Moderator: Mahavihara moderator
Sekha wrote:Modern scholars suggest that Pali was probably never spoken by the Buddha himself.In the centuries after the Buddha's death, as Buddhism spread across India into regions that spoke different dialects, Buddhist monks increasingly depended on a common tongue for their discussions of Dhamma and their recitations of memorized texts. It was out of this necessity that the language we now know as Pali emerged.
http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/englis ... 0400.shtml
Dmytro wrote:For more details about the Hathigumpha inscription see:
http://gujaratisbs.webs.com/Abstracts%2 ... 20More.pdf
Dmytro wrote:Evidently the evolution of Magadhi as a state-supported lingua franca went through the following stages:
1 - Magadhi of Buddha's lifetime, preserved in the Pali texts - Haryanka dynasty;
2 - language of the Shishunaga and Nanda dynasties - not preserved;
3 - Magadhi of Asoka's edicts - Maurya dynasty;
4 - language of inscriptions from the dissolution of Maurya empire until the sanskritization - Satavahana and Mahameghavana dynasties. The latest of these inscriptions are dated by 3rd-4th centuries CE.
Qianxi wrote:What is it that links Pali to stage 1 rather than just to stage 4?
The final extract from Salomon seems to associate Pali with the rise of western dialects after the fall of the Mauryan empire. The first summary you post suggests that the Buddha would have spoken Ardha-Magadhi for preaching, which I suppose would be an eastern dialect.
I wonder if we would expect the language of orally recited scripture to change as the language develops, or to preserve archaic forms.
How does Gandhari fit into this picture? Presumably the Gandhari texts we have come from period 4, during the use of Western Pali-like dialect as lingua franca. Gandhari is also part of that western dialect group I suppose?
Wilhelm Geiger wrote:The conclusion has been drawn -- wrongly, in my opinion, -- from Culavagga V.33.1 = Vin II.139. Here it is related, how two Bhikkhus complained to the master that the members of the order were of various origins, and that they distorted the words of Buddha by their own dialect (sakaaya niruttiyaa). They therefore proposed that the words of Buddha should be translated into Sanskrit verses (chandaso). Buddha however refused to grant the request and added: anujaanaami bhikkhave sakaaya niruttiyaa buddhavacanam pariyaapu.nitum. Rhys-Davids and Oldenberg translate this passage by 'I allow you, oh brethren, to learn the words of the Buddha each in his own dialect.' This interpretation however is not in harmony with that of Buddhaghosa, according to whom it has to be translated by "I ordain the words of Buddha to be learnt in _his_ own language (i.e.Magadhi, the language used by Buddha himself)." After repeated examination of this passage I have come to the conclusion that we have to stick to the explanation given by Buddhaghosa. Neither the two monks or the Buddha himself could have thought of preaching in different cases in different dialects. Here the question is merely whether the words of Buddha migth be translated into Sanskrit or not. This is however clearly forbidden by the Master, at first negatively and then positively by the injunction beginning with 'anujaanaami'. The real meaning of this injunction is, as is also best in consonance with Indian spirit, that there can be no other form of the words of Buddha than in which the Master himself had preached.
In the Haimavata Vinaya mātikā
There were two Brahman Bhikkhus, named Usaha and Samadha, who went to the Buddha and said to him, "The disciples of the Buddha come from different castes of different places in different countries. Their language is not the same and their pronunciation is incorrect, and thus they distorted the right teachings of the Buddha. May the Blessed One allow us to carry out debates and compile the scriptures according to the Chandas way, so that the sentences may be arranged in order and the pronunciations corrected, in order to unveil the teachings of the Buddha." The Buddha told the Bhikkhus, saying, "In my teachings emphasis is not laid on rhetoric. What I mean is that the doctrines should not be misunderstood. They should be taught in any language which is understood by the people, according to their suitability." Therefore, his teachings were taught according to the circumstances of the land.
In the Dharmagupta-vinaya, Vol. LII:
There was a Bhikkhu named Bravery, who was the descendant of a Brahman family. He came to the presence of the Buddha, and after having worshipped him, he sat aside and said to the Blessed One, "Venerable Sir, the Bhikkhus come from different castes and have different names. They misinterpreted the teachings of the Buddha. May the Blessed One permit us to rearrange the Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit." The Buddha said, "You are fools! That would be a defacement to mix the Buddhist scriptures with a heretical language." He further said, "Recite the scriptures in the language of the country according to the custom of the people."
In the Mahisasaka-vinaya, Vol. XXVI:
There were two Brahman brothers who were versed in the Chandas-veda and later became monks in the Buddhist Order. They heard that the Bhikkhus were reciting the scriptures in an improper way, and said to them scornfully, "You venerable sirs have become monks for a long time, and yet you don't know the masculine and feminine genders, the singular and plural numbers, the present, past and futrue tenses, the long and short vowels, and the heavy and light acents. In such a way you are reciting the scriptures!" The Bhikkhus were ashamed to hear this remark, and the brothers went to the Buddha and reported the case to him. The Buddha said, "They are allowed to recite the scriptures in their own native tongue, only that they should not misunderstand the Buddha's meaning. No one is allowed to mix the Buddha's word with a heretical language. One who acted contrarily would be considered as having committed the offence sthulatyaya."
In the Sarvāstivāda-vinaya, Vol. XXXVIII:
Once the Buddha was in Sravasti. There were two Brahmans, one being names Gopa and the other one, Yapa, who had a devout faith in Buddhism and become Buddhist monks. They had formerly learned the heretical four Vedas, and after having become monks they recited the Buddhist scriptures with Vedic intonations. Then one of them died, and the one who was alive forgot some passages of the scriptures and could not recite them fluently. He could not find a companion and was unhappy of it. Thus he told it to the Buddha, who said to the monks, "From now onwards anyone who recites the Buddhist scriptures with a heretical intonation will be considered as having committed the offence of Dukkata."
In the Mūlasarvāstivāda-nikāya-vinaya-samyuktavastu, Vol VI:
Once the Buddha was in Sravasti. At that time the Ven. Sāriputra ordained two Brahmans into the Order. One of them was called Ox-given and the other one, Ox-born. Both of them studied the recitation of Buddhist scriptures. Afterwards they travelled about and came to a village, where they obtained many offerings and took up their lodgings there. Now these two persons had formerly learned the pronunciation method of Brahmanic hymns. So when they recited the Buddhist scriptures, they habitually followed their old method. Then one of them suddenly died of illness. The one who was living was grieved by the death of his friend, and forgot most of the scriptures through negligence. Thus he returned to Srāvasti and came to the Jetavana Grove. After having taken rest, he went to see the Ven. Kaundinya, to whom he paid his respect and said, "Venerable Sir, let us review the scriptures together." "Very well, I shall recite them for you," was the reply. After the elder had recited some passages of the scriptures, the monk said to him, "Venerable Sir, your recitation of the scriptures is mistaken. The vowels are not pronounced as long ones, and so there is something missing." The elder said in reply, "I have always recited the scriptures in this way." Thus the monk took his leave and went to see Asvajit, Bhadra, Mahānāma, Vasas, Yaśas, Pārna, Gavāmpati, Vimala, Subāhu and Rāhula, to each of whom he said, "Venerable Sir, let us review the scriptures together." "Very well, I shall recite the scriptures for you," was the reply. After the elder had recited some passages, etc. etc., the monk took his leave and went to see the Ven. Sāriputra, to whom he paid his respect and said, "Upādhyāya, let us review the scriptures together." While they were reciting the scriptures together the monk elongated the vowels, and Sāriputra pronounced them with double length. The monk said, "Venerable teacher, all the other elders are mistaken in their recitation. Only you, Venerable teacher, are correct in pronunciation and grammar." Sāriputra said to him, "You are a fool. You are mistaken yourself, and yet you slander those wise men, saying that they do not know how to recite the scriptures. None of the elders is mistaken in the recitation." Having been rebuked, the monk remained silent. Then the monks reported this to the Buddha, who thought in his mind, "All this trouble is caused by the elongation of vowels in the way of singing hymns when the monks recite the scriptures. Therefore the monks should not elongate the vowels in the way of singing hymns when they recite the scriptures. Any monk who recites the scriptures in the Chandas way shall be considered as committing a transgression. But one is not considered so, if the vowels are elongated according to his own dialect."
What was Magadha/Magadhi at the time of the Buddha?
What was Magadha/Magadhi at the time of Asoka?
What did the Sri Lankans regard as Magadha/Magadhi at the time of the arrival of the Pali texts in Sri Lanka?
What was Magadha/Magadhi at the time of the commentaries?
What was Magadha/Magadhi at the time of the literary Prakrits?
arhat wrote:The -dha suffix of the name Magadha seems to be unstable and was sometimes dropped, and the m was sometimes pronounced as a v (both being labial consonants and interchangeable) or dropped altogether - thus giving us three names of the same country - Magadha, Vanga & Anga (the medial nasal also seems to be unstable).
Dmytro wrote:arhat wrote:The -dha suffix of the name Magadha seems to be unstable and was sometimes dropped, and the m was sometimes pronounced as a v (both being labial consonants and interchangeable) or dropped altogether - thus giving us three names of the same country - Magadha, Vanga & Anga (the medial nasal also seems to be unstable).
That's untrue. See:
Kare wrote:To me it is baffling to see that none of the respected scholars quoted here seem to be aware of the problem of Magadha/Magadhi.
Dmytro wrote:Hello Kare,Kare wrote:To me it is baffling to see that none of the respected scholars quoted here seem to be aware of the problem of Magadha/Magadhi.
Are you familar with a a book:
Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India, by Johannes Bronkhorst
manjughosamani wrote:Hi Kare,
You can read the majority, if not all, of the text online here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/207362992/Bronkhorst-J-Greater-Magadha-Studies-in-the-Culture-of-Early-India
All the best.
Dmytro wrote:Lance Cousins writes:
"The standard epigraphical language used in the Gangetic plain and beyond in the last centuries B.C. and a little after was a form of Middle Indian rather close to Pali. We have no reason to believe that any other written language existed in that area at that time. Like Pali it is eclectic with word-forms originally from different dialectics and also with no standardized spelling (as was probably originally the case for Pali). So the first Buddhist texts written down in that area should have been in that form. Since the enlarged kingdom of Magadha eventually extended over nearly the whole Gangetic plain, that language was probably called the language of Magadha, if it had a name. And that of course is the correct name of the Pali language.
Pali is essentially a standardized and slightly Sanskritized version of that language. Māgadhī is a language described by the Prakrit grammarians and refers to a written dialect that developed later (early centuries A.D. ?) from the spoken dialect in some part of 'Greater Magadha'.
In effect, then, Pali is the closest we can get to the language spoken by the Buddha. And it cannot have been very different — we are talking about dialect diferences here, not radically distinct languages."
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests