Language Question

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Language Question

Postby Wesley1982 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:56 am

In Christianity 'God' was the source of the word(s) we read in most languages today. If Buddhism is inherently atheist ~ then what was the source for Tibetan or Sanskrit?..thanks :?:
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Re: Language Question

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:06 am

Wesley1982 wrote:In Christianity 'God' was the source of the word(s) we read in most languages today. If Buddhism is inherently atheist ~ then what was the source for Tibetan or Sanskrit?..thanks :?:


Human invention and convention.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Language Question

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:51 am

Tibetan or Sanskrit isn't available on Google Translator. :)
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Re: Language Question

Postby Will » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:20 am

Tradition says that Brahma, the Hindu Creator, taught Sanskrit to the devas. That is why it is considered a divine language.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Language Question

Postby Aemilius » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:38 pm

How about animals? The "lower" and "higher" animals (In the scale of evolution) have the ability to communicate. How did that come about? I don't see it as something extraneous to their other capabilities.
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Re: Language Question

Postby vinodh » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:52 pm

Well..

Buddhists have their own stories of "Divine" origin of language as well (at least something like that).

I suppose in the Manjushrimulakalpa it is said that, Bodhisattva Arya Avalokitesvara inspired Panini to write his Sanskrit grammar.

In the same sense, the (now defunct) Tamil Buddhists claimed that the Tamil Languages was created by Avalokitesvara.

Similarly, Pali was claimed to be a divine language by the Theravadins.

Buddhaghosa declares -

Magadhi is the root of all dialects, which was spoken by Brahmas, by men before the present kalpa, by those who had neither heard nor uttered human accent, and also by supreme Buddhas


You may wanted to read this: http://www.virtualvinodh.com/en-languag ... -shramanas

V
http://www.virtualvinodh.com

yo dharmaṁ paśyati, sa buddhaṁ paśyati

One who sees the Dharma, sees the Buddha
śālistamba sūtra

na pudgalo na ca skandhā buddho jñānamanāsravam
sadāśāntiṁ vibhāvitvā gacchāmi śaraṇaṁ hyaham

Neither a person nor the aggregates, the Buddha, is knowledge free from [evil] outflows
Clearly perceiving [him] to be eternally serene, I go for refuge [in him]
saddharma-laṅkāvatāra-sūtra
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Re: Language Question

Postby Aemilius » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:01 am

Buddha always spoke what accords with common sense. Common sense is that human language develops constantly, words are constantly being invented by human beings. For example all the words connected with Computers, they have come up very recently, they have been made up and invented by human intelligence.
The Bhagavan may have invented some words himself, he gave existing words a new specific meaning that he himself explained and defined. For example the words "brahman", "aryan", etc...
The ability to communicate is inherent in a living being, even the animals have different means of communication, like the ants and other insects. They have a sense of orientation, sense of paths, sense of different places, and logically also a mental map in their minds, how else could they function in a world of concrete form and objects? And an ability to communicate this information.
Language develops gradually because communication is inherent in the nature of living beings.
Interesting thing is that Vimalakirti sutra and Lankavatara sutra say that there other worlds where beings communicate through different means than the spoken language of human beings. The list of means of communcation is longer in the Lankavatara, it includes communication through scent, through coughing, through telepathy, etc... In Vimalakirti there is the Feast Brought by Emanated Incarnation where dharma is communicated through taste, through this special kind of food.
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Re: Language Question

Postby Sherlock » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:11 pm

Are you asking for a Buddhist mythical origin of language or what is the current scientific understanding?
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Re: Language Question

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:21 pm

Sherlock wrote:Are you asking for a Buddhist mythical origin of language or what is the current scientific understanding?


I would be specifically noting the Word belief in Christianity compared to alternate theories of written languages. Particularly, Tibetan and Sanskrit.
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Re: Language Question

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:08 pm

Will wrote:Tradition says that Brahma, the Hindu Creator, taught Sanskrit to the devas. That is why it is considered a divine language.


When I first thought of the term "Creator" I didn't think of the Hindu Brahma.
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Re: Language Question

Postby Sherlock » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:37 am

Wesley1982 wrote:
Sherlock wrote:Are you asking for a Buddhist mythical origin of language or what is the current scientific understanding?


I would be specifically noting the Word belief in Christianity compared to alternate theories of written languages. Particularly, Tibetan and Sanskrit.


Sorry, but I'm still not sure what you mean. The vinaya and sutra pitakas were originally all oral and only collated and written down after the Buddha's death. Even the Mahayana Sutras are theoretically supposed to be transcriptions of oral teachings -- same goes for tantras. In general I think sound is more important than any manifestation of a written language in Buddhism, and even then it is conditional; Tibetans, Chinese and Japanese pronounce mantras far removed from the original Sanskrit.

Tibetan script was either devised sometime around the 600s based on a Kashmiri script. I don't know any mythical accounts of the origins of the Brahmi script but archaeologically, it was invented around the time of Ashoka. I don't think even in Qabalah the "written" word is as important as the "spoken" word -- I'm relatively sure the "Logos" as written word is a misinterpretation since Jesus probably spoke Aramaic rather than Greek to his followers anyway.
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Re: Language Question

Postby Aemilius » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:29 am

Lankavatara Sutra has a discussion about words, Bhagavan Shakyamuni says there that words arise dependently, they arise dependent on discrimination, they arise dependent on the larynx and volition, they are dependent on the letters of the alphabet, etc...

In D.T. Suzuki translation: Chapter Two XXXIII On Word Discrimination and the Highest Reality,
and XLVI On Name, Sentence, Syllable, and Their Meaning,
and Chapter Three LXV The Relation Between Words and Meaning,
and elsewhere.
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