interesting. so you are basically just saying that this is a future tense word and that this action would take place after exiting the jhana again, correct? why is it that most of the professional translators out there use it in this way then? for example bhikkhu bodhi in the same sutta, instead of "regards" uses "contemplates". i can't see it being such a thing to slip through the cracks considering it's a standard pericope that appears throughout the canon, not without at least a note. especially from bodhi, he notates so many similar things in his translations and this pericope is found in all four of the nikayas he translated and other compilations as well. that doesn't prove anything one way or the other, if nothing else it may just show his neutrality in the debate on that particular note, i'm just giving food for thought at this point.Sylvester wrote:Check out this helpful enumeration of the functions of the Pali present tense outlined by Warder, courtesy of daverupa -
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p223661" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That discussion pertained to AN 4.124's usage of the present tense samanupassati (regards) and whether it actually means contemporaneity with the standard periphrastic construction upasampajja viharati (dwells having entered) of the 1st jhana formula. The action denoted by the present tense samanupassati looks to me to be a very ruminative activity. How is that supposed to happen in the 2nd jhana onwards, as presented in AN 4.124, when vitakka and vicāra have disappeared?
Now, technically speaking, it might be possible for the samanupassati to be contemporaneous with jhana, if one argues that upasampajja (having entered) is an absolutive of contemporaneity. However, that is only truly possible if both verbs samanupassati and upasampajja are in the same sentence, each occupying its own clause (main and subordinate) therein. That's not the case here in AN 4.124. One also needs to surmount the same problem of samanupassati occuring in an environment that does not have vitakka nor vicāra .
The most typical way of indicating contemporaneity of action verbs in Pali would be to use the missakiriyā construction, where the sutta would have read something to the effect "having entered and dwelling in the 1st jhana, he contemplates...." (paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharanto, ... samanupassati). As far as I can tell in my survey of the suttas, the missakiriyā construction is never used in any of the jhana formulae.
As dave notes in that post, the most likely meaning of the present tense "regards" would be an activity that takes place in the future. We just need to be alive to Pali grammar and take these texts on their own terms, rather than lens them through English translations, no matter how literal the translation is. Most translators usually do not interpret the Pali present tense when they translate, since there are so many temporal and functional uses of the present tense. The only exception would be where the context makes it clear that the present tense is functioning as a past tense in a narrative.
i suppose without knowing the exact implication of the original speaker of what tense it is, it is up for interpretation. considering this:
"The present tense is used to express  present time, the limits of which are somewhat vague, or  indefinite time (timeless statements such as "eternal truths"),  sometimes the immediate future (which may include a shade of "imperative" sense; cf. English "I'm going") and  sometimes the past ("historic present"). It is used to express  the duration of an action "until",  a fixed future time (a vivid future visualized as present) "when", and  in certain other constructions."
-Warder (copied from daverupa's post)
it's definition is all over the place from the past to the future. so it could mean "regards after jhana", or "regards during jhana" or even "regards before jhana" considering the amazing ambiguity of the present tense in pali according to the above explanation.