"Rain soddens what's covered..."

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Mkoll
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:59 am

daverupa wrote:I was sold on the image of moisture leading to rot.
That was my take on it as well as that must surely have been common human knowledge for a long time and still is.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Dhammanando
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:08 am

daverupa wrote:So... open the doors and windows, increasing the wet while decreasing the noise a bit, or close up the windows and have more noise with less wet...
No. I had already stated in an earlier post what I understand the trope to mean: that there is less noise when rain falls onto open ground than when it falls onto a roof.

The post to which you replied was only concerned with remarking on the vividness that such a trope would have to an audience for whom rain was primarily apprehended as a sound rather than as a visual object.

Those posters whose minds are obsessed with "soddenness" would do well to offer some evidence that ativassati ever carries such a meaning.
On retreat and offline May 22 - July 10.

„Sedem solitariam, cubitum solitarium
solitarius colens non segnis,
solitarius semet ipse domans
in sylva extrema delectatus sit.“

(Dhammapada 305. tr. Viggo Fausbøll. 1855)

pulga
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by pulga » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:02 am

culaavuso wrote:
The word translated by Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu as "soddens" appears to be ativassati, derived from ati + vassati.
Might it have something to do with the need to protect something -- the secrecy of a hidden misdeed -- the need to "cover" it? It can only rain "too much" (ati) on something we need to cover. If there is no need to cover something we can leave it in the open, regardless of how much rain happens to fall.

SarathW
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:34 am

I cover my garden beds with palm leaves.
When it rains, water will soak in and keep the garden bed wet.
If I do not have the palm leave the garden bed will dry up for the sun and the wind.
:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by culaavuso » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:51 am

Dhammanando wrote: Opilāpeti, parisandati, pariplavati, sedeti, seceti, pāyeti, omadati, sammaddati, or vokirati.

Not all of the above actually occur as finite verbs, but I've constructed them on the basis of their past participles which are to be found. E.g. I've never seen vokirati, but one will meet with its past participle vokiṇṇa, "soaked".
It may be of interest that there is also ovassati to consider together with the other o- words listed above. The contrast between ovassati and ativassati seems to further support the notion of a different meaning. It's not clear where the "hard" in the translation "rains hard" finds support, though. It does not appear to be part of the PTS Dictionary definition of ativassati nor one of the meanings attributed to the prefix ati-. The contexts where it is used in the texts do not seem to demand this interpretation either.

For another take on the original question, ati- as a prefix appears to possibly mean "over" or "beyond", as in atisāra, atimaññati or atikkamati. Perhaps then ativassati could be taken to mean to "rain over" or "rain past" something that is covered, in the sense that the covering does not allow the rain to wash away the dirt or impurities on the covered thing. Something that is uncovered would be rained directly upon rather than rained past, which could then be cleansed by the rain. This seems to fit in the few places where the word is found, though it would suggest a sense of continuation of defilement rather than a repetition of unskillful conduct. This sense seems to be supported by Ne 37:
[url=http://suttacentral.net/ne37]Ne 37[/url] ([url=http://lirs.ru/lib/The_Guide,Nettippakarana,Nanamoli,1977.pdf]Ven. Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli translation[/url]) wrote: Channa­mativas­satī”ti saṃkileso, “vivaṭaṃ nātivassatī”ti vāsanā, “tasmā channaṃ vivaretha, evaṃ taṃ nātivassatī”ti ayaṃ saṃkileso ca vāsanā ca. Idaṃ saṃ­kilesa­bhāgi­yañca vāsanā­bhāgi­yañca suttaṃ.

'Rain soddens what is covered up' is corruption. 'But what is open it soddens not' is morality. 'So open out the covered up That rain may never sodden you' is corruption and morality. This is the type of Thread dealing with corruption and dealing with morality.
This interpretation would also seem to fit well with the indications in the suttas that purification by water was a familiar practice:
AN 10.176: Cunda Sutta wrote: "Cunda, of whose rites of purification do you approve?"

"The brahmans of the Western lands, lord — those who carry water pots, wear garlands of water plants, worship fire, & purify with water: they have declared purification rites of which I approve."
DN 31: Sīgālovāda Sutta wrote: "Wherefore do you, young householder, rising early in the morning, departing from Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, worship, with joined hands these various quarters — the East, the South, the West, the North, the Nadir, and the Zenith?"

"My father, Lord, while dying, said to me: The six quarters, dear son, you shall worship. And I, Lord, respecting, revering, reverencing and honoring my father's word, rise early in the morning, and leaving Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, worship with joined hands, these six quarters."

chownah
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:40 am

Is it possible that someone could email thanissaro and ask him how he came about "sodden"?
chownah

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tiltbillings
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:53 am

chownah wrote:Is it possible that someone could email thanissaro and ask him how he came about "sodden"?
chownah
Since you had this very good idea, you are nominated.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by culaavuso » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:06 am

mikenz66 wrote:I notice that Ajahn Thanissaro's translation is essentially the same as John Ireland's.
Possibly both Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu and John D. Ireland were influenced by Ven. Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu's translation of the word as "sodden". Ven. Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu's translation of Nettippakaraṇa first translated in 1962 used the word "sodden" while the works of John D. Ireland and Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu were both significantly later. The 1977 publication of the translation of Nettippakaraṇa does not provide appear to state why the word "sodden" was chosen.
[url=http://lirs.ru/lib/The_Guide,Nettippakarana,Nanamoli,1977.pdf]Nettippakaraṇa[/url] translated by Ven. Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu wrote: Rain soddens what is covered up,
But what is open it soddens not.
So open out the covered up,
That rain may never sodden you

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mikenz66
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:11 am

Excellent point ... :reading:

:anjali:
Mike

chownah
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:15 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:Is it possible that someone could email thanissaro and ask him how he came about "sodden"?
chownah
Since you had this very good idea, you are nominated.
I am already the head of the committee and I am asking for volunteers.

I am surprised, though, that you would want me as a representative of dhammawheel to contact the mighty than. I never thought of myself as being the diplomatic type but if everyone else here is afraid to email him I will.

Dear Ven. T.,
I have been nominated by a member of the moderating staff of dhammawheel.com to ask you how you arrived at the term sodden as used in (insert sutta reference here). There seems to be a general lack of understanding of the meaning of the buddha's final words in the sutta and also some difference of opinion as to whether "harden" would be more appropriate than "sodden" there.

My own view is that the buddha's final words in that sutta are so obscure that it is difficult for me to accept them as the buddha's words and it makes more sense to me that this entire sutta was fabricated by some monks long after the buddha stopped walking the planet. You may wonder why it is that someone who is somewhat dismissive of this sutta (me) would write this email to you asking this question. I think it is mostly because all the other posters are so awstruck with you eminence that they can not imagine approaching you....not even via the internet.....so I guess it is up to insensitive people like me to blunder forward and blurt out this query.

Thanks for whatever consideration you make concerning this request,
chownah

Really there must be someone within earhsot of this post who is in some way closer to thanissaro than I am and could just casually ask him about this.....but if such a person does not exist then I am not afraid to embarrass myself in public (the internet should never ever be considered private).....I mean, what self would I have that could be embarrased anyway?
chownah

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Dhammanando
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:33 pm

chownah wrote:There seems to be a general lack of understanding of the meaning of the buddha's final words in the sutta and also some difference of opinion as to whether "harden" would be more appropriate than "sodden" there.
Nobody has suggested "harden". Those who favour Miss Horner's translation understand ativassati to mean "it rains hard", using the adverb 'hard' in the primary sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary:
  • With effort, energy, or violence; strenuously, earnestly, vigorously; violently, fiercely. In early use, sometimes = intensely, exceedingly, extremely.

    Sir Beues 4580 (MS. A.) The wind blew hardde with gret rage.
    1628 Digby Voy. Medit. 51 It blew hard all night.
    1697 W. Dampier Voy. I. 13 It rained very hard.
    1798 Nelson 28 Dec. in Nicolas Disp. III. 212 The next day it blew harder than I ever experienced since I have been at sea.
    1864 Mrs. Carlyle Lett. III. 237 If it snows as hard there as here.
The last three senses, "intensely, exceedingly, extremely", are particularly fitting here, and contrary to what one poster has suggested, they do fall within the semantic range of the prefix ati-.
On retreat and offline May 22 - July 10.

„Sedem solitariam, cubitum solitarium
solitarius colens non segnis,
solitarius semet ipse domans
in sylva extrema delectatus sit.“

(Dhammapada 305. tr. Viggo Fausbøll. 1855)

chownah
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Maybe I'm not the best person for the task.
chownah

pulga
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by pulga » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:16 pm

Miss Horner's translation is fine, though I don't think it alludes to the sound the rain makes, but rather to its threatening nature.

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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:19 pm

culaavuso wrote:It's not clear where the "hard" in the translation "rains hard" finds support, though. It does not appear to be part of the PTS Dictionary definition of ativassati nor one of the meanings attributed to the prefix ati-.
It finds support in the fourth of the four definitions of ati- given by the grammarian Buddhapiya in his commentary to Kaccāyana's Grammar:
  • 1. Atikkamane: atirocati amhehi, atīto.
    2. Atikkante: accantaṃ.
    3. Atisaye: atikusalo.
    4. Bhusatthe: atikkodho ativuddhi.

    1. In the sense of ‘exceeding’: “He [the yakkha Indaka] outshines us!”; “the past”.
    2. In the sense of ‘exceeded’: “Absolutely”.
    3. In the sense of ‘excellence/abundance’: “Extraordinarily skilful”.
    4. In the sense of ‘strong’: “vehemently angry”; “great growth”.
    (Padarūpasiddhi 281, Opasaggikapada. my trans.)
In the Pali-English Dictionary, the adjective ‘bhusa’ and adverb ‘bhusaṃ’ are defined:
  • bhusa (adj.) [cp. Vedic bhṛśa] strong, mighty, great Dh 339 (taṇhā=balavā DhA iv.48); J v.361 (daṇḍa= daḷha, balavā C.).

    nt. bhusaṃ (adv.) much, exceedingly, greatly, vehemently. In cpds. bhusaṃ° & bhusa°. —S i.69; J iii.441; iv.11; v.203 (bhusa-dassaneyya); vi.192; Vv 69; Pv 338; iv.77; Miln 346; SnA 107 ('verbum intensivum'); Sdhp 289.
On retreat and offline May 22 - July 10.

„Sedem solitariam, cubitum solitarium
solitarius colens non segnis,
solitarius semet ipse domans
in sylva extrema delectatus sit.“

(Dhammapada 305. tr. Viggo Fausbøll. 1855)

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daverupa
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by daverupa » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:39 pm

chownah wrote:My own view is that the buddha's final words in that sutta are so obscure that it is difficult for me to accept them as the buddha's words and it makes more sense to me that this entire sutta was fabricated by some monks long after the buddha stopped walking the planet.
Another tack here might be to consider such poetry as being from a common stock of such things among the local renunciate wanderers, it then being the task of the Buddha or later monastics to craft the Buddhist reading of such a piece of commonly-held linguistic art. The Buddha taught this way everywhere, using terms and images and similes that the audience already had, giving such things a twist in order to point out the Dhamma.

Later Buddhists all did/do this with greater & lesser degrees of success, and so this could be an example of a mere missing social context or an earlier poem made relevant to contemporary interests, or a later production as you say, or perhaps something else. I think in any case the basic shape of the connotation is visible, even if the denotation remains somewhat foreign.
  • "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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MDayan
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by MDayan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:39 pm

pulga wrote:Miss Horner's translation is fine, though I don't think it alludes to the sound the rain makes, but rather to its threatening nature.
I think you might be on to something here.

Raining blood and frogs ... now that would be my idea of 'hard'! Would the prefix ati- include that, I wonder?
“To aim and hit, you need one eye only, and one good finger.”
— Moshe Dayan

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daverupa
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by daverupa » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:42 pm

MDayan wrote:
pulga wrote:Miss Horner's translation is fine, though I don't think it alludes to the sound the rain makes, but rather to its threatening nature.
I think you might be on to something here.
Given the threat of the rainy season, I'm getting the idea that rain only threatens a structure that's designed to provide cover; so, the impact of a Sangha meeting can only threaten an attitude that's designed to cover up (or maybe the threat is that Sangha censure results in being divorced from access to the Dhamma...). Without such an attitude, nothing is threatened and the rain loses its vehemence, its force, its hardness, its threat....

:thinking:
  • "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]

santa100
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by santa100 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:22 pm

Why not using both meanings to our advantage for each reflects a particular area of development:

1. Rain "soddens" what's covered...(the sense that covered structures lack proper drainage which cause the accumulation of dirt and water when it rains)
This stresses the "opening up" of an untrained mind toward development of moral virtues, starting with not concealing the mistakes one's made (which "clogs" one's system and provides opportunity for accumulation of impurities or "sodden" rain).

2. It "rains hard"...(the sense that hard sound of rain bouncing off a covered roof versus falling on soft open ground)
This stresses the "opening up" of an untrained mind toward development of equanimity, in the sense of the soft open earth's equanimity of MN 62:
Rahula, develop the meditation in tune with earth. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when people throw what is clean or unclean on the earth — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — the earth is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.
Imho, the first meaning is more relevant to the story of the bad monk at the beginning of the sutta (Ud 5.5). But both interpretations are equally useful for our development as mentioned.

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daverupa
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by daverupa » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:06 pm

From there:
"[3] And furthermore, just as the ocean does not tolerate a dead body — any dead body in the ocean getting quickly washed to the shore and thrown up on dry land — in the same way, if an individual is unprincipled, evil, unclean & suspect in his undertakings, hidden in his actions — not a contemplative though claiming to be one, not leading the holy life though claiming to do so, inwardly rotten, oozing with desire, filthy by nature — the community has no affiliation with him.
The underlined portion seems like a description of a confined, rained-on sort of place, while the ocean, when rained on, isn't affected at all, and is exposed & open, and expels impurities...
  • "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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tiltbillings
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Re: "Rain soddens what's covered..."

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:31 pm

chownah wrote:Maybe I'm not the best person for the task.
chownah
Now, you do, indeed, have a valid point there.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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