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?

Post by vinasp »

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/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Chinese translation: http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

MN 117 with the differences in bold type: http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/dd-030s/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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?

Post by mikenz66 »

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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1255" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 814#p23845" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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?

Post by Brizzy »

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

I have, for many years, understood that the discourses known as the Chinese Agama's where, 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/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Chinese translation: http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

MN 117 with the differences in bold type: http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/dd-030s/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Best wishes, Vincent.
Hi

Really enjoyed reading your links. It appears that the acquisition of Right View is more straight forward & attainable than what some later teachings might infer.

:smile:
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mikenz66
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by mikenz66 »

Brizzy wrote: Really enjoyed reading your links. It appears that the acquisition of Right View is more straight forward & attainable than what some later teachings might infer.
And it will irritate those who seize on the expression "right view with taints" and argue that it's not important - it's just "right view for dummies" - and that one should go straight to "right view without taints"... :stirthepot:

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

Post by Kim OHara »

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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mikenz66
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by mikenz66 »

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).

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retrofuturist
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by retrofuturist »

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

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"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by Brizzy »

Kim O'Hara wrote: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
Hi

It is obvious and it brings the sutta in line with the vast array of suttas in the four Nikayas. However just because something is obvious and makes sense, dont expect people to accept it. :stirthepot:

:smile:
vinasp
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by vinasp »

Hi retrofuturist,
retrofuturist wrote:Do you mind if we move this to the Early Buddhism forum?
I don't mind at all, if you think it should go there. Please move it over.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by Paññāsikhara »

vinasp wrote: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.

...
Best wishes, Vincent.
Vincent,

Although there are some basic philological generalizations that can be made, it is always important to remember a golden rule of such philological investigations: Look at each and every example individually as a unique case.

It is a bit like saying: just because the average of a group of numbers is 20, doesn't mean that every number, or in fact, any number at all, is actually 20.
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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Kim OHara
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by Kim OHara »

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?

Post by Paññāsikhara »

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

:namaste:
Kim
Sorry Kim, can you run that past me again?
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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Kim OHara
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by Kim OHara »

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

:namaste:
Kim
Sorry Kim, can you run that past me again?
"Although there are some basic philological generalizations that can be made, it is always important to remember a golden rule of such philological investigations: Look at each and every example individually as a unique case," from your previous post, could have continued, "and in this particular case we happen to know ..." and I was just expressing a wish that it had done so.
Perhaps my request should have been more direct. :juggling:
I'm the one who should be apologising.
:namaste:
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Wind
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Re: Chinese version of MN 117 is different?

Post by Wind »

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?

Post by tiltbillings »

Wind wrote: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.
What happened? Time and distance.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

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“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723
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