Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Next on the second verse is shes rab don. We talked about shes rab before, in Sanskrit prajna, this is the wisdom understanding emptiness, or as Alexander Berzin translated this, discriminating awareness. This later term is very interesting, as it hints at a state of awareness that knows how things really are. This is important, as conceptuality, thinking of subjects and objects, is grasping to things, and pure awareness that still discriminates is the end goal. This is an awareness that is very much active, but it does not grasp to subjects and objects, or to the act of grasping itself.

don is a real workhorse of a word, you could click on the link and see at dharmadictionary all the terms. Here let's use either purpose, or meaning. Those two are good starting candidates when translating don. So we have the purpose of discriminating awareness, or the meaning of wisdom. The ninth chapter in Bodhisattva Way of Life is indeed the shes rab le'u, Wisdom chapter, le'u is chapter, so it's appropriate that the opening lines provide the starting point for this chapter.

So far in the second verse we have meaning of wisdom by the Sage (Buddha), thub pas shes rab don. Next we need a particle and an ending verb, and then we could translate the whole second line.

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