yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

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yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:29 pm

Can anyone help explain what "yāvata keci" means in the following stanza? I get the rest of what is being said, but "yāvata keci" I do not. Amoghavajra translates it as "所有". Is this just part of the relative clause?

yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ |

tānahu vandami sarvi aśeṣān kāyatu vāca manena prasannaḥ ||

所有十方世界中,一切三世人師子,
我今禮彼盡無餘,皆以清淨身口意。
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:48 am

Huseng wrote:Can anyone help explain what "yāvata keci" means in the following stanza? I get the rest of what is being said, but "yāvata keci" I do not. Amoghavajra translates it as "所有". Is this just part of the relative clause?

yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ |

tānahu vandami sarvi aśeṣān kāyatu vāca manena prasannaḥ ||

所有十方世界中,一切三世人師子,
我今禮彼盡無餘,皆以清淨身口意。


yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ |
tānahu vandami sarvi aśeṣān kāyatu vāca manena prasannaḥ ||

As many as all those three times man-lions in the worlds of the ten directions,
I prostrate to all of them without remainder, by pure body, speech and mind.

The "yāvata" is the relative, "as many as" / "as far as", and "keci" is kind of like "some", but here more like "those", together, "as many as all those...", the all also shown by the "sarva-". The co-relative is then continued in the second line, with the "tānahu".

Now, to work out a relative and corelative in Chinese is not that smooth or easy, so just saying "All of them" (所有) ... "...to them" (彼), is a nice efficient way of doing it.

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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:59 am

Huifeng wrote:Now, to work out a relative and corelative in Chinese is not that smooth or easy, so just saying "All of them" (所有) ... "...to them" (彼), is a nice efficient way of doing it.

~~ Huifeng


Thank you Venerable,

Do you think Amoghavajra thought 所有 to mean "all of them"? It seems more like "existent" here (like 有個).
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:03 am

Huseng wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Now, to work out a relative and corelative in Chinese is not that smooth or easy, so just saying "All of them" (所有) ... "...to them" (彼), is a nice efficient way of doing it.

~~ Huifeng


Thank you Venerable,

Do you think Amoghavajra thought 所有 to mean "all of them"? It seems more like "existent" here (like 有個).


Pretty much. Though 所有... is maybe as much like "Whatever of them..." as "All of them..." which would be more like 一切....
有個... is more like "There is a ..."

If one is not a slave to Sanskrit grammar, and not being a slave in this case would be a wise thing to do, then saying "All of them..." would be very appropriate English. Remember, in the end, the translation has to actually look something like the target language... :P

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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:15 am

Huifeng wrote:If one is not a slave to Sanskrit grammar, and not being a slave in this case would be a wise thing to do, then saying "All of them..." would be very appropriate English. Remember, in the end, the translation has to actually look something like the target language... :P

~~ Huifeng


I'll have to mull over this more and look in detail at how he uses 所有 elsewhere.

Thanks. :smile:
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby tantular » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:17 am

Yes, yāvata keci literally means "as many as whoever", i.e. "however many [Buddhas reside in the 10 directions and 3 times], those [I worship]".

But the Bhadrapraṇidhāna is Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit verse, so don't expect the Sanskrit grammar to make sense, and be prepared to have trouble finding words in a dictionary.

There's all types of barbaric things going on to make it fit the meter (4 regular feet, each consisting of three dactyls and a spondee -uu -uu -uu --, I don't think it has a name in classical Sanskrit prosody) that you wouldn't even find in BHS prose.

You can double consonants to make a heavy syllable ("daśaddiśi" for "daśadiśi"), drop consonants or shorten vowels if you need it light ("keci" for "kecid", "vandami" for "vandāmi", "vāca" for "vācā"), or keep the standard Sanskrit spelling but assume it will be pronounced in Middle Indic fashion (the "tri" in "sarvatriyadhvagatā" must be pronounced "ti" to fit the meter). You can ignore sandhi (sarvi aśeṣān), case ("sarvi" for "sarve" for "sarvān", "kāya tu" for "kāyas tu" for "kāyena tu") and declension ("manena" for "manasā"). You can substitute parasmaipada endings for ātmanepada ("vandami" for "vandāmi" for "vande"), and so on.

Some of these changes also occur in BHS prose (e.g. declining a consonant-stem noun "manas" as an easier a-stem "mana", not using ātmanepada endings), but most don't, and are done purely to fit the meter. So it's important to get a good feel for meter and really sing the verses to get a sense for where and why a BHS text is deviating from the rules.

Paradoxically the flexibility of the rules can make BHS verse easier for a beginner to read: whatever you think it should say, that's probably what it wants to say, and you don't need to worry about whether the grammar actually says it. Nevertheless I wouldn't recommend beginners start with BHS verse. Get used to standard Sanskrit first, before you learn to ignore all the rules! Bodhicaryāvatāra chapters 2,3 and 10 have very similar content to the Bhadrapraṇidhāna, and are written in beautiful standard Sanskrit verse.

And don't expect a Chinese, Tibetan, or any other translation to accurately reflect the chaos of the original. Be thankful that it doesn't, and use it as a guide to interpret the Hybrid Sanskrit.
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Huifeng » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:42 am

Great helpful post, Tantular. The bits about verse remind me of some classes with Michael Hahn focusing on the verses in the Vimalakirti-nirdesa. I should pay more attention to this point, really.

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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:26 pm

Very good advice. Thank you.

I did notice that a lot of the vocabulary from these verses is not to be found in any dictionary. Comparing it to the Chinese has things make more sense, though quite often the grammar I'm seeing is simply not found in the standard Sanskrit manual. Some declensions are not on any table!
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby ratna » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:38 pm

tantular wrote:There's all types of barbaric things going on to make it fit the meter (4 regular feet, each consisting of three dactyls and a spondee -uu -uu -uu --, I don't think it has a name in classical Sanskrit prosody) that you wouldn't even find in BHS prose.


I believe the metre is called Dodhaka.

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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby tantular » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:26 am

Huseng wrote:Very good advice. Thank you.

I did notice that a lot of the vocabulary from these verses is not to be found in any dictionary. Comparing it to the Chinese has things make more sense, though quite often the grammar I'm seeing is simply not found in the standard Sanskrit manual. Some declensions are not on any table!


Edgerton's BHS grammar and dictionary, plus a Pali and Prakrit grammar are very useful for these situations. BHS verse may look lawless, but it does follow rules—just different ones. You won't find "jinebhi" of verse 3 in any Sanskrit declension table, but it's the regular masc. inst. plur. of a-stems in Pali/Prakrit. On the other hand "pramāṇaiḥ" in verse 2 is the standard masc. inst. plur., so clearly the author was aware of standard Sanskrit, and isn't just writing a Prakrit text with Sanskritized spelling. Instead, he switches between the two for purely metrical reasons. The ancient buddhist texts website also has a lot of good material on Pali/BHS prosody which will be helpful in this regard.

Thank you Ratna, it is indeed Dodhaka. I didn't look it up in the Vṛttaratnākara, which I should have done.

Another correction: "kāyatu" is not a prātipadikam (stem form) plus the filler syllable "tu" (commonly used in standard Sanskrit to pad out the meter). Now that I've actually skimmed through the prayer again it's clear that it's a BHS form of the suffix -tas. In standard Sanskrit this mostly substitutes for the 5th case, but in BHS it regularly functions as any oblique case. Later on in the text we find "kāyatu vācatu cetanato" and "kāyatu vāca manasya". This also indicates that "vāca" in verse 1 is not, as I interpreted it, a shortened form of the standard instrumental of "vāc", but a non-standard a-stem "vāca".

As you can see my BHS is rusty, and I'm continually mislead by reading BHS from a classical perspective. Avoid this trap by getting into a Prakrit state of mind!
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:17 am

tantular wrote:As you can see my BHS is rusty, and I'm continually mislead by reading BHS from a classical perspective. Avoid this trap by getting into a Prakrit state of mind!


Your skill in Sanskrit and Indic languages is truly impressive.

I only have basic knowledge of Sanskrit, though I'm organically learning more and more as I go on.

Being able to ask questions to such knowledgeable people makes things immeasurably easier.
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:19 am

By the way, if anyone wants the original text it is here:

http://dsbc.uwest.edu/bhadracar%C4%ABpr ... 1nastotram
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Sun May 06, 2012 5:44 am

Let me throw this out, too:



lābha sulabdha sajīvitu teṣāṁ svāgata te imu mānuṣajanma |
yādṛśu so hi samantatabhadraste'pi tathā nacireṇa bhavanti || 50 ||

得大利益勝壽命,善來為此人生命,
如彼普賢大菩薩,彼人不久當獲得。



This line in particular: 善來為此人生命 (svāgata te imu mānuṣajanma) has me confused.
善來 as svāgata is an honorary title here, no?

Can anyone offer their insight on this?
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby tantular » Sun May 06, 2012 10:40 am

I also just noticed your message, so I'll do both:

yāvata niṣṭha nabhasya bhaveyyā sattva aśeṣata niṣṭha tathaiva |
karmatu kleśatu yāvata niṣṭhā tāvata niṣṭha mama praṇidhānam || 46 ||



Again, many changes , all metri causa:

niṣṭhā "the end, the completion", should end in long ā, but here it's shortened, except when a long vowel is required in the 3rd foot.

bhaveyya is the Pāli 3rd pers. sing. optative "it may be", which would be bhavet in standard Sanskrit. The lengthening of the final vowel is, as always, purely for metrical reasons. As in standard Sanskrit verse, this verb has to be read with all 4 niṣṭhās, in the 1st 3 cases in the sense of uncertainty about the future—"however long it may be"—, & in the 4th in the sense of a wish—"may my aspiration last as long".

sattva is left uninflected, but stands for the genitive, paralleling the nabhasya niṣṭhā of the 1st foot. aśeṣata has the suffix -tas (but drops the usual sandhi), which here stands for the genitive, and should be read back onto the sattva: e.g. sattvasyāśeṣasya "of sentient beings without remainder". Ideally it should be in the plural, but whatever.

karmatu kleśatu has the -tu suffix that confused me before, like the -ta in the previous foot standing for genitive. praṇidhānam is in the nominative, but should also be genitive.

in standard Sanskrit the verse would be (although of course it would no longer be a verse!):

yāvato niṣṭhā nabhasya bhavet sattvānām aśeṣānāṃ niṣthā tathaiva
karmasya kleśasya yāvato niṣṭhā tāvato niṣṭhā mama praṇidhānasya


Literal translation:

However long the end of space may be, just so will be the end of all beings without remainder
However long the end of karma and kleśa, so long will be the end of my aspiration.


lābha sulabdha sajīvitu teṣāṁ svāgata te imu mānuṣajanma |
yādṛśu so hi samantatabhadraste'pi tathā nacireṇa bhavanti || 50 ||



lābha and sulabdha are uninflected, but read as nom. masc. sing. with sajīvitu. We see this constantly in BHS verse: only 1 word in a phrase is actually inflected (in this case in a non-standard way), & it has to be read back on uninflected words.

sajīvitu is a replacement of the nom. masc. sing. -o (for -as) with short vowel -u. So lābha sulabdha sajīvitu = lābhaḥ sulabdhaḥ sajīvitas "easily gained prosperity with life [=in life]". The Tibetan seems to have read sujīvitu, which I think is a preferable reading: "a happy life of easily gained prosperity".

svāgata is not a title, it's an adjective describing mānuṣajanma: "welcome human births". svāgata has the literal meaning "well come" and the same idiomatic meaning as English "welcome"; it's also a play on sugati "good destination in samsara, a good rebirth". Again, both words are uninflected, but we know they must be plural from imu, for ime, the plural of ayam. Janman is actually neuter; gender is switched for meter.

te here stands for teṣām. As you probably know Sanskrit has no verb for "to have" so a word in the nominative with a genitive pronoun means "they have", "for them there is ..."

yādṛśu is like jīvitu.

Confusingly the 2nd te is the standard Sanskrit "they".

standard Sanskrit:

lābhaḥ sulabdhaḥ sajīvitas teṣāṃ svāgatāni teṣām imāni mānuṣajanmāni
yādṛśaḥ so hi samantato bhadras te 'pi tathā nacireṇa bhavanti


They have prosperity in life, easily gained, and they have welcome human births
Just as he [the Bodhisattva] is in all ways blessed, so are they, and not just briefly.
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby tantular » Sun May 06, 2012 12:25 pm

I've changed my mind about the 2nd foot svāgata te imu mānuṣajanma, which I read as svāgatāni teṣām imāni mānuṣajanmāni.

It would be nice if it paralleled the structure of the 1st foot, but although BHS is flexible, I probably pushed it too far to think that te could stand for teṣām. Safer to say that it's BHS for svāgatās ta ime mānuṣajanmanaḥ, "the well-born human-born". In this interpretation mānuṣajanma would be a bahuvrīhi describing te imu"they". Double pronouns are commonly used for emphasis in Sanskrit, so 'yam is like ὁ αὐτός in ancient Greek: "he himself, that very one", ta ime (correct sandhi for te ime) like οἱ αὐτοί "they themselves, those very ones".

New literal translation:

They have prosperity in life, easily gained; they, well born, are born as humans.
Just as he [the Bodhisattva] is in all ways blessed, so are they, and not just briefly.
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Sun May 06, 2012 4:43 pm

I fold my hands to you, tantular. Your knowledge and skill with Indic languages is truly impressive.

I very much value your input here and will put it to good use. It clarifies a lot of what Amoghavajra was getting at with his Chinese translation.

I dare ask how many years have you been studying Indic languages and are you an academic?
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby ratna » Sun May 06, 2012 5:33 pm

Huseng wrote:I fold my hands to you, tantular. Your knowledge and skill with Indic languages is truly impressive.

I very much value your input here and will put it to good use.


+1. Thanks for very interesting posts.

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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby tantular » Mon May 07, 2012 10:28 am

I'm glad to help anyone trying to read texts in their original language. As you can see, even a translation into other Buddhist languages like Chinese or Tibetan simply can't convey the deliberate use of Prakrit and Apabhramsha forms or grammatical deviations, which is a crucial component in the "feel" of Sanskrit sūtras and tantras. I jokingly called it "barbaric" earlier, but for Buddhists (& Jains, Shaivites, Shaktas) ārṣa language (language of the rishis, as opposed to the language of Pāṇini) expressed the sanctity of scripture—it just feels like a totally different kind of text. Read it any other language and you miss out on this layer.

I've studied Sanskrit for about 10 years, with a little Pali and Prakrit. Not an academic.
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 10, 2012 7:12 am

If anyone is interested there is an old Japanese article as a pdf here which has both the Chinese and Sanskrit parallel to each other complete with footnotes for the Sanskrit:

http://ci.nii.ac.jp/els/110000057023.pd ... 630165&cp=

The rest of the article is in Japanese, but from page 4 onward they have the Chinese and Sanskrit.
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Re: yāvata keci daśaddiśi loke sarvatriyadhvagatā narasiṁhāḥ

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 10, 2012 7:15 am

tantular wrote:I'm glad to help anyone trying to read texts in their original language. As you can see, even a translation into other Buddhist languages like Chinese or Tibetan simply can't convey the deliberate use of Prakrit and Apabhramsha forms or grammatical deviations, which is a crucial component in the "feel" of Sanskrit sūtras and tantras. I jokingly called it "barbaric" earlier, but for Buddhists (& Jains, Shaivites, Shaktas) ārṣa language (language of the rishis, as opposed to the language of Pāṇini) expressed the sanctity of scripture—it just feels like a totally different kind of text. Read it any other language and you miss out on this layer.


This seems to be the case in any language. Trying to get Chinese Chan texts with their vernacular wording and allusions to pop culture of the time into English is simply impossible. You end up with interpretations rather than translations. Translating literally many of those texts would result in incomprehensible texts.

I've studied Sanskrit for about 10 years, with a little Pali and Prakrit. Not an academic.


Your many years of study definitely show. Again, I deeply appreciate the assistance.
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