Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chodai Kesa no Ge in detail... Part 2 of 3

At a post in January I laid out the first part of my detailed examination of Cho Dai Kesa no Ge. Here is part two. I have re-iterated the pronunciation guide and the reference legend.

Note in the following, the pronunciation guide is based on the chanting style of Nishijima Roshi as heard in this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xYiXETKajU)

大 哉 解 脱 服
 無 相 福 田 衣
 披 奉 如 來 教
 廣 度 諸 衆 生

Key to some notations.
N = Nelson’s Japanese English Character Dictionary - On reading (Chinese) is in all caps - Kun reading (Japanese sound assigned to character) is in lowercase italics.
Breen = http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C
Breen:B = Buddhist Dictionary
Breen:G: = General Dictionary
M = http://www.mandarintools.com/worddict.html
Bc = http://www.buddhism-dict.net/dealt/search-dealt3.html (the CKJV branch)
Bd = http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb/ (the DDB branch – Digital Dicitonary of Buddhism).
T = http://tangorin.com/
➸ comments in red, following arrows,  are my observations

N 2116 → HI. Open ❧
Breen:B → Spread open ➸ also from Breen:B "披剃 (ひてい)" - donning the robe and shaving the head 

Bd → Basic Meaning- spread open; Senses- ·To unroll, thrown on (as a cloak). 披 is to wear the garment over both
shoulders; 袒 is to throw it over one shoulder. ❧

Bc → To open up, disclose, reveal, unroll [開, 解, 發]. ·To spread out, scatter.  ·To wrap; to throw on--as a garment. ·To divide up [分].  ·A rope for pulling a coffin. ❧

From compounds given in T, 披 can understood and a sort of public declaration or coming out. An opening or declaration that is not a secret, but rather displayed perhaps not so much from pride but for accountability and support as is the case of a wedding ceremony. For example: hireki 【披歴 ・ 披瀝】express one's opinion;  making known;  revealing; stating - hirō 【披露】announcement;  show;  display;  introduction - hikō 【披講】introduction of poems at a poetry party.

N 1149 → BU. follow, believe in, serve ❧
Breen:B → receive with both hands ❧
T→ observance;  offer;  present; dedicate ❧

N 1178 → NYO. like, such as ❧
T→ tathata (the ultimate nature of all things) —Buddhist terminology.

N 173→2565 → RAI. come, arrive, be due to ❧
The alternate  does not appear in T except as "kai"

N 2345 → KYOU. Faith ➸ the kun reading means ‘teach’, ‘lesson’ per Nelson
T→ teach; faith;  doctrine ❧
appears to be used in Japanese traditions (i.e. by Nishijima, Suzuki, Kobun)


➸ 戒 is alternate character often seen in Chinese renditions. N 2027 → commandment, admonition

➸ 行 is alternate character often seen in Taiwanese renditions. N 5419 → KOU. Journey. 
Bd → 行 Basic Meaning- to practice.  Senses: To undertake; conduct, practice; accomplishing, practicing; a path. Religious acts, deeds, or exercises aimed at taking one closer to the final goal of enlightenment. ❧
如來 - nyo rai
  • ➸ is a common kanji pair that means Tathagata in Chinese.
  • Breen:B→ Thus come ❧ harkens to the "thus come one".
如來-nyo rai kyou
  • Breen:B→ teaching of the tathagata.
  • ➸ I wonder if this should be taken as faith in the Tathagata or faith of the Tathagata. I prefer the latter, as the whole line then becomes "opening to the faith of the Tathagata." I think "opening to faith in the Tathagata" would certainly be a poorer understanding, as the Tathagata clearly was not interested in promoting himself, but rather his ideas. The Christian religion makes much of the power of faith in Christ. The tathagata did not promote himself, only his ideas, and I rather suspect that Christian interpreters have warped the original message of Christ from a similar position. 

1640 > 1604 → KOU. Spread out, reach to, extend ❧

Bc → ·Width, breadth, range. ·Wide width. ·Wide, broad, extensive, vast, magnificent. ·Full, detailed, accurate. ·Explained in full, explained in detail. In the PRC, this is also simplified as 广. ❧

N 1616 → DO. extent, measure, limit ❧

Bc → ·Rule, law, pattern, decision.[法] ·A limit.[程] ·Time(s)-to do three times, four times, etc.[回 次] ·To cross over a body of water. [渡] ·[Buddhism] To cross over (to the shore of liberation).  ·To measure, calculate.[量] ·A unit of measurement; ruler, yardstick. ·To be, stay, live (at). [宅 居] ·A burial ground. ❧

N 5648 → SHO. many, several ❧

Bc → ·Many, all, various, the various, the whole group of; myriad. A plural indicator. ·This; with this, using this, concerning this. ·Locative: in, at, on, etc. ·A question marker. ❧

N 5417 → SHU / SHUU. great numbers, multitude ❧

Bc → ·Many, a great number, a myriad; numerous, abundant. ·A crowd, many people. All. ❧

T → masses;  people;  multitude; crowd ❧
➸ T indicates that the radical of (血) means 'blood' while that of (罒) means 'eye'.  

N 2991→ SHOU. life existence ❧

Bc → ·To produce, to bring forth, to beget; to give birth to; to bear; to cause to have life.  ·To be born; to come to life; to arise. ·To be alive; to live. Life, living. ·Alive, raw, fresh, unfamiliar. ·A living person. ·A student. ❧

➸ It must be a weird twist of phonetics that renders this as 'jou' when combined with 'sho' and 'shu' I can find no instance where Japanese pronunciation guidance of the stand-alone character is 'jou'. But, I can appreciate what an annoying consonance 'sho shu shou' could be. 
- kou do

  • ➸ extend to the limit
- sho shu jou

  • Breen:B→ all sentient beings  ➸ I see nothing in the characters that suggests 'sentient.' It is part of the verbal tradition of Zen to qualify this with 'sentient' but it seems just as warranted, based on the characters alone, to say this is 'the many great numbers of living things'



Jordan said...

I'd like to see your English translation of this verce when you are done with it. I think it is good to recite these things in our mother toung.

My wife, who is Japanese, has heard the Heart Sutra chanted her whole life and I was shocked becouse she had no clue what the words ment. I would not like to see the same thing hapen here, where people just make sounds with their mouths mimicking what they have heard wile being clueless ot the meaning.

Thanks for your efforts!

Lauren said...

hi Jordan,

Translation post is coming next. Your point about Mother Tounge got me thinking I should perhaps see if a Chinese to English dictionary shows any different idiom. I've been hoping also to find out what century the use of CDKNG comes from. It seems at least to be pre Dogen and post Bodidharma.