Śūraṅgama Sūtra

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The Śūraṅgama Sūtra (; traditional Chinese: 大佛頂首楞嚴經) (Taisho 945) is a Mahayana sutra that has been especially influential in Chan Buddhism.

There have been questions regarding the translation of this sutra as it was not sponsored by the Imperial Chinese Court and as such the records regarding its translation in the early eighth century were not carefully preserved ; however, it has never been classified as apocrypha in any Chinese-language Tripitakas including the Taisho Tripitaka where it is placed in the Esoteric Sutra category.[1]

The sutra was translated into Tibetan during the late eighth to early ninth century and a complete translation exists in Tibetan, Mongolian and the Manchu languages (see section "Texts").

Title

The complete title preserved in Chinese: 大佛頂如來密因修證了義諸菩薩萬行首楞嚴經, meaning:

  • The Sūtra on the Śūraṅgama Mantra that is spoken from above the Crown of the Great Buddha's Head and on the Hidden Basis of the Tathagata's Myriad Bodhisattva Practices that lead to their Verifications of Ultimate Truth.[2]

An alternate translation of the title reads:

  • Tathagata's Secret Cause of Cultivation His Certification to the Complete Meaning and Bodhisattvas' Myriad Practices[3]

An original Sanskrit version of Śūraṅgama Sūtra is not known to be extant, and thus its full Sanskrit name is not known. Śūraṅgama roughly means "indestructible." The word is composed of Śūraṅ (great, absolutely), with Gama (durable, solid).[4]

The name of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra in different languages

The sutra's title has been translated into English as:

  • Heroic March Sutra (Matthew Kapstein, Norman Waddell, Andy Ferguson, Buswell and Lopez)
  • Scripture of the Heroic Progress (Thomas Cleary)

The full title is rendered in Chinese as:

  • traditional Chinese: 大佛頂如來密因修證了義諸菩薩萬行首楞嚴經; ; pinyin: Dà Fódǐng Rúlái Mìyīn Xiūzhèng Liǎoyì Zhū Púsà Wànxíng Shǒuléngyán jīng; Korean: 대불정여래밀인수증료의제보살만행수릉엄경; Vietnamese: Đại Phật đỉnh Như Lai mật nhân tu chứng liễu nghĩa chư Bồ Tát vạn hạnh thủ-lăng-nghiêm kinh.

It is also known by abbreviated versions of the title such as:

Texts

Sanskrit

An original Sanskrit version of Śūraṅgama Sūtra is not known to be extant. (A Sanskrit manuscript recently found in China has not been verified.)

Chinese

According to traditional Chinese accounts, the text was translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in 705 CE.[5][6]

Some modern scholars believe that the text originated in China and was first written in Chinese.[5] Other scholars believe that the text orginated in India.[6]

Another view suggests that the text is a compilation of Indic materials with extensive editing in China, rather than a translation of a single text from Sanskrit. A Sanskrit language palm leaf manuscript consisting of 226 leaves with 6 leaves missing was discovered in a temple in China; if verified, the questions regarding the authenticity of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra might be clarified.[7]

Tibetan and Mongolian translations

The Śūraṅgama Sūtra was translated into Tibetan probably during the late eighth to early ninth century.[8][9][10] However possibly because of the persecution of Buddhism during King Langdarma’s reign (ca. 840-841), only a portion of Scroll 9 and Scroll 10 of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra are preserved in the surviving two ancient texts.[11][12][13] Interesting enough, Buton Rinchen Drub Rinpoche mentioned that one of the two texts was probably translated from Chinese; thereby suggesting the second text may have possibly been translated from Sanskrit (or another language).[14]

The entire Śūraṅgama Sūtra was translated in 1763 from Chinese into the Manchu language, Mongolian and Tibetan languages and compiled into a quadralingual set by command of the Qianlong Emperor.[15][16] The third Changkya Khutukhtu Rölpé Dorjé or 若必多吉 or Lalitavajra (1716-1786) convinced the Qianlong Emperor to engaged in the translation.[17] The third Changkya Khutukhtu supervised (and verified) with the help of Fu Nai the translation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra.[18][19] The complete translation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra into Tibetan is found in a supplement to the Narthang Kangyur.[20][21]

English translations

There are a few English translations:

  • The Surangama Sutra published in A Buddhist Bible translated by Dwight Goddard and Bhikshu Wai-tao.
  • The Shurangama Sutra with commentary by Master Hsuan Hua. Volumes 1 to 8. Buddhist Translation Society, 2nd edition (October 2003).
  • A New Translation Buddhist Text Translation Society. The Śūraṅgama Sūtra With Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsüan Hua
  • Charles Luk, 1967, Shurangama Sutra
  • Hsuan Hua ,1977,The Shurangama Sutra ,Vol.1-8, by Buddhist Text Translation Society Staff (Author)

Outline

I: The Nature and Location of the Mind
II: The Nature of Visual Awareness
III: The Matrix of the Thus-Come One
IV: The Coming into Being of the World of Illusion
V: Instructions for Practice
VI: Twenty-Five Sages
VII: Four Clear and Definitive Instructions on Purity
VIII: The Śūraṅgama Mantra
IX: Levels of Being
X: Fifty Demonic States of Mind

Notes


References

  1. Taisho 945 is found in Volume 19 of the Taisho Tripitaka."Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō" 大正新脩大藏經 [Taishō Shinshū Tripitaka]. CBETA 漢文大藏經 (in Chinese). This is an index to the Taisho Tripitaka - nb Volume 19 is listed as 密教部 or Esoteric Sutra Section is where Taisho 945 (Surangama Sutra) is located. 
  2. Śūraṅgama Sūtra Translation Committee of the Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009, p. xxv.
  3. The Shurangama Sutra with commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua - New Edition ISBN 0881399493. http://cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama1.asp
  4. Buddhist Text Translation Society 2009, p. xiii.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), entry for Śūramgamasūtra
  6. 6.0 6.1 Buddhist Text Translation Society (2009)
  7. Li Xuezhu (李学竹) (2010). "Zhōng guó zàng xué - Zhōng guó fàn wén bèi yè gài kuàng" 中国藏学-中国梵文贝叶概况 [China Tibetan Studies - The State of Sanskrit Language Palm Leaf Manuscripts in China]. Baidu 文库. Vol. 1 No. 90 (in Chinese). pp. 55–56. Retrieved 2017-12-06. ‘河南南阳菩提寺原藏有1函梵文贝叶经,共226叶,其中残缺6叶,函上写有“印度古梵文”字样,据介绍,内容为 《楞严经》,很可能是唐代梵文经的孤本,字体为圆形,系印度南方文字一种,被国家定为一级文物,现存彭雪枫纪念馆。’(tr to English: Henan Nanyang Bodhi Temple originally had one Sanskrit language manuscript sutra, consisting in total 226 leaves, of which 6 were missing... according to introduction, it contains the Śūraṅgama Sūtra and most probably the only extant Sanskrit manuscript dating from the Tang Dynasty. The letters are roundish and belongs to a type used in South India and has been recognized by the country as a Category 1 cultural artifact. It is now located in the Peng Xuefeng Memorial Museum. 
  8. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 95. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 查考藏文资料,可以发现,如今的德格版、北京版、那塘版(藏文大藏经)里都收录有两个古藏文译版在吐蕃世纪三大古目里有记载,布顿大师明著《布頓教法源流》里也有着录…(transl. to English : (If ) we examine the Tibetan language materials, we will discover that within the current Derge Kangyur, Peking (Beijing) Kangyur, Narthang Kangyur (all of the preceding being Tibetan language Buddhist Tripitakas) there are recorded two ancient Tibetan texts (of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra);during the Tubo period, the three great ancient catalogue of sutras (which were compiled prior to King Langdarma’s persecution of Buddhism ca. 840-841 CE; therefore the Tibetan Śūraṅgama Sūtra was probably translated ca. late eighth – early ninth century CE) have records of these translations;within Buton Rinchen Drub Rinpoche’s Famous History of Buddhism (in India and Tibet) (written ca. 1322) it is also recorded (in the list of sutras)… 
  9. Nishioka Soshū (西岡祖秀) (1980). ""Putōn bukkyōshi" mokurokubu sakuin I" 「プトゥン仏教史」目録部索引I [Index to Buton (Rinchen Drub)’s History of Buddhism (Tripitaka) Catalog Part I]. 東京大学文学部·文化交流研究施設研究紀要 (trans. to English: Tokyo University Department of Literature – Annual Report of the Institute for the Study of Cultural Exchange) (in Japanese) (4): 61. プトゥン・リンチェン・ドゥプ Bu ston Rin chen bgrub (1290-1364) によって1322年に著わされた「プトゥン仏教史」...(trans. to English : Buton’s History of Buddhism in India and Tibet written in 1322 by Buton Rinchen Drub Rinpoche (1290-1364)…) 
  10. Nishioka Soshū (西岡祖秀) (1980). ""Putōn bukkyōshi" mokurokubu sakuin I" 「プトゥン仏教史」目録部索引I [Index to Buton (Rinchen Drub Rinpoche)’s History of Buddhism (Tripitaka) Catalog Part I]. 東京大学文学部·文化交流研究施設研究紀要 (trans. to English: Tokyo University Department of Literature – Annual Report of the Institute for the Study of Cultural Exchange) (in Japanese) (4): 92. Chapter 1 to 3 are an introduction for the purpose of organizing the catalogue section of (Buton’s Tripitaka found in) chapter 4… 
  11. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 95. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 两本古藏文译本,经笔者与汉文比对,发现确为“残本”,大致对应汉文本的第九卷和第十卷。(trans. to English: When comparing the two ancient Tibetan text with the Chinese text, the author discovered that they are indeed fragmentary texts which corresponds approximately to the Chinese Śūraṅgama Sūtra Scroll 9 and Scroll 10.) 
  12. von Staël–Holstein, Baron A. (April 1936). "The Emperor Ch'ien-Lung and the Larger Śūraṃgama Sūtra". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 1 (1): 137–138. The larger fragment (Sakurabe No. 902) contains a consecutive translation of a part of the ninth chapter and the entire tenth chapter of the larger Śūraṃgama. The smaller fragment (Sakurabe No. 903) contains numerous passages belonging to the ninth and tenth chapters of the larger Śūraṃgama. 
  13. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 93. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 乾隆皇帝认为,此经应该是在朗达玛统治时期散失不全…(trans. to English: The Qianlong Emperor supposed this sutra was partially scattered and lost during the rule of King Langdarma…) 
  14. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 95. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 布顿大师…并提出其中一个译本…翻译自汉文。也就是确实在乾隆之前存有藏文译本,且布顿以为两部中的一部译出自汉文and 两本古藏文是否早在朗达玛灭佛前就自汉文译出,有全译本存在,后损毁不少。还是其一源自汉文,另一部另有所本,都将此序文引出的新的研究议题。(trans. to English: ‘ Buton Rinpoche also noted that one of the translations of the ancient Tibetan text…was translated from Chinese. This verifies that prior to the Qianlong period there were Tibetan translations (of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra) and furthermore Buton supposed one of the two text was translated from Chinese.’ and ‘The two ancient Tibetan text may have been translated from Chinese before King Langdarma’s persecution of Buddhism and a complete translation existed (before King Langdarma’s persecution of Buddhism) afterwards large portions were destroyed; or one of the two (text) was translated from Chinese and the second was based on another text (i.e. translated from another source), (the research on) this foreword has opened up a new research topic for discussion.’ ) 
  15. von Staël–Holstein, Baron A. (April 1936). "The Emperor Ch'ien-Lung and the Larger Śūraṃgama Sūtra". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 1 (1): 145. The translation of the sutra were begun in A.D. 1752 and finished in A.D. 1763. 
  16. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 88. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 乾隆皇帝在位时间,曾将其译成藏、满、蒙、汉文四体合璧本。(tr. into English : During the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, the Emperor ordered the translation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra into Tibetan, Manchu language and Mongolian and combined with the Chinese into a four language compilation. 
  17. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 93. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 其次,章嘉国师向乾隆陈述了元代佛学大师布顿(bu ston rin chen grub 1290-1364)所作的授记,即此经“当于后五百年,仍自中国译至藏地。自布顿大师往后推算,乾隆时期与‘后五百年’时间上也是暗合的当然。布顿大师的所谓授记,应该是三世章嘉为了劝说乾隆皇帝翻译《首楞严经》所作的附会之辞。(trans. to English: Next, the Changkya Khutukhtu national preceptor tells the Qianlong Emperor the prophecy made by the great Buddhist Master Buton Rinchen Drub Rinpoche (1290-1364) regarding this sutra, namely that five hundred years hence, it will again be translated from China and brought to Tibet. If we calculate from Buton Rinpoche’s time to the time period when the Qianlong Emperor reigns, it of course matches by coincidence the five hundred years (predicted by the prophecy). The so-called prophecy of Buton Rinpoche was (made relevant and) used by the third Changkya Khutukhtu to exhort the Qianlong Emperor to translate the Śūraṅgama Sūtra.) 
  18. Chai Bing (柴冰) (March 2014). "Qián lóng huáng dì 《 yù zhì léng yán jīng xù 》 mǎn、hàn wén běn duì kān jí yán jiū" 内蒙古大学学报(哲学社会科学版)-乾隆皇帝《御制楞严经序》满、汉文本对勘及研究 [Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)- The Qianlong Emperor's "Foreword to The Royal Translation and Compilation of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra" : Research and Comparison of the Manchu Language and Chinese Text]. DOC88.COM. Vol. 46 No. 2 (in Chinese). p. 92. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 序中提及的翻译工程的负责人是庄亲王允禄,主要参与者则有三世章嘉呼图克图若必多吉和傅鼐。(Trans. to English: The foreword mentioned the person responsible for the translation was Prince Zhuang Yun Lu, the main participants were the third Changkya Khutukhtu Ruobiduoji (Rölpé Dorjé) and Fu Nai.) 
  19. von Staël–Holstein, Baron A. (April 1936). "The Emperor Ch'ien-Lung and the Larger Śūraṃgama Sūtra". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 1 (1): 145. Whenever there was the possibility of a doubt [the correct translation] was quickly fixed by advice from the state teacher (or National Preceptor) [8b] Lcan-skya Hu-thog-thu (also known as the Third Changkya Khutukhtu Rölpé Dorjé) and [the question] settled. 
  20. von Staël–Holstein, Baron A. (April 1936). "The Emperor Ch'ien-Lung and the Larger Śūraṃgama Sūtra". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 1 (1): 146. cf. Footnote 30: (volume KI of the Mdo division of the Narthang Kanjur is of course printed in black letters.) – the Tibetan version of my xylograph seems to be identical with the Tibetan version of the quadralingual edition. 
  21. Even though von Staël–Holstein call this tripitaka the Narthang Kanjur, I believed it is known as the Peking (Beijing) Kangyur in today’s usage. The early print editions of the Peking Kangyur were printed in vermilion ink. Later printings and any supplements would have been printed in black ink. Cf. von Staël–Holstein, Baron A. (April 1936). "The Emperor Ch'ien-Lung and the Larger Śūraṃgama Sūtra". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 1 (1): 146. Prince Fu-ch’üan, the chief editor of the A.D. 1700 Kanjur edition, reports that in preparing the edition, he acted on orders from the emperor K’ang-hsi to complement 補 the Kanjur. The emperor Ch’ien-lung venerated the emperor K’ang-hsi as a model ruler, and followed his grandfather’s example whenever possible. 


Sources

  • Buddhist Text Translation Society (2009). The Śūraṅgama Sūtra: With Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsüan Hua: A New Translation. Ukiah, CA, USA: Buddhist Text Translation Society.ISBN 978-0-88139-962-2. [1]
  • Dutt, Sukumar (2008), Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India, Delhi: Motilal Barnasidass 
  • Epstein, Ronald (1976), The Shurangama Sutra (T. 945): A Reappraisal of its Authenticity 
  • Faure, Bernard (1991), The Rhetoric of Immediacy. A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press 
  • Humphreys, Christmas (1995), The Wisdom of Buddhism 
  • Hurvitz, Leon (1967), The Surangama Sutra. Review in Journal of Asian Studies, Vol.26, issue 3, may 1967, pp. 482-484 
  • Lu, K'uan Yu (1966). The Śūraṅgama sūtra (Leng Yen Ching) / Chinese rendering by Master Paramiti; commentary (abridged) by Han Shan;. London: Rider.  Charles Luk, Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.
  • Sekida (translator), Katsuki (1996), Two Zen Classics. Mumonkan, The Gateless Gate. Hekiganroku, The Blue Cliff Records. Translated with commentaries by Katsuki Sekida, New York / Tokyo: Weatherhill 
  • Shi, Hsuan Hua (1975), The Wonderful Effects of the Shurangama Mantra, archived from the original on March 15, 2012 
  • Suzuki, D.T. (2001), Manual of Zen Buddhism (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2012 

External links

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