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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:14 am
by retrofuturist
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. :)

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:43 am
by mikenz66
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:
Mike

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:59 am
by Ben
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

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:00 am
by retrofuturist
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. :)

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:03 am
by Ben
oh ok!

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:56 am
by Dmytro
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Best wishes, Dmytro

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:09 am
by tiltbillings
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:04 pm
by Virgo
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:07 pm
by Dmytro
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/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:03 pm
by mikenz66
Thanks, Dmytro, nice to be able to read the translation, not just comments about it.

:anjali:
Mike

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:47 pm
by Kare
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:

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:57 pm
by piotr
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.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:59 pm
by daverupa
Cross-reference, including a(nother) link to Bhante Sujato's work on the subject.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:25 pm
by Kare
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.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:45 pm
by ancientbuddhism
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)

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:05 pm
by tiltbillings
ancientbuddhism wrote:. . .
It is dismal only if one wants an inerrant scripture.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:25 pm
by mikenz66
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: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=11630" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; 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:
Mike

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:31 pm
by Kare
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:

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:02 pm
by daverupa
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.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:16 pm
by ancientbuddhism
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.