Arahant or Rahat?

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Srilankaputra
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by Srilankaputra » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:55 pm

Thank you, Bhante!
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

chownah
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:06 am
Srilankaputra wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:21 am
Bhante,

How close do you think the current pronunciation of pali to the original?
Assuming that the phonetic descriptions given in the ancient Pali grammars are correct,.......
......
Thanks for the very interesting information.
I was thinking about this assumption with which you started your post. It seems to me from what I have read that it is pretty common if not universal that the pronunciation of a language is different in different places and at different times.....if this is so then it seems that it is likely that the pronunciation given in the Pali grammars that you refer to would present the pronunciation(s) existing at the time of their being authored unless the authors had access to even earlier works describing the pronunciations. How ancient are the pali grammars you refer to?....were they written at the time of the "original" pali (I assume the OP is asking about what was spoken during the buddha's lifetime)?.....and is there any way to know what regional differences there might have been during the buddha's lifetime?
chownah
edit: I just remembered about an internet site I saw many years ago which gave a cross section of a mouth which was animated so that if you picked a sound from a pronunciation symbol it would show the mechanics of how the mouth moves to make that sound. It seems to me that this is a very good way of conveying exactly (or nearly exactly) what sound would be made for different words in different languages. Knowing full well that they did not have the internet I'm wondering if the pali grammars you refer to gave some sort of descriptions of how the mouth parts are coordinated to make the sounds? If they did then that would probably be a way to know how the words were actually pronounced but it seem that in the absence of that it all gets really murky pretty quickly (at least from my perspective). Also, there is still the assumption as to how widely (spatially and temporally) those pronunciations were used.
chownah

justindesilva
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by justindesilva » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:24 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:42 pm
I'd be interested to hear where the term comes from. Arahati means "he deserves, he is worthy, he ought", which is where I believe the title Arahant comes from. I knew a Thai monk called Ajahn Rahat a couple of years ago. I didn't make the connection with the word then, but he was a very impressive individual!
We have sanskrit and pali merging in to sinhala language.
Arhat in sanskrit is same as arahant in pali language.
Pali and magada ( language of buddhism ) are closely related while old hindu texts are written in sanskrit.
Arhat and arahant both mean worthy one or perfected one.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:14 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 am
How ancient are the pali grammars you refer to?
The oldest Pali grammar is the Kaccāyana, legendarily attributed to the Buddha's disciple Mahākaccāna, but most likely composed in Ceylon's early mediaeval period. (The attribution to Mahākaccāna is unlikely, for whenever Buddhaghosa and his colleagues are citing grammatical rules they invariably refer to Sanskrit grammars, which would have been a strange thing to do if a Pali grammar had already been in existence).

Descriptions of Pali pronunciation are also given in Buddhaghosa's commentaries to the Parivāra, Sāmaññaphalasutta and Cūḷahatthipadopamasutta. It doesn't much matter whether it's the grammars' or the commentaries' descriptions that came first, for they're both the same.
chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 am
.....and is there any way to know what regional differences there might have been during the buddha's lifetime?
Philologists have ways of doing this, but it would be too time-consuming to go into them here. It's a subject that can't really be properly explained with anything less than a book-length exposition (e.g., like that which Binocular mentioned earlier in the thread).
chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 am
edit: I just remembered about an internet site I saw many years ago which gave a cross section of a mouth which was animated so that if you picked a sound from a pronunciation symbol it would show the mechanics of how the mouth moves to make that sound. It seems to me that this is a very good way of conveying exactly (or nearly exactly) what sound would be made for different words in different languages. Knowing full well that they did not have the internet I'm wondering if the pali grammars you refer to gave some sort of descriptions of how the mouth parts are coordinated to make the sounds?
Yes. Just like modern phoneticians, the commentators and grammarians describe the place and the instrument of articulation of each consonant and vowel, whether the consonant is voiced or unvoiced, aspirated or unaspirated; whether the vowel is long or short, monophthongal or diphthongal; whether the syllable is light or heavy, etc.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

chownah
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by chownah » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:39 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:14 pm
chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 am
How ancient are the pali grammars you refer to?
The oldest Pali grammar is the Kaccāyana, legendarily attributed to the Buddha's disciple Mahākaccāna, but most likely composed in Ceylon's early mediaeval period. (The attribution to Mahākaccāna is unlikely, for whenever Buddhaghosa and his colleagues are citing grammatical rules they invariably refer to Sanskrit grammars, which would have been a strange thing to do if a Pali grammar had already been in existence).

Descriptions of Pali pronunciation are also given in Buddhaghosa's commentaries to the Parivāra, Sāmaññaphalasutta and Cūḷahatthipadopamasutta. It doesn't much matter whether it's the grammars' or the commentaries' descriptions that came first, for they're both the same.
chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 am
.....and is there any way to know what regional differences there might have been during the buddha's lifetime?
Philologists have ways of doing this, but it would be too time-consuming to go into them here. It's a subject that can't really be properly explained with anything less than a book-length exposition (e.g., like that which Binocular mentioned earlier in the thread).
My look at wikipedia does not nail down the early medeival period of ceylon and the scant evidence seems to show that it would have occured starting at about 1000 years after the buddha's lifetime....so I guess people should be wary as to whether this source actually describes the way people pronounced pali in the buddha's lifetime.

I guess that the grammar you reference was composed in ceylon so I guess that people should be wary as to whether the pronounciations used there (which were presumably the model for composing the grammar) can be taken as the same as how people pronounced pali where the buddha lived.

Since the discernment of regional variations is such a difficult and subtle thing that not even a cursory explanation is possible it seems unlikely to me (admittedly I am mostly uninformed) that the grammars you reference contained that kind of information.....you have not said.

Also, it seems that to do a rigorous breakdown of regional variations in pronunciation would require some sort of limited census of pronunciation styles since the use of only a few speakers increases the likelihood that the sample does not represent the population....it seems unlikely to me that since communications were so undeveloped at the time of the composition of the grammars that a comprehensive regional anaysis was probaby not done.

Also, I wonder why the grammars were written in the first place. I assume they were written for the purpose of education those wanting to be educated (althought it might have been done just as an academic exercise in documenting the history of the language...which seems unlikely to me)......seems that with respect to pronunciation it was meant to teach the proper way of speaking......this seems to imply that perhaps not everyone spoke pali in a way that was considered proper....this seems to imply that there were people who spoke in ways considered improper. So it seems that perhaps the writing of the grammar points to a diversity of pronunciation in the wild and an attempt to tame it. Various social entitites have been trying to standardize language for hundreds of years and they have usually not succeded except in the realm of the intellectual etc.

I want to say that I don't think I have defined anything in this post except for my lack of knowledge on this topic and I appreciate your taking the time to reply. I have posted views that while they might seem to be opposed to something are not meant to be that....I'm just probing the issues in the hopes of finding a better understanding of the way things are.

For me the most interesting thing here is that the early grammarians gave descriptions of the movements of the elements of the mouth and oral cavity to define the sounds produced. If they did this well I think it probably does fairly accurately define how things were pronounced.....but there is still the issue of variability over time and space.
chownah

binocular
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by binocular » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:27 pm

chownah wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:39 am
For me the most interesting thing here is that the early grammarians gave descriptions of the movements of the elements of the mouth and oral cavity to define the sounds produced. If they did this well I think it probably does fairly accurately define how things were pronounced.....

but there is still the issue of variability over time and space.
Can you say a bit more about why you think this is an issue?

(Settling this would probably be a lot more productive than studying historical phonology ...)
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chownah
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by chownah » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:30 am

binocular wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:27 pm
chownah wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:39 am
For me the most interesting thing here is that the early grammarians gave descriptions of the movements of the elements of the mouth and oral cavity to define the sounds produced. If they did this well I think it probably does fairly accurately define how things were pronounced.....

but there is still the issue of variability over time and space.
Can you say a bit more about why you think this is an issue?

(Settling this would probably be a lot more productive than studying historical phonology ...)
The issue I raise is exactly about historical phonology so if I settle it it will just be a continuation of discussion of historical phonology.

The question I am pursuing is how did people pronounce pali in the buddha's time as asked by another poster. There seem to be various issues to think about if one wants to guage the value or accuracy of linguistic efforts to reconstruct the pronunciation from a certain place at a certain time. In my post I was saying that there are methods to describe how words are pronounced....methods that can be described in text. So... then accepting that it is possible for pronunciation to be adequately described one is still left with other issues some of those issues being that languages change a lot over time and languages are pronounced differently in different regions and language is spoken differently in different social strata etc.

Dhammanando was almost assuredly talking about the Saddanitti which was a pali grammar composed around 1150 CE so my preliminary estimate of it being 1000 years after the buddha's time was inaccurate and it was more likely 1500 years after the buddha's time. The question for me is that since languages do change over time how likely is it that a guide to pronunciation made 1500 year after the buddha's time would be representative of how things were said in the buddha's time. The Saddanitti was composed in Bagan which I think is the Bagan in Myanmar and was delivered to Ceylon which I think is now called Sri Lanka.....since languages are spoken differently in different places the question for me is whether the way it was spoken in Bagan the same as the way it was spoken in Ceylon (and elsewhere).

It could be that pali was spoken the same way in bagan in the academic social strata as it was in the academic social strata of ceylon. The fact that the saddanitti has survived is probably an indication that the authorities in ceylon accepted it and by extention we can assume that it did represent how they spoke but this is only an assumption although a logical one (shades of Spok?).
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:26 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:30 am
Dhammanando was almost assuredly talking about the Saddanitti which was a pali grammar composed around 1150 CE
I wrote of Kaccāyana's grammar, not Aggavaṃsa's Saddanīti.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

binocular
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by binocular » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:34 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:30 am
The issue I raise is exactly about historical phonology so if I settle it it will just be a continuation of discussion of historical phonology.

The question I am pursuing is how did people pronounce pali in the buddha's time as asked by another poster.
/.../
For all practical intents and purposes, that doesn't matter, for the ordinary person. If one visits a Buddhist temple where the lays chant in Pali, it would probably be most convenient to pronounce the Pali the way they do there. And in another temple, they might do it in some other way, and if one goes there, one would probably do best to adapt. If one is a monk, one will just have to go along with the principles of seniority, at least on some occasions, and chant the way the leading monk does.
So... then accepting that it is possible for pronunciation to be adequately described one is still left with other issues some of those issues being that languages change a lot over time and languages are pronounced differently in different regions and language is spoken differently in different social strata etc.
Of course.
Dhammanando was almost assuredly talking about the Saddanitti which was a pali grammar composed around 1150 CE so my preliminary estimate of it being 1000 years after the buddha's time was inaccurate and it was more likely 1500 years after the buddha's time. The question for me is that since languages do change over time how likely is it that a guide to pronunciation made 1500 year after the buddha's time would be representative of how things were said in the buddha's time. The Saddanitti was composed in Bagan which I think is the Bagan in Myanmar and was delivered to Ceylon which I think is now called Sri Lanka.....since languages are spoken differently in different places the question for me is whether the way it was spoken in Bagan the same as the way it was spoken in Ceylon (and elsewhere).
If one is serious about such questions, one would probably do best to just take up a serious study of historical phonology. I am saying this as someone who has studied linguistics in college. The courses in historical phonology were the most demanding, the most difficult, required remembering the most information and working with it in many ways.
Some of the questions you ask are addressed in general books about historical phonology, and require quite a bit of general knowledge of linguistics (far more than can be worked out in a forum post). A good general linguistic lexicon can also help.
Otherwise, for starters, I suggest studying these Wiki articles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_change
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_change
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonological_change
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_reconstruction
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_linguistics

Perhaps a key thing to remember is:
Research on sound change is usually conducted on the working assumption that it is regular, which means that it is expected to apply mechanically whenever its structural conditions are met, irrespective of any non-phonological factors (such as the meaning of the words affected).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_change
Basically, it's because of this assumed regularity that the reconstruction of old forms is possible.
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chownah
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by chownah » Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:51 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:26 pm
chownah wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:30 am
Dhammanando was almost assuredly talking about the Saddanitti which was a pali grammar composed around 1150 CE
I wrote of Kaccāyana's grammar, not Aggavaṃsa's Saddanīti.
My mistake...sorry 'bout that.
I guess this means that I have to revise my estimate of the time between the buddha's life and the composition of the grammar back to 1000 years....so then kaccayana's grammar was written about 1000 years after the buddha's time.....seems like for linguistics this is ample time for a language to have major changes.

Also, I have not been able to find anything about kaccayana describing the postions and movements of the mouth features to teach the pronunciation.

Also, I'm wondering why aggavamsa produced his saddanniti grammar if there was already a competent grammar available.....my guess is that it was because the academics of the time felt that there were inadequacies in kaccayana' grammar....but this is just conjecture on my part. Did aggavamsa ever indicate why he undertook that task of writing a new grammar? It just seems like writing a new grammar might be indicative of changes in the language.....and if the 500 years between kaccayana and aggavamsa is indicative of enough changes in the language to require a new grammar then the 1000 years between the buddha's life and kaccayana would seem to be a reason to expect even a bigger change in the language.
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:11 am

chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:51 am
.....my guess is
... of no interest at all.

See E.G. Kahr's Exploring the Saddanīti.

http://www.palitext.com/JPTS_scans/JPTS_1992_XVII.pdf
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

chownah
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by chownah » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:20 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:11 am
chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:51 am
.....my guess is
... of no interest at all.

See E.G. Kahr's Exploring the Saddanīti.

http://www.palitext.com/JPTS_scans/JPTS_1992_XVII.pdf
Thanks for the link. Previously I asked: "Did aggavamsa ever indicate why he undertook that task of writing a new grammar?" E.G. Kahr's exposition does not contain aggavamsa's explanation of why he wrote the grammar (if he ever did give an explanation) but kahr did ask the question: "What purpose was the Saddaniti meant to serve?"....and....in the Conclusion of his exposition in the very last paragraph (being sort of like the conclusion to the Conclusion) he answers that question: "Aggavamsa's purpose is to show that the langugage for the Buddha, for him Pali, is every bit as organised as the prestigious Sanskrit."

So it seems that my guess as to why aggavamsa wrote a new grammar was not only of no interest at all but it was also wrong. My reaction to considering that Kahr's assessment might be correct (so far his assessment is the best guess going) is a sort of disappointment that someone (who might be) so esteemed as an ancient scholar (and perhaps even thought by some to be an arahant or at least an "elder" (thera)) would exert so much effort to chase after such a frivolous innanity. Also, Kahr pretty much gave a negative review of aggavamsa's efforts overall so I'm wondering why it is that when going to the wikipedia category on Ancient Pali Grammarians the only entry was "Aggavamsa".....seems like some linguistic saavy pali scholar would benefit the world by going there and making some additions......ahem.....of course I could go myself and provide some of my guess work.

Anyway......if you have any other links to references which might show me the kinds of descriptions that kaccaya used to show how speech sounds were made (mouth part movements I guess) or if you have any links to references which talk about how much pali might have changed in the 1000 years or so between the buddha's time and kaccaya's writings or any links or references talking about regional variations in pali at any time but especially at the time of the buddha then I would be very glad to see them.

All of this of course being in prusuit of further understanding of why arahant or rahat.
chownah

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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by chownah » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:36 pm

I haven't seen anything which is relevant to the possible changes in pronunciation of pali in the thousand or so years between the buddha's lifetime and the writing of the first good pali grammar.....but it has occured to me that linguists seem to have been able to tell that the abhiddhama (written a couple hundred years after the buddha's time) is written in a style of pali not used in the buddha's time....and it seems that they can use the difference some how to give the approximate date of the writing of the abhiddhama. While this has no bearing on pronunciation it does show that the pali language was changing and that those changes are obvious to linguists.....this shows that the academics of the time did not pin down and stabilize pali....so this leaves an opening to imagine that pronunciations might have changed too (but no proof obviously).....also, that the changes in the language are obvious to linguists over a period of a couple of hundred years it seems that the changes over 1000 years was probably substantial.
Just more uninteresting guess work......
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Re: Arahant or Rahat?

Post by MissGredelin » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:50 am

Does anybody know of a recording of a good pronunciation?
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