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Edited, Translated, and Compared with the Pāli, The Beginnings of Buddhist Ethics: The Chinese Parallel to the Kūṭadantasutta (review)

Edited, Translated, and Compared with the Pāli, The Beginnings of Buddhist Ethics: The Chinese... 352 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 NOTES 1. JoeyBonner,Wang Kuo-wei: An Intellectual Biography(Cambridge,MA:Harvard UniversityPress,1986),p.83. 2. AndrewPlaks,"AllegoryinHis-yu ChiandHung-lou Meng,"inChinese Narrative: Critical and Theoretical Essays(Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversityPress,1977),p.191. 3. Foradetaileddiscussiononthispoint,pleaseseeYingWang,"ImitationasDialogue: Yinzhannaxi(1837­1892)andHisImitationsofThe Dream of the Red Chamber," Tamkang Review 34no.2(Winter2003): 23­61. 4. Foradetaileddiscussiononthispoint,pleaseseeMartinHuang,Literati and Self-Re/ Presentation: Autobiographical Sensibilityin the Eighteenth-Century Chinese Novel (Stanford,CA: StanfordUniversityPress,1995),pp.75­108. KonradMeisig.Edited, Translated, and Compared with the Pli, The Beginnings of Buddhist Ethics:The Chinese Parallel to the Ktadantasutta. Wiesbaden:HarrassowitzVerlag,2011.vii,120pp.Paperback38,isbn 978-3-447-06459-0. Asthetitleindicates,thisbookpresentsaneditionandatranslationoftheChinese paralleltotheKtadantasutta,partofthePliDghanikya,Collection of Long Discourses.Thecoremessageofthesuttaisanappealforanimal-free,andthus bloodless,sacrificesinwhichnokillingisinvolved. Thefirstpartofthebook(pp.1­11)providesadetailedoverviewofallChinese andPliversionsoftheKtadantasutta,withameticulousdescriptionofsome errorsoccurringinthese.Inaddition,someSanskritfragmentsandtheSanskrit Drghgamamanuscript,probablybelongingtotheMlasarvstivdatradition,as researchedbyJens-UweHartmann,aretakenintoaccount.1Thisverytechnical partofthebookequallyprovidesaninterestinginsightintotheinterrelationsofall extantversionsandmanuscriptsoftheKtadantasutta.Itisfollowedbyacritical editionoftheChineseversionsandtheirPliparallel.FortheChinesetext,a versionincharactersandapinyintranscriptionareprovided.Detailednotesare givenonChinesetranscriptionsoftheunderlyingIndictermsandonequivalent Prkrit,Pli,orSanskritterms.Itisapity,however,thatsomeIndic(mostlyPli) termsandexpressionsgivenincomparisontotheChinesetextarenotfollowedby anyexplanationortranslation.Forreaderswithno,oronlyalimited,knowledge ofPli,thesecomparisonsthusbecomedifficulttounderstand.Justtwoexamples: note22(p.15)givessomeinformationontheterm"generation":" shiD 94a24p.pitmahayuga."Nofurtherexplanationisgiven.Note114(p.37) © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Reviews 353 commentsonthesentence,"Heisalsorespectedbygodsandghosts":"This sentenceisvaguelysimilartoDN132,12­14:samanam khalu bho gotamam anekni devatsahassni pnehi saranam gatni."NotranslationofthePlisentenceis provided. Inthemainpartofthebook,whichdealswiththecriticaleditionofthe ChineseandPliversions,atranslationoftheChineseeditionfollowsaftereach relevanttextpassage.PlisectionswithnoChineseparallelhavebeenleftuntranslated,achoicethatIpersonallyregret.Still,thetranslationoftheChineseversion isveryinstructive,andthenotesthatgowithitreferreaderstothemostrelevant academicworksontranslationofBuddhistChinese.Thenotesareverydetailed andrevealwithhowmuchcarethetranslationhasbeenmade,andhowevery termhasbeenverywellconsidered.Incontrasttothemeticulousinformationon decisionstakenwhentranslating,however,contentinformationisrelativelyscarce. Yetitwouldhavebeenquitehelpfulforreaderstolearnmoreontheconcepts used.What,forinstance,istheimpactof"thethreefoldsacrificeandthesixteen utensilsforthesacrifice,"mentionedonpages25,41,45,78,and80­84?How importantarealltheseconceptsinthecontextoftheKtadantasutta?Inanother example,onpage36,notes109­111,theBrahminsPokkharasdi,Trukkha,and Sonadandaareintroduced.Althoughthephonetictranslationsofthetermsin Chinesearediscussedindetail,noexplanationsaregivenontheBrahminsthemselves.Aretheyknownfigures?WhatistheirroleinBuddhistliterature?This scarcityofinformationalsoappliestoquestionsaboutsacrifices,thecorethemeof theKtadantasutta,inwhichashiftfromanimalsacrificestoanimal-freesacri fices,basedonaBuddhistmoraldiscourse,isthecentralmotive.Inthiscontext, moreinformationonVedicsacrificescouldhelpreaderstohaveabetterunderstandingofwhatexactlyishappeningandoftheimpactofBuddhistchanges.In thesamevein,moreexplanatorydataonthemanyfeaturesofVedicsacrifices couldcertainlyenrichthepleasureofreading.Someindications,forinstance,on howtograspthesymbolicvalueoftheuseofantelopeskinorthepracticeof smearingthefloorwithcowdung(p.55)couldbemostusefultograsptheimpact ofachangeinthesepractices. Thelastpartofthebook(pp.99­113)dealswiththetextualhistoryofthe Ktadantasutta.Themainfocusliesintheunveilingofitscoremessage,the textualnucleus.Inaquitecondensedway,KonradMeisigtriestoidentifythe varioustextuallayersoftheChineseandPliversions.Doingso,hedistinguishes fivehistoricalandredactionalstrata,startingwithatextualnucleusthatfocuseson theprohibitionofkillingandthereinterpretationofVedicmagicsacrificesina Buddhistethicalsense.Suchanattempttoreconstructthebasicmessageofasutta iscertainlymostvaluable,and,inthisway,thesummarywithstratificationprovidedbyKonradMeisiggivesaninterestinganalyticinsightintothetext.Very revealinginthiscontextisKonradMeisig'sdiscussionoftheliterarygenreofthe Ktadantasutta,andespeciallyof"forms"(smallerunits)and"formulas"(fixed 354 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 wording)restrictedtospecificlayers,whichoffersanadditionalargumentforthe definitionoftheselayers.Still,asaresultofhiscondensedwayofwriting,notall stepstakenbyKonradMeisiginhisdeconstructionofthesuttaareequallyclear. Whatisthepreciserelation,forinstance,betweenthestemmaticrelationshipof theextantversionsdiscussedinthefirstpartofthebookandthecriticalexegesis presentedattheendofthebook? Insum,theworkpresentsameticuloustranslationandeditionoftheChinese paralleltotheKtadantasutta,withaninterestingfocusonthecoremessageofthe text.Inthissense,itisaverywelcomecontributiontothefieldofBuddhology. However,Icannotbutregretthatthereligious,historical,andeventhelinguistic interpretationsoftheKtadantasuttahavebeensoscarcelytreated,andthatthe notestothetextprovideonlylimitedinformationastothecontentofthetext.The readerisreferredtootherworksbythesameauthor,someofwhicharewrittenin German.2Itisapitythatquestions,investigations,anddiscussionstreatedinthese workshaveonlyverybrieflybeenincludedinthepresentbook. AnnHeirman Ann Heirman is a professor of classical and Buddhist Chinese at Ghent University, Belgium, specializing in studies on Buddhist disciplinary texts. NOTES 1. Jens-UweHartmann,"ContentsandStructureoftheDrghgamaofthe(Mla-) Sarvstivdins,"inAnnualReportoftheInternationalResearchInstituteforAdvanced BuddhologyatSokaUniversityfortheAcademicYear2003,vol.7,ed.HiroshiKanno(Tokyo: InternationalResearchInstituteforAdvancedBuddhology,SokaUniversity,2004),pp.119­137. 2. Thereligious-historicalcontextoftheKtadantasuttahasbeendiscussedinKonrad Meisig,Zur Entritualisiering des Opfers im frühen Buddhismus,inAlfredRupp,ed.,Mitteilungen für Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte(MARG),vol.7:Ritual http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Edited, Translated, and Compared with the Pāli, The Beginnings of Buddhist Ethics: The Chinese Parallel to the Kūṭadantasutta (review)

China Review International , Volume 17 (3) – Jun 15, 2010

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352 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 NOTES 1. JoeyBonner,Wang Kuo-wei: An Intellectual Biography(Cambridge,MA:Harvard UniversityPress,1986),p.83. 2. AndrewPlaks,"AllegoryinHis-yu ChiandHung-lou Meng,"inChinese Narrative: Critical and Theoretical Essays(Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversityPress,1977),p.191. 3. Foradetaileddiscussiononthispoint,pleaseseeYingWang,"ImitationasDialogue: Yinzhannaxi(1837­1892)andHisImitationsofThe Dream of the Red Chamber," Tamkang Review 34no.2(Winter2003): 23­61. 4. Foradetaileddiscussiononthispoint,pleaseseeMartinHuang,Literati and Self-Re/ Presentation: Autobiographical Sensibilityin the Eighteenth-Century Chinese Novel (Stanford,CA: StanfordUniversityPress,1995),pp.75­108. KonradMeisig.Edited, Translated, and Compared with the Pli, The Beginnings of Buddhist Ethics:The Chinese Parallel to the Ktadantasutta. Wiesbaden:HarrassowitzVerlag,2011.vii,120pp.Paperback38,isbn 978-3-447-06459-0. Asthetitleindicates,thisbookpresentsaneditionandatranslationoftheChinese paralleltotheKtadantasutta,partofthePliDghanikya,Collection of Long Discourses.Thecoremessageofthesuttaisanappealforanimal-free,andthus bloodless,sacrificesinwhichnokillingisinvolved. Thefirstpartofthebook(pp.1­11)providesadetailedoverviewofallChinese andPliversionsoftheKtadantasutta,withameticulousdescriptionofsome errorsoccurringinthese.Inaddition,someSanskritfragmentsandtheSanskrit Drghgamamanuscript,probablybelongingtotheMlasarvstivdatradition,as researchedbyJens-UweHartmann,aretakenintoaccount.1Thisverytechnical partofthebookequallyprovidesaninterestinginsightintotheinterrelationsofall extantversionsandmanuscriptsoftheKtadantasutta.Itisfollowedbyacritical editionoftheChineseversionsandtheirPliparallel.FortheChinesetext,a versionincharactersandapinyintranscriptionareprovided.Detailednotesare givenonChinesetranscriptionsoftheunderlyingIndictermsandonequivalent Prkrit,Pli,orSanskritterms.Itisapity,however,thatsomeIndic(mostlyPli) termsandexpressionsgivenincomparisontotheChinesetextarenotfollowedby anyexplanationortranslation.Forreaderswithno,oronlyalimited,knowledge ofPli,thesecomparisonsthusbecomedifficulttounderstand.Justtwoexamples: note22(p.15)givessomeinformationontheterm"generation":" shiD 94a24p.pitmahayuga."Nofurtherexplanationisgiven.Note114(p.37) © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Reviews 353 commentsonthesentence,"Heisalsorespectedbygodsandghosts":"This sentenceisvaguelysimilartoDN132,12­14:samanam khalu bho gotamam anekni devatsahassni pnehi saranam gatni."NotranslationofthePlisentenceis provided. Inthemainpartofthebook,whichdealswiththecriticaleditionofthe ChineseandPliversions,atranslationoftheChineseeditionfollowsaftereach relevanttextpassage.PlisectionswithnoChineseparallelhavebeenleftuntranslated,achoicethatIpersonallyregret.Still,thetranslationoftheChineseversion isveryinstructive,andthenotesthatgowithitreferreaderstothemostrelevant academicworksontranslationofBuddhistChinese.Thenotesareverydetailed andrevealwithhowmuchcarethetranslationhasbeenmade,andhowevery termhasbeenverywellconsidered.Incontrasttothemeticulousinformationon decisionstakenwhentranslating,however,contentinformationisrelativelyscarce. Yetitwouldhavebeenquitehelpfulforreaderstolearnmoreontheconcepts used.What,forinstance,istheimpactof"thethreefoldsacrificeandthesixteen utensilsforthesacrifice,"mentionedonpages25,41,45,78,and80­84?How importantarealltheseconceptsinthecontextoftheKtadantasutta?Inanother example,onpage36,notes109­111,theBrahminsPokkharasdi,Trukkha,and Sonadandaareintroduced.Althoughthephonetictranslationsofthetermsin Chinesearediscussedindetail,noexplanationsaregivenontheBrahminsthemselves.Aretheyknownfigures?WhatistheirroleinBuddhistliterature?This scarcityofinformationalsoappliestoquestionsaboutsacrifices,thecorethemeof theKtadantasutta,inwhichashiftfromanimalsacrificestoanimal-freesacri fices,basedonaBuddhistmoraldiscourse,isthecentralmotive.Inthiscontext, moreinformationonVedicsacrificescouldhelpreaderstohaveabetterunderstandingofwhatexactlyishappeningandoftheimpactofBuddhistchanges.In thesamevein,moreexplanatorydataonthemanyfeaturesofVedicsacrifices couldcertainlyenrichthepleasureofreading.Someindications,forinstance,on howtograspthesymbolicvalueoftheuseofantelopeskinorthepracticeof smearingthefloorwithcowdung(p.55)couldbemostusefultograsptheimpact ofachangeinthesepractices. Thelastpartofthebook(pp.99­113)dealswiththetextualhistoryofthe Ktadantasutta.Themainfocusliesintheunveilingofitscoremessage,the textualnucleus.Inaquitecondensedway,KonradMeisigtriestoidentifythe varioustextuallayersoftheChineseandPliversions.Doingso,hedistinguishes fivehistoricalandredactionalstrata,startingwithatextualnucleusthatfocuseson theprohibitionofkillingandthereinterpretationofVedicmagicsacrificesina Buddhistethicalsense.Suchanattempttoreconstructthebasicmessageofasutta iscertainlymostvaluable,and,inthisway,thesummarywithstratificationprovidedbyKonradMeisiggivesaninterestinganalyticinsightintothetext.Very revealinginthiscontextisKonradMeisig'sdiscussionoftheliterarygenreofthe Ktadantasutta,andespeciallyof"forms"(smallerunits)and"formulas"(fixed 354 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 wording)restrictedtospecificlayers,whichoffersanadditionalargumentforthe definitionoftheselayers.Still,asaresultofhiscondensedwayofwriting,notall stepstakenbyKonradMeisiginhisdeconstructionofthesuttaareequallyclear. Whatisthepreciserelation,forinstance,betweenthestemmaticrelationshipof theextantversionsdiscussedinthefirstpartofthebookandthecriticalexegesis presentedattheendofthebook? Insum,theworkpresentsameticuloustranslationandeditionoftheChinese paralleltotheKtadantasutta,withaninterestingfocusonthecoremessageofthe text.Inthissense,itisaverywelcomecontributiontothefieldofBuddhology. However,Icannotbutregretthatthereligious,historical,andeventhelinguistic interpretationsoftheKtadantasuttahavebeensoscarcelytreated,andthatthe notestothetextprovideonlylimitedinformationastothecontentofthetext.The readerisreferredtootherworksbythesameauthor,someofwhicharewrittenin German.2Itisapitythatquestions,investigations,anddiscussionstreatedinthese workshaveonlyverybrieflybeenincludedinthepresentbook. AnnHeirman Ann Heirman is a professor of classical and Buddhist Chinese at Ghent University, Belgium, specializing in studies on Buddhist disciplinary texts. NOTES 1. Jens-UweHartmann,"ContentsandStructureoftheDrghgamaofthe(Mla-) Sarvstivdins,"inAnnualReportoftheInternationalResearchInstituteforAdvanced BuddhologyatSokaUniversityfortheAcademicYear2003,vol.7,ed.HiroshiKanno(Tokyo: InternationalResearchInstituteforAdvancedBuddhology,SokaUniversity,2004),pp.119­137. 2. Thereligious-historicalcontextoftheKtadantasuttahasbeendiscussedinKonrad Meisig,Zur Entritualisiering des Opfers im frühen Buddhismus,inAlfredRupp,ed.,Mitteilungen für Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte(MARG),vol.7:Ritual

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China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 15, 2010

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