Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

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Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby Huifeng » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:25 am

Hi,

Quick question, anyone give me a brief of the passage in Candrakīrti’s Madhyāmakāvatāra where he talks about Nāgārjuna? ie. the Licchavi youth named "Priyadarśināṃ", etc.

It cites the Lankāvatāra, which is Vaidya, pg. 102: “… sarvasattvaikaputrakapriyadarśināṃ bodhisattvānāṃ mahāsattvānamiti vadāmi||”.

Mainly I'm looking for a reference for the passage, and the name of the Licchavi youth, his later incarnation as a bhikṣu and the world system (*Pariśuddhi-prabhāsa ?)

Although the text I'm translating says it's Candrakīrti’s Madhyāmakāvatāra (in Chinese translation from the Tibetan), but I actually suspect that it may be from Tsong Khapa’s commentary on it, Clarifying the Intent, The Extensive Explanation of the Madhyamakāvatāra Śāstra (Tib: dbu ma la 'jug pa' i rgya cher bshad pa dgongs pa rab gsal.)

But, if it's in the original itself, then all the better (though I already quickly checked the Sanskrit and couldn't find it anywhere!)

Thanks in advance!

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby tantular » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:25 am

The passage (according to the ACIP, folio 245a in Derge):

CI STE RE ZHIG 'PHAGS PA KLU SGRUB DE NYID LA LUNG PHYIN
CI MA LOG PAR NGES PA CI LTAR YOD CE NA, LUNG LAS SHES TE, JI
LTAR 'PHAGS PA LANG KAR GSHEGS PA LAS, LHO PHYOGS BE TA'I YUL
DU NI, ,DGE

SLONG DPAL LDAN CHER GRAGS PA, ,DE MING KLU ZHES BOD PA STE,
,YOD DANG MED PA'I PHYOGS 'JIG PA, ,NGA YI THEG PA 'JIG RTEN DU,
,BLA MED THEG CHEN RAB BSTAN NAS, ,RAB TU DGA' BA'I SA BSGRUBS
TE, ,BDE BA CAN DU DE 'GRO'O, ,ZHES GSUNGS PA DANG, YANG 'PHAGS
PA SPRIN CHEN

PO STONG PHRAG BCU GNYIS PA LAS KYANG, KUN DGA' BO LI TZTSA B'I
GZHON NU SEMS CAN THAMS CAD KYIS MTHONG NA DGA' BA ZHES BYA BA
'DI NI NGA MYA NGAN LAS 'DAS NAS LO BZHI BRGYA LON PA NA KLU
ZHES BYA BA'I DGE SLONG DU GYUR NAS NGA'I BSTAN PA RGYAS PAR RAB
TU BSTAN TE, MTHAR GYIS RAB TU DANG

BA'I 'OD CES BYA BA'I 'JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS SU DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA
DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA'I SANGS RGYAS YE SHES 'BYUNG
GNAS 'OD CES BYA BAR 'GYUR RO ZHES GSUNGS SO, ,DE'I PHYIR 'DIS
LUNG PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR NGES PAR GRUB BO

The quote about the Licchavi youth is ascribed to the Mahāmegha sūtra, not the Lankāvatāra.
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Re: Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby Huifeng » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:28 am

Thank you, Tantular.

Yeah, the passage that I'm working on also mentions the Mahamegha.
I wonder if they got their wires crossed ...

Any pointers for a translation from this Tibetan? eg. one which references the Derge #.

And, is this Candrakirti, or Tsong Khapa in the end?

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby tantular » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:57 am

Just the quote from the Mahāmegha:

YANG 'PHAGS PA SPRIN CHEN PO STONG PHRAG BCU GNYIS PA LAS KYANG, KUN DGA' BO LI TZTSA B'I
GZHON NU SEMS CAN THAMS CAD KYIS MTHONG NA DGA' BA ZHES BYA BA
'DI NI NGA MYA NGAN LAS 'DAS NAS LO BZHI BRGYA LON PA NA KLU
ZHES BYA BA'I DGE SLONG DU GYUR NAS NGA'I BSTAN PA RGYAS PAR RAB
TU BSTAN TE, MTHAR GYIS RAB TU DANG BA'I 'OD CES BYA BA'I 'JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS SU DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA
DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA'I SANGS RGYAS YE SHES 'BYUNG
GNAS 'OD CES BYA BAR 'GYUR RO ZHES GSUNGS SO,

As it is also said in the 12,000 Mahāmegha-sūtra: "Oh Ānanda, after 400 years have passed from my parinirvāṇa, a Licchavi youth named *Sarvasattvapriyadarśa, having become a monk named *Nāga, will widely spread my teachings. Eventually he will become a tathāgata, bhagavan, samyaksambuddha *Jñānākaraprabha in the world system *Prasannaprabhā.

this is from the auto-commentary, not Tsongkhapa.
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Re: Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby Huifeng » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:04 pm

Great stuff, thank you very much!

And by the way, in the Lanka, the name is "Sarvasattvapriyadarśin".

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby tantular » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:18 am

Reconstructing Sanskrit out of Tibetan is not an exact science. mthong na dga' ba could be both priyadarśa and priyadarśana (on second thought darśana is more likely), but probably not priyadarśin. The first two are not synonymous with the latter. priyadarśa(na) is a bahuvrīhi meaning "He whose appearance is pleasing," whereas priyadarśin is a tatpuruṣa meaning "He who looks lovingly."

The vigraha of the Lankāvatāra quote sarvasattvaikaputrakapriyadarśināṃ would be: sarvasattvān ekaputrakam iva priyeṇa darśinas teṣām "of those who look lovingly upon all beings as an only son" (intended as an adjective describing bodhisattvānāṃ mahāsattvānām, and probably not a proper name at all). The Tibetan sems can thams cad kyis mthong na dga' ba can't have that meaning, because it's all beings who are looking at the bodhisattva (& finding him delightful), not the bodhisattva looking at all beings.

I also should have mentioned that Candrakīrti cites both the Lankāvatāra and the Mahāmegha. In his Lankāvatāra quote, Nāgārjuna's described as LHO PHYOGS BE TA'I YUL DU NI, ,DGE SLONG DPAL LDAN CHER GRAGS PA, ,DE MING KLU ZHES BOD PA STE

In the south, in the Veta country, there will be a monk renowned as *Mahāśrīmat [or: a gloriously renowned monk—it's ambiguous whether dpal ldan cher is a proper name or an adverb modifying grags pa]; he will be called "Nāga" ...

All the other names I reconstructed were also just the first thing that came to mind, don't take them too seriously. The name of the world system rab tu dang ba'i 'od in particular could be many things in Sanskrit.
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Re: Candrakīrti’s Nāgārjuna in Madhyāmakāvatāra

Postby Huifeng » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:06 am

Hi,

Yeah, I just got back to my original translation to make some updates from your comments and posts. Surprisingly, while I was translating into English from a modern (~ 100 yrs ago) translation into Mandarin Chinese from the Sanskrit, my English was 80% word for word the same as yours, and the only differences being minor grammatical stuff. The Sanskrit back translations are more tricky, as you note. The compound "sarvasattvapriyadarśin" (or whatever) could in the Chinese also possibly be just an epithet rather than a name per se. Actually, I find that this is a common problem - where the Sanskrit, if we have any, is clearly just an adjective (of whatever sort) for a given person, the Chinese will often render it into a proper name of sorts. This is further compounded in English translations, when we leave what we believe to be proper names in Sanskrit (or whatever) and because most can't actually read the Sanskrit itself, it sticks as a name thereafter.

Anyway, thanks for your help. My translation is now somewhat more accurate, and the footnote more helpful and accurate, too.

~~ Huifeng
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