May 11, 2018 at 10:26 am #15613Anonymous
Would it be a benefit or hinderance to learn Sinhala? I know this is a desire, but a good one…I would like to travel to Sri Lanka and immerse in the teachings there. Again, would this be a benefit or hinderance?
May 11, 2018 at 10:57 am #15615LalKeymaster
First of all, “desires” are two kinds:
- Desire for sense pleasures. This also has a wide range from kamaccandha (removed at Sotapanna stage) to kama raga (removed at Anagami stage) to rupa raga and arupa raga (removed at Arahant stage).
- Desire to attain Nibbana. This is chanda iddhipada, one of satara iddhipada or four bases of mental power: “The Four Bases of Mental Power (Satara Iddhipada)“.
Anything that one “desires” to do in order to attain Nibbana falls under chanda iddhipada.
Desire to learn Sinhala is of the second kind. And it makes sense because Sinhala is the closest to Pali. It is easier to learn Pali, if one knows Sinhala language.
– On the contrary, Sanskrit (which many people try to learn) is the wrong language to learn. Sanskrit words are deliberately composed to provide mundane meanings and also to make enticing and appear sophisticated. The Sanskrit word for paticca samuppada, pratityasamutpada, is a good example. It sounds sophisticated, but does not convey anything.
- The Buddha specifically instructed not to translate Tipitaka to Sanskrit, because of this problem; see #5 of “Preservation of the Dhamma“.
The best way to learn Sinhala could be just go to Sri Lanka and spend a few months. I am not sure whether that is practical. Another possibility is to learn from a Sinhala-speaking person if one is available for regular interaction (i.e, if such a person lives close by).
May 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm #15761Anonymous
Any thoughts on Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies, Certificate Course in Pāli Language. They offer a one year program.
I realize there are many factors to consider, but it’s a start. There are a few women monasteries in Sri Lanka, but it seems all are Theravada.
Any thoughts are much appreciated!
May 17, 2018 at 2:38 pm #15762LalKeymaster
I do not know anything about the Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies. But I guess it could not hurt.
You said: “There are a few women monasteries in Sri Lanka, but it seems all are Theravada.”
You sound like Theravada is bad. But Theravada is the only major sector that takes Tipitaka as the basis. It is just that most CURRENT Theravada bhikkhus do not actually follow the Tipitaka, but Buddhaghosa’s Visugghimagga. What the Waharaka Thero did was to point out that key interpretations in the Visugghimagga are not correct. There is nothing wrong with the Tipitaka.
May 17, 2018 at 2:56 pm #15763Anonymous
Ah, I see. I don’t see Thervada as “bad”. I’m just following your warning and being cautious. In an another post, it was mentioned that one could get “trapped”. I don’t remember which it was, but I do remember the warning.
Thank you kindly!
May 17, 2018 at 9:26 pm #15770SengKiatModerator
@inflib said: “Any thoughts on Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies, Certificate Course in Pāli Language. They offer a one year program.”
There are many books and website that helps in learning Pāli language. Below are some websites for free Pāli learning book and guide to learning Pāli:
Pāli Grammar Book
1. Search for “The New Pali Course By Prof. A.P. Buddhadatta Maha Thera” in this webpage to download the book
2. Pali Primer by Dr. Lily De Silva
3. An Elementary Pali Course by Narada Thera
4. A Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language by Charles Duroiselle
Guide to learning Pāli
Pariyatti Learning Center
With metta, Seng Kiat
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.