Huseng wrote: Will wrote:
Huifeng wrote:The Kosa is a large and complex text. It requires some method in studying it. One really can't just open at page one, and take it from there. (Well, okay one can, but realistically speaking, how far will that go?)
Do you have a guide to lead through the key points, so that things don't get bogged down in inessentials and difficult areas?
As a Bhikshu you probably have some ideas or maybe even a text that gives a way to handle all the information. I have tried to read it from page one, but gad, what a tremendous amount of difficult-ness.
Namdrol started an online study of it, but never followed through. Wonder what he is up to now?
That's a good question...
Venerable Huifeng, is there a way students in the monastery approach the text?
We don't study this at my monastery, but only at post-grad level, maybe. But the way to approach any such text, is under the direct guidance of a teacher who has studied that text in depth. That's the point I was hoping to make.
At my university we just take a chapter and read it from the first page together in the Sanskrit with reference to multiple translation including Paramartha and Xuanzang. We're pretty much expected to prepare everything on our own.
Do you really think that this method is the best way to do it online? Don't mean to rain on the party, but ... for ex. how many read Skt and Chinese here?
Maybe first try to find a modern book that covers some key points. And / or, perhaps focus on just one issue (not necessarily starting from pg. 1). Chp. 9 may be good in this regard.
If you just start from pg. 1, and work from there, after a year or two, you'll still just be looking at the dhatus. That'll miss such key points as the whole structure of the text, which follows the four aryan truths.
There are some other texts earlier than the Kosa, on which it was actually modeled, such as the Amrta-rasa, etc. They are smaller, more concise, to the point, less technical arguments. Ven Prof Dhammajoti has translated one of them, Abhidharma-avatara. http://www.hku.hk/buddhism/Publication_new.html
There is also an English version of Ghosaka's Amrtarasa, La Saveur de L'Immortel, by Jose Van Den Broeck here: http://www.gampoabbey.org/translations2 ... ations.htm
The actual translation is just over 100 pg, much more digestible than 4 vols!! Not as good a translation as Pruden, but still ...
Though, slightly different, but even more accessible, how about kicking into something like Vasubandhu's Pancaskandha-prakarana first of all? A short warm up, before some serious Abhidharmafication? You can Google Books for Seven works of Vasubandhu, the Buddhist psychological doctor, Vasubandhu,Stefan Anacker, pp. 49-82. There may be other copies around, too.
Oh, earlier you made the comment about using Asanga. I guess you mean the Samuccaya, right? Though this also follows a basic Abhidharma approach, keep in mind that it is an early Yogacara text. As such, it has Alayavijnana, and other different types of dharmas. I'd go for something straight Abhidharma first, then when you get the gist of that, read the Karmasiddhiprakarana, and then check out Asanga and Vasubandhu's Yogacara works. It'll make more sense that way, a gradual build up.