I’d be very grateful to hear your opinion of the translation of the following negative passage about women. I also have a few questions about the passage (see below that passage).
(This is for a Tibetan translation project…It will translate 4 English language articles that argue that the negative teachings and rules for women are harmful/contradict other passages in the suttas–including teachings on the most fundamental Buddhist Dharma. They are articles by Analayo, Sponberg, Goodwin and Khuankaew…
I want to be sure the Tibetan translators understand each passage correctly – and that they are clear about all the possible translations/connotations of each Pali word, so that they can translate the passages into Tibetan as accurately as possible.)
“It is impossible that a woman should be a perfect rightfully
Enlightened One” (MN 115 and AN 1.279).
First, obviously, is this translation literal and a correct translation? and how else might it be translated?
I’d like to know if the two passages are identical in the Pali (MN 115 and AN 1.279)…or if they are so similar that it is best to translate them in the same way. (I found identical translations for them.)
I’d also like to know if there is any possibility that this passage may be somewhat ambiguous…That is, the translation above is somewhat ambiguous… “a perfect rightfully enlightened one”…sounds like an arhant. It is my understanding that the Pali and Sanskrit versions refer to sammā sambuddhas/samyaksambuddhas…and I have questions on that…
Is it certain that sammā sambuddhas/samyaksambuddhas does not refer to a fully enlightened arhant, but rather to something “superior” (a buddha)…?
Or is the term sambuddha/samyaksambuddha somewhat ambiguous?
Is there more than one way that you could translate “sammā sambuddhas/samyaksambuddhas?”
(I believe sammā sambuddhas = Pali?
and samyaksambuddhas = Sanskrit?)
Finally, do you know if understandings of these terms changed over time? Or if there are differences in their interpretation today (or in the past)? I know Analayo has written about how ideas of arhantship evolved in early Buddhism…
I guess I’m asking about how we should understand the terms “arhant” and sambuddha/samyaksambuddha… Is it certain that these are two different states? And are there different opinions on that?
If they are different, what are the differences?
And does it seem that understandings of the terms evolved over time–even in early Buddhism?
Any other insights that you may have about the passages/the terms arhant and sambuddha/samyaksambuddha would be appreciated.
Obviously, you may not be able to answer all these questions…I’d just answer what you can without effort.
I’m wondering if it could be argued this passage contradicts the other passages where the Buddha makes clear that women can be enlightened.
(I am absolutely convinced that all these negative passages totally contradict many of the Buddha’s teachings–including the most fundamental and essential Dharma principles.)