Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Forum for discussion of East Asian Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Anonymous X
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:43 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Anonymous X » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:05 am

Now that Jayarava has been thoroughly trashed, I would suggest reading this paper on paticcasamupadda, dependent origination. He seems quite clear, after reading half of it. Perhaps he descends into a deep, dark, hole of fabrication in the 2nd half?

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4366
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:08 pm

That whole article reeks of "Mahayana got it wrong". In fact, if it wasn't for the context of this discussion, this reference probably wouldn't be allowed on the forum outside of Open Dharma.
"I structure my argument around a close reading of the Kaccānagotta Sutta (S ii.16), a short but important text from the Nidānasaṃyutta of the Saṃyutta Nikāya. The main topic is how to define „right-view‟ (sammādiṭṭhi) which the text does primarily in terms of the middle way qua the nidāna chain. However the theme that it is best known for is the Buddha‟s denial that the terms „existent‟ (atthi) and „non-existent‟ (natthi) apply to the world (loka). It is a theme later taken up by Nāgārjuna in his master-work Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (MMK) which cites this text, and indeed David Kalupahana has described MMK as “a superb commentary” on the Kaccānagotta.12

A detailed investigation of what is meant by „the world‟ and a discussion on ontology in the Pāli texts sets the scene.
What is the connection between dukkha and „all things‟? I
will argue that paṭicca-samuppāda was not intended as a Theory of Everything and that by employing it in this scope that at least one falsifiable conjecture is made. One possible objection to my argument which I will address is that whereas the sutta focuses on the twelve-fold formula, which is traditionally seen as a specific application of the general principle of conditionality, the general principle is universally applicable.14
Issues right off the bat:
- some of Kalupahana's claims about Nagarjuna are dubious at best, such as that Nagarjuna was actually a closet Theravada. When in fact, he was pretty famous for debating them
- Nagarjuna was working with at least one text on emptiness that didn't make it into the Pali canon.
- Two-fold emptiness is a defining characteristic of Mahayana, and Nagarjuna was decidedly one. Basing his entire argument on the idea that the Buddha didn't teach two-fold emptiness is precisely where the chauvinism comes in.

The rest of it is not really going into. The guy's admittedly only had a few hours of formal Sanskrit training and is mostly self-taught. His understanding of Nagarjuna and the rest of the canon is pretty laughable. If this article is supposed to be proof of his chops as an academic, it falls far short of the goal.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Anonymous X
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:43 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Anonymous X » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:57 pm

Admin_PC wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:08 pm
That whole article reeks of "Mahayana got it wrong". In fact, if it wasn't for the context of this discussion, this reference probably wouldn't be allowed on the forum outside of Open Dharma.
"I structure my argument around a close reading of the Kaccānagotta Sutta (S ii.16), a short but important text from the Nidānasaṃyutta of the Saṃyutta Nikāya. The main topic is how to define „right-view‟ (sammādiṭṭhi) which the text does primarily in terms of the middle way qua the nidāna chain. However the theme that it is best known for is the Buddha‟s denial that the terms „existent‟ (atthi) and „non-existent‟ (natthi) apply to the world (loka). It is a theme later taken up by Nāgārjuna in his master-work Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (MMK) which cites this text, and indeed David Kalupahana has described MMK as “a superb commentary” on the Kaccānagotta.12

A detailed investigation of what is meant by „the world‟ and a discussion on ontology in the Pāli texts sets the scene.
What is the connection between dukkha and „all things‟? I
will argue that paṭicca-samuppāda was not intended as a Theory of Everything and that by employing it in this scope that at least one falsifiable conjecture is made. One possible objection to my argument which I will address is that whereas the sutta focuses on the twelve-fold formula, which is traditionally seen as a specific application of the general principle of conditionality, the general principle is universally applicable.14
Issues right off the bat:
- some of Kalupahana's claims about Nagarjuna are dubious at best, such as that Nagarjuna was actually a closet Theravada. When in fact, he was pretty famous for debating them
- Nagarjuna was working with at least one text on emptiness that didn't make it into the Pali canon.
- Two-fold emptiness is a defining characteristic of Mahayana, and Nagarjuna was decidedly one. Basing his entire argument on the idea that the Buddha didn't teach two-fold emptiness is precisely where the chauvinism comes in.

The rest of it is not really going into. The guy's admittedly only had a few hours of formal Sanskrit training and is mostly self-taught. His understanding of Nagarjuna and the rest of the canon is pretty laughable. If this article is supposed to be proof of his chops as an academic, it falls far short of the goal.
He didn't say Nagarjuna was a closet Theravadin. He said he was probably thoroughly familiar with it. I didn't get the sense of 'Mahayana got it wrong' at all. Isn't he a Mahayana practitioner?

I'm not trying to defend him at all. Reading through his paticcasamupadda essay, I didn't come away with any negative feeling about him or what he drew upon. I'm not familiar with Kalupahana's writings so can't speak knowledgeably about him. No one is calling Jayarava the translator sine quo non. He does make some interesting points, though. I'm certainly not looking to him to as a teacher or guide towards sutta or meditational understanding.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4366
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:59 pm

Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:57 pm
He didn't say Nagarjuna was a closet Theravadin. He said he was probably thoroughly familiar with it.
While the exact quote of a Theravada association probably comes from an interview with him, there are quotes in his writings that attempt to make the case that he was not in fact a Mahayani. In fact he coopts Nagarjuna in efforts to undermine Mahayana philosophies.
MMK of Nagarjuna - The Philosophy of the Middle Way preface wrote:This carefully executed work not only deals with the contents and authorship as well as the
chronology of most of the Buddhist texts, but also compares the different
versions available in Sanskrit, Paii, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese. After a
careful reading of this work, l cannot help recognizing an earlier stratum of
łiterature that has so far been lumped together with all the literature that
carne to be called Mahayanistic. This includes two famous pieces, the
Kaśyapaparivarta and the Vajracchedika-prajnaparamita (see Nakamura.
p. 159). I wonder whether the original versions of these texts can be appropriately
called Mahayanistic, even though they were preserved by the Mahayana schoołs.
MMK of Nagarjuna - The Philosophy of the Middle Way preface wrote:Before the compilation of the Saddharmapundarika, one can hardly expect to find a carefully executed treatise chat would explicate the Mahayana philosophy as it is presented by modern scholars. Since such sophisticated Mahayana sutras were not available to Nagarjuna, he could not help moving on to the early discourses in the Nikayas and the Agamas in search of the Buddha's teachings, especially at a time when he realized that the problems were created not only by metaphysicians like the Sarvastivadins and the Sautrantikas, but also by morc popular religious teachers like Aśvaghosa, who over--emphasised the function of "faith" in the emerging belief in a transcendent Buddha.
*Note this claim is fairly easy to prove as false as the first Mahayana sutras (texts unmentioned by Kalupahana) were already being translated into Chinese during Nagarjuna's lifetime. Furthermore, the idea that the MMK was the only text that Nagarjuna wrote is an extreme position rejected by every school of Mahayana.
MMK of Nagarjuna - The Philosophy of the Middle Way p348 wrote:This is the one and only time Nagarjuna, the so-called patron of Mahayana, refers to the way (carya) of a bodhisattva.
MMK of Nagarjuna - The Philosophy of the Middle Way p350 wrote:As such, neither. .cJ.le theory of the "seeds of release" (moksa-bija) nor of the "originally pure mind" (prakrti-prabhtisvaracżtta), which is a predecessor, the Mahayana notion of a bodhi-citta, can be reconciled with the Buddha's conception of non-substantiality (anatta) or Nagarjuna's view of "emptiness (śunyata) .
Anonymous X wrote:I didn't get the sense of 'Mahayana got it wrong' at all. Isn't he a Mahayana practitioner?
Nope, not Mahayana at all. Comes from the Triratna order, but his entire academic "mission" (as it were) has been to not only display the inconsistencies of Mahayana teachings, but teachings of the Buddha at large - including teachings on karma (of which he is willfully ignorant).
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Sentient Light
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Sentient Light » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:29 pm

Jayarava is on the fringe of Buddhist scholasticism. Most do not take him seriously. Some of the most well-respected scholars in the field do not even know he exists, so while he may be occasionally publishing alongside them, no one of merit is actually paying any attention to his 'work.' And, as has been stated, he doesn't really know Sanskrit OR Pali, but claims to be "self-taught" in both (as if you can teach yourself the nuances of syntax and qualification in a dead language) -- no more "self-taught" than many of us here who've read enough to recognize a litany of words and a *tiny* bit of grammar. He's a hack, someone who made a name for himself in the blogging boom of the aughts and managed to establish an audience among communities that lean toward fringe already.

And, as much as I adore and admire Jan Nattier, her work on the Heart Sutra has recently (within the past 5 years or so) under gone some criticism and many scholars are now thinking that she overlooked many details, particularly neglecting the finer implications of just how the Sanskrit version conjugates certain terms or writes in a particular tense that doesn't make much sense if the translation had gone from Chinese to Sanskrit.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

User avatar
Anders
Posts: 1133
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Anders » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:03 am

jkarlins wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:20 am
seems out of touch- whatever the evidence might be to make such an argument, it assumes that thousands of realized teachers utilizing this teaching have been mistaken

Jake
How are they supposed to know if it is apocrypha? I don't think either scenario changes the validity of the message. Which is affirmed by thousands of realized teachers utilizing this teaching.

I think Ronald Epstein makes a good point in his observations on the similar, but far older, debate concerning the Shurangama Sutra:

  • If we wish to understand the thinking of that community that lead to the text's acceptance, it is necessary to look into the very different criteria which Chinese Buddhists used to determine authenticity. In closing, allow me to give a single example, which I hope will be somewhat provocative.

    As already mentioned, the Shurangama is connected with enlightenment of the well-known Ming Dynasty Ch'an Master Han-shan Te-ch'ing. According to his autobiography, he used the work to verity his enlightenment. He explains in his autobiography that he had never heard lectures on the Sutra and did not understand its meaning at all. Then, according to his own account, he studied the Sutra using the power of yoga pratyaksa, or direct veridical perception, claiming that it is impossible to grasp the meaning of the work if one gives rise to a even a little bit of discriminating consciousness. After eight months of constant study, he tells us that he came to a total understanding of the work that was devoid of doubt.

    In other words, I think we can say that, for Ch’an Master Han-shan, the Sutra was seen as an imprint of a mind in which discriminating consciousness had been totally eliminated. Of course, Han-shan did not ascribe to prevalent modern Western scholarly ideas about the historical development of Buddhist texts and believed the Sutra had come directly from Sakyamuni Buddha himself, but that is not the point. What is important here is that Han-shan's experiential verification that the text is written on the level of non-discriminative awareness reinforced his belief in the genuineness of the text. Such a criterion lies beyond the narrow band of historical and philological issues that have so far dominated modern scholarly studies of textual authenticity. It seems to me that further study of traditional criteria such as this their own terms must be a prerequisite for evaluation of their relevancy, or lack of it, in terms of the methodology and goals of modern Buddhological research.


"Whatever is well spoken, all that is the word of the Buddha."
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

User avatar
Anders
Posts: 1133
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Anders » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:29 am

Admin_PC wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:59 pm
Anonymous X wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:57 pm
He didn't say Nagarjuna was a closet Theravadin. He said he was probably thoroughly familiar with it.
While the exact quote of a Theravada association probably comes from an interview with him, there are quotes in his writings that attempt to make the case that he was not in fact a Mahayani. In fact he coopts Nagarjuna in efforts to undermine Mahayana philosophies.
You see a lot of casual readers of nagarjuna who think they are re-inventing the wheel by wondering if he was even a mahayanin.

I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone that the MMK clearly have non-mahayana readers as its target audience. These would not be Theravadins, who were a largely irrelevant school outside of sri lanka, but rather other early buddhist schools, such as the sarvastivadins and pudgalavadins. As such, he makes use only of sources adherents of these schools would accept (non-mahayana sutras), whilst clearly refuting the abidharmic ideas developed by these schools and likewise using these as a platform for establishing Mahayana tenets by way of logical inference, such as the non-distinction between samsara and nirvana.

Nagarjuna, like all Indian mahayanins, would of course be intimately familiar with these schools. Most likely, he stayed in the same monasteries as they did. That he would write what is basically a conversion treatise, by basing it on early sutras is not at all an unusual thing for his time.

The MMK have timeless appeal, but there is a lot of historical and very time-and-place-centric context to its purpose. I can't help think that the MMK would have been a hoot for sautrantikas to read.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

Antiochus
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Antiochus » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:15 pm

Admin_PC wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:08 pm

The rest of it is not really going into. The guy's admittedly only had a few hours of formal Sanskrit training and is mostly self-taught. His understanding of Nagarjuna and the rest of the canon is pretty laughable. If this article is supposed to be proof of his chops as an academic, it falls far short of the goal.

Interesting. Did he outright admit that or is that something implied from some remarks he gave?

Antiochus
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Antiochus » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:18 pm

In any case, Jayarava attempts to "seal the deal" by posting a "best of" compilation of his case against the Heart Sutra yesterday:

http://jayarava.blogspot.com/2018/01/th ... sutra.html

Wonder if anyone with serious Sanskrit chops and comment on his piece. This part is especially interesting:
atītānāgatapratyutpannā buddhā

三世諸佛

tryadhvavyavasthitāḥ sarvabuddhāḥ

This is the smoking gun. All being well, I'll be publishing something on this in 2018, but this phrase in the Sanskrit Heart Sutra could only have come from translating a Chinese text because it involves an idiom that developed in Chinese and is never seen elsewhere in Buddhist Sanskrit texts.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4366
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Admin_PC » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Antiochus wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:15 pm
Interesting. Did he outright admit that or is that something implied from some remarks he gave?
He talked about his Sanskrit education (or lack thereof) on reddit.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1684
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:29 pm

Let's look at some more potential "apocrypha" to see what the Heart Sūtra being called "apocrypha" really means.

And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned.

And what, bhikhhus, is right view?

When, friends, a noble disciple understands the unwholesome and the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome and the root of the wholesome, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has unwavering confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome. This is called the unwholesome.

And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hate is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome.

And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; uncovetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome. This is called the wholesome.

And what is the root of the wholesome? Non-greed is a root of the wholesome; non-hate is a root of the wholesome; non-delusion is a root of the wholesome. This is called the root of the wholesome.

When a noble disciple has thus understood the unwholesome and the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome and the root of the wholesome, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has unwavering confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right intention.

And what, bhikkhus, is right intention? Intention of renunciation, intention of non-ill will, intention of harmlessness: this is called right intention.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right speech.

And what, bhikkhus, is right speech? Abstinence from false speech, abstinence from divisive speech, abstinence from harsh speech, abstinence from idle chatter: this is called right speech. False speech, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being false speech at minimum conduces to false accusations.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right action.

And what, bhikkhus, is right action? Here, someone, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life; with the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings. Having not abandoned the destruction of life, someone destroys life; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. He creeps along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is crooked; his verbal kamma is crooked; his mental kamma is crooked. His destination is crooked; his rebirth is crooked. But for one with a crooked destination and rebirth, I say, there is one of two destinations: either the exclusively painful hells or a species of creeping animal. And what are the species of creeping animals? The snake, the scorpion, the centipede, the mongoose, the cat, the mouse, and the owl, or any other animals that creep away when they see people. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma. Abstinence from the destruction of life, abstinence from taking what is not given, abstinence from sexual misconduct: this is called right action.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right livelihood.

And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood? Right livelihood, I say, is twofold: there is right livelihood that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right livelihood that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path. And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? Here, bhikkhus, a noble disciple abandons wrong livelihood and gains his living by right livelihood: this is right livelihood that is affected by taints…ripening in the acquisitions. And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The desisting from wrong livelihood, the abstaining, refraining, abstinence from it in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right livelihood that is noble and a factor of the path. Here a noble disciple, having abandoned a wrong mode of livelihood, earns his living by a right livelihood: this is called right livelihood.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right effort.

And what, bhikkhus, is right effort? One makes an effort to abandon wrong livelihood and to enter upon right livelihood: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong livelihood, mindfully one enters upon and dwells in right livelihood: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right livelihood, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right mindfulness.

And what, bhikkhus, is right mindfulness? One of good will, ever mindful, inwardly well concentrated, training to remove longing, is said to be heedful. Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. This is called right mindfulness.

What, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned.

Thus, bhikkhus, I have taught you the unconditioned and the path leading to the unconditioned. Whatever should be done, bhikkhus, by a compassionate teacher out of compassion for his disciples, desiring their welfare, that I have done for you. These are the feet of trees, bhikkhus, these are empty huts. Meditate, bhikkhus, do not be negligent, lest you regret it later. This is our instruction to you.”


Lets say I was to print this off. Lets say there was a major societal collapse shortly afterward. Lets say that archeologists come to Canada 500 years later to look at the ruins of Whitby. Lets say they find this document, randomly.

This would be "Canadian Buddhist apocrypha".

Here's the thing though, its all Buddhavacana. Its a hack cut-and-paste job. Every word up there is Buddhavacana. It is simply in a new order. I'm not going to say its as elegant as the Heart Sūtra, but it expands each element of the 8fold path as according to śrāvaka literature.

Every word of the Heart Sūtra is Buddhavacana from the Prajñāpāramitāsūtrāṇi. It is in a new order, that's all. Does it really matter who compiled it and put it in X order and when if it is all Buddhavacana anyways?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1684
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:40 pm

Antiochus wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:18 pm
In any case, Jayarava attempts to "seal the deal" by posting a "best of" compilation of his case against the Heart Sutra yesterday:

http://jayarava.blogspot.com/2018/01/th ... sutra.html

Wonder if anyone with serious Sanskrit chops and comment on his piece. This part is especially interesting:
atītānāgatapratyutpannā buddhā

三世諸佛

tryadhvavyavasthitāḥ sarvabuddhāḥ

This is the smoking gun. All being well, I'll be publishing something on this in 2018, but this phrase in the Sanskrit Heart Sutra could only have come from translating a Chinese text because it involves an idiom that developed in Chinese and is never seen elsewhere in Buddhist Sanskrit texts.
This is not a good argument from Jayarava. The text could perfectly well have been back-translated (like many scriptures) from Chinese to Sanskrit. This doesn't exclude the likeliness of an Indic original. It just means the scripture was in Chinese at one point.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

User avatar
Javierfv1212
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:39 am
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Javierfv1212 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:34 pm

I doubt it has been totally established, though my understanding is that contemporary Buddhist studies sees this as plausible. For example, in Buddhist thought by Paul Williams and Anthony Tribe (2000) they claim the thesis is argued with "considerable plausibility".

Here is the actual paper by Nattier
https://terebess.hu/zen/szoto/Heart-Sut ... attier.pdf

It seems various Asian scholars have argued against Nattier but since they write mainly in Asian languages I haven't read these critiques.

Jonathan Silk has released a critical edition of the Tibetan recensions, but there is probably much more work to be done comparatively between the Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit editions currently available. Probably we may never know the exact place and language that the heart sutra came from.

Honestly I am not sure why it matters, since the heart sutra is pretty basic prajnaparamita, so even if it was originally created in China, the material inside of it was extracted from Indic sutras anyways.
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
~Padmasambhava

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed, clung to and considered truth by others.
Since they have already seen this dart to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.
-Kalaka sutta

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:51 pm

If the Heart Sutra had a Chinese origin, it would still be an ancient Mahayana text, solidly based on traditional Mahayana teachings.

tingdzin
Posts: 1063
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by tingdzin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:42 am

Too much attention to this Jayarava guy -- the fact remains that Nattier is a more than reputable scholar, and there is a very good argument for the case that one of the versions of the Heart Sutra was indeed back-translated from Chinese. Doesn't matter if her conclusion was taken up by somebody with a huge axe to grind (which, incidentally is also true of a lot of those who have argued against Nattier).

But Dharma Flower's post says what is important.

Knotty Veneer
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Knotty Veneer » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:53 am

tingdzin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:42 am
Too much attention to this Jayarava guy -- the fact remains that Nattier is a more than reputable scholar, and there is a very good argument for the case that one of the versions of the Heart Sutra was indeed back-translated from Chinese. Doesn't matter if her conclusion was taken up by somebody with a huge axe to grind (which, incidentally is also true of a lot of those who have argued against Nattier).

But Dharma Flower's post says what is important.
I think this Jayarava guy is following a syncretist/orientalist/vaguely colonialist line that really has its origins in the beliefs/writing of Sanghrakshita (FWBO/Triratna founder). I think even those members of the Triratna community who are working academics tend to be shy away from such approaches these days.
“Trump’s grand and vulgar self-absorption is inviting all of us to examine our own selfishness. His ignorance calls us to attend to our own blind spots. The fears that he stokes and the isolation he promotes goad us to be braver, more generous.” - James S. Gordon.

User avatar
Javierfv1212
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:39 am
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Javierfv1212 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:48 pm

I think this Jayarava guy is following a syncretist/orientalist/vaguely colonialist line that really has its origins in the beliefs/writing of Sanghrakshita (FWBO/Triratna founder).
Not sure why you say this. I read his blog from time to time and have not seen evidence of any orientialism/colonialist thinking. In fact I've found a lot of his essays rather insightful.

Sure I disagree with some of his positions, such as his annihilationism, but that's a philosophical difference.
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
~Padmasambhava

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed, clung to and considered truth by others.
Since they have already seen this dart to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.
-Kalaka sutta

Antiochus
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Antiochus » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:10 pm

Here's a small nugget I was able to find while thinking about this intriguing sentence Jayarava wrote:

http://jayarava.blogspot.com/2017/11/ja ... igins.html
There is no doubt in my mind, despite some minor slips on Nattier's part, that the thesis is accurate. I think I have the smoking gun for this, but have not yet had time to check all of the details and write it up. So far as I can tell the term sarvabuddhāḥ tryadhvavyavasthitāḥ "all the Buddhas existing in the three times" is a translation of a phrase that only ever occurs in Chinese, i.e., 三世諸佛. This is literally, "three time all buddha", but we would translate it as "all the buddhas of the three times". Sanskrit texts always use the wording atītānāgatapratyutpannāḥ buddhāḥ instead, i.e., "past, future, and present buddhas". There is no way that the Sanskrit Heart Sutra could be anything but a translation from Chinese, produced by someone unfamiliar with Sanskrit Prajñāpāramitā idiom. I need to do a very thorough check on the various texts, but I think this conjecture will stand up to scrutiny and provide definitive proof of the Chinese origins thesis.
When I was perusing his past blog on various mantras and dharani, I came across the Karandamudra Dharani:

http://www.visiblemantra.org/karandamudra.html
namastryadhvikānāṃ sarvatathāgatānāṃ
homage to all the Tathāgatas of the three times.

Namastryadhvikānāṃ breaks down into namas tryadhvikānāṃ. Namaḥ means homage, and Sanskrit sandhi rules require swapping ḥ for s when followed by t.

Tradhvikānāṃ = tri + adhvan + -ika + -nāṃ; tri (three) adhvan (times) -ika (belonging to) -nāṃ (genitive plural case ending). When followed by a vowel, i becomes y, so tri > try. Adhvan + ika > adhvika is a taddhita compound, although we would usually expect the initial vowel of the base to lengthen (ādhvika) in cases like this. The grammar in dhāraṇī's is often not what you might expect from Classical Sanskrit - most likely because they were not composed in Classical Sanskrit but one of the vernaculars.
Which would seem to contradict his assertion that " Sanskrit texts always use the wording atītānāgatapratyutpannāḥ buddhāḥ". Granted, perhaps Jayarava could argue the Karandamudra Dharani is not a credible example, because it came later (C.700 AD) and could have been "influenced" by the Chinese originated Sanksrit Heart Sutra when it arrived into India.

Sentient Light
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by Sentient Light » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:52 pm

Worth reading: https://www.academia.edu/34979344/Issue ... y_Xuanzang

Issues Surrounding the Prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya: Doubts Concerning Jan Nattier’s Theory of a Composition by Xuanzang
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

SilenceMonkey
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 am

Re: Has the Heart Sutra Been Finally Proven as Chinese Apocrypha?

Post by SilenceMonkey » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:23 am

Wasn't Nattier's article arguing that the Heart Sutra may have been a reformulation of the longer Prajna Paramita sutras for ritual use? If so, that doesn't invalidate the Prajna Paramita teachings but is merely a new expression of them. And not even "new" from what I understand, as everything in the Heart Sutra was taught in the other prajna sutras.

Also, if people are worried that because of this word "apocrypha" it is ineffective for the purposes of realization, that would just be not true. Think of how many realized masters in Chinese history relied on the Heart Sutra every day. (It's at least central to the Ch'an liturgy.) Point is, it works.

Post Reply

Return to “East Asian Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests