Thursday, November 24, 2005

Grammar - NI

Next for translating the next verses of chapter four in Abhidharma-kosha (the one about las) is the particle ni. This is sometimes called an emphatic particle, it emphasizes something, a single word or a sentence. Sometimes when I see this particle I think of Monthy Python and the Holy Grail, the sequence with the Knights who say Ni(h).

Anyway, ni tells that the word or sentence before is the topic for the next words or sentences. You will see this used in commentaries where a word is defined, so first you have the word, then ni, then the definition. It's also used in verses as a filler syllable to achive seven-syllable verses (as in Abhidharma-kosha the Tibetan version).

Examples:

sangs rgyas ni - buddhas, they...
de ni - that (that, it is....)
'di ni - this, (this, it is)
las ni - karma, it is...
stong pa nyid ni - emptiness, it is...
snying rje chen po ni - great compassion, that is

Usually you find a better word or structure for the actual translation, but you could always use a filler word set such as 'that is' to get a start on the translation

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