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Re:Pari or Para ?

Dec 18, 1996 04:27 PM
by Richard Taylor

Nicholas writes,

> I think HPB meant (in spite of the spelling she often used of
> "para") parinirvana & parinishpanna.  Both terms are found
> spelled thusly in Buddhism and her meaning was not too different,
> if at all, from their common use.

--I agree.  Especially in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, "para" is an
acceptable variant to "pari" although it can cause confusion, no?

Nonetheless, "parinishpanna" and "parispanda" are quite different
terms, despite similar prefixes, as stated.  In Sanskrit the
primary meaning comes from the ROOT of the word and not the
prefix, which often may be dropped without appreciable change in
meaning.  (Of course there are times when the prefix gives ALL
the meaning ...)

I suspect the ROOT of parispanda is SPAMD, "to throb, palpitate,
shake, tremble, quiver.  go, move." PARISHPAMD, "to move about,
to whirl."

The ROOT of parinishpanna is PAD, "to approach, obtain" while
NISHPAD is "to arise, be born, be produced, be accomplished" and
PARINISHPAD "to completely accomplish, to completely obtain, to
completely know."

All of which is pretty pedantic, except to illustrate that
similar (or even interchangeable) prefixes don't tell the whole


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