Tricky translation. From the context it is clear that the goddess refers to Sariputra's silence, not writing. Kumarajiva translates as 言說文字 what is akṣaram udāharati (Tib.: yi ger brjod pa), that is "spoken characters".jake wrote: ↑Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:42 pmVimalakirtinirdesa (Kumarajiva's translation) wrote:"Letters all have the mark of liberation. Why is that? Liberation is not inside, not outside, nor in between the two. Letters are also not inside, not outside, nor in between the two. For that reason, Sariputra, liberation is taught without leaving behind letters. Why is that? Because all dharmas have the mark of liberation." (trans. Takagi + Dreitlein, 2011 pp81)
McRae (BDK ed, p 128):
'Speech and words are entirely the characteristics of emancipation. Why? Emancipation is neither internal, nor external, nor intermediate. Words are also neither internal, nor external, nor intermediate. Therefore, Śāriputra, the explanation of emancipation does not transcend words. Why? All dharmas have the characteristic of emancipation.'
Watson (Motilal Banarsidass ed., p 88):
'Words, writing, all are marks of emancipation. Why? Because emancipation is not internal, not external, and not in between. And words likewise are not internal, not external, and not in between. Therefore, Shariputra, you can speak of emancipation without putting words aside. Why? Because all things that exist are marks of emancipation.'
'All the syllables pronounced by the elder have the nature of liberation. Why? Liberation is neither internal nor external, nor can it be apprehended apart from them. Likewise, syllables are neither internal nor external, nor can they be apprehended anywhere else. Therefore, reverend Śāriputra, do not point to liberation by abandoning speech! Why? The holy liberation is the equality of all things!'