Thoughts on Charles Hallisey's and Anagarika Mahendra's translation of the Therigatha

Do folks have opinions on Charles Hallisey’s 2015 translation of the Therigatha, Poems of the First Buddhist Women?

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I have seen it but not spend a lot of time with it. The physical book is wonderfully bound and typeset.

Here is a review…

And Anagarika Mahendra’s? It is available here:

as a free download as well as free print upon request.


Sorry, I have only read Hallisley’s translation briefly, and Mahendra’s not at all. I hope t work on the Therigatha later in the year, perhaps I may have some more thoughts then.


Ayya @vimalanyani has contacted Anagarika Mahendra some time ago but he would only allow us to publish it as the existing pdf and not convert it to SC format.


Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu!! Can’t wait.


That’s unfortunate and self defeating IMO. Sutta Central meta data would show the info for where to get the full book, and not making the individual suttas available to compare with other existing translations easily in suttacentral, you’re just relegating yourself to obscurity. When one can easily see Sujato’s forthcoming Therigatha translations, Thanissaro’s partial translations, PTS and other translators on SC easily and instantly in one centralized place, why would one want to go through the trouble of digging up other translations?

For the same reason, I’ve always been interested in reading more of Piya Tan’s translations and essays, but by only having it in non unicode, and in PDF, guess what? The inconvenience of that nonstandard format, and not having it easily available on SC, means I ended up not reading it.


It could be that he still considers it a work in progress and doesn’t want to have to maintain branches. I seem to recall he said something in the intro about seeking feedback on the translation.

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Fair enough, but this is the same situation as everyone else; not just authors, but programmers as well. Apart from, I dunno, TeX, pretty much every piece of software is in perpetual development, at least potentially, and programmers have figured out really good ways of handling this. One great approach is to keep everything on Github and publish from there; that way, new versions can easily be tracked. Walter’s new Apadana transaltion takes this approach: