frank k wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:42 am
What really needs to happen is for a collective effort of other people to do a similar thing, cloning his pali and english in the suttacentral source code pootle format.
Yes, that's what I meant. I know you have some translations on your site, but it seems to me that the format and content is such that it is only likely to be read by a few enthusiasts.
I understand you have a disagreement for a few terms, in particular vitakka & vicara
. However, it appears to me that your real disagreement is not about translation
, it's about interpretation
, in particular the nature of the first jhana. The Commentaries, and Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes based on them give a non-discursive interpretation, in line with the "applying the mind and keeping it connected" translation:
Connected Discourses Introduction wrote:
When, however, vitakka and vicāra occur as constituents of the first jhāna, they do not exercise the function of discursive thinking characteristic of ordinary consciousness. Here, rather, vitakka is the mental factor with the function of applying the mind to the object, and vicāra the factor with the function of examining the object nondiscursively in order to anchor the mind in the object.
I'm not saying this to arguing for a particular interpretation, but to point out that Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations, taken with the notes, carry the same message.
There are always going to be difficulties with translations. We have seen, on this Forum, variations on the following:
1. The early English translations were unduly influenced by Christian ideas.
2. The translations that originated from the early Western Bhikkhus in Sri Lanka (i.e. Bhikkhu Bodhi and his predecessors) take too much notice of the Commentaries, so are misleading and contain too much baggage.
3. Access to Insight, being the first user-friendly site with a good number of translations, gave undue influence to some odd translation choices, which are used to argue for interpretations that differ from traditional Theravada doctrine and push a form of eternalism.
4. The Sutta Central translations are overly simplistic and misleading and have too much influence because the site is very well built.