Sunday, November 13, 2005

In Sanskrit

OK, let's take something totally from a different angle. The Kangyur collection is the collection of spoken words by the Buddha, in other words it has the sutras. The so called Tengyur is the collection of commentaries and texts by Indian panditas and yogis, pandita is a title for a scholar. Sakya Pandita received this title by the contemporary Indian Panditas, by the way.

A text in the Kangyur or Tengyur collection usually starts with the original Sanskrit title, and after that the Tibetan translation. The Sanskrit title is preceeded by: རྒྱ་བར་སྐད་དུ། rgya gar skad du, for example:

rgya gar skad du, bha ga ba ti padznaya'p'a ra mi t'a hri da ya, translated as the Heart Sutra in contemporary translations, even if the intent is to point out the heart essence of the perfection of wisdom (emptiness).

རྒྱ་བར། rgya gar means India, སྐད། skad means speech, voice, but in this context language, so རྒྱར་གར་སྐད། rgya gar skad means the language of India. As we know Kangyur and Tengyur was written down in Sanskrit, it's maybe the best to just translate this as Sanskrit. The last word du is another particle we will encounter many times, it's a particle of general subordination. It establishes a relationship between the right side and the left side. It has actually many forms, tu, su, ru, and an r appended to the previous word, depending on the last letter. Here སྐད། skad has a d, so it's དུ། du. As a quick first translation word, use as.

Anyway, this as might be superfluous here, In Sanskrit, as, so you might as well leave it out.

If you look at the Kangyur or Tengyur collection, you will see this phrase many times at the beginning of a text.

Finally, after the Sanskrit title you have the Tibetan title, so the prefix for this is: བོད་སྐད་དུ། bod skad du, In Tibetan, where བོད། bod is Tibet or Tibetan.

Here are some examples of texts from Asian Classics Input Project, in ACIP format, that you could take a look at, the beginning, and see how the titles are defined:

* Diamond Cutter Sutra
* Abhidharma-kosha by Master Vasubandhu
* Bodhisattva Way of Life by Master Shantideva

Or check out other Kangyur and Tengyur texts.

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