Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

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Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby cdpatton » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:14 am

I just wanted to drop a note here that I have a website up now. The project for the foreseeable future (several years) will be focused on translating Kumarajiva's Mahaprajnaparamita-sutra-upadesa. It'll be added to in a weekly journal sort of way ... I.e., I add a few thousand words every weekend.

http://www.dharmatrove.info/

Charlie.
"I practiced without a teacher,
My aim but one, with no equal.
I amassed one practice to become a Buddha
And naturally penetrated the noble Path."
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Jnana » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:22 am

A worthwhile project. I look forward to reading it as it progresses.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Anders » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:09 am

:bow:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:45 am

I remember that the publisher of Shuramgama Samadhi Sutra said several years ago that translator Sara Boin-Webb has also translated Nagarjuna's MahaPrajnaparamita Commentary into english and that its the publishing is being prepared,.. but we haven't heard or seen anything about it since then (?)
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby cdpatton » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:38 pm

Aemilius wrote:I remember that the publisher of Shuramgama Samadhi Sutra said several years ago that translator Sara Boin-Webb has also translated Nagarjuna's MahaPrajnaparamita Commentary into english and that its the publishing is being prepared,.. but we haven't heard or seen anything about it since then (?)


I think that must be the partial translation by Lamotte in French -- I believe it was only of the first 10 or 15 fascicles? Still, would be great if it were published, Lamotte never held back on his footnotes!

Charlie.
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My aim but one, with no equal.
I amassed one practice to become a Buddha
And naturally penetrated the noble Path."
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Anders » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:42 pm

cdpatton wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I remember that the publisher of Shuramgama Samadhi Sutra said several years ago that translator Sara Boin-Webb has also translated Nagarjuna's MahaPrajnaparamita Commentary into english and that its the publishing is being prepared,.. but we haven't heard or seen anything about it since then (?)


I think that must be the partial translation by Lamotte in French -- I believe it was only of the first 10 or 15 fascicles? Still, would be great if it were published, Lamotte never held back on his footnotes!

Charlie.


Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron translated Lamotte's French into English (the third of the upadesha he translated). You can get it from here.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Will » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:50 pm

cdpatton wrote:I just wanted to drop a note here that I have a website up now. The project for the foreseeable future (several years) will be focused on translating Kumarajiva's Mahaprajnaparamita-sutra-upadesa. It'll be added to in a weekly journal sort of way ... I.e., I add a few thousand words every weekend.

http://www.dharmatrove.info/

Charlie.


Great and noble project! :twothumbsup: How might one support it financially?

Is this a typo in your subtitle 'Tripiṭa' - instead of 'Tripiṭaka' ?
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Will » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:21 pm

Just curious Charlie, where did you learn this old classical form of Chinese; a generous guru or some school? For that matter - to Ven. Huifeng & Huseng also - where does an aspiring translator of classic Chinese Buddhism go to become competent in that field?
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Leo Rivers » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:05 pm

Having obtained Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections By Arya Nagarjuna chapters 17-30 of Arya Nagarjuna's Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra from Kalavinka it was serendipitous to find this interesting article: The Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sutra and the Origins of Mahāyāna Buddhism by SASAKI Shizuka

http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications/jjrs/pdf/539.pdf
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Will » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:54 pm

Leo Rivers wrote:Having obtained Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections By Arya Nagarjuna chapters 17-30 of Arya Nagarjuna's Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra from Kalavinka it was serendipitous to find this interesting article: The Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sutra and the Origins of Mahāyāna Buddhism by SASAKI Shizuka

http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications/jjrs/pdf/539.pdf


Actually the title of this interesting paper says Maha parinirvana Sutra
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby cdpatton » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:10 am

Will wrote:
cdpatton wrote:I just wanted to drop a note here that I have a website up now. The project for the foreseeable future (several years) will be focused on translating Kumarajiva's Mahaprajnaparamita-sutra-upadesa. It'll be added to in a weekly journal sort of way ... I.e., I add a few thousand words every weekend.

http://www.dharmatrove.info/

Charlie.


Great and noble project! :twothumbsup: How might one support it financially?

Is this a typo in your subtitle 'Tripiṭa' - instead of 'Tripiṭaka' ?


Tripiṭa means someone who knows the Tripiṭaka. It is I think what is actually meant in the Chinese Sutra by lines. Bhiksu Zhihan has been attempting to organize financing for the project for a couple months now. I can put you in touch with him if you would like.

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My aim but one, with no equal.
I amassed one practice to become a Buddha
And naturally penetrated the noble Path."
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby cdpatton » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:28 am

Will wrote:Just curious Charlie, where did you learn this old classical form of Chinese; a generous guru or some school? For that matter - to Ven. Huifeng & Huseng also - where does an aspiring translator of classic Chinese Buddhism go to become competent in that field?


Me? Well, I am not very helpful as an example to others. I literally just got obsessed with learning Chinese and reinvented the wheel dozens of times. What took me 15 years would take someone going through a good language program half that time, probably. I started out with copies of the Tao Te Ching and modern bilingual dictionaries. (At that point, I was really just learning the characters -- I had no idea what I was doing in terms of translations!) Then when I worked with Buddhist Sutras, I went through the painful process of learning the transliterations, etc. through sheer rote practice. The main thing that made it possibly was just a burning obsession to translation Buddhist texts. Where that comes from, I have no idea (past lives, I expect). I can recall photocopying reams and reams of the Taisho when I discovered it at the university I was attending in the 90s (this was before CBETA or Unicode!).

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I amassed one practice to become a Buddha
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Huifeng » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:35 am

cdpatton wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I remember that the publisher of Shuramgama Samadhi Sutra said several years ago that translator Sara Boin-Webb has also translated Nagarjuna's MahaPrajnaparamita Commentary into english and that its the publishing is being prepared,.. but we haven't heard or seen anything about it since then (?)


I think that must be the partial translation by Lamotte in French -- I believe it was only of the first 10 or 15 fascicles? Still, would be great if it were published, Lamotte never held back on his footnotes!

Charlie.


The first 35 fascicles, which is the upadesa of the first chapter (parivarta) of the sutra. Sara Boin-Webb - who passed away a year or two ago - was Lamotte's official English translator.

And, as already mentioned, Ven. Migme Chodron has already translated all five of these volumes (go to Gampo Abbey translations, and follow your nose).

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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Huifeng » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:37 am

Will wrote:Just curious Charlie, where did you learn this old classical form of Chinese; a generous guru or some school? For that matter - to Ven. Huifeng & Huseng also - where does an aspiring translator of classic Chinese Buddhism go to become competent in that field?


For myself, a fairly standard Buddhist College (佛學院), roughly a seminary equivalent of a BA degree - classical and Mandarin together, many years of usage in a full immersion environment, plus MA and PhD time.

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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:04 am

Will wrote:Just curious Charlie, where did you learn this old classical form of Chinese; a generous guru or some school? For that matter - to Ven. Huifeng & Huseng also - where does an aspiring translator of classic Chinese Buddhism go to become competent in that field?


I studied Mandarin and Japanese in undergrad.

I started off with a few textbooks like Michael Fuller's and Dawson's works. Self-study at first. I read Confucius and Menicus before I studied Buddhist Chinese.

When I first started seriously studying Buddhist Chinese, I had a reliable translation and the original Chinese printed out double-spaced. I would look up every single thing I didn't understand and correlate it with the English translation. However, at that point I already had the basics down and had read through parts of Menicus, the Confucian Analects and parts of works like Hanfeizi.

I did that long enough and became able to read most things Buddhist related without too much hassle.

Two years of Buddhist Studies in Japan at Komazawa University were also beneficial. They have a weird system of kundoku where they render Classical Chinese into Classical Japanese and then into Modern Japanese, but having a good prof who let me read it as Chinese and could advise me on the meaning of things was nice.

Ideally, if you wanted to learn it, you would have a physically present instructor, though it isn't absolutely necessary.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:42 am

cdpatton wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I remember that the publisher of Shuramgama Samadhi Sutra said several years ago that translator Sara Boin-Webb has also translated Nagarjuna's MahaPrajnaparamita Commentary into english and that its the publishing is being prepared,.. but we haven't heard or seen anything about it since then (?)


I think that must be the partial translation by Lamotte in French -- I believe it was only of the first 10 or 15 fascicles? Still, would be great if it were published, Lamotte never held back on his footnotes!

Charlie.


Searching for facts about her, it turned out that Sara Boin-Webb has passed away, 1937 -2008, best wishes for her peace of nirvana or her heavenly abode!
Her obituary says:"Unfortunately her most considerable task, the translation of the five volumes of Lamotte's Traite de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse (Mahaprajñaparamita-sastra) is still awaiting publication."

To me it seems that Motilal Banarsidass has received considerable donations from Theravada, because they have printed a new edition Blue Annals, which is more than 500 pages shorter than the earlier editions. In it almost everything about Nagarjuna's career has been edited away, expect that he was a monk, ofcourse. On the cover of this new printing of Blue Annals there is a line of young theravada monks in orange robes carrying alms bowls, which is much indicative of its new content. I don't see it likely that Motilal Banarsidass is going to print Sara Boin-Webb's work, in this new climate,..?
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:08 pm

Lamotte's translation in five volumes was published gradually: first two volumes 1949, third volume 1970, fourth in 1976, and fifth in 1980. Lamotte passed away 1983, he had worked on its translation for 40 years. I suppose it is the whole thing!?
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Anders » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:55 pm

Aemilius wrote:Lamotte's translation in five volumes was published gradually: first two volumes 1949, third volume 1970, fourth in 1976, and fifth in 1980. Lamotte passed away 1983, he had worked on its translation for 40 years. I suppose it is the whole thing!?


Believe it or not, he only got through a third of it. It's a big job. :lol:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Will » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:59 pm

Huifeng wrote:
Will wrote:Just curious Charlie, where did you learn this old classical form of Chinese; a generous guru or some school? For that matter - to Ven. Huifeng & Huseng also - where does an aspiring translator of classic Chinese Buddhism go to become competent in that field?


For myself, a fairly standard Buddhist College (佛學院), roughly a seminary equivalent of a BA degree - classical and Mandarin together, many years of usage in a full immersion environment, plus MA and PhD time.

~~ Huifeng


Thanks Venerable!

I do hope you and Jeff will respond to the Aspiring Translators thread under Language. The buddhadharma needs more competent translators.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Commentary on the Great Prajnaparamita Sutra

Postby Will » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:06 pm

The Upadesa translation is certainly in the air now. I would not be surprised if Ven. Bhikshu Dharmamitra and Kalavinka Press complete the rest of that huge work some day.
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