DA19: The Great Assembly and Dharanis... earliest usage?

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Sentient Light
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DA19: The Great Assembly and Dharanis... earliest usage?

Postby Sentient Light » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:45 pm

I've been very slowly going through BDK's Vol II of the DA and I read DA19 last night. Its parallel is DN20 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.20.0.than.html.

The major difference I noticed between these two is that in the Agama version, after each class of being is introduced, the Buddha stops to chant a dharani for them. The dharani is rendered in romanized Chinese in the text, which means it was rendered in Siniticized Sanskrit (or probably Prakrit?) in the source manuscript.

Aside from DN32's use of what appear to be mantras, I was unaware that any Sravakayana material taught anything esoteric, but this is very explicit. Can anyone comment on the history of the DA? I know it's probably Dharmaguptaka, but do we have any earlier versions? Do we have a copy of this sutra from an extinct school's canon?

I'm curious if the DA version had dharanis inserted into it or if the DN version had dharanis removed, and if there's any way to reliably conclude one or the other. I find Thanissaro Bhikkhu's introduction in his translation curious:

T. Bhikkhu wrote:Metrical analysis indicates that the long "tribute" section of this discourse is very old, while the verses in the introductory section — which is also found in the Samyutta Nikaya — are later in form. This fits with a more subjective judgment: that the tribute was an earlier composition — in the honorific style of the ancient court bards — to which the introduction was added later.


So it sounds like the original could've very well been something like a dharani.

Either way, the DA text seems to suggest that esoteric practices were in play with the Dharmaguptaka school long before the period historians attribute to the rise of Mahayana and, most probably with other early schools as well.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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Dharmic
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Re: DA19: The Great Assembly and Dharanis... earliest usage?

Postby Dharmic » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:48 am

Sentient Light wrote:I've been very slowly going through BDK's Vol II of the DA and I read DA19 last night. Its parallel is DN20 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.20.0.than.html.

The major difference I noticed between these two is that in the Agama version, after each class of being is introduced, the Buddha stops to chant a dharani for them. The dharani is rendered in romanized Chinese in the text, which means it was rendered in Siniticized Sanskrit (or probably Prakrit?) in the source manuscript.

Aside from DN32's use of what appear to be mantras, I was unaware that any Sravakayana material taught anything esoteric, but this is very explicit. Can anyone comment on the history of the DA? I know it's probably Dharmaguptaka, but do we have any earlier versions? Do we have a copy of this sutra from an extinct school's canon?

I'm curious if the DA version had dharanis inserted into it or if the DN version had dharanis removed, and if there's any way to reliably conclude one or the other. I find Thanissaro Bhikkhu's introduction in his translation curious:

T. Bhikkhu wrote:Metrical analysis indicates that the long "tribute" section of this discourse is very old, while the verses in the introductory section — which is also found in the Samyutta Nikaya — are later in form. This fits with a more subjective judgment: that the tribute was an earlier composition — in the honorific style of the ancient court bards — to which the introduction was added later.


So it sounds like the original could've very well been something like a dharani.

Either way, the DA text seems to suggest that esoteric practices were in play with the Dharmaguptaka school long before the period historians attribute to the rise of Mahayana and, most probably with other early schools as well.


Hi,

I found your OP interesting.(I do not know about the questions you asked,sorry)

I think SuttaCentral's translation of the Āṭānāṭiya Suttaṃ is better.The footnotes of AccessToInsight's translation are useful.

According to Dighanikaya-attakatha-tika (vol iii, p. 194), King Vessavana had a town by the name of Atanata, where the four kings assembled and recited this Paritta which speaks of the virtues of the seven Buddhas: Vipassi, Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusanda, Konagama, Kassapa, Gotama.

They approached the Buddha with the intention of obtaining his approval in which event, they felt, that this Paritta will attain a revered position: "satthu kathite imam parittam garu bhavissatiti pi aha" (Comy).

Learn, ugganhatha: There is nothing for the Buddha to learn afresh. As the Commentary says, it was to create an opportunity for the Buddha to listen to the discourse, "Imam parittam savetum okasam karonto evamha."


The Āṭānāṭiya and Mahāsamaya Suttas do seem similar to the some of the Mahāyāna dhāraṇīs I've seen so far.

Some discussions on these Suttas.(Speculative in nature)

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/ex ... ddhas/2221

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/au ... sutta/4170

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9161

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/dn ... duncan/531

I did not find the Dīrgha Āgama in BDK website,could you link the English translations of DA versions of these two Pāli Suttas.

:anjali:
Namo Amitābhāya


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