Most Venerable Bhante @Sujato! (I am just hoping in vain that criticism will go down better that way. )
I’ve just been reading your translation of the famous Kaccānagotta Sutta, SN 12.15 for the uninitiated. I like it, as I do most of your translations. But as so often, it is the odd thing I disagree with that tends to stand out.
You render the following Pali phrase:
Upayupādānābhinivesavinibandho khvāyaṃ, kaccāna, loko yebhuyyena
The world is for the most part shackled to attraction, grasping, and insisting.
The difficult question here, as you would obviously know, is the grammatical structure of the first long compound. It can be parsed in a number of ways, and I don’t have any problem with the way you separate out the last word vinibandha, “shackled”, as relating to the rest of the compound. What I am querying, however, is what that relationship should be. You have used the word “to”, suggesting perhaps an accusative or dative connection. I can see why this may work. At the same time the suttas normally speak of such shackling in regard to the five khandhas, and these other qualities are normally part of the shackle, not the things that we are shackled to. So to me a more natural reading would be to regard the relationship as instrumental:
The world is for the most part shackled by attraction, grasping, and insisting.
What do you think?
And while I am at it, I might as well query you on another matter. I notice that in the same sutta, SN 12.15, you render majjhena as “by the middle way”. But the idea of the middle way is usually reserved for the noble eightfold path, not dependent origination. In fact, a way or a path is more like a practical procedure for getting you from A to B, whereas dependent origination is probably best regarded as a process. So would it be better to render majjhena simply as “by the middle”, or perhaps better as “by the middle principle”?