PDA

View Full Version : Buddhist philology and the Heart Sutra



Aloka
01 Jul 17, 10:42
This is a rather long article from Jayarava's Raves with the title: "The Heart Sutra and the Crisis in Buddhist Philology."

http://jayarava.blogspot.co.uk/

If you have any comments please quote the section/s you are refering to.


:hands:

srivijaya
04 Jul 17, 14:27
This is a rather long article from Jayarava's Raves with the title: "The Heart Sutra and the Crisis in Buddhist Philology."

http://jayarava.blogspot.co.uk/

If you have any comments please quote the section/s you are refering to.


:hands:

As the Heart Sutra was my gateway into Buddhism I re-visit it from time to time. I found this to be a brilliant and thought-provoking article which covers a lot of interesting points.

His refutation of the assumption that there is a pure ur-text and that the Sanskrit version is revealed by recent scholarship to be a rather poor translation is refreshing and opens up a world of possibilities.

It seems to be a conclusion shared in part by Thich Nhat Hanh. Amongst his reasons for translating this work, we read:


Thay needs to make this new translation of the Heart Sutra because the patriarch who originally compiled the Heart Sutra was not sufficiently skilful enough with his use of language. This has resulted in much misunderstanding for almost 2,000 years.
https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

There was one portion of the article where I didn’t understand the point he was making:

On the other hand, no one really seems to explain why the positive identity (form is emptiness) logically implies the negation of, for example, the Four Noble Truths. If "form is emptiness" then the Four Noble Truths are naturally*affirmed rather than negated. I think however that Buddhists get a little frisson of excitement seeing their central doctrine being dismissed. They assume that it must be very profound indeed. Yet if someone outside Buddhism was to simply deny the Four Noble Truths, no doubt they would defend them to the hilt.
I’m not sure why ‘form is emptiness’ either implies the negation of the four noble truths, naturally affirms them or even dismisses them. My brain cells not up to the task I suspect.