[Buddha-l] Sanskrit vs Middle Indic

chong go sunim chonggo98 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 10 19:44:44 MDT 2009

Thanks Curt,
  I really appreciate all the great information. 
  You might be interested in knowing that Maria Reis Habito, now at the Museum of World Religions, has also published some great papers in English about the "Great Compassion Dharani."
  In Korea we have a separate recitation version of "The Thousand Hands Sutra" that is built around the "Great Compassion Dharani". It's recited every morning and noon in temples throughout Korea. Some of the parts fore and aft of the Dharani are taken straight from the original sutra, some are poetic summations of parts of the sutra, while the rest of the sections come from other sutras. 
  Robert Buswell published a translation of this in his "The Zen Monastic Experience", but so far there's been no research on this in English. There actually hasn't been much in Korean, either. Ho Sung Kim of Dongguk University has done some great research into the recitation version of The Thousand Hands Sutra, but he's about the only one.
Thanks again!
with palms together,
Chong Go

--- On Wed, 9/9/09, Curt Steinmetz <curt at cola.iges.org> wrote:

From: Curt Steinmetz <curt at cola.iges.org>
Subject: Re: [Buddha-l] Sanskrit vs Middle Indic
To: "Buddhist discussion forum" <buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com>
Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2009, 11:23 PM

The guy who literally wrote the book on the Great Dharani is Lokesh 
Chandra. Here is his wikipedia page:

This Dharani is also known as the Nilankantha Dharani (The Dharani of 
the Blue-Necked One), and those familiar with its transliterated form 
popularized by Zen Master Seung Sahn might recognize the phrases 
"niraganta" and "niragantaya".

Amazingly, the wikipedia page for the Dharani actually contains accurate 
and useful information - perhaps there could be no greater testament to 
the incredible power of this Dharani:

Here's a tinyurl link in case that one doesn't work:

The book by Dr. Chandra mentioned above is titled "The Thousand Armed 
Avalokitesvara", and much of that book is also now available online at 

Abebooks.com has relatively more affordable copies of the book than 
other sources, for anyone interested in purchasing it.

This book is a goldmine for Great Dharani fans. It includes Chandra's 
reconstruction of the original Sanskrit, as well as lavish 
illustrations. AND it comes with a fascinating cassette tape with 
recordings of different versions of the Dharani from different parts of 

The bottom line is that at least according to Lokesh Chandra the 
original language of the chant is Sanskrit.


chong go sunim wrote:
> Can anyone help me with the proper way to describe the language of the dharanis and mantras that appear in many of the Chinese sutras? Can these be described as being transliterated from the Sanskrit orginal? Or are they actually some form of Middle Indic, that would be improper to describe as Sanskrit?
> This issue came up while working with the "Great Compassion Dharani" from the "Thousand Hands Sutra". Early printed Korean editions(1476 C.E.) even have what looks like Sanskrit annotations next to the Chinese characters.
> Thanks!
> with plams together,
> Chong Go
> _______________________________________________
> buddha-l mailing list
> buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com
> http://mailman.swcp.com/mailman/listinfo/buddha-l

buddha-l mailing list
buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com


More information about the buddha-l mailing list