31 October 2015

Mūlamadhyamaka-Kārika 17.6


tiṣṭhaty ā pākakālāc cet karma tan nityatām iyāt |
niruddhaṃ cen niruddhaṃ sat kiṃ phalaṃ janayiṣyati ||

If an action persists till the time of ripening, that would be permanence.
If it has ceased, then being ceased, what fruit will be produced?

This verse from Nāgārjuna's Mulamadhyamaka-Kārikā (MMK 17.6) is important because it shows that the standard versions of pratītyasamutpāda and karma are mutually contradictory. Pratītyasamutpāda says the conditioned cannot persist after the condition has ceased (asya nirodhād idam nirudhyate) while karma requires the conditioned arise long after the condition has ceased. This problem, which I call Action at a Temporal Distance, drives a good deal of innovation the Abhidharma period and after as Buddhists realise the problem exists and try to invent ways around it. For some descriptions of this problem and the proposed solutions, see my collection of essays on karma and rebirth.

28 October 2015

Sanskrit Pratītyasamutpāda (Dependent Arising) Formula


yaduta asmin satīdaṃ bhavaty
asyotpadād idam utpadyate |
yaduta asmin asatīdaṃ na bhavaty
asya nirodhād idaṃ nirudhyate ||


यदुतास्मिन्सतीदं भवत्यस्योत्पदादिदमुत्पद्यते ।
यदुतास्मिनसतीदं न भवत्यास्य निरोधादिदं निरुध्यते ॥




26 October 2015

Pratītyasamutpāda in Sanskrit

A photo posted by jayarava (@jayarava) on

17 October 2015

dhiḥmma


dhiḥmma 

Seed syllable of the 
Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya (Heart Sutra)
combines dhiḥ and mma 
with short i as per modern 
Shingon interpretations

27 September 2015

The Heart Sūtra in Devanāgarī

       न          म          स्स        र्व          ज्ञा         य          ॥      
     सि         द्ध          म          स्रु          ॥          आ         र्या         व          लो       
कि         ते          श्व         रो         बो         धि         स          त्वो        ग          म्भी      
रं          प्र          ज्ञ          पा         र          मि         ता         च          र्यां         च         
र          मा         णो        व्य         व          लो        क          य          ति         स्म       
प          ञ्च         स्क        न्धां       स्तां       श्च         श्व         भा        व          शू         
न्या        न्प         श्य         ति         स्म        ।           इ          ह          शा        रि        
पु          त्र          रू          पं          शू          न्य         ता         शू          न्य         तै         
व          रू          पं          रू          पा         न्न          पृ          थ          क्          श         
न्य         ता         शू          न्य         ता         या         न          पृ          थ          ग्रू         
पं                                         मे                    वे                    ना         सं         
ज्ञ          सं          स्का       रो         वि         ज्ञ          नं          ।           इ          ह         
शा        रि         पु          त्र          स          र्व          ध          र्माः        शू          न्य        
ता         ल          क्ष          णा        अ          नु          त्प         न्ना        अ          नि        
रु          द्धा        अ          म          ला        अ          वि         म          ला        अ         
नू          ना         अ          प          रि         पू          र्णाः       ।           त          स्मा      
च्छा       रि         पु          त्र          शू          न्य         ता         यां         न          रू         
पं          न          वे          द          ना         न          सं          ज्ञा         न          सं         
स्का       राः        न          वि         ज्ञा         नं          ।           न          च          क्षु         
र्न          श्रो        त्रं          न          घ्रा         नं          न          जि        ह्वा       न         
का         यो                             नः                              रू          पं                   
श          ब्दो        न          ग          न्दो        न          र          सो         न          स्प्र        
ष्ट          व्य         न          ध          र्मः         ।           न          च          क्षू          र्धा        
तु          र्या         व          न्न          मा         नो         वि         ज्ञ          न          धा        
तुः         ।           ना         वि         द्या        ना         वि         द्या        क्ष          यो        
या         व          न्न          ज          रा         म          र          णं          न          ज         
रा         म          र          ण          क्ष          यो         ।           न          दुः         खो       
न          स          मु          द          यो         न          नि         रो         धो         न         
मा         र्गः         ।           न          ज्ञ          नं       न          प्रा         प्तिः        ।          
त          स्मा       च्छा       रि         पु          तर        अ          प्रा         प्ति         त्वा       
द्बो         धि                   त्व         स्य         प्र          ज्ञा         पा         रा         मि        
ता         मा         श्रि        त्य         वि         ह          र          त्य         चि        त्ता       
व          र          णः         ।           चि        त्ता        व          र          ण          ना        
स्ति       त्वा        द          त्र          स्त्रो        वि         प          र्या         सा         ति        
क्रा         न्तो        नि         र्वा         ण          प          र्य          व          सा         नं      
।           त्र्य         ध्व         व्य         च          स्थि       ताः        स          र्व          बु         
द्धाः       प्र          ज्ञ          पा         र          मि         ता         मा         श्रि        त्य        
अ          नु          त्त          रां         स          म्य         क्स        म्बो       धि         म         
भि        स          म्बु         द्धाः       ।           त          स्मा       ज्          ज्ञ          त         
व्यं      प्र          ज्ञा         पा         र          मि         ता         म          हा         वि        
द्या                  नु          त्त                    वि         द्या                                      
स          म          वि         द्या        स          र्व          दुः         ख          प्र          श         
म          नः         स          म्य         क्त्वा      मि         थ्या       त्व         त्          ।          
प्र          ज्ञ          पा         र          मि         ता         या         मु          क्तो        धा        
र          णी        त          द्य         था         ।           ग          ते          ग          ते         
पा         र          ग          ते          पा         र          सं          ग          ते          बो        
धि         स्वा       हा         ॥          प्र          ज्ञ          पा         र          मि         ता        

हृ          द          यं          स          मा         प्तं       ॥          ]         ॥

[my modified text]

26 September 2015

More page updates

oṃ namo mahāguru vairocana vajra

A Sanskrit translation of the hōgō mantra of Kūkai. Also updated recently VairocanaAkṣobhya, Ratnasambhava, AmitābhaAcala Vidyārāja - Fudō Myōō (不動明王).

25 September 2015

Article on Dhāraṇī


Copp, Paul. (2008) Notes on the term “Dhāraṇī” in medieval Chinese Buddhist thought.  Bulletin of SOAS, 71, 3 , 493–508. https://www.academia.edu/463410/Notes_on_the_term_Dh%C4%81ra%E1%B9%87%C4%AB_in_medieval_Chinese_Buddhist_thought

Abstract
"Dhāraṇī", with its many cognates in Chinese and other languages, is one of the most complex terms in Buddhism. Particular shadings of the tradition’s notions of memory, meaning, and meditation, as well as specific kinds of incantations and mnemonic devices, all fall within what can seem a rather bewildering semantic range. However, the logic of the term is consistent over a wide range of sources, though Western treatments have often been misleading. It is usually claimed that the basic practical significance of "dhāraṇī" is either memory orientation. Yet Chinese sources make clear that each of these understandings overly privileges a narrow band of the term’s usage. Understanding that the basic practical sense of "dhāraṇī" was "grasp", not memory or spells, illuminates connections within a range of sources, from doctrinal treatments to injunctions to "hold" dhāraṇī-incantations in mind and, indeed, on the body encountered in texts of various kinds.

24 September 2015

akaro mantra


oṃ akāro mukhaṃ sarvadharmāṇāṃ ādyanutpannatvāt āḥ hūṃ phaṭ svāhā


This mantra has a fascinating history that ties into the Arapacana alphabet. Without the magic bits it says akāro mukhaṃ sarvadharmāṇāṃ ādyanutpannatvāt.

The letter "a" (akāro) is an opening (mukhaṃ) because of the originate state of non-arising (ādyanutpannatvāt) of all dharmas (sarvadharmāṇāṃ).

In this case the letter "a" (a-kāra) reminds us of the word anutpanna 'unarisen' (an-ut-panna). And the word itself is the focus for a reflection on the nature of dharmas from a Prajñāpāramitā point of view. Because dharmas are the objects of the manas (mind sense) they are neither existent (astitā) nor non-existent (nāstitā). They arise and pass away. In denying that anything arises when we experience something, the Prajñāpāramitā is following the early Mainstream Buddhist idea that dharmas lack substance (anātman). Nothing substantial arises when we have an experience. There is an experience, but nothing real arises in the process.

The Prajñāpāramitā was written in an environment in which dharmas where considered to be really existent things (dravya). To counter this and bring the focus back to experience they used a negative rhetoric which denied the arising of dharmas entirely. In this they were also influenced by the experience of powerful meditative experiences variously called śūnyatā-vimokṣa or nirodhasamāpatti in which no dharmas arise.

The alphabet provides a whole series of words to reflect on, e.g. 44 in the Larger Prajñāpāramitā text. Having reflected on each in turn, one then reflects how they all point to the same understanding.

Later texts, particularly the Sarvatathāgata-tattvasaṃgraha, reduced this practice to just a reflection on the letter "a" and the word anutpanna. The phrase becomes a mantra in the Hevajra Tantra.