What is palāsa : (m.) leaf; foliage; malice; spite.?

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canadianbuddhist
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What is palāsa : (m.) leaf; foliage; malice; spite.?

Post by canadianbuddhist » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:13 am

Can someone explain to me what is palāsa : (m.) leaf; foliage; malice; spite in Buddhism?

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Dhammanando
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Re: What is palāsa : (m.) leaf; foliage; malice; spite.?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:05 am

Palāsa carries both of the meanings in your title because it’s actually a homonym of two different Sanskrit words: palāśa and palāsa.

From the PTS Pali English Dictionary:
Palāsa (1) [Palāsa 1] (m. & nt.) [Vedic palāśa] 1. the tree Butea fron- dosa or Judas tree J iii.23 (in Palāsa Jātaka). —2. a leaf; collectively (nt.) foliage, pl. (nt.) leaves S ii.178; J i.120 (nt.); iii.210, 344; PvA 63 (°antare; so read for pās' antare), 113 (ghana°), 191 (sāli°). puppha° blossoms & leaves DhA i.75; sākhā° branches & leaves M i.111; J i.164; Miln 254; paṇḍu° a sear leaf Vin i.96; iii.47; iv.217; bahala° (adj.) thick with leaves J i.57. -palāsāni (pl.) leaves J iii.185 (=palāsapaṇṇāni C.); PvA 192 (=bhūsāni).

Palāsa (2) [Palāsa 2] & (more commonly) Paḷāsa [according to Trenckner, Notes 83, from ras, but BSk. pradāśa points to pa+ dāśa=dāsa 'enemy' this form evidently a Sanskritisation] unmercifulness, malice, spite. Its nearest synonym is yuga-ggāha (so Vbh 357; Pug 18, where yuddhaggāha is read; J iii.259; VvA 71); it is often combd with macchera (Vv 155) and makkha (Miln 289). — M i.15, 36, 488; A i.79; J ii.198; Vbh 357; Pug 18 (+paḷāsāyanā, etc.). -apaḷāsa mercifulness M i.44.
From the Vibhaṅga Atthakathā:
“It aims to dominate”, thus it is called “domineering” (palāsa). The meaning is that on seeing another’s good qualities it aims to make them equal to one’s own good qualities. The process (āyana) of domineering is called “the action of domineering” (palāsayanā).

[...]

But as to characteristic, etc. domineering has the characteristic of interfering; its function is the equalizing of one’s good qualities with those of others; it manifests as establishing according to the measurement of others’ good qualities. For a domineering person does not give charge to another, he keeps exerting himself equally. When in the debating hall many suttas and reasons are quoted by another bhikkhu he says: ‘What is the difference between what you say and what I say? Is not what we say as alike as [the two parts of] a coin broken in half?’

canadianbuddhist
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Re: What is palāsa : (m.) leaf; foliage; malice; spite.?

Post by canadianbuddhist » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:54 pm

does this mean Manipulation? if so how does a person manipulate in this context? How does that equalizing part play as a function? pls explain?

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Re: What is palāsa : (m.) leaf; foliage; malice; spite.?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:50 am

canadianbuddhist wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:54 pm
does this mean Manipulation?
Like any defilement, palāsa is a state of mind. It may well be a cause for manipulative behaviour but it doesn’t follow that it can be equated with it.

There’s another word, however, palāsī, which means a person who has palāsa, a domineering person. This term could refer either to those who have domineering urges and act on them or to those who merely have them but forbear acting on them. In the former case it could be applied to a manipulative person, but also to those who indulge in oneupmanship by other means.

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