27 May 2013
06 May 2013
24 March 2013
"Words from early-stage pidgins consist largely of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, with few or no articles, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, or pronouns. As for grammar, early-stage pidgin discourse typically consist of short strings of words with little phrase construction, no regularity in word order, no subordinate clauses, and no inflectional endings on words." Jared Diamond. The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanazee p.142.Cf this dhāraṇi from the Saddharmapuṇḍarikā Sūtra:
Anye manye mane mamane citte carite same samita viśānte muke muktame same avishame samasame jaye kṣāye akṣāye akṣaīne śānte samite dhāraṇī ālokabhāshe pratyavekṣāṇi nidhiru abhyan taranivishṇe abhyantarapāriśuddhi utkule mutkule araṭe paraṭe sukāṅkṣaī asamasame buddhavilokite dharmaparīkṣaite saṃghanirghoshaṇi nirghoshanī bhayā-bhayaviśodhani mantre mantrākṣāyate rule rutakauśalye akṣāye akṣāyavanatāye vakkule valoda amanyanatāye svāhā.Diamond's description of early-stage pidgins is a pretty good description of the strings of words found in dhāraṇīs. Make of that what you will.
17 December 2012
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This is the Heart Sutra manuscript I'm currently working on: Cambridge Ms. No ADD 1680 - part of a large bundle of leaves. It's probably from the 13th century which makes it one of the oldest Heart Sutra ms. still extant. It's written in black ink which is faded in places, on a talipot palm leaf. The writing is one the Nepalese 'hooked' scripts (probably Bhujimol I think).
Unfortunately the first page is missing, but it is still an interesting specimen. It's been very difficult to decipher at times - one has to look for familiar landmarks like 'evaṃ' or 'prajñāpāramitā' and then deduce from there, though in the end I wasn't guessing most of the syllables.
This is not one of the basic mss. that Conze used in his 1948 Critical edition, but he does cite it in the 1967 versions - albeit somewhat speculatively at times. He refers to it as Nk.
12 December 2012
I'll be leading a day of study on the Heart Sutra on 30 Dec at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre. 10-4. All welcome.
06 December 2012
I spent the day transcribing the Heart Sutra found in this manuscript. There really are more than one Heart Sutra - and more than the long and short text as well. This is a variant on the long text.
Ca. 1677 CE. Gold ink on black. Ranjana script. Approx 24 x 7.6 cm. No title. Contains the Heart Sutra along with other dhāraṇī texts (which is where we mostly find the HS in these ms.s). This ms is unusual in that it expands the contractions we normally associate with the HS.
20 May 2012
homage to the Saṅgha
30 January 2012
17 January 2012
16 January 2012
* na maḥ sa rva jñā ya a ryā va lo ki te śva ra bo dhi sa ttva ga mbhī raṃ pra jña
* namaḥ sarvajñāya - homage to the all knowing
aryāvalokiteśvara bodhisattva gambhiraṃ prajña[pāramitā ca]
ryāṃ ca ra mā ṇo vya va lo ka ya ti sma paṃ ca ska ndhaḥ tāṃ śca sva bhā va...
[ca]ryāṃ caramāno vyavalokayati sma pañca skandhaḥ tāṃś ca svabhāva [śūnyān paśyati sma]
The Bodisattva Avalokiteśvara coursing in the course of perfect wisdom, beheld the five skandhas and saw them as empty of independent existence.