Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Looking for translations, or for help with translations and transliterations? This is the place.
Post Reply
MiphamFan
Posts: 749
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by MiphamFan » Fri May 26, 2017 1:24 pm

OK, so ye shes really is closer to "pristine consciousness"/"primordial consciousness"/etc rather than "wisdom".

Understanding this point, helped me resolve some doubts. Wisdom in English, especially in historical usage, was often used to translate/mean Latin "prudentia" or Greek "phronesis", both of which indicate decision-making, quite different from ye shes. In the Havamal, purported to be the words of Odin, Odin also says it is better for a man to be "middling wise" in the sense of not being overly learned nor too uneducated. Again this historical use of "wise"/"wisdom" is quite distant from ye shes.

Does this gloss also exist in Sanskrit commentaries for jnana?

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25517
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by Malcolm » Fri May 26, 2017 1:31 pm

MiphamFan wrote:OK, so ye shes really is closer to "pristine consciousness"/"primordial consciousness"/etc rather than "wisdom".

Understanding this point, helped me resolve some doubts. Wisdom in English, especially in historical usage, was often used to translate/mean Latin "prudentia" or Greek "phronesis", both of which indicate decision-making, quite different from ye shes. In the Havamal, purported to be the words of Odin, Odin also says it is better for a man to be "middling wise" in the sense of not being overly learned nor too uneducated. Again this historical use of "wise"/"wisdom" is quite distant from ye shes.

Does this gloss also exist in Sanskrit commentaries for jnana?
Not as far as I know.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

tingdzin
Posts: 931
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by tingdzin » Fri May 26, 2017 2:33 pm

It may also be helpful to remember that "jnana" does not have the same connotations in non-Buddhist literature as in Buddhist, and that the term has certainly undergone some evolution throughout the long history of Indian philosophical speculation.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25517
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by Malcolm » Fri May 26, 2017 4:45 pm

tingdzin wrote:It may also be helpful to remember that "jnana" does not have the same connotations in non-Buddhist literature as in Buddhist, and that the term has certainly undergone some evolution throughout the long history of Indian philosophical speculation.
In any case, Sapan excoriates people for etymologies of ye shes as ye nas shes pa, but he was an Indiophile.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

MiphamFan
Posts: 749
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by MiphamFan » Fri May 26, 2017 5:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:
tingdzin wrote:It may also be helpful to remember that "jnana" does not have the same connotations in non-Buddhist literature as in Buddhist, and that the term has certainly undergone some evolution throughout the long history of Indian philosophical speculation.
In any case, Sapan excoriates people for etymologies of ye shes as ye nas shes pa, but he was an Indiophile.
What's his preferred etymology?

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25517
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by Malcolm » Fri May 26, 2017 6:46 pm

MiphamFan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
tingdzin wrote:It may also be helpful to remember that "jnana" does not have the same connotations in non-Buddhist literature as in Buddhist, and that the term has certainly undergone some evolution throughout the long history of Indian philosophical speculation.
In any case, Sapan excoriates people for etymologies of ye shes as ye nas shes pa, but he was an Indiophile.
What's his preferred etymology?
He claims ye was added merely to distinguish the term jnana from prajna in Tibetan and that other wise it has no meaning.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Posts: 3521
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by Wayfarer » Fri May 26, 2017 11:37 pm

MiphamFan wrote: Wisdom in English, especially in historical usage, was often used to translate/mean Latin "prudentia" or Greek "phronesis", both of which indicate decision-making...
But there are other terms for wisdom, notably the Greek 'sophia', which is preserved in the word 'philosophy', meaning 'love of wisdom', or, better still, 'love~wisdom'.

But there are also some interesting cross-cultural parallels between Sophia, whom in the ancient world was depicted as a feminine deity or spiritual being, and Prajñā:
Edward Conze, a preeminent scholar who focused his life’s work on Prajñaparamita literature, drew some remarkable parallels and possible connections between Prajñaparamita and the western embodiment of transcendental wisdom, Sophia. He saw that Sophia and Prajñaparamita are both feminine embodiments of wisdom who emerged and were popularized at around the same time at the beginning of the first millennium. Therefore there is a feminine wisdom principle at the root of both Western culture and the Mahayana Buddhist movement.
Lama Tsultrim Allione

Iconographical depictions of the two figures also bear similarities:

Image
Iconic depiction of Goddess Prajñaparamita

Image

Iconic depiction of Sophia (Constantinople, Orthodox Christian)

The Latin equivalent of 'sophia' is 'sapience', which is of course preserved in our species name, not that our species actually lives up to it very often.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

MiphamFan
Posts: 749
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Jnana as pristine consciousness also in Sanskrit commentaries?

Post by MiphamFan » Sat May 27, 2017 2:31 am

Wayfarer wrote:
MiphamFan wrote: Wisdom in English, especially in historical usage, was often used to translate/mean Latin "prudentia" or Greek "phronesis", both of which indicate decision-making...
But there are other terms for wisdom, notably the Greek 'sophia', which is preserved in the word 'philosophy', meaning 'love of wisdom', or, better still, 'love~wisdom'.

But there are also some interesting cross-cultural parallels between Sophia, whom in the ancient world was depicted as a feminine deity or spiritual being, and Prajñā:
Edward Conze, a preeminent scholar who focused his life’s work on Prajñaparamita literature, drew some remarkable parallels and possible connections between Prajñaparamita and the western embodiment of transcendental wisdom, Sophia. He saw that Sophia and Prajñaparamita are both feminine embodiments of wisdom who emerged and were popularized at around the same time at the beginning of the first millennium. Therefore there is a feminine wisdom principle at the root of both Western culture and the Mahayana Buddhist movement.
Lama Tsultrim Allione

Iconographical depictions of the two figures also bear similarities:

Image
Iconic depiction of Goddess Prajñaparamita

Image

Iconic depiction of Sophia (Constantinople, Orthodox Christian)

The Latin equivalent of 'sophia' is 'sapience', which is of course preserved in our species name, not that our species actually lives up to it very often.

Sophia also has a completely different meaning from jñāna and ye shes. I don't find speculations on religious symbolism very objective.

The closest Greek parallel is probably the cognate word gnosis.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests