Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

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thomaslaw
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Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by thomaslaw » Mon May 25, 2020 2:04 am

Dear everyone,

Choong Mun-keat recently published the following article:

“A comparison of the Pāli and Chinese versions of Nāga Saṃyutta, Supaṇṇa Saṃyutta, and Valāhaka Saṃyutta, early Buddhist discourse collections on mythical dragons, birds, and cloud devas”, Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 2020 (18): 42-65.
Website: http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/issue/view/20/showToc

In this article (pp. 45, 47, note 13) the author indicates that only the Chinese version, EA 27.8: T2, 646a-b (= SN 29.1, SN 30.1-2), mentions about the iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) is used by garudas (suppanna) in hunting nagas for food. No corresponding Indian term or story is found for the iron-fork tree. The author suggests “It is a question whether this kind of tree originated in China.” (p. 62).

This is an interesting question. Is it possible the iron-fork tree refers to Simbali tree (see Malalasekera, p. 755 about Garuda)?
Does anyone like to provide any comments, suggestions about the iron-fork tree and its mythical story, particularly in Mahayana, Chinese tradition?

Thanks.

humble.student
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by humble.student » Wed May 27, 2020 10:36 am

thomaslaw wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 2:04 am
This is an interesting question. Is it possible the iron-fork tree refers to Simbali tree (see Malalasekera, p. 755 about Garuda)?
Does anyone like to provide any comments, suggestions about the iron-fork tree and its mythical story, particularly in Mahayana, Chinese tradition?

Thanks.
Interesting question indeed. The author does not seem to have searched around for synonyms though, as a simple search online reveals a number of them for this kind of tree. E.g.
 『大海北岸有一大樹。名究羅睒摩羅(又譯為“居吒奢摩離”
意思是“粗聚”,《增一阿含》譯為“鐵叉樹”)。』
  
http://buddhaspace.org/gem_browse.php/f ... L8K&num=19

Following on from this, we find that one of these, 拘吒賒摩利, is in fact the Sanskrit ‘kuṭaṅgaka’, which appears in Monier-Williams and in other sutras, as per the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism.http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb/

I would also check a work on Buddhist botany such as Schmithausen’s “Plants in Early Buddhism” or something like that as well for more details. In any case, it would appear to be attested in the Indian literature, and not a Chinese invention.

thomaslaw
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:00 am
Location: Australia

Re: Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by thomaslaw » Wed May 27, 2020 2:36 pm

Thanks for your reply.

It is from the Chinese DA. Can the tree and its story also be found in the corresponding Pali DN? If so, we can from the Pali text to identify the Indian term.

thomaslaw
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:00 am
Location: Australia

Re: Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by thomaslaw » Thu May 28, 2020 2:50 am

humble.student wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:36 am
 『大海北岸有一大樹。名究羅睒摩羅(又譯為“居吒奢摩離”
意思是“粗聚”,《增一阿含》譯為“鐵叉樹”)。』
  
http://buddhaspace.org/gem_browse.php/f ... L8K&num=19

Following on from this, we find that one of these, 拘吒賒摩利, is in fact the Sanskrit ‘kuṭaṅgaka’, which appears in Monier-Williams and in other sutras, as per the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism.http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb/
The mentioned Chinese text ("大海北岸有一大樹。名究羅睒摩羅") is in DA 30 世記經 (p. 127b), which has no corresponding Pali text. The tree and its mythical story in DA 30 are also not found in other Pali texts and Indian mythical beliefs.

It is also unclear why the Chinese terms, 究羅睒摩羅, 居吒奢摩離, 拘吒賒摩利, 鐵叉樹, are kuṭaṅgaka.

humble.student
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by humble.student » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:11 am

Right. You ought to check the terms in the relevant Buddhist and Sanskrit/Pali dictionaries and see what you can find.
Quick question: why do you think those trees are not the same?

thomaslaw
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:00 am
Location: Australia

Re: Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:32 am

humble.student wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:11 am
Right. You ought to check the terms in the relevant Buddhist and Sanskrit/Pali dictionaries and see what you can find.
Quick question: why do you think those trees are not the same?
This is because no clear evidence, concreate details to support those tress are the same.

thomaslaw
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:00 am
Location: Australia

Re: Iron-fork tree (tiecha shu 鐵叉樹) and garudas, nagas

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:31 am

humble.student wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:11 am
Right. You ought to check the terms in the relevant Buddhist and Sanskrit/Pali dictionaries and see what you can find.
Quick question: why do you think those trees are not the same?
Also, the Chinese DA30 does not have the corresponding Pali version.

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