Sunday, November 20, 2005

Complete Sentence - World is Created By Karma

Here's the complete, famous, sentence from Master Vasubandhu's Abhidharma-kosha text, based on the set of words we went through recently:

Click to zoom in.

This is the first line in the fourth chapter of this root text, dealing with Buddhist cosmology, how the mind works, karma, what are mental afflictions, and so on. The third chapter presented how the world looks like, so this is the punch line in the opening lines of chapter four dealing with karma. In other words, all those myriad worlds described in chapter three are due to karma sentient beings experience. The next line gives a quick summary what karma itself is, so maybe we should go through that one next. That way you could memorize the first two lines of this chapter, and explain to someone how the world works!

The other thing to note is that verses usually start and end with a long line called shad (SHAH), unless the last syllable has a ga letter, then there's no last shad. This is one way to separate sentences in verses.

The other note is that the verses were designed to be memorized, so they are of a certain syllable amount, for example in this case seven syllables, a classical format. This makes it possible to sing out the verses, or remember the parts, less or more than seven is a problem. It also causes the original translators to do very clever ways to either leave out words without causing problems with the meaning, or add filler words. We will see this from time to time when we look at verse scriptures.

PS: Click on the Abhidharma-kosha link above and use the find feature of your browser to find the specific line!

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