AN 1.342/3: 'saṃvejaniyesu ṭhānesu saṃvijjanti'

Here is the Pali:

appakā te sattā ye saṃvejaniyesu ṭhānesu saṃvijjanti

Bhante Sujato’s translation:

the sentient beings inspired by inspiring places are few

Here rendering ṭhānaṃ as ‘place’.

However, Bhikkhu Bodhi has:

those beings are few who acquire a sense of urgency about things inspiring urgency

Rendering ṭhānaṃ as ‘things’.

I believe BB’s rendering is supported by AN 4.113:

idha, bhikkhave, ekacco bhadro purisājānīyo suṇāti — ‘amukasmiṃ nāma gāme vā nigame vā itthī vā puriso vā dukkhito vā kālaṅkato vā’ti. so tena saṃvijjati, saṃvegaṃ āpajjati. saṃviggo yoniso padahati.

From BS’s own translation:

One fine thoroughbred person hears about the suffering or death of a woman or man in
such and such village or town. They’re moved to act by this, and strive effectively. Applying
themselves,

BB’s:

“Here, bhikkhus, one kind of excellent thoroughbred person hears: ‘In such and such a village or town some woman or man has fallen ill or died.’ He is stirred by this and acquires a sense of urgency. Stirred, he strives carefully

Then the sutta gives other reasons to get a sense of urgency:

one fine thoroughbred person doesn’t hear about the suffering or death of a
woman or man in such and such village or town, but they see it themselves. They’re moved to
act by this…

… doesn’t hear about the suffering or death of a woman or man in such and such village or town, nor do they see it themselves, but it happens to their own relative or family member. They’re moved to act …

… doesn’t hear about the suffering or death of a woman or man in such and such village or town, nor do they see it themselves, nor does it happen to their own relative or family member, but they themselves are afflicted with physical pain—sharp, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening. They’re moved to act by this…

I think AN 4.133 is a pretty strong hint that BB’s rendering of ṭhānaṃ as ‘things’ (or perhaps ‘occasions’ or ‘events’ would also fit) is more accurate and that perhaps BS’s translation should be corrected, since the above are not ‘places’ but ‘occasions’, ‘events’ or ‘things’ that arouse a sense of urgency.

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The difference between Ven Sujato’s interpretation and Bikkhu Bodhi’s is a matter of levels of understanding. In general Ven Sujato’s view is at a parochial level which some beginners are attracted to.

If you want a third opinion, I like using Ven Varado’s glossary Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms

saṃvejanīyesu ṭhānesu situations that are dismaying; saṃviggassa, quickened

Being quickened by situations that are dismaying, and the proper striving in one who is thus quickened.

saṃvego ca saṃvejanīyesu ṭhānesu saṃviggassa ca yoniso padhānaṃ.

Few amongst beings are those quickened by situations that are dismaying.

appakā te sattā ye saṃvejanīyesu ṭhānesu saṃvijjanti

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