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:
Namu Amida Bu Namu Amida Bu Namu Amida Bu

"If sentient beings are touched by His radiance, their three afflictions will be eliminated and their bodies and minds will become gentle. They will be filled with joy and exuberance as benevolence arises in their minds. If those who are in extreme suffering, taking any of the three evil life-journeys, see this radiance, they can rest, no more pain or distress. After their death, they will be saved." -- Sutra of Amitāyus Buddha

The Teachings of Master Hōnen

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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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