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Pārāyanavagga - The Way to the Beyond
(Suttanipāta Chapter 5)
Edited & Translated by
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I first completed this translation of Pārāyanavagga around 1999, and as this text was one of the works that first inspired me to study the Pāḷi language, it was also one of the first translations I worked on. Since that time, naturally enough, my ideas about translation have changed somewhat and I have now revised this work in line with my current thinking. In this revised version I have been less literal in the translation, and hopefully this makes the text easier to read.
I have also had a reading of the text in mind during the revision, and indeed I have read it over and over out loud to make sure the rhythms scan well. I originally made the translation into eight-syllabic lines, but later I made so many changes to vocabulary and so on that the metre was lost. Here I have been less strict about the syllabic count, and more intent on the inherent rhythm. I hope at a later date to record a reading of the text to illustrate this [this is now available, and can be found on the English Only page: The Way to the Beyond].
As the discussions recorded here were between the Buddha and highly developed meditators, some of the references may be obscure to the lay reader. I have therefore added sufficient notes to the translation to clear up anything that may be obscure in the text, but I have tried not to overburden the text in this regard. For many years I have thought that a translation of the Commentary is highly desirable, and I may pursue this in the future.
Those interested in how the text was established can see my original study of the Pārāyanavagga, A New Edition in the Prosody section, which also examines the metrical materials in depth.
last updated: April 2008