Varis wrote: ↑Sat May 12, 2018 6:18 pm
Sennin wrote: ↑Sat May 12, 2018 12:38 am
I don't think anyone could just proclaim to be a paṇḍita though right? I read that was reserved for the Indians, and Tibetans were the lotsawas.
Pandita is a title for someone who has learned the five sciences, it's not an exclusively Indian title, Sakya Pandita was Tibetan. A Lotsawa is a translator, not the same as a Pandita.
Lotsa(wa) as a title is particularly used to refer to the realized Tibetans who went thru the vast undertaking of translating the Sutras and Tantras from Sanskrit into their native language. It even became part of their most commonly used names at times. Think Drokmi Lotsawa, Khye'u Chung Lotsawa, Marpa Lotsawa, etc.
Often this was done under the guidance of Indian panditas due to their extensive knowledge of Sanskrit, which is why you'll see the two terms used in conjunction. As Varis points out, pandita is not the Sanskrit for lotsawa, nor was it restricted to ethnic Indians.
Though there is some uncertainty about its origins, lotsawa is actually said to derive from Sanskrit lochava
, itself a corruption of lokacakṣus
, which literally means "eye(s) of the world." This can be used to refer to the Sun, so perhaps "one who illuminates the teachings" was the original intent there. I, however, always thought of it being somewhat like "citizen of the world"... a beautiful, poetic way of referring to those who are well-traveled, and broad-minded as a result.
At one point I thought that lotsawa was the general term for translator, even modern ones who are not themselves masters. Very few out there use it as a title however, probably due to the historical connotation. There are exceptions to this, of course, such as the translator for Khentrul Lodrö T'hayé Rinpoche. I've heard of others using the title being met with some derision and suspicion (though they were already noted for having odd/disturbing/harmful behavior).
Terms used nowadays are "kegyur (khen)" སྐད་སྒྱུར་(མཁན་)
and "yikgyur(wa)" ཡིག་སྒྱུར་(བ་)
or "yikgyur jepo/chepo" ཡིག་སྒྱུར་བྱེད་པོ་
. As i was taught, སྐད་
("ke") refers to spoken words, whereas ཡིག་
("yik") is written words. This would make a kegyur an oral translator (interpreter) and a yikgyur a translator of texts.
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme