Mary Overton's Reviews > The Way of the Bodhisattva

The Way of the Bodhisattva by Śāntideva
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Apr 10, 2011

Read from January 28 to April 09, 2011

translated from the Tibetan by the Padmakara Translation Group; revised translation copyright 2006
From Preface to the Revised Edition:

"When the first edition of THE WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA was published in 1997, it was stated that the commentary the Nyingma master Khenpo Kunzang Pelden (1872-1943) had been consulted for the elucidation of difficult passages. At the time, a translation into English of that long and important work was no more than a pious dream. Now, after a wait of almost ten years and many intervening projects, this task has been completed; and the careful reading and study of the text that it involved prompted us to revisit and overhaul our original version of THE WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA, correcting errors and, where possible, making it a tauter, more literal, reflection of the Tibetan original. We hope that we have been able to rectify the perhaps undue freedom of expression in the earlier rendering that led some of its readers to question its accuracy, while at the same time maintaining and improving on the stylistic features that others found attractive." pg. xi

".... The Sanskrit transmission of the BODHICHARYAVATARA ... was interrupted and lost in the calamities that engulfed Indian Buddhism in the twelfth century. By consequence, the oral transmission and explanatory lineage of Shantideva's teaching exist only in Tibetan and for obvious reasons cannot be resurrected from the Sanskrit relics." pg. xv

"The translation of the BODHICHARYAVATARA into verse, or rather rhythmic prose is an attempt to come to terms with this difficulty [of literal vs. aesthetic renderings]. The result is a kind of blank verse (sometimes very blank) that can rarely claim the status of poetry and might best be described as a literary experiment. Its purpose is to provide a vehicle that, by being not altogether unpleasant, might contribute positively to the expression and propagation of Shantideva's teaching." pg xvii

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