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Sometimes, reading Pāḷi is a just a nightmare
October 24th, 2018

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

Sometimes, reading Pāḷi is a just a nightmare…

Translations are available for most suttas nowadays, some of them by multiple translators who cross-check each other so the resulting quality is high. There are reasons, then, to look at the commentaries, for which translations are rarely available, if at all… But the commentarial literature was written several centuries after the Buddha, and the language had evolved! So this is not the same Pāḷi, really, and one might end up struggling with tiny expressions.

Hence, it took me an hour to figure out that ādimāha (after a ti or <end quote>) simply means and so on. Basically the author of the commentary thought "there's no need to quote in full, here, so I'll just give the beginning"!

image: "the Sixth Patriarch (Huineng) Tearing up the Sūtra Hanging Scroll", ink on paper, 73 x 31.7 cm. 梁楷 Liang Kai (c. 1140 - c. 1210)