|WikiProject Buddhism||(Rated C-class)|
|WikiProject Religious texts||(Rated C-class)|
Use of Pali in this WP article
After much deliberation over a couple of months, I decided to add core Pali text — the basis for the English translations — to this article. I did so because I have seen several translations of the "five remembrances" and some of them (including one currently included in this article's "External links" section) significantly deviate from the original text. This is a problem because some people may become enamored with a deviant translation, incorrectly thinking it represents the canonical words of the Buddha, and thus pursue a practice outside the Dhamma (the Buddha's teaching). FWIW, though, as indicated by the side-by-side comparison of English and Pali, the Thanissaro (1997b) translation used appears to be very faithful to the original Pali, especially when examined using the Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25) PED translations.
If someone disagrees with the recent insertion of Pali into this article, I would sincerely appreciate it if it were first discussed here prior to unilateral deletions being made.
Thanks for presenting the two translations for discussion. I just thought that “I am sure to die. I cannot avoid death.” was more straightforward than “I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.”, but I am no Pali scholar. I’m afraid that this article is subject to change, has not gone beyond change ;) I don’t think it will last with two translations side by side. Perhaps we could have a vote as to the best translation, or just informally discuss it here. Dhammapal 20:52, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
- Hi Dhammapal, I think you are correct on multiple counts and, like yourself, given my very limited understanding of Pali, it is difficult for me to assess which translation is more faithful to the original Pali. Nonetheless, I think additional benefits of the Thanissaro translation includes:
- (a) popularity: based on my limited experience, it seems to be used in the real world much more often (probably because it is readily accessible from the Internet).
- (b) transparency: being on the Internet, quotations from it can be readily verified (vs., for instance, the Nyanaponika & Bodhi translations which, if I may point out, were unexpectedly edited before being used here)
- Therefore, I think there are a number of factors to be weighed. Perhaps we should contact User:Stephen Hodge or another to evaluate the authenticity of the translations? Otherwise, until someone barks, I'm happy leaving it as it is, empowering readers to decide for themselves. Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 22:00, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
- Hi Larry,
I got the translation from our External Link: Upajjhatthana Sutta read aloud which says it comes from the Nyanaponika and Bodhi anthology. The suttareadings site is associated with Access to Insight where the Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation is. I support the Nyanaponika version. It is more straightforward, and Wikipedia readers are not scholars. Are Wikipedia editors supposed to be scholars or librarians? (Is there a Wikipedia guideline page on that question?) I especially enjoy editing and reading Simple English Wikipedia. Check out the Buddhism category. It is often quite delightful. with metta Dhammapal 09:20, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
- You flagged the following statement in the introduction:
- According to a related canonical discourse, the first three remembrances are the very insights that led Gautama Buddha to renounce his royal household status and become an ascetic.
- As is typical of well-written intros, this is a summary of information found in the article itself. (In fact, somewhere in WP guidelines -- or at least it was once so -- citations in the intro are to be avoided since the intro is supposed to just summarize the article's other text that should then be well cited.) Where in the article can one find information on "a related canonical discourse"? Check the section called "Related canonical discourses". There, each discourse is well-cited.
- In Buddhism, dates for particular discourses are highly disputed, controversial, speculative. You can probably say relatively safely that each of the cited discourses was spoken and then written down sometime between 500 BC and 100 AD. However, in Buddhist scholarship and religious discourse, it is more appropriate to note if something is "canonical" (in this case, of the Pali Canon), from the "commentary," from the "subcommentaries," etc.
- In short, the statement you flag follows WP guidelines for introductory statements, subsequent content provides appropriate citations and dates are inadvisable in these circumstances. So, I'd recommend removing the "citation tag." Just an anon editor's two cents though.
- With metta,
- 126.96.36.199 (talk) 03:34, 24 March 2010 (UTC)