Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

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DooDoot
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Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:54 pm

Dear Pali gurus

I have some basic questions about satipatthana & anapanasati.

Question 1:
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa translated 'anapanasati' as 'mindfulness with breathing'. Another possible translation could be 'mindfulness when/while breathing'. Since I personally strongly disagree with the common translation of 'mindfulness of breathing', are there any grounds in Pali grammar why Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translation is not possible? Thank you

Question 2:
I have always questioned the translation of Right Mindfulness, which is as follows:
Sujato wrote:Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāsati?

And what is right mindfulness?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ....

It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

https://suttacentral.net/mn118/en/sujato
Buddhadasa wrote:that bhikkhu... lives constantly contemplating body in bodies, strives to burn up defile­ments, comprehends readily, and is mindful, in order to abandon all liking and disliking toward the world.
Bodhi wrote:And what, bhikkhus is right mindfulness? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. This is called right mindfulness.
Thanissaro wrote:And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.
My questions:

(a) Why must the 'viharati' pertain to the 'kāye kāyānupassī'; as each translator above has done?

(b) Why cannot the 'viharati' pertain to the 'ātāpī sampajāno satimā'?

(c) In other words, why cannot the translation be:
Doot wrote:And what, bhikkhus is right mindfulness?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ....

When :?: , bhikkhus, a bhikkhu within the body contemplates/closely watches the body, dwelling/viharati :?: ardent, clearly comprehending & mindful, having removed towards the world :?: covetousness and grief.
(d) also, is "loke" above locative or nominative? Why not accusative (thus plural)?

Thank you :)
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by Volo » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:00 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:54 pm
Question 1:
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa translated 'anapanasati' as 'mindfulness with breathing'. Another possible translation could be 'mindfulness when/while breathing'. Since I personally strongly disagree with the common translation of 'mindfulness of breathing', are there any grounds in Pali grammar why Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translation is not possible?
If we take ānāpānasati as Tappurisa compound, then it's possible to translate as "with the breathing" (i.e. Inst relationship between two members). Although the most common relationship in Tappurisa is Gen/Dat (i.e. "mindfulness of the breathing").
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ....

Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.

...
My questions:

(a) Why must the 'viharati' pertain to the 'kāye kāyānupassī'; as each translator above has done?

(b) Why cannot the 'viharati' pertain to the 'ātāpī sampajāno satimā'?
Usually the verb stands in the end. What you suggest would require putting it in the beginning of the phrase it belongs to. The word order is not sold in Pali and can be changed for the emphasis, but to read it as "Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī. Viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ" imo would be very strange.

But I think viharati refers to all words there. Words in -an, -in, -mant, -vant are "possessive" nouns/adjectives (i.e. one possesses something), they often can be translated as adjectives: anupassī (=anupassin, one who possesses contemplation, contemplating), ātāpī (=ātāpin, one who possesses zeal, ardent), satimā (=satimant, one who is mindful, possesses mindfulness): "a bhikkhu dwells contemplating body in the body, [he dwells] ardent, [he dwells] clearly comprehending, [he dwells] mindful.
(d) also, is "loke" above locative or nominative? Why not accusative (thus plural)?
"Having removed worlds [and?] covetousness?" Does it make sense?

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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:54 pm
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa translated 'anapanasati' as 'mindfulness with breathing'. Another possible translation could be 'mindfulness when/while breathing'. Since I personally strongly disagree with the common translation of 'mindfulness of breathing', are there any grounds in Pali grammar why Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's translation is not possible? Thank you
Philologically it would be possible for the ānāpāna- in ānāpānassati to be in any of the oblique cases. In the commentaries it mostly gets treated as locative.

Anguttara Commentary & Visuddhimagga
Ānāpāne ārabbha uppannā sati 'ānāpānassati'. Assāsapassāsanimittārammaṇāya satiyā etaṃ adhivacanaṃ.

Ānāpānassati is mindfulness that has arisen with reference to the in- and out-breaths. This is a designation for mindfulness that has the sign of the in- and out-breaths as its object.
And sometimes as accusative...

Vinaya Commentary
'Ānāpānassatī' ti assāsapassāsapariggāhikā sati.

Mindfulness embracing/encompassing/apprehending the in- and out-breaths
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:15 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm
Philologically it would be possible for the ānāpāna- in ānāpānassati to be in any of the oblique cases.
OK. Thank you Venerable Dhammanando.
Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm
.... locative
Ānāpāne ārabbha uppannā sati 'ānāpānassati'. Assāsapassāsanimittārammaṇāya satiyā etaṃ adhivacanaṃ.

Ānāpānassati ( 'ānāpānassati') is mindfulness (sati; nom.) that has arisen (uppannā) with reference (ārabbha; indeclinable) to the in- and out-breaths (Ānāpāne). This is a designation (adhivacanaṃ; nom) for mindfulness (satiyā; ins; dat; abl; gen) that has the sign of (nimittā) the in- and out-breaths (Assāsapassāsa) as its object (ārammaṇāya; dative).
I can't make sense of the 1st translation sentence above. You know I don't know Pali grammar. When I read the sentence in word order, it says: Ānāpāne (in & out breathing; nom or loc singular; acc plural) ārabbha (with reference to) uppannā (arising of) sati (mindfulness; nom) is 'ānāpānassati'. Therefore, why is "Ānāpāne" locative? Why cannot 'anapane' be nominative? Why cannot the sentence simply said: "breathing taken as the subject with the arising of mindfulness is anapanasati. In & out breathing as the sign & object of sati is this designation". :?: . Thank you

The 2nd sentence mostly makes sense to me; which I have posted often, from my own opinion/experience . In my experience, knowing (pajānāti) or watching (anupassi) breathing is a sign (nimittā) that arises (uppannā) when mindfulness (bringing to mind the Teachings of abandoning unwholesome states) has been established.
Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm
And sometimes as accusative...
'Ānāpānassatī' ti assāsapassāsapariggāhikā sati.

Mindfulness embracing/encompassing/apprehending the in- and out-breaths
The above is OK to me. It appears to say "mindfulness towards the breathing" (i.e., remembering to not cling to the breathing). If so, I have no issues with this and in fact posted this very accusative relationship recently. Since 'sati' is not 'vinnana', 'anupassi' , 'pajānāti', 'paṭisaṃvedī' or any other 'knowing' word, I strongly disagree with the translation of 'mindfulness of breathing'.

Regards
Last edited by DooDoot on Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:59 pm

Volo wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:00 pm
If we take ānāpānasati as Tappurisa compound, then it's possible to translate as "with the breathing" (i.e. Inst relationship between two members). Although the most common relationship in Tappurisa is Gen/Dat (i.e. "mindfulness of the breathing").
Ok. Thank you Volo.
Volo wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:00 pm
"a bhikkhu dwells contemplating body in the body, [he dwells] ardent, [he dwells] clearly comprehending, [he dwells] mindful.
OK. The above appears OK. However, I would prefer the translation to be as follows:
When/while/during when a bhikkhu dwells contemplating body in the body, [he dwells] ardent, [he dwells] clearly comprehending, [he dwells] mindful.
In other words, I prefer the translation of right mindfulness to reflect the bhikkhu is mindful when watching the breathing/body (rather than the translation of right mindfulness sounding like right mindfulness is the act/experience of watching the breathing).

In summary, the standard definitions of right mindfulness sound like mindfulness is the act of watching (anupassi) the breathing rather than mindfulness is governance (satādhipateyyā) over watching (anupassai) the breathing.

Therefore, is the translation below valid? Thank you :?:
When/while/during when a bhikkhu dwells contemplating body in the body, [he dwells] ardent, [he dwells] clearly comprehending, [he dwells] mindful.
Thank you
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by Volo » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:50 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:59 pm
When/while/during when a bhikkhu dwells contemplating body in the body, [he dwells] ardent, [he dwells] clearly comprehending, [he dwells] mindful.
In other words, I prefer the translation of right mindfulness to reflect the bhikkhu is mindful when watching the breathing/body (rather than the translation of right mindfulness sounding like right mindfulness is the act/experience of watching the breathing).
All four "he dwells" would occur at the same time, but "mindful" (as well as "ātāpī" and "sampajāno") doesn't necessarily mean the act of contemplating the body, only "anupassī" does.
Last edited by Volo on Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:15 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by sunnat » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:52 am

Equating sati with remembering can be confusing.

In terms of self, not self, and impermanence: from the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw : https://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahasi-anat/anat03.htm

"... there are four ways of clinging to self, and perception is concerned with three of them: sāmi attā, nivāsī attā and kāraka attā.

Thinking that there is control over perception, remembering things as willed and not remembering things when there is no wish to do so, is sāmi attā clinging, that is, the belief that there is a self that controls the process of remembering."

"When constant arising and ceasing of the phenomena of sensory awareness is seen as it truly is through vipassanā insight, realisation dawns that perception is also a natural phenomenon, constantly arising and ceasing."

"... what is the difference between the mundane functions of perception, such as memory, and the recollective powers of sati, or mindfulness, as described in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta? There is a world of difference between the two; in fact it may be said that they are diametrically opposed to each other in purpose and objective. Perception perceives for retaining sense objects for future recall; it may take in the form, shape or condition of the object observed. Meditative note-taking according to the Satipaṭṭhāna method is concerned just with the passing events of mental and corporeal phenomena [of which memory is one] , so as to realize their impermanence, unsatis-factoriness and insubstantiality."

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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:37 am

Volo wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:50 am
All four "he dwells" would occur at the same time, but "mindful" (as well as "ātāpī" and "sampajāno") doesn't necessarily mean the act of contemplating the body, only "anupassī" does.
Sure. Thanks. By rearranging the words to promote emphasis, I think the definition of right mindfulness says:
What is right mindfulness? He dwells ardent, with clear-comprehension and with mindfulness, rid of covetousness & distress towards the world, when/while he dwells observing the body in the body....
Personally, I view mindfulness as having merely one role, which is to bring & keep clear-comprehension in the mind so the mind is rid of covetousness & distress. I think the translation should somehow emphasis this.

:smile:
sunnat wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:52 am
Equating sati with remembering can be confusing.
No. Not equating sati with remembering is what is confusion. Sati is remembering.
sunnat wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:52 am
from the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw :

Meditative note-taking according to the Satipaṭṭhāna method is concerned just with the passing events of mental and corporeal phenomena [of which memory is one] , so as to realize their impermanence, unsatis-factoriness and insubstantiality."
I disagree with the above; both in its definitions & intent. You can start a new topic to discuss this. Imo, Mahasi Sayadaw is probably the greatest influence in causing confusion about sati. In actual real stream-entry level meditation, the only role of sati is to hold concentration in place, which includes removing hindrances. Sati is unrelated to the direct development of vipassana.

:focus:
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:16 am

Volo wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:50 am
....
Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm
...
As always , thank you for your help, Pali Gurus. I have another two questions:

Question 1:
In the following text, my impression is 'kaye' & 'citte' are singular & locative and 'vedanāsu' & 'dhammesu' are plural & locative.
IIdha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ;

vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ;

citte cittānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ;

dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ.

Herein, monks, a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly conscious (of it), mindful (of it) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world; he fares along contemplating the feelings in the feelings, ardent, clearly conscious (of them), mindful (of them) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world; he fares along contemplating the mind in the mind, ardent, clearly conscious (of it), mindful (of it) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world; he fares along contemplating the mental objects in the mental objects, ardent, dearly conscious (of them), mindful (of them) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world.

https://suttacentral.net/mn10/en/horner
My question is: why must the related ānupassī (eg. kāyānupassī) follow the singular or plural of the related object (e.g. kaye)? In other words, why cannot the translation be "contemplating the bodies (plural) in the body (singular)"?

Thank you :smile:

__________________________________________
__________________________________________

Question 2:

MN 118 says:
It’s when a mendicant develops the awakening factor of mindfulness, which relies on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripens as letting go.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satisambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ nirodhanissitaṃ vossaggapariṇāmiṃ.
I think the vossaggapariṇāmiṃ is something satisambojjhaṅgaṃ also relies on (nissita). In other words, I think it is the vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ & nirodhanissitaṃ (rather than the satisambojjhaṅgaṃ) that ripen as vossagga. How can we determine whether my view about this is true or false?

Thank you :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by Volo » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:51 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:16 am
In other words, why cannot the translation be "contemplating bodies (plural) in the body (singular)"?
It can. It's not possible to say whether "body" is Sg or Pl simply by looking on the word kāyānupassī. The translators would make their decision based on context, other passages, commentaries, etc.

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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:06 am

Volo wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:51 am
It can. It's not possible to say whether "body" is Sg or Pl simply by looking on the word kāyānupassī. The translators would make their decision based on context, other passages, commentaries, etc.
OK. Thanks. While I am not saying the following is right or wrong, if each anupassi was singular then this might offer the 'vipassana' bent that many seek. I recall Bhikkhu Bodhi suggested "kāyānupassī" might mean "body-contemplator". For example, while I do not necessarily agree, the Thai-English translator of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa (who was not fluent in Pali) translated MN 118 as:
contemplating body in bodies

con­templating feeling in feelings

contemplating mind in the mind

contemplating Dhamma in dhammas

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... ing.htm#32
The 'kaye' translation appears so rudimentary wrong that is must be a typo. Hard to understand how this was translated wrongly. I imagine the sutta was translated from Thai to English with some verbal consultation. Possibly the translator miscommunicated something. But then, there was even a footnote about it:
29. "Contemplating body in bodies" means seeing the truth of bodies directly within bodies themselves, and seeing all the components of the body as being small bodies within the collective body. The breath is one body. It conditions all kinds of bodies, whether physical or mental, beginning with the flesh body up to the joy of jhana. Contemplate these bodies until there is no more attachment to any of them
Possibly the translator got carried away & their ignorance of Pali was not aware of the rudimentary error. It was not really necessary to use "bodies" to emphasise their interpretation. They could have offered the same explanation using "Contemplating bodies in the body". Since "kaya" means "group" or "collection", while singular, it naturally has a plurality about it; such as "contemplating groupings within the grouping". . :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by Volo » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:18 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:16 am
In other words, I think it is the vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ & nirodhanissitaṃ (rather than the satisambojjhaṅgaṃ) that ripen as vossagga. How can we determine whether my view about this is true or false?
nissitaṃ (which is past participle) and pariṇāmiṃ (again one of those -in ending words pariṇāmin) are all in Accusative Sg, same as satisambojjhaṅgaṃ, therefore it's logical to say that this is the word they characterize.
I recall Bhikkhu Bodhi suggested "kāyānupassī" might mean "body-contemplator".
I would say that this is what kāyānupassī literally means.
The 'kaye' appears so rudimentary wrong that is must be a typo. Hard to understand how this was wrong. I imagine the sutta was translated from Thai to English with some verbal consultation. Possibly the translator miscommunicated something.
Do you mean it's wrong that English translator left it as "kaya", without translating it as body?

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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:22 am

Volo wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:18 am
Do you mean it's wrong that English translator left it as "kaya", without translating it as body?
Sorry. I simply meant to say the Thai-English translator translated "kaye", which is singular, as plural ("bodies"). I guess he used his own volition here, unaware of Pali grammar rules.
Volo wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:18 am
nissitaṃ (which is past participle) and pariṇāmiṃ (again one of those -in ending words pariṇāmin) are all in Accusative Sg, same as satisambojjhaṅgaṃ, therefore it's logical to say that this is the word they characterize.
Mmm... OK... I will ponder the verse more, starting with its relationship to the intro:
MN 118 wrote:And how are the seven awakening factors developed and cultivated so as to fulfill knowledge and freedom?

Kathaṃ bhāvitā ca, bhikkhave, satta bojjhaṅgā kathaṃ bahulīkatā vijjāvimuttiṃ paripūrenti?

It’s when a mendicant develops the awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion, and equanimity, which rely on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripen as letting go.
Actually, the above sutta sounds clear. I think my question was unnecessary. Yes, it is the bojjhaṅgā that ripens in vossagga. It actually makes no difference.

Thanks again. :bow:
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by ToVincent » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:18 am

Kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi.
He fetches apart the noticeable bodies [far & close] among the body (singular) [sabbakāya].
NOTE:
Kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi.

Anupassin/anupassī is an adjective.
अनुपश् anupaś [ anu-√ paś ], in Sanskrit, means to look at , perceive, notice. (RV, ŚBr., BṛĀr.Up, ChUp.).
The adjective from the verb "to notice" is "noticeable".
We have therefore: kāye kāyānupassī = noticeable body.

Viharati
वि vi
meaning " in two parts " ; and opp. to [ sam ]
- apart (RV.)
√ हृ hṛ
- to fetch (RV.)

So the translation might finally be:
kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi.
he fetches apart the noticeable body among the body (singular).
...
he fetches apart the noticeable feeling, among the feelings (plural).
...
he fetches apart the noticeable citta , among the citta (singular).
...
he fetches apart the noticeable phenomena , among the phenomenas (plural).

Note:
The locative serves to denote the where, i.e., the scene of an action. But it is capable of expressing such nuances as are denoted by the English preposition "among", etc.

imesu pañcasu kāmaguṇesu aññatarasmiṃ
“in one among these five kinds of pleasures”
M III.114

The (partitive) Locative Case - §160 & 167
Wijesekera - Syntax of the Cases in the Pali Nikayas



Also:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=35144&sid=6466328d ... f9f243794e
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Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
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In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
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Dhammanando
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Re: Translation questions about satipatthana & anapanasati

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:13 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm
Anguttara Commentary & Visuddhimagga

Ānāpāne ārabbha uppannā sati 'ānāpānassati'. Assāsapassāsanimittārammaṇāya satiyā etaṃ adhivacanaṃ.

Ānāpānassati is mindfulness that has arisen with reference to the in- and out-breaths. This is a designation for mindfulness that has the sign of the in- and out-breaths as its object.
On second thoughts, I think it was a mistake to class ānāpāne above as locative. Since the gerund ārabbha comes from the verb ārabhati which governs the accusative case, ānāpāne will almost certainly be accusative plural. This won't, however, necessitate any change to the above translation.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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