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Buddhist Studies I

B031
Session Chair: N.N. | Tuesday, August 25, 9-11 a.m. | Venue

Agita Baltgalve

Early Approaches to the Buddhist Texts’ Translation in China and in Tibet

The paper will compare two different approaches to the translation process of Buddhist texts, as performed in China (from the 1st. cent.) and in Tibet (from the 7th. cent.). In China the translation process first took place in large sessions (up to 1000 persons), usually headed by one Buddhist master from India. In Tibet it was purposely organized and sponsored by the government, appointing 3-4 persons for the translation of one text, several Indian Buddhist masters and one or two Tibetan scholars were present. Reasons for these differences may be based on the geographical and on the time factor. In China (territory at least 10 times bigger than that of Tibet) translations were done over a period of more than 1000 years (1.-13. cent., Han-Song din.), but in Tibet only for 3-4 hundred years (7.-13. cent.). Current cultural and social customs, philosophical and religious traditions may also have played a significant role.

Vijay Singh

Compassion and Right Livelihood: The Birth to Wisdom of a Buddha

Buddhist advocates truth and non violence. Also it consists of high moral ethical teachings and presses upon to lead a life with Samyak Ajiva, right livelihood. One may think other religion too advocate us to lead a pious and righteous live. They too press upon to lead a life with high morals. Then what’s the difference? The difference lies in the development of wisdom as a tool to eradicate the root cause of the suffering, Ignorance. It is twofold, one is at theoretical level and other is practical one. When we analyze the teachings of the Buddha, compassion and right livelihood seems very interesting. Although used innumerable times the connotation of both terms cover the entire Buddhist teachings. One is at thought level processing and exhibit the mental status of the Buddha and the second is the practical aspects that clear all doubts concerning the thought how to follow Buddhism in our day to day life.

Christian Thomas Kohl

Come and See. Eastern and Western Views

Nagarjuna (2nd century) is known in the history of Buddhism by the keyword sunyata. This word is translated into English by the term emptiness. The translation and the traditional interpretations give the impression that Nagarjuna declares the objects as empty: illusionary, not real or not existing. Many questions could be asked at this point. What is the assertion made by this interpretation? Is it that nothing can be found or, that there is nothing or, that nothing exists? Was Nagarjuna denying the external world? Did he wish to refute what evidently is? Did he want to call into question the world in which we live? Did he wish to deny the presence of things which arise? I submit two moves to provide an answer to these queries. The first move refutes the traditional translation and interpretation.

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