SuttaCentral

Mettā Sutta: Could the two locations become identical?


#1

Would it be possible to make the two listings for the Mettā sutta identical? As far as I know there is no difference in the two, however on SuttaCentral it lists different translations.

Khp: SuttaCentral

Snp: SuttaCentral

I realize that one can reach the other by checking the parallels, however most people wouldn’t know how to do that.

They even have different English names. Also, in Snp the Pali title is missing the macron on the letter a.


#2

Previous related thread Metta Sutta, finding it

:slight_smile: So nice to read the Metta Sutta in numerous translations; thank you.

I’m guessing mods or admin will answer your question.


#3

This difficulty was what generated the discussion in Metta Sutta, finding it. I share your concern about access for new readers. & I had to have a similar problem I was having with the Dhammapada carefully explained to me by the ever-patient @Aminah (for which many thanks).

And there are similar issues for those of us wet-behind-the-ears finding various other suttas. (If I can’t find the one I’m currently looking for I’ll have to send out another message for help later today!)

I don’t think the texts @Snowbird identifies could be combined because the texts came out of different baskets originally? And the structure of the original Tipitaka is what it is. Anyway, this is definitely an issue for @admin and out of the reach of the mods. Maybe @Aminah can share some thoughts for us?

:pray:


#4

What I can see is that there are different translations—English and other languages—that are not all present in both locations. I think at Kp 9 there are more translations than at Snp 1.8. I also thought it would be nice to have all translations in both places; but I thought there may be a reason for the way it is? But maybe I am wrong, and it just happened that way by accident.

Well, the titles are taken from different translations each time. Confusing, for sure.

I guess that may be a good address.


#5

If we are talking baskets, I think it is more accurate to say that it got put into two different baskets. But it is the exact same sutta in both places. As I understand even the commentary is identical. I’m guessing that the difference in translations listed in different places is simply a SuttaCentral history thing.

And the issue I raise here is somewhat tangential to the issue of finding the Mettā sutta in the first place. Also I realize that there are several other suttas that appear identically in two different places. Several in the MN. But those suttas have nowhere near the number of translations or the popularity of the Mettā sutta.


#6

That was only a suggestion, and I defer to your superior knowledge of the canon. …

However, anything that makes SC more transparent to newcomers is a good thing. Tidying up SC glitches is an obvious first step. :pray:


#7

@Snowbird, so what is the difference between Khp and Snp?
Are you saying that the root Pali texts aren’t parallels but 100% identical?

I guess this raises the interesting question of when is a parallel not a parallel, eg what if two texts are 98% identical? These are matters that textual scholars could debate forever, so I’m grateful for those whose primary efforts centre on making the Buddha’s teachings easily available to as many people as possible.


#8

Well, I certainly claim no superior knowledge. And I have no technical knowledge of parallels other than to say, “Yep, they’re the same” :blush:

I’m also not really knowledgeable in (or quite interested in) the theories of book compilation. But I believe one theory is that the Khp is a kind of a “handbook” text (before there were books???) for novices to memorize. Containing the refuges and the novice precepts make that a rather strong case. So does the fact that it contains one of the few suttas about merit sharing along with the important meditation list of body parts and the three most (currently?) popular suttas, the Mangala sutta, Ratana Sutta, and the Mettā sutta.

But the Mettā sutta is identical in both places. There is a variation between Thai and Sinhala versions, but at least within the Sinhala, it is identical in both places. But I’m really not sure how parallel people define a parallel. It would seem that some difference between two things is needed to qualify, otherwise it’s just the same. I don’t think we ever see completely identical suttas in the same book (or in the case of the KN, sub book or whatever you like to call it.) There may be something in the AN… I have a vague recollection of a footnote saying there are two suttas with no apparent difference.

So it’s not the case that we would have to modify any translations to include the Khp suttas to also be in the Snp listing. At least for the English translations, most if not all are long finished, so the issue of updating changes in both places is not present.

I think this would be a case where at the very least having a link in the suttaplex descriptions to the other suttaplex cards is warranted. Since this will be a gateway sutta for many people, it’s not reasonable to expect them to explore the parallels section to find other translations.


#9

Absolutely.


#10

I’m guessing the thoughts ought be related to the thread topic, right? :worried:

What I can say is that I am profoundly sympathetic (in fact, empathetic) to the general point of discussion here about the challenge of orienting the texts especially if someone is new to them. I would desperately love to see the coming to be of a “noob-friendly grounding package”.

I’m sorry but just at the minute I’ve only had the chance to skim, and it’s already probably been covered, but yes, Snp1.8 and Kp9 are the same text: Metta Sutta translation challenge!.

I had also understood it so that the kp was a kind of handbook for novice monastics. The Khuddakapāṭha Introduction on the Dhammatalks website also points in this direction.

With respect to why the SC kp9 and Snp1.8 lists aren’t identical, in short: I don’t know. I can look to see if there is any technical reason.


#11

All your thoughts are appreciated. But specifically, @Snowbird is making this request:

( All the rest is D&D fluff. :chicken: )


#12

:pray:

I was just given a nice, woolly jumper so have especial appreciation of that which is fluffy at the moment! And really as I say, for me supporting newcomers (and, in fact, “arrived-a-while-ago-ers”) in their explorations of the texts as much as possible is very dear to my heart.

On making the two lists identical: at a quick glance I can’t really see why they wouldn’t be save for the extra effort. I’ll add it looking at mirroring kp9 and snp1.8 to the to-do-list. However, as keen followers of the forum will already know (and probably be sick of hearing me say by now), legacy format texts are currently being held on a separate GitHub branch pending the conclusion of some work being done to update texts pages, and it might take a bit until additions and amendments to legacy format text to show on the site.


#13

:sheep: You can’t imagine how much fluffy woolly jumpers trigger my mudita!! :two_hearts:

And thank you for putting the metta sutta on the to-do-list. :grin:


#14

You can’t imagine how much the beautiful, spirit of giving, as well as the mudita of others triggers my mudita! :grin: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


#15

Mudita is indeed among the best contagious things in the world!! :two_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


#16

So it is, so it is! :pray:


#17

Now I’ve caught a dose.
Thank you @Aminah for adding the action to the list.


#18

Thank you so much for all your work. It’s certainly not urgent. Would it be difficult to include cross links in the sutaplex description text? I’ve never seen links in them so it may not be possible.


#19

As you suspected, there’s no real reason, we just didn’t get around to keeping them identical.

There are a few other cases of identical suttas:

  • Metta Sutta
  • Sela Sutta (MN and Snp)
  • First three sermons (SN, and embedded in Kd1)
  • Ud 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 (also in Kd 1)
  • Mangala and Ratana Suttas (Snp and Kp)

I wonder if we should keep a list of these? Perhaps we could even build an automated system for dual-publishing. But I don’t know how hard that would be.