Best Translation of Bodhidharma

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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.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.


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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:
OM PADMO USHNISHA VIMALE HUM PHAT (Lotus Pinnacle of Amoghapasha)
OM HANU PHASHA BHARA HE YE SVAHA ("Just by Seeing" Mantra)
AH AAH SHA SA MA HA (Six Syllables of Clairvoyance Mantra)

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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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).

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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.

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