Akashagarbha Sutra ?

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Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby kirtu » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:13 am

In Chapter 5 verse 104 of Shantideva's Bodhisattvacharya-avatara, Engaging in the Bodhisattva Way of Life, one reads:

(104) It is in the sutras that the trainings appear,
And so I shall read the sutra texts.
I shall examine, as a start,
The Akashagarbha Sutra.


So the Akashagarbha Sutra has teaching on Bodhisattva conduct and vows. Has an English/German or other western translation been made of the Akashagarbha Sutra?

Thanks!
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby kirtu » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:14 am

Does the Akashagarbha Sutra still exist in Sanskrit, Tibetan or Chinese?

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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Huifeng » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:16 am

There are some number of Akasagarbha Bodhisattva sutras in the Chinese canon.
There are standard Mahayana, and also tantric flavors.

Some in the Mahanipata, and also separate translations, too.
A couple of these have sections related to sila, but without having read them through properly, can't say much more.

I don't know of any Skt texts of this sutra, though.
Can't think of any English translations, either, but:

175A.Author Unknown (363)
1.Ākāśagarbhasūtra (T.405-408)
175A.1.1 Part 11 translated by C.Bendall and W.H.D.Rouse (London 1922; Delhi 1971, 1981), 61-70
Cf. EnIndPh 9, 2003, 83-84

I guess that's what you cited above, huh?
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby kirtu » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:08 pm

Thanks Huifeng!

What I cited in my first post is from Shantideva's Engaging the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, from chapter 5. Your citation seems to be another source. I'll see if I can find anything at the Library of Congress.

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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Huifeng » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:25 am

That reference to Bendall and Rouse is from their translation of the Siksasamuccaya, the portion which references the Akashagarbha Sutra.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby narraboth » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:26 pm

I think in Chinese canon it's this one:
http://www.cbeta.org/result/normal/T13/0405_001.htm
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In this sutra buddha explained 5 root downfalls for kings, 5 root downfalls for the ministers... 8 root downfalls for new bodhisattva.
Also the mantras you should recite and the confession ritual you should do if you break the vows.

I am pretty sure it's also in Tibetan Kangyur because the vows were qouted by many Tibetan masters.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:08 pm

M.W. Visser did an extension research on Akasagarbha, and published it in the 1930s as "The Bodhisattva Akdsagarbha (Kokuzo) in China and Japan". It's not a translation, but contains an exhaustive summary of the various Akasagarbha sutras recorded in the Taisho. I could not find any copies of it, but managed to loan microfilm copy. I did a pdf copy and can email it to anyone who might be interested.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby cmdelcourt » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:04 pm

I would be interested in receiving a copy of your pdf document. Thank you very much.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:08 pm

kirtu wrote:Does the Akashagarbha Sutra still exist in Sanskrit, Tibetan or Chinese?

Kirt



it's in the Kangyur.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby tamdrin » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:17 pm

Yes and that does most westerners no good, Namdrol . While there is some hope with the translation work being done over the next 100 years or so, the project 84000- Translating the words of the Buddha.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:24 pm

tamdrin wrote:Yes and that does most westerners no good, Namdrol . While there is some hope with the translation work being done over the next 100 years or so, the project 84000- Translating the words of the Buddha.


They can learn Tibetan if they want to.

These texts are not so easy to understand if one does not know some Tibetan or Sanskrit even if they are in English translation.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby tamdrin » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:49 pm

Yes,
Basically one must spend years studying in Asia to become fluent in classical and colloquial.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:50 pm

tamdrin wrote:Yes,
Basically one must spend years studying in Asia to become fluent in classical and colloquial.



Colloquial yes, classical, no.

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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Anders » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:58 pm

Namdrol wrote:These texts are not so easy to understand if one does not know some Tibetan or Sanskrit even if they are in English translation.


I don't get it? Are such sutras difficult to understand for Tibetans too if they can't read sanskrit?

What's the score here? Are practitioners, Western, Tibetan, Chinese and whatever alike, inescapably secluded from these teaching short of learning the lirturgical language? If this is the case, is this not really the fault of the translators?
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:05 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
Namdrol wrote:These texts are not so easy to understand if one does not know some Tibetan or Sanskrit even if they are in English translation.


I don't get it? Are such sutras difficult to understand for Tibetans too if they can't read sanskrit?



Yes, without some Sanskrit and a lot of study of general Dharma, these texts are very impenetrable to average Tibetans.


What's the score here? Are practitioners, Western, Tibetan, Chinese and whatever alike, inescapably secluded from these teaching short of learning the lirturgical language? If this is the case, is this not really the fault of the translators?


One should never expect to be able to pick up a sutra in English, for example, and immediately understand what it means. Of course, it somewhat depends on the sutra. Some sutras have a narrative style that is conducive to relatively easy understanding, like the Saddharmapundarika. But this is not the case with most sutras.

N
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby narraboth » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:
tamdrin wrote:Yes,
Basically one must spend years studying in Asia to become fluent in classical and colloquial.



Colloquial yes, classical, no.

N


Agree. I am from Taiwan; most of people who were born there, speak Chinese as their only language, can not properly understand classical texts. Not to mention most people in mainland China who only recognise simplified Chinese. Even in senior high school we were trained to read classical texts, I will say less than 5% of Chinese students can understand when they read a classical text for first time.

But as a foreigner, you can also be trained to read classical texts. If you are both intelligent and diligent, you can understand classical texts better than most of native speakers after several years. But that still won't make you 100% correct when understanding them.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:13 pm

narraboth wrote:
But as a foreigner, you can also be trained to read classical texts. If you are both intelligent and diligent, you can understand classical texts better than most of native speakers after several years. But that still won't make you 100% correct when understanding them.


It depends on what you are reading.

Buddhist sutras use standardized vocabulary and rigid grammar structures to emulate the original Sanskrit.

However, native Chinese (and Korean, Japanese and even Vietnamese) authors were not restricted and some wrote in heavy literary Chinese like Daoxuan 道宣 in the Tang Dynasty. Even with vast knowledge of Buddhist terms in Classical Chinese you still need to know the literary references. That takes years and extensive reading of the core classical texts (五經). For example, there are often allusions to Confucian ideas which would be clear as daylight to a reader in the Tang Dynasty, but to modern folks it flies over the head.

If you just want to read sutras in Chinese, that isn't so hard. But if you want to read commentaries by native authors, it can sometimes prove quite hard.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:16 pm

Namdrol wrote:One should never expect to be able to pick up a sutra in English, for example, and immediately understand what it means. Of course, it somewhat depends on the sutra. Some sutras have a narrative style that is conducive to relatively easy understanding, like the Saddharmapundarika. But this is not the case with most sutras.

N



It doesn't matter which language you read it in -- you often need commentary literature to fully grasp the import of the sutra.
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby plwk » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:22 pm

One should never expect to be able to pick up a sutra in English, for example, and immediately understand what it means. Of course, it somewhat depends on the sutra. Some sutras have a narrative style that is conducive to relatively easy understanding, like the Saddharmapundarika. But this is not the case with most sutras.

N



It doesn't matter which language you read it in -- you often need commentary literature to fully grasp the import of the sutra.

Isn't it a trend these days for some to read Sutras as it is without the commentary, where some regard the latter like unwanted msg in food? :tongue:
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Re: Akashagarbha Sutra ?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:45 pm

plwk wrote:
One should never expect to be able to pick up a sutra in English, for example, and immediately understand what it means. Of course, it somewhat depends on the sutra. Some sutras have a narrative style that is conducive to relatively easy understanding, like the Saddharmapundarika. But this is not the case with most sutras.

N



It doesn't matter which language you read it in -- you often need commentary literature to fully grasp the import of the sutra.

Isn't it a trend these days for some to read Sutras as it is without the commentary, where some regard the latter like unwanted msg in food? :tongue:


With a commentary you are able to enjoy the distilled wisdom of some past scholar. More often than not the commentary will clarify ambiguous parts of the translation that even native readers centuries ago found difficult to read.

The unfortunate reality is that English there are relatively few commentaries to sutra. In the old days you read a sutra alongside a commentary. Most often this was done with the standard commentary literature within your tradition. Nowadays people just read translations and come up with their own ideas.
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