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Maravaggo (SN)

I am rendering Maravaggo into a small language and have come across few hardships. I would be really grateful, if someone could help me out with literal translations. English translations available on Internet seem inaccurate.

  1. Appattamānaso sekho kālaṃ kayirā janesutāti (it is previously translated “Have people heard of a trainer killing himself, without becoming a perfect one” or “A trainee seeking his mind’s ideal take his own life”)
  2. Lābhā vata me suladdhaṃ vata (it is translated as “It is a great gain to me”)
  3. Bahūṃ vatāya janataṃ anoko acchejja nessati maccurājassa pāranti (it is translated as "Many go homeless in this manner,
    You crossed over the domains of Death” or “Alas, this homeless one will snatch many people
    And lead them away beyond the King of Death”).
    Cheers, Dasi :grinning::grinning:

1: Okay, the first one is a case where the lines can only really be understood in the context of the verse as a whole. This is quite common in verse, as the normal word order is not observed. Here is my translation. (I just noticed a mistake in it, so this is a little different from the one on the site now at SN 4.23)

For how, Blessed One, can a disciple of yours,
Kathañhi bhagavā tuyhaṃ,

one who loves your teaching,
Sāvako sāsane rato;

a trainee who hasn’t achieved their heart’s desire,
Appattamānaso sekkho,

take his own life, O renowned one?”
Kālaṃ kayirā janesutā”ti.

Note that the opening idiom Kathañhi expresses a sense of outrage or objection, which we might render “How on earth …”

The translation “Have people heard …?” is a mistake.

2: This is a very idiomatic phrase, which I wouldn’t try to render literally. It means “How very fortunate!” “How lucky I am” etc.

3: This is a very difficult line, and I follow Ven Bodhi’s reading. He comments:

In pāda a, I read acchejji with Se, an aorist of chindati, to cut. The finite verb seems to me preferable to the absolutive acchejja of Be and Ee1 & 2; the variant acchecchi suggested by PED may also be acceptable. This verb should be distinguished from acchejja (or acchijja, Ee1) in pāda d, an absolutive of acchindati, to rob, to snatch away. The Be and Ee1 reading of pāda a may have arisen through a confusion of the two forms. I read pāda b: addhā tarissanti bahū ca sattā. Be, Ee2, and SS read the last word as saddhā, but the gloss in Spk supports sattā: addhā aññe pi bahujanā ekamsena tarissanti. The BHT version of Mvu is too different to be of help and may be corrupt, but Jones (at 3:273, n. 4) suggests replacing raktā with sattvā, which would then support the reading I have adopted. Tarissanti is certainly preferable to the v.l. carissanti, found in Be, Se, and Ee1.

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Thank you for assistance. Some more details to discuss in Maravaggo:

  1. Do Kathaṃ vihārī bahulodha bhikkhu pañcoghatiṇṇo atarīdha chaṭṭhaṃ,
    and Evaṃ vihārī bahulodha bhikkhu pañcoghatiṇṇo atarīdha chaṭṭhaṃ apply to a bhikkhu who resides in Dhamma, who has found refuge in Dhamma, who stay firm/confirmed in Dhamma? I mean the literal meaning of the word vihārī in this context here.
  2. Dhammavinaye (in “vata me yo tvaṃ evam svākkhāte dhammavinaye pabbajito”) is widely translated as “in well-expounded teaching”, but would it acceptable to render it as “in investigation/study/training of Dhamma”?

The word viharati has the general sense of “dwells, stays, abides” but is used in many idiomatic ways. In Pali EBTs, it commonly means “meditate”. For example, the nava anupubbavihāra are nine successive meditation states. Thus while most translators use “dwellings” or something similar in such contexts, I prefer to translate it more explicitly as “meditation”.

How do we know that it refers specifically to meditation? Context! It says bahula “frequently, often, usually”, a phrase it then repeats in the next line with reference to jhāna. Since it’s asking about how someone gets enlightened, clearly it isn’t talking about the monastery that someone stays at!

To conclude: the phrase here doesn’t mean a bhikkhu who resides in Dhamma, it means one who frequently meditates.

Dhamma-vinaya is a dvanda compound, and it refers to the theory and practice of the Buddha’s teaching. Svākkhāta means "well (su) explained*. So the phrase means “well-explained teaching and training”(or “teaching and practice”).

It’s used when the Buddha wants to contrast with other spiritual systems that are poorly taught by their founders.

So no, “investigation of Dhamma” is not correct.

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Continuing the discussion from Maravaggo (SN):

A couple of more questions about Mara Samyutta to discuss.

Is it referred in Ayuvaggo 1 that Buddha became englightened (bodhāya bhāvayaṃ) through the Noble Eightfold Path (n Sīlaṃ samādhiṃ paññañca)?

What is vaṇṇanibhā ? „Shining, colourful things“ as often rendered sounds strange.

In Bhagavat’s reply to Mara (Rajjavaggo 3): Na mandiyā sayāmi nāpi kāveyyamatto
Atthaṃ sameccāha mapetasoko, what is mandiyā (in a daze, dullness, stupidity???) and kāveyyamatto (drunk/intoxicated on/with poetry???)?
Thank you, Dasi

Note: the two Anupubbavihāra suttas (AN 9.32-33) have no parallels, and can hardly be considered as EBT’s.

Viharati might certainly mean “meditate” instead of “dwelling” - but it has definitely the underlying meaning of “fetching with distinction”.

  • वि vi
    meaning " in two parts " ; and opp. to [ sam ]
    . apart , asunder (RV. )
  • √ हृ hṛ
    . to take , convey , fetch , bring RV.

As, for instance, conveying distinctively between the internal and the external.

Godhika was fetching distinctively, diligent, ardent, and resolute - he reached temporary liberation of mind, but he fell away from that temporary liberation of mind (SN 4.23).

In other words, Godhika could not remain in the internal (that he fetched distinctively from the external/internal), and where the liberation of mind can only occur - due to Mara’s influence.
And he had to kill himself.


In your case, SN 4.25, Buddha says that the Bhikkhu is fetching distinctively with a mind well liberated; that is to say with sensual perceptions kept at bay.
He is fetching the desired dhatu of the infinity of space; the fifth jhana.

Here, you have to refer to the formula in MN 59 :paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā = with the vanishing of perceptions (based) upon the organs of senses (viz. ajjhattikāni āyatanāni [including mano]).

See how transcendance works in Buddhism.

Thank you everybody who took the trouble to assist me in this noble task :slight_smile: