Aging, illness death -- byādhi­ / vyādhi­?

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Aging, illness death -- byādhi­ / vyādhi­?

Post by Wideshanks » Thu May 29, 2014 12:33 am

I'm curious about the illness part of the five recollections: "I am subject to (aging|illness|death), I have not gone beyond..." etc.

I was thinking that just like not everyone gets the opportunity to age, not everyone dies from illness, some die from injury. I wondered if the Pali word for illness actually has a more expansive meaning, or is used as a metaphor for more than just disease from bacteria/viruses/fungi/etc.

From AN5.57, the word for illness seems to be either of these:
Byādhi­dham­momhi, byādhiṃ anatīto’ti abhiṇhaṃ pacca­vek­khi­tab­baṃ itthiyā vā purisena vā gahaṭṭhena vā pabbajitena vā.
Which PTS dictionary says is sickness: ... :3394.pali
Vyādhidhammomhi vyādhiṃ anatīto...
I suspect this version of the word might just be the Sanskrit version, but there are references to the vyadh root, meaning pierced, wounded: ... splay=utf8
And Vyādha, meaning hunter: ... :2450.pali

Is there any connection between the sickness and pierced/wounded, such that the phrase aging/illness/death would have naturally implied "injury" to speakers of Pali? Or just a superficial similarity between the words?

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Re: Aging, illness death -- byādhi­ / vyādhi­?

Post by santa100 » Thu May 29, 2014 2:36 am

The first 4 themes in AN 5.57 are actually the condensed version of the 8 types of suffering in SN 56.11 which pretty much cover all subsequently derived kinds of suffering like injury, war, plague, etc.:
Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

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Re: Aging, illness death -- byādhi­ / vyādhi­?

Post by bharadwaja » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:50 pm

Vyādhi­ means affliction and is a commonly used word in most Indian languages to mean disease.

Etymologically it may have originated as 'injury' but in common language that association with hunting or injury is no longer observed...... just as the word disease itself must have originally meant simply discomfort rather than a particular medical condition.

The b and v are allophones (i.e. interchangeable). There is no such thing as a Sanskrit version vs a Pali version as that is entirely an artificial difference. Sanskrit and Pali share a common lexical base, and Sanskrit dictionaries can be used to make sense of Pali (as was originally the case all over Asia), and vice versa.

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