pharitvā in brahmaviharas

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Volovsky
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pharitvā in brahmaviharas

Post by Volovsky » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:12 am

Dear friends,

In standard description of brahmaviharas we have the following passage:

mettāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati

This is usually translated as: "dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with lovingkindness". So, pharitvā is translated as "pervading", and this is with a remarkable consistency - bhikkhu Bodhi, Thanissaro, Rhys Davids. Walsh has "suffusing", and Sujato "spreading", which is also somewhat similar to "pervading". But pharitvā (having beaten; having hit; having struck), doesn't seem to have such meaning.

Are there any dictionary, which gives something similar to "pervading" for pharitvā? Or do we have here an idiomatic expression in Pali?

Another question is how to translate this expression properly? Based on English versions it might be understood that a practitioner has to "spread" or "expend" his mind filling with it a particular direction. That would suggest that the mind itself can be extended in space. But it seems to me that it is not at all in Pali. Pali has more like "striking one direction with the mind of metta" or may be "touching" or "focusing one's mind imbued with metta on one direction"? What do you think?

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Dhammanando
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Re: pharitvā in brahmaviharas

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:14 pm

You are confusing the verbs pharati and paharati. Pharitvā ("having pervaded") is the absolutive of the former, while that of the latter is paharitvā ("having beaten").

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Volovsky
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Re: pharitvā in brahmaviharas

Post by Volovsky » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:39 pm

Oh, you are right! :lol: . That's what happens when you are hurry up too much. Please, delete this topic.

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