Regarding the post by Mike:
Leaving aside arguments about the usefulness, or not, of the Theravada Commentaries, your second point seems to me to put undue emphasis on English scholars and monastics. It's hard to imagine these having much impact on Asian teachers and practitioners, many of whom were/are not fluent in English.
1.One really needs to understand the state of Asian countries at the time of arrival of the English. After hundreds of years of invasions by the Portuguese and Dutch, those countries (India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, etc) were really bad shape especially regarding to Buddhism, when the English arrived. Of course, in contrast to the Portuguese and Dutch, who actively helped the decline of Buddhism, the English civil servants were actually responsible for the current revival of Buddhsim. When the English arrived, he populations of bhikkhus had severely declined, and very few were interested in deep Dhamma.
I really recommend the book by Charles Allen that I referred to in that post. One can get an idea of what I am talking about with regard to the status of Buddhism. In India, Buddhism had totally disappeared. All Buddhist places of worship had been overtaken by Hindu priests.
Even in Sri Lanka, very few copies of the Pali Tipitaka were there, which had been scattered throughout the country. To the credit of some European civil servants that I mentioned in the post, those were collected and preserved. Of course, all of the original Sinhala commentaries had totally disappeared.
2.Those European scholars, when they first came across the Asoka pillars, came to the conclusion that Pali was a later iteration of Sanskrit. Of course, there were no Pali manuscripts in India except for the Asoka pillars. This is very clear in Allen’s book. If one really wants to understand the historical developments, one must read that book.
So, they immediately connected anicca
, and anatta
There is no mention of anitya
in the Tipitaka
, since anitya
is solely a Sankrit word. Anitya
means “impermanent” and the Pali word for that is adduwan
The word anatma
is in the Tipitaka
, but it is used in a different context (the closest English word is soul). But anatta
is not used in that context. Anatta
has some relevance to anatma
, just like anicca
nature is partially associated with impermanence (anitya
3. Another point that is related to #1 above is that most Asians had become enamored by Western ideals and were embracing “everything European”. They took European names even and many Sinhala names are common Portuguese, Dutch, and English names: Fernando, Silva, de Alwis, etc are still common names in Sri Lanka.
So, when those European scholars started translating the Tipitaka
, the Asian communities wholeheartedly embraced those “scholarly works”. Of course, the European scholars had only good intentions. They were really interested in understanding those ancient manuscripts. But, they were misled mostly by those Sanskrit terms, as I pointed out above.
Major universities in England, France, and Germany had Professors specialized in Buddhism. Many Asians came to those universities to learn Buddhism. They went back and wrote books with these new interpretations, as I explained in that post: Malasekara, Kalupahana and Jayathilake are some examples. They had English professors who taught them Buddhism!
This is not to degrade the work of those European scholars. I am personally grateful to them for preserving the Pali Tipitaka
. But they had no idea about the key message of the Buddha. They were really historians.
Anyway, I would be happy discuss further. Please quote from that post, if I have written somethings that are not clear or not correct.
Have you looked into how Thai and Burmese teachers address the translation of the terms you are interested in? Of course, English translations of their work such as http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Our_Real_Home1.php
will tend to use the English translations for your disputed terms, but the context should make clear what is being communicated.
I read the link you provided. There is nothing new there per my explanations above. If there is, can you quote the relevant parts?