community/compassion etc

community/compassion etc

Postby mettafou » Sun May 16, 2010 10:51 pm

since this is central to ch'an what are some chinese texts on this? any available online? thank you.
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby Huifeng » Mon May 17, 2010 4:07 am

mettafou wrote:since this is central to ch'an what are some chinese texts on this? any available online? thank you.


Anything that leads to aspiration of bodhicitta (aspiration to attain awakening) is useful here. For example, the Diamond Sutra, very commonly studied in Chan.

You may wish to also check out Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) Bodhisattva, from the Great Compassion Dharani, which is found in the Great Compassion Repentance, to simply reciting the name "Namo Guanyin Pusa" (= Homage to the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara).
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby mettafou » Mon May 17, 2010 6:52 am

Anything that leads to aspiration of bodhicitta (aspiration to attain awakening) is useful here. For example, the Diamond Sutra, very commonly studied in Chan.

can you recommend any online translations?
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby Astus » Mon May 17, 2010 7:06 am

I like to use this translation of the Diamond Sutra. But there are many others online.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby Huifeng » Mon May 17, 2010 8:20 am

mettafou wrote:
Anything that leads to aspiration of bodhicitta (aspiration to attain awakening) is useful here. For example, the Diamond Sutra, very commonly studied in Chan.

can you recommend any online translations?


Astus has pointed to Chuck Muller's, which is from Kumarajiva. It's pretty good. Although I have been going around with the Skt in my backpack for the past few months, if you are interested in Chan, then Kumarajiva's translation is the one to use. If I recite, I recite Kumarajiva's. If I study, then I read them all, Sanskrit first! haha.

Recently I taught a semester on the Diamond Sutra at our Foguang Shan center in Hong Kong, Kowloon side. I've been giving special emphasis to the vows at the start of the sutra. In Muller's translation, it is this part:

3. The Bodhisattva's Vow

The Buddha said to Subhūti: "The bodhisattvas and mahāsattvas should subdue their thoughts like this: All the different types of sentient beings, whether they be born from eggs, born from a womb, born from moisture or born spontaneously; whether or not they have form; whether they abide in perceptions or no perceptions; or without either perceptions or non-perceptions, I save them by causing them to enter nirvana without remainder. And when these immeasurable, countless, infinite number of sentient beings have been liberated, in actuality, no sentient being has attained liberation. Why is this so? Subhūti, If a bodhisattva abides in the signs of self, person, sentient being, or life-span, she or he is not a bodhisattva."


The "All ... sentient beings ... I save them by causing them to enter nirvana without remainder" is the part I call "bodhicitta with signs". It has the signs of a living being to be saved, and a bodhisattva who saves them. This perspective helps arise compassion and strong motivation.

The "And when these ... sentient beings have been liberated, in actuality, no sentient being has attained liberation ..." is the part I call "bodhicitta without signs". No perception of a living being to be saved, or a bodhisattva to save them. This is the arising of wisdom, the wisdom of emptiness or not self.

Muller uses the term "sign", as do I, although other versions of the text, including the Skt, use the term "samjna" = "perception". The difference is not that great. Based on a sign one arises a perception, or rather, when one has a perception one assumes that there is a sign. I used to make a big deal out of the difference, but nowadays I've come to see the meaning behind this, not just the words.

This vow - bodhicitta - is the true compassion. All the other compassionate activities of a bodhisattva are based on this.
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby Indrajala » Mon May 17, 2010 8:32 am

Huifeng wrote:Astus has pointed to Chuck Muller's, which is from Kumarajiva. It's pretty good. Although I have been going around with the Skt in my backpack for the past few months, if you are interested in Chan, then Kumarajiva's translation is the one to use. If I recite, I recite Kumarajiva's. If I study, then I read them all, Sanskrit first! haha.


Venerable are you making use of this compilation?

http://dharmasound.net/Chanting/Sanskri ... 0sutra.pdf

Ven. Dhammapala's .pdf files are very useful. I already used his arrangement of the Heart Sutra and part of the Amitabha Sutra.
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby Huifeng » Mon May 17, 2010 10:35 am

The compiler mentioned above, Bhante Dhammapala, was my Skt tutor and classmate here. He compiled that file, and the others, for Bhante Dhammajoti's Skt classes, years ago. I have those files. But, like a lot of these sorts of digital things, a lot of typos creep in. And in Skt, a little typo can have big changes in meaning. So I use Conze's printed edition of the Vajra- and translation.
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Re: community/compassion etc

Postby Indrajala » Mon May 17, 2010 10:50 am

Huifeng wrote:The compiler mentioned above, Bhante Dhammapala, was my Skt tutor and classmate here. He compiled that file, and the others, for Bhante Dhammajoti's Skt classes, years ago. I have those files. But, like a lot of these sorts of digital things, a lot of typos creep in. And in Skt, a little typo can have big changes in meaning. So I use Conze's printed edition of the Vajra- and translation.


If you have the chance, tell him some random canuck Buddhist in Japan appreciates his efforts and thanks him for his work! :smile:
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