Hui-Neng Sutra

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Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Jechan » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:49 pm

Hi,

The Hui-Neng sutra is not spoken by the Buddha. Is it still a Sutra? :shrug:
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:55 pm

Kama sutra was not spoken by the Buddha, is it still a sutra ?

Buddha obviously has no international copyrights for the name "sutra", in India or elsewhere. Besides Kama sutra there are, in India, several nonbuddhist works that have the title "sutra".

In China the situation is different, because Huineng's teaching caused the appearance of very many enlightened persons, they felt that His teaching should be called a Sutra.
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:00 pm

It's just that "jing" (經), which generally means scripture and classic work, is the translation for sutra in Buddhist context, so the Liu zu tan jing (六祖壇經) in English becomes Sixth Patriarch's Platform Sutra. Calling it a sutra is also a sign for its great importance in East-Asian Buddhism. By the way, the text has nothing to do with the historical Huineng and the whole text is pretty much a later creation which also went through some alterations before it became what we have now.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Kare » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm

Astus wrote:It's just that "jing" (經), which generally means scripture and classic work, is the translation for sutra in Buddhist context, so the Liu zu tan jing (六祖壇經) in English becomes Sixth Patriarch's Platform Sutra. Calling it a sutra is also a sign for its great importance in East-Asian Buddhism. By the way, the text has nothing to do with the historical Huineng and the whole text is pretty much a later creation which also went through some alterations before it became what we have now.


Interesting. So if the Chinese called it a 'jing', who then did attach the sanskrit word 'sutra' to it? And when did that happen?
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby LastLegend » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:48 pm

In Vietnamese, we call it Kinh
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:44 pm

Kare wrote:Interesting. So if the Chinese called it a 'jing', who then did attach the sanskrit word 'sutra' to it? And when did that happen?


As I said, jing in Buddhist context means sutra. In English both could be scripture that some translators have used (e.g. Flower Ornament Scripture). Calling it a sutra also promotes the Zen concept that patriarchs, zen masters are equal to a buddha. But even the word sutra is said to be a mistranslation as it rather should be sukta. Nevertheless, the point of calling it a sutra is to make its content absolutely authentic and equal to the teachings of the Buddha. And indeed, that's what has happened in East-Asian Buddhism.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Kare » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:34 pm

Astus wrote:
Kare wrote:Interesting. So if the Chinese called it a 'jing', who then did attach the sanskrit word 'sutra' to it? And when did that happen?


As I said, jing in Buddhist context means sutra. In English both could be scripture that some translators have used (e.g. Flower Ornament Scripture). Calling it a sutra also promotes the Zen concept that patriarchs, zen masters are equal to a buddha. But even the word sutra is said to be a mistranslation as it rather should be sukta. Nevertheless, the point of calling it a sutra is to make its content absolutely authentic and equal to the teachings of the Buddha. And indeed, that's what has happened in East-Asian Buddhism.


I'm sure you are right. But this does not answer my question. Since the text was created in a Chinese speaking environment, it naturally was called 'jing' for a long time in China. The question is therefore: Who started calling it by a Sanskrit word, foreign to China, instead of using the Chinese word? Did this happen when the text was brought to Japan? Or did the Japanese also call it a 'jing' - or have they got a Japanese equivalent word for it? Or was the Sanskrit word attached to the text when it was brought to the West?
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:26 pm

I see your point. 經, which is jing in Mandarin Chinese, carries the same meaning in Japanese (kyou), Korean (kyeng) and Vietnamese (kinh), simply because they all took writing and many other cultural things (including Buddhism) from China. The first English translation of the text made in 1930 was called Sutra of Wei Lang (source, but since even before that there were translations made from Chinese to Western languages by that time the rendering of 經 to sutra must have been the common practice. Also, 經 is the translation in Chinese for sutra, so giving it that status in the Chinese Canon was intentional long before any European knew about the text's existence.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Kare » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:13 am

Thank you. One more question: You said that "jing" (經), which generally means scripture and classic work. What is the usage of this word outside Buddhist literature? What kind of non-Buddhist classical works are called jing in China?
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:42 am

四書五經 [sì shū wŭ jīng​] - Four Books and Five Classics
十三經 [shí sān jīng] - the Thirteen Confucian Classics
易經 [yì jīng] - The Book of Changes ("I Ching")
道德經 [dào ​dé ​jīng] - Tao Te Ching
黃帝內經 [huáng ​dì ​nèi ​jīng​] - Yellow Emperor's internal canon, medical text c. 300 BC
聖經 [shèng jīng] - Holy Bible / the Confucian classics
古蘭經 [gǔ lán jīng] - Koran
摩門經 [mó mén jīng] - Book of Mormon
etc.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Kare » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:06 am

Astus wrote:四書五經 [sì shū wŭ jīng​] - Four Books and Five Classics
十三經 [shí sān jīng] - the Thirteen Confucian Classics
易經 [yì jīng] - The Book of Changes ("I Ching")
道德經 [dào ​dé ​jīng] - Tao Te Ching
黃帝內經 [huáng ​dì ​nèi ​jīng​] - Yellow Emperor's internal canon, medical text c. 300 BC
聖經 [shèng jīng] - Holy Bible / the Confucian classics
古蘭經 [gǔ lán jīng] - Koran
摩門經 [mó mén jīng] - Book of Mormon
etc.


Thank you. I really ought to have recognized at least these two well known classics: 易經 [yì jīng] - The Book of Changes ("I Ching") and 道德經 [dào ​dé ​jīng] - Tao Te Ching! :emb:
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:20 pm

Astus wrote:It's just that "jing" (經), which generally means scripture and classic work, is the translation for sutra in Buddhist context, so the Liu zu tan jing (六祖壇經) in English becomes Sixth Patriarch's Platform Sutra. Calling it a sutra is also a sign for its great importance in East-Asian Buddhism. By the way, the text has nothing to do with the historical Huineng and the whole text is pretty much a later creation which also went through some alterations before it became what we have now.


Do you nevertheless believe that Huineng was enlightened and that he produced several or numerous enlightened persons ? If so, how were his teachings transmitted ?
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:47 pm

Aemilius,

Do I believe that there was a Caoxi Huineng with hundreds of disciples who attained enlightenment? No, it is very unlikely as Huineng was very much unknown for his contemporaries. It was Heze Shenhui who attributed patriarchy to Huineng after the death of Shenxiu - who was actually a famous master in his time revered by empress Wu Zetian and many others - so he could claim to be the 7th patriarch and single rightful heir. It was also Shenhui who invented the transmission of robe and bowl. As a matter of fact, Hongren had a couple of disciples who (or rather their disciples) claimed authenticity to themselves. And there were other Chan groups not directly related to Hongren. That's for the historical part. Otherwise the Platform Sutra is a fine Zen work and it's worth studying as it has been done by many others throughout the centuries.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby plwk » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:58 am

Do I believe that there was a Caoxi Huineng with hundreds of disciples who attained enlightenment?
No, it is very unlikely as Huineng was very much unknown for his contemporaries.
Image
So I guess this must be a wax doll from Guangdong's Madame Tussards huh?
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:58 am

plwk,

How does a mummy prove it? Even if it were the actual corpse of Huineng it doesn't mean that all the legends and stories - created by later generations - are true.

"Thus the 'cast' or 'mummy' of Hui-neng may date back to T'ang times, and may just conceivably be that of the historical Hui-neng. It was seen by the monk Chien-chen circa 748 to 750, and was probably manufactured to provide a source of cohesion among the followers of Pao-lin Monastery, and to associate Hui-neng with Kuan-yin and indicate that he may even be considered a buddha. This production may have borrowed from precedents like those of Seng-Ch'ieh in the North, for his was not the first case of 'mummification' and coating with lacquer. However, it may also have been influenced by funerary practices peculiar to the locality of Shao-chou or Ling-nan. In any case, this sarira of the 'true body' was to become a most significant relic for Ch'an Buddhism and an object of widespread local veneration and supplications for this-worldly benefits. It formed the core of a cult of the relics to oppose the cult of the book and aided in the propagation of Ch'an among the common people. Whether it is real or not, what is certain is that the earliest extant record of the mummy of Hui-neng in any Ch'an source is in the Ts'ao-ch'i Ta-shih chuan, which wrote briefly of the circumstances of its production. Later Ch'an sources elaborated on this considerably, demonstrating yet again the use of invention in the hagiographical afterlife of Hui-neng."
(John J. Jørgensen: Inventing Hui-neng, the sixth Patriarch: Hagiography and biography in early Ch'an, p. 273)

Other works recommended:

online essays:
T'an Ching (Platform Scripture) (note it's from 1975)
Legends in Ch’an: the Northern/Southern Schools Split, Hui-neng and the Platform Sutra

books:
Philip B. Yampolsky: The platform sutra of the sixth patriarch: the text of the Tun-huang manuscript with translation, introduction, and notes
John R. McRae: The Northern School and the formation of early Chʻan Buddhism
Bernard Faure: The will to orthodoxy: a critical genealogy of Northern Chan Buddhism
Wendi Leigh Adamek: The mystique of transmission: on an early Chan history and its contexts
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:31 pm

Astus wrote:Aemilius,

Do I believe that there was a Caoxi Huineng with hundreds of disciples who attained enlightenment? No, it is very unlikely as Huineng was very much unknown for his contemporaries. It was Heze Shenhui who attributed patriarchy to Huineng after the death of Shenxiu - who was actually a famous master in his time revered by empress Wu Zetian and many others - so he could claim to be the 7th patriarch and single rightful heir. It was also Shenhui who invented the transmission of robe and bowl. As a matter of fact, Hongren had a couple of disciples who (or rather their disciples) claimed authenticity to themselves. And there were other Chan groups not directly related to Hongren. That's for the historical part. Otherwise the Platform Sutra is a fine Zen work and it's worth studying as it has been done by many others throughout the centuries.


You don't really know what happened, if you were not there at the time.
Human beings are known to be unreliable. It is very likely that Hui Neng caused an unprecedented massmovement in Chan, but then after a while everything was denied and forgotten. This is how humans normally behave.
I think the Wikipedia account of Platform Sutra is reliable and accurate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_Sutra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huineng
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:53 pm

Aemilius,

If you rather rely on Wikipedia than decades of in depth scholarly studies it's up to you.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Hui-Neng Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:48 pm

Astus wrote:Aemilius,

If you rather rely on Wikipedia than decades of in depth scholarly studies it's up to you.


I rely on people who have practiced Zen/Chan. People who attain any level of Satori or Bodhi simultaneously attain an insight into their personal history and into the history of buddhism. This is authentic knowledge according to Dharma. I wonder what kind of motivations and mental states do these "scholars" have? Certainly their minds are not pure, in the Dharmic sense. Because of their twisted motivations it is impossible for them to see and realize the truth. Beings in Samsara see their own minds and take it to be objective reality! It makes no difference how long time they spend in this "scholarly" pursuit.
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