I hope this question finds you all well, and thank you for this wonderful resource!
I was hoping someone might help me with some research I’m (probably quite poorly) attempting.
I am looking for resources that discuss the etymology of the word sīla. From what little I can gather, it entered Pali from Sanskrit but I’m having a hard time finding anything on the etymology of the Sanskrit word शील / śīla.
Can anyone please point me towards any resources covering the etymology of śīla, or any general resources for Sanskrit etymology?
Much thanks in advance!
Here you can find more information for your request:
Many of the standard handbooks on Sanskrit etymology and philology are in German. Do you read German?
For instance, a good place to start would be Mayrhofer’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, II, 644:
On the morphology, see also Wackernagel & Debrunner’s Altindische Grammatik II.2 p.862.
FWIW one thing i always found useful is the pāli word silā means ‘rock’- reminding us that our virtue must be solid like a rock.
I think this was actually a teaching of Ajahn Chah and is mentioned in his biography ‘stilness flowing’ (Jayasāro, 2017)
Anyway, tangent over
Mayrhofer’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen is “industry standard”.
But if you want Turner as well: A Comparative Dictionary of Indo-Aryan Languages
Front matter of the Turner dictionary: A Comparative Dictionary of Indo-Aryan Languages, signs and abbreviations
The “PTS P-E dictionary” suggests:
cp. Sk. śīla. It is interesting to note that the Dhtp puts down a root sīl in meaning of samadhi (No. 268) and upadharana (615).
Thanks for your input everyone, I’m going to have a look at the resources shared and bounce some ideas off you all
I still have to clarify with some people since I am not entirely sure, but as far as I could make out for now based upon some short research, Western scholarship has suggested a connection of Pāḷi sīla with PIA roots k̑ei‑ and Old Indo-Aryan śay (“to lie; bed, couch”; see Pokorny, vol. I, p. 539-40 and Mayrhofer, vol. II, p. 613-4, 644, cp. Turner, p. 724).
This, however, seems to conflict with the Pāḷi grammatical tradition, which distinguishes between a root sī for words such as seti (i.e. “lies”) etc. (sī saye appaccayalopo, vuddhi ca, seti, senti. sesi, setha. semi, sema. sete, sente iccādi [Padarūpasiddhi]) and one for sīla that is sīl (sīla upadhāraṇe’ti dvigaṇikassa sīla dhātussa atthe sandhāya vuttaṃ [Saddanīti]).
I believe Ven. Dhammānando (@dhammanando) can shed some light on the Pāḷi tradition and perhaps also the (for me at least) apparent discrepancy? I would be glad!