D'day all!

I seem to have a more fundamental question which keeps coming and going on a regular basis.
I am confused about the different language used in our materials. I understand that Pali and Sanskrit are two literature languages. Hence, I am wondering in which language our material is published - apart from English.
A good example is the word arahant. Our material says the Pali equivalent is araham and the Saki equivalent arhat. Which language is arahant then? Is there a third I am missing?



There was a question whether the Buddhist canon should be preserved in Sanskrit, or in vernacular. Buddha declined the sanskrit option. After centuries of oral transmission (how many depends on which date for Buddha's death one chooses), the canon was written down. It became associated with PALI (a late form of sanskrit) in Sri Lanka, while the beginning MAHAYANA tradition(s) chose sanskrit (EG sutta VS sutra; anatta VS anatman).
Then there are the independent TIBETAN and CHINESE canons in those languages.
Many concepts also recur in Hindu thought that either precedes, or is contemporary with Buddhism.
For example the GITA mentions a type of sage called ‘sthitaprajnah’ (one reposed in wisdom).the description of the ‘sthitaprajna’ is similar to the description of the one who has gone beyond the guņas (gunatita). That may be similar to the Buddhist sotapanna.

Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Canonical Languages

Sergio - in another topic I recently posted a link to an article from Tricycle that touches on recent discoveries and the picture we're getting on the development of the canon(s) and the (co)evolutions of the various traditions.

Even if you're not a Tricycle subscriber, I've posted a link to a transcription I've made of the article (posted in my dropbox).

The forum post is here.

You may find it interesting as it provides an example of the Rhinoceros Sutta which exists now in multiple languages - including both Pali and Gandaharan.

Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Sanskrit vs. Pali

I believe that arhat is the Sanskrit and arahant, as well as araham, are Pali