Thursday, July 24, 2008

Heart Sutra - 7

Next the Heart Sutra describes who else is there.


དགེ་སློང། (dge slong) is monk, bhikshu in Sanskrit. དགེ་འདུན། (dge 'dun) is sangha in general, the group of ordained monks and nuns

There's also the qualifier ཆནེན་པོ། (chen po), great. Finally there's the binding particle དང། dang which indicates there are others there, too.

Now, how to translate this part? One approach is to state that there was a great gatherings of monks and nuns, or a great gathering of sangha. Another one is great gathering of the sangha of monks.  The issue, for me, is why there was a specific qualifier for monks and the sangha?I'm not 100% sure but I would be surprised if there was no nuns present, too, at this event. For me, stating that there was a great gathering of monks and the sangha might be somewhat confusing.

So in my case  would translate this as a great gathering of monks and nuns, as using the word sangha might be confusing for anyone who does not now the Sanskrit term. Also, sangha includes all ordained persons, monks and nuns. Anyway, that would be my justification.

Anyway, if someone else has opinions, please share.


Anonymous said...

Dear Kent,

Thank you for your work.


ja said...

Maybe there wasn't any nuns at the gathering. If that is the case, adding nuns in translation is not correct unless we bow down to the notion of political correctness.

lobsang said...

According from teachings i received there was monks and nuns of all level of ordination at this teachings (gelong/fully ordained and also gelsul/novice).