I'm looking for an accurate translation of "Satipatthana Sutta". Could someone let me know what is the best available accurate translation? I don't want to be confused by just reading all available versions. Thank you
In my opinion, one of the best translations is the one in Analayo Bhikhu's "Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization".
If you are looking to most accurate and reliable the best translations are by Piya Tan:
- Mahasatipatthana Trilinear Edition
- An Introduction to the Satipatthana Suttas
- Satipatthana Mula by Ven. Sujato Edited By Piya Tan
After which the next best is from VRI:
- Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta
- Discourses on Satipatthana Sutta - which carries a more detail explanation and companion the the above.
This slants towards the interpretations of certain Pali phases as done by Ven. Ledi Sawadaw, Ven. Webu Sayadaw and U Ba Kin. Piya Tan's translation is more balanced.
Ven Analayo's books are also very good but in my opinion not as a 1st read or for a novice as it misses out on certain angles and detailed explanation in certain interpretations. (Much of this is best covered in Piya Tan's translations in a more balanced manner.) You can try this after reading the above two as some of the omissions will not effect your understanding.
Ven. Soma Thera translation covers only the angle of interpreting the Suttas in the light of the Commentaries. Some of these interpretations are abstract and cannot be put to direct practice in certain interpretations as explained in the Discourses on Satipatthana Sutta by the VRI. From my point of view this is the least recommended as a meditation manual, nevertheless useful if you are doing research into commentarial interpretation of the Sutta.
There are other translations (mentioned in the other answers) which are from the purely from the stand point of the commentaries, even when there potential inconsistencies, though discussed in other works are left out of the translations to keep them concise. If you are familiar with these issues these would be great benefit due to the conciseness. Again only if you are familiar with the certain phases where these issues pop up. (E.g. when the translation say "... establish mindfulness in front ..." it does not carry the same literal meaning.)
There is also the book "The Way of Mindfulness - The Satipatthana Sutta and Its Commentary" by Soma Thera. Highly recommended book.
The Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10) and the Mahasatipatthana Sutta (DN 22) are essentially the same. Fortunately for you, there are two excellent scholarly translations of these texts, the former in Nanamoli and Bodhi's Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha and the latter in Maurice Walshe's Long Discourses of the Buddha. Both are published by Wisdom Publications and may also be available online in PDF format. The Pali Tipitaka is also available online (www.tipitaka.org) for looking up particular words and phrases.