Prajnaparamita sutra - other translations than Conze's?

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Aryjna
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Prajnaparamita sutra - other translations than Conze's?

Post by Aryjna »

This thread is quite old, but it seems better to post here than start a new one. [Edit by mod: This topic is referring to that one: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?p=438954#p438954 ]

Does anyone know of translations other than Conze's and this revision of it? http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/The_ ... nes_(RiBa)

Any opinions on the quality of this translation compared to others, if any others exist?
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Re: Prajnaparamita in 8,000 lines

Post by Zhen Li »

Aryjna wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:14 pm This thread is quite old, but it seems better to post here than start a new one.

Does anyone know of translations other than Conze's and this revision of it? http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/The_ ... nes_(RiBa)

Any opinions on the quality of this translation compared to others, if any others exist?
There are no others that are published. Supposedly Eugène Burnouf translated it into French but never published it and his drafts may not exist.

Conze summarises vast sections and also has idiosyncratic word choices. Otherwise, you can get the general impression of what the Sanskrit text says from reading his translation and it should not be held that it is a poor translation—it is good, and so is Conze's dictionary for translating Prajñāpāramitā and his other articles and translations. Nonetheless, it could do with a scholarly re-translation with notes and without summaries or excising.

The Jamieson book is not a translation but just photographs of manuscript illustrations with a few quotes. I bought it on the false understanding that it had some kind of new scholarly translations.

The closest to having an alternative is definitely the translation of the commentary which has the complete passages commented upon by Gareth Sparham, Abhisamayālaṃkāra with Vr̥tti and Ālokā in four volumes. There are a few passages missing, but essentially you can read the entire sūtra, with the commentary, in bold font. The translation, I would say, is an improvement on Conze and allows you to see what the later medieval scholars thought of it. Those commentaries, also, are influential in Tibetan Buddhism.

As for the "revision" on that site, I would say avoid it. It does not include sections that Conze excised and it repeats much of his poor choice of words. It is completely obscured as to why and how Mr. Babcook is editing this rather than re-translating it, and where he is editing it.

As for possible future alternative translations, the 84,000 translation, when it comes out, will probably be the best, as they generally have critical comparison between manuscripts and the Tibetan translation. The notes usually give variants and some discussion—which is really what was needed in Conze's edition, which can bewilder someone who either doesn't know Sanskrit and cannot read along in the original, or who is not used to reading Mahāyāna sūtras.

BDK was supposed to be publishing the Chinese translation, I can't remember if it was the Xiaopin or Daoxing version, translated by Lewis Lancaster and Matt Orsborn, but it has been so long that I am not sure if it will ever come out.

By the way, I prepared a reading guide to help people with going through the sūtra. It also has some notes from the commentaries. Please feel free to use it: https://sites.google.com/site/learningt ... nofwisdom/
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Re: Prajnaparamita in 8,000 lines

Post by Aryjna »

Zhen Li wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:07 am
Aryjna wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:14 pm This thread is quite old, but it seems better to post here than start a new one.

Does anyone know of translations other than Conze's and this revision of it? http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/The_ ... nes_(RiBa)

Any opinions on the quality of this translation compared to others, if any others exist?
There are no others that are published. Supposedly Eugène Burnouf translated it into French but never published it and his drafts may not exist.

Conze summarises vast sections and also has idiosyncratic word choices. Otherwise, you can get the general impression of what the Sanskrit text says from reading his translation and it should not be held that it is a poor translation—it is good, and so is Conze's dictionary for translating Prajñāpāramitā and his other articles and translations. Nonetheless, it could do with a scholarly re-translation with notes and without summaries or excising.

The Jamieson book is not a translation but just photographs of manuscript illustrations with a few quotes. I bought it on the false understanding that it had some kind of new scholarly translations.

The closest to having an alternative is definitely the translation of the commentary which has the complete passages commented upon by Gareth Sparham, Abhisamayālaṃkāra with Vr̥tti and Ālokā in four volumes. There are a few passages missing, but essentially you can read the entire sūtra, with the commentary, in bold font. The translation, I would say, is an improvement on Conze and allows you to see what the later medieval scholars thought of it. Those commentaries, also, are influential in Tibetan Buddhism.

As for the "revision" on that site, I would say avoid it. It does not include sections that Conze excised and it repeats much of his poor choice of words. It is completely obscured as to why and how Mr. Babcook is editing this rather than re-translating it, and where he is editing it.

As for possible future alternative translations, the 84,000 translation, when it comes out, will probably be the best, as they generally have critical comparison between manuscripts and the Tibetan translation. The notes usually give variants and some discussion—which is really what was needed in Conze's edition, which can bewilder someone who either doesn't know Sanskrit and cannot read along in the original, or who is not used to reading Mahāyāna sūtras.

BDK was supposed to be publishing the Chinese translation, I can't remember if it was the Xiaopin or Daoxing version, translated by Lewis Lancaster and Matt Orsborn, but it has been so long that I am not sure if it will ever come out.

By the way, I prepared a reading guide to help people with going through the sūtra. It also has some notes from the commentaries. Please feel free to use it: https://sites.google.com/site/learningt ... nofwisdom/
Thank you. I was thinking of waiting for the 84000 translation, but the Abhisamayalankara volumes sound like a good idea, as I've been wanting to read it as well. The notes seem useful too, I will use them when reading it.
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Re: Prajnaparamita in 8,000 lines

Post by Zhen Li »

Aryjna wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:55 am Thank you. I was thinking of waiting for the 84000 translation, but the Abhisamayalankara volumes sound like a good idea, as I've been wanting to read it as well. The notes seem useful too, I will use them when reading it.
If you would like to start an online book club/reading group, where we discuss the sūtra chapter by chapter, I would be interested in contributing.
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Re: Prajnaparamita in 8,000 lines

Post by Aryjna »

Zhen Li wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:18 am
Aryjna wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:55 am Thank you. I was thinking of waiting for the 84000 translation, but the Abhisamayalankara volumes sound like a good idea, as I've been wanting to read it as well. The notes seem useful too, I will use them when reading it.
If you would like to start an online book club/reading group, where we discuss the sūtra chapter by chapter, I would be interested in contributing.
I'm not sure how online reading groups work. I suppose it could be people reading at a similar pace and having discussions on the subject. It could be interesting if there are 1-2 more people here who want to read the text.
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Re: Prajnaparamita sutra - other translations than Conze's?

Post by Aryjna »

If there is someone else here who is interested in joining a reading group on the Prajnaparamita in 8000 lines, message me or Zhen Li in order to join. I think I will start reading over the next few days, and the pace is probably going to be quite slow, though it's not necessary for everyone to go at the
same pace.
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Re: Prajnaparamita sutra - other translations than Conze's?

Post by Zhen Li »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:35 am What about this?

https://read.84000.co/translation/toh11.html
The sūtra being referred to for the purposes of this thread is the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines, or the Aṣṭasāhasrikā. There are elements of the 8000 version in the 10,000 version, but largely it is different, but related material that appear to have a closer relationship to the longer sūtras, such as the 25,000 and 100,000 line versions. The longer sūtras are generally held to be expanded versions of the 8000 version, but they have also removed material, so it is not clear cut.

While Haribhadra tries to make his commentary fit the Aṣṭasāsrikā, the structure of Asaṅga's Abhisamayālaṅkara which are the basis of Haribhadra's commentary fits these longer sūtras better. It would be worth doing a reading group for the longer sūtras as well. Conze translated various portions of these longer sūtras in his book The Large Sūtra on Perfect Wisdom.

The various versions, their relationship, their differences, and their development are a very complicated topic and I don't think anyone fully understands it. The introduction on the 84000 version is decent, but Conze's book "The Prajñāpāramitā Literature" may still be the best introduction to the topic.
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Re: Prajnaparamita sutra - other translations than Conze's?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

OK, I don't have access to anything else.
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Re: Prajnaparamita sutra - other translations than Conze's?

Post by Zhen Li »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:45 am OK, I don't have access to anything else.
Conze's translation can be found online also: https://huntingtonarchive.org/resources ... asrika.pdf
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