Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Grigoris » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:40 am

PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:43 am
To give an absurd example. Suppose someone excavating in Sarnath comes across a sealed container dating back over two thousand years with a complete set of the prajnaparamita sutras inside. We would be very interested in that. Then suppose Omarosa’s book contains a version of a new sutra that she says she received from Elvis in a dream. Sadly the latter would probably be read by more people than the former. But you see my point.
That you don't like Elvis?

Ever heard of pure visions and terma? Are they invalid because they were not found in 2000 year old sealed containers?

So what is your point?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by PeterC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:51 am

Antiochus wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:47 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:42 pm
Then of course there is this from Wonchu'ks commentary on the Heart Sutra:

In other words, when Wonchuk wrote this, there were already two translations of the Heart Sūtra in circulation, an "old" one, and one revised on the basis of a Sanskrit original by Hsuan Tsang. This fact is mentioned by Wonchuk four times.
I believe Jayarava did "address" this part in the first and second essays linked above. Essentially he agrees by the late 7th century Wonchuk does have a Sanskrit version. But since Wonchuk never avowed the Indian authenticity of that Sanksrit text openly, one way or the other, in his Heart Sutra commentary, it appears suspicious. Hence why Jayarava thinks the Sanskrit version was a very recent forgery during the 650's to 660's CE that ended up in Wonchuk's hands in the 670's/680's, where he couldn't "vouch" for the authenticity at that time, and so didn't openly proclaim it to be genuine in the commentary. Ideally Jayarava himself can appear in this thread and respond in more detail, hopefully.
Wonchuk explains at length what it means that the sutra was "spoken by the Buddha" in his commentary, and there is no hint of suspicion in that suspicion. Jayarava's reading into that commentary suspicion as to the authenticity is spurious. To make that argument he would need to refer to other two major sutra commentaries of Wonchuk and show that they did vouch for their authenticity in a very different way, for instance. If someone has the reference to those - he did one famous commentary on the Samdhinirmocana sutra, and at least one other sutra commentary of his is extant, though I can't remember which - that would be worth checking.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by PeterC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:00 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:40 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:43 am
To give an absurd example. Suppose someone excavating in Sarnath comes across a sealed container dating back over two thousand years with a complete set of the prajnaparamita sutras inside. We would be very interested in that. Then suppose Omarosa’s book contains a version of a new sutra that she says she received from Elvis in a dream. Sadly the latter would probably be read by more people than the former. But you see my point.
That you don't like Elvis?

Ever heard of pure visions and terma? Are they invalid because they were not found in 2000 year old sealed containers?

So what is your point?
I would have thought my point was blindingly obvious. When drinking water one considers the source. I gave two extreme examples, one of something we would almost certainly consider reliable, and one that we would almost certainly consider unreliable, to show that we do in fact have to make judgements on this, and adopting the "it's all upaya" position isn't helpful.

Of course I have heard of pure visions and terma: every Vajrayana practice is a revealed teaching of some kind. Judgement has to be applied as to whether these are genuine teachings or made-up BS. There are prominent Tibetan masters who wrote at length complaining about the amount of made-up BS in circulation at different points in time. Differing standards have been applied over time to determine what is and isn't Buddhavacana - for instance, whether some Tibetan scribes could find a Sanskrit original for a tantra, whether it accords with other Dharma texts considered to be reliable, whether other famous lamas would lend their approval to a terma, or whether a bunch of the practitioners of it achieved the rainbow body. As has been discussed at length in other well-spoken threads, there is no authoritative standard by which you can judge something to be genuine. But everyone has to have some standard they apply.

And for the record, I consider Elvis to be grossly overrated, apart from possibly the early period.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Grigoris » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:09 am

PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:00 am
I would have thought my point was blindingly obvious. When drinking water one considers the source.
If the water is pure, I don't really care what the source is.
Differing standards have been applied over time to determine what is and isn't Buddhavacana
My standard is the adherence of the teaching to the Four Seals. So I guess I set the bar quite high.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:10 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:34 pm
I think 諸般若簡集綱要 is something like
諸般若 many prajñāpāramitā 簡 manuscripts 集綱要 [ I] collected [from them] essential points
IMO that is more likely but I am also likely to be wrong
My "manuscript" idea looks sillier and sillier.

viewtopic.php?f=81&p=461672#p461647

Also it is pure guesswork.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by PeterC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:18 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:09 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:00 am
I would have thought my point was blindingly obvious. When drinking water one considers the source.
If the is pure, I don't really care what the source is.
Differing standards have been applied over time to determine what is and isn't Buddhavacana
My standard is the adherence of the teaching to the Four Seals. So I guess I set the bar quite high.
That was Shantideva's standard too, so you are in good company. But you're deciding the water is pure before you drink it. How? By whether it meets that standard. We're not disagreeing. I personally will want to know more about a new text before I decide whether to spend time reading it to assess whether it meets that standard.

But that's not why Jayarava is writing this at all. He's writing this because it's the most famous Mahayana sutra, and by attempting to debunk its authenticity he will gain fame. That's ok, that's what academics do for a living, and he considers himself an academic. But it's not helpful to any practitioners.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:27 am

It’s not so much that he considers himself academic, as this is the kind of effort it takes to get some kind of profile from the position he’s in as an independent scholar. I respect the guy’s diligence and obvious acuity, but I do wonder about the motivation.

Anyway I recall reading Tricycle piece about this sutra although I can’t find it again right at the minute. But the drift was very much the dialectical nature of the sutra - that it was compiled out of an acute awareness and critique of the sarvastivadin abhidharma [at least that is how I remember it]. The point being that until it is understood what is being corrected by the admonitions of the emptiness of all dharmas, then the meaning of the admonition is not at all obvious. But that doesn’t at all undermine Jayarava’s theory of ‘apocryphal origins’ as that whole dialectic could quite conceivably have unfolded in China as much as in India even if that is the case.
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by SonamTashi » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:26 am

Antiochus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:25 am
I've now written more than 40 essays on aspects of the Heart Sutra, and my 5th peer-reviewed article has just been accepted for publication (No.6 is almost finished, and no. 7 will be a formal write up of these notes). All going to plan, a book will follow. I am as qualified as any person, living or dead, to comment on this text.

What kind of "scholar" talks like this? He sounds very defensive and a little egotistical. Btw, I've never heard how Jayarava got his name. Does anyone know? Did he give it to himself?
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Grigoris » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:53 am

PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:18 am
But you're deciding the water is pure before you drink it.
There are all sorts of weird ideas going around about what constitutes "pure". Take Jayarava's idea that the Heart Sutra is "impure" because of it's source.

One time I was out in the countryside with my (city slicker) girlfriend and she was thirsty. There was a river flowing along the path where we were walking and so she stopped to drink. I was like: "Are you sure? There are farms around here and the run off from the crops flows into this river bringing all sorts of stuff into the water."

"But it is flowing water, that means it is clean." Was her answer.

"If you empty sewerage at the top of a hill, it will flow. Does that mean it is clean?" I answered.

Needless to say she was sick as a dog the next day.

So even seemingly pure sources...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by PeterC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:21 am

SonamTashi wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:26 am
Antiochus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:25 am
I've now written more than 40 essays on aspects of the Heart Sutra, and my 5th peer-reviewed article has just been accepted for publication (No.6 is almost finished, and no. 7 will be a formal write up of these notes). All going to plan, a book will follow. I am as qualified as any person, living or dead, to comment on this text.

What kind of "scholar" talks like this? He sounds very defensive and a little egotistical. Btw, I've never heard how Jayarava got his name. Does anyone know? Did he give it to himself?
Well, he's a self-taught independent scholar, and those people have never received a warm welcome in academic circles, so his defensiveness is perhaps understandable.

He was previously a student of Dennis Lingwood. That alone would justify approaching his writings with caution.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Aryjna » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:25 am

PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:21 am
SonamTashi wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:26 am
Antiochus wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:25 am


What kind of "scholar" talks like this? He sounds very defensive and a little egotistical. Btw, I've never heard how Jayarava got his name. Does anyone know? Did he give it to himself?
Well, he's a self-taught independent scholar, and those people have never received a warm welcome in academic circles, so his defensiveness is perhaps understandable.

He was previously a student of Dennis Lingwood. That alone would justify approaching his writings with caution.
He also has apparently dedicated his life to discrediting an important Mahayana scripture which would justify even more caution, and pity.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by PeterC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:38 am

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:25 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:21 am
SonamTashi wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:26 am



What kind of "scholar" talks like this? He sounds very defensive and a little egotistical. Btw, I've never heard how Jayarava got his name. Does anyone know? Did he give it to himself?
Well, he's a self-taught independent scholar, and those people have never received a warm welcome in academic circles, so his defensiveness is perhaps understandable.

He was previously a student of Dennis Lingwood. That alone would justify approaching his writings with caution.
He also has apparently dedicated his life to discrediting an important Mahayana scripture which would justify even more caution, and pity.
I've read through his conclusions and I can only say that I think he's very confused. For instance:
In this view the text does have magical elements, but it is primarily a perspective on a kind of Buddhist practice that involves withdrawing attention from sense experiences so that one does not apprehend (upa√labh) them. The practice of nonapprehension (anupalambha-yoga) of dharmas is central to the Prajñāpāramitā. Just such a practice of withdrawing attention from sense experience is outlined in the Majjhima-Nikāya (MN 121) and so this material is relevant for early Buddhism enthusiasts as well.

By withdrawing attention from sense experience, using meditative techniques, we can bring sense experience to a halt without losing consciousness. In the ensuing state, the processes which give rise to experience (i.e., the skandhas) are not apprehended. Nor are the objects of the senses. This state feels like being in infinite space. If we also withdraw attention from cognitive experience, then we cease to apprehend thoughts and it feels like infinite consciousness. Through several more refinements that are more difficult to explain, one ends up in the state of emptiness in which there is only a kind of base awareness; one is conscious, but not of anything. Subject and object do not arise. Self does not arise. No dharmas arise in this state. And this is what the Heart Sutra is describing.
I'm unaware of what he practiced in his sangha, but this mixing of the arupajhanas and the prajnaparamita literature is...strange.
Last edited by PeterC on Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Aryjna » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:54 am

PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:38 am
Aryjna wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:25 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:21 am


Well, he's a self-taught independent scholar, and those people have never received a warm welcome in academic circles, so his defensiveness is perhaps understandable.

He was previously a student of Dennis Lingwood. That alone would justify approaching his writings with caution.
He also has apparently dedicated his life to discrediting an important Mahayana scripture which would justify even more caution, and pity.
I've read through his conclusions and I can only say that I think he's very confused. For instance:
In this view the text does have magical elements, but it is primarily a perspective on a kind of Buddhist practice that involves withdrawing attention from sense experiences so that one does not apprehend (upa√labh) them. The practice of nonapprehension (anupalambha-yoga) of dharmas is central to the Prajñāpāramitā. Just such a practice of withdrawing attention from sense experience is outlined in the Majjhima-Nikāya (MN 121) and so this material is relevant for early Buddhism enthusiasts as well.

By withdrawing attention from sense experience, using meditative techniques, we can bring sense experience to a halt without losing consciousness. In the ensuing state, the processes which give rise to experience (i.e., the skandhas) are not apprehended. Nor are the objects of the senses. This state feels like being in infinite space. If we also withdraw attention from cognitive experience, then we cease to apprehend thoughts and it feels like infinite consciousness. Through several more refinements that are more difficult to explain, one ends up in the state of emptiness in which there is only a kind of base awareness; one is conscious, but not of anything. Subject and object do not arise. Self does not arise. No dharmas arise in this state. And this is what the Heart Sutra is describing.
He draws a line from the arupajhanas to the prajnaparamita literature on the basis of reinterpretation of one term in the heart sutra, with shunyata posited as the end-state of progression through the jhanas. I'm unaware of any practice manual or meditation tradition that makes such a connection (though I'm not familiar with what they did in his sangha).
This idea of his is also evident in the last quotes in the OP. It is absurd that anyone could think that this is what the heart sutra is saying, after having presumably studied it hundreds of times along with many of its commentaries.If he wanted to claim that this was the original meaning of the sutra that was lost in the surviving commentaries, that would directly contradict his obsessive claim that it is a later fabrication.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by SonamTashi » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:49 am

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:54 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:38 am
Aryjna wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:25 am


He also has apparently dedicated his life to discrediting an important Mahayana scripture which would justify even more caution, and pity.
I've read through his conclusions and I can only say that I think he's very confused. For instance:
In this view the text does have magical elements, but it is primarily a perspective on a kind of Buddhist practice that involves withdrawing attention from sense experiences so that one does not apprehend (upa√labh) them. The practice of nonapprehension (anupalambha-yoga) of dharmas is central to the Prajñāpāramitā. Just such a practice of withdrawing attention from sense experience is outlined in the Majjhima-Nikāya (MN 121) and so this material is relevant for early Buddhism enthusiasts as well.

By withdrawing attention from sense experience, using meditative techniques, we can bring sense experience to a halt without losing consciousness. In the ensuing state, the processes which give rise to experience (i.e., the skandhas) are not apprehended. Nor are the objects of the senses. This state feels like being in infinite space. If we also withdraw attention from cognitive experience, then we cease to apprehend thoughts and it feels like infinite consciousness. Through several more refinements that are more difficult to explain, one ends up in the state of emptiness in which there is only a kind of base awareness; one is conscious, but not of anything. Subject and object do not arise. Self does not arise. No dharmas arise in this state. And this is what the Heart Sutra is describing.
He draws a line from the arupajhanas to the prajnaparamita literature on the basis of reinterpretation of one term in the heart sutra, with shunyata posited as the end-state of progression through the jhanas. I'm unaware of any practice manual or meditation tradition that makes such a connection (though I'm not familiar with what they did in his sangha).
This idea of his is also evident in the last quotes in the OP. It is absurd that anyone could think that this is what the heart sutra is saying, after having presumably studied it hundreds of times along with many of its commentaries.If he wanted to claim that this was the original meaning of the sutra that was lost in the surviving commentaries, that would directly contradict his obsessive claim that it is a later fabrication.
After having apparently studied and written so much about it, you would think he would at least have some semblance of at least an intellectual understanding of the text. Sure it is a difficult text, but it seems like he would have to ignore pretty much everything traditional teachers have taught on the subject in order to come to the interpretation he has of the text. It does not seem like he is approaching the subject in good faith at all. At a certain point it is approaching willful ignorance.
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Aryjna » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:19 pm

SonamTashi wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:49 am
Aryjna wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:54 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:38 am


I've read through his conclusions and I can only say that I think he's very confused. For instance:



He draws a line from the arupajhanas to the prajnaparamita literature on the basis of reinterpretation of one term in the heart sutra, with shunyata posited as the end-state of progression through the jhanas. I'm unaware of any practice manual or meditation tradition that makes such a connection (though I'm not familiar with what they did in his sangha).
This idea of his is also evident in the last quotes in the OP. It is absurd that anyone could think that this is what the heart sutra is saying, after having presumably studied it hundreds of times along with many of its commentaries.If he wanted to claim that this was the original meaning of the sutra that was lost in the surviving commentaries, that would directly contradict his obsessive claim that it is a later fabrication.
After having apparently studied and written so much about it, you would think he would at least have some semblance of at least an intellectual understanding of the text. Sure it is a difficult text, but it seems like he would have to ignore pretty much everything traditional teachers have taught on the subject in order to come to the interpretation he has of the text. It does not seem like he is approaching the subject in good faith at all. At a certain point it is approaching willful ignorance.
He is attacking "religious buddhists" and saying that most buddhist philosophy is shallow, he admittedly lacks the linguistic skills necessary for his research. This is not academic work, but blogging of a quality comparable to that of emotionally loaded rants on tumblr.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Grigoris » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:25 pm

Quit the ad homs people or I will be forced to shut it down.

Especially given the author is not here to defend themselves.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by smcj » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:38 pm

We may all be karmic blindmen grabbing different parts of the elephant, but some ways of grabbing an elephant are worse than others. .

https://youtu.be/SA-JdLDOSEo
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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by PeterC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:08 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:38 pm
We may all be karmic blindmen grabbing different parts of the elephant, but some ways of grabbing an elephant are worse than others. .

https://youtu.be/SA-JdLDOSEo
One minute we're discussing the authenticity of the heart sutra, the next we're watching a video of a Mexican zookeeper getting his head stuck in an elephant. Just another Monday on Dharmawheel...

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:03 pm

Antiochus wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:47 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:42 pm
Then of course there is this from Wonchu'ks commentary on the Heart Sutra:

In other words, when Wonchuk wrote this, there were already two translations of the Heart Sūtra in circulation, an "old" one, and one revised on the basis of a Sanskrit original by Hsuan Tsang. This fact is mentioned by Wonchuk four times.
I believe Jayarava did "address" this part in the first and second essays linked above. Essentially he agrees by the late 7th century Wonchuk does have a Sanskrit version. But since Wonchuk never avowed the Indian authenticity of that Sanksrit text openly, one way or the other, in his Heart Sutra commentary, it appears suspicious.
Yes, in fact Wonchuk does avow the authenticity of the Sanskrit copy with which he is familiar by pointing out flaws in the earlier translation at his disposal. This itself is a testimony to the fact that Wongchuk regards the text as authentic. If he did not think it authentic, he never would have bother composing a commentary. Esteemed paṇḍitas like Wongchuk don't waste their time writing commentaries on texts they regard as of questionable provenance. There is also the fact that he addresses the Heart Sūtra in his commentary on the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra when he discusses the different names used at the beginning of sūtras:

Some are also called by two names, such as the Mtshams sbyor rnam par grol ba'i mdo (unidentified) and Prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya...The Prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya is called two names [Bhagavāti and Prajñāpāramitāhridaya] because the compiler condensed it from the extensive texts.


Here, the sdud pa po, the compiler, refers to the hearer, "Thus have I heard...", i.e. Ananda. Whether we accept this or not, for Wonchuk, this text was compiled out of the extensive PP literature by Ananda himself.
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-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
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One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

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Re: Jayarava's New Thesis on Heart Sutra: Sanskrit Version Deliberate Forgery by Tang Chinese

Post by Jayarava » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:02 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:27 pm
How the hell does one learn Middle Chinese and not Mandarin? Furthermore and not Mandarin at all?
One teaches oneself by comparing Middle Indic and Sanskrit texts with their Middle Chinese counterparts. When I asked Anālayo about it, this was what he recommended. Mandarin is not much help in reading Middle Chinese, and perhaps even a hindrance since many words have changed their meanings.

BTW I also taught myself Pāḷi. It's not that hard.
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:27 pm
Let's just say I know from experience how to tell when someone is pretending to know more Chinese than they do.
I am genuinely interested to have mistakes pointed out. If you can point to any I would be grateful. I am definitely not an expert in Chinese so do feel free to point out any specifics. Also if you disagree with my reasoning then please do point out specific errors. I am quite open to this and I will mention any help I receive in official publications.

Regards
Jayarava

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