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Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 am
by pael
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?

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:05 am
by Fortyeightvows
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.

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:03 pm
by pael

Re: Sutra Commentaries

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

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:29 pm
by topazdreamz
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.

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:03 pm
by pael
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?

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:16 am
by Fortyeightvows

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:47 am
by Zhen Li
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.

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:46 pm
by WontonCarter
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.

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:39 pm
by Norwegian
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/

Re: Sutra Commentaries

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:56 pm
by SunWuKong
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