Bodhicaryavatara.

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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby ground » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:08 pm

muni wrote:While we should not mix Conventionally and Absolute (Bodhichitta), are they one when understood. Dalai Lama.

The pointed finger to what just is, without all our concepts.


Nice concepts
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby muni » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:19 pm

Hehe! Own mind stream concepts. (Padmasambhava)
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:02 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:The point here is simply that if the statement was made as indirectly quoted by Catmoon ("The post is not there") it is a very unskillful and absurd statement made by this person called "teacher" here. I would question the qualification as "teacher" of a person speaking in such irrational terms.
But as Catmoon mentioned there seems to have been an explanation afterwards. So it seems to be okay but there arises the suspicion that the instance may have been a case of sophistry.

There is nothing absurd about this the teacher's statement. The literature that is the source of Mahayana doctrine frequently refers to conventional reality as like a dream. Why? Because no single, solid, indivisible, truly existing part can be found to any of what we consider conventional reality. That's why it is "conventional" and not absolute. Everywhere you look, there are objects that are merely appearing, which is because they are comprised of parts and possess no self-nature as the thing that appears, i.e. "table-ness" or pillar-ness"; then, analyzing these merely appearing objects' parts, we can determine that those parts are themselves comprised of other parts also cannot be established beyond their mere appearance. Nothing unified and static can be found no matter where one looks. This is as much true of the people as it is the pillar, with the exception that the people possess consciousness. Of course, each individual's "consciousness" is only a continuum of instants of consciousness which arise within emptiness and dissolve back into it.

TMingyur wrote:Kind regards

Does it not feel odd to say very unkind things, such as accusing someone's teacher of being unskilled, unqualified, and making absurd statements, then to follow that with "kind regards?"
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:37 pm

Regarding the discussion or frivolous criticism of other peoples' teachers, please review this piece of the ToS. Member are also requested to not be disruptive here.

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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:45 pm

About the post not being there: this was an all day teaching on emptiness and I think what happened was that the teacher dropped the wordy phrasing "the concept of the post, or mental model of the post" and started simply saying "the post".


Anyhow, I think it is clear that if one negates the post in its entirety one has taken up nihilism. Therefore, if we cannot negate the post entirely, something exists.
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Mother's Lap » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:39 am

Any recommended translations? Is this accurate?

http://nyima108.blogspot.co.uk/2006/09/ ... urces.html

I will give my summary first, in case people know even less Tibetan than I do, or don't want to go into the details.

If you wish to read a version that is close to the exact words of the Tibetan version (for the original Sanskrit we should open another thread) the best you could do, it seems to me, is choose Stephen Batchelor's version, or perhaps the Wallaces'. Stephen's is a bit nicer design-wise, I recall from glimpsing it, and is translated from the Tibetan, whereas the Wallaces' is transalted from Sanskrit and Tibetan, Sanskrit being more dominant but when the Tibetan has major differences a footnote lists the alternate translation.

If, however, you wish to read a standalone version in English, and you are willing to sacrifice considerable (but not fatal) accuracy in order to read a work that is superb and superior in and of itself in terms of poetical beauty, flow, and, as Will has said, 'Bodhicitta Vibes', I would go for the Padmakara group's work, which is also the most beautiful, by far, in its design and cover, especially the newer exquisite reddish-gold cover. In and of itself, I also like its title best, simple and pure.


So here is a more detailed report. Perhaps I have exaggerated in the details, but I became quite fascinated with it.


Stephen Batchelor's version - A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1979.

This was actually a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect from an old translation that was published in LTWA, when at that time the standards of translation weren't high and were (explicitly in most cases) interpretative, based on some of their other old editions I checked.

Furthermore, I didn't know what to expect form a person who, though a Tibetan tradition monk at the time of translating, later switched to Zen, then disrobed, then published a controversial book.

This version is in many ways the most simple, direct and faithful version, at least based on these three verses, from the three versions here (excluding the Wallaces') which were translated from the Tibetan alone (though consulting the Sanskrit and/or other translations from the Tibetan and Sanskrit many times).

One slight thing that bothered me just a little was that he translated 'gro ba as 'living beings' in verse #1, a bit clumsy to me. Another minor matter is that he extrapolated the 'all' those who remain in cyclic existence. The one thing that really bothered me was the fanciful 'receive Waves of joy' which is totally unrelated to the root text I have.


The Wallaces' version - A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, translated by Vesna A. Wallace and B. Alan Wallace, Snow Lion, 1997.

This version is actually primarily from Sanskrit, so I don't know how good it is for our specific purpose, though it states that it always consulted the Tibetan and when the Tibetan considerably differs brings an alternate translation of the verse in a footnote (which isn't a good idea, design-wise, imho).

A faithful and precise translation, it seems to me, based on these three verses. I found the use of 'joy and contentment' for bde dga' a little unwarranted, because I couldn't find 'contentment' for any one of these common Tibetan terms in themselves in the online dictionaries I checked (nor in the Illuminator, which I happily bought and downloaded today, which looks impressive but not comprehensive so far) and because all three other translations used 'joy' and 'happiness'. Another thing was that in the third verse they translated 'may the world attain...' which is a bit peculiar, I don't see any 'world', but rather just 'gro ba, but there might be a 'world' in the original Sanskrit, I don't know.


The Padmakara Group Version - The Way of the Bodhisattva, translated by Wulstan Fletcher, Shambhala, 1997.

I was actually a little disheartened after checking this version. It is the only version I fully read and the effect it had on me was profound. As a standalone version, it is a superb work of spiritual poetry, sublime, profound and astonishingly beautiful at one and the same time. It states in the introduction that it is not a word by word translation, but I didn't realize the extent of its stylistic rerendering, and it is a little bothering, though as a work-in-itself I still greatly prefer it to the other versions.

The many ways in which it differs from the source I have are numerous, but here are a few examples: 'the virtue I have now amassed': ammased is extrapolated, as far as I can tell (though I don't understand what rnam par does in the first verse, which seems to have been glossed over by all versions, I know its common usage, but can't make sense of it here, anyone?). Instead of 'oceans' (of joy and happiness) it has 'boundless measure', which is a bit strange considering that this is the most poetic of the translations I checked. In veres #3, in 'present joy', the 'present' is (perhaps understandably) extrapolated, and byang chub sems dpa' yi bde ba which is clearly 'bodhisattva's joy/happiness/bliss' translates as 'unsurpassed beatitude' which they may 'taste', which is perhaps good for non-Buddhists but a bit too personally- interpretatively-spelling-it-out for people who know what a Bodhisattva is, I think.

While this is the least faithful version word-wise, it is the only one who had both adjectives in the end, 'constant and unbroken'.


Alexander Berzin's version - The Berzin Archives, 2004.

This is the most interpretative and didactic of the versions, even after I have excluded (for reasons of space) the further interpretative additions in parentheses. At times it is a bit bizzare.

In verse #1 he adds 'my constructive act' (of having composed), which as far as I can tell is unwarranted and also somewhat his own idea. If by this he means to translate rnam par it is quite strange. Similarly, in verse #2 he gives 'Through the forces of my positive acts' for bsod nams kyis. As far as I can tell bsod nams is usually rendered as 'merit' or 'virtue', perhaps 'positive' is appropriate, but it can also mean mental 'actions' which isn't implied by Berzin's choice of English. This is a big difference, but of course I know next to nothing about Tibetan and will humbly stand corrected. 'forces' is also unwarranted in this case, though it could easily have been used had the common dbang appeared here, but it doesn't.

Furthermore, he also uses 'unsurpassed bliss' (though in parentheses he does add "bodhisattva's"), which is too far away from the literal to my mind, like Padmakara's.

One thing I did like was that he was the only one who used 'wandering beings' for 'gro ba, which is both more literal and conveys the flavor of this common Tibetan term. I myself might have chosen 'wanderers' by itself, I think it is one of those rare cases where the English word is in this case perhaps even better in a way, in what it gives rise to in the mind of the reader, than the original term it translates.


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But it’s just more delusion, good for nothing goat-shit.
The oral instructions are very profound
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Ayu » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:59 am

Emakirikiri wrote:Any recommended translations?

In German I know three translations (but only one online). They differ very much, but for my taste It is good to read them all three. This is like 3D-viewing and deepens the topic. It leads away of the superficial understanding of the mere words and deepens the understanding.


http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav ... 05749.html
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Tom » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:03 am

Emakirikiri wrote:Any recommended translations? Is this accurate?

http://nyima108.blogspot.co.uk/2006/09/ ... urces.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I will give my summary first, in case people know even less Tibetan than I do, or don't want to go into the details.

If you wish to read a version that is close to the exact words of the Tibetan version (for the original Sanskrit we should open another thread) the best you could do, it seems to me, is choose Stephen Batchelor's version, or perhaps the Wallaces'. Stephen's is a bit nicer design-wise, I recall from glimpsing it, and is translated from the Tibetan, whereas the Wallaces' is transalted from Sanskrit and Tibetan, Sanskrit being more dominant but when the Tibetan has major differences a footnote lists the alternate translation.

If, however, you wish to read a standalone version in English, and you are willing to sacrifice considerable (but not fatal) accuracy in order to read a work that is superb and superior in and of itself in terms of poetical beauty, flow, and, as Will has said, 'Bodhicitta Vibes', I would go for the Padmakara group's work, which is also the most beautiful, by far, in its design and cover, especially the newer exquisite reddish-gold cover. In and of itself, I also like its title best, simple and pure.


So here is a more detailed report. Perhaps I have exaggerated in the details, but I became quite fascinated with it.


Stephen Batchelor's version - A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1979.

This was actually a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect from an old translation that was published in LTWA, when at that time the standards of translation weren't high and were (explicitly in most cases) interpretative, based on some of their other old editions I checked.

Furthermore, I didn't know what to expect form a person who, though a Tibetan tradition monk at the time of translating, later switched to Zen, then disrobed, then published a controversial book.

This version is in many ways the most simple, direct and faithful version, at least based on these three verses, from the three versions here (excluding the Wallaces') which were translated from the Tibetan alone (though consulting the Sanskrit and/or other translations from the Tibetan and Sanskrit many times).

One slight thing that bothered me just a little was that he translated 'gro ba as 'living beings' in verse #1, a bit clumsy to me. Another minor matter is that he extrapolated the 'all' those who remain in cyclic existence. The one thing that really bothered me was the fanciful 'receive Waves of joy' which is totally unrelated to the root text I have.


The Wallaces' version - A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, translated by Vesna A. Wallace and B. Alan Wallace, Snow Lion, 1997.

This version is actually primarily from Sanskrit, so I don't know how good it is for our specific purpose, though it states that it always consulted the Tibetan and when the Tibetan considerably differs brings an alternate translation of the verse in a footnote (which isn't a good idea, design-wise, imho).

A faithful and precise translation, it seems to me, based on these three verses. I found the use of 'joy and contentment' for bde dga' a little unwarranted, because I couldn't find 'contentment' for any one of these common Tibetan terms in themselves in the online dictionaries I checked (nor in the Illuminator, which I happily bought and downloaded today, which looks impressive but not comprehensive so far) and because all three other translations used 'joy' and 'happiness'. Another thing was that in the third verse they translated 'may the world attain...' which is a bit peculiar, I don't see any 'world', but rather just 'gro ba, but there might be a 'world' in the original Sanskrit, I don't know.


The Padmakara Group Version - The Way of the Bodhisattva, translated by Wulstan Fletcher, Shambhala, 1997.

I was actually a little disheartened after checking this version. It is the only version I fully read and the effect it had on me was profound. As a standalone version, it is a superb work of spiritual poetry, sublime, profound and astonishingly beautiful at one and the same time. It states in the introduction that it is not a word by word translation, but I didn't realize the extent of its stylistic rerendering, and it is a little bothering, though as a work-in-itself I still greatly prefer it to the other versions.

The many ways in which it differs from the source I have are numerous, but here are a few examples: 'the virtue I have now amassed': ammased is extrapolated, as far as I can tell (though I don't understand what rnam par does in the first verse, which seems to have been glossed over by all versions, I know its common usage, but can't make sense of it here, anyone?). Instead of 'oceans' (of joy and happiness) it has 'boundless measure', which is a bit strange considering that this is the most poetic of the translations I checked. In veres #3, in 'present joy', the 'present' is (perhaps understandably) extrapolated, and byang chub sems dpa' yi bde ba which is clearly 'bodhisattva's joy/happiness/bliss' translates as 'unsurpassed beatitude' which they may 'taste', which is perhaps good for non-Buddhists but a bit too personally- interpretatively-spelling-it-out for people who know what a Bodhisattva is, I think.

While this is the least faithful version word-wise, it is the only one who had both adjectives in the end, 'constant and unbroken'.


Alexander Berzin's version - The Berzin Archives, 2004.

This is the most interpretative and didactic of the versions, even after I have excluded (for reasons of space) the further interpretative additions in parentheses. At times it is a bit bizzare.

In verse #1 he adds 'my constructive act' (of having composed), which as far as I can tell is unwarranted and also somewhat his own idea. If by this he means to translate rnam par it is quite strange. Similarly, in verse #2 he gives 'Through the forces of my positive acts' for bsod nams kyis. As far as I can tell bsod nams is usually rendered as 'merit' or 'virtue', perhaps 'positive' is appropriate, but it can also mean mental 'actions' which isn't implied by Berzin's choice of English. This is a big difference, but of course I know next to nothing about Tibetan and will humbly stand corrected. 'forces' is also unwarranted in this case, though it could easily have been used had the common dbang appeared here, but it doesn't.

Furthermore, he also uses 'unsurpassed bliss' (though in parentheses he does add "bodhisattva's"), which is too far away from the literal to my mind, like Padmakara's.

One thing I did like was that he was the only one who used 'wandering beings' for 'gro ba, which is both more literal and conveys the flavor of this common Tibetan term. I myself might have chosen 'wanderers' by itself, I think it is one of those rare cases where the English word is in this case perhaps even better in a way, in what it gives rise to in the mind of the reader, than the original term it translates.


http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... pic=25284#" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


FWIW... I have found Batchelor's translation from the Tibetan is not so good, and the Wallace translation although better still has quite a few problematic translations of the Sanskrit.
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Will » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:03 pm

Here is a new (to me) commentary by a young Geshe from the FPMT Losang Dragpa center in Malaysia:

http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/Cttb_B ... mplete.pdf

The translation he uses is the 1997 Padmakara one.
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara.

Postby Will » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:45 pm

By the by, I only have the old Padmakara one. How do others compare and value the revised one versus the 1997 version?
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
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