Hi all, another topic on a minor translation matter,
Paṭiccasamuppādaṃ is most often translated as ‘dependent arising/origination’. But it is also translated as ‘dependent CO-arising’, more and more often nowadays, it seems. But I dont’ think there is there any justification for the latter.
First, I think everybody will agree ‘co-arising’ is stylistically not preferable. My dictionary does not mention the word either, and if you google just the word ‘coarising’ only articles on dependent arising come up. So it’s an artificial term. Still, sometimes there are good reasons to put style aside and introduce neologisms. When is a matter of preference, but at least there would have to be some reasons.
But this is not the case here. The prefix saṃ in samuppāda is just a “repetition”, a redundancy for the following prefix up (=ud). As the PTS Pali-English Dictionary says under saṃ: “Very often merely pleonastic, esp. in comb[inatio]n with other prefixes.” Therefore, under samuppajjati it simply has, “to arise, to be produced”. To give some examples in a daily-life context:
- SN3.25 mentions the arising (samuppanne) of a great peril, namely a mountain that crushes everything;
- AN8.54 speaks of wealth that has arisen (samuppannānaṁ);
- Thag1.30 speaks of the arising (samuppanno) of sickness;
- Iti43 uses ‘arisen’ (samuppannaṃ) as a synonym for ‘born’ (jātaṃ) and ‘came to be’ (bhūtaṃ).
Now, no-one would speak of a “coarising” of wealth and sickness, of course. And neither does there seem to be any justification to speak of a “coarising of death”, say, in context of Dependent Arising.
Samupajjati is just a synonym for upajjati, including in the context of Dependent Arising. Upajjati is regularly used in this context, even in the description of the underlying logical principle itself—imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati, “This arises, because that arises.” There is of course also no such thing as “co-cessation”.
Therefore, the translation ‘dependent co-arising’ implies more than the original Pali, and I would even be tempted to say it is just wrong.
Many might not care about these minor details, but such translations I think can be problematic because they complicate even further a topic that, in my opinion, often gets overly complicated already.
Any thoughts, comments?