Sutra Commentaries

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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pael
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Sutra Commentaries

Post by pael » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am

Can you recommend any Sutra Commentaries? Is Sangharakshitas (founder of the FWBO) writings good to read?
I want to read good Diamond Sutra Commentary. Suggestions? Other Prajnaparamita Sutra Commentary suggestions?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:05 am

There are hundreds of diamond sutra commentaries. I'm not familiar with the one you mentioned but there are so many. The recent commentaries I've read are from Master Hsing Yun, they have been put into english too and are very easy to read.
You may consider looking at the really old commentaries from monks like Vasubhandu, Kamalashila, etc...pretty tough reading though.

I think it would be a worthy project form someone to do a compare and contrast between old and modern commentaries.

pael
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by pael » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:03 pm

May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:11 pm

pael wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am
Can you recommend any Sutra Commentaries? Is Sangharakshitas (founder of the FWBO) writings good to read?
I want to read good Diamond Sutra Commentary. Suggestions? Other Prajnaparamita Sutra Commentary suggestions?
Master Hsuan Hua has many online and in print - Diamond Sutra only in print now, I think.

http://www.cttbusa.org/sutraswithcommentaries.asp
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

topazdreamz
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by topazdreamz » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:29 pm

Some great recordings of teachings from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, some of which are commentaries on Sutras. . .

http://www.siddharthasintent.org/resources/podcasts/

Up near the top, you have Prajnaparamita Sutra, which he gave this year. Scroll down for more, including Lalitavastara Sutra and Avatamsaka Sutra.

pael
Posts: 416
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by pael » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:03 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:05 am
. The recent commentaries I've read are from Master Hsing Yun, they have been put into english too and are very easy to read.
You may consider looking at the really old commentaries from monks like Vasubhandu, Kamalashila, etc...pretty tough reading though.
Where to get these?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1622
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:16 am


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Zhen Li
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by Zhen Li » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:47 am

pael wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am
Can you recommend any Sutra Commentaries? Is Sangharakshitas (founder of the FWBO) writings good to read?
I want to read good Diamond Sutra Commentary. Suggestions? Other Prajnaparamita Sutra Commentary suggestions?
The most comprehensive Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra commentary is really Haribhadra's Abhisamayālaṅkārāloka. It's translated by Gareth Sparham as the Abhisamayālaṅkāra with Vṛtti and Āloka in four volumes. I recently went through these in some detail alongside the sūtra (the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines).

However, I think even reading the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines, in Conze's translation, is helpful for understanding Perfection of Wisdom in general. It is the mother of all Buddhas and the Dharma Body, so it goes without saying that it should be learned. The Diamond Sūtra is really not easy to understand without a background in it. Master Hsing Yun's books are helpful, the second link is a pamphlet and it is a good introduction. The first one is actually more of a stand alone book, and not so much a commentary in the traditional sense, which is where you clarify line by line or word by word.

One issue with most Diamond Sūtra translations is that they repeat Kumarajīva's interpretative choices which are not always ideal. While Conze uses the Sanskrit, he approaches it as a text posing a set of paradoxes—it is not necessarily that either. Paul Harrison pointed this out an article a while back and produced a translation of his own which is recommended—and without some other passages which are later interpolations in the Chinese. I also translated the same manuscripts because I found Harrison made some other odd choices, but it needs some serious editing. Harrison's translation is available online and is probably the best available. Personally, I wouldn't spend too much time focusing on the Diamond Sūtra, if you want to focus on learning the Prajñāpāramitā, just go straight to the source: Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines and Haribhadra's commentary—also you can find some resources that may help you in the website linked in my signature, we made web pages for every chapter of the sūtra. If you need any assistance with this or have questions about passages, please feel free to ask.

WontonCarter
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by WontonCarter » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:46 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:11 pm
pael wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am
Can you recommend any Sutra Commentaries? Is Sangharakshitas (founder of the FWBO) writings good to read?
I want to read good Diamond Sutra Commentary. Suggestions? Other Prajnaparamita Sutra Commentary suggestions?
Master Hsuan Hua has many online and in print - Diamond Sutra only in print now, I think.

http://www.cttbusa.org/sutraswithcommentaries.asp
It can also be purchased as an ebook through the iBooks store. Not sure if it's available directly through the BTTS website as an ebook, though.

Norwegian
Posts: 1042
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by Norwegian » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:39 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:47 am
pael wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am
Can you recommend any Sutra Commentaries? Is Sangharakshitas (founder of the FWBO) writings good to read?
I want to read good Diamond Sutra Commentary. Suggestions? Other Prajnaparamita Sutra Commentary suggestions?
The most comprehensive Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra commentary is really Haribhadra's Abhisamayālaṅkārāloka. It's translated by Gareth Sparham as the Abhisamayālaṅkāra with Vṛtti and Āloka in four volumes. I recently went through these in some detail alongside the sūtra (the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines).

However, I think even reading the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines, in Conze's translation, is helpful for understanding Perfection of Wisdom in general. It is the mother of all Buddhas and the Dharma Body, so it goes without saying that it should be learned. The Diamond Sūtra is really not easy to understand without a background in it. Master Hsing Yun's books are helpful, the second link is a pamphlet and it is a good introduction. The first one is actually more of a stand alone book, and not so much a commentary in the traditional sense, which is where you clarify line by line or word by word.

One issue with most Diamond Sūtra translations is that they repeat Kumarajīva's interpretative choices which are not always ideal. While Conze uses the Sanskrit, he approaches it as a text posing a set of paradoxes—it is not necessarily that either. Paul Harrison pointed this out an article a while back and produced a translation of his own which is recommended—and without some other passages which are later interpolations in the Chinese. I also translated the same manuscripts because I found Harrison made some other odd choices, but it needs some serious editing. Harrison's translation is available online and is probably the best available. Personally, I wouldn't spend too much time focusing on the Diamond Sūtra, if you want to focus on learning the Prajñāpāramitā, just go straight to the source: Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines and Haribhadra's commentary—also you can find some resources that may help you in the website linked in my signature, we made web pages for every chapter of the sūtra. If you need any assistance with this or have questions about passages, please feel free to ask.
Don't forget these (on the Abhisamayalamkara), as translated by Brunnholzl:

"Groundless Paths: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Nyingma Tradition" - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1559393750/
"Gone Beyond: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament Of Clear Realization, And Its Commentaries In The Tibetan Kagyu Tradition, Vol.1": https://www.amazon.com/dp/1559393564/
"Gone Beyond: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, And Its Commentaries in The Tibetan Kagyu Tradition, Vol.2": https://www.amazon.com/dp/1559393572/

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SunWuKong
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Re: Sutra Commentaries

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:56 pm

pael wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am
Can you recommend any Sutra Commentaries? Is Sangharakshitas (founder of the FWBO) writings good to read?
I want to read good Diamond Sutra Commentary. Suggestions? Other Prajnaparamita Sutra Commentary suggestions?
Mu Soeng
"Cast off body and mind" (身心脱落 shēn xīn tuō luò)

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