Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Prajnaparamita Puja

I did the Prajnaparamita Puja this morning on Wise Attention.

It's probably my spiritual immaturity that has me craving new things instead of keeping to the same stuff, but I love new pujas, and puja in general, ever since I read Ritual and Devotion while I was on a life changing retreat on the Bhrama Viharas at Aryaloka.  I have a friend who likes to sing, and it's so cool when good singers do a puja.  I like it that I can join in too.

I'm not familiar with some of the mantras in this puja.  I didn't know what "dhih" is, so I looked on Visible Mantra.

I used the TBC Heart Sutra, even though Vishvapani linked the Lok To translation.  When I asked him why he chose that, he wrote on Wise Attention:

"...both translations are problematic. The Triratna one is Philip Kapleau’s translation of a Japanese text used in Rinzai Zen temples, which derives ultimately from the Hsuan Tsang translation from sanskrit into Chinese. So this one is closer to the source, but not much. I’ll seek out a replacement I think."

Fair enough.  I couldn't figure out how to cut and paste the Lok To translation, so I used the TBC one (found here), but I was tempted to use the other translation just to shake things up and give me more of beginner's mind with the heart sutra.


Transient and Permanent said...

Just to make it more complicated, the Heart Sutra is no longer considered to have an Indian Sanskrit original. It was composed in Chinese and then translated later into Sanskrit, and then retranslated into Chinese yet later again. Check out http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/index.php/jiabs/article/download/8800/2707 (note: that's a pdf).

Jayarava Attwood said...

I've added a comment over on the Wise Attention page which is relevant to this - no point in reproducing it here.

Just to clarify the statement of the previous commenter - the idea of a Sanskrit "original" is deceptive. Most of the Heart Sutra is drawn from a Chinese translation of the Large Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, and the rest draws on common idioms from Kumārakīva's translations from Sanskrit. Most of it can be traced to specific Sanskrit texts particularly the LPoWS, though the dhāraṇī (or mantra) clearly comes from other texts.

The short text was assembled rather than composed, in China and then translated into Sanskrit (probably) in India, possibly by Xuanzang, but most likely by someone with (Northern) Middle Chinese as a first language. The additions that make up the long text appear to have been composed on the basis of other Perfection of Wisdom texts in Sanskrit - so has an even great proportion of Sanskrit ancestry.

Of the seven versions of the Heart Sutra in Chinese 2 are short texts in Chinese, one is a transliteration of the Sanskrit short text, and 4 are translations into Chinese of the long text, but draw heavily on the Chinese short text for vocabulary and style.

At some point I hope to be able to show that one can trace the origins of the Heart Sutra further back into the 8000 line PoWS.