Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

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blackspaven
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Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by blackspaven » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:28 am

Hi,

Been casually trying to research something for a piece of art for a few years now, and it feels like i'm finally getting somewhere, although like Indiana Jones & the Holy Grail, I also feel like I might have to leave the grail where it is and it'll turn out I'm not gonna find an answer.... which is where you guys might be able to help me cos i've been totally blown away by the knowledge of text some people have on here!!

Ok!

Basically, i've been trying to find some sort of original text/script for the Noble Eightfold Path as the work of art I wish to produce is for me to look at and understand it's meaning, but still be individual and a little bit secret to me (and to anyone who can read said language!). So, and this is the bit I may need correction on... my knowledge of the origins and history of this so far is that the teachings of Gautami Buddha would have been passed down orally and that his language would have been Magahi/Magadhi (albeit they weren't written down). I also understand that the earliest written scrolls are very scant and unlikely to produce a handy piece of text for what i'm looking for. Pali appears to be more a vocal language and not a written medium as such, and Devanagari looks to me like a general written language for a large area of India, although i'm not too sure about that one.

So, my question, if it can be answered is,...

What does the scripture/text look like for the written version of the Eightfold Path??

I am coming up with either Devanagari or Magadhi as the basis for what it should be, but i'm amazed that the only versions of the Eightfold Path I can find are in Romanised English and I simply cannot find a variant in anything like it's mother tongue! I could get it translated from English via a website, but if anyone's ever used a translator to go from english to french and back to english, it never reads correctly.

Can anyone help me, i'm really on my last legs and all the sources i've tried (Pali text society, Naropa, various Buddhist institutions... :juggling: ) have only gotten me this far. Can anyone show me what the Eightfold Path looks like in it's most likely original text/scripture?? :broke:

Thank you, namaste.

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DNS
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by DNS » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:55 pm

Noble Eightfold Path:

in Sinhala script: ආර්ය අශ්ටාංගික මාර්ග

in Thai script: อริยมรรคแปด

I personally prefer Brahmi script, since it is perhaps the oldest written form of Pali, used by King Ashoka in his edicts:

http://www.ancientscripts.com/brahmi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Kare
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by Kare » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:51 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Noble Eightfold Path:

in Sinhala script: ආර්ය අශ්ටාංගික මාර්ග

in Thai script: อริยมรรคแปด
None of these is in Pali. The Sinhala script version seems to be in Sanskrit (or maybe in Sanskrit-influenced Sinhalese). The Thai script version is in Thai.
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by DNS » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:35 pm

Kare wrote: None of these is in Pali. The Sinhala script version seems to be in Sanskrit (or maybe in Sanskrit-influenced Sinhalese). The Thai script version is in Thai.
Okay, thanks.

I had copied them from wikipedia. :)

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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:42 pm

Thanks Kare.

To clarify, the second word, แปด bpàet, is the Thai word for eight, not the Pali word for eight (aṭṭha, I believe) expressed in Thai script.

:anjali:
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by cooran » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:05 pm

The Pali Language (article from University of Queensland)
http://uqconnect.net/slsoc/sutta/pali.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by Kare » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:15 pm

cooran wrote:The Pali Language (article from University of Queensland)
http://uqconnect.net/slsoc/sutta/pali.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I quote from the article you are referring to:

"Pāli was considered by early Buddhists to be linguistically similar to old Magadhi or even a direct continuation of that language. Many Theravada sources refer to the Pāli language as 'Magadhan' or the 'language of Magadhi'. However, Magadhi is an Eastern Indian language whereas Pāli most closely resembles Western Indian inscriptions. Oskar von Hinuber has speculated that Pāli may have originated as a form of lingua franca or trade language used at the time of the Ashokan Empire."

I am puzzled to see that people don't see the obvious solution of the Pali-Magadhi problem (well, obvious to me ... but I may of course be wrong).

The Pali commentaries, written in Sri Lanka, call the language Magadhi. Today we call it Pali. So what is the connection between Pali and Magadhi?

Magadhi just means "from Magadha".

The question then is: What or where was Magadha?

The territory of Magadha developed in 3 phases:

1. At the time of the Buddha it was a small, but aggressive kingdom in the eastern part of the Ganges valley.

2. After the death of the Buddha, Magadha expanded, until it covered most of the Indian subcontinent at the time of Asoka.

3. Later the name again the name was reserved for the province covering approximately the same area as the original Magadha.

It was during the reign of Asoka that Buddhism reached Sri Lanka. To the Sinhalese at that time, it must have been natural to call the language of the texts Magadhi, since it came from Magadha - that is the large Magadha of king Asoka. To them Magadhi language probably was synonymous with just "language from the Indian continent", and it probably had no reference to the earlier or the later smaller eastern province of Magadha.

So trying to connect Pali with the later literary Prakrit language of Magadhi, may be just a wild goose chase, or chasing a red hering. The Sinhalese commentators knew that the language and the texts came from somewhere in India, from the large "Magadha" of Asoka. If they knew exactly where in "Great Magadha" the texts and the language came from - east or west, they didn't care enough about to mention anything of it.

This case of a name getting displaced and wandering around on the map according to political developments, is not unknown elsewhere. When the Turks conquered Asia Minor, they called it "Rumi", that is "Rome", because it had been part of the Byzantine, or East Roman, empire. So when a poet from Persia lived most of his life in this Sultanate of Rumi (that is: Asia Minor), he was also called Rumi - "The Roman" - although he never set his foot in Italy or Rome proper.

I find it strange that no one has suggested this simple answer to the Pali-Magadhi problem. And if I am wrong, at least I would like to see it refuted.
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by blackspaven » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:35 pm

Sorry, apologies, I think my request has been taken too literally. I'm after the CONTENTS of the Eightfold Path, not the words 'The eightfold path', but thank you for your efforts so far. :twothumbsup:

Nope, I'm after the eight actual aspects of the eightfold path in as close as possible to their original text/script (ie, Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness & Right Concentration).

Hope that clears it up and sorry again for the confusion, although it was slightly amusing. :oops:

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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:43 pm

Hi blackspaven,

Whether you want "eightfold path" or "right view" etc, the problem is the same. There is no "original text/script" for Pali. The closest you could do would be to use one of the scripts from a related language, as David explained above.

:anjali:
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by blackspaven » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:49 pm

Yeah, that's what i'm gathering and I what I tried to allude to in my original post. That's kinda why i'm looking to see if anyone can help me with finding what they look like in either Devanagari or Magadhi as one seems to be a general language of India and the other is what is believed to be the language of the original Buddha so might be a safe bet that it's pure in it's origin on that basis. My understanding is that Pali is more of a spoken language, amongst other reasons showing it would never have been written down in that form.

Trouble is, everywhere I look that has various scripts on this subject mean nothing to me as I can't read them and I get confused as to what they're ACTUALLY saying/transcribing as. I don't really want to put something into the art piece and find out at a later date i've unwittingly written a cracking recipe for soup or something! :jumping:

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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:02 pm

Here are some links to previous discussions of how to express Pali in different scripts:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 27#p132075" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 27#p130615" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.visiblemantra.org/scripts.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 12#p145219" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by SamKR » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:43 pm

blackspaven wrote:Yeah, that's what i'm gathering and I what I tried to allude to in my original post. That's kinda why i'm looking to see if anyone can help me with finding what they look like in either Devanagari or Magadhi as one seems to be a general language of India and the other is what is believed to be the language of the original Buddha so might be a safe bet that it's pure in it's origin on that basis [...]
Following are the eight parts of the Noble eightfold path in Pali (Devanagari and Roman Scripts):

Pali (Devanagari Script)
अरियो अट्ठङ्गिको मग्गो
सम्मादिट्ठि सम्मासङ्कप्पो सम्मावाचा सम्माकम्मन्तो सम्माआजीवो सम्मावायामो सम्मासति सम्मासमाधि

Pali (Roman Script)
ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo
sammādiṭṭhi sammāsaṅkappo sammāvācā sammākammanto sammāājīvo sammāvāyāmo sammāsati sammāsamādhi

English
Noble eightfold path
right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration

I can read Devanagari, so I copied this from http://tipitaka.org/deva/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
Please make sure in your browser settings that Devanagari is rendered properly. Sometimes, chrome browser does not render Devanagari properly, but for me firefox works fine.

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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by pilgrim » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:27 am

+1 :clap:

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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by blackspaven » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:25 pm

Okay, so if i'm reading this correctly, the following is the pali/Davangari for the aspects of the eightfold path??

अरियो अट्ठङ्गिको मग्गो

सम्मादिट्ठि सम्मासङ्कप्पो सम्मावाचा सम्माकम्मन्तो सम्माआजीवो सम्मावायामो सम्मासति सम्मासमाधि

I'm presuming that the first line is the actual words 'Noble Eightfold Path' the second being the aspects themselves, and are the spacing's correct or does it not make a difference?? (anyone know how to make it any bigger to make it a bit clearer to transcribe??)
Last edited by blackspaven on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pali/Devanagari/Magadhi deadend?!!

Post by blackspaven » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:28 pm

I'm quite excited now: this is closer than i've gotten in 2 years of random searching through other buddhist media. :woohoo:

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