Some Observations on the Translation of Sattvānugrāhakaṃ Śīlam

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Some Observations on the Translation of Sattvānugrāhakaṃ Śīlam

Quoted From Chapter 1.10 Śīlapaṭalam In Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ
Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên




An Two Vināya systems of Bodhisattva-śīla have beentypically used separately according to Mahāyāna tradition in China[1]: the Brahmajāla bodhisattva śīla (梵網菩薩戒)[2], and the Bhūmāvādhāre yogasthāne bodhisattva śīla (瑜伽菩薩戒)[3]. The former is originally preferred because, according to legend, 梁武帝 (Emperor Wu of Liang) (464-549) ordained the use of the Bodhisattva śīla. However, this Vināya text is not found in Sanskrit extant literature nor in Buddhist Sanskrit texts translated into Chinese, in enormous works by Nāgārjuna, Vasubhandu, Asaṅga and others…This absence remains an open question for those who study Mahāyāna Vināya in China.

Keywords: Vināya, Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ, Saṃvara, Sattvānugrāhakaṃ śīlam.




Lorem Eleven sections of Sattvānugrāhakaṃ śīlam (All activities for the sake of sentient beings' well being)[4] are quoted from Śīlapaṭalam in Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ. Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ is a part of Yogācārabhūmi, an enomous work wholly translated by 玄奘 (Xuanzang) into the Chinese version as 瑜伽師地論 (Yogācārabhūmi)[5].

               Here, the meaning of Yoga (瑜伽) indicates the direct perception of phenomenon without any conceptual analysis. ‘Ācāra means 行 (good conduct), not 師 (Master, teacher, Skt. ācārya) in Chinese.

               So, it is more appropriate to translate Yogācāra as 瑜伽行, not 瑜伽師. That phenomena as truly perceived by direct perception is the criterion used to transfer this teaching from generation to generation. 師 (good conduct) here implies the master who hands this teaching down to disciples. 瑜伽師地 (玄奘), or more correctly, 瑜伽行地 (Yogācārabhūmi) in which bhūmi (地, mental land) indicates the various stages of mental development, ranging from ordinary people without any meditative capacity to Boddhisattvas and finally to the Buddha. “Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ” is the most important part of Yogācārabhūmi.

Historical Roots of the Śīlapaṭalam of Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ

Another Sanskrit part of this Treatise was also lost. Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ is only extant and Devanāgarī version compiled by Nalinaksha Dutt, published by Jayaswal Research Institute, in 1966. Śīlapaṭalam is the tenth chapter in Bodhisattvabhūmiḥiti bodhisattvabhūmāvādhāre yogasthāne daśaṃ śīlapaṭalam. The English version regarding ten sections of sattvānugrāhakaṃ śīlam in Devanāgarī transcribed here into Latin.

               Aliquam Bodhisattvabhūmiḥexcept for the Chinese version translated by 玄奘 (Xuanzang), has some previous Chinese translations, as below:

1.菩薩地持經, 10 volumes, translated by 北涼, 曇無讖 (Dharmarakṣa, 385-433 AD), translated at 姑臧. Taishō Tripiṭaka, Vol. 30, No.1581. Śīlapaṭalam, section 10. 菩薩地持方便處戒品第十.

2.菩薩善戒經, 9 volumes, translated by 求那跋摩 (Guṇavarma, Kamiirira, 43 AD), Taishō Tripiṭaka vol. 30, No. 1852. Śīlapaṭalam, section 11. 菩薩地戒品第十一.

Regarding Bodhisattva-śīla in Śikṣasamuccaya[6], Śāntideva (寂天) quotes many passages that are found from Bodhiattva-prātimokṣa-sūtra[7] (菩薩別解脫戒經), which has an ancient form of the Boddhisattva Vinaya equivalent to Prātimokṣa-sūtra of a Bhikṣu. These quoted passages do not show any connection with 梵網菩薩戒. It appears that Śāntideva is unaware of the vinaya 梵網菩薩.

Moreover, the Sanskrit version of this Bodhiattva-prātimokṣa-sūtra is compiled and edited by Nalinakha Dutt, Catcutta Oriental Press, 1931. Its content is mostly equivalent to Śīlapaṭalam in Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ and has some added parts from the Upāliparipṛccha-sūtra[8].

The first translated Bodhisattva vinaya text is Dharmarakṣa titled 菩薩戒本經, Taishō Tripiṭaka, volume 24, number 1500. Its content is probably taken from Śīlapaṭalam in the Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ and compiled as a formal ritual for reciting Boddhisattva vinaya. It starts with four slokas, each containing four sentences. “Namaḥ Rocana …南無盧舍那…”[9] and next is four pārājika that are equivalent to four 他勝處 (pārājayikasthānīya)[10] in Yogācārabhūmi translated by 玄奘(Xuanzang).

This English version is translated in accordance with Bodhisattva-bhūmi. I also make reference to the Chinese version of 玄奘(Xuanzang).

As for Commentary for this text, the Chinese Tipitaka only focuses two important texts:

1. 瑜伽論記, 24 volumes, 遁倫, Taishō Tripiṭaka 42, number 1828; Śīlapaṭalam analysed in a part of Volume 10.

2. 瑜伽師地論略纂, 16 volumes, compiled by 窺基, Taishō Tripiṭaka 43, number 1829; Śīlapaṭalam belongs to a part of Volume 11.

These two commentaries explain the general ideas of Yogācārabhūmi and mainly summarize the content of each section in this text, so Śīlapaṭalam is briefly mentioned.

References to commentaries in this English translation rely on the Śīlapaṭalam in from the Tibetan version translated by Tsong-kha-pa.

The system of Bodhisattva vinaya is chiefly handed down in an oral tradition, probably started with Atisha. It mainly relies on Śīlapaṭalam that is consistent with with Bodhisattva-bhūmi. The gist of Śīlapaṭalam is abridged in the Bodhipathapradīpa (Byaṅ-chud lam-gyi sgron-ma)[11]. The main text, the Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ, is translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan by Prajñāvarma: Rnal-sbyor spyod-paḥi sa-las byaṅ-chub dpaḥi sa in which the Śīlapaṭalam is cited. Tsong-kha-pa composed a commentary entitled Byaṅ-chud sems-dpaḥi tshul-khrims-kyi rnam-bśad,which is translated by Venerable 法尊(Fazun) (1902-1980) into Chinese as 菩薩戒品釋, shortly named 戒品釋, in “宗喀巴大师全集”, volume 5. 戒品釋 often mentions some commentaries such as Yon-tan ḥod, Byaṇ-chud sems-dpaḥi tshul-khrims-kyileḥu bśad-pa-菩薩戒品注疏 by Guṇaprabha and Rgyal-baḥi sras, Byaṅ-chud sems-dpaḥi tshul-khrims-kyi leḥuḥi rgya-cher ḥgrel-pa, 菩薩戒品廣注 by Jinaputra. Both are the famous Buddhist philosophers who follow Yogācārin. Guṇaprabha is a serious vināya teacher. Jinaputra is one of the ten famous Chinese philosophers who comment on the Vijñaptimatratāsiddhi[12].

Even with diligent effort to explain the true meaning of the texts, it is impossible to determine the subtle meaning of some of the texts within a certain context. Undoubtedly, it is essential to apply the Bodhisattva vinaya practices in daily life to actually absorb the teaching. So theory and practice are both necessary, like a bird with two wings.

Translation of Sattvānugrāhakaṃ śīlam and Sanskrit Grammar Analysis

1.*Sanskrit: सत्त्वकृत्येष्वर्थोपसंहितेषु [विचित्रेषु] सहायीभावः। सत्त्वानामुत्पन्नोत्पन्नेषु व्याध्यादिदुःखेषु ग्लानोपस्थानादिकः सहायीभावः। 

sattvakṛtyeṣv arthopasaṃhiteṣu [vicitreṣu] sahāyībhāvaḥ / sattvānām utpannotpanneṣu vyādhyādiduḥkheṣu glānopasthānādikaḥ sahāyībhāvaḥ.

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: [Boddhisatva is] a companion to help sentient beings in various activities that lead to the beneficial goal, and a companion to assist sentient beings who takes care of patients in the situations of suffering such as illness…whenever they arise [13].

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 1.謂諸菩薩於諸有情能引義利。彼彼事業與作助伴。於諸有情隨所生起疾病等苦。瞻侍病等亦作助伴.

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: A Boddhisatva has made a vow to help all sentient beings when called upon for assistance, such as in meeting a goal that is for the greatest good or relieving suffering, such as when one is ill.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-sattvakṛtyeṣv (sattvakṛtyeṣu): Tib. sems can gyi bya ba

+Sattva (neuter, vocative, singular): ‘being’, ‘existence’, ‘substance’ or ‘energy’. Pāli. satta, Tib.,[14] sems dpa'; C.[15] 作薩多婆, 眾生 or 有情.

+Kṛtyeṣv (pronoun, neutral, plural, locative): ‘meaning’, ‘matters’ or ‘business’. C., 事業.

-arthopasaṃhiteṣu: lead to beneficia, C. 能引義利.

+artha (noun, singular, vocative): beneficial or aim, C. 義利.

+upa-saṃhiteṣu (noun, plural, locative): ‘lead to’, ‘fetch’, or ‘attached to’. C. 能引. Tib. ldan pa.

-vicitreṣu (vicitra, noun, masculine, plural, locative): ‘diverse’ or ‘various’. C., 彼彼(manifold). Tib. sna tshogs.

-sahāyī-bhāvaḥ (noun, masculine, singular, nominative): becoming a companion, be friend, make friendship. C., 助伴. Tib. grogs byed pa.

-sattvānām (noun, neuter, plural, genitive): “of all living entities’, or living entities. C. 有情. 

-utpannotpanneṣu (noun, masculine, plural, locative): utpanna+utpanneṣu = “whenever arises’; utpanna: ‘risen’ or ‘come forth’, prefix ‘ut’: upward, to involve ‘arises’. C. 所生起. Tib. byung ba.

-vyādhyādiduḥkheṣu (noun, masculine, plural, locative): vyādhya+ādi+duḥkheṣu, ādi: ‘and so on’; vyādhya: pierced or cut; ‘duḥkheṣu’: uneasy, uneasiness, prefix ‘duḥ’: unpleasant, Tib. sdug bsngal. C.疾病等苦

-glānopasthānādikaḥ: glāna+upasthāna+ādikaḥ, glāna: ‘exhaustion’ or ‘diseased individual’, upasthāna: ‘care’, ‘close’. C. 瞻侍病等. Tib. nad gyog byas.

2. * Sanskrit: तथा लौकिकलोकोत्तरेष्वर्थेषु धर्मदेशनापूर्वक उपायोपदेशपूर्वकश्च न्यायोपदेशः

tathā laukikalokottareṣv artheṣu dharmadeśanāpūrvaka upāyopadeśapūrvakaś ca nyāyopadeśaḥ.

*Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: * Showing the principle[16] for the sake of the world and beyond the world first by using appropriate[17] means then teaching the Dharma. [18]

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 2. 又諸菩薩依世出世種種義利。能為有情說諸法要。先方便說先如理說。後令獲得彼彼義利.

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: The Boddhisatva always fulfills his or her vows to assist all sentient beings in this world and beyond, first by taking appropriate actions, then by teaching the Dharma, for the greatest good.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-tathā: ‘in that manner’, or ‘in any way’, C. 依, Tib. de bzhin.

-laukikalokottareṣv: laukika+loka+uttareṣv, laukika: ‘worldly’ or ‘terrestrial’; loka: ‘world’, there is a root verb ‘Luj’ (collapse)[19]; uttara: ‘superior’ or ‘utmost’. C. 世出世

-artheṣu: lead to benefits, C. 後令獲得彼彼義利.

-dharmadeśanāpūrvaka: dharma+deśanā+pūrvaka; dharma, there is the root verb √dhṛ: maintenance, preservation[20]; Deśanā: instruction, teaching, Tib. chos ston pa (dharma teacher). Pūrvaka: has two main meanings: 1. appropriate, consisting; 2. first, foremost. C. 說諸法要.

-upāyopadeśapūrvakaś: upāya+upadeśa+pūrvakaś, C. 先方便說先如理說; upāya, root verb √i: go or come; upa (prefix): approach, follow, close, C. 近 (close), 隨(depending); So, upaya means ‘skilfulness’ or ‘expedient means’, C. 方便 or 善權[21].

-nyāya+upadeśaḥ: nyāya, rules, method, C. 正理 (right reasoning). 玄奘 no translation of this word.

3. *Sanskrit: उपकारिषु च सत्त्वेषु कृतज्ञतामनुरक्षतोऽनुरूप [प्रत्युपकार-] प्रत्युपस्थानम्.

upakāriṣu ca sattveṣu kṛtajñatām anurakṣato 'nurūpa [pratyupakāra-] pratyupasthānam.

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: [Bodhisattva] embedding gratitude to those who help and support him according to suitable situation at present.

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘(Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩於先有恩諸有情所善守知恩。隨其所應現前酬報

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: The sentient being helped by a Boddhisatva feels deep and long-lasting gratitude.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-upakāriṣu-sattveṣu: C. 有恩諸有情, Tib. sems can rnams la phan 'dogs pa.

+upakāriṣu (masculine, locative, plural of upakārin-adjective), helping, subservient, assisting. C. 有恩.

+sattveṣu (masculine, locative, plural of sattva): being, existence (present participle, sant with neuter, absolutive, suffix, tva) C. 諸有情.

-kṛtajñatām (noun, feminine, singular, accusative): ‘gratitude’, C. 知恩.

-anurakṣata: the act of guarding, maintain, safeguard. Tib. rjes su bsrung ba, C. 所善守

-anurūpa: anu+rūpa, following the form, suitable adapted to, Tib. tshul dang mthun pa. C. 隨其所應

-pratyupakāra (noun, masculine, vocative, singular): service in return, returning a service or favour, requital of kindness, administer help. Tib. phan gdags pa. C. 酬報

-pratyupasthānam (noun, neuter, singular, nominative/accusative): opposite, proximity, stood near to, imminence. Tib. nye bar gnas pa. C. 現前.

4. *Sanskrit: विविघेभ्यश्च सिंहव्याघ्रराजचौरोदकाग्न्यादिकेभ्यो विचित्रेभ्यो भयस्थानेभ्यः सत्त्वानामारक्षा।

vividhebhyaś ca siṃhavyāghrarājacaurodakāgnyādikebhyo vicitrebhyo bhayasthānebhyo sattvānām ārakṣā.

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: Protecting sentient beings from dangerous situations such as lions, tigers, kings, robbers, water, and fire…

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩於墮種種師子虎狼鬼魅王賊水火等畏諸有情類。皆能救護。令離如是諸怖畏處。

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: The Bodhisattva may provide assistance when called upon in dangerous situations such as those presented by lions, tigers, angry kings, robbers, floods, and wildfire….

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-vividhebhyaś: vividha+ abhyaś. Vividha (noun, masculine, singular, vocative): ‘manifold’, Tib. sna tshogs; abhyaś: abhy-√, reach to, gaining, reaching to. C. 墮種種

-siṃha-vyāghra-rāja-cora-dakāgny-ādkebhyo: siṃha: lion, C. 師子; vyāghra: tiger, 虎狼; rāja: kings, C. 王; cora: pillager, plunderer, C. 賊; udakāgny: water, C. 水; ādkebhyo: fire. 火; C. adjunctive: “鬼魅” (devil).

-bhayasthānebhyo: dangerous condition. Bhaya: fear; sthānebhyo (sthānebhyaḥ?): condition, situation. C. 怖畏處, Tib. འཇིགས་པའི་གནས 'jigs pa'i gnas.

-ārakṣā (noun, feminine, singular, nominative): defended, protection, all-protecting, secure. C. 皆能救護. Tib. kun nas bsrung ba.

5. *Sanskrit: भोगज्ञातिव्यसनेषु शोकविनोदना

bhogajñātivyasaneṣu śokavinodanā

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: Causing sentient beings to eliminate suffering in cause of losing property or dear ones.  

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩於諸喪失財寶親屬諸有情類。善為開解令離愁憂

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: A Boddhisattva may relieve the suffering caused to sentient beings when they lose property or dear ones die.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-bhoga (noun, masculine, singular, vocative): ‘property’, C. 財寶

-jñāti: relatives, kinsman, kinfolk, Tib. nye du, C. 親屬

-vyasaneṣu (noun, neuter, plural, locative): ‘plight’, ‘disaster’.

-śoka (noun, masculine, singular, vocative): ‘affliction, trouble, sorrow or anguish’. C. 愁憂

-vinodanā: dispelling worries, help to eliminate, C. 善為開解令離

6. *Sanskrit: उपकरणविघातिषु सत्त्वेषु सर्वोपकरणोपसंहारः

upakaraṇavighātiṣu sattveṣu sarvopakaraṇopasaṃhāraḥ

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: Providing those with all commodities who are bereft of them.

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩於有匱乏資生眾具諸有情類。施與一切資生眾具

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: A Boddhisatva may relieve suffering by providing whatever the suffering sentient being has lost.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-upakaraṇa: ‘requisites’, ‘instrument’, implement, Tib.'dom na 'tshog chas, C. 資生眾具.

-vighātiṣu: bereft, miseries, destitution. Tib. phongs. C. 匱乏

-sarvopakaraṇa (sarva+upakaraṇa): sarva ‘all’, upakaraṇa: ‘requisites’, ‘instrument’, ‘providing’. C. 一切資生眾具

-upasaṃhāraḥ: providing, giving, C. 施與/資助, Tib. nye bar sgrub pa

7. *Sanskrit: न्यायपतितः सम्यङ्‍निश्रयदानतो धर्मेण गणपरिकर्षणा।

nyāyapatitaḥ (?) samyaṅniśrayadānato dharmeṇa gaṇaparikarṣaṇā

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: Directing followers in according to the dharma by offering oneself as a right refuge [for them].

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘, T30n1579: 又諸菩薩隨順道理。正與依止如法御眾

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: The Boddhisatva may guide the sentient being to following and understanding the Dharma by providing assistance and a refuge proper to the situation.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-nyāyapatitaḥ: nyāya+patitaḥ; patitaḥ (noun, masculine, singular, nominative): ‘accord’, C. 隨順; nyāya: principles, C. 道理.

-samyaṅ (noun, masculine, singular, nominative): correct, true or right. C. 如法. Tib. yang dag par.

-niśraya: refuge, support, who resides, Tib. brten gnas te, C. 依止.

-gaṇa+parikarṣaṇā: gaṇa, community, organization, multitude[22]; parikarṣaṇā: multitude instruction, karṣaṇā= Tib. sdud pa. C. 御眾

8.*Sanskrit: आलपनसंलपनप्रतिसम्मोदनैः कालेनोपसंक्रमणतया परतो भोजनपानादि [प्रति] ग्रहतो लौकिकार्थानुव्यवहारतः आहूतस्यागमनगमनतः समासतः सर्वानर्थोपसंहितामनापसमुदाचारपरिवर्जनैश्चित्तानुवर्तनता

ālapanasaṃlapanapratisammodanaiḥ kālenopasaṃkramaṇatayā parato bhojanapānādi [prati] grahato laukikārthānuvyavahārataḥ (sic.) āhūtasyāgamanagamanataḥ samāsataḥ sarvānarthopasaṃhitāmanāpasamudācāraparivarjanaiś cittānuvartanatā /

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: Greeting, having conversations, accepting food, drink from others, coming and going when invited etc… in according to the meaning of worldly custom[23], a Bodhisattva correlates with the worldly.

*Translated from the Sanskrit by 玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩隨順世間 事務言說[24]。呼召去來。談論慶慰。隨時往赴。從他受取飲食等事。以要言之。遠離一切能引無義違意現行。於所餘事心皆隨轉

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: The Boddhisatva may provide proper assistance by taking a shape and proper actions so that the Boddhisatva may have conversations, share food and drink, accepting invitations so that the assistance may be most effectively accepted according to custom.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-ālapana-saṃlapana: Tib. smra ba dang gtam byed pa

+ālapana (noun, neuter, singular, vocative) ‘conversation’, ā√lap (ālapati/ālapet): to speak, Tib. smra ba, C. 談

+saṃlapana: saṃlap (saṃlapati/saṃlapet): chattering together, talk or the act of talking, Tib. kun tu smra ba. C. 論

-Pratisaṃmodanaiḥ: to greet, salute. Tib. so sor yang dag par dga' bar bya ba, C. 問訊, 慶慰

-kālenopasaṃkramaṇatayā (kālena+upasaṃkramaṇatayā):

+kālena (noun, masculine, singular, instrumental): time, a space of time, √kal: enumerate or to calculate.

+upasaṃkramaṇa: go near to, the act of going over towards, Tib. drung du 'gro ba

-bhojana (noun, masculine, singular, vocative): a meal, food, C. 食. Tib. zas.

-pāna (noun, neuter, singular, vocative): drink, beverage, C. 飲

-pratigrahata: receiving, grahaṁ-√kṛ: to receive presents, Tib. བླང་བ blang ba/ len pa[25], C. 從他受取.

-laukikārthānuvyavahāratahs: In correspondence with the worldly habitual meaning, C. 隨順世間事務言說.

+laukika: worldly, terrestrial, C. 世間

+artha: purpose, notion, meaning, C. 事

+anuvyavahāratahs: vyavahārataḥ (noun, masculine, singular, nominative) “custom”; anu: accord, correspondence, C. 隨順. Tib. tha-snyad-du.

-āhūtasya (noun, masculine, singular, genitive): summoned, invoked, Tib. bod pa, C. 呼召

-āgamana: approaching, arriving, āgam (āgacchati), C. 來.

-gamanataḥ (gamana): going, going away. C. 去

-samāsataḥ: in summary, in brief, in conclusion. Tib. mdor bsdus na, C. 以要言之

-upasaṃhita: bring to, entrain, Tib. ldan pa, C. 能引.

-amanāpa: a disagreeable state, unwelcome. C. 違意

-samudācāra (noun, masculine, singular, vocative): behavior, usage, conduct, C. 現行.

-parivarjanaiḥ (noun, neuter, plural, instrumental): escaping except, giving up, C. 於所餘事.

-cittānuvartanatā: anuvartanatā, compliance, obliging, obedience following, C. 心皆隨轉.

9. *Sanskrit: भूतैश्च गुणैः संप्रहर्षणता। रहः प्रकाशं वोद्भावनतामुपादाय।

bhūtaiś ca guṇaiḥ saṃpraharṣaṇatā rahaḥ prakāśaṃ vodbhāvanatām upādāya

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: Bodhisattva, either esoteric or exoteric, exposes the real virtures[26] that arises joy and happiness in others[27].

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩若隱若露。顯示所有真實功德。令諸有情歡喜進學.

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: A Boddhisattva, by acting either in the world or providing guidance within, exposes the inherent virtues of the sentient being being assisted, and finds happiness and joy in the success of others, not in his or her own success.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-saṃpraharṣaṇatā: saṃ-prahṛṣ (saṃpraharṣayati/saṃpraharṣayat), Tib. yang dag par dga' bar byed pa, A psychological stimulus, feeling happy, cheerful, excited. C. 歡喜.

-guṇaiḥ: qualitatively, quality, C. 功德.

-bhūtaiś: truth, reality, C. 真實.

-rahaḥ: secretly, C. 若隱.

-prakāśaṃ: openly, publicly, C. 若露.

-udbhāvana: making visible, manifestation, C. 顯示.

-upādāya: including, inclusive of, by help of, by means of or taking with, C. 所有.

10. *Sanskrit: स्निग्धेन हिताध्याशयानुगतेनान्तर्गतमानसेन निग्रहक्रिया अवसादना वा दण्डकर्मानुप्रदानं व प्रवासना वा यावदेवाकुशलास्थानात् व्युत्थाप्य कुशले स्थाने सन्नियोजनार्थम्

snigdhena hitādhyāśayānugatenāntargatamānasena nigrahakriyā avasādanā vā daṇḍakarmānupradānaṃ vā pravāsanā vā yāvad evākuśalasthānāt vyutthāpya kuśale sthāne sanniyojanārtham.

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: To the one who commit wrong doings, a Bodhisattva with the mental disposition of affection for the sake of the wellbeing of that person directs him by rebuking, punishing or banishing in order to help him out of the unwholesome circumstances and educate him.

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘(Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩於有過者。內懷親昵利益安樂增上意樂調伏訶責治罰驅擯。為欲令其出不善處安置善處.

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: A Boddhisatva may even rebuke, punish, or banish the person who commits errors and wrong actions, for the sake of the wellbeing and education of that person.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-snigdhena: noun, neuter, singular, instrumental, charming, lovely, agreeable, 內親昵.

-Hitādhyāśaya: especially helpful thought or particularly benefical thought. Tib. phan pa'i lhag pa'i bsam pa, C. 利益安樂.

-antargata: noble, grandiose, antar-gam, to enter into, included; contained, Tib. chud. C. 增上.

-mānasena (noun, masculine, singular, instrumental): mental, spiritual. C. 意樂.

-nigraha-kriya: coercion, restraining, subjugation, binding, coercion; kriya: applying a remedy, practice, C. 調伏.

-avasādanā: rebukes, C. 訶責.

-daṇḍakarma: punishes, C. 治罰.

-pravāsanā: banishment from, banishes, C. 驅擯.

-yāvad: invariable, C. 乃至, 以至於.

-akuśala-sthānā: sthānā, region, domain, kuśala: inauspicious, evil. C. 不善處.

 -vyutthāpya: disengage or away from. C. 出.

-kuśala-sthāne: good, prosperous, well, healthy. C. 善處.

-sanniyojana: installed, educate, embed. C. 安置.

11. *Sanskrit: ऋद्धिबलेन च नरकादिगतिप्रत्यक्षं सन्दर्शनतयाऽकुशलादुद्वेजना बुद्धशासनावताराय चावर्जना तोषणा विस्मापना।

ṛddhibalena ca narakādigatipratyakṣaṃ sandarśanatayā 'kuśalād udvejanā buddhaśāsanāvatārāya cāvarjanā toṣaṇā vismāpanā

Translated from the Sanskrit by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: And by his supernatural power, a Bodhisattva exposes the images of hells and other realms of existences right in front of their eyes that intimidates them in order to cause them move away from banefulness, appeases them and have them accept the teachings of the buddhas, [arising] faith and realize Dharma and diligently cultivate himself[28].

*Translated from the Sanskrit by玄奘 (Xuanzang), T30n1579: 又諸菩薩以神通力。方便示現那落迦等諸趣等相。令諸有情厭離不善。方便引令入佛聖教歡喜信樂生希有心勤修正行.

Translated from the Chinese by Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên: By his or her supernatural power, a Boddhisatva may show visions of hells and other difficult and painful realms in order to intimidate the person taking wrong actions and cause them to change the actions and accept the teachings of the Buddha, increase their faith, realize the Dharma, and diligently practice right living.

* Sanskrit Grammar Analysis:

-ṛddhibalena: miraculous powers, C. 神通力.

+ṛddhi, psychic power, supernormal power. C. 神通.

+balena (bala): might, strength. C. 力.

-naraka: hell, hades, place of conviction[29]. C. 那落迦.

-udvejanā: it is a source of anxiety, causing to shudder, fear the act of terrifying. Tib. skyo bar byed pa. C. 厭離.

-gati (=durgatiṃ)[30]: moving, deportment, gait, the place needs to come or the orientation of regeneration is not good. C. 趣/惡趣.

-pratyakṣaṃ: evidently, phenomena, appearance, manifestly. Tib. mngon sum du. C. 相.

-sandarśanatayā: to eye, to witness, in front of their eyes or exhibition. C. 方便示現.

-buddhaśāsanā: buddha-teaching, Tib. sangs rgyas bstan pa, C. 佛聖教

-vatāra: to go into; to enter. C. 方便引令入.

-āvarjana: attracting, admire. C. 信樂.

-toṣaṇā: appeasing, satisfying, pleasing, gratifying. C. 歡喜.

-vismāpanā: miraculous or a surprising Tib. ཡ་མཚན་དུ་འཛིན་པར་བྱེད་པ ya mtshan du 'dzin par byed pa, C. 生希有心

-玄奘 adds 勤修正行, correct action or activities that leads to the realization. (正行= samyak-pratipatti?).       


That many scholars in modern time rely on the Chinese version to explain the original texts may cause them to misunderstand the teachings. For example, the Chinese terms such as 律儀 (saṃvara) or 無作戒體are easily misinterpreted as ‘to prohibit something’ or ‘not to do this or that’. Eventually, this extreme practice may lead to formalistic practice without understanding, which is ultimately futile. In fact, 律儀(saṃvara) is derived from Övṛ (to cover, to conceal) that means “to cover a wound so that it will not be infected”. In the same manner, a human mind cannot be immune from the tendency of absorbing mental poisons when it is triggered. Bodhisattva ordination acts like a bandage that can heal the wounded mind. Saṃvaraśīla (律儀戒) indicates śīla as “guard against or prevent unwholesome actions from speech and body to arise,” which can strengthen the habitual tendency of mind to follow unskillful directions. 

In summary, the above remarks are my humble attempt to explain what I have observed when translating these eleven Sanskrit sections into English. Here, I also add the Chinese and Sanksrit versions so that you can easily compare them yourself.

Short Biography

            Bhikṣu Phước Nguyên is currently teaching Sanskrit language at Da Bao Pagoda since 2016. He has recently published the book 'Introduction to the Origins of Beliefs of Buddha Amita' in Vietnamese language. This book was sponsord by the Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute.


DUTT, Nalinaksa. Bodhisattva-prātimokṣa-sūtram. Calcutta: Calcutta Oriental Press, 1931, pp. 11-19.

DUTT, Nalinaksa. Vinayaviniścaya upāliparipṛcchā. Calcutta: Calcutta Oriental Press, 1931, pp. 20-27.

DUTT, Nalinaksha (ed.). Bodhisattvabhūmiḥ. Patna: K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute, 1966, pp. 1-282.

SHASTRI, Losang Norbu (ed.). Bodhipathapradīpaḥ of Atisha. India: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 1984, pp. 1-70.

TATZ, Mark (trans.). Asanga's Chapter on Ethics with the Commentary of TsongKha-Pa, The Basic Path to Awakening, The Complete Bodhisattva. Lewiston. N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1986.

VAIDYA, P.L. (ed.). Śikṣāsamuccaya (Buddhist Sanskrit Texts). Darbhanga: The Mithila Institute, 1961, no. 11, pp. 1-2.

WOGIHARA, Unrai (萩原雲來) (ed.). Bodhisattvabhūmi, A Statement of Whole Course of the Bodhisattva (Being Fifteenth Section of Yogācārabhūmi). Tokyo: Sanshusha, 1930.

[1] Regarding the formal ritual for the ordination of Bodhisattva śīla presently in China, there are six texts as clarified into six systems as followings: 1. 梵網, originated from 梵網經盧舍那佛說菩薩心地戒品, started with Kumārajīva. 2. 地持經, transferred by Dharma-rakṣa, in 菩薩地持經, another Chinese version of Yogācārabhūmi. 3. 高昌, transferred by 道進, originally started with Dharma-rakṣa. 4. 瓔珞, relying on 菩薩瓔珞本業經. 5. 新撰, popular during 隋 (581-619) complied by some great Mahayana teachers. 6. Text belongings to temple 制旨, transferred by Guṇavarman. Cf. 智者大師, 菩薩戒義疏卷上, T40n1811, p. 568a.ff: 略出六種。一梵網本。二地持本。三高昌本。四瓔珞本。五新撰本。六制旨本。

[2] T24n1484: 梵網經, 2 vols, trans. Kumārajīva, p. 0997b12ff: 梵網經盧舍那佛說菩薩心地戒品第十卷上.

[3] 三藏法師玄奘dịch, T30n1579, 瑜伽師地論卷第四十, p. 0510c08; Sanskrit version, Dutt, Nalinaksha ed., Bodhisattvabhumi. Patna: K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute,1966, 1-282 (Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series, 7 that is equivalent to Tibetan Tipitaka, 通帙第229Tshi, No.4035, Rnal-ḥbyor spyod-paḥi sa, p. 1b1-283a7.

[4] Skt. sattvānugrāhakaṃ śīlam: anugrāhakaṃ (饒益): benefit, help, assist, support...all practical activities for the sake of all sentient beings (攝眾生戒, 饒益有情戒, 作眾生益戒).

[5] T30n1579 瑜伽師地論, 100 vols, p. 0279a08ff.

[6] Vaidya, P.L., ed., Buddhist Sanskrit Texts No. 11 Śikṣāsamuccaya. Darbhanga: The Mithila Institute, 1961, 3-196. T32n1636 大乘集菩薩學論, 25 vols, trans. 法護, p. 0075b22 ff. Tibetan Tipitaka, 通帙第213Khi, No.3940, Bslab-pa kun-las-btus-pa, p. 3a2-194b5, trans. Ye-śes sde, Jinamitra và Danaśīla, ed.: Tilakakalaśa (K), Blo-ldan śes-rab.

[7] Dutt, Nalinaksa., Bodhisattva-prātimokṣa-sūtram. Calcutta: Calcutta Oriental Press, 1931, 11-19.

[8] Vinayaviniścaya upāliparipṛcchā, Dutt, Nalinaksa., ibid., 20-27. Cf. Tibetan Tipitaka, 通帙第43Ca, No.68, p. 115a1-131a7: Ḥphags-pa ḥdul-ba rnam-par-gtan-la-dbab-pa ñe-bar-ḥkhor gyis shus-pa shes-bya-ba theg-pa chen-poḥi mdo, dịch bởi Ye-śes sde, trans. Jinamitra, Surendrabodhi, Prajñāvarma.

[9] 盧舍那 (Skt. Rocana), in華嚴宗, identical with 毗盧遮那 (Skt. Vairocana: 大日, Great Sun), an epithet as Buddha Dharma-kāya. 天台宗 differentiates Vairocana, an epithet as 法身 (Dharma-kāya); Rocana as 報身 (Saṃbhoga-kāya); Śākya-muni as 化身 (Nirmāṇa-kāya).

[10] 他勝處, pārājayikasthānīya is defined in Mūla-stivādin as ‘he is knocked out by others, unable to be saved. Skt. Pārājayika; Pārājika: 波羅夷. The origin of this term is regarded as obscure.

[11] Shastri, Losang Norbu ed., Bodhipathapradīpaḥ of Atisha. India: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 1984, 1-70. Tibetan Tipitaka, 213Khi, No.3947, p. 238a6-141a4: བྱང་ཆུབ་ལམ་གྱི་སྒྲོན་མ Byaṅ-chub lam-gyi sgron-ma, trans. Dge-baḥi blo-gros, Mar-me-mdsad ye-śes.

[12] T31n1585 成唯識論, 10 vols, trans. 玄奘, p. 0001a07 ff.

[13] 菩薩 地 持 經 divided this into two categories: 1. Supporting activities; 2. caring for illness. Cf. 菩薩地持經 第4卷, translated from Sanskrit by Dharma-rakṣa (T30n1581, p. 0910b25): 一者眾生作饒益事。悉與為伴。二者眾生已起未起。病等諸苦及看病者。悉與為伴.

[14] Tibet transliteration= Tib.

[15] Chinese transliteration = C.

[16] Nyāya: principle, dictum, or the direction to act that leads to the practical goal.

[17] Helping people with the appropriate means for the sake of the world.

[18] Giving Dharma talk for the sake of the world.

[19] Sphut., p.28, lụyatelụyate tāmāl lokaḥ, « It is collapse. Therefore, it is called the world » Cf., Pāli, S. iv. p. 52: loko loko ti bhante vuccati. kittāvatā nu kho bhante loko ti vuccatīti. lujatīti kho bhikkhu tsamā loko ti vuccati.

[20] Kośa.i.2: svalakṣaṇadhāraṇāddharmaḥ: a dharma is that which carries its own characteristic. T29n1558 阿毘達磨俱舍論 第1卷, p. 001b: 釋此名者能持自相,故名為法.

[21] T09n0263, p. 0067c29.

[22] cf. Pāṇini Sanskrit grammar: sanghoddhau gaṇa praśansayo.

[23] 世間事務言說, skt. Laukikārthānuvyavahāratas, speak in accordance with the worldly culture.

[24] In tripitaka CBETA, punctuation wrong: 又諸菩薩隨順世間。事務言說, corrected as above.

[25] Mvy Sakaki. 5065 – 5071, bram ze’i las rnam pa drug gi miṅ la

[26] A Bodhisattva appreciates the merits of others and does not admire himself.

[27] It causes sentient beings to arise joy in order to step on the right path.

[28] 瑜伽論記 classifies these 11 sections into catvāri saṃgraha-vastūni. It is because of misunderstanding arthacaryā and samānārthatā so this classification is incorrect. In my opinion it should be arranged as follows: a) dāna: sections 1,3,4,6; b) priyavāditā: right speech, sections 5,8; c. arthacaryā: sections 2,10,11; d. samānārthatā: sections 7,9.

[29] It may be derived from "Niraya", a hybrid of Pāli and Sanskrit, analyzed as Nis-aya, descending to destruction. Skt. Naraka, (m), (sing.), case 8, Vocative, execution ground, Ht.: 捺落迦 . Or Skt. Nāraka, Ht.那落迦. , ā, indicating sentient beings born in Naraka. Cf. PTS. Visuddhimagga 427: n’ atthi ettha assādasaññito ayo: “there is not the cause of peace here”. Term ‘Aya’ Ñanamoli (419, 506) understands as “reason” (aya=karuṇā), in Chinese 地獄, hell that is originally mistaken. Tib. dmyal ba / sems can dmyal ba.

[30] DhskD 17r4. durgatiṃ, Ht. evil destination 惡趣; 趣, Skt. gati: destination, direction to go, to be born, five destinations to be born (pañcagati), term gati also means conduct, method to obtain the goal. Gati (active noun) when an action takes place, it is replaced by gata (passive p. participle). Cf. Paṇiṇi, Adhyāya 3.2. 188.



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