Vinaya

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Vinaya

Postby mingxin » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:13 pm

Hello everyone!

I am wondering if anyone knows of any translations of the Vinaya for Mahayana (I think the Dharmaguptaka is the most common...). I have been trying to find something on it for some time now, and I've really come up with nothing.

Thanks :) :anjali:
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Re: Vinaya

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:48 pm

mingxin wrote:Hello everyone!

I am wondering if anyone knows of any translations of the Vinaya for Mahayana (I think the Dharmaguptaka is the most common...). I have been trying to find something on it for some time now, and I've really come up with nothing.

Thanks :) :anjali:


It really is one of the least popular parts of Buddhism unfortunately. Not many scholars study it. Even here in Japan there is relatively little research done on the vinaya and precepts when compared to something like Zen or Buddhist philosophy.

In the west with so few bhiksu(ni) (and those few can probably read the original to some extent under an educated master) there isn't much demand for someone to translate it (and you won't get a name or money for doing it probably).

The rest of people have no perceived need for it. Also being a collection of restrictions, it doesn't suit the tastes of most westerners. They want emptiness and stress relief meditation -- not more rules.

Ironically despite the distaste for rules and precepts, they actually would result in more stress relief than meditation probably. :sage:

In any case, there just isn't much material available on the vinaya unfortunately...
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Re: Vinaya

Postby kirtu » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:44 pm

Huseng wrote:
mingxin wrote:Hello everyone!
I am wondering if anyone knows of any translations of the Vinaya for Mahayana (I think the Dharmaguptaka is the most common...). I have been trying to find something on it for some time now, and I've really come up with nothing.


It really is one of the least popular parts of Buddhism unfortunately.
...In the west with so few bhiksu(ni) (and those few can probably read the original to some extent under an educated master) there isn't much demand for someone to translate it (and you won't get a name or money for doing it probably).


But do some Sanskrit versions still exist and are they accessible? Or is the Vinaya now only in Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese (and perhaps Mongolian from before 1936).

Kirt
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Re: Vinaya

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:19 am

kirtu wrote:But do some Sanskrit versions still exist and are they accessible? Or is the Vinaya now only in Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese (and perhaps Mongolian from before 1936).

Kirt


One thing to first note here is that the Sanskrit might have been written down after the Chinese in some cases. I know that might sound odd, but when Faxian went to India in the 5th century he noted the following:

法顯本求戒律。而北天竺諸國。皆師師口傳無本可寫。
"I originally went seeking the vinaya, but in the countries of northern India all the masters transmit it orally without an original that could be copied."


Faxian was quite original and progressive as he might have been one of the first people, and a foreigner at that, to copy down the Vinaya which he brought back to China (or at least tried to as it was apparently lost at sea).

In any case, it is misleading to assume every Chinese text was translated from Sanskrit. In reality the earlier scriptures such as the vinaya (all of which were translated into Chinese in the 5th century), if translated directly from other languages on paper rather than orally, were probably using languages like Ghandhari or other "dialects". The problem is that the Chinese just called every language or script from India fan2 梵, so we have to make educated guesses often at what language they were translating from.

In any case, we have Sanskrit texts. If you look at University of the West's Buddhist Sanskrit archive they have a few texts digitalized (under the sutra heading):

http://www.uwest.edu/sanskritcanon/dp/i ... q=node/108


So, in short, yes we have the texts, but unfortunately there isn't a lot of interest in studying them. This is unfortunate because the Vinaya was probably more influential than most of the texts people read now in English. Every single bhiksu(ni) from Buddha's time until the present has read or studied some version of vinaya. They might not have memorized their particular version of it or even abided entirely by it, but nevertheless they all had/have to study it to some extent.
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Re: Vinaya

Postby mingxin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:28 am

Hmm, thank you... I will have to talk to my Master about this. I'm sure he has a copy of the Vinaya, but likely in Vietnamese or Han-Viet (Sino-Vietnamese). I wanted to try and study more so I am fully aware of what I am doing when I Leave Home.
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Re: Vinaya

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:34 am

mingxin wrote:Hmm, thank you... I will have to talk to my Master about this. I'm sure he has a copy of the Vinaya, but likely in Vietnamese or Han-Viet (Sino-Vietnamese). I wanted to try and study more so I am fully aware of what I am doing when I Leave Home.


There are several versions of the Vinaya (Dharmagupta, Mahasamghika, Sarvastivada, etc...).

The prominent one in East Asia is the Dharmagupta.
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Re: Vinaya

Postby Astus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:52 am

I think you can find a bit more info on the Tibetan Vinaya than the Chinese.

The Tibetan Vinaya: Guide to Buddhist Conduct by Thrangu Rinpoche
Buddhist Monastic Discipline: the Sanskrit Prātimoksạ Sūtras of the Mahāsāmg̣hikas and Mūlasarvāstivādins by Charles S. Prebish
The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk by Georges B. J. Dreyfus
A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes by Sakya Pandita

Also FPMT has extra sources for those wishing to ordain with them: How to Become a Monk or a Nun - Preparing for Ordination

May be of interest:
A Survey of Vinaya Literature by Charles S. Prebish
A brief survey of the Vinaya: Its origin, transmission, and arrangement from the Tibetan point of view with comparisons to the Theravada and Dharmagupta traditions by Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen
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Re: Vinaya

Postby kirtu » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:40 pm

Thanks Huseng and Astus! Part of the motivation here is to find an unsolved problem and solve it and I would prefer that this problem would result in a useful solution for the Dharma. So one of my interests/expertise is in computational linguistics although all my projects so far have centered on information extraction (mostly). So this looks like one interesting problem to tackle.

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