The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:14 am

Greetings,

For anyone concerned about the Satipatthana Sutta, there is always SN 47: Satipatthanasamyutta... which (in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, ignoring notes) provides 41 pages of satipatthana goodness.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:43 am

Sure, lots of good stuff there, with many of the good similes.

I like the account of Brahma Sahampati popping in to confirm to the newly-awakened Buddha that Satipatthana is, indeed, the one-way path (SN 47:18):
“The seer of the destruction of birth,
Compassionate, knows the one-way path
By which in the past they crossed the flood,
By which they will cross and cross over now.”


:anjali:
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:59 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

For anyone concerned about the Satipatthana Sutta, there is always SN 47: Satipatthanasamyutta... which (in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, ignoring notes) provides 41 pages of satipatthana goodness.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Why would one ignore the notes?
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:00 am

Greetings Ben,

Ben wrote:Why would one ignore the notes?

In order to count how many pages of Satipatthanasamyutta there are in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of course.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:03 am

oh ok!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Dmytro » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:56 am

Hi,

Here's some translations from the Chinese Agamas by N J Smith, including the Chinese counterpart of Satipatthana sutta:

http://dhamma.ru/paali/trs.from_Agamas.7z

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:09 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi,

Here's some translations from the Chinese Agamas by N J Smith, including the Chinese counterpart of Satipatthana sutta:

http://dhamma.ru/paali/trs.from_Agamas.7z

Best wishes, Dmytro
Thanks. That should be interesting. Now all I have to do is get a ".7z" thingie to unzip it.
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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Virgo » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:Hi,

Here's some translations from the Chinese Agamas by N J Smith, including the Chinese counterpart of Satipatthana sutta:

http://dhamma.ru/paali/trs.from_Agamas.7z

Best wishes, Dmytro
Thanks. That should be interesting. Now all I have to do is get a ".7z" thingie to unzip it.

Hi,

Usually one can open .zip files without a program. Simply download and save the file. Find it in your files, right click and then click open. By manually opening it you bypass the need for extracting with through a program, but the way these ones are archived, it doesn't seem to work.

Edit: Nevermind. These are .7z or something.

Kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Dmytro » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:07 pm

Thanks. That should be interesting. Now all I have to do is get a ".7z" thingie to unzip it.


You are welcome.

http://www.7-zip.org/
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:03 pm

Thanks, Dmytro, nice to be able to read the translation, not just comments about it.

:anjali:
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Kare » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:47 pm

I have to admit that I am thoroughly puzzled by this thread.

I have translated the Digha Nikaya into Norwegian and now I am working my way through the Majjhima Nikaya. In addition I have translated parts of the other Nikayas. The more I translate, the more I recognize modules in the texts. Part of my work then is to recognize modules, search for them in what I have already translated, and then mark, copy and paste. After copying and pasting, a final check to see if there may be minor variations, for example in names etc.

The texts that I already have translated thus functions as a database for those standard text modules, and the modules can be combined in different ways.

This shows something of what was going on in the minds and memories of the early monks who preserved the texts orally. I am deeply impressed to see how their brains worked like a computer with a good text processing program. They memorized texts, recognized basic text modules and often recombined those modules into new text units. Most (or all) of the texts in DN and MN consist of those modules, edited and recombined in new settings.

Thus it can be argued that only the shorter texts in the Anguttara and the Samyutta are original texts, since they often consist of only one such module. Or we may take the opposite view, and say that the shorter one-module texts are extracted from longer texts containing several modules. From such a view one might argue that the MN is more original. We simply do not know for certain.

So what? Are the Suttas all forgeries, then? Or are all the short Suttas forgeries? Or are all the long Suttas forgeries?

Those who bring the word "forgery" into this debate, obviously do not understand the nature of this process of memorizing and transmitting modules. And to criticize ONE of the long Suttas for consisting of modules, when this is a demonstrable aspect of ALL the longer Suttas, seems rather strange to me. This Bhikkhu Sujato who seems to be the one who brought up this theme, must be very ignorant of the Suttas. Or, if he knows the Suttas, has he got some hidden agenda by singling out ONE of the long Suttas for criticism?

I do not know. But it is difficult to take such a criticism, based on deep ignorance, seriously. :shrug:
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby piotr » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:57 pm

Hi Kare,

Don't you think that it would be more appropriate to draw any conclusions about venerable Sujāto's work after you know it directly by yourself to some extent? It seems to me that you're relying on second hand informations only.
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:59 pm

Cross-reference, including a(nother) link to Bhante Sujato's work on the subject.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Kare » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:25 pm

piotr wrote:Hi Kare,

Don't you think that it would be more appropriate to draw any conclusions about venerable Sujāto's work after you know it directly by yourself to some extent? It seems to me that you're relying on second hand informations only.


I am not drawing any conclusions. I am just puzzled by what has been written in this thread, since much of it seems to be based on ignorance of a basic aspect of the Suttas. I leave it to others to conclude.
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:45 pm

In Pāli Philology and the Study of Buddhism Norman presents a rather dismal, although amusing account of how MIA texts have come to us; deficiencies in Pali Text Society Pāḷi texts and how translations have been built upon them and others, notwithstanding unresolved controversies.

    "...We know very little about the translation techniques which were adopted by those early translators and we have no idea what steps were taken to ensure that the manuscript or manuscripts from which they were making their translations contained a correct version of the text. We know from the records of the Chinese pilgrims that they sometimes obtained a single manuscript of a text to take back to China, from which in due course they or their successors made their translation. Without more information we cannot be certain that the Sanskrit (or very occasionally Pāli) version from which they made their translation was free from errors. Even if it was, then we must remember that the Sanskrit version was in turn, a translation from some variety of Middle Indo-Aryan dialect, and even if we can establish the form of the Sanskrit version correctly, all it tells us is what the person or persons responsible for making that translation thought his Middle Indo-Aryan exemplar meant. It does not prove that he was correct in his interpretation. It cannot be emphasized too much that all the versions of canonical Hīnayāna Buddhists texts which we possess are translations, and even the earliest we possess are translations of some still earlier version, now lost." (ibid. p.33-34)
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:05 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:. . .
It is dismal only if one wants an inerrant scripture.
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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi Kare,
Kare wrote:I am not drawing any conclusions. I am just puzzled by what has been written in this thread, since much of it seems to be based on ignorance of a basic aspect of the Suttas. I leave it to others to conclude.

The work on Satipatthana was, I believe, one of Ven Sujato's early analysis works, and he is, by his own admission, not a trained scholar but an interested enthusiast. Since then he has done a lot more writing, and discussing with others in the field, such as Ven Analyo.

Judging from later talks and writings, such as the point I brought up here about whether arahantship is permanent: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=11630 I think he would now certainly agree with you that most suttas involve various pasting together and compilation.

So, I quite agree with you. It's fine to point out that such compilation and enhancement exist, but what I find odd is the idea that seems to have been expressed on threads like this that the Satipatthana Sutta is a particularly grievous example when compared to, for example, the Anapanasati Sutta.

To me, the take-home message is that we are lucky to have some hints of what the Buddha taught, assembled and memorized by the ancient compilers. These hints have to be interpreted with wisdom.

:anjali:
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Kare » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:31 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
    "... It cannot be emphasized too much that all the versions of canonical Hīnayāna Buddhists texts which we possess are translations, and even the earliest we possess are translations of some still earlier version, now lost." (ibid. p.33-34)


And which texts might those "Hīnayāna Buddhists texts" be? I have never seen any Hīnayāna Buddhists texts. Anyone here who know any Hīnayāna Buddhists texts? :twisted:
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:02 pm

Kare wrote:Anyone here who know any Hīnayāna Buddhists texts? :twisted:


Have a look. Each section in that book deals first with the Theravadan text, and then any known Hinayana parallels, usually extant in another Prakrit or Sanskrit.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:16 pm

mikenz66 wrote:… It's fine to point out that such compilation and enhancement exist, but what I find odd is the idea that seems to have been expressed on threads like this that the Satipatthana Sutta is a particularly grievous example when compared to, for example, the Anapanasati Sutta.


The Ānāpānasati Sutta would be judged by the same standard, as would others considered ‘late’. The Satipaṭṭhāna suttas are singled out only because of rivalries between meditation traditions. Although Sujato’s work is interesting and helpful, if you consider the tradition he comes from his enthusiasm for this topic is understandable.

mikenz66 wrote:To me, the take-home message is that we are lucky to have some hints of what the Buddha taught, assembled and memorized by the ancient compilers. These hints have to be interpreted with wisdom.


And the light of later scholarship offers some freedom from the constraints of orthodoxy.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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