Sukhavativyuha Dharani

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Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby mingxin » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:31 am

Hello everyone,

I searched around to make sure this wasn't posted already- hopefully I was correct.
I am putting together an English liturgy for our English-speaking dharma group, however I am pulling this together from a Vietnamese liturgy book (I live at a Vietnamese temple). I have a good deal of it translated, either from my own understanding, or Vietnamese -> Chinese -> English...
Anyway, my last piece is the Sukhavativyuha Dharani:
namo amitābhāya tathāgatāya tadyathā
amṛtabhave amṛtasaṃbhave
amṛtavikrānte amṛtavikrāntagāmini
gagana kīrtīchare svāhā

With what Sanskrit I know, I can glean some of the meaning, but can anyone offer a good English translation/approximation? Your help is far more appreciated than you know.

(P.S. I did try googling the b'jesus out of this, and either I fail at the internet, or this is the hardest dharani to find a translation for).

A di đà Phật

Minh Tâm/Ming Xin
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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby plwk » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:25 am

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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby Huifeng » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:14 am

mingxin wrote:Hello everyone,

I searched around to make sure this wasn't posted already- hopefully I was correct.
I am putting together an English liturgy for our English-speaking dharma group, however I am pulling this together from a Vietnamese liturgy book (I live at a Vietnamese temple). I have a good deal of it translated, either from my own understanding, or Vietnamese -> Chinese -> English...
Anyway, my last piece is the Sukhavativyuha Dharani:
namo amitābhāya tathāgatāya tadyathā
amṛtabhave amṛtasaṃbhave
amṛtavikrānte amṛtavikrāntagāmini
gagana kīrtīchare svāhā

With what Sanskrit I know, I can glean some of the meaning, but can anyone offer a good English translation/approximation? Your help is far more appreciated than you know.

(P.S. I did try googling the b'jesus out of this, and either I fail at the internet, or this is the hardest dharani to find a translation for).

A di đà Phật

Minh Tâm/Ming Xin



Hi,

My own version is:

曩(nǎ) 謨(mó) 阿(ā) 彌(mí) 多(duō) 婆(pó) 夜(yè)
Homage to Amitābha Buddha!
哆(duō) 他(tā) 伽(qiē) 哆(duō) 夜(yè) 哆(duō) 地(dì) 夜(yè) 他(tā)
The Thus Gone One! It goes thus:
阿(ā) 彌(mí) 唎(lī) 都(dōu) 婆(pó) 毘(pí)
To the essence of the Deathless Ambrosia (Amṛta)!
阿(ā) 彌(mí) 唎(lī) 哆(duō) 悉(xī) 耽(dān) 婆(pó) 毘(pí)
To the essence of the accomplished Deathless Ambrosia (Amṛta)!
阿(ā) 彌(mí) 唎(lī) 哆(duō) 毘(pí) 迦(jiā) 蘭(lán) 帝(dì)
To the transcendent Deathless Ambrosia (Amṛta)!
阿(ā) 彌(mí) 唎(lī) 哆(duō) 毘(pí) 迦(jiā) 蘭(lán) 多(duō) 伽(qiē) 彌(mí) 膩(nì)
To the transcendent path of the Deathless Ambrosia (Amṛta)!
伽(qiē) 伽(qiē) 那(nà) 枳(zhǐ) 多(duō) 迦(jiā) 利(lì) 娑(suō) 婆(pó) 訶(hē)
To that which is as resplendent as the firmament! Hail!

My English translation is from the Sanskrit.

However, I really need to go back and check out Tony Lin's studies on this, to make sure that I've got it spot on.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby tantular » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:21 pm

namo amitābhāya tathāgatāya tadyathā
amṛtabhave amṛtasaṃbhave
amṛtavikrānte amṛtavikrāntagāmini
gagana kīrtīchare svāhā


All the words following tadyathā are feminine vocatives, *not* masculine locatives (somehow read in a dative sense), as Huifeng has interpreted them. This is a very common feature in Buddhist mantras: the dhāraṇī consists almost entirely of titles of the dhāraṇī itself (dhāraṇī or vidyā being feminine words).

I would translate the dhāraṇī as:

Homage to the Thus-Gone-One Amitābha, [the dhāraṇī is] as follows: Oh [Dhāraṇī] Born from Ambrosia, Arisen from Ambrosia, Surpassing Ambrosia, Reaching Beyond Ambrosia, Moving in the Resplendence of the Sky !

The final line should also be corrected to gaganakīrticare svāhā.
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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby Huifeng » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:45 am

tantular wrote:
namo amitābhāya tathāgatāya tadyathā
amṛtabhave amṛtasaṃbhave
amṛtavikrānte amṛtavikrāntagāmini
gagana kīrtīchare svāhā


All the words following tadyathā are feminine vocatives, *not* masculine locatives (somehow read in a dative sense), as Huifeng has interpreted them. This is a very common feature in Buddhist mantras: the dhāraṇī consists almost entirely of titles of the dhāraṇī itself (dhāraṇī or vidyā being feminine words).

I would translate the dhāraṇī as:

Homage to the Thus-Gone-One Amitābha, [the dhāraṇī is] as follows: Oh [Dhāraṇī] Born from Ambrosia, Arisen from Ambrosia, Surpassing Ambrosia, Reaching Beyond Ambrosia, Moving in the Resplendence of the Sky !

The final line should also be corrected to gaganakīrticare svāhā.


Thank you very, very much for the correction! :smile:
My skills in this area are now where near ideal.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby urgyen » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:25 pm

This sanskrit version of the Subkhavati Dharani does seem to be quite widespread. However, the dharani given in the Taisho and that listed in my copy of the 佛會課誦 are identical and slightly different from what the sansrkit would suggest.

Does anyone have a clear reference to this dharani in Sanskrit sources?

Thanks
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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby Will » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:32 pm

tantular wrote:
namo amitābhāya tathāgatāya tadyathā
amṛtabhave amṛtasaṃbhave
amṛtavikrānte amṛtavikrāntagāmini
gagana kīrtīchare svāhā


All the words following tadyathā are feminine vocatives, *not* masculine locatives (somehow read in a dative sense), as Huifeng has interpreted them. This is a very common feature in Buddhist mantras: the dhāraṇī consists almost entirely of titles of the dhāraṇī itself (dhāraṇī or vidyā being feminine words).

I would translate the dhāraṇī as:

Homage to the Thus-Gone-One Amitābha, [the dhāraṇī is] as follows: Oh [Dhāraṇī] Born from Ambrosia, Arisen from Ambrosia, Surpassing Ambrosia, Reaching Beyond Ambrosia, Moving in the Resplendence of the Sky !

The final line should also be corrected to gaganakīrticare svāhā.


Confusion arises again... If this verse is about the Dharani, then what IS the Dharani?

I would have thought that it was Amitabha that is 'born from amrita' etc.
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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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby Will » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:24 pm

Bumping this thread up in hopes of an answer to my question - right above this post.
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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Re: Sukhavativyuha Dharani

Postby tantular » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:48 pm

Will wrote:Confusion arises again... If this verse is about the Dharani, then what IS the Dharani?

I would have thought that it was Amitabha that is 'born from amrita' etc.


Yeah the circularity of it is a little confusing: IMO the whole thing's the dhāraṇī, but it consists almost entirely of a list of descriptions "about" itself.

This basic structure is a common feature in Buddhist mantras/dhāraṇīs, for example the Heart Sūtra mantra gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā also consists entirely of feminine vocatives, describing Prajñāpāramitā. For the Mother of the Buddhas, the feminine vocative endings make sense and need no further explanation.

But feminine vocatives also occur in the mantras of male deities, most famously in oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ. Grammatically, this can't possibly mean "jewel in the lotus", but must be a feminine vocative "Oh Jewel-Lotus!" Some scholars speculate that this means the mantra must have originally belonged to a female deity and was later appropriated by Avalokiteśvara, or that he was originally a female bodhisattva.

IMHO, the simpler solution is that mantras of this type aren't addressed to the buddha or bodhisattva in question himself, but are descriptions of the dhāraṇī/vidyā (which are feminine words, and in most kriya tantras more commonly used than the masculine word "mantra"). But it's probably best not to worry too much about the grammatical meaning of mantras.

This dhāraṇī isn't included in the standard Sanskrit editions of either the short or long Sukhāvatīvyūha-sūtra. I'm not sure where it comes from, & can't vouch for its authenticity, so all the feminine vocatives could also just be a transliteration mistake.
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