Best Translation of Bodhidharma

Forum for discussion of East Asian Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Post Reply
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 5:54 pm

Best Translation of Bodhidharma

Post by Seeker12 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:53 pm

Just curious if anyone has any specific recommendations for translations to get to know Bodhidharma.

On Amazon, for example, I see stuff by Red Pine, Jeffrey Broughton, Guo Gu, and Osho (though I'd probably not go for that one...).

Thoughts? I'd probably go for Red Pine if no one comments otherwise.
Better than if there were thousands of meaningless words is
one meaningful word that on hearing brings peace. Dhp

User avatar
Monlam Tharchin
Posts: 1667
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Best Translation of Bodhidharma

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:42 pm

Full disclosure, I no longer practice Zen. But when I did, I found Red Pine's translation crystal clear to understand in simple, direct language. I assume Bodhidharma wouldn't have it any other way :smile:

User avatar
Founding Member
Posts: 2322
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: Best Translation of Bodhidharma

Post by Dan74 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:10 pm

MT, Red Pine's translations are beautiful and well-annotated, but some people in the know question his grasp of classical Chinese.

For accuracy at least, I'd recommend Guo Gu, though I haven't read his translations. Guo Gu is a long term Chan practitioner and teacher, having been Ven Sheng-Yen's attendant monk and now a Professor at the Florida State Uni (Jimmy Yu).
Zen Space, a Zen Buddhist discussion forum. A free community service run by volunteers to provide an online place to discuss Zen Buddhism and to share our collective knowledge and experience.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:10 pm
Location: Thailand

Re: Best Translation of Bodhidharma

Post by zengarten » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:48 pm

Jeffrey Broughton. He is the only one separating the myth from the academic findings. And you will detect much more wisdom from the early chan practitioners, like 'bad karma' being: to think by doing good you would reap good! Broughton's findings go beyond what Pine offers.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 52 guests