Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

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Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:44 pm

From the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chapter 1 (but I don't know the page because my Kindle software doesn't show the page - it's 12% into the text), discussing the Mahayana family of the five families that beings are members of:

F. Marks....
In that case, what kinds of marks are there? Their
bodies and speech are naturally gentle without dependence on a remedy.
Their minds are less deceitful, and have loving-kindness and clarity
toward sentient beings
.


Is the word clarity or charity used in the print version? Is there an online Tibetan version I can take a look at?

If clarity is intended then this implies a natural inclination to see suffering. If charity is intended this implies a natural tendency toward the paramita of giving.

Thanks!

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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby plwk » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:02 pm

As you didn't mention which translation version, I am assuming it's this one Image

If so, it's on page 54 of the text, which reads...
In that case, what kinds of marks are there? Their bodies and speech are naturally gentle without dependence on a remedy. Their minds are less deceitful and have loving-kindness and clarity toward sentient beings.
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:37 pm

plwk wrote:If so, it's on page 54 of the text, which reads...
In that case, what kinds of marks are there? Their bodies and speech are naturally gentle without dependence on a remedy. Their minds are less deceitful and have loving-kindness and clarity toward sentient beings.


That's the version, thanks!. Is there a commentary on JOL? The word "clarity" seems unlikely at this point although not impossible. The reason it seems unlikely is that seeing the mess that we are in could provoke an impulse toward the Sravaka path. The thing keeping beings from that would be seeing the entire mess. However that means that the bodhisattva is already highly developed at least intuitively and that seems unlikely in this context because this section is talking about the natural inclination of beings in the five families and specifically here the natural inclination before development of beings in the Mahayana family. Secondly the section following this reiterates the teaching and explicitly mentions the perfections, not awareness or revulsion toward suffering for other beings:

In other words, in whatever preparatory actions a bodhisattva undertakes, he always cultivates compassion for all sentient beings, has a great inclination toward the Mahayana teachings, has no hesitation to endure hardships, and perfectly performs the root virtue of the perfections. Thus, the Ornament of Mahayana Sutra says: Developing compassion at the preparation stage, Devoted interest, patience, Perfectly performing the virtues-These are the signs of the Mahayana family.


Kirt
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby palchi » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:17 pm

I've got the translation by Ken and Katia Holmes (Gems of Dharma, Jewels of Freedom. The classic handbook of Buddhism by Je Gampopa).

The passage is translated as follows:

What are these signs? Bodhisattvas are naturally and uncontrivedly peaceful in what they do an say, their minds have little deceit or hypocrisy and they are loving and joyful in their relations with others. Of this, it says in the dasadharmakasutra:

"Never rough or rude, beyond deceit and hypocrisy and full of love for all beings: they are bodhisattvas."

(p. 12)

Hope that helps....

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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby plwk » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:30 pm

Kirtu, as I am unable to comment on that part and not to risk a misinterpretation, here's 2 choices for your kind perusal...
An alternative reading from Thrangu Rinpoche's Image

And Ringu Tulku's Image with this typed excerpt from Chapter 1: The Cause: Buddha Nature, page 12
In the Dashadharmaka Sutra, it says: "The potential of bodhisattvas is detected by its signs, as fire is recognised through smoke and water detected by the presence of waterfowl." We might wonder what these signs are. The body and speech of bodhisattvas are by nature gentle, regardless of the influence of a spiritual friend. Their mind and character are not tainted by fraud or deceit, and they feel love for all beings. There is also a great inner purity. Therefore, if someone, without coming under the positive influence of someone else, is naturally kind, full of compassion, and without duplicity, the he or she is a member of the family of bodhisattvas and is very near to becoming or developing into a buddha. All living beings have these qualities latent within them."
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:29 pm

"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:15 pm

From p. 7 of Guenther:
The signs are that body and speech, independent of the influence
of a spiritual friend, are by nature gentle and mind is very little
affected by fraud and deceit, while there is love for all beings and
inner purity.
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:29 pm

kirtu wrote: Is there an online Tibetan version I can take a look at?


yup, here:

http://www.dharmadownload.net/download/sungbum/Dhakpo%20Kabum/Dhakpo%20Kabum_pdf/38_NYI.pdf

p. 5, line 13:

sems g.yo sgyu shas chung ba dang/
sems can la byams shing dvangs ba dag yin no/

appears to me that Guenther's translation is correct.

bye,

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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:26 pm

So it appears to be neither clarity (of mind or awareness) nor charity but a reading dealing with purity, inner purity and/or compassion and lovingkindness. I wonder why the Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen/Ani Chodron version says clarity, presumably meaning clarity in interactions with sentient beings. So far it seems an obtuse choice of words.

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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby Jinzang » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:28 am

It seems like the word that is being transslated as clarity is dwangs. The better tranlation would seem to be purity. I puzzled over it last night (because of a typo in the text) in a line from the seven limbed prayer:

kun nas dwangs bas phyags 'tshal lo

I pay pure homage in every way
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby plwk » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:13 am

So it appears to be neither clarity (of mind or awareness) nor charity but a reading dealing with purity, inner purity and/or compassion and lovingkindness. I wonder why the Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen/Ani Chodron version says clarity, presumably meaning clarity in interactions with sentient beings. So far it seems an obtuse choice of words.
Well, I guess the one sure way to find out is to contact Rinpoche himself and get a clarification from him like on this page. I was fortunate to have met him in person in one local Chinese centre last year by sheer chance when someone informed me of his one day arrival and stopover here on his way to India and sat in his near 2 hour Dharma discourse that night and got the chance to make offerings to him and he even kindly obliged to autograph and even left an advice on my copy of his JOL text.
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:19 am

OK, after the recent thread on Guenther I am going to savour for a moment the consummate perspicacity of Guenther's translation of the Jewel Ornament.
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:29 am

plwk wrote:Well, I guess the one sure way to find out is to contact Rinpoche himself and get a clarification from him ...


Thanks! I was going to do that.

I was fortunate to have met him in person in one local Chinese centre last year by sheer chance when someone informed me of his one day arrival and stopover here on his way to India ...


:twothumbsup:
Excellent!

Karma is ineluctable and amazing ...

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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:32 am

Karma Dorje wrote:OK, after the recent thread on Guenther I am going to savour for a moment the consummate perspicacity of Guenther's translation of the Jewel Ornament.


HAHAHAHA! I was thinking something similar but I'm not sure quite how to take that - :bow: or :jawdrop:

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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:49 am

kirtu wrote:So it appears to be neither clarity (of mind or awareness) nor charity but a reading dealing with purity, inner purity and/or compassion and lovingkindness. I wonder why the Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen/Ani Chodron version says clarity, presumably meaning clarity in interactions with sentient beings. So far it seems an obtuse choice of words.

Kirt


Imho the difference between clarity and purity (if there is any) is not the essential point, the term dvangs pa can mean both:

http://www.nitartha.org wrote:dwangs pa - {dvangs pa, dvangs pa, dvangs pa} intr. v.; pure, clean, clear, limpid, pellucid, transparent, limpid ( like crystal) [ry]


as well as dag pa:

http://www.nitartha.org wrote:dag pa
pf. of {'dag pa}; 1) correct, true, accurate; 2) clean, pure, purified; immaculate; 3) cleanness, purity, immaculacy; purified aspect 4) genuine, authentic, 5) freed; liberated [ry]


I don't know what exactly is the difference in meaning between dvangs pa and dag pa or if dvangs ba dag is simply pleonastic, anyway you might as well translate it as clean and pure.

The problem as I see it is rather that this translation

Their minds are less deceitful, and have loving-kindness and clarity
toward sentient beings
.


interprets the expression dvangs ba dag as an adverb describing the way they relate to sentient beings, wheras in the Tibetan text dvangs ba dag is an epithet describing the mind of the Bodhisattva: it is the Bodhisattva's mind which is described as clean and pure, not the way he relates to sentient beings.
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:40 am

Clarity, as in clear, can be used as a synonym for purity as in pure. I cannot see the problem. Especially if the person doing the translating does not have a perfect grasp of the English language (like who does?).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:00 pm

I have been told that Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen taught on JOL and would occasionally point out words in the translation that need to be changed. However it is not clear if he addressed this passage. I hope to raise the question soon.

Kirt
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:33 am

:smile:
I am NOT a follower of that tradition, and I could NOT translate what was written anyway.
But just from my personal opinion, and considering the English meaning of both clarity and charity, I would prefer clarity.
So let me explain with a small short example why.
My grandson (hypothetical grandson I must add) wants to play all day and not attend school.
But, being older, I know it is important for him to have a proper education in his later life.
Therefore, because I see the situation with CLARITY, I chose to force him to attend school against his wishes.
He might say that showing CHARITY I should allow him to play all day and not attend school, even though that would, in fact, be a false charity.
But, again in my humble opinion, the awakend person, seeing the true situation with the CLEAR understanding of his/her awakened state with CLARITY of understanding, would chose CLARITY as the best choice for another person.
Therefore, I say, clarity not charity.
Others might have another opinion.
:smile:
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby kirtu » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:37 pm

Quiet Heart wrote:...
Therefore, because I see the situation with CLARITY, I chose to force him to attend school against his wishes....Therefore, I say, clarity not charity....


Thanks but we have gone beyond thinking that there was a single mistranslated word and have shown that the phrasing itself is odd in the context of the Tibetan and other translations. The concept being mistranslated deals with purity so the question is why this particular translation choose clarity to begin with. So I'll email Khenchen Konchog and ask him.

Kirt
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Re: Gampopa JOL: Clarity or charity?

Postby tomamundsen » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:22 pm

Just my own two cents to add: I went through this teaching with Lama Thubten Nima of Garchen Institute, and he didn't correct the translation of this line in Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen's translation.
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