Reply To: Ariya, Riya, Bhikkhu


Yes. The usage of “riya” in Ariya is explained the same way in #13 of “Nibbāna – Is it Difficult to Understand?

The word “bhikkhu” comes from “bhava” + “khaya.” It could also be explained as “bhaya” + “khaya.”

  • Bhaya” means “danger” or “afraid”. “Khaya” is to remove.
  • Thus, a bhikkhu striving to remove “bhava” (that gives rise to jati) is striving to attain Nibbana (end the rebirth process filled with suffering).
  •  In the same way, one who is working to remove the sansaric bhaya or the danger associated with the rebirth process can be called a “bhikkhu.”
  • As we have seen, many Pali words (anicca, anatta, etc.) have many different but related meanings.

Also, see “Bhikkhu Sutta (AN 7.85),” which explains a bhikkhu somewhat differently but with a similar meaning.

  • It makes no sense to translate bhikkhu as a “mendicant,” meaning a “beggar,” as in the English translation in the above link.
  • That is disrespectful!

It is best not to try to translate words like bhikkhu, anicca, and anatta to English, but to use the Pali words and understand the meanings.

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