"Method" (vs "Wisdom") -- where does the term come from?

General forum on Mahayana.

"Method" (vs "Wisdom") -- where does the term come from?

Postby djlewis » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:44 pm

I can't find the source of the term "Method" for the Bodhicitta side of the Mahayana, as opposed to "Wisdom". Anybody know:

  • Who first used/invented/translated it?
  • What Tibetan and Sanskrit terms it translates?
  • What the overtones are of those terms?
  • How it makes sense in terms of compassion, Bodhicitta, etc?
  • References -- I haven't been able to find any that actually discuss where the translated term comes from
Thanks. --David
djlewis
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:51 pm

Re: "Method" (vs "Wisdom") -- where does the term come from?

Postby Yudron » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:52 pm

djlewis wrote:I can't find the source of the term "Method" for the Bodhicitta side of the Mahayana, as opposed to "Wisdom". Anybody know:

  • Who first used/invented/translated it?
  • What Tibetan and Sanskrit terms it translates?
  • What the overtones are of those terms?
  • How it makes sense in terms of compassion, Bodhicitta, etc?
  • References -- I haven't been able to find any that actually discuss where the translated term comes from
Thanks. --David



The terms are Thabs (method, technique) and Shes rab (transcendent knowingness, or many various translations) in Tibetan. BTW if you google these terms the Rangjyung Yeshe Dictionary translations will pop up. These come from upaya and prajna in Sanskrit. I'm sure they were translated by earliest Tibetan translation team, said to be Vairotsana et al, because these are common terms.
Yudron
 
Posts: 1052
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California

Re: "Method" (vs "Wisdom") -- where does the term come from?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:31 am

There's the Pali word "kusala" which has been rendered as; clever, skilful, expert; good, right, meritorious, wholesome (and its antonym "akusala").
It is most often translated as skilful in terms of karmic consequences, movement towards liberation, and in reducing suffering, rather than other terms which might suggest a kind of external moral judgment. It has been suggested that in this sense the idea of what is skilful may also be viewed as wise action.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

http://www.buddhismtoday.com/english/et ... kusala.htm
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: "Method" (vs "Wisdom") -- where does the term come from?

Postby djlewis » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:24 am

Great... very helpful... thanks.

So "method" is basically the "means" in "skillful means". And the "skillful" is "kusala", which has many positive connotations, including "meritorious".

I'm still interested to know how the English "method" got started and became so widespread, at least in "method and wisdom". I don't think I have ever seen "means and wisdom".

--David
djlewis
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:51 pm

Re: "Method" (vs "Wisdom") -- where does the term come from?

Postby Yudron » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:17 am

djlewis wrote:Great... very helpful... thanks.

So "method" is basically the "means" in "skillful means". And the "skillful" is "kusala", which has many positive connotations, including "meritorious".

I'm still interested to know how the English "method" got started and became so widespread, at least in "method and wisdom". I don't think I have ever seen "means and wisdom".

--David


Hmmm... I mostly hear skillful means and wisdom. These terms are used a lot in Vajrayana Buddhism in several different contexts all related to the dynamic between the masculine and feminine wisdom principles. I don't know how the terms are used in the Mahayana.

In general, it's good to learn common terms in Tibetan to avoid the confusion that comes from reading different translations of the same terms. It's actually much simpler that way.
Yudron
 
Posts: 1052
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California


Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 10 guests

>