MN37 translation

This is a question for Bhante @Sujato with regards to his choice of translation of a sentence at

(I think the highlight will only appear when you have specific settings set, which is something that needs to be looked into).

The sentence in pali is:

Api ca, mārisa moggallāna, sussutaṃyeva hoti suggahitaṃ sumanasikataṃ sūpadhāritaṃ, yaṃ no khippameva antaradhāyati.

Which you translate as:

Besides, I quickly forget even things I’ve properly heard, learned, attended, and memorized.

However, Bhikkhu Bodhi and others translate it as:

Besides, good sir Moggallana, what is well heard, well learned, well attended to, well remembered, does not vanish all of a sudden.

This latter translation is more in line with the pali itself (no khippameva antaradhāyati). And as is clear from the rest of the Sutta, Sakka did indeed still remember it. So why your choice of translation here?


Perhaps Bhante Sujato was pointing out that Sakka had “quickly forgotten it” buried under the Palace of Victory? And that Moggallana was gently and kindly poking Sakka with his toe, to jog his memory?

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You know, when I see things like this, I always have a gulp and think, OMG how could I have got it so wrong!!! But then, just occasionally, I check again and realize that the issue is discussed in my notes.

Here it seems no is a pronoun , “for us”, using the common plural form for formal speech. This is according to the commentary:

Yaṃ no khippaṃ eva antaradhāyati yaṃ aṃhākaṃ sīghaṃ eva andhakāre
ruāpagataṃ viya na dissati

And this reading was supported by Ven Nyanatusita in his notes on Ven Bodhi’s translation.

Literally it would be “quickly vanishes for us”, i.e. “I quickly forget”.