What does the Pali really say in this section of the Metta Sutta

So I’ve looked at Sutta Central’s Snp 1.8, which I’m assuming is the recent Khantipalo/Sujato translation and found this lovely little passage:

not even doing little things that other wise ones blame.
(And this the thought that one should always hold):
“May beings all live happily and safe,
and may their hearts rejoice within themselves.

I’m more familiar with this English translation:

Let them not do the slightest
Thing that the wise would later reprove
Wishing, in gladness and in safety,
May all beings be happy!

And I’ve often wondered about this bit: ‘in gladness and in safety’. I mean, 'am I supposed to be feeling glad and safe whilst I wish all beings happiness? Or 'am I wishing gladness and safety, along with happiness, for all beings?

The Sutta Central version seems to suggest the later. I just wanted to make sure that this is indeed the recent Khantipalo/Sujato version and therefore has @sujato’s stamp of approval. What with one thing and another, I feel it’s okay to have some faith in Bhante S’s knowledge in all things Metta and all things Pali!! :slight_smile:

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Also…

What about this bit:

But when one lives quite free from any view,

I’m used to:

By not holding to false views.

The idea being that one has Right View, which is about truth and so all other views opposed to this are false.

So what does the Pali actually say on this too please?

Many thanks :anjal: and metta :heartpulse:

@Gabriel_L thanks for the edit! :slight_smile:

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Hi @Kay,

The link goes to the ‘Utterly Muddled Sutta’ not the ‘Metta Sutta’. So to keep us all from getting completely muddled, here is the correct link, Snp 1.8
:slight_smile:

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Well, your confidence is bracing! But you should know that I edited the translation, which does not mean I agree with everything in it! Yes, I corrected a few obvious errors, but for the most part my job was to convey the translator’s text, not make my own.

In any case, here it is correct, the phrase Sukhino va khemino hontu applies to one’s wish that “all sentient beings” be happy and safe.

Incidentally, the phrase khema is a little more interesting than just “safe”. It seem the root sense was that of an oasis. The ancient Aryans were nomads, wandering across deserts or wildernesses with the beasts. To come to a khema at the end of the day was to arrive at a place of shelter, rest, ease, and safety. The animals and people could bathe and drink, let down their load, and gain relief from the heat and the dust. In a spiritual sense, therefore, I have been translating it as “sanctuary”.

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oh lol! Thanks Linda! :heart_exclamation:

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Ahhh…I see :slight_smile:

That’s just very lovely :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:[quote=“sujato, post:5, topic:4150”]
To come to a khema at the end of the day was to arrive at a place of shelter, rest, ease, and safety. The animals and people could bathe and drink, let down their load, and gain relief from the heat and the dust. In a spiritual sense, therefore, I have been translating it as “sanctuary”.
[/quote]

Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s just beautiful. Sometimes I feel like metta is like a blanket and when it’s surrounding you, you feel so relaxed and safe and at ease; you can be at peace there. And this reminds me of that a bit. When I was very small, if I got hurt in anyway, I always wanted a cloth to cover myself up with and cuddle into my bed. (Maybe that’s why so many kids have “blankies”.)

I suppose it’s like having a really warm and loving hug; a temporary refuge and place of safety. I guess such places, whether in our hearts or outside, become places where we can let our guard down, take stock of our journey so far and rejuvenate ourselves for whatever may come next. This is just so beautiful and useful too. :slight_smile:

May you be happy and safe! May all beings be happy and safe! (That’s nice!) :relaxed: Thanks Bhante!

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I edited my initial post too. Thanks again! :anjal:

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Diṭṭhiñca anupaggamma,
Sīlavā dassanena sampanno

The Pali doesn’t actually say ‘wrong view’ but just something like ‘not undertaking (or going near) a view (diṭṭi)’ but the connotation is not a wrong view or not being attached to views in terms of speculation, theory, or dogma. Also the second line says dassanena sampanno which means ‘endowed with insight’, so having seen for oneself, it would not really be a question of ‘right’ vs ‘wrong’. I mean one would by default have ‘right view’ but at that point it would not so much be a view at all (in the way this word is often used). But it seems usually translators often seem to feel the need to qualify that it means ‘right view’ as opposed to ‘wrong view’.

Diṭṭhiñca anupaggamma,
Sīlavā dassanena sampanno

The Pali doesn’t actually say ‘wrong view’ but just something like ‘not undertaking or going near) a view (diṭṭi)’ but the connotation is not a wrong view or being attached to views in terms of speculation, theory, or dogma. Also the second line says dassanena sampanno which means ‘endowed with insight’, so having seen for oneself, it would not really be a question of ‘right’ vs ‘wrong’. I mean one would by default have ‘right view’ (in terms of seeing clearly ‘how things really are’ or ‘how things come to be’) but at that point it would not so much really be a veiw at all. But it seems some translators seem to feel the need to qualify that it means not holding ‘wrong views’.

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I wonder if they (the translators) like to do this because they feel it needs to be teased out and made clearer?

We used to chant ‘fixed views’ and then Ajahn Brahm and other senior Sangha at the time (some 15 years ago now I think) pointed out that ‘false views’ was better…so we changed the wording slightly. Do you think this is one of those cases where the meaning is not so obvious because we go for the literal translation too easily?

Yeah, I think so as I guess otherwise it can be misinterpreted as meaning that Buddhism says one should have no views. I’ve seen this confusion happen in discussions about the 4th chapter of the Sutta Nipata which has verses about not holding to views. I love Snp 4.9 for putting this in perspective.

I think you make a good point here. Also it’s important to look at the context, as then the literal translation may actually make perfect sense (especially seen in the perspective of the Dhamma as a whole)

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