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Errors,Omissions & Explanations[edit | edit source]


Wikipitaka is a collection of translations from various sources. Every translator has one's own style. As a result the suttas appear differently. As a way of correcting these, following are provided :

Blessed One : It is used for Lord Buddha, sometimes the word 'Bhagava' or 'Bhagavata' or 'Bhagavanta' is also used which means God/Lord , but all these are ascribed to Buddha.(It is so in Pali language, the language spoken by Buddha and the language of the Theravada Buddhist scriptures)

Well Gone : 'Tathagata' This is also another word by which Buddha was known. 'Tathagata' means a person who went to the other shore(Nibbana, Hindi-Nirvana) and also came back(beyond death / transcendental).

Gotama : Another name for Buddha (it is actually the name of his clan). Sometimes also written as 'Gautam'.

Holy Life : Celibacy or absence of sexual activity based path. It points to the Noble Eightfold Path taught by Lord Buddha. The actual word used for Holy Life is 'Brahmacariya' a word which is widely & commonly used for celibacy in south Asia (especially in India & Nepal). Lord Buddha has called his monks also as Brahmacari in many places in Tipitaka.

Gone Forth : Gone into Monkhood

Brethren : Monks

Brother : Monk

Religious : The word used is 'Dhamma' which means righteousness, also Law and also the knowledge of the path of Buddha.

Recluses : Ascetics, hermits , monks (generally of sects other than that of Buddha)

Householder : House Dweller; Not a monk; Non-ascetic

Venerable : A term used as mark of respect for an ordained monk

Contemplative : Monk/ascetic who practices meditation

Concentration : Samadhi is the original word used in Pali language, (according to its usage in India & Nepal) it is a state of meditation when the transcendental is perceived i.e. a state of enlightenment. Also it can be translated as Trance State. In the path of Buddha there are total 9 Samadhi states of enlightenment ending at Nibbana(Hindi: Nirvana निर्वाण) which means total clearing away of all sin leading to merger with the everlasting(amata hindi amrit अमृत or eternally alive) state of Nibbana after which no rebirth is possible hence no more sorrow. So many translators are translating Samadhi as concentration which does not lead to clear understanding of it. Also it is clarified (By Lord Buddha) in the Noble Eightfold Path that word Samadhi is a superset of all the Jhana states(zen, hindi dhyan ध्यान).

Focus or Mindfulness: Pali word is Sati and it means meditation or focus in meditation. See Maha-satipatthana Sutta,Satipatthana Sutta & Anapanasati Sutta for more clarifications on Sati(meditation).

Feeling: Vedana is the original word used in Pali language. In India & Nepal , word vedana is used for sensation hence it should be understood as such. During the meditation teaching , sensation is used to focus upon which is the right usage. The word Feeling is related to emotion and so it is more subjective & implied one as a consequence to vedana i.e. sensation on/in an organ gives rise to feeling or emotion in mind.

Formations or Volitional Formations: Sankhara(sanskrit Sanskar) is the original word used in Pali language. In India & Nepal, Word Sankhara(sans. Sanskar) means the compulsive-behavior-conditioning which gets formed by repetitive action by that person. Examples of Sankhara (for a person) are level of Anger, level of lustful behaviour, level of egotism/pride, level of jealousy etc. Sankhara can also be implied as sin as indirect meaning but Buddha uses a different world for sin as papam.

Bases: Ayatana is the original word used in Pali language. Looking at the usage in Sutta portion of Tipitaka, it seems to refer to 6 faculties such as Eye,Ear,Nose,Tongue,Skin & Mind. However in Abhidhamma it is explained in 12 nos. with their objects also added i.e. Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch & Thoughts. Looking at the word Ayatana , it may refer to (Aya=incoming)+(tana=BodyOrgan) which may refer to the the (physical organ + impingement from world for that organ).

Elements: Dhatu is the original word used in Pali language. Its word meaning is metal as iron, copper etc. But in Tipitaka it means different aspects in different places. In Suttas it is mentioned as 6 elements i.e. element of extension/heaviness/earth(Pathavī), element of cohesion/liquidity(āpo), element of heat(tejo), element of air/motion(vāyo), element of space(ākāsa), element of consciousness(viññāṇa). In another place it is explained as another six elements are: The element of pleasure (bodily), element of pain (bodily), element of mental pleasure, element of mental pain, element of indifference, element of ignorance (plus more..). In Abhidhamma Vibhanga-Chap.3 it also means eighteen elements : The eye element, visible element, eye-consciousness-element, ear element, audible element, ear-consciousness-element, nose-element, odorous element, nose-consciousness-element, tongue element, taste element, tongue-consciousness-element, body element, touch element, body-consciousness-element, mind element, ideational element, mind-consciousness-element.

Fermentations: Manasikara is the original word used in Pali language. Its word meaning is play of mind but it refers to thoughts arising in mind on & on. These thoughts are hindrance to meditation.

Aggregate: aggregate(khandha sans. skandha); 5 nos, Form(rupa),sensations(vedana),perception(sanna sans.sangya),volitional conditioning(Pali:sankhara, sans. sanskar) & consciousness(Pali:vinnana, sans.vigyan) and (each one is related to 6 senses i.e. eye,ear,nose,tongue,skin & mind)

Appeasement: Quenching(upasaman); used for senses' desires

Attention: Mindful(Pali: mansikara); similar but used in relation to mind & mindfulness

Beauty: Holy(subh sans. shubh); subh is used for auspicious or holy instead

Careful Thinking: Meditative(yoniso) mindful(manasikara); mindfulness in thinking (while in meditation)

Careless Thinking: Non-meditatively(pali:ayoniso) mindful(Pali:manasikara); worldly thinking of things,people etc.

Carnal: Sinful(Pali: amis)

Clear comprehension; completely comprehending: Complete comprehension (Pali: sampajanna); completely comprehending (Pali: sampajano); Both outer(body) & inner(brain&spine) awareness as well as knowing supernatural states in samadhi(trance) of meditation

Complete cool: Complete salvation(Pali:parinibbana; sans. Parinirvana); The final state of liberation in 9th samadhi/trance state

Conditions or condition: Reasons or causes; for Pali word: paccaya

Consummate: Perfect one(Pali: kevali; sans. kaivalya)

Contemplating: Watching-in-meditation (Pali: anupassi, Sans. anupashyayi); it is about observing with equanimity in meditation (as in Vipassana meditation) Contemplating Gratification: Seeing enjoyment (assado sans. aswad) the exact word meaning is to taste; worldly enjoyment leading to binding.

Contemplation: Meditation(Pali: passati, sans. pashyati)(also used for Pali word Jhana; Sans. Dhyan; Japanese:Zen ); Deep meditation in which thinking process is stopped while having focus on introspection of inner phenomenon such as sensations,emotions,desires etc. in order to neutralize these & to achieve blissful trance states leading to nibbana(sans. nirvana).

Deathless: Pali word is Nibbana (sans. nirvana) for emancipation/salvation from sorrows of recurring rebirths; Also used for Amata(sans. amrit)

Diligence: Alertfulness (appamada); being alert (especially in meditation)

Direct knowledge: Divine-knowledge (Pali: abhinna, sans. Abhigyan); Used for 6 spiritual/supernatural powers attained after achieving very high states of meditation, explained in SN 2.152; See it here: Abhinna

Fool: Unwise , Childish (Pali: Bala); Fool is a strong hurtful word which Buddha might not have used; Exact word meaning of Bala is child (meaning acting like a child)

Give , Giving, Gift or Oblation: Donate & Donation(pali: dana); considered as holy act

Homeless: Hermit, renunciate, ascetic, life of celibate monks who live holy religious life & meditate in solitude; They do not follow married life at home; it is different to idea of broke, homeless people in western countries in character.

Identity or Identity view: Body identity view (Pali: sakkaya-ditthi; sans. sakkaya-drishti); identification of oneself as physical body only & considering it same & nothing more than that. same as above but with strong belief in it, i.e. materialism, opposite to spiritualism

Lovingkindness: Pali: metta (sans. maitri) meaning compassion, goodwill; exact word meaning is friendliness

Lust: For a state of desire, liking, attraction (Pali : raag); of worldly enjoyments, in which body & mind seek satisfaction.

Mindful: Meditative (satima); another usage of word sati

Mindfully: Meditating or meditative (Pali: sato); another usage of word sati

Name-and-form: Mind and bodyform (namarupa); used for both as they are intertwined

Negligence: Slothfulness; for Pali: pamada (sans. pramad), lazy, not alert, non-serious

Non returner: Non-rebirther (anagami); One who achieved a state of high samadhi/trance which entitles one not to return to earth realm rather gets born in arch-angel upper heaven then nirvana

Once returner: Once rebirther (sakdagami); One who achieved a state of high samadhi/trance in meditation, which entitles one to return to earth realm once only then gets born in arch-angel upper-heaven then nirvana.

Perception: Understanding of observed phenomena(Pali: sanna sans. sangya); In twilight, a rope on road may appear to be a snake.

Proliferation: sensory deception (Pali: papanca ; sans. prapanch/maya); That which appears something but actually its truth is something else

Rapture: Bliss , Pali word is piti (sans. preeti); inner blissfulness observed in meditation especially during all trance states.

Release; Pali mokkha (sans. moksha); Another usage of salvation, same as nirvana

Return or Renewed existence or birth or Bourn: Rebirth ; Rebirth is one of the central ideas of Buddhism that all creatures take rebirth(as per their actions\karma)

Sacrifice: Fire ceremony (yagna); The old practice of fire worship

Sees: (sees in) meditation(Pali passato); understood as vipassana meditation

Self-absorption: Used for trance state (Pali samadhi)

Serenity: Equanimity (Pali Samatha) ; neither liking nor disliking

Sign: Causative (Pali nimitta); corrected usage; used for phenomena that cause binding(with worldly)

Signless: Noncausative (Pali animitta) ; usage correction

Spiritual: Sinless(Pali Niramis) ;

Thing, things: Dhamma (path, attribute, law), dhammas. Another usage of word dhamma; now corrected

Unconcentrated: Not in samadhi (trance) state

Unification of Mind: Singularity of mind(Pali ekodibhavam) meaning focussed/unwavering mind

Unwholesome: Harmful (Pali akusala sans. akushal)

Volition: Cognitive awareness (Pali word: cetana)

Wander mindfully: remain meditative(sati)

Wanderers: Ascetics, hermits , monks

Wholesome: Kusala (sans. kushal) is original word used in Pali. its corrected meaning is Beneficial.

Wisdom: Panna (sans. pragya) is the original word in Pali. Its meaning is illuminated-insight, for detail see panna.


A NOTE FOR THE TRANSLATORS :
Buddha was born in the place presently called Nepal and Buddhism originated in India. The teachings vanished from India but thanks to efforts of foreign monks & translators the teachings kept preserved in Pali and were even translated in western languages. But as Indian I see slaughter of original Pali terms when translated.

The Pali terms used in Tipitaka are very unique, most of these cannot be translated because as soon as these are translated, their meanings get diluted & their exact meanings can only be understood by people knowing Pali , Sanskrit users, Hindi users, Nepali users or users of many Sanskrit like languages. Even knowing Pali is not enough, many terms are to be experienced first hand in Buddhist meditation. And also many terms understood commonly by Indians(also Nepali people) only (such as Dhamma{Dharma}, kamma{Karma}, sankhara{sanskar}, samadhi etc.) which others cannot understand fully. Therefore it is suggested that the future translators need not try to translate the key Pali terms at all, rather only the grammar in the sentences should be translated and key Pali terms should remain as it is & get referenced from Dictionary/Glossary. Example(from Mahavogga 1.1):

Pali:
Avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā,
saṅkhāra paccayā viññāṇaṃ,
viññāṇa paccayā nāmarūpaṃ,
nāmarūpa paccayā saḷāyatanaṃ,...


Translation:
Avijjā(ignorance) causes saṅkhārā(character attribute),
saṅkhāra causes viññāṇa(consciousness),
viññāṇa causes nāmarūpa(mind+body),
nāmarūpa causes saḷāyatana(6 sense function),...


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