bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

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bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:06 pm

Hi,

I visited a quite new Wat about 70km far from my hometown. I had a conversation with a bhikkhu, who was formerly ordained as a Mahayana monk and reordained later in Theravadatradition. Someway we came to the concept of "bodhisattvas". He told me then, that the Sanskrit-word "bodhisattva" (enlightenment being) is a wrong interpretation of the Pali-word "bodhisatto" and the correct Sanskrit-word would be "bodhisakta" which means "one seeking awakening".
When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).

That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.

I'm not familiar with Sanskrit and such things like which Sanskrit-term is the correct counterpart to the Pali-term and so on.

Thoughts?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:30 pm

No idea about the etymology but it's intriguing to be sure. Such a redefinition of the term seems to align more closely with the actual teachings of the Lord Buddha. Metta. :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Dmytro » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:14 pm

Hi Acinteyyo,

Peter Harvey writes:

the term bodhisatta ... was originally equivalent to Sanskrit bodhisakta, meaning ‘one bound for awakening’ or ‘one seeking awakening’, though in time it came to be Sanskritised as bodhisattva, a ‘being (for) awakening’.

http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/buddhist/originaleob.pdf

Lance Cousins writes:

sutta in Pali is probably from suukta (su+ukta) and its Sanskritization to sutra is unhistorical, while bodhisatta in early sources is probably not equivalent to bodhisattva, but to bodhisakta 'one seeking awakening '.

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0041-977X(1996)59%3A1%3C173%3AOUBEOT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W

Steven Collins in "A Pali Grammar for Sutudents" writes:

"This word has traditionally been analyzed as bodhi + sattva, enlightenment-being, which makes no grammatical sense. What seems to have happened is that the Pali (or related MIA) word satta has been re-Sanskritized as sattva. This is possible correspondence, but satta in Pali can be equivalent to two other words in Sanskrit, both of which make better sense than sattva. From √sañj, to adhere to, be intent on, the past participle is sakta which → satta in Pali. From √śak, to be able to, be capable of, the past passive participle is śakta, which also → satta in Pali.
Intent on enlighment or capable of enlightment are both more à propos than enlightment-being, so it is likely one of these two sense of bodhisatta was the original".

I've opened a topic about Pali and Sanskrit:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3215

Metta, Dmytro
Last edited by Dmytro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:11 pm

acinteyyo wrote:Hi,

I visited a quite new Wat about 70km far from my hometown. I had a conversation with a bhikkhu, who was formerly ordained as a Mahayana monk and reordained later in Theravadatradition. Someway we came to the concept of "bodhisattvas". He told me then, that the Sanskrit-word "bodhisattva" (enlightenment being) is a wrong interpretation of the Pali-word "bodhisatto" and the correct Sanskrit-word would be "bodhisakta" which means "one seeking awakening".
When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).

That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.

I'm not familiar with Sanskrit and such things like which Sanskrit-term is the correct counterpart to the Pali-term and so on.

Thoughts?

best wishes, acinteyyo


Hi,

The Tibetan concept of bodhisattva is not a Buddha but "just" one bound for Buddhahood. There are several interpretations as far as I know, ranging from someone who takes a vow to become enlightened for the benefit of all beings to someone who attains nirvana but decides to "leave" it again to reach the full Buddhahood: a sammasambuddha who teaches and helps sentient beings to attain Liberation. It seems to me there are several similarities to the Theravadan concept of aryan (someone who has already experienced nibbana, is develloping bodhicitta and all that) but they are not identical.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:48 pm

Freawaru wrote:
Hi,

The Tibetan concept of bodhisattva is not a Buddha but "just" one bound for Buddhahood. There are several interpretations as far as I know, ranging from someone who takes a vow to become enlightened for the benefit of all beings to someone who attains nirvana but decides to "leave" it again to reach the full Buddhahood: a sammasambuddha who teaches and helps sentient beings to attain Liberation. It seems to me there are several similarities to the Theravadan concept of aryan (someone who has already experienced nibbana, is develloping bodhicitta and all that) but they are not identical.

This really does not address the question.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:57 pm

Hello all,

This might add some information:

THE BODHISATTVA IDEAL IN THERAVAADA BUDDHIST THEORY AND PRACTICE: A REEVALUATION OF THE BODHISATTVA-`SRAAVAKA OPPOSITION
By Jeffrey Samuels Philosophy East and West Volume 47, Number 3 July 1997 P.399-415 (C) by University of Hawai'i Press
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm

metta
Chris
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:29 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:No idea about the etymology but it's intriguing to be sure. Such a redefinition of the term seems to align more closely with the actual teachings of the Lord Buddha. Metta. :anjali:

If, what the venerable bhikkhu told me turns out to be true, I would also say it would align perfectly with the teachings of the Buddha.
Freawaru wrote:The Tibetan concept of bodhisattva is not a Buddha but "just" one bound for Buddhahood. There are several interpretations as far as I know, ranging from someone who takes a vow to become enlightened for the benefit of all beings to someone who attains nirvana but decides to "leave" it again to reach the full Buddhahood: a sammasambuddha who teaches and helps sentient beings to attain Liberation. It seems to me there are several similarities to the Theravadan concept of aryan (someone who has already experienced nibbana, is develloping bodhicitta and all that) but they are not identical.

tiltbillings wrote:This really does not address the question.

I'm not interested in the concept of a "bodhisattva". What I want to know is, whether the mistake I explained in the OP is true or not. Because, if the correct sanskrit counterpart of the pali-term "bodhisatta" is "bodhisakta" instead of "bodhisattva", then this means that there is no "bodhisattva concept" at all, due to the fact that there is no "bodhisattva", actually never was.
This would make the whole mahayana "bodhisattva" concept kind of meaningless! Don't you think?
During my searchings on the internet I found that even the sanskrit-term "nirvana" is supposed to be a wrong transcription of the pali-term "nibbana". Here is a pdf I found, take a look on page 6.
I'm aware of the fact that this is just an assumption, therefore I ask for clarification. I really wonder why I've never heard of anything like that before. :shrug:
I don't want to be disrespectful, I'm just interested, because I think it's kind of odd.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:46 pm

Acinteyyo,

Interesting stuff. I checked the link you provided regarding the etymology of nibbana and found that what is being said has been a frequently covered topic by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. See here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nibbana.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/index.html

Tell me what you think when you get a chance. Mettaya.

Mike
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:49 pm

acinteyyo wrote:This would make the whole mahayana "bodhisattva" concept kind of meaningless! Don't you think?
Basically what it means is that when things were being Sansritized on the mainland of India, those who did it, did not quite get the translation right. There are other bases for criticizing the Mahayana bodhisattva doctrine.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:This would make the whole mahayana "bodhisattva" concept kind of meaningless! Don't you think?
Basically what it means is that when things were being Sansritized on the mainland of India, those who did it, did not quite get the translation right. There are other bases for criticizing the Mahayana bodhisattva doctrine.

You are right, what I have in mind is, wouldn't a concept build on a wrong translation completely loose its grounding? (regardless whether there may or may not be other bases for criticizing)
Primary I'm not interested in criticizing the Mahayana bodhisattva doctrine, but wouldn't it be a direct consequence of it?
Such an assumption seems to be justified and would explain, let's say some "inconsistencies".
As I said, I ask for clarification.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby piotr » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:09 pm

Hi,

acinteyyo wrote:During my searchings on the internet I found that even the sanskrit-term "nirvana" is supposed to be a wrong transcription of the pali-term "nibbana". Here is a pdf I found, take a look on page 6.


I think that you misunderstood this text: It says that nirvana/nibbana doesn't mean blowing off idea of self, but blowing out fires of greed, hatred and delusion.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:19 pm

piotr wrote:Hi,

acinteyyo wrote:During my searchings on the internet I found that even the sanskrit-term "nirvana" is supposed to be a wrong transcription of the pali-term "nibbana". Here is a pdf I found, take a look on page 6.


I think that you misunderstood this text: It says that nirvana/nibbana doesn't mean blowing off idea of self, but blowing out fires of greed, hatred and delusion.

oh yes, you're right. here it's not the sanskrit/pali which is a wrong transcription it's only the a misunderstanding of its meaning. thanks for that hint ;)

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby piotr » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:21 pm

Hi,

No problem. :smile: Interesting topic, BTW. :thumbsup:
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:53 am

acinteyyo wrote:Hi,

I visited a quite new Wat about 70km far from my hometown. I had a conversation with a bhikkhu, who was formerly ordained as a Mahayana monk and reordained later in Theravadatradition. Someway we came to the concept of "bodhisattvas". He told me then, that the Sanskrit-word "bodhisattva" (enlightenment being) is a wrong interpretation of the Pali-word "bodhisatto" and the correct Sanskrit-word would be "bodhisakta" which means "one seeking awakening".


"is a wrong interpretation of the Pali-word" - is a very telling statement in this whole argument, right?

Now, what exactly is a "pali-word"?
Are we going to say that "Pali" is a language, Pali-bhasa? If so, this idea only came about well over 1000 yrs after the event you are describing.
Are we going to say that "Pali" is just the text itself? If so, then it doesn't say much, does it?

One must first acknowledge that there were a range of different Prakrits being used at that time. One of those Prakrits was the form that was taken to Sri Lanka, and now gets called "Pali" as a language.

To assume that this "Pali" is the form that all the traditions took, and that then somebody made a "wrong interpretation" into Sanskrit, is a very shaky argument.

All one can really say, is that the term "sattva" in "bodhisattva" is not necessarily from Prakrit "satta". It may come from Sanskrit "sakta", Prakritized as "satta", and then later wrongly back translated into "sattva". Maybe.

Where is the evidence? Where do we actually have cases of the Sanskrit word "bodhi-sakta" in the first place? We need some evidence otherwise it is an untried hypothesis.

When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).


Only if the above assumption is correct.

That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.


Only if the above assumption is correct.

I'm not familiar with Sanskrit and such things like which Sanskrit-term is the correct counterpart to the Pali-term and so on.

Thoughts?

best wishes, acinteyyo


For this sort of argument, one will certainly have to known both Sanskrit and the Prakrits. That won't be enough, however, and you'll also need to know how various traditions understood the word "bodhisatta" / "bodhisattva". Etymological definitions that fly in the face of actual linguistic usage but are used for such claims about whether a tradition is "wrong", can be quite misleading.

The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:

Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.

But even these studies are not exhaustive.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:03 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:

Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.

But even these studies are not exhaustive.
Ven Spoil-sport, Things should be simple, black and white, not infinitely complicated.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:

Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.

But even these studies are not exhaustive.
Ven Spoil-sport, Things should be simple, black and white, not infinitely complicated.

:rofl:
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:57 am

Greetings Bhante,

thank you for your opinion, but you didn't tell me anything helpful. As I already said, I'm absolutely aware of the fact that these:
That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.

When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).

are just assumptions having no value if it is not fact. This is the third time I say it: I'm asking for clarification primary, not to make claims.
Paññāsikhara wrote:All one can really say, is that the term "sattva" in "bodhisattva" is not necessarily from Prakrit "satta". It may come from Sanskrit "sakta", Prakritized as "satta", and then later wrongly back translated into "sattva". Maybe.
Where is the evidence? Where do we actually have cases of the Sanskrit word "bodhi-sakta" in the first place? We need some evidence otherwise it is an untried hypothesis.

I don't have any evidence. That's why I'm asking and made this thread. What I said would be just a direct consequence, if the assumption is correct, no more, no less. You said it, too:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).

Only if the above assumption is correct.
acinteyyo wrote:That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.
Only if the above assumption is correct.

Paññāsikhara wrote:For this sort of argument, one will certainly have to known both Sanskrit and the Prakrits.

Obviously this is certainly necessary.
Paññāsikhara wrote:That won't be enough, however, and you'll also need to know how various traditions understood the word "bodhisatta" / "bodhisattva". Etymological definitions that fly in the face of actual linguistic usage but are used for such claims about whether a tradition is "wrong", can be quite misleading.
The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:
Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.
But even these studies are not exhaustive.

If pali is the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and what the venerable bhikkhu told me is correct, then I don't think it is necessary to know how other traditions understood the word "bodhisattva", because this word would just be wrong, it should not exist this way. Any interpretation or understanding of this word would be meaningless in my opinion.
If pali is not the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and/or "bodhisattva" is the right sanskrit counterpart of the pali "bodhisatta", then I think you would be right and one would need to know how various traditions understood the word and so on.

So the questions I'm interested in are:

Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:21 am

acinteyyo wrote:Greetings Bhante,

thank you for your opinion, but you didn't tell me anything helpful.


Sorry about that.

If pali is the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and what the venerable bhikkhu told me is correct, then I don't think it is necessary to know how other traditions understood the word "bodhisattva", because this word would just be wrong, it should not exist this way. Any interpretation or understanding of this word would be meaningless in my opinion.
If pali is not the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and/or "bodhisattva" is the right sanskrit counterpart of the pali "bodhisatta", then I think you would be right and one would need to know how various traditions understood the word and so on.

So the questions I'm interested in are:

Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?

best wishes, acinteyyo


Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
If the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" is really "bodhisakta", we should expect to see at least some evidence of the word "bodhisakta" appearing in Sanskrit texts. The Sanskrit word "bodhisattva" has abundant evidence in a huge range of texts. As far as I have seen, I have not encountered a term "bodhisakta" in Buddhist Sanskrit texts. I have encountered a definition of "bodhisattva" as being "asanga", however, and another as "sarvadharmanam hi ... asaktatayam siksate" (sorry for lack of diacritics).

So either everybody got it entirely wrong by translating it back into "sattva", which would effectively just make a new definition from scratch, and so be irrelevant as far as a critique against Tibetan or other forms of Mahayana buddhism.
Or, as "asanga" and "asakta", which qualify "sarvadharmAm" (plural) and not "bodhim", it would again be in accord with the spirit of the popular tradition of basically every school of Buddhism, and again irrelevant as far as a critique against Tibetan or other forms of Mahayana Buddhism.

Unless anyone can find a line with "bodhisakta". In which case, there may some grounds for the aforementioned arguments.

Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
It would appear that the majority of Sanskrit literature does not come from the (Mahavihara) "Pali" Theravada tradition. Rather, those traditions that later composed Sanskrit texts came from other traditions. eg. the Sarvastivada, the Mahasamghika. These schools would have originally used some form of Prakrit. How close those forms of Prakrit are to (Mahavihara) "Pali" Theravada Prakrit is largely unknown, because we only have a very small amount on non-Theravadin Buddhist Prakrit witnesses. There is a growing amount coming from the Dharmagupta, however, but these are mainly around the present day Afghanistan / Pakistan and further central Asia area. It is commonly known as some form of Gandharin Prakrit.

What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?
This is a difficult question, for a number of reasons.
Sanskrit has an early history, but it developed over many centuries. One may speak of early Vedic Sanskrit, then that of the Upanisads and Brahmanas (similar period to the Buddha), and several centuries later, Panini polished the whole thing up, into what is called "classical Sanskrit".
Prakrit is a generic name for a number of localized languages, that we may consider as kinds of common usage Sanskrit dialect or vernacular. There were a fair number around the Ganges plain area where the Buddha taught, and more besides that in the area of "greater india".
The word "pali" originally refers to the "text", but due to later usage in the Theravada school, it become to refer to the "language of the text". However, the language of which text? Different forms of Prakrits can be seen in some of the various suttas and vinaya. However, the later material such as the commentaries, is heavily formalized like Sanskrit. But many people nowadays just call it all "Pali", as if this were a language particular to the Theravada school, and one consistent throughout the entirety of their literature.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:44 am

I wonder if there is a way of cutting through the lingustic Gordian Knot. If, and I might be wrong, the purport of the question is of what relevance is the Bodhisattva concept to a Theravadin. Then it becomes a question of a) whether such a concept is found in the Pali Canon and b) Whether such a concept can usefully form part of the practice of a Theravadin. I know what I think. But it might be that the intention is more nuanced and more subtle than my somewhat simple view of things. Based as it is on the fact that life is short and Nibbana not yet in my reach.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:47 am

Sanghamitta wrote:I wonder if there is a way of cutting through the lingustic Gordian Knot. If, and I might be wrong, the purport of the question is of what relevance is the Bodhisattva concept to a Theravadin. Then it becomes a question of a) whether such a concept is found in the Pali Canon and b) Whether such a concept can usefully form part of the practice of a Theravadin. I know what I think. But it might be that the intention is more nuanced and more subtle than my somewhat simple view of things. Based as it is on the fact that life is short and Nibbana not yet in my reach.


Take a look at this article which was referenced above:

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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