Sunday, 18 July 2010

得佛 -obtaining the correct idiomatic context.

得佛 can be translated in two ways:

1) find buddhahood
2) become awake (bodhi)

The implication is significant as the former implies a static condition, as buddhahood is a noun, whereas the later implies a process as awake is a verb. The later is the right choice as it is consistent with the purport of the text.

It is unfortunate that these earlier text did not differentiate 佛 and 佛陀


Conze (1974, 256) has the following passage. It is a question Socratic question that the Buddha puts to Subhuti.

The Lord: When you see neither illusion, nor the thought which is like illusion, as a real separate entity, do you then perhaps see that dharma which knows full enlightenment as something other than illusion, or as something other than the thought which is like illusion?

The problem here, as is consistent with many others (including myself) who translate such passages is that the term 'dharma' is translated in a manner implying a substance rather than a method. 'That dharma' implies a thing, rather than what is simply is.

T08n0224_p0466a19  ..幻心雖離.是見異法.當得佛道不須菩提

[The Buddha said:] The illusory heart is to be turned away from, is it seen as a method that finds some buddha path or not?’

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