By K. R. Norman
This quantity includes somewhat revised models of the lectures given through Professor Norman as Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai traveling Professor on the college of Oriental and African stories from January to March 1994. The lectures are designed for readers with little
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Additional resources for A philological approach to Buddhism : the Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai lectures 1994
The Buddha was born in Nepal, and his name was Siddhattha. The traditional story states that his father Suddhodana was a king, that is to say a rājā. e. a ,4 and in this context, in a place some way away from the Gangetic plain, it is probable that it still meant a minor tribal chieftain, at the head of the Śākya clan. Siddhattha’s gotra name was Gotama, but Gotama is not a name, so it probably represents a borrowing of the family purohita‘s gotra name5. This suggests that the Śākyas were a fairly recent entrant into the caste system, which in turn suggests that perhaps the Buddha’s family was not in origin Indo-Aryan.
This means that if I wish to give a more adequate translation I am forced to give a phrase in English, or perhaps even a whole sentence, or in the case of a very difficult word with a wide range of connotations, even a whole paragraph. Consequently, if I am translating a Buddhist text into English, it is very difficult to produce something which approximates closely to the meaning of the original, and yet appears in good, clear, concise and readable English. It is for this reason that many translators do not translate the difficult words, but leave them in their original Sanskrit or Pāli form.
The word for “flower” ( ) appears to be in the accusative case, and this has caused problems for some translators, who find it difficult to fit an accusative form into the sentence. Recent translators34 state , and they point to the that “from a flower” would be a better translation for and in the parallel texts, but do not follow existence of the ablative forms might actually their own suggestion in their translation. They do not say that be an ablative, and they show no hint of any knowledge of the existence in Pāli of an ablative singular in - .
A philological approach to Buddhism : the Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai lectures 1994 by K. R. Norman