Tibetan vs a Chinese sutra's 5 acts of immediate retribution

General forum on Mahayana.

Tibetan vs a Chinese sutra's 5 acts of immediate retribution

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:25 am

Perhaps scholars of Chinese would be of help here.

I was puzzled to read Master Hsuan Hua's enumeration of the 5 Actions of Immediate Retribution (sometimes given as 5 Heinous Crimes) here: http://www.dharmasite.net/ContributionsofVM.htm#2b

For instance, in The Buddha Speaks the Dharani Sutra of Long Life and the Protection of Pure Youths there is a passage: "There are five things in the world that are difficult to erase, even through repentance and reform. What are the five?

1) Killing one's father; 2) killing one's mother; 3) killing an unborn child; 4) shedding the Buddhas' blood; and 5) breaking up the harmony of the Sangha. If one creates this evil karma, the offenses are hard to eradicate.


In the Tibetan tradition they are given in this way:http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Five_crimes_with_immediate_retribution

Five crimes with immediate retribution (Wyl. mtshams med pa lnga):

killing one's father
killing one's mother
killing an arhat
maliciously drawing blood from the body of a tathagata
creating a schism in the sangha


I am wondering if it is standard in the Chinese and broader Mahayana traditions to give number 3 as 'killing an unborn child' rather than 'killing an arahant'.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:51 am

JKhedrup wrote:I am wondering if it is standard in the Chinese and broader Mahayana traditions to give number 3 as 'killing an unborn child' rather than 'killing an arahant'.

Hmmm... I am wondering if it is a modern innovation sympathetic to the (predominantly Catholic) pro-life movement.
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm
Location: Gone Bush

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby sukhamanveti » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:32 pm

Prof. Jonathan Silk writes that the five ānantarya-karma are enumerated in Abhidharma literature, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, and the Ākāśagarbha Sūtra and that they agree with the Pali list in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. The Brahma Net Sutra adds 2 more: murdering a Dharma Teacher and murdering a Precept Master (in secondary precept 40), but is otherwise the same. Some Abhidharma texts give a different order.

As far as I can tell, the list in "The Buddha Speaks the Dharani Sutra of Long Life and the Protection of Pure Youths" appears to be unique. All of my sources give the usual list. I suspect that the Chinese translation relied on a text with a copyist's error.

Interestingly, footnote 28 on page 304 of the current (2009) edition of The Buddhist Text Translation Society's translation of The Śūraṅgama Sūtra also gives the usual list. This is a product of the late Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's translation organization and the president of the organization is his senior disciple.
namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra
User avatar
sukhamanveti
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 5:50 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:05 am

Since I am not literate in Chinese I am not the right person to do it, but should this indeed be an error it must certainly be brought to the attention of the BTTS- the 5 Acts of Immediate Retribution are a key doctrine and such a serious discrepancy is not good.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:26 am

JKhedrup wrote:Since I am not literate in Chinese I am not the right person to do it, but should this indeed be an error it must certainly be brought to the attention of the BTTS- the 5 Acts of Immediate Retribution are a key doctrine and such a serious discrepancy is not good.


Hello Venerable.

Ven Hsuan Hua was quoting from a sutra most people dont know about....its a very popular sutra in china....(very weird considering all the abotions that go on in china)

"There are five kinds of Evil Karma which are difficult to extinguish, even if one were to repent of them. What are the five kinds of offences? The first one is killing the father, the second one is killing the mother, the third one is abortion, the fourth one is to injure The Buddha, the fifth one is to create disharmony among the Sangha assemblies [i.e. create division and schism]. These five types of evil and sinful karma are difficult to extinguish." (The Dharani Sutra of the Buddha on Longevity, The Extinction of Offences, And the Protection of Young Children, p.2 online) In the Vinaya (guide for monks and nuns)


Its kinda like the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra is very popular in China but many other people know very little about it.
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 963
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:21 am

Thanks Son of Buddha! It is good to have input from people with experience with the favoured sutras in the Chinese canon! I am glad I asked for feedback here rather than writing to them- the benefit of DW is that people with different knowledge post, so you can always learn something.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:07 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Ven Hsuan Hua was quoting from a sutra most people dont know about....its a very popular sutra in china....(very weird considering all the abotions that go on in china)


Do you happen to know the Taishō number for it?
Michael_Dorfman
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Qianxi » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:40 am

Michael_Dorfman wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Ven Hsuan Hua was quoting from a sutra most people dont know about....its a very popular sutra in china....(very weird considering all the abotions that go on in china)


Do you happen to know the Taishō number for it?

It is called 說長壽滅罪護諸童子陀羅尼經 http://tripitaka.cbeta.org/zh-cn/X01n0017_001

It is not included in the Taisho canon. It does not appear in any pre 20th century index or canon, and most 20th century editions of the Chinese canon do not include it. The first time it appears is in the Manji Zokuzōkyō 卍續藏經 in 1912. http://jinglu.cbeta.org/cgi-bin/jl_deta ... &sid=zrruu

It is a sutra supposedly translated in the Tang Dynasty that suddenly appears in the 20th century and contradicts 2500 years of Buddhist teaching passed down in dozens of languages.

Here's an entry in Chinese from the Zhonghua Encyclopedia of Buddhism 中華佛學百科全書 on the sutra http://buddhaspace.org/dict/index.php?keyword=長壽滅罪護諸童子陀羅尼經
Qianxi
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:23 pm

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:56 am

Qianxi wrote:
Michael_Dorfman wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Ven Hsuan Hua was quoting from a sutra most people dont know about....its a very popular sutra in china....(very weird considering all the abotions that go on in china)


Do you happen to know the Taishō number for it?

It is called 說長壽滅罪護諸童子陀羅尼經 http://tripitaka.cbeta.org/zh-cn/X01n0017_001

It is not included in the Taisho canon. It does not appear in any pre 20th century index or canon, and most 20th century editions of the Chinese canon do not include it. The first time it appears is in the Manji Zokuzōkyō 卍續藏經 in 1912. http://jinglu.cbeta.org/cgi-bin/jl_deta ... &sid=zrruu

It is a sutra supposedly translated in the Tang Dynasty that suddenly appears in the 20th century and contradicts 2500 years of Buddhist teaching passed down in dozens of languages.

Here's an entry in Chinese from the Zhonghua Encyclopedia of Buddhism 中華佛學百科全書 on the sutra http://buddhaspace.org/dict/index.php?keyword=長壽滅罪護諸童子陀羅尼經


Yea I couldnt find the number for it either,I dont know much about the history of the Sutra,personally I never cared much for the Sutra.......I liked the teachings against killing unborn children,but the rest of the sutra is just strange.....
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 963
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:14 pm

The plot thickens.

Killing is of course a non-virtuous action. I don't think there is a sound scriptural basis anywhere in Buddhism for saying that one does not incur negative karma from abortion, although the social considerations behind it are a whole other topic (one I hope is no reopened again here, as it inevitably leads to discord.)

However, the 5 Acts of Immediate Retribution are a class of the very heaviest of the heavy. So if changing something in the list was motivated by an agenda by the translator or commentator, that is something to be concerned about.

It seems that these 5 acts are found across the traditions in similar formula- in the Anguttara Nikaya and Abhidharmakosha for example. This article is of interest regarding the subject:http://www.academia.edu/534440/Good_and_Evil_in_Indian_Buddhism_The_Five_Sins_of_Immediate_Retribution

Why are these 5 Actions of particular concern? As they are considered so heavy that one will be reborn in hell in the next life (barring, in the Mahayana tradition, sincere purification).
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby sukhamanveti » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:33 pm

I'd like to clarify what my concerns were, because I gather that they were unclear, although it looks as though Qianxi may have solved the mystery. It is common for ancient texts that were copied by hand to contain some errors (or even attempts at explanation inserted into the text). These may even accumulate over time. This occurred whether they were popular or obscure and regardless of religious tradition. The copyists were human after all. When they can, translators will often compare variations in different copies in order to produce the most accurate text possible.

For example, when Bhikkhu Bodhi translated the Saṃyutta Nikāya, he says he compared three different editions of the collection ("the Burmese-script Sixth Buddhist Council Edition," "the Sinhala-script Buddha Jayanti Edition," and the Pali Text Society "roman-script edition"). Each of these editions was itself the product of comparisons between different copies. He "also consulted footnotes on variants in the PTS edition." He did not regard any of these editions as absolutely perfect in all respects.

Or take a popular sutra that was translated into Chinese, The Buddhāvataṃsaka-mahāvaipulya Sūtra, commonly known as the Avataṃsaka Sūtra . The Indian monk Buddhabhadra translated it into Chinese in 420 C.E. The Khotanese monk Shikshananda translated it around 699 C.E. The Gandharan monk Prajñā translated it circa 798 C.E. Each "complete" translation was based on a copy with significant differences. The second translation, which is the most popular of the three, is "more than ten percent longer" than the first. The third translation, which is shorter than the first two, contains a 40th chapter, highly regarded by some, that is not found in the others.

Now it is surprising that "The Buddha Speaks the Dharani Sutra of Long Life and the Protection of Pure Youths" contains a common list of grievous misdeeds, but unlike all of the other sutras, omits "killing an arhat," replacing it with "killing an unborn child." In an instance like this, the most likely explanation would typically be that the Chinese text or the Sanskrit text from which it was translated (if there was one) is flawed, that an error was introduced into a copy at some point by an ancient copyist. This still seems like it may be a possibility. Perhaps this is truly an ancient sutra, but one that was discovered in the early 20th century. I don't know.
namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra
User avatar
sukhamanveti
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 5:50 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Huifeng » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:49 pm

When I was studying at the Buddhist College one of our monastic teachers referred to this text as apocryphal.
Can't say I've read it myself to make any further comment, however.
If it's not in the Taisho, then chances are it's not a classic translation.

~~ Huifeng
User avatar
Huifeng
 
Posts: 1471
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Thanks Ven. Huifeng!

Are there many similar texts not including in the Taisho canon but named as "Sutras" and considered Apocryphic by scholars?
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Huifeng » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:22 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Thanks Ven. Huifeng!

Are there many similar texts not including in the Taisho canon but named as "Sutras" and considered Apocryphic by scholars?


Such things exist, but depends on how much "many" is. :tongue:

I have encountered a few interesting specimens in my adventures, some of which are very curious creatures indeed, and require a fairly well trained eye to spot. Some are still perhaps being written as we converse here...

Oh, and by the way, the standard Chinese version of the five offenses of immediate retribution are still indeed killing mother, killing father, killing an arhat, causing the buddha to bleed, and splitting the sangha.

These in turn may not have been all formulated together at one time. Note in particular how many of these Devadatta purportedly committed, and moreso if we count his buddy Ajatasatru. Later formulation and explanation may account for a fair amount of what the Mahayana traditions hold on such matters.

~~ Huifeng
User avatar
Huifeng
 
Posts: 1471
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:38 pm

Tibetan Buddhism of the scholastic variety is largely a sastric tradition rather than sutric if one looks at it objectively. Certain lists such as the 5 Acts seem to be universal and are quoted from Sutras or such hallowed texts as the Kosha. It is healthy, though, to have one's illusion of something "seemingly" set in stone challenged by people who have extensively read the sutras of the Mahayana canon. I learn more all the time!
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. a Unique sutra's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Will » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:06 pm

Since it has become clear now that it was not "Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts", but a unique sutra's rendering, could the thread title be changed?
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
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Tibetan vs. Ven. Hsuan Hua's Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:24 pm

I have no objection. I don't think the title is at all offensive though, as it merely indicates two different viewpoints, according to two different sources which are cited, one of which was contained in and referred to by Master Hsuan Hua in his teachings. I am a fan of most of his books BTW.

In short, if people really see it as offensive I as the OP have no objection if it is deemed necessary to shift the title. I don't get how it could cause any problems though, to be honest.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Tibetan vs. a Sutra's list of Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Will » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:42 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I have no objection. I don't think the title is at all offensive though, as it merely indicates two different viewpoints, according to two different sources which are cited, one of which was contained in and referred to by Master Hsuan Hua in his teachings. I am a fan of most of his books BTW.

In short, if people really see it as offensive I as the OP have no objection if it is deemed necessary to shift the title. I don't get how it could cause any problems though, to be honest.


Reason 1 - this one person finds it offensive
#2 - It is simply not true
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
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Tibetan vs. a Sutra's list of Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby Clarence » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:45 pm

Will wrote:Reason 1 - this one person finds it offensive


Now, what the good master had to say about gay people, that is offensive.
Clarence
 
Posts: 588
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Tibetan vs. a Sutra's list of Acts of Immediate Retribut

Postby yan kong » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:17 am

Clarence wrote:
Will wrote:Reason 1 - this one person finds it offensive


Now, what the good master had to say about gay people, that is offensive.


That has its own thread. There is no need to debate it again here.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
User avatar
yan kong
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:01 am

Next

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: zengammon and 10 guests

>