Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Heart Sutra - 6

To continue, next is ་་་བྱ་རྒོད་ཕུང་པོའི་རི་་་་ Again we need to look at bigger structures. 

བྱ་རྒོད། (bya rgod) means vulture. ཕུང་པོ། (phung po) usually means heap, but here it is actually hill, especially as the genitive particle འི binds it with རི། (ri), mountain.

All together, བྱ་རྒོད་ཕུང་པོའི་རི། is Vulture's Peak, a famous mountain area near Rajagriha. You could visit that place still today.

So far,བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་རྒྱལ་པོའི་ཁབ་ན་བྱ་རྒོད་ཕུང་པོའི་རི་་་ also has a particle ལ། that could be translated at, so we have a better translation part now available, could even be a single sentence:

The Blessed One was staying at Vulture's Peak in Rajagriha.

Now, some translators like to even translate the place names to English. I'm kind of old school, for example it would sound strange for someone to translate the Finnish capital of Helsinki to English. So I did a compromise here, one part English, the other the original name, as Vulture's Peak is very much the known name in contemporary English texts about Buddhism.


Michael Hennessy said...

Hi Kent-

Should "also has a particle ལ།" be "also has a particle na"?

The unicode fonts seem to be working well on my MacBook.


Kent Sandvik said...

I need to check another source to the Heart Sutra, the one I have uses la ལ། here...