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Are these translations of Sutta Nipata Correct?

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#1

I found a Hindu website called Agniveer in which it is proclaimed that Buddha accepted the Vedas. For this, it provides the translation from Sutta Nipata with Pali text. I was wondering whether this is the correct translation or it is mistranslated.

Here you go -:

Vedas in teachings of Mahatma Buddha

  1. In Sutta Nipat 192, Mahatma Buddha says that:

Vidwa Cha Vedehi Samechcha Dhammam Na Uchchavacham Gachhati Bhooripanjo.

People allow sense-organs to dominate and keep shuffling between high and low positions. But the scholar who understands Vedas understands Dharma and does not waver.

  1. Sutta Nipat 503:

Yo Vedagu Gyanarato Sateema …….

One should support a person who is master of Vedas , contemplative, intelligent, helpful if you desire to inculcate similar traits.

  1. Sutta Nipat 1059:

Yam Brahmanam Vedagum Abhijanjya Akinchanam Kamabhave Asattam……

One gets free from worldly pains if he is able to understand a Vedic Scholar who has no wealth and free from attraction towards worldly things.

  1. Sutta Nipat 1060:

Vidwa Cha So Vedagu Naro Idha Bhavabhave Sangam Imam Visajja……

I state that one who understands the Vedas rejects attraction towards the world and becomes free from sins.

  1. Sutta Nipat 846:

Na Vedagu Diththia Na Mutiya Sa Manameti Nahi Tanmayoso….

One who knows Vedas does not acquire false ego. He is not affected by hearsay and delusions.

  1. Sutta Nipat 458:

Yadantagu Vedagu Yanjakaale Yassahuti Labhe Taras Ijjeti Broomi

I state that one who acquires Ahuti in Havan of a Vedic scholar gets success.

These are just a few examples from works of Mahatma Buddha

  1. Mahatma Buddha did not reject Vedas per se, but the malpractices happening in name of Vedas . For example, if you call someone – He is a Neta of India – today, he may get offended and feel as if you have called him corrupt and manipulative. This is not because Neta word in itself means ‘corrupt’, but because this is what we see of the so-called Netas today.

Similarly, when Mahatma Buddha questioned birth-based casteism, animal sacrifice and other nonsense practices, he was answered that Vedas sanction so. Thus, like any sane morally upright person would do, Mahatma Buddha stated that: “If Vedas sanction these evil practices, then I reject Vedas.”

Had Gautam Buddha obtained an opportunity to study the actual Vedas and not go by the false notions prevailing, he could no way have issued such a statement.

Website link - Buddhism and Vedas


#2

Hi Abhinav,

I’m no expert but I did have a look at this passage:

Translation: SuttaCentral
[at the end]

“That man here who is wise, and has true understanding,
who has released the shackle of repeated existence,
he is craving-free, not troubled, not yearning—
he has crossed over birth and old age, I say.”

Pali: SuttaCentral

Vidvā ca yo
so Buddhajayantītripiṭakagranthamālā
vedagūnaroidha,
Bhavābhavesaṅgamimaṃvisajja;
Sovītataṇhoanīghonirāso,
Atārisojātijarantibrūmī”ti.

From hovering over the Pali one see that the word vedagū has the dictionary entry: SuttaCentral

vedagū
masculine
one who has attained the highest knowledge.

So veda does appear, but I don’t think it is in the sense that the website takes it to mean. I understand veda means knowledge in Sanskrit: Vedas - Wikipedia
and here are some Pali definitions: SuttaCentral

veda
masculine
religious feeling; knowledge; the brahmanic canon of authorised religious teaching.

I’d be interested to hear a more scholarly analysis!


#3

One can find anything on the internet…

But a statement such as this one

Seems so wrong, on so many levels, that it is hardly worth giving those, who advance such opinions, any serious consideration what so ever.

Updated; Apologies @Abhinav for the brusqueness of the comment above :pray:
To be clearer, and show why I believe it is wrong view, I’d like to highlight that the person making that statement, seems to be doing so from the position that they have a more informed view than the Buddha did - that The Buddha made a mistake, that they are able to identify and so teach us what the Buddha would have said, if he had access to the right knowledge.

Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel pretty confident that The Buddha KNEW exactly what he was talking about. That the Buddha had overcome delusion and was able to see things as they truly are.
I have confidence in The Buddha and not in the person who thinks he is cleverer than the Buddha Gautama. Hence I don’t have confidence that the material you have cited is very reliable.

metta


#4

Yeah, I believe that the site has some malicious intentions.


#5

Hi Abhinav,

Thanks for raising this here, it is an important question. There is much disinformation, so it is important to check things out.

Unfortunately, the website is presenting Hindutva arguments, which are not intended to help understand the Buddha (or the Vedas for that matter), but to enforce an ideological position.

Allow me to make a few points.

  1. Firstly, it would be nice if they used the internationally-accepted standard for writing Pali. I understand that they are writing for an Indian audience, but there is really no reason not to use the standard form. It just invites confusion.
  2. As pointed out, the term vedagū is one of the many brahmanical terms that the Buddha repurposed. The brahmins used it to mean “master of the Vedas”, while the Buddha used it to mean “wisdom-master”. You’ll find a list of such terms, with Buddhist definitions, at for example MN 39. This is an extremely well-known technique used by the Buddha, and no reputable scholar would mistake it.
  3. The verse said to be “192” is in fact PTS verse no. 792. Here the word veda is used in its primary sense of “knowledge”, as explained in the early canonical commentary on this line: Vedeh ti vedā vuccanti catūsu maggesu ñāṇaṃ “By knowledges” means: knowledges are said to be the knowledge of the four paths … (etc.)"
  4. As to wheher the Buddha rejected the Vedas completely, or merely then-contemporary corruptions, this has a grain of truth to it. The Buddha did on several occasions criticize the contemporary brahmins, saying that there was a more pure practice in the past. See, for example, the Brahmanadhammika Sutta at Snp 2.7. However this does not mean that the Buddha accepted the Vedas; for the brahmanical tradition has always been richer than just one set of texts. In the Tevijja Sutta (DN 13) he compared the brahmins to the blind leading the blind, and explicitly included the original seers of the Vedas.

The Vedas and post-Vedic literature are one of humanity’s greatest spiritual works, and reveal a great deal about not only how the ancient Indians lived and worshipped, but about humanity. I believe that the mutual study of Buddhist and brahmanical literature is far richer than treating either of them alone. But to do so, we have to respect the individual voices and perspectives of the people speaking. They are not us. And we do them and history a disservice by pretending that they are nothing more than a backup for our modern ideologies.