Early Buddhist Texts - perhaps the most important reason for trying to understand/accurately translate them

Continuing the discussion from Lay Arahats. Why not?:

I decided to pull this out and place it here because, reflecting on this recently, I felt such gratitude to all those who have tried to make sense of the EBTs. In contemporary times, within the English speaking world, Bhikkhu Bodhi comes to mind. However, the work that Bhante Sujato, Ajahn Brahmali and Ajahn Brahm and others like Ven Analayo, and I’m sure there are many others that I do not know of, including many of the contributers and commentators and readers that visit here, should be applauded and hugely appreciated.

In trying to work out the nuts and bolts of grammar and semantics, in trying to work out what it would’ve meant to the original audience, we come close to what the Buddha would have meant when he spoke the words that have been attributed to him.

Yes, of course, we would come closest to him when we go within, and see our own hearts, the workings of our mind and body, clearly and fully. Yet, to look at the EBTs in a way which makes it easy for us to go within, in a way which makes own hearts appear more clearly, in a way which gives us a framework with which to approach body, mind and spiritual practice; a framework that is the Buddha’s but is built up with words, phrases and images that are local and immediate to us…well…those who translate the EBTs to make them clearer, to make them make Dhamma sense within our modern paradigms…these people and the work they do are gold.

May they and such work, always be well supported. For all our sakes.


…So “Thank you” to all you translators out there. :grin: