Progress Report: Annotations and Mañjuśrī’s Sūtra for February

Now that I have a good translation of Kumārajīva’s Diamond Sūtra finished, I’ll begin working on an annotation that attempts to interpret it with both my personal reading and notes gleamed from the Vasubandhu/Asaṅga commentary that exists in Chinese. Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras are perplexing by design, but the Diamond Sūtra can seem like an disorganized enigma to  new readers. I’ll also work on building a bit of a glossary that can be used with other texts, too.

I’ll also be editing my rough draft of the Mañjuśrī Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra that I completed in December. This Sūtra won’t be new to English-speaking readers: Free translations have been published by Rulu and Lapis Lazuli Texts. There is also a translation from Sanskrit by Edward Conze in Perfect Wisdom: The Short Prajñāpāramitā Texts. The difference, though, will be the edition that I’ll be translating.

There were a total of three versions of the Mañjuśrī Sūtra rendered in Chinese. Saṃghabhara and Mandrasena both produced translations of two different versions of this Sūtra at roughly the same time (indeed, they collaborated with each other on other projects). While the content of these two versions are essentially the same, the two do differ significantly. Rulu and Lapis Lazuli Texts both translated the Mandrasena version, which was Taisho No. 232. My translation will be using Xuanzang’s Chinese, which is more verbose than either Taisho No. 232 or 233, and it seems to create a hybrid of the two when they differ from each other.

So, that’s the roadmap for February: Beginning a contemporary annotation of the Diamond Sūtra and the release of the Xuanzang’s Mañjuśrī Sūtra.

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