bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:

Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.

But even these studies are not exhaustive.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:57 am

Greetings Bhante,

thank you for your opinion, but you didn't tell me anything helpful. As I already said, I'm absolutely aware of the fact that these:
That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.
When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).
are just assumptions having no value if it is not fact. This is the third time I say it: I'm asking for clarification primary, not to make claims.
Paññāsikhara wrote:All one can really say, is that the term "sattva" in "bodhisattva" is not necessarily from Prakrit "satta". It may come from Sanskrit "sakta", Prakritized as "satta", and then later wrongly back translated into "sattva". Maybe.
Where is the evidence? Where do we actually have cases of the Sanskrit word "bodhi-sakta" in the first place? We need some evidence otherwise it is an untried hypothesis.
I don't have any evidence. That's why I'm asking and made this thread. What I said would be just a direct consequence, if the assumption is correct, no more, no less. You said it, too:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).
Only if the above assumption is correct.
acinteyyo wrote:That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.
Only if the above assumption is correct.
Paññāsikhara wrote:For this sort of argument, one will certainly have to known both Sanskrit and the Prakrits.

Obviously this is certainly necessary.
Paññāsikhara wrote:That won't be enough, however, and you'll also need to know how various traditions understood the word "bodhisatta" / "bodhisattva". Etymological definitions that fly in the face of actual linguistic usage but are used for such claims about whether a tradition is "wrong", can be quite misleading.
The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:
Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.
But even these studies are not exhaustive.
If pali is the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and what the venerable bhikkhu told me is correct, then I don't think it is necessary to know how other traditions understood the word "bodhisattva", because this word would just be wrong, it should not exist this way. Any interpretation or understanding of this word would be meaningless in my opinion.
If pali is not the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and/or "bodhisattva" is the right sanskrit counterpart of the pali "bodhisatta", then I think you would be right and one would need to know how various traditions understood the word and so on.

So the questions I'm interested in are:

Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:21 am

acinteyyo wrote:Greetings Bhante,

thank you for your opinion, but you didn't tell me anything helpful.
Sorry about that.
If pali is the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and what the venerable bhikkhu told me is correct, then I don't think it is necessary to know how other traditions understood the word "bodhisattva", because this word would just be wrong, it should not exist this way. Any interpretation or understanding of this word would be meaningless in my opinion.
If pali is not the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and/or "bodhisattva" is the right sanskrit counterpart of the pali "bodhisatta", then I think you would be right and one would need to know how various traditions understood the word and so on.

So the questions I'm interested in are:

Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
If the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" is really "bodhisakta", we should expect to see at least some evidence of the word "bodhisakta" appearing in Sanskrit texts. The Sanskrit word "bodhisattva" has abundant evidence in a huge range of texts. As far as I have seen, I have not encountered a term "bodhisakta" in Buddhist Sanskrit texts. I have encountered a definition of "bodhisattva" as being "asanga", however, and another as "sarvadharmanam hi ... asaktatayam siksate" (sorry for lack of diacritics).

So either everybody got it entirely wrong by translating it back into "sattva", which would effectively just make a new definition from scratch, and so be irrelevant as far as a critique against Tibetan or other forms of Mahayana buddhism.
Or, as "asanga" and "asakta", which qualify "sarvadharmAm" (plural) and not "bodhim", it would again be in accord with the spirit of the popular tradition of basically every school of Buddhism, and again irrelevant as far as a critique against Tibetan or other forms of Mahayana Buddhism.

Unless anyone can find a line with "bodhisakta". In which case, there may some grounds for the aforementioned arguments.

Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
It would appear that the majority of Sanskrit literature does not come from the (Mahavihara) "Pali" Theravada tradition. Rather, those traditions that later composed Sanskrit texts came from other traditions. eg. the Sarvastivada, the Mahasamghika. These schools would have originally used some form of Prakrit. How close those forms of Prakrit are to (Mahavihara) "Pali" Theravada Prakrit is largely unknown, because we only have a very small amount on non-Theravadin Buddhist Prakrit witnesses. There is a growing amount coming from the Dharmagupta, however, but these are mainly around the present day Afghanistan / Pakistan and further central Asia area. It is commonly known as some form of Gandharin Prakrit.

What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?
This is a difficult question, for a number of reasons.
Sanskrit has an early history, but it developed over many centuries. One may speak of early Vedic Sanskrit, then that of the Upanisads and Brahmanas (similar period to the Buddha), and several centuries later, Panini polished the whole thing up, into what is called "classical Sanskrit".
Prakrit is a generic name for a number of localized languages, that we may consider as kinds of common usage Sanskrit dialect or vernacular. There were a fair number around the Ganges plain area where the Buddha taught, and more besides that in the area of "greater india".
The word "pali" originally refers to the "text", but due to later usage in the Theravada school, it become to refer to the "language of the text". However, the language of which text? Different forms of Prakrits can be seen in some of the various suttas and vinaya. However, the later material such as the commentaries, is heavily formalized like Sanskrit. But many people nowadays just call it all "Pali", as if this were a language particular to the Theravada school, and one consistent throughout the entirety of their literature.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by Sanghamitta » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:44 am

I wonder if there is a way of cutting through the lingustic Gordian Knot. If, and I might be wrong, the purport of the question is of what relevance is the Bodhisattva concept to a Theravadin. Then it becomes a question of a) whether such a concept is found in the Pali Canon and b) Whether such a concept can usefully form part of the practice of a Theravadin. I know what I think. But it might be that the intention is more nuanced and more subtle than my somewhat simple view of things. Based as it is on the fact that life is short and Nibbana not yet in my reach.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:47 am

Sanghamitta wrote:I wonder if there is a way of cutting through the lingustic Gordian Knot. If, and I might be wrong, the purport of the question is of what relevance is the Bodhisattva concept to a Theravadin. Then it becomes a question of a) whether such a concept is found in the Pali Canon and b) Whether such a concept can usefully form part of the practice of a Theravadin. I know what I think. But it might be that the intention is more nuanced and more subtle than my somewhat simple view of things. Based as it is on the fact that life is short and Nibbana not yet in my reach.
Take a look at this article which was referenced above:

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
>> 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

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:07 pm

acinteyyo wrote:Greetings Bhante,

thank you for your opinion, but you didn't tell me anything helpful. As I already said, I'm absolutely aware of the fact that these:
That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.
When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).
are just assumptions having no value if it is not fact. This is the third time I say it: I'm asking for clarification primary, not to make claims.
Paññāsikhara wrote:All one can really say, is that the term "sattva" in "bodhisattva" is not necessarily from Prakrit "satta". It may come from Sanskrit "sakta", Prakritized as "satta", and then later wrongly back translated into "sattva". Maybe.
Where is the evidence? Where do we actually have cases of the Sanskrit word "bodhi-sakta" in the first place? We need some evidence otherwise it is an untried hypothesis.
I don't have any evidence. That's why I'm asking and made this thread. What I said would be just a direct consequence, if the assumption is correct, no more, no less. You said it, too:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).
Only if the above assumption is correct.
acinteyyo wrote:That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.
Only if the above assumption is correct.
Paññāsikhara wrote:For this sort of argument, one will certainly have to known both Sanskrit and the Prakrits.

Obviously this is certainly necessary.
Paññāsikhara wrote:That won't be enough, however, and you'll also need to know how various traditions understood the word "bodhisatta" / "bodhisattva". Etymological definitions that fly in the face of actual linguistic usage but are used for such claims about whether a tradition is "wrong", can be quite misleading.
The meaning of the term "bodhisattva", and also related "mahasattva" is complex, you may wish to check out:
Dayal, H (1932): The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi.
Kajiyama Yuichi 梶山雄一 (1982): “On the Meanings of the Words Bodhisattva and Mahāsattva in Prajñāpāramitā Literature”, pp. 253-270, in Y. Kajiyama, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers), ed. Katsumi Mimaki et al. Rinsen Book Co.: Kyoto. 1989.
But even these studies are not exhaustive.
If pali is the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and what the venerable bhikkhu told me is correct, then I don't think it is necessary to know how other traditions understood the word "bodhisattva", because this word would just be wrong, it should not exist this way. Any interpretation or understanding of this word would be meaningless in my opinion.
If pali is not the source from where a transcription has been made into sanskrit and/or "bodhisattva" is the right sanskrit counterpart of the pali "bodhisatta", then I think you would be right and one would need to know how various traditions understood the word and so on.

So the questions I'm interested in are:

Is the correct Sanskrit counterpart of the Pali "bodhisatta" really "bodhisakta" (and is, therefore "bodhisattva" an incorrect translation)?
Are the Pali texts (containing the word "bodhisatta") the source from where transcriptions has been made into Sanskrit texts of other traditions?
What emerged first out of Prakrit, Sanskrit or Pali or maby both emerged quite simultaneously?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thank you very much. It seems to be much more complicated as I thought.
Since I'm not willing to attain all the necessary knowledge to answer those questions sufficiently, I'll have to leave the whole matter aside. Guess it's better for me to refocus on practice. ;)

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by Freawaru » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Freawaru wrote:
Hi,

The Tibetan concept of bodhisattva is not a Buddha but "just" one bound for Buddhahood. There are several interpretations as far as I know, ranging from someone who takes a vow to become enlightened for the benefit of all beings to someone who attains nirvana but decides to "leave" it again to reach the full Buddhahood: a sammasambuddha who teaches and helps sentient beings to attain Liberation. It seems to me there are several similarities to the Theravadan concept of aryan (someone who has already experienced nibbana, is develloping bodhicitta and all that) but they are not identical.
This really does not address the question.
No? Yes, maybe you are right. But I got the impression that the OP does not know how the term bodhisattva is used in Tibetan Buddhism in the first place. One can get an empowerment, speak a vow, and consider oneself a bodhisattva. Hardly an enlightened being but just this definition of the OP "one who's seeking awakening":
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.
Not quite, in Tibetan Buddhism you would need a transmission and speak a vow (in Tibetan if possible). Only THEN you can consider yourself a bodhisattva.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by Sanghamitta » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:39 pm

Bully for them.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Post by jayarava » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:46 am

It is very late in the day, but it might be worth point out for posterity that Buddhist manuscripts never, to the best of my knowledge, use the classical spelling bodhisattva. They spell the word bodhisatva (one 't'). The spelling has been tacitly (over)corrected by modern editors to make it conform to the classical ideal. This and other differences of Buddhist Sanskrit are obliterated in the process, which is a shame.

Another such difference is the regular use of double y after r. So āryya not ārya.

The Buddhist Sanskrit Heart Sutra thus properly begins: ārayyāvalokiteśvaro bodhisatvo...

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