'discrimination'

 4👑☸ → EBpedia📚 → viveka 

I've updated my research article on 'viveka'


viveka 1 – Viveka
    viveka 1.1 - 'Viveka', pre-Buddhist meaning
        viveka 1.1.1 – viveka = differentiation
    viveka 1.2 - 'Viveka', Sanskrit dictionary
    viveka 1.3 – From Digital Pāḷi Dictionary
viveka 2 – suttas (alphabetical) justifying different definitions of viveka
    viveka 2.1 – ‘seclusion’ doesn’t make sense, ‘discernment’ does
    viveka 2.2 – both 'discernment' and 'seclusion' apply together in conjunction
    viveka 2.3 – 'seclusion' makes sense here, 'discernment' doesn't
viveka 10 – misc.

Found some interesting sutta references from a sutta central discussion thread, which I"ve incorporated into article.


a pre-buddhist 'viveka' where it means differentiation or discrimination.

sujato lists a few references that he believes show 'viveka' must be physical seclusion.

He also doesn't dispute that there are places where 'viveka' might not be seclusion at all.

I've been collecting suttas that show this.

Where I agree with Sujato that those suttas he site must include physical seclusion, I don't think it's sufficient.

TITWOW Syndrome : TITWOW = Translators Irritatingly Translate With One Word Syndrome.

In other words, this is TITWOW syndrome in effect.

Just like PBJ is not a jelly sandwich, nor is it a peanut butter sandwich. It's a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You simply can't leave out an important ingredient.

A hunter is not just a tracker, mutually exclusive from a distance weapon expert.

It would be a bad translation to render 'hunter' as 'tracker' or as 'archer'.

If 'hunter' doesn't exist in the target language, then you need to make up a new single term, or use existing terms to make a phrase indicating many attributes are attached to the single word translation.

A prime example of the TITWOW syndrome: upekkha is not JUST equanimity. 

It's a state of fourth jhāna or third jhāna upekkha that does vipassana, calmy and cooly, in an equanimous manner.

I render 'upekkha' as 'equanimous-observation' to retain the important fact that it does vipassana, capable of liberating insight at any time.

So for viveka, I render it as 'judicious-seclusion', not just 'discerment' or 'seclusion' as if they were mutually exclusive characteristics.

Friday, May 12, 2023

KN Snp 5.16 pun: king of fools vs. king of death

 rājā = king

mogha = fool 

maccu = death

So maccu-rājā = king of death

our protaganist mogha-rājā = king of fools

No translator from English to pāḷi has captured this pun in translation.

I haven't yet either. Not sure how to do it yet in a way that doesn't become too wordy and possibly divert attention away from the main point of the sutta. 

First funny thing: Mogha-rājā's parents or his contemporary brahmin friends gave him that nick name, perhaps ironically

Just as someone who's tall, his friends may nickname him 'shorty' just to be ironic/humorous with him.

Snp 5.18 notes that 

Todeyya-kappā dubhayo,
both Todeyya and Kappa,
jatukaṇṇī ca paṇḍito;
and Jatukaṇṇī the astute,
Bhadrāvudho udayo ca,
Bhadrāvudha and Udaya,
posālo cāpi brāhmaṇo;
and the brahmin Posala,
Mogharājā ca medhāvī,
Mogharājā the intelligent,
piṅgiyo ca mahāisi.
and Piṅgiya the great hermit:

medhāvī = masc. intelligent man; wise man; who has good judgment; lit. who has wisdom [√medh + ā + vī] ✓

Buddha then puns on Mogha-rāja's name:  king of fools vs. king of death

So maccu-rājā = king of death

our protaganist mogha-rājā = king of fools

see how king of fools defeats king of death at end of sutta

KN Snp 5.16 Mogha­rāja­-māṇava-­pucchā: The Questions of Mogharājā

“Dvāhaṁ sakkaṁ apucchissaṁ,
“Twice I have asked the Sakyan,”
(iccāyasmā mogharājā)
(said Venerable Mogharājā,)
Na me byākāsi cakkhumā;
“but you haven’t answered me, O Seer.
Yāva-tatiyañca devīsi,
I have heard that the divine hermit
Byākarotī’ti me sutaṁ.
answers when questioned a third time.
Ayaṁ loko paro loko,
Regarding this world, the other world,
brahma-loko sa-devako;
and the realm of Brahmā with its gods,
Diṭṭhiṁ te n-ābhijānāti,
I’m not familiar with the view
gotamassa yasassino.
of the renowned Gotama.
Evaṁ abhikkanta-dassāviṁ,
So I’ve come in need with a question
atthi pañhena āgamaṁ;
to the one of excellent vision.
Kathaṁ lokaṁ avekkhantaṁ,
How to look upon the world
Maccu-rājā na passati”.
so the King of Death won’t see you?”

(Buddha says:)

“Suññato lokaṁ avekkhassu,
“Look upon the world as empty,
Mogha-rāja sadā sato;
Mogharājā, always Remembering-and-applying-☸Dharma .
Attānudiṭṭhiṁ ūhacca,
Having uprooted the view of self,
Evaṁ maccu-taro siyā;
you may thus cross over death.
Evaṁ lokaṁ avekkhantaṁ,
That’s how to look upon the world
Maccu-rājā na passatī”ti.
so the King of Death won’t see you.”
Mogha­rāja­-māṇava-­pucchā pannarasamā.
(end of sutta⏹️)

alternative, double pun:  king of emptiness (mogha) uses upekkha directed to emptiness (suññāta) to defeat  king of death

mogha, which usually means stupid or foolish, literally means 'empty'.

So the Buddha could have been making a double pun:

Saying that our king of emptiness (mogha), does vipassana using upekkha (of fourth jhāna) focused on emptiness (suññāta) and seeing not self to defeat king of death.

So which pun do we pick, and how best to translate and retain in the English translation?

“Suññato lokaṁ avekkhassu,
“Look upon the world as empty,
Mogha-rāja sadā sato;
Mogharājā, always Remembering-and-applying-☸Dharma .
Attānudiṭṭhiṁ ūhacca,
Having uprooted the view of self,
Evaṁ maccu-taro siyā;
you may thus cross over death.
Evaṁ lokaṁ avekkhantaṁ,
That’s how to look upon the world
Maccu-rājā na passatī”ti.
so the King of Death won’t see you [, the brahmin named King-of-fools].”
Mogha­rāja­-māṇava-­pucchā pannarasamā.
(end of sutta⏹️)

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Save the puns! general referendum requesting translators to include puns explicitly, as parenthesized comment, or footnote



KN Snp 5.8 pun on santi? Having both meanings of "there exists" and "peaceful"?

KN Snp 5.8 pun on santi? Having both meanings of "there exists" and "peaceful"?


(based on Sujato trans.)

KN Snp 5.8 Nanda-māṇava-pucchā: The Questions of Nanda

Santi loke munayo,
“ ’There are sages in the world.’
(iccāyasmā nando)
(said Venerable Nanda,)
Janā vadanti tayidaṁ kathaṁsu;
People say this, but how is this so?
Ñāṇ-ūpapannaṁ no muniṁ vadanti,
Is someone called a sage because of their knowledge,
Udāhu ve jīviten-ūpapannaṁ”.
or because of their way of life?”

Sujato translated following correct grammar using meaning 1 of santi (atthi), present tense nominative.

atthi 1

pr. (+nom) there is; there exists [√as + ti] ✓

But the use of 'santi' with the meaning 'peaceful'

santi 1.1

fem. peace; calm; tranquillity [√sam + ti] ✓

occurs frequently in Snp 5, talking about sages, brahmins, arahants, jhāna meditators,  abiding peacefully.

I think the Buddha is making a pun there, and the correct translation incorporating the pun should be:

KN Snp 5.8 Nanda-māṇava-pucchā: The Questions of Nanda

Santi loke munayo,
“ ’There are [peaceful] sages in the world.’
(iccāyasmā nando)
(said Venerable Nanda,)
Janā vadanti tayidaṁ kathaṁsu;
People say this, but how is this so?
Ñāṇ-ūpapannaṁ no muniṁ vadanti,
Is someone called a sage because of their knowledge,
Udāhu ve jīviten-ūpapannaṁ”.
or because of their way of life?”

I've noticed puns frequently don't get translated in verse by most translators, in the suttas. 

For example, in Snp 5.14, this sutta is talking about 4 jhānas, very clearly indicating 5 hindrances, 4th jhāna preceded by Dhamma vitakka of first jhāna.

The pun happens with nivārana (hindrance). In the verse, nivārana, rather than grammatically referring to 5 hindrances, is referring to the hindrance of restlenessness/regret being hindered.

All the translations I've seen (except mine)  just translate according to grammar, and the pun on nivārana is lost. I add parenthetical translation to retain the important piece of information that 

KN Snp 5.14 Udaya-māṇava-pucchā: The Questions of Udaya

(2022 SP-FLUENT translation by frankk‍)
“Jhāyiṁ virajamāsīnaṁ,
To the one sitting in jhāna— without dust,
(iccāyasmā udayo)
(said Venerable Udaya,)
Katakiccaṁ anāsavaṁ;
Done the task, [an arahant with] no more asinine-inclinations.
Pāraguṁ sabba-dhammānaṁ,
Gone beyond all dharmas—
Atthi pañhena āgamaṁ;
I’ve come here with a question.
Aññāvimokkhaṁ pabrūhi,
Please speak about the emancipation of final knowledge,
Avijjāya pabhedanaṁ”.
ignorance breaking up.
(Buddha says:)
“Pahānaṁ kāmacchandānaṁ,
the abandoning of both sensual-desires
(udayāti bhagavā)
(replied the Buddha),
Domanassāna cūbhayaṁ;
and distressed mental states,
Thinassa ca panūdanaṁ,
Dispelling of Sloth,
Kukkuccānaṁ nivāraṇaṁ.
regrets being warded off. [These are referencing the five hindrances]
[fourth jhāna is] equanimous observation, Remembering-and-applying-☸Dharma purified,
with ☸Dharma-thoughts [of first jhāna] preceding that.
Aññāvimokkhaṁ pabrūmi,
this is the final knowledge emancipation that I speak of,
avijjāya pabhedanaṁ”.
ignorance breaking-up..
“Kiṁsu saṁyojano loko,
what fetters the world?
kiṁsu tassa vicāraṇaṁ;
With what is it examined?
Kissassa vippahānena,
with what being abandoned
nibbānaṁ iti vuccati”.
is nirvana spoken of?
(Buddha says:)
“Nandisaṁyojano loko,
delight fetters the world.
vitakkassa vicāraṇaṁ;
with [wrong] thoughts [delight] is explored, with directed-thought [of first jhāna, the nature of wrong thought] is examined.
Taṇhāya vippahānena,
Through craving’s abandoning
nibbānaṁ iti vuccati”.
nirvana is spoken of.
“Kathaṁ satassa carato,
how is Remembering-and-applying-☸Dharma conducted,
viññāṇaṁ uparujjhati;
for consciousness to halt?
Bhagavantaṁ puṭṭhumāgamma,
We’ve come to the Blessed One with a question.
taṁ suṇoma vaco tava”.
Let us hear your words. (speech fabrications are thought and evaluation)
(Buddha says:)
“Ajjhattañca bahiddhā ca,
internally [in this body and mind], and externally,
Vedanaṁ nābhinandato;
not delighting in sensations [using jhāna through progressive cessation of sensations (see SN 36.11)]
Evaṁ satassa carato,
Conducting Remembering-and-applying-☸Dharma in this way,
Viññāṇaṁ uparujjhatī”ti.
consciousness is halted.
Udaya-māṇava-pucchā terasamā.
(end of sutta⏹️)