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Chinese version of MN 117 is different? - Dhamma Wheel

Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
vinasp
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Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby vinasp » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:12 pm

Hi everyone,

I have, for many years, understood that the discourses known as the Chinese Agama's were, more or less, identical to the Pali Nikaya's. But I recently found a website which gave a translation, from the Chinese, of the Mahacattarisaka Sutta (MN 117). This chinese version seems to be substantially different, and raises some interesting questions.

The main page of the site: http://ariyavansa.org/

The Chinese translation: http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/

MN 117 with the differences in bold type: http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/dd-030s/

Best wishes, Vincent.
Last edited by vinasp on Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:27 pm

Hi vincent,

That's interesting. To summarise: the version you link to does not have the abhidhammic/supermundane "noble right XXX". We've discussed before that this is the only Sutta with the supermundane stuff, but that it's the standard abhidhamma/commentary statement.

See:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 341#p16848
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1255
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 814#p23845

I don't think it's accurate to refer to the "Chinese version". As I understand it, it's a Chinese translation of the Canon of an early sect (other than Theravada).

Metta
Mike

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Brizzy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:41 am


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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:52 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:31 am

While we're on about irritating people ... the most obvious interpretation of the discrepancy is that some commentarial text snuck into the sutta some time after the two traditions split, i.e. well after the Buddha's time.
:stirthepot:

Kim

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:35 am

Yes, Kim, that's what Bhikkhu Bodhi suggests in his talks on the MN, and Ajahn Brahmali also suggests this on his talk about this Sutta at the BSWA website (which is currently being reformatted).

Metta
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:37 am

Greetings Vincent,

Do you mind if we move this to the Early Buddhism forum?

That seems like a good place for it given some of the avenues of investigation it might take.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Brizzy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:42 am


vinasp
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby vinasp » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:37 am


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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:56 pm

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.: .

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:24 pm

Please continue, Ven Pannasikhara -
"... and in this particular case we happen to know ..."
Because the "we" doesn't (yet) include "me". :smile:

:namaste:
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:36 am

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.: .

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:28 am


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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Wind » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:33 am

So do we know if it's only MN 117 that is different than the Chinese version? Or are there more discrepancies in other Suttas? I think it's critical to observe the discrepancies to figure out what happened.

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:12 am


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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:41 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:01 am


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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:24 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby vinasp » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:09 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is the 'blog' entry for 04/08/08 by 'ariyavansa', the bhikkhu who runs the site:

"... The Discourse of the Great Forty, which is #117 of the collection. This was a difficult discourse to come back to after our break because there some statements in it that are not consistent with the other discourses of the Majjhima Nikáya. It seems quite likely that some sentences were added in at some later point reflecting the thinking of later compilers of the Pali Cannon and of the Abhidhamma. These additions imply a different layout of the path which includes a Supramundane Path along with what would be considered the normal Eight-Fold Path. Whether we consider the Supramundane Path an actual teaching of the Buddha or not should not stop us from looking carefully at this discourse, as it adds an extra dimension to the Noble Eight-Fold Path. For our study of this discourse, I have added to my usual source of the Majjhima Nikáya in the Pali Cannon, the Madhyáma Ágama of the Chinese Buddhist Scriptures to get a clearer understanding of this discourse. So, we have two study pages for your consideration – the First Version of the Mahácattárisaka Sutta is from the Chinese text and reflects what might be called a more traditional view of the Path while still introducing the additional qualities of the Path. The Second Version of the Mahácattárisaka Sutta is from the Pali text and includes not only the additional two qualities, but also speaks of the Supramundane Path which, as I said, seems to be a later development influenced by the Abhidhamma. Otherwise, the two versions are practically identical."

Link: http://ariyavansa.org/2008/08/04/04-08-08/

Some info about ariyavansa bhikkhu: http://ariyavansa.org/ariyavansa-bhikkhu/

Best wishes, Vincent.

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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:34 am

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.: .


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