Hi, good people at Discuss and Discover,
AN 10.2 is often used to illustrate the natural causality in the Dhamma, and I had a question that came up in reading its Chinese parallel, as I’m not proficient in Pali.
“Mendicants, an ethical person, who has fulfilled ethical conduct, need not make a wish: ‘May I have no regrets!’ It’s only natural that an ethical person has no regrets."
AN10.2 (Bhikkhu Sujato’s translation)
“Bhikkhus, for a virtuous person, one whose behavior is virtuous, no volition need be exerted: ‘Let non-regret arise in me.’ It is natural that non-regret arises in a virtuous person, one whose behavior is virtuous."
AN10. (Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation)
What’s interesting for me is to read the Chinese, and to see that the Chinese parallel seems to be much more emphatic:
MA43: No Need for Thought
The characters 不應思 translates (at least in my understanding of modern Chinese) as “should not think”. This seems to be much more emphatic than “need not make a wish” or “no volition need be exerted”.
So MA43, in my reading, would be something like:
“Ananda, someone who keeps precepts should not think “may I have non-regret.” Ananda, it is but natural (that) keepers of precepts will gain non-regret.”
The emphatic “should not” also has an implication for one’s practice, because the Buddha is explicitly instructing not to use willpower to progress on the Path.
My question then is whether the emphatic “should not” is also reflected in the Pali original of AN10.2? I would be most keen to hear from Bhante @sujato, Ajahn @Brahmali & Venerable @Sunyo (though I am mindful that the Vassa has already started!), as well as @cdpatton if I had misread the Chinese.
With much metta,