Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by binocular » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:30 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:26 pm
Therefore , I couldn't figure out the true meaning of sanna , that is If I only refer to English or Chinese only . I may get the wrong message .
And learning Pali doesn't really do away with this problem either. Hence one doesn't seem to have much choice but to study with a teacher, someone who actually has some expertise in the matter.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

James Tan
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:33 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:30 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:26 pm
Therefore , I couldn't figure out the true meaning of sanna , that is If I only refer to English or Chinese only . I may get the wrong message .
And learning Pali doesn't really do away with this problem either. Hence one doesn't seem to have much choice but to study with a teacher, someone who actually has some expertise in the matter.
What if the teacher misguided you ?
:reading:

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:49 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:36 am
Guys , Let me show you an example .
Take sanna , English translation is perception .
Chinese translation is 想 .
Now , I don't know what sanna in Pali , but ,
I do know Chinese character with better grasping . Here's the difference between English and Chinese , how do you interpret perception ?
想 mean think / thinking .
How do you resolve this differences ?
The problem is you are doing double translation Pali - English - Chinese.

At least you must have an excellent grasp of English if you do not want to learn Pali. I believe same problem is faced by say a Russian Buddhist or even a French or German Buddhist.

There is only one solution .. learn English.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

James Tan
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:54 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:49 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:36 am
Guys , Let me show you an example .
Take sanna , English translation is perception .
Chinese translation is 想 .
Now , I don't know what sanna in Pali , but ,
I do know Chinese character with better grasping . Here's the difference between English and Chinese , how do you interpret perception ?
想 mean think / thinking .
How do you resolve this differences ?
The problem is you are doing double translation Pali - English - Chinese.

At least you must have an excellent grasp of English if you do not want to learn Pali. I believe same problem is faced by say a Russian Buddhist or even a French or German Buddhist.

There is only one solution .. learn English.

:namaste:
Would you mind explain Perception according to English not Pali ?
:reading:

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:59 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:54 pm
Would you mind explain Perception according to English not Pali ?
A belief .. e.g. there is a perception in rest of the world that Trump will be impeached.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

James Tan
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:07 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:59 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:54 pm
Would you mind explain Perception according to English not Pali ?
A belief .. e.g. there is a perception in rest of the world that Trump will be impeached.

:namaste:
There's a problem here , if perception were to translate as belief and Chinese as 想 = think,I don't think any Chinese speaker will understand dhamma by reading Chinese translation only .
:reading:

2600htz
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by 2600htz » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:08 pm

Hello:

Of course you can, pali its just good for debating :jumping:

Regards.

chownah
Posts: 7496
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by chownah » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:10 pm

The buddha (if I remember correctly) said that it was ok for monks to teach the dhamma in the language of the people they were with in their travels. I guess this means that the true dhamma can be learned without pali.
chownah

James Tan
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:23 pm

2600htz wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:08 pm
Hello:

Of course you can, pali its just good for debating :jumping:

Regards.
:shrug:
:reading:

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:31 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:07 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:59 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:54 pm
Would you mind explain Perception according to English not Pali ?
A belief .. e.g. there is a perception in rest of the world that Trump will be impeached.

:namaste:
There's a problem here , if perception were to translate as belief and Chinese as 想 = think,I don't think any Chinese speaker will understand dhamma by reading Chinese translation only .
Chinese characters are logograms and cannot be correctly translated always

Here are some "epic fails"

Image

Image

Image

It is considerably more difficult to translate English into Chinese than say German to English.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by binocular » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:37 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:33 pm
What if the teacher misguided you ?
Do you mean that you have realized that your teacher misguided you?
In that case, you're not at a loss, because you understand that you were misguided by your teacher and can now learn from that.

If you're asking generally: It's important to be careful when one chooses a teacher.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

James Tan
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:56 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:31 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:07 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:59 pm


A belief .. e.g. there is a perception in rest of the world that Trump will be impeached.

:namaste:
There's a problem here , if perception were to translate as belief and Chinese as 想 = think,I don't think any Chinese speaker will understand dhamma by reading Chinese translation only .
Chinese characters are logograms and cannot be correctly translated always

Here are some "epic fails"

Image

Image

Image

It is considerably more difficult to translate English into Chinese than say German to English.

:namaste:
That's hilarious !
However , would you really consider that ? and do you compare it to those translations by a whole group of expertise which majority are of elite monastic at the those time ? It seems the translation today in English need further improvements . Especially , most of English translations were done by individual . There's lacking of consensus .
:reading:

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:30 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:56 pm
However , would you really consider that ? and do you compare it to those translations by a whole group of expertise which majority are of elite monastic at the those time ? It seems the translation today in English need further improvements . Especially , most of English translations were done by individual . There's lacking of consensus .
I have an advantage that most on this forum do not. The modern Bengali vocabulary contains the vocabulary base from Magadhi Prakrit and Pali. Also Pali is close to Sanskrit and I have reasonably good idea of Sanskrit (not because I can read it but many people I know can and it is the base of most Indian languages)

It is an unfair advantage.

But I only read English translations (by different authors if possible) and never original Pali. Why strain the brain. It is already under lot of strain.

Shall I learn Russian to read Tolstoy, German to read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Aramaic to read the Bible, Spanish to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

That is an useless proposition.

But .. if you are such a believer in Dhamma that you are hundred percent sure like dylanj that you will do nothing else but learn Dhamma through your life then of course learn Pali ..


:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

James Tan
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:46 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:30 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:56 pm
However , would you really consider that ? and do you compare it to those translations by a whole group of expertise which majority are of elite monastic at the those time ? It seems the translation today in English need further improvements . Especially , most of English translations were done by individual . There's lacking of consensus .
I have an advantage that most on this forum do not. The modern Bengali vocabulary contains the vocabulary base from Magadhi Prakrit and Pali. Also Pali is close to Sanskrit and I have reasonably good idea of Sanskrit (not because I can read it but many people I know can and it is the base of most Indian languages)

It is an unfair advantage.

But I only read English translations (by different authors if possible) and never original Pali. Why strain the brain. It is already under lot of strain.

Shall I learn Russian to read Tolstoy, German to read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Aramaic to read the Bible, Spanish to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

That is an useless proposition.

But .. if you are such a believer in Dhamma that you are hundred percent sure like dylanj that you will do nothing else but learn Dhamma through your life then of course learn Pali ..

:namaste:
Thanks , but like you said , I am also under strain .
Mandarin itself is tough enough , what more to say English and another one or two language to learn .

:rolleye:
:reading:

auto
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: Is it possible to learn true dhamma without Pali ?

Post by auto » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:51 pm

perception is a loan from indoeuropean language. hehe guess by searching information from internet.
Last edited by auto on Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bundokji, JamesTheGiant, jespada, Keith, SarathW and 26 guests