Samadhi (best English translation?)

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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby daverupa » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:16 pm

porpoise wrote:I came across "singleness of mind" recently - does that get near it?


That's cittassa ekaggatā; here is a short discussion of its relationship to samadhi.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Dmytro » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:13 pm

Kumara wrote:Samādhi is the noun for the verb samādhiyati.
Samādhiyati is the passive form for the active verb samādahati.
Samādahati: sam “together” + ādahati “put, place”. So, it means “put together” or “place together”.


Thank you, Bhante, for exceptionally lucid explanation :anjali:
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sekha » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:21 pm

I believe one wants to get an English translation of the word in order to get a better grasp of the word's meaning.

The best grasp though -and the only true one - that one can ever have of its meaning is through direct experience. Seen from that point of view, the standard definition given by the Buddha is all we need to know. The rest is a matter of self-discipline. Go meditate!
:anjali:
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby rahul3bds » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Samadhi (best English translation?)


occurrence of the word "Samadhi" in some popular religious scriptures written in sanskrit (Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam).

http://vedabase.net/s/samadhi
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Dmytro » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:02 pm

From Monier-Williams dictionary:

samādhi
sam-ādhi m.
- putting together , joining or combining with (instr.) La1t2y.
- a joint or a partic. position of the neck Kir.
- union , a whole , aggregate , set R. Hariv. Ragh.
- completion , accomplishment , conclusion Kum.
- setting to rights , adjustment , settlement MBh.
- justification of a statement , proof Sarvad.
- bringing into harmony , agreement , assent W. RPra1t.
- intense application or fixing the mind on , intentness , attention (°dhiṃ- √kṛ , " to attend ") MBh. R. &c

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Kumara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:... there are instances in the suttas that look like absorption practice where the meditator is unaware of his surroundings, as in not hearing a storm or feeling a whack to the head.

Yes, there are such descriptions, but have you seen them in reference to the word jhana?
No, but I would have to look at those accountings again, and I, for the life of me, cannot recall where they are. But if they were not jhana, what would they be? You have had some very interesting things to say here, so what do you think?

They are referred to as some form of samāpatti (attainment). Check it out.
Correction (8Feb2013): Better to look up āneñjasamādhi.
Last edited by Kumara on Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:50 am

daverupa wrote:
porpoise wrote:I came across "singleness of mind" recently - does that get near it?


That's cittassa ekaggatā; here is a short discussion of its relationship to samadhi.


It's Ajahn Thanissaro's choice, which I find unsatisfactory, as it translate literally backwards as "ekatā". It nonetheless avoids an even more problematic translation: "one-pointedness".

It's rather longish to explain in detail with evidence here, but I've come to see that the widespread translation of "one-pointedness" is due to a misunderstanding of the "agga" in it. I believe the person who first translated it this way was under the influence of the Visuddhimagga idea of samādhi (though I've not come across anything in Visuddhimagga that gives such an idea for ekaggatā).

To make it really short, here's the conclusion of my research into this: The agga in ekaggatā is probably a contracted form of agāra, which can be most generally translated as "place". Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still.

So then ekaggatā is stillness. Cittassa ekaggatā means stillness of mind. When Dhammadinna Bhikkhuni answered Visakha's question with "cittassa ekaggatā ayaṁ samādhi", I understand it to mean "stillness of mind—this is samādhi (composure)".

Hope this is enough for now. Details are in a book I'm still writing. FYI it's now approaching 25000 words. I foresee that it should go beyond 35000 words. I don't want to spend my whole life connecting the dots, yet evidence seems to be all over the Suttas when I realise what to look for. Even as I was on retreat last month, connections pop up in my head, which I jotted down to be included.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby daverupa » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:53 am

Kumara wrote:So then ekaggatā is stillness. Cittassa ekaggatā means stillness of mind. When Dhammadinna Bhikkhuni answered Visakha's question with "cittassa ekaggatā ayaṁ samādhi", I understand it to mean "stillness of mind—this is samādhi (composure)".


This sounds good.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Dmytro » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:22 am

Kumara wrote:The agga in ekaggatā is probably a contracted form of agāra, which can be most generally translated as "place". Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still.


Margaret Cone's dictionary defines "agāra" as 'a house; the household life'. With all due respect, I must say that for me expression "citta with one house (household life)" makes no sense.
The Atthakatha explanation as "with one thing predominant (agga)" is much more coherent.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sylvester » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:38 pm

Kumara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:... there are instances in the suttas that look like absorption practice where the meditator is unaware of his surroundings, as in not hearing a storm or feeling a whack to the head.

They are referred to as some form of samāpatti (attainment). Check it out.


You do have the plain old AN 9.37 for that. Even the jhanas are called attainments, as in attainments with perceptions.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sylvester » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:46 pm

Kumara wrote:
To make it really short, here's the conclusion of my research into this: The agga in ekaggatā is probably a contracted form of agāra, which can be most generally translated as "place". Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still.

So then ekaggatā is stillness. Cittassa ekaggatā means stillness of mind. When Dhammadinna Bhikkhuni answered Visakha's question with "cittassa ekaggatā ayaṁ samādhi", I understand it to mean "stillness of mind—this is samādhi (composure
.


Perhaps 'peak,?

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13526&p=204237&hilit=peak#p204237
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:48 am

Dmytro wrote:
Kumara wrote:The agga in ekaggatā is probably a contracted form of agāra, which can be most generally translated as "place". Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still.

Margaret Cone's dictionary defines "agāra" as 'a house; the household life'. With all due respect, I must say that for me expression "citta with one house (household life)" makes no sense.
The Atthakatha explanation as "with one thing predominant (agga)" is much more coherent.

It's alright, Dmytro. Please feel free to contradict what I say.

Yes, "agāra" means "house". In fact, it's often used to mean some kind of building. But that's not the only meaning. This is from my book (minus the footnotes):
Actually, there is another meaning for agga, which is a contracted form of agāra. E.g., uposathāgāra is the same as uposathagga, meaning a hall for the fortnightly monastic observance. It occurs only in compounds, e.g., dānagga—a place where alms are given, vassagga—shelter from the rain, a shed. Although this agga or agāra often refers to some sort of building, its meaning is wider: from a mansion to a cave. Then there is suññāgāra (suñña + agāra) , which literally means “an empty place”, though “solitude” may sometimes be a more appropriate translation. Also, samagga (saṁ + agga), an adjective which literally means “placed together” and commonly used in the Suttas to mean “being in unity, harmonious”.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:54 am

Sylvester wrote:
Kumara wrote:
To make it really short, here's the conclusion of my research into this: The agga in ekaggatā is probably a contracted form of agāra, which can be most generally translated as "place". Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still.

So then ekaggatā is stillness. Cittassa ekaggatā means stillness of mind. When Dhammadinna Bhikkhuni answered Visakha's question with "cittassa ekaggatā ayaṁ samādhi", I understand it to mean "stillness of mind—this is samādhi (composure
.


Perhaps 'peak,?

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13526&p=204237&hilit=peak#p204237


That's interesting, but you'd then have to translate it as "one-peak-ness of mind".
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:58 am

Sylvester wrote:
Kumara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:... there are instances in the suttas that look like absorption practice where the meditator is unaware of his surroundings, as in not hearing a storm or feeling a whack to the head.

They are referred to as some form of samāpatti (attainment). Check it out.


You do have the plain old AN 9.37 for that. Even the jhanas are called attainments, as in attainments with perceptions.


Oops. Sorry about that. Try look up āneñjasamādhi.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:51 pm

I've heard a few people translate "Samadhi" as "meditation", at least in terms of the eightfold path. I'm often uncomfortable with this. Is there any basis for it?
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Dmytro » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:14 pm

Kumara wrote:Yes, "agāra" means "house". In fact, it's often used to mean some kind of building. But that's not the only meaning. This is from my book (minus the footnotes):
Actually, there is another meaning for agga, which is a contracted form of agāra. E.g., uposathāgāra is the same as uposathagga, meaning a hall for the fortnightly monastic observance. It occurs only in compounds, e.g., dānagga—a place where alms are given, vassagga—shelter from the rain, a shed. Although this agga or agāra often refers to some sort of building, its meaning is wider: from a mansion to a cave. Then there is suññāgāra (suñña + agāra) , which literally means “an empty place”, though “solitude” may sometimes be a more appropriate translation. Also, samagga (saṁ + agga), an adjective which literally means “placed together” and commonly used in the Suttas to mean “being in unity, harmonious”.


Thank you for the citation, Venerable.
Evidently further discussion will have to wait until the publication of the book.

For now I'll just quote the Monier-Williams dictionary:

sám-agra mf(ā́)n. (» 2. sam) all , entire , whole , complete , each , every (ibc. = " fully " , " entirely " ; n. " all , everything ") AV. &c &c

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/

:anjali:
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sylvester » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:29 am

Kumara wrote:
Sylvester wrote:
Kumara wrote:
To make it really short, here's the conclusion of my research into this: The agga in ekaggatā is probably a contracted form of agāra, which can be most generally translated as "place". Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still.

So then ekaggatā is stillness. Cittassa ekaggatā means stillness of mind. When Dhammadinna Bhikkhuni answered Visakha's question with "cittassa ekaggatā ayaṁ samādhi", I understand it to mean "stillness of mind—this is samādhi (composure
.


Perhaps 'peak,?

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13526&p=204237&hilit=peak#p204237


That's interesting, but you'd then have to translate it as "one-peak-ness of mind".



Thanks Bhante. I need to locate it, but I've seen one old translation as such.

I like your point about agga probably being a contracted form of agāra. How would you nominalise ekaggaṁ into ekaggatā literally, instead of using the more idiomatic "stillness"?
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sylvester » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:51 am

Kumara wrote:
Sylvester wrote:You do have the plain old AN 9.37 for that. Even the jhanas are called attainments, as in attainments with perceptions.


Oops. Sorry about that. Try look up āneñjasamādhi.


Hi Bhante

I was in fact thinking of the āneñjasamādhi (plus more) when I cited AN 9.37.

That sutta first starts off with the āneñjasamādhi, which are declared to be -

Saññīmeva kho, āvuso, tadāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedeti, no asaññī’’ti.

It is, friend, while one is actually percipient that one does not experience that base, not while one is non-percipient.


The tadāyatana is a reference to the base of the 5 kāmā of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and tactility.

The sutta then portrays Ven Ananda recounting an earlier narrative, when he met the nun Jaṭilagāhiyā asking about something other than the āneñjasamādhi. She enquires about the samādhi that is -

na cābhinato na cāpanato na ca sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato


We've had a discussion here - viewtopic.php?f=23&t=13998#p223448 regarding this samādhi.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:29 am

Kumara wrote:That's interesting, but you'd then have to translate it as "one-peak-ness of mind".

Sylvester wrote:Thanks Bhante. I need to locate it, but I've seen one old translation as such.


Someone actually had it as "one-peak-ness of mind"? That's interesting. :-)
Remember that we also have to reconcile it as samādhi.

Sylvester wrote:I like your point about agga probably being a contracted form of agāra. How would you nominalise ekaggaṁ into ekaggatā literally, instead of using the more idiomatic "stillness"?


I don't get you. Isn't that already in my earlier post: "Thus, ekaggaṁ is one-placed (rather than one-pointed), as in not "all over the place", not scattered, but gathered, collected, composed. In idiomatic English, it's still."
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:34 am

Thanks Bhante.

It's OK, I was just curious if instead of the idiomatic "stillness", you would have tolerated "one-placedness". For myself, I was thinking of "singular stationedness", resorting to the station as a synonym for establishment.
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