16 votes
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What is the difference between craving and clinging?

Craving is when the baby reaches with desire for the pacifier and clinging is when the baby has the pacifier and won't let it go. To distinguish craving from clinging, Buddhaghosa uses the following ...
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12 votes

Did the Buddha speak Pali? Are the suttas his word verbatim?

The Buddha likely spoke in several dialects that were quite similar to Pali. He was immensely well traveled for his time, so in his travels he likely adopted the native dialect to be better understood ...
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12 votes
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Did the Buddha speak Pali? Are the suttas his word verbatim?

The short answer is no, and no. The Pāḷi Canon is a translation. Although people in Central Ganges Valley all spoke closely related dialects at the time we think the Buddha lived. The problem of ...
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  • 4,247
11 votes

Is there any benefit in learning Pali or Sanskrit?

Learning Pali is indeed beneficial if you have a inclination to be a scholar or to teach. If it is your salvation you are after you are better off spending time practicing. But to teach others the bar ...
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10 votes
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What is the Interpretation of Parimukham in the context of Buddhist Meditation?

What are the different interpretations and translations and what might be the most correct interpretation according to the different lines of practice? How are they rationalized? Here are some: ...
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9 votes
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What is the best translation of Anatta into English?

CORELESSNESS Before we can pick a translation we must understand what it is that we are translating. Prefix an- is a simple negation. Hindu concept of Atman should not be confused with Aham (the ...
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9 votes
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How sacrosanct is the "source material" of Buddhism?

I think there are some very good and apposite questions here. I find I meet two kinds of Buddhists online. Those committed to the idea that the Pāḷi Canon is something like the Bible, the words of the ...
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8 votes

Is there any benefit in learning Pali or Sanskrit?

I agree with those who praise learning Canonical languages. Studying Pāli texts in Pāli is very rewarding. I have found my understanding of the Buddha's teaching blossomed through reading Pāli texts. ...
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7 votes
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The word Dhammanusati.

There's a word Anussati Anussati Anussati (f.) [Sk. anusmṛti, fr. anu + smṛ, cp. sati] remembrance, recollection, thinking of, mindfulness. A late list of subjects to be kept in mind comprises six ...
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7 votes
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What is the difference between samadhi and samatha?

Samatha is tranquility meditation, meditating on a stable object with the objective of reaching calm states/jhanas. Samadhi is concentration. The Buddha's teachings of the eightfold noble path are ...
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  • 9,462
7 votes

What is the difference between craving and clinging?

Repeated craving becomes clinging. Another name for clinging is attachment. Craving: 3 Types of craving: Sensual craving Craving to be Craving not to be Attachment: Once attachment forms it's ...
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  • 3,380
7 votes
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In the Anapanasati Sutta, what is the difference between mind and mental processes?

From the Anapanasati Sutta "Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & ...
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  • 9,462
7 votes

How sacrosanct is the "source material" of Buddhism?

Contrary to popular misapprehension, Buddhism is not a cult of "source material". It is not actually the case that the point of Buddha's message has been lost, and now generations after generations of ...
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7 votes

What is the meaning and origin of “Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhasa”?

Namo -- Homage (perhaps from a root meaning to bend) Tassa -- to him Bhagavato -- usually translated "blessed one" or "fortunate one" Arahato -- I'm not sure whether this means ...
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6 votes
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What language did the Buddha speak?

The Pali Canon was compiled hundreds of years after the Buddha, but we know from comparative studies that the bulk of the material contained in it (and for that matter, the Suttas of the other schools)...
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6 votes

What language did the Buddha speak?

The Buddha is believed to have spoken Magahi. The relationship to Pali is discussed articles relating to Prakrit and Magadhi Prakrit.
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6 votes

What are the Pali translations for mindfulness?

Actually, the only good translation I can think of for the English "mindfulness" is Sampajañña. sam = full, pa = full, jañña = knowledge (or awareness). Another potential candidate is yoniso (to the ...
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6 votes
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A good source to learn the Pali language?

(Bear in mind, I don't have mastery over the language but I've been swimming in it continuously for the last two years. The following advice is based on this experience.) There is a whole list of ...
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  • 3,726
6 votes

Where to get the Pali Canon in Pali?

Also check out suttacentral.net, really good sources in Pali, Chinese, Sanskrit, Tibetan and various different language translations..
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6 votes
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Why is the first lines of the Dhammapada twin verses sometimes translated using the word 'heart'?

Thanissaro's translations are... unique. The word being used, as others have pointed out, is "mano", the leader of an irregular group of nouns called the "manogana" - "the group with mano as its ...
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6 votes
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Meaning of 'kalapas'

kalāpa in the sense you are thinking is used in the commentaries. The word is generally used in the suttas to mean "bundle", as in yavakalāpa - bundle of grass, or dhanukalāpa - sheaf of arrows. I can'...
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6 votes

Why is the Pali word 'sattānaṃ' in Dependent Origination plural?

why does 'birth' ('jati'), seemingly a singular process, seem to refer to the multiple births of multiple beings into the multiple orders/groups of beings? jāti is singular in the passage quoted, so ...
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5 votes

A good source to learn the Pali language?

Courses Partiyatti Learning Center offers two free online Pāli courses. Pali Online School at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies is a very intensive 3-week online Pāli course, that involves live ...
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5 votes

Does 'kusala' (skillful) also mean 'wholesome' and 'morally good'?

Normally, the word does not have any moral sense as some suttas indicate: The Blessed One said: "Suppose an elephant hunter were to enter an elephant forest and were to see there a large ...
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  • 3,726
5 votes

Does 'kusala' (skillful) also mean 'wholesome' and 'morally good'?

Conceptually, Buddhist ethics is very simple and elegant, at least in my limited understanding. The state of Buddha (Nirvana) is taken as the gold standard of all the best. While Samsara, and within ...
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5 votes
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What is the difference between rūpa and Kāyā?

My understanding is the following: Rupa = external and internal matter or form. Externally, rupa is the physical world. Internally, rupa includes the material body and the physical sense organs. Kaya ...
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5 votes
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Is sloth the same thing as torpor?

In Tibetan tradition torpor (Pali middha) is explained as heavy sleepiness, while sloth (Pali thina) is explained as laziness, lack of motivation. So in case of sloth, you are not drowsy, just don't ...
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Who is a Gandhabbha?

A class of semi divine beings who inhabit the Catummaharajika realm and are the lowest among the devas. They are generally classed together with the Asuras and the Nagas. Beings are born among them as ...
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