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vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:58 am
by seanpdx
While looking up a reference, I came across a difference of opinion on this particular term, used in this particular way.

Suttanipāta, Pārāyanavaggo, Udayamāṇavapucchā:
Sn1108a/b: Kiṃsu saṃyojano loko, kiṃsu tassa vicāraṇaṃ
Sn1109a/b: Nandisaṃyojano loko, vitakkassa vicāraṇaṃ

My interest is specifically with 1108b/1109b and the translation of "vicāraṇaṃ". 1108a/b and 1109a/b are repeated in SN I 88 (Saṃyojanasuttaṃ). Here are the three translations I have, with notes:

Norman, Group of Discourses, 2006:
Sn1108a/b: What fetter does the world have? What is its investigation?
Sn1109a/b: The world has enjoyment as its fetter. Speculation is its investigation.

Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, 2000:
SN I.88 v209a/b: By what is the world tightly fettered? What is its means of travelling about?
SN I.88 v210a/b: The world is tightly fettered by delight; Thought is its means of travelling about.

Wynne, The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, 2007:
Sn1108a/b: What is the world's fetter, what is its doubt?
Sn1109a/b: The world is fettered by delight, investigation is its doubt.

Thanissaro, Access to Insight, 1994:
Sn1108a/b: With what is the world fettered? With what is it examined?
Sn1109a/b: With delight the world's fettered. With directed thought it's examined.

Saddhātissa, The Sutta-Nipāta, 1998:
Sn1108a/b: What binds and ties down the world? What causes the wandering?
Sn1109a/b: 'That which ties you down', said the Buddha, 'is the desire for pleasure. The wandering is applied thought.'


Bodhi's note on this states:
Spk glosses vicāraṇa in pāda b by pādāni, feet, explaining that the singular should be understood as a plural. In doctrinal contexts the cognate vicāra means examination, and is regularly coupled with vitakka to describe the thought process, e.g., in the formula for the first jhāna. Here, however, the point seems to be that thought can travel over vast distances without physical locomotion.

Wynne's note on this states:
Sn 1108-09 are repeated almost verbatim at S I.88 (v. 209-210). Norman translates vicāraṇaṃ in Sn 1108 as 'investigation' (2001: 141) whereas Bodhi translates it at S I.88 (v.209) as 'means of travelling about' (2000:131). I disagree with Norman, for by analogy with Sn 1108a the term must have a pejorative sense. Bodhi follows the commentary that glasses vicāraṇa as pādāni.

While pāda a in each verse is effectively the same, pāda b is translated differently by each person.

What is its investigation? Speculation is its investigation.
What is its means of travelling about? Thought is its means of travelling about.
What is its doubt? Investigation is its doubt.

The PED (online version, too lazy to pull out my hardcopy) doesn't seem to mention anything about "doubt", and neither does Buddhadatta's CPED, though Monier-Williams does list "doubt", "hesitation".

Thoughts? Comments? Non sequiturs?

(Edited to add two more translations)

Re: vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:59 pm
by Jechbi
Removed by member.

Re: vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:36 pm
by DNS
I couldn't find vicāraṇaṃ in the online dictionaries, so did a google search and what was the first hit? This topic in this forum. :tongue:

Vicāra = 'discursive thinking' / examination

Re: vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:53 pm
by Jechbi
Removed by member.

Re: vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:56 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Another translation by Venerable Hammalawa Saddhātissa (Curzon Press).
What binds and ties down the world? What caues the wandering? What is it that you abandon in order to find nibbāna?

That which ties you down, said the Buddha, is the desire for pleasure. The wandering is applied thought. And the way to nibbāna is to abandon the thirst of desire.

Re: vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:23 pm
by seanpdx
Jechbi:
I am, however, primarily interested in its use (and, therefore, context) in the pārāyanavaggo, as opposed to the saṃyutta nikāya, since it has primacy for this particular pericope. How it affects the (possibly connotative?) use in the description of the first jhāna, though, wasn't entirely lost on me. But one step at a time. ;)

David:
Wow! That was fast! Already in google! Woo!

Bhikkhu Pesala:
Augh! I can't believe I forgot to check Saddhātissa's translation. Thank you much! It's a shame that he has no notes. =/ I also forgot to look for a translation by Thanissaro. I'll add to the original post.

Re: vicāraṇaṃ

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:26 pm
by seanpdx
Really? Nothing? We have a pali forum... I'm guessing that means we have some pali folks around...