Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:42 am

Let's not get into a huff
No huff here. Just reading it as it is written.
I am trying to make the point that "historical records" are not enough for the serious practitioner. There has to be consistency, integrity, and also it has to be borne out by testing it. . . .
And your point is?
>> 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

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Yeshe
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by Yeshe » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:45 am

Views vary so widely - from those who, like fundamentalist Christians or Moslems, believe every word to be derived from Buddha (or even his actual words) to those who point to the absence of hard evidence in the form of contemporary textual records, and the near certainty of errors of memory, transcription and translation.

If we test the Pali (or even Sanskrit) scriptures for ourselves as 'Dhamma' and find that there is truth and effectiveness in them, then as I believe Buddha intended, the Dhamma is all we need, whatever its source.

In the end the issue misses the point spectacularly. It's the old 'who fired the arrow' story - never mind, just take it out.

By the way - you get 16,742 angels on a pinhead. :)

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Cittasanto
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:28 pm

Upasaka wrote:Views vary so widely - from those who, like fundamentalist Christians or Moslems, believe every word to be derived from Buddha (or even his actual words) to those who point to the absence of hard evidence in the form of contemporary textual records, and the near certainty of errors of memory, transcription and translation.

If we test the Pali (or even Sanskrit) scriptures for ourselves as 'Dhamma' and find that there is truth and effectiveness in them, then as I believe Buddha intended, the Dhamma is all we need, whatever its source.

In the end the issue misses the point spectacularly. It's the old 'who fired the arrow' story - never mind, just take it out.

By the way - you get 16,742 angels on a pinhead. :)
:anjali:
but I thought there were 16,741 angles :stirthepot: LOL
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gavesako
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by gavesako » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:44 pm

Check out this article about the historicity of the Pali texts:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... historical" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

Yeshe
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by Yeshe » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:37 pm

gavesako wrote:Check out this article about the historicity of the Pali texts:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... historical" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It must be incredibly difficult to render anything in verse form into something carrying both the meaning and wording of the original (especially if there are several 'original' versions).

I would prefer to read a translation of the Dhammapada which conveys the meaning precisely and the wording less so, than the other way around.

We should, in any case, be incredibly grateful for those who performed the task of providing us with scriptures in modern languages. :)

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Avery
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by Avery » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:28 am

Upasaka wrote:It must be incredibly difficult to render anything in verse form into something carrying both the meaning and wording of the original (especially if there are several 'original' versions).

I would prefer to read a translation of the Dhammapada which conveys the meaning precisely and the wording less so, than the other way around.

We should, in any case, be incredibly grateful for those who performed the task of providing us with scriptures in modern languages. :)
I think this is one of the things that makes the Pali canon so fantastic-- all the "repetition" you see within the story, where the same thing is said with many words or constituent parts, practically guarantees that the meaning will be successfully conveyed in translation. Other sacred texts, even if they claim to be the direct word of God, tend to be far more ambiguous.

green
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by green » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:03 pm

I actually like the repetition of the actual Tipitika. It really helps reinforce an idea or concept and helps memorize the passage.

Reading translations and Pali tipitika without these repetitions becomes a hassle for someone practicing and appreciating the repetitions.

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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Post by Yeshe » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:33 pm

Avery wrote:
Upasaka wrote:It must be incredibly difficult to render anything in verse form into something carrying both the meaning and wording of the original (especially if there are several 'original' versions).

I would prefer to read a translation of the Dhammapada which conveys the meaning precisely and the wording less so, than the other way around.

We should, in any case, be incredibly grateful for those who performed the task of providing us with scriptures in modern languages. :)
I think this is one of the things that makes the Pali canon so fantastic-- all the "repetition" you see within the story, where the same thing is said with many words or constituent parts, practically guarantees that the meaning will be successfully conveyed in translation. Other sacred texts, even if they claim to be the direct word of God, tend to be far more ambiguous.
Repetition in Buddhism is probably a good candidate for a Doctorate thesis. ;)
3,7,21,27,54,108 - plus variants within both Theravada and Mahayana which extend to malas etc.
A pragmatic view would be that it aids memory, but these numbers also have a sacred history in India.

As with all things, we may ascribe whatever we wish to the numerical, the astrological, the tantric and the mundane. In the case of the Tripitaka, the repetition which aids memory may also harken back to teaching techniques from much earlier times and is certainly more typical of oratory than scripture. ;)

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