Sutra in 42 Sections
Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:52 pm
Probably the first sutra introduced into China around year 50. Much good dhamma advice in it.
A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda
Will wrote:Probably the first sutra introduced into China around year 50.
There isn't any one single sutta like it but most of its sections have either parallel passages in the Pali or else passages expressing similar ideas but in different phrasing.Will wrote:Is there some sutta in the Tipitaka that resembles this 42 Sections one?
It does not read like a single teaching anyway, probably put together like the Dhammapada from excerpts.Dhammanando wrote:There isn't any one single sutta like it but most of its sections have either parallel passages in the Pali or else passages expressing similar ideas but in different phrasing.Will wrote:Is there some sutta in the Tipitaka that resembles this 42 Sections one?
In pre-Asokan Pali sources there are no passages giving orders to go that far afield. The Vinaya Piṭaka’s Mahāvagga reports that when the early saṅgha had grown to the point where there were sixty-one arahants in the world (i.e., the Buddha and sixty bhikkhu disciples) the Buddha ordered his sixty disciples to go off in all directions to spread the Dhamma. However, no particular place names are mentioned:Will wrote:Slightly off topic, but since I have the eye of a Bhikkhu I will ask. Even before King Asoka, I read somewhere that Buddha himself requested some of his followers to spread out widely teaching the Dhamma - even as far West as Chaldea or somewhere in the Middle East.
Any support in the tradition for that notion?
Also, the DN’s Mahāpadānasutta has a past Buddha, Vipassī, giving his disciples the same order.At that time there were sixty-one perfected ones in the world.
Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: “I, bhikkhus, am freed from all snares, both those of devas and those of men. And you, bhikkhus, are freed from all snares, both those of devas and those of men. Wander, bhikkhus, for the blessing of the manyfolk, for the happiness of the manyfolk, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the blessing, the happiness of devas and men. Let not any two of you go in the same direction. Bhikkhus, teach the Dhamma which is lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle, lovely at the ending. Explain with the spirit and the letter the holy life, completely fulfilled, wholly pure. There are beings with but little dust in their eyes, who, not hearing the Dhamma, are decaying, but if they learn the Dhamma, they will grow. And I, bhikkhus, shall go along to Uruvelā, to the Senā township, in order to teach the Dhamma.”
(Vin. i. 20-1; SN. i. 105-6)
Thanks so much for the link to that paper Bhante, as Schopenhauer had a profound influence on me years ago I look forward to reading through it. Its interesting to consider the actual raw materials from which he made his interpretations, and misinterpretations, of Buddhism.Dhammanando wrote:Will wrote:Probably the first sutra introduced into China around year 50.
It was also the first complete Buddhist text to be translated into a Western language, contrary to Justin McDaniel and others, who have mistakenly awarded this accolade to Viggo Fausbøll’s 1855 Latin translation of the Dhammapada.
Fausbøll’s work was actually preceded by two French and one German translation of the Sūtra in Forty-two Sections. The first French one, translated from the Chinese, was published in 1756 in C.L.J. de Guignes’ history of the Huns, Turks, Mongols and Tartars.
Another point of interest is that Schopenhauer’s first encounter with Buddhism appears to have been via the German translation.
Arthur Schopenhauer and China: A Sino-Platonic Love Affair