Help with Hindi Suttas


I’m extremely sorry, bhante @sujato, for keeping you waiting. Was busy in work, heartbreaking realizations and discussions with knowledgeable dhamma friends.

It’s a prose translation, but to be honest, not so good or accurate. For example, the translator has rendered the word ‘kilesa’ into ‘asakti’ – what in Hindi means ‘attachment’. And these mistakes are everywhere and too many. So I was a little discouraged by the sorry state of affairs in Hindi.

The predicament that I was finding myself in was ‘how can I still go ahead and do the work, if I know for sure it would constitute as misrepresentation of Buddha?’ I mean, I can’t be just mindless about it, for thousands of people today and future generations would rely and depend on this misrepresented dhamma which I’ve helped spread. Already we’re all struggling with counterfeit dhamma all over. I don’t want another mistranslated version of dhamma to kick-start in digital India.

If I start correcting their mistakes as I work along, then it won’t remain “translators work”. And if it becomes mine, then I’d have to come forward and own up the work with hassles like you know, copyrights and non-commercial licences, books publication, which I never wanted to do in the first place. Plus, my meditation and dhamma progress would suffer with increasing work and opening myself up to public at large. I’m not comfortable with too many contacts. I’m shy and highly introvert. I like to keep a low profile and live just under the radar. I’m a chicken.

So, I’m thinking what to do. The options me and my bhikkhu friends are pondering over are, either just slowly and steadily begin with my own translations, which should take years altogether (my friends fav), or just forget everything and focus on my own practice (my personal fav).

Well. Bhante, if it’s not too much to ask, can you please help get us out of this deadlock? Just any suggestions about the what, how and why part are welcome. You have immense experience in this exact field, which we navaka bhikkhus totally need. My gut feeling is telling me that we don’t know what we are taking about.

BTW, thank you @karl_lew for explaining so warmly. I appreciate it.


Sadhu, Metta and karuna to you, friend :slightly_smiling_face: :anjal: :sparkling_heart: :dharmawheel:


Well, this sounds like the start of something. It is the same in the English language sphere, it takes a few generations of translations to get something good; we all stand on the shoulders of giants.

I am hoping that our Bilara translation software will be ready to use by the New Year. In that case, perhaps you and your friends would like to start work on some translations? One sentence at a time!


Just my two cents: My experience with translation work is that it is largely a Dhamma practice for me. This may be very personal, and may be different for different people. For me, working on the Buddha’s teachings in my own language, and proof-listening to what I have translated in Voice, brings the message to a much deeper level of my heart. This has been a surprising experience at first, and doing this work brings so much joy to my heart which is what a good Dhamma practice is supposed to do. (Much gratitude to @karl_lew at this point for all the support I have from what he is building for Voice! :pray:)

I go from the premise that it will take me ten years to get the canon done, and I can only hope that I will live long enough and stay in sufficient health to complete it, but I just started and see how far I come.


Phew! I felt a lot of heat dissipating out of my body. I need time to gather up some energy and courage. The task is intimidating, to say least. Thanks anyways venerable @sujato.

Dear @sabbamitta, Your two cents are not two cents. They are inestimable. Putting myself in your shoes just to see how it feels sent chills down my spine. I don’t know how you guys do it. Either I’m way too chicken or you guys are real giants. Or both. I’m new to seeing this kind of commitment and dedication.

I used to think my life was tough and full of struggle. Lately I’m realizing that I was raised like a sensitive princess. My perceptions are flipping. Finding new respect for parents.

Thank you all. You guys are heroes and inspiration. I need time to decide what am I really signing up for. I hope I don’t disappoint, but feeling vulnerable. Sorry if my talk is weird and inappropriate in a forum like this.

Thank you @Viveka. I can use some more metta and karuna. Would you please shoot some more?


For those of us working on SuttaCentral Voice, there is one sutta dear to our hearts. It is SN3.21 and it is dear to our hearts because Voice is dedicated to the dark bound for light.

SN3.21:4.1: And how is a person dark and bound for light?
SN3.21:4.2: It’s when some person is reborn in a low family—a family of outcastes, bamboo-workers, hunters, chariot-makers, or waste-collectors—poor, with little to eat or drink, where life is tough, and food and shelter are hard to find.
SN3.21:4.3: And they’re ugly, unsightly, deformed, chronically ill—one-eyed, crippled, lame, or half-paralyzed. They don’t get to have food, drink, clothes, and vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and makeup; or bed, house, and lighting.
SN3.21:4.4: But they do good things by way of body, speech, and mind.
SN3.21:4.5: When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm.

If you would like to translate Bhante’s own English translation of SN3.21 into Hindi, we could add it to Voice and we would be grateful to give voice to your translation as well using Aditi, who speaks Hindi.



This is new to me seeing that what I do is inspiring to others. Your feedback means a lot to me, it makes me very glad. Although I don’t feel like a giant. I have noticed in my life that often things that look courageous to others, from the perspective of the person who does them don’t look particularly like an act of courage; rather like a necessity; or like encountering an opportunity, recognizing its potential, and stepping into it. To others it looks like something brave or courageous, but for them it is just the logical step, or something required from somewhere in the depth of their heart.

I can very well relate to what you say about flipping perceptions. I know similar experiences, but maybe flipping from a different A to a different B. I found this a most special experience: Not only does it open our mind to new and unexpected perspectives, but it also enables us to literally watch dependent origination at work. We can see how much perception is a conditioned thing, and that there is no absolute reality to it! That’s real life Dhamma! :dharmawheel: :heart:

(This is slightly off topic, and I hope the moderators will forgive us. :pray:)