Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries
Post Reply
frank k
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by frank k » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:58 pm

Is that a justifiable translation and/or interpretation?

(definitions and sutta citations here)
https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... tiya.html

excerpt:
The Caste System (Brahmin and Kshatriya) Summary: ... The system of classification, Varna is a system that existed in the Vedic Society that divided the society into four classes Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (skilled traders, merchants), and Shudras (unskilled workers).Nov 25, 2015
The Caste System (Brahmin and Kshatriya) – Religion 100Q ...



Explanation: khattiya : [m.] a man of the warrior caste. (adj.),to belonging Khattiyas. || khattiyā (f.), a woman of the Khattiya clan.
khattiya - Dictionary | Buddhistdoor
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3886
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:25 pm

It is not a bad translation. Possibly better than the widely used “warrior.”

Khattiya were kings and rulers.
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

SarathW
Posts: 12480
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:36 pm

Interesting point.
I thought Buddha is from a Warrior class.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

frank k
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by frank k » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:46 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:25 pm
It is not a bad translation. Possibly better than the widely used “warrior.”

Khattiya were kings and rulers.
I can't think of what sutta at the moment, but I recall a passage saying something to the effect that the khattiya (warrior) class was the best, because of the mental toughness, the tenacity, the ability to face extreme adversity. The concept of 'warrior' matches that perfectly. The concept of 'nobleman' or 'aristocrat' brings to mind a fat cat hiding in his castle and ordering his servants and soldiers to do the hard work.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 5670
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:11 pm

frank k wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:46 pm
The concept of 'nobleman' or 'aristocrat' brings to mind a fat cat hiding in his castle and ordering his servants and soldiers to do the hard work.
It might bring that to your mind, but that's not the meaning.

dharmacorps
Posts: 1004
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:13 pm

The first translation I remember hearing is "warrior noble", rather than "warrior". Maybe this is a little more accurate. But since it is a caste designation which existed in Northern Indian society which european societies didn't generally have, khattiya may be better left untranslated. I do agree "aristocrat" feels sort of off based on my understanding.

suaimhneas
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:02 am

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by suaimhneas » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:22 pm

I suppose that in most places for most of history the warrior class and the noble class were synonymous, e.g. knights and barons in feudal Europe or the samurai in Japan. They held and ruled land and the people living on it, trained at and were skilled in warfare, used its resources to equip themselves in this regard, and perhaps owed allegiance in terms of military service and share of resources to some higher noble or king. I suppose later as states became larger and more centralized, armies became more professionalized and/or bureaucracies developed, the link became looser: a courtier might sometimes just be some kind of high-ranking administrator. I suppose aristocrat or nobleman might accurate in the older sense of the world (though perhaps not with regards to more pampered later versions).

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6141
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by DooDoot » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:47 pm

frank k wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:46 pm
I can't think of what sutta at the moment, but I recall a passage saying something to the effect that the khattiya (warrior) class was the best, because of the mental toughness, the tenacity, the ability to face extreme adversity. The concept of 'warrior' matches that perfectly.
The impression is your recall was of "warrior elephants" rather than "aristocrats", as follows:
Dhammapada wrote:320. As an elephant in the battlefield withstands arrows shot from bows all around, even so shall I endure abuse. There are many, indeed, who lack virtue.

321. A tamed elephant is led into a crowd, and the king mounts a tamed elephant. Best among men is the subdued one who endures abuse.

322. Excellent are well-trained mules, thoroughbred Sindhu horses and noble tusker elephants. But better still is the man who has subdued himself.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html
:candle:
frank k wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:46 pm
The concept of 'nobleman' or 'aristocrat' brings to mind a fat cat hiding in his castle and ordering his servants and soldiers to do the hard work.
When pure (rather than corrupt) in their essence, I imagine "noblemen" obviously protected the society or clan from attack from outsiders.

As for the suttas, they say the following about why the Buddha (in SN 6.11; SN 21.11; MN 53; AN 11.10; DN 27) regarded the aristocrats as the best :
3. The Supremacy of the Aristocrats

Then the Buddha addressed Ambaṭṭha, “What do you think, Ambaṭṭha? Suppose an aristocrat boy was to sleep with a brahmin girl, and they had a son. Would he receive a seat and water from the brahmins?”

“He would, Master Gotama.”

“And would the brahmins feed him at an offering of food for ancestors, an offering of a dish of milk-rice, a sacrifice, or a feast for guests?”

“They would.”

“And would the brahmins teach him the hymns or not?”

“They would.”

“And would he be kept from the women or not?”

“He would not.”

“And would the aristocrats anoint him as king?”

“No, Master Gotama. Why is that? Because his maternity is unsuitable.”

“What do you think, Ambaṭṭha? Suppose a brahmin boy was to sleep with an aristocrat girl, and they had a son. Would he receive a seat and water from the brahmins?”

“He would, Master Gotama.”

“And would the brahmins feed him at an offering of food for ancestors, an offering of a dish of milk-rice, a sacrifice, or a feast for guests?”

“They would.”

“And would the brahmins teach him the hymns or not?”

“They would.”

“And would he be kept from the women or not?”

“He would not.”

“And would the aristocrats anoint him as king?”

“No, Master Gotama. Why is that? Because his paternity is unsuitable.”

“And so, Ambaṭṭha, the aristocrats are superior and the brahmins inferior, whether comparing women with women or men with men.

What do you think, Ambaṭṭha? Suppose the brahmins for some reason were to shave a brahmin’s head, inflict him with a sack of ashes, and banish him from the nation or the city. Would he receive a seat and water from the brahmins?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“And would the brahmins feed him at an offering of food for ancestors, an offering of a dish of milk-rice, a sacrifice, or a feast for guests?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“And would the brahmins teach him the hymns or not?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“And would he be kept from the women or not?”

“He would be.”

“What do you think, Ambaṭṭha? Suppose the aristocrats for some reason were to shave an aristocrat’s head, inflict him with a sack of ashes, and banish him from the nation or the city. Would he receive a seat and water from the brahmins?”

“He would, Master Gotama.”

“And would the brahmins feed him at an offering of food for ancestors, an offering of a dish of milk-rice, a sacrifice, or a feast for guests?”

“They would.”

“And would the brahmins teach him the hymns or not?”

“They would.”

“And would he be kept from the women or not?”

“He would not.”

“At this point, Ambaṭṭha, that aristocrat has reached rock bottom, with head shaven, inflicted with a sack of ashes, and banished from city or nation. Yet still the aristocrats are superior and the brahmins inferior. Brahmā Sanaṅkumāra also spoke this verse:

The aristocrat is best of those people
who take clan as the standard.

But one accomplished in knowledge and conduct
is best of gods and humans.’

That verse was well sung by Brahmā Sanaṅkumāra, not poorly sung; well spoken, not poorly spoken, beneficial, not harmful, and it was approved by me. For I also say this:

The aristocrat is best of those people
who take clan as the standard.
But one accomplished in knowledge and conduct
is best of gods and humans.”

https://suttacentral.net/dn3/en/sujato#dn3:1.23.23
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

frank k
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by frank k » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:24 pm

Is there a way to set up a vote on dhammawheel forum software?

I propose these as better translations for khattiya:

warrior-kings
warrior-rulers
warrior-noblemen
warrior-nobles


a friend also commented on the probably relationship between ariya and aristocrat:
Hello Frank,
I did a little look-up in O.E.D.
Aristocracy is a Greek origin compound meaning best-rule. The rule part,
cracy, it would be my bet, is related to khattiya; but that is not
official. But the word Aristocrat, does not come directly from the
Greek, but from the French, coined during the French Revolution to
distinguish between Democracy and the oligarchic aristocracy that
previously ruled thinking themselves the best to rule.
I have used 'aristocrat' for 'ariya' where it indicates noble behavior
(as in the ariya atthangika magga), because that must be the origin of
the 'aristo' part, that is: 'worthy' which is close enough to 'best'.
And aristocratic is in common usage as indicating noble behavior.
The fact is that the khattiya were the rulers, though the kings often
delegated administration of towns and lands to the brahmins. This was
pretty standard throughout the world until the American and French
Revolutions. That is that the warriors were also the bosses.
And I think the four colors business is actually a reasonable way
hierarchies in human populations develop. Here we have 'politicians and
the military', 'academics and preachers', 'merchants' and 'workers'.
The truest translation would be 'warrior' but that does not convey today
the idea of rule, whereas 'aristocrat' does. And again looking back at
the history, the aristocrat class did emerge from the warriors.
Conclusion: Aristocrat for khattiya is reasonable.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages

sentinel
Posts: 2267
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Why does B. Sujato translate the khattiya class as "aristocrat"? "Warrior" seems to be the standard translation.

Post by sentinel » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:26 pm

Khattiya - who were rulers, administrators and warriors .

Aristocrat - a person who has the manners or qualities of a member of a privileged or superior class . A person who has the tastes, manners, etc., characteristic of members of an aristocracy.

Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society.

An aristocrat not necessarily a warrior .
:coffee:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DooDoot and 59 guests