Conze's D. Sutra

Discuss and learn about the traditional scriptures.

Conze's D. Sutra

Postby norman » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:57 pm

In Edward Conze's translation we read:

What has been taught by the Tathagata as the possession of marks, that is truly a no-possession of no-marks.

Apparently, only Conze translates this part with a double negation, i.e. a "no-possession of no-marks", instead of the usual "possession of no-marks" (single negation).

The chapter ends with:

The Lord said: 'Wherever there is possession of marks, there is fraud, wherever there is no-possession of no-marks there is no fraud. Hence the Tathagata is to be seen from no marks as marks.

This is the text in Sanskrit, though I can't tell if this is the original text that Conze used, nor can I read Sanskrit:

Tat kim manyase Subhute laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Ya sa Bhagavan laksana-sampat Tathagatena bhasita saiva-alaksana-sampat. Evam ukte Bhagavan ayusmantam Subhutim etad avocat: Yavat Subhute laksana-sampat tavan mrsa, yavad alaksana-sampat tavan na mrseti hi laksana-alaksanatas Tathagato drastavyah.

And here's the whole text:

http://www.stiltij.nl/meditatie/verdiep ... utra-conze

Could anyone provide a comment as to why Conze translated this part differently?

Thank you.
norman
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:18 pm

Re: Conze's D. Sutra

Postby Huifeng » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:30 am

I've encountered this discussion elsewhere, and we had a long thread on it at e-Sangha some years ago.

Because in Skt, where a negation is often a single prefix "a-", it is easy to misread, particularly when it is part of a compound, and the difference is between an "-a-" and an "-ā-". My conclusion is that he simply misread it.

But if you are reading any Sanskrit text, you'll need one with diacriticals. Ideally, get your hands on Conze's own edited Sanskrit for this text.
User avatar
Huifeng
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Conze's D. Sutra

Postby norman » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:34 pm

Thank you.

As a matter of fact I started the discussion on e-Sangha, and now that the forum's down I can't remember what answers we arrived at. It seems to me that Conze would be a far too exact a scholar to have made such a mistake, and only here in the whole text (and twice for that matter). The simple answer would be, of course, that he made a mistake and that's it.

However I seem to be unable to find any version on the internet with the diacritical marks intact, so I can't check for myself (without having first bought Conze's Sanskrit edit).

I'm curious as to the reason why the double-negation only appears here, when the "X-not X-therefore X" appears throughout the whole Sutra. It has me thinking that he would've noticed the fact the formula differed in comparsion with the rest, and either (a) changed all the formulas in the whole translation into double negations, or (b) changed this part into a single one.
norman
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:18 pm

Re: Conze's D. Sutra

Postby eijo » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:46 pm

norman wrote:The simple answer would be, of course, that he made a mistake and that's it.

However I seem to be unable to find any version on the internet with the diacritical marks intact, so I can't check for myself (without having first bought Conze's Sanskrit edit).



Vaidya's edition has:

tatkiṁ manyase subhūte lakṣaṇasaṁpadā tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ ? subhūtirāha-no hīdaṁ bhagavan| na lakṣaṇasaṁpadā tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ| tatkasya hetoḥ ? yā sā bhagavan lakṣaṇasaṁpattathāgatena bhāṣitā saivālakṣaṇasaṁpat| evamukte bhagavānāyuṣmantaṁ subhūtimetadavocat yāvatsubhūte lakṣaṇasaṁpat tāvanmṛṣā, yāvadalakṣaṇasaṁpat tāvanna mṛṣeti hi lakṣaṇālakṣaṇatastathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ||5||

http://dsbc.uwest.edu/node/3781

Its almost certainly a simple error.
User avatar
eijo
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Koyasan, Japan

Re: Conze's D. Sutra

Postby norman » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:24 pm

Thank you.

What a great site, by the way.
norman
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:18 pm


Return to Sūtra Studies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

>