Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

amanitamusc
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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by amanitamusc » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:52 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 am
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:20 am
I understood it to mean "original beginingless" or the like in context.
That is not what the term ka dag means.
:thumbsup:

Malcolm
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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:01 am

LoveFromColorado wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:50 am
According to KB in the end notes, ka dag "refers to the original and beginningless purity or emptiness of all phenomenon in general and of rigpa in particular." That appears to describe how he handles "alpha" (i.e. original and beginningless).

I certainly cannot comment on the translation of ka dag but I was just offering a small juxtaposition to the idea previous in the thread that "alpha" might be understood as "dominant", "first", or the like. In context, I did not understand it to mean anything along those lines, but I'm also self-admittedly a stickler for reading end notes. Certainly simply saying something like "original purity" might be clearer, however. I recognize the importance of words but for the lay reader like myself I think the broader context carries more meaning than the semantics. For scholars, of course, it may be a different story and I certainly respect that fact.
I already explained what ka dag means above.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Spelare » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:56 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:59 pm
In English dictionaries alpha as a modifier is 'dominant' or 'first'. I would hope that 'dominant' purity is not the gist - sounds like a battle among purities.
I mean, in post-Christian cultures and languages, such as those of Western Europe, there's still the echo of the Book of Revelation, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." So, in literary contexts, "alpha" does carry resonances of origin, primacy, priority, and therefore ultimacy.

We can take it figuratively, the same way we know that mind is not literally an "all-creating king." The sense is that it is foremost in determining the character of our experience.
One thinks of the opening verse of the Dhammapada, "Mind precedes all states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought." Or Nāgārjuna's Ratnāvalī, "The mind precedes all dharmas, therefore the mind is called 'sovereign.'"
Neither person nor skandha
but unstained wisdom is buddha.
In its knowing, ever serene—
I go for refuge therein.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 pm

Spelare wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:56 am
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:59 pm
In English dictionaries alpha as a modifier is 'dominant' or 'first'. I would hope that 'dominant' purity is not the gist - sounds like a battle among purities.
I mean, in post-Christian cultures and languages, such as those of Western Europe, there's still the echo of the Book of Revelation, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." So, in literary contexts, "alpha" does carry resonances of origin, primacy, priority, and therefore ultimacy.
You cite a good reason that some translators ignore, the several meaning the chosen english word has. Yes, alpha has a single meaning that seems (to translator) a just dandy fit for the meaning of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, etc. word. But an English reader will hear the chimes of 'alpha dog' 'alpha Centauri' etc.

Since English is such a 'borrowing' language, (alpha from the Greek sure fits,) then why not incorporate more Buddhist Sanskrit terms if the translator cannot abide prosaic English versions?
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Tathāgatas.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Norwegian » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:45 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 pm
Since English is such a 'borrowing' language, (alpha from the Greek sure fits,) then why not incorporate more Buddhist Sanskrit terms if the translator cannot abide prosaic English versions?
Certainly it is the case that a number of terms in Dzogchen can be in Sanskrit, such as dharmata for example. But in general the lexicon of Dzogchen is Tibetan, and so one should familiarize oneself with these terms (in Tibetan) and how they are taught by a qualified teacher of Dzogchen, from whom one receives those teachings. That way ones understanding will truly become something useful.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:13 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 pm
Spelare wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:56 am
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:59 pm
In English dictionaries alpha as a modifier is 'dominant' or 'first'. I would hope that 'dominant' purity is not the gist - sounds like a battle among purities.
I mean, in post-Christian cultures and languages, such as those of Western Europe, there's still the echo of the Book of Revelation, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." So, in literary contexts, "alpha" does carry resonances of origin, primacy, priority, and therefore ultimacy.
You cite a good reason that some translators ignore, the several meaning the chosen english word has. Yes, alpha has a single meaning that seems (to translator) a just dandy fit for the meaning of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, etc. word. But an English reader will hear the chimes of 'alpha dog' 'alpha Centauri' etc.

Since English is such a 'borrowing' language, (alpha from the Greek sure fits,) then why not incorporate more Buddhist Sanskrit terms if the translator cannot abide prosaic English versions?
The question is always whether such borrowings are apt. In this case, borrowing "alpha" for "ka" is not apt because there is no way the term can be used to handle the ablative case (which is missing in English, German, and Greek). The ablative case does exist in Latin, however, thus the ablative for "origo" is "orīgine." Of course, if you go to a Latin-English translation tool, and type in originally pure and original purity, you will not derive orīgene in any way from this.

The earliest usage of the term original in middle English was in the phrase, "original sin." Of course, original purity is the very opposite of original sin, and far more reflective of the point being made with this term then the clumsy "alpha."

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:10 pm

Norwegian wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:45 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 pm
Since English is such a 'borrowing' language, (alpha from the Greek sure fits,) then why not incorporate more Buddhist Sanskrit terms if the translator cannot abide prosaic English versions?
Certainly it is the case that a number of terms in Dzogchen can be in Sanskrit, such as dharmata for example. But in general the lexicon of Dzogchen is Tibetan, and so one should familiarize oneself with these terms (in Tibetan) and how they are taught by a qualified teacher of Dzogchen, from whom one receives those teachings. That way ones understanding will truly become something useful.
I was thinking of translation practice in general, not just DZ, but all of Buddhism.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Tathāgatas.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:39 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:10 pm
Norwegian wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:45 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 pm
Since English is such a 'borrowing' language, (alpha from the Greek sure fits,) then why not incorporate more Buddhist Sanskrit terms if the translator cannot abide prosaic English versions?
Certainly it is the case that a number of terms in Dzogchen can be in Sanskrit, such as dharmata for example. But in general the lexicon of Dzogchen is Tibetan, and so one should familiarize oneself with these terms (in Tibetan) and how they are taught by a qualified teacher of Dzogchen, from whom one receives those teachings. That way ones understanding will truly become something useful.
I was thinking of translation practice in general, not just DZ, but all of Buddhism.

A consensus is being slowly reached, which differs from the Tibetan and Chinese conventions of translating everything. Foreign names, of people and places, for example, should not be translated. Technical terms like samsara and nirvana already exist in the OED. There is room for the importation of terms from Sanskrit, such as dharmakāya, etc., into English, because translations like "truth body" and "law body" inadequately convey the meaning of the original term.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by LoveFromColorado » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:17 pm

Hi Malcolm, I have been reflecting on this discussion and am still a little bit confused. I don't offer this as a point of contention but just to broaden my own understanding.

It seems to me perhaps we were talking past each other in that your comments may have been focused around the term "alpha" whereas I am referring to the broader meaning of "alpha-purity" in context. Would you mind pointing out the difference here in terms of meaning here? I'm probably dense.

I'm not necessarily concerned with the use or non-use of the term "alpha" but the overall meaning for my own understanding of the text in context as I am a non-Tibetan reader. In other words, I understand KB's use of "alpha-purity" to mean "original/primordial/beginingless purity" which seems to coincide with what you discussed.

I am not concerned about the use of alpha per se as the trappings of English meanings do not hinder my ability to read beyond the syntax (with help from the end notes). Thus, if we are talking about two different things (alpha vs. broader meaning of alpha-purity in context) then there certainly would not need to be an explanation :). That said, if somehow "original/primordial/beginningless purity" differs from "fundamental/initial/primordial/and original purity" then I would like to know the difference for my own sake unless the difference is simply the inflexibility of the word alpha but my understanding coincides (at least from a high level) with what is rendered in Tibetan.

In other words, I want to be sure I am not reading something different into the text here as I'm failing to see the difference in meanings we have discussed but it appears you do have a difference of understanding and I certainly would respect (and honor) that difference if one exists.

(sidebar: of course, I understand the significance of semantics like word choices for the sake of textual integrity but I do not take it as a hindrance here if my understanding is in line with the overall meaning of the word)
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:30 pm
Or if we are taking the noun to be purity, then, fundamental purity, initial purity, primordial purity, and original purity. Since alpha is not flexible in this respect, it is not really very suitable as term for rendering ka/ka nas.
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:20 am
Brunnholzl has over a page in the endnotes explaining "alpha-purity" and "innate presence." Most of the discussion is surrounding "innate presence" but as a non-Tibetan reader I did not find "alpha-purity" confusing. I understood it to mean "original beginingless" or the like in context.
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:26 am
That is not what the term ka dag means.
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:50 am
According to KB in the end notes, ka dag "refers to the original and beginningless purity or emptiness of all phenomenon in general and of rigpa in particular." That appears to describe how he handles "alpha" (i.e. original and beginningless).

I certainly cannot comment on the translation of ka dag but I was just offering a small juxtaposition to the idea previous in the thread that "alpha" might be understood as "dominant", "first", or the like. In context, I did not understand it to mean anything along those lines, but I'm also self-admittedly a stickler for reading end notes. Certainly simply saying something like "original purity" might be clearer, however.
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:01 am
I already explained what ka dag means above.
Thank you!

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 pm

LoveFromColorado wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:17 pm
Hi Malcolm, I have been reflecting on this discussion and am still a little bit confused. I don't offer this as a point of contention but just to broaden my own understanding.

It seems to me perhaps we were talking past each other in that your comments may have been focused around the term "alpha" whereas I am referring to the broader meaning of "alpha-purity" in context.
The "alpha" is a poor choice, for reasons I have already explained.

I'm not necessarily concerned with the use or non-use of the term "alpha" but the overall meaning for my own understanding of the text in context as I am a non-Tibetan reader. In other words, I understand KB's use of "alpha-purity" to mean "original/primordial/beginingless purity" which seems to coincide with what you discussed.
The Tibetan term under discussion is ka dag.
the inflexibility of the word alpha but my understanding coincides (at least from a high level) with what is rendered in Tibetan.
It does not correspond, as I explained already, because "ka" here is not referencing the first consonant of the Tibetan syllabary.

In other words, I want to be sure I am not reading something different into the text here as I'm failing to see the difference in meanings we have discussed but it appears you do have a difference of understanding and I certainly would respect (and honor) that difference if one exists.
There are two kinds of ka dag: shared and unshared. The first is the emptiness free from extremes. The second kind is the path of trekchö.

I have not read KB's book yet, but I am sure it covers both somewhere in some commentary.
(sidebar: of course, I understand the significance of semantics like word choices for the sake of textual integrity but I do not take it as a hindrance here if my understanding is in line with the overall meaning of the word)
My comments concern Trungpa's use of the malapropism "alpha" for "ka" and "ka nas." I think I explained it pretty well above.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by LoveFromColorado » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 pm
I have not read KB's book yet
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 pm
My comments concern Trungpa's use of the malapropism "alpha" for "ka" and "ka nas." I think I explained it pretty well above.
Thanks for the reply Malcolm! Yes, I have been clear on your objection to the use of the word "alpha" and I certainly understand that concern. Without reading the book in this area and the end notes surrounding it, I think perhaps my question may not be clear but I can read what you have responded with and come away with the answer to my question and confirmation to my inquiry. I appreciate the response!

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 pm
There are two kinds of ka dag: shared and unshared. The first is the emptiness free from extremes. The second kind is the path of trekchö.
Loppon, what does this mean? Does "shared" refer to being shared with common Mahayana?

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:43 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:37 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 pm
There are two kinds of ka dag: shared and unshared. The first is the emptiness free from extremes. The second kind is the path of trekchö.
Loppon, what does this mean? Does "shared" refer to being shared with common Mahayana?
Yes, and mahāmudra, etc.

LoveFromColorado
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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by LoveFromColorado » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:51 pm

In KB's book he makes a few mentions of how Samantabhadra and the aspiration prayer can be viewed as an aspiration prayer of mind's own nature - "primordial rigpa" - "to recognize itself, its own face, or its own essence, which is nothing other than perfect buddhahood, or the dharmakaya."

If this is accurate, does that mean the rigpa of every sentient being has this prayer at heart and thus, eventually, all sentient beings will become enlightened?

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:13 pm

LoveFromColorado wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:51 pm
In KB's book he makes a few mentions of how Samantabhadra and the aspiration prayer can be viewed as an aspiration prayer of mind's own nature - "primordial rigpa" - "to recognize itself, its own face, or its own essence, which is nothing other than perfect buddhahood, or the dharmakaya."

If this is accurate, does that mean the rigpa of every sentient being has this prayer at heart and thus, eventually, all sentient beings will become enlightened?
The Aspiration of Great Power is a liberation through hearing text. The context of the aspiration is that all sentient beings have the same basis for either recognizing or not recognizing the nature of the mind, and thus, either waking up or not waking up.

It explains how the energy of delusion-based afflictions can become the energy of knowledge-based qualities through recognizing the innate nature of this or that affliction to be a pristine consciousness, thus purifying the associated realm (hell realm, etc.).

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:20 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:37 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 pm
There are two kinds of ka dag: shared and unshared. The first is the emptiness free from extremes. The second kind is the path of trekchö.
Loppon, what does this mean? Does "shared" refer to being shared with common Mahayana?
It means that the first is shared with Mahāyāna.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Lukeinaz » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:34 pm

Where can i find a concise explanation of how and why the base arises from the base?
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

LoveFromColorado
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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by LoveFromColorado » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:45 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:13 pm
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:51 pm
In KB's book he makes a few mentions of how Samantabhadra and the aspiration prayer can be viewed as an aspiration prayer of mind's own nature - "primordial rigpa" - "to recognize itself, its own face, or its own essence, which is nothing other than perfect buddhahood, or the dharmakaya."

If this is accurate, does that mean the rigpa of every sentient being has this prayer at heart and thus, eventually, all sentient beings will become enlightened?
The Aspiration of Great Power is a liberation through hearing text. The context of the aspiration is that all sentient beings have the same basis for either recognizing or not recognizing the nature of the mind, and thus, either waking up or not waking up.

It explains how the energy of delusion-based afflictions can become the energy of knowledge-based qualities through recognizing the innate nature of this or that affliction to be a pristine consciousness, thus purifying the associated realm (hell realm, etc.).
Thank you Malcolm, your answers are appreciated as always!

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:49 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:34 pm
Where can i find a concise explanation of how and why the base arises from the base?
Buddhahood in this Life, topics one and two.

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Re: Upcoming book by Karl Brunnhölzl on The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra

Post by dolphin_color » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:16 pm

Is there a commentary on the version of this prayer from the Avatamsaka? Not sure how it's different from the Dzogchen...

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