Bhante Sujato Pali Course 2023: lesson 10

Thread for discussing chapter 10 of Warder for the class on October 3rd.

Meeting ID: 869 8997 6290
Passcode: 2023


Thanks for putting this up!

Following the last class, as an extra bit of fun, try translating the exercises into another language as well as English.


It was fun indeed though we got caught off guard. :grin: :grin: :grin:

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Hi everyone, especially @Hasantha :slight_smile:

Here is my pre-class notes on Lesson 10. Hope I didn’t make any mistake. The hay fever further slows down my brain cells…

Lesson 10 - Notes.pdf (708.4 KB)


I’ll try and attend, but it is well past my bedtime, so I may be quite groggy and unfocused. Yes, I know it’s literally the same time as prior to the daylight savings change, but my body doesn’t think that way (plus it will have woken up an hour earlier). As it is, I have been incredibly sleepy in the previous lessons.


Question 1.
Na ciraṁ tathāgatassa parinibbānaṁ bhavissati.
My answer: The Thus-gone one’s final extinguishment will not be for a long time.
Answer: The final extinguishment of the Tathagata will not be long.

Is this because ciraṁ is actually the adjective cira agreeing with parinibbānaṁ (nt. sg. acc)?
I thought ciraṁ was the indecinable adverb meaning “for a long time, after a long time” (according to DPD), which is how I got my answer.

Question 2.
na kho pana samayena Ānando bhagavato piṭṭhito ṭhito hoti bhagavantaṁ vījamāno

I had a couldn’t find the word vījamāno in DPD, I could only find the spelling vījiyamāno
Is this a mistake in DPD or Warder?

Question 3.
These people will have sons. = Imesaṁ manussānaṁ puttā bhavissanti.
I got the answer correct but I wasn’t sure if manussānaṁ was in the genitive or dative?

Thank you :pray:t6:

I’m just going to stick to translating into English for the moment as it would be far too entertaining (for people who actually speak Sinhala well) if I were to translate into Sinhala. :laughing:


This answer given appears ambiguous in English: ie The final extinguishment will be fast (whenever it occurs) vs The final extinguishment will start soon (and we don’t know how long it will take).

Maybe Ayya’s comments on ciraṃ have a bearing here.

Screenshot from 2023-09-30 10-55-49



Question 1: na ciraṃ tathāgatassa parinibbānaṃ bhavissati

= The extinction of the Tathāgata / The Tathāgata’s extinction will be soon.

I was trying to make sense of the modifier ‘na’ here and misinterpreted the sentence.

However, if I want to say “Thatāgata’s parinibbāna will not be for a long time yet”, where would the modifier ‘na’ should be?

Question 2: imassa jayo bhavissati

= Victory will be his.

If there was no context, would this translation be ok? “This will be a victory.”

Question 3: āropito te vādo

= Your argument has been disproved.

Could the word vāda here be translated as a statement or assertation?

Question 4: mā me purato aṭṭhāsi

= Do not stand in front of me.

This sentence reminds me of a saying by Albert Camus. Does the following sentence make sense?

mā me purato gacchi. na anubandhissāmi.

me upagacchasi, atho me mittaṃ hosi.

Question 5: so maṃ pañhena, ahaṃ veyyākaraṇena sobhissāmi

= He, through a question to me, I will make clear with an explanation.

After struggling with it for a long while, I felt better to read Ajahn Brahmali’s comment that it is difficult to make good grammatical sense of this sentence!

Is my guess and thus rendering passable? “To the question that he asked me, I will make it clear with detailed exposition.”

Question 6: tena kho pana samayena Ānando bhagavato piṭṭhito ṭhito hoti bhagavantaṃ vījamāno

= Now, at that time, Ānanda was standing behind the Blessed One, fanning the Blessed One.

My attempt: There at the assembly, Venerable Ānando standing behind the Buddha is fanning the Buddha.

6.1 Why is tena translated as ‘now’, not there? Is it because of the interpretation of the word samayena?

6.2 How can we know that samayena here means at that time or on that occasion, not at the assembly when samayena is the instrumental case for both definitions?

6.3 How can we tell which is the main verb, and which is the participial verb phrase modifying Venerable Ānanda?

Question 7: kammaṃ kho pana me karontassa kāyo kilamissati

= However, while I am doing the work, (my) body will become tired.

My translation is different from Ajahn Brahmali’s above. Is it acceptable? “The work will be done by me, but the body will be tired.” or “I will do the work, but my body will be tired.” If not, what particular point is wrong?

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I understand the sense here to be not long [from now], or soon.

From PED:
Vījati Vījati [vīj] to fan …. - Caus. vījeti DhA iv.213; Mhvs 5, 161. — Pass. vījiyati : ppr. vījiyamāna getting fanned

(So it’s the passive present participle with the -ya infix. The active pres part would be ‘he, fanning’.

Dative and genitive often overlap. Literally this could be translated, “there will be sons for these people “
Probably genitive plural? Or perhaps ‘dative of possession ’.

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Certainly my answer (done 18 years ago) is ambiguous, and I would phrase it differently now. And even English syntax here can be confusing. Ciraṃ is an adverb in this sentence, not an adjective. Without the na the sentence would read ciraṁ tathāgatassa parinibbānaṁ bhavissati and would mean ‘The final extinguishment of the Tathāgata will be in a long time’, that is, it won’t be soon, it’s a long time ahead. But the na ciraṃ makes the meaning ‘not in a long time’, but soon.
Looks as if your following two questions have been well answered.


Thank you @sabbamitta - I must go check DPD again!

I think I had the na negating the bhavissati not the ciraṃ.

One more question:
āropito te vādo
Could this be “The statement has been disproved by you,” since te can also be the 2nd p. sing. instrumental?

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@Dheerayupa, responses to your questions.

Q1. Your answer to exercise sentence here is exactly correct, and using the word ‘soon’ makes the meaning clearer.
In answer to the 2nd part of your question, there would be no na in the sentence at all.

Q2. Your alternative doesn’t work - imassa is genitive here.

Q3. Yes

Q4. Seems to. What is the Camus quote in French or English, please?

Q5. It is a weird sentence, especially out of full context! I like your rendering.

Q6. There’s no ‘assembly’ here! Tena samayena is a common expression that means ‘at that time’.
It is the word pana that has been translated as ‘now’.
Hoti is the main verb.

Q7. Me karontassa is an example of the genitive absolute construction.
And kilamissati is the only verb in future tense here, which is not what your solutions imply.

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I forgot to mention that the first translation after the Pali belongs to Ajahn Brahmali’s, not mine. I’ve been using this format so that the question will be self-sufficient and readers don’t have to go to the textbook and answer key.

I don’t use your answer as you said it was done many years ago, so I think it might be a good idea for you to compare my poor rendering to Ajahn Brahmali’s. :smiley:

Don’t walk behind me;
I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me;
I may not follow.
Just walk beside me
and be my friend.

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Aha! … Therefore there’s no ambiguity in the Pali, and my first interpretation of the English becomes inadmissible as a translation.

Thank you John.

Question 8: These people will have sons

Aj Brahmali: Imesaṃ manussānaṃ puttā bhavissanti.

I’m influenced by my language (Thai), we will not use the word manussā to mean people in general. Manussā will be used in specific contexts or with specific connotations. For the sentence above, I would use the word purisa. Would it be incorrect?

Question 9: We deserve a share of the relics of the fortunate one

Ajahn Brahmali: Mayaṃ Bhagavato sarīrānaṃ bhāgaṃ arahāma.

How can we know that the word a share of (bhāgo) comes after sarīrānaṃ.

Thank you so much, Bhante @sujato, @johnk, @stephen

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I think that would be possible, but purisa seems to have a more gender specific connotation in Pali than manussa.

It seems that it wouldn’t matter as these words go together (declined the same).


Thank you, dear. These are supremely helpful!

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Because I am knee-deep in the French translations now…two different French translations use a construction that speaks to the passage of time relative to the tathāgata’s (imminent) final extinguishment (“in just a short time from now”), not the pace at which the final extinguishment will take place. Thus I propose “imminent” is implied. Of course, neither of these translators may be correct, but that’s how they both did it. (They each used slightly different constructions that mean the same thing.)

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