Coëmgenu wrote:There are a few points in the Chinese DA, the Chinese Dhp, and possibly the Gándhárí Dhp, where "be your own island" is actually rendered as "be your own light/lamp". It is still clearly dvípa/island in the SN/SA/etc parallels, but other places either mistranslate the passage or deliberately pun on the similarity of the words (both being very possible). I will post the examples once I have taken a look at them.
From DA 2
The Buddha said to Ānanda:
「眾僧 於我有所須耶？若有自言：『我持眾僧，我 攝眾僧。』
“The bhikṣusaṃgha of me has great needs? (As if) I myself had spoke: ‘I sustain the bhikṣusaṃgha. I uphold the bhikṣusaṃgha.’
(As if) it is this person [i.e. the one who says “I sustain […]”] who should have taught you vocation, the Tathāgata did not speak: ‘I sustain the many. I uphold the many.’
How can it be that there should be amongst these many instructed ones the makings of doubt?
Ānanda! I taught it, the dharma, inner and outer thereafter until now, in the end there is nothing I do not profess to have seen and understood entirely.
I hereafter am old, resolutely, my years passed are eighty. To make an analogy such as the purpose of a vehicle, a bamboo raft, a waste to be repaired after the goal has been reached.
My body is also as such, regarded as a bamboo raft whose power is spent, there is no reason to prolong life,
with nonattention to all saṃjñā (original may have been 想 (“nimittā”)), I enter asaṃjñā (or “animittā”) dhyāna, at this time, my body finds occultation, is not afflicted or suffering.
是故， 阿難！當自熾燃，熾燃於法，勿他熾燃；當 自歸依，
Consequently, Ānanda! You should regard your self as a flame blazing, a flame blazing with the dharma, no other flame blazing; you should see yourself as a refuge,
the refuge as the dharma, no other refuge. How do you regard yourself as a flame blazing, how are you a flame blazing with the dharma, with no other flame blazing;
How should you be yourself as a refuge, a refuge of the dharma, not to take another refuge? Ānanda! A monks regards the inner body with vitality, diligence, not lax,
憶 念不忘，除世貪憂；觀外身、觀內外身，精 勤不懈，憶念不忘，
he removes the seed of tṛṣṇā and affliction, regards the outer body, regards the inner and outer body, with vitality, diligence, not lax, is mindful and not neglectful,
he removes the seed of tṛṣṇā and affliction. Feelings, thoughts, dharmāḥ, observe (these), repeatedly thus so. This is what I say, Ānanada!
Yourself as a flame blazing, a flame blazing with the dharma, no other flame blazing;
the same as yourself as a refuge, a refuge of the dharma, no other refuge.
The "flame blazing" (熾燃) is pretty unambiguously pointing towards the Dharmaguptaka translators, Buddhayaśas (佛陀耶舍) & Zhú Fó Niàn (竺佛念) possibly having understood a Middle Indic "dīpa
" as "light/lamp". I aso want to credit the SuttaCentral user "James" who helped with this amatuer transation.
The following extract will also comment on the above variation in the Buddhavacana and it's interpretation.
Regarding the claims of “lamp” in the Gāndhārī & Chinese Dhp we are less clear. I have to conceded to John Brough, Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Cambridge, if those academic credentials translate into fluency in the Dharma. He also gives us the attestation of "lamp" in the Chinese Dhp (he will also comment on “lamp” in the DA indirectly, I believe):
111. Uv. iv. 5 has dvīpaṃ haroti medhāvi tam ogho nābhimardati, thus agreeing with the Prākrit in the verbs, but with the Pāli in ogho against jara.
Although initial dv- is preserved in dvaya-, a dissimilation might reasonably have been expected in *-dvīvu, and there is no reason to doubt that dīvu here can mean ‘island’. Confirmation may be seen in the fact that the word was borrowed in the form diva- into Knotanese (Knonow, Saka Studies, p. 79; where the sense can only be ‘island’). In the present verse, however, and in that corresponding to Dhp. 236, 238, the Chinese translators understood the word as “lamp’ (Lévi, JAs 1912, 240-1; for a recent discussion of the question, with citations of relevant passages, see Genjun H. Sasaki, A Study of Abhidharma Philosophy, Tokyo, 1958, pp. xiv, 594 ff.) This translation might indicate that the Chinese were influenced by a Middle Indic original, but without further evidence one could not exclude the possibility of a less Sanskritic version of the Uv. which still had here the form dīpaṃ instead of dvīpaṃ. On the other hand, in the locus classicus for this expression, the last words of the Buddha (D. ii. 100), the Sanskrit has ātmadvīpair vihartavyam, and the Chinese also has “island’ (Mahāyānamahāparinirvāṇasūtra, ed. Waldschmidt, ii. 200). In this and similar contexts, the Pāli commentators reguarly understood the world in the same way. In his translation of the Dīghanikāya, Rhys Davids at first wrote ‘lamp’, but subsequently noted- with some surprise- that the commentator took it as ‘island’.
The ambiguity of the Middle Indian dīpa (presumably already ambiguous in the pre-Pāli texts) would seem to make it inevitable that the word should have been used as a śleṣa on occasion. A translator naturally had to choose between the two possibilities, and the Sanskrit texts regularly chose dvīpa. Therefore, either this was the only sense considered in such contexts, or, if a double sense was seen, that of ‘island’ was considered more important. In prose, however, both sense can be brought in: lokasya dvīpā bhaviṣyāmo lokasyālokā bhaiviṣyāmo (Abhisamayālankārālokavyākhyā, ed. Wogihara, p. 596). Sasaki is ready to take the rendering ‘lamp’ as simply a mistake, and this seems to be the general tendency since modern scholars became familiar with dvīpa in the Sanskrit. But the metaphor of light is so natural that it would hardly be fair to dismiss the rendering ‘lamp’ as curious error and nothing more. The phrase dīpaṃ karoti presumably recalled the name of the former Buddha Dīpaṃkara, who is understood in Sanskrit as well as in Pāli to be a “light-bringer”, not an “island-maker”. Intrinsically the latter would seem no more forced that tīrthaṃkara, and indeed one could not reject out of hand the possibility that one term may have stimulated the formation of the other by way of rivalry: since if one religion were though, even through a misunderstanding, to claim to have made the island (of salvation), the other might retort by claiming the construction of the ford leading to that island; or vice versa. The Buddha may indeed be an island (or refuge) for the world; but when the author of the Mahāvaṃsa say (iii.2) dīpo lokassa nibbuto, he could hardly have meant that an island had been extinguished. The same text also puns elaborately on the two senses of dīpa in i. 84.
In many places the sense of ‘island’ is quite unambiguous, for example Sn. 1092, 1145: Thg. 412. In others, where the context does not immediately decide, it is tempting to suppose that the commentators deliberately preferred ‘island’ because of attādīpa in the sense of ‘with the ātman as light’ may have seemed too reminiscent of the Upaniṣadic ātman (Bṛhadāraṇyaka, iv. 3, 6 astamita āditye yājñavalkya candramasy astamite śānte ‘gnau śāntāyāṃ vāci kiṃjyotir evāyam puruṣa iti: ātmaivāsya jyotir bhavaty ātmanaivāyaṃ jyotiṣāste, &c.; Kaṭha Up. v. 15 tam eva bhāntam anubhāti sarvaṃ, t tasya bhāsā sarvam idaṃ vibhāti; or even Bhagavadgītā, xiii. 33 kṣetraṃ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṃ prakāśayati.) Nevertheless, we may suspect that for the same reason the early Buddhists who first used the expression did think of dīpa in terms of “light”, while they would necessarily reinterpret ātman. (This is possible without any implication that primitive Buddhism was ‘upaniṣadic,’ or that it held Mrs. Rhys Davids’s doctrine of ātman in opposition to the orthodox Buddhist theory of anātman.)
In the other Dharmapada passage where the Chinese has translated in terms of ‘light’, the context makes it certain that this was the sense primarily intended by the author of the verses (Dhp. 235-8). The literal sense is the common metaphor of a journey, and a translation with ‘island’ reads rather quaintly; “You have started on your journey to Yama’s presence (not, as Radhakrishnan, “arrived” - sampayāto si yamassa santike), there is no inn where you can pass the night (vāso pi ca te natthi antarā), and you have laid in no provisions for the journey (pātheyyam pi ca te na vijjati): therefore be sensible (paṇḍito bhava), get yourself an island, and press on repidly (khippaṃ vāyama)’. If forced to continue walking through the night, a sensible man will doubtless find a lamp more serviceable. It must of course be conceded that the allusion to attadipā viharatha is intentional, and the commentator’s suggestion that the traveller has been shipwrecked is thus not altogether perverse.
For jara in d, against ogho in other versions, Senart though of the possibility of jharā) which graphically would imply only the omission of the diacritic in jāra), with a transfer of sense of “waterfall” to “flood”. This was disproved by Franke, who cited Jāt. iv. 121 dīpaṃ ca kātum icchāmi yāṃ jarānābhikīrati. Lévi suggested that in both places jarā resulted from a replacement of ogha by jala, which was then misunderstood as a Māgadhī form for jarā. This can also be excluded, since Sn. 1092 shows that, when the flood (scil. of saṃsāra has arisen, it is precisely against old age and death that the island is required as a refuge: oghe jāte mahābhaye jarāmaccuparetānaṃ dīpaṃ pabhrūhi mārisa. Similarly in Thg. 412. Lüders (BSU § 86), while rejecting Lévi’s explanation of jarā as an error for jala, thought that the similarity in sound (with jalā ‘old age’ in the “Magadhan” form of the verses) might have had some influences in the development of the metaphor of the island in this connexion.
The Chinese versions here, in keeping with ‘lamp’ in the preceding clause, have ‘darkness’ instead of ogho. Lévi ingeniously suggested that, since gha and ya are so similar in the Indian writing, the translators might have read tamo yaṃ instead of tam ogho. Indeed, the phrase invites misunderstandings. An alternative would be taṃm ogho (since from early times a superfluous anusvāra is often written in such a position), read as taṃ mogho, and interpreted as moho, or ever appearing in this form through a Prākrit version. From this, ‘darkness’ would be an easy step.
Or again, tamogho might have been taken as a compound (tamas + agha), in which case [cannot find character] 淵 ‘the abyss of shadows’ (Lévi) might be thought to render it very neatly. Or the idea of darkness might have been suggested by the similar verse Dhp. 236, where niddhantamalo (Uv. xvi. 3 nirdhānta-) might have prompted someone to think of nirdhvānta- though this is probably too abstruse a pun to have been intended by the author of the verse. But of course it remains possible that the Chinese wrote ‘darkness’ merely because, after ‘lamp’, this was the logical way to conclude the stanza.
(John Brough, The Gāndhārī Dharmapada, 209-211, commentary on verse 111, I cannot navigate Gāndhārī texts very well, but the section being commented on is, I believe, the Maguvagga, and the relevant section with the "island/lamp" reading should be therein)
The rest of the text is quite interesting, but this is the most relevant section I think.