Reply To: Two Types of Desire


On August 20, 2020, at 1:50 pm, Lal posted:

I did a search on Sutta Central for the word “gati” and came with the following references:

515 results for gati

The first 12 are not from the Sutta Piṭaka.
– You can see sutta references starting with the 13th entry.

However, most translators do not translate “gati” correctly.

Here is a good example, “Gati Sutta (AN 9.68)

Here is that whole sutta:
Pañcimā, bhikkhave, gatiyo. Katamā pañca? Nirayo, tiracchānayoni, pettivisayo, manussā, devā—imā kho, bhikkhave, pañca gatiyo.

Imāsaṃ kho, bhikkhave, pañcannaṃ gatīnaṃ pahānāya … pe … ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvetabbā”ti.

The translation there is:
“Mendicants, there are five destinations. What five? Hell, the animal realm, the ghost realm, humanity, and the gods. These are the five destinations.

To give up these five destinations you should develop the four kinds of mindfulness meditation. …”

Therefore, the translator incorrectly translates “gati” as “destination (for rebirth.)”
– The Pali word for rebirth in the sense for the destination is “abhisamparāya“.

Of course, rebirth (“abhisamparāya“) is according to one’s gati.
– But the translator here seems to be just guessing the meaning of gati to be the “destination.”

In the Maha Parinibbana Sutta (DN 16), there is the following verse: “sāḷho nāma, bhante, bhikkhu nātike kālaṅkato, tassa kā gati, ko abhisamparāyo? Nandā nāma, Bhante, bhikkhunī nātike kālaṅkatā, tassā kā gati, ko abhisamparāyo? ..”
– The same translator of the previous sutta translates this verse as, “Sir, the monk named Sāḷha has passed away in Nādika. Where has he been reborn in his next life? The nun named Nandā, the layman named Sudatta, and the laywoman named Sujātā have passed away in Nādika. Where have they been reborn in the next life?..”
– He does not translate BOTH words “gati” and “abhisamparāya“. May be he thinks they both have the same meaning!

The correct translation should be “Sir, the monk named Sāḷha has passed away in Nādika. What gati (led to his rebirth) and where has he been reborn in his next life? etc.”

I have many posts at the site on “gati“. But the following posts could be a good start:
Key to Ānapānasati – How to Change Habits and Character (Gati)