an3.30: Avakujjapañño puggalo, ucchaṅgapañño puggalo, puthupañño puggalo. an3.30: One with upside-down wisdom, one with wisdom on their lap, and one with wide wisdom.
I am wondering about the meaning of puthupañño here. In the Concise Pali English Dictionary puthu is given as “separated; individual; far and wide; separately”, and similarly in the PTS. In the latter the compound puthupañña is rendered as “of wide wisdom”, and Bhante @sujato’s translation follows this suggestion.
The context of AN 3.30 is as follows: At first, two inferior kinds of wisdom are explained, the “upside-down wisdom” and the “wisdom on their lap”. They describe a person who in the first case doesn’t even listen properly to a Dhamma talk, not to mention remembering anything when the talk is over. The second does listen during the talk, but afterwards forgets everything.
The third kind now, the person with puthu wisdom, both listens well to the Dhamma talk and remembers and practices accordingly afterwards. I am wondering if in this context the more general meaning of puthu, “separate, individual”, could also make good sense: It’s a person whose wisdom isn’t linked to the Dhamma talk any more, but has become separated; or, their wisdom has become independent from the Dhamma talk, its a person of independent wisdom.
In reading the sutta, the meaning appears to me to be about, adopting, applying and integrating the Dhamma into ones practice. And so, as you say, it is a person who has absorbed the wisdom of the dhamma and
Thank you, @Viveka. I am still hesitating. There is also a simile for this person, and it says they are like a pot of water that is set straight so that the water stays and doesn’t drain out. So it is also about containing, and so “wide” does certainly fit too.
In German there is a nice word “umfassend” which means “wide”, but has also a flavor of containing.
Perhaps it could be expressed like this?
upside down wisdom = wisdom to seek the dhamma, but not to absorb and apply it- easily lost
wisdom in the lap = sought and collected the wisdom, but it is not integrated or secured - so just barely secure (only while sitting)
wide wisdom = sought, absorbed and integrated into practice, so that it is now completely secured within, and can no longer be lost.