Apr 12, 2018




Whenever chanting the “Bát đại nhân giác” sutra (“八 大 人 覺”), I often pass its title as it is translated into “Eight Realizations of Great Beings” (in Vietnamese means “Tám điều giác ngộ của bậc đại nhân”). Though my knowledge is incomplete, still I cannot agree with this wrong title. Logically, eight verses of the text aim to reason the cosmology and outlook on life. The first verse says about the impermanence while the last seven ones analyze the mindfulness and practice of Buddhist Dharma. None of them mentions about the private possession (of “great beings” or of someone else). Therefore, based on the core meaning of the sutra, it should be accordingly translated into “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment” instead of “Eight Realizations of Great Beings”.

Guru Thinley Nguyen Thanh

What’s more, there is no such word as “great being” in Buddhist language. This word originally comes from Confucianism in China which was used to distinguish among social ranks or titles in feudal society where mandarins and plutocrats are addressed as “大人” (great/superior being) whilst the inferior is called “小人” (small/inferior being). In public relations, another modest way to show respect to a person with higher hierarchical rank is addressing as 下官 (this lower ranked being). Meanwhile, it is impossible to find any word referring to the Sangha like “大人” (great being) in Buddhist scriptures. If there is any kind of it, it is often addressed as “上坐” (Venerable) or “长老” (the senior/elderly).
On the other hand, it is wrong to refer “Eight realizations” to enlightenment! Simply because once you get enlightened, you have already truly and deeply understood those eight realizations, just like a billionaire will obviously possesses big mansion, expensive car and big piles of cash! Hence, we should perceive the sutra title in the way that after a person finishes his contemplation on these “eight great causes”, he will get enlightenment. This definitely has no relation with “eight realizations of great beings” or of someone else. The sutra title simply reflects the process of self-contemplation, not a private property as it is misunderstood.

Now one may ask why there are only eight but not ten “realizations of great beings”? What can you say if a practitioner gets enlightened by cognizing only one thing, THE EMPTINESS (Sunyata), not those “eight realizations”? In addition, if a “great being” possesses eight realizations, how many realizations will a Buddha attain? Surely impossible to answer! From this point on, we can see the title “Eight Realizations of Great Beings” is baseless. It should be understood as  “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment” which is in alignment with the CAUSE-EFFECT principle .

In previous articles, I have mentioned about a kind of fake sutras (apocrypha) that were intentionally made up by the Chinese and misunderstood as the authenticity in many generations, such as “Ullambana“, “Mahamegha Sutra”,   “The Scripture on Gratitude towards Parents”, etc

Chinese monks were also reported to “play cat-and-mouse” game by deliberately giving the title or heading to the sutra, i.e they made up some apocryphal parts of the sutra depending on their private purpose. We therefore should reconsider the title of “八 大 人 覺” sutra which was translated from Sankrit to Chinese language mostly by the Chinese. The title was then translated into Vietnamese as “Tám điều giác ngộ của bậc đại nhân” or “The Eight Realizations of Great Beings sutra” in English. This is a grievous mistake in terms of semantic content, a defamation on the Buddha’s wisdom.

Following is the right title of the sutra I’d like to remind you:

1/ In Vietnamese, it should be “Tám nguyên nhân trọng yếu để đạt giác ngộ”

2/ In English, it should be translated as “

The Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment Sutra”, absolutely not “The Eight Realizations of Great beings Sutra”

Then the following verses should be:

1/ Nên hiểu điều thứ nhất

Thế gian là vô thường, bốn đại đều khổ không…

In English, it is:

The First Cause:
The world is impermanent.
Countries are unstable.
Four Elements, desolate and empty.

In conclusion, the “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment sutra” needs perceiving as eight categories for contemplation and practice to attain enlightenment. I’d like to stop here.

May all sentient beings be modest and keep sense of shame”

Om Ah Hum

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain

4th October, 2018

Thinley- Nguyen Thanh

Translated by Mat Hue Phap

  1. Lan Trần says:

    Dear Guru,

    I have already read this article in Vietnamese. Thank you so much for your teachings.

    May fortunate people read it.

    May Guru and your consort live long and have good health for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    May all sentient beings be surrounded by the Three Jewels.

    I am elated by Mat Hue Phap’s translation.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  2. Dear Holy Guru,

    Thank you so much for  pointing out the wrongness in translation of Buddhist sutra: “The eight great causes of enlightenment”. It is completely wrong to translate this sutra into: “The eight realizations of Great beings”. Due to spiritual slavery and ignorance, many translators including me do not understand the true meaning of the sutra, which leads to the wrong understanding about Buddhist teachings. Your clarification lights me up, give me the chance to understand the true meaning of Buddhist teaching and to correct my grevious mistakes in translation, in order that I can avoid the bad karma coming soon. I am so lucky to follow the Guru like you and I understand why Lord Atisha said: “The best spiritual friend is one who attacks your hidden faults. The best instructions are the ones that hit your hidden faults.”

    Thank you so much for your teachings.

    May you and your consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May all sentient beings free from suffering and get the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  3. Mật Thủy says:

    Dear Holy Guru,
    I’m delighted with your article: “Wrongness misconceived as rightness – A kind of spiritual slavery and lack of Bodhiyanga of discrimination (in perspective of dialectical science)”.
    Thank you very much for your clarification so that we now understand the wrongness of the translation of the title “Eight realizations of Great beings”, which has been chating up to now. You also confirm that the right title is “Eight great causes of Enlightenment”, which reflects the process of self-contemplation, not a private property as it is misunderstood.
    Moreover, we have a lesson of not taking the spiritual slavery attitude but Bodhiyanga of discrimination on every phenomena.
    I’d like to praise your wisdom and your virtues guiding us and other sentient beings to the right path to enlightenment.
    I’m delighted with the merit of traslation of Mat Hue Phap.
    May you and your consort good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings!
    Om mani padme hum!

  4. Dear Holy Guru,

    I’m grateful to your beneficial article for clarifying the wrongness misconceived as rightness for a very long time when title of “Bát đại nhân giác” sutra has been translated and accepted as “Tám điều giác ngộ của bậc đại nhân” or “Eight Realizations of Great Beings”. This article wakes us as well as others up to the spiritual slavery, and help us be equipped with Bodhiyanga of Discrimination (in perspective of dialectical science) which is significant on the way to the city of liberation.

    Thanks to your teachings I understand that the sutra should be perceived as “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment” which is in alignment with the Cause-Effect principle, it is about eight categories for contemplation and practice to attain enlightenment. And “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment” or “Tám nguyên nhân trọng yếu để đạt giác ngộ” is the right title.

    Thank you so much, Holy Guru. May you and your consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    I’m elated with the merit of vajra brother Mat Hue Phap in translating Guru’s article to English. May your legitimate wishes come true soon.

    May all sentient beings awake into the enlightened state.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  5.  Tantra Mahavita says:

    Querido Santo Guru. ….El Guru es mi guia. Buda es mi vida .Dharma es mi camino. Sangha es mi espiritu.Doblo mi cabeza a los pies del Loto del Guru.  En palabras de Atisha , El mejor amigo espiritual es aquel que ataca tus faltas ocultas . Las mejores instrucciones son las que golpean tus fallas ocultas . Muchas gracias por sus enseñanzas. Gracias por compartir sus articulos. Que el Amado Guru viva feliz ,para beneficio , de todos los seres sintientes. Que todos los seres sintientes disfruten de la felicidad y la raiz de la felicidad. Puedan ser libres de sufrimiento y de la raiz de sufrimiento. Que no esten separados de la gran felicidad carente de sufrimiento. Que habiten en la ecuanimidad , libre de apego y aversion.Que la bondad y la compasion de la sabiduria de la no dualidad. Que la preciosa Bodhichita haya nacido en aquellos donde no lo es . Puede que Bodhichita una vez que nazca no decaiga y se expanda mas y mas. Que el precioso espiritu del despertar nazca en aquellos donde no esta. Que una vez que nazca , no se deteriore y aumente cada vez mas . OM MANI PADME HUM

  6. Dr. C H Lakshmi narayan. says:

    Guru is my guide

    Buddha is my life

    Dharma is my way

    Sangha is my Spirit

    Respected Guruji, I bow my head at the lotus feet of Guruji.

    I am Tantra Nirvadeva.

    According to Guruji, ” Eight Realizations of great beings ” sutra as it is called now by that title is a misnomer and baseless and actually it should be called as  ” Eight great causes of Enlightenment” based on cause and effect principle, as the first verse defines about impermanence and the other seven describe about the mindfulness and Practice of Buddhist Dharma. None of them mention private possession of ” GREAT BEINGS “!

    In fact, there is no word like” Great Being” in Buddhist language. It is borrowed from originally from Confucianism in China meaning to show respect to a person with a higher status of rank in Spirituality.!. Also, it is said here, the Chinese are fond of playing ” Cat and Mouse “game in altering the names of some Sutras for their private purpose.!It is right time now for reconsidering the title of the Sutra as ” The Eight great causes of Enlighenment Sutra “according to Guruji.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Long live our beloved Guruji for upholding Dharma.

    Dr C H Lakshminarayan




    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Nirvadeva ( C H Lakshminarayan)  sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Đạo sư là người dẫn đường cho con

      Phật là cuộc sống của con

      Pháp là con đường của con

      Tăng là tinh thần của con.

      Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con xin cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy!

      Con là Tantra Nirvadeda.

      Theo lời dạy của Thầy thì tựa đề bài kinh “Bát đại nhân giác” không phải là “Tám điều giác ngộ của bậc đại nhân” bởi vì tên kinh như vậy không đúng và không có căn cứ, vì vậy tên kinh đúng là “Tám nguyên nhân trọng yếu để đạt giác ngộ” thì mới đúng theo nguyên lý  nhân quả, trong đó, đoạn kệ thứ nhất nói về tính chất vô thường; 7 đoạn kệ còn lại phân tích nhiều góc cạnh tư duy và thực hành Phật pháp, chớ không hoàn toàn đề cập đến tính sở hữu của “Đại nhân” nào đó.

      Thực chất, trong ngôn ngữ Phật học không tồn tại danh từ “Đại nhân”. Danh từ này xuất phát từ đạo Khổng bên Trung Quốc, vốn dùng để thể hiện sự tôn trọng đối với những người có địa vị, có chức quyền. Đồng thời, người Trung Quốc chơi trò “mèo vờn chuột” nên đã thay đổi tên của một số kinh điển vì mục đích cá nhân. Đã đến lúc tên bài kinh “Bát đại nhân giác” cần được sửa cho đúng thành “Tám nguyên nhân trọng yếu để đạt giác ngộ” như Thầy đã luận giảng.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì sự nghiệp hoằng dương chánh pháp.

      Con – C H Lakshminarayan.” 


  7. Dr. C H Lakshmi narayan. says:

    ( Continuation of the above )

    I am of the opinion , similar to the above likely change of the title of the Sutra, as Buddhists we have to change our food habits and life style to vegetarian food rather than eating meat which involves killing of an animal either by ourselves or by some body else with out compramising which is highly appreciable .!

    ____Dr C H Lakshminarayan


  8. Tantra Upatissa says:

    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    I understand title was wrongly given when translated from Sanskrit language to other Chinese and Vietnamese language.

    Before giving titles to sutras – purpose and meaning of sutras or related content should be deeply understood so it may not create confusion among other beings reading them and practising wrongly by miss-understanding the real meaning of sutras.

    May all beings take guidance before doing translation of sutra’s.

    May Guru and his consort live long and protected and get enlightened.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Upatissa sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này ạ.

      Con hiểu rằng tên bài kinh bị dịch sai do quá trình chuyển ngữ từ tiếng Phạn sang tiếng Trung Quốc và từ tiếng Trung Quốc sang tiếng Việt. 

      Trước khi dịch tiêu đề của bài kinh thì dịch giả nên hiểu rõ mục tiêu, ý nghĩa và nội dung bài kinh để không làm cho người đọc bản dịch hiểu sai lệch, hiểu lầm lời dạy của đức Thế Tôn, và từ việc hiểu sai thực nghĩa lời kinh sẽ dẫn đến việc thực hành sai.

      Con cầu nguyện tất cả những dịch giả đều được chỉ dạy để hiểu ý nghĩa câu kinh trước khi họ dịch kinh điển Phật đà.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô trụ thế lâu dài, thân tâm an tịnh.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ phiền não và đạt được giác ngộ tối thượng.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  9. Tantra Kasila says:

    Dear holy Guru

    First of all thanks for this informative article.It helped us to realize how even a translation can alter the original content.Weather it be Mantras or Sutras even the way you chant time you take to chant,all matters.So it’s important to give proper guidance to the people who practice it.Really appreciate Guru for your effort and time you spend for this.

    Let the Guru live long and all the sentinel beings have the peacefulness and calmness of Buddha.

    • Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Kasila sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý! 

      Đầu tiên, con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết lợi lạc với nhiều thông tin bổ ích. Bài viết của Thầy giúp chúng con nhận ra rằng bản dịch sai về kinh điển, thần chú làm thay đổi thực nghĩa của nguyên bản và điều này sẽ làm ảnh hưởng đến việc học Phật vì đọc tụng kinh điển sai với thực nghĩa. Vì vậy,  khi thực hành pháp,  điều quan trọng là hành giả được vị Thầy hướng dẫn,  chỉ bảo để thực hành đúng. 

      Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy đã dành thời gian quý báu và nỗ lực để hướng dẫn, chỉ bảo hữu tình thực hành pháp theo đúng quỹ đạo chánh pháp. 

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài. 

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh được bình an và viên thành Phật đạo. ”


  10. Dear Holy Guru,

    I am delighted to read your article: “Wrongness misconceived as rightness – A kind of spiritual slavery and lack of bodhiyanga of discrimination (in perspective of dialectical science)”. I would like to express my gratitude to you for your teaching about the mistake in translation. I am grateful for being one of your disciples. I rejoice in Mat Hue Phap’s good deed of translation. Her translation supports to flourish your discourse all over the world for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May you and your consort live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May Mat Hue Phap have a good health and make progress on the path to enlightenment.
    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of the Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum!

  11. Dear Holy Guru,

    I am delighted reading this article, Wrongness misconceived as rightness – a kind of spiritual slavery and lack of Bodhiyanga of discrimination (in perspective of dialectical science).

    By reading this article, I understand that “Bát đại nhân giác” (八 大 人 覺) means “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment” instead of “Eight Realizations of Great Beings” for the following reasons:

    1. The eight verses does not mention any private possession, only reason the cosmology and outlook on life, and analyze mindfulness and practice of Buddhist Dharma.
      2. There is no such word as “great being” in Buddhist language.
      3. “Bát đại nhân giác” is not about “eight realizations” but rather, “eight great causes” so that the cultivator, after he or she finishes contemplating, will get enlightenment.
      4. A practitioner gets enlightened by cognizing The Emptiness, not those “eight realizations”
      5. Enlightenment can not be measures by a certain number of realizations.
      6. “Eight Great Causes of Enlightenment” is the correct interpretation, which is in alignment with the CAUSE-EFFECT principle.

    By reading this article, I realize there are incidents where people manipulate language to mislead the true meaning of the teaching for their own personal goals and benefits. I also realize the difficulty of translation, which requires the Bodhiyanga of discrimination (in perspective of dialectical science) and certain level of understanding regarding to the original texts. The consequences for misinterpretation is regrettable, severe and highly influential, beyond the mere misunderstanding between two languages. I am deeply grateful for having the chance to read this article by the Guru.

    I pray for the success of the ITA institution to light the torch of wisdom far and wide. I pray for the health and the longevity of the Guru and his consort for the benefits of all sentient beings. May all beings awake into the enlightened state.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  12. Tantra Sutradaka says:

    Revered Guru Jee

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    For last many days I could not read the letters sent by my friend because I am bereaved of my smart mobile, as I lost it while travelling from Patna to Biharsharif. In fact, that helped me to connect the net and be aware of my friend’s activities, world news and very many things and specially the lessons from my Guru. I used the internet connection of my college but my duties toward my students did not allow me to use it for good length of time. This made me restless too as I was not reading Guru’s letter and commenting on that. On Friday I received a call from my wife. She asked me to come to Patna as she had arrived there in the morning. It was boon in disguise for me for three simple reasons. The first, I may use her net and read guru’s letter secondly, I love to play with my granddaughter and the last but not the least, I shall be able to meet and stay with my wife as we rarely get an opportunity live together. However, the things were not very smooth for me. I fall ill after arriving at Patna. Weakness grew and I was not in position to sit, stand and move properly. My all dreams were shattered. I was neither able to read the letter and comment on that, I could not play with my granddaughter and I was not in position to converse with any one freely. I was lying on the bed restlessly. Anyway, today up to great extent, I recuperated and could not check my temptation to wish my friend Good morning on the messenger. She not only reciprocated it but also asked, “Are you at home?”  I narrated my existential situation. I understand, she replied sympathetically.  Her next question was, “do you have time to read?” I succumbed to her request, opened the letter, went through a few lines and replied, “I have started reading”. But in the meantime my granddaughter came and compelled me to play with her.  She took out my spectacle and I was forced to close my laptop.

    To my pleasant surprise it is a very informative lesson that spots light on the wrong interpretation of the fact what the  Buddha spoke in the past regarding the path leading to enlightenment.  To my little Knowledge the Buddhist way of interpretation may the Buddhist text and Tradition Properly. This you have also said in one of your letters, on which I have commented. Latter on I developed it which, to my mind, appears to be narrated here. In anticipation of your kind permission I am attaching it here.


    Proper way of interpretation of the Buddhist text and tradition


    It is a well-known fact that about 2600 years ago Buddha taught his disciples, coming from different strata of society and in variant need and ability for forty five years. His pedagogical aim and skill were such that He formulated doctrines to resonate precisely with the abilities, inclinations and needs of each disciple. But at the same time He demanded constantly critical reflection on the deeper meaning of His teaching. It is said that Buddha Himself has given auto commentaries wherein He has explained what He meant by His previous teachings. He has also provided conceptual schemes to interpret His own doctrine. This in due course gave birth to Buddhist Hermeneutucs.

    Primarily hermeneutics was concerned merely with interpreting sacred texts but with the development in the historical context the term acquired a broader significance. It means today a philosophical tradition concerned with the nature of understanding and interpretation of human behaviour and social traditions. From its origin in problems of Biblical interpretations hermeneutics has expanded to cover many fields of enquiry, including aesthetics, literary theory and science. It has taken the shape of a philosophy which deals with the questions and problems of interpretation. .

    Now the question that arises is what has Buddhism to do with hermeneutics? Is there any need of hermeneutical study in Buddhist Philosophy? Are there some threads of hermeneutics in Buddhist Literature?  Has Buddhist scholars or Buddha himself evolved or provided any theory or methods of interpretation?

    Is there any need of the hermeneutical study  in Buddhist Philosophy : It is a historical fact and is evident from the perusal of Mahaparinibban Sutta of Digh Nikaya that Buddha himself felt the need of interpretation of his teaching for its proper understanding. Buddha before his Mahaparinibbana spoke from His death bed to console His weeping disciples, particularly Ananda that His teaching will be their teacher. The statement runs as follows :-

    “Then Bhagava addressed venerable Ananda. It may be Ananda that some of you will think that the word of the teacher is a thing of the past; we have now no teacher. But that Ananda is not the correct view. The doctrine and the discipline, Ananda, which I have taught and enjoined upon you is to be your teacher when I am gone”.

    Here questions arise that in Buddha’s absence where shall authority reside? How Buddha and His teachings will be their teacher? What was His proper teaching? And what is the meaning of the phrase “the teaching to be their teacher?. The contemplation on these questions will lead us to “Buddhist Hermeneutics”. These questions have also necessitated a method of interpretation. due to below mentioned reasons :


    1. Have Buddhist scholars or Buddha Himself evolved a method of interpretation?

    There are several Buddhist text, such as  Mahapadesa, Milind Panho, Visuddhi Maggo, Neti Pakarana, Petakopadesa, Abhidharm Kosabhasya, Saddharmapundarika and many other  texts  wherein theory, method and tools of interpretation as well as the rules for the assessment of the textual authenticity  have been discussed.  The present paper aims at explaining Catuhpratisharan Sutta of the Abhidharm Kosabhasya wherein Hermeneutical strategy of Buddhism has been formulated. Prescribing the hermeneutical tools it is said here that “ while interpreting the text rely on the teaching, not on the teacher, rely on the meaning not on the letters, rely on the definitive meaning (nitarthah) and not on interpretable meaning (neyatarth) and rely on the wisdom (jannan) not on the ordinary consensus”.After anaysing it we find four roots or principles for interpreting the text. Here a brief account of above mentioned four rules is needed:-

    1. Dharma pratisharnam na pudgalah :- This principle reminds us the Mahaparinibban Sutta, where in Buddha said that the text will be your teacher in my absence. It implies that text should be relied upon not because of Buddha’s authority but because of its own authenticity. In other words it can be said that any text may be accepted not because it is Buddha vacan or Dev Vani or is authored by any knowledgebale person. Not because the Sangha accepts it, not because any learned one is authenticating it, rather the text is in question must be found in Sutta (Sutta Vatarati) resembles to the teaching of Vinaya (Vinay Sandrishyate) and it should not contradict the nature of the things (Dharmatam cha na vilomayati). This rule goes contrary to Aaptopadesh shabdah for Chatuh pratisharan Sutta one should not depend upon human authority while accepting the doctrine, howsoever learned and respectable he may be. In normal experience, it is found that the human evidence is often contradictory and challengeable. Hence one should adhere to once own reasoning, knowledge, perception and understanding.  In Bodhi sattva Bhumi it is said that, “By relying on reasoning and notion of a person’s authority, one does not deviate from the meaning of reality, because one is autonomous, dependent of all other when confronted with rationally examined truth. 9  Perhaps due to this reason in Kalama and Bhaddiya Sutta of Anguttar Nikaya, Budha has asked not to rely on the eminence of the speaker(Bhavya rupta) and the prestige of the speaker (Samano no guru) as well as on the report or hearsay (Itikira).  Here it is relevant to mention that eminence of the speaker seems to indicate the intrinsic worth of the speaker while prestige of the speaker signifies his reputation and prestige. Buddha has categorically asked not to accept the authority of the both, he has advised “analyze my words before accepting them”. They should not do out of respect.
    2. Arthah Pratisharnam na vyanjanam:- while interpreting the text importance should be given to the meaning or spirit of the word or sentence not on the letters as letters by itself carries no meaning. There are so many persons who get by heart the Sutras of a sacred text without understanding their meanings.  To memories it out of reverence or blind faith, that it is Buddha vacana or Devavani , will not help them in any form. In such a case Buddha’s teachings will never guide them and can never their teacher.  It is evident from the internal references of the Tripitaka itself that the words of the Buddha were memorized and recited by monks.  That is why some of them were called suttantika (Reciter of the Sutta) somewhere named Dhammakathikas (preacher of dhamma) and to some the adjective ‘Vinayadhar’ were given. Bhuddha was aware of the fact .i.e. why He warned his disciples against this parroting practice which was prevalent during his time. In Chaturpratisaranasutta the meaning or the spirit is the refuge not the letters.
    3. Nitarth Sutram Pratisharan na neyatarhan (rely on the sutra of precise and definitive meaning not on the intepretable meaning) – There is difference of opinion among the exegetes regarding the third principle. But before we discuss it, it seems proper to know the meaning of the words Netarthsutra and Neyatarth sutra, The Nitarth means literal, precise and definite meaning. Thus by Nitarth Sutra means those sutras, the meaning of which is precise and definite. On the contrary, Neyatarth Sutras are those the meaning of which are interpretable or can be drawn after The meaning of NetarthSutra is clear (Vibhaktarth). and explicit (Kayatt) , When it is taught without ulterior motive (Nihparyayadeshit). In other words Nitarth Sutra are those Sutras of which one  should take the literal meaning. But Neyatartha are those the meaning of which needs to be deduced by interpretation. (Yasma athonetabbo).  The reason behind is that these Sutras are intentional statements. Buddha has said it with certain purpose having particular intention behind it. Its real meaning is different from its literal meaning; hence they have to be interpreted.

    Mahasangik school of Buddhism is of the opinion that all the teachings of Buddha are equally meaning and can be literally understood. Hence there should not be any category of Nitartha and Neyatarth Sutra and if there are some, there should not be any difference between them.

    Now in order that Buddha’s teaching be the teacher be the teacher, it is essential that their meaning be determined and interpreted taking into consideration above mentioned factors behind his teachings as the literal meaning of Neyatarth Sutra will mislead one. Secondly, one has to adhere to the literal meaning of the Nitartha Sutra, the meaning of which is precise and definite. And thirdly, the meaning of Neyatarth Sutra has to be deduced in the light of Nitartha Sutra and only then one will be able to discover the motive of Buddha behind his teachings.


    1. Jnanam pratisharanam na vijnanam:- Rely on wisdom not on ordinary consciousness. The principle reminds us of Schlemachaer’s dictum that to understand the text one must understand the mental state of the author. In fact, wisdom constitutes single and indispensable instrument of true exegesis. Buddha has himself propounded this view when he says, “I do not speak by hearing from other recluses and Brahmins but I speak only that which I have myself known , seen and comprehended,”   In Sandhinirmochan Sutta it is said that, ” Bodhisatva  understood the  intention of the text manifested through images  which are the object of samadhi, which accords with the nature of the thing”

    According to the Buddhist texts there are three types of wisdom (Panna) i.e. Sutamayi Panna, Cintamayi Panna and Bhavanamayi Panna, Wisdom arising from listening, reflection and meditation respectively. The first two are laukika.  They cannot give the real picture of the texts they are defiled by delusion. They can be practiced as preparatory exercise by wordings. But Bhavanamayi Panna is the authentic knowledge, a direct comprehension of the truth, and is completely free from delusion. It is transcendental and undefiled. In this this state of the mind a proper meaning of a text can be known. Thus the last hermeneutic principle of the Catuhpratisharansutta says that hermeneutics should be based not on the literal meaning, not on the theoretical understanding but on the direct knowledge of the Four Noble Truth.

    Conclusion: – Hermeneutics being a linguistic tool is, therefore, as vital to Buddhism as to other theological and philosophical system. I have already demonstrated in my paper that Buddha Himself was conscious of the linguistic complexity. With the passage of years the new layers of meaning attach to the words and structures used in a discourse. The body of the Buddhist teachings is no exception to this common phenomenon. Like so many ancient languages Pali and Sanskrit have also become the language of the past; and the logical and proper interpretation of the Sutras used by the Buddha cannot be dependent upon grammatical accuracy or stylistic technique.

    Already a lot of work, historical and interpretative, has gone into making the teachings of the Buddha intelligible to the monks as well as men interested in them. But in the present context a definitive glossary of the fundamental terms related to life, morality, purity of conduct and Parinibbana needs to be developed in modern language. In addition to this the more important task is to remove all possible misconception and misinterpretation which have unfortunately taken root because of the factional fighting. I hope that I have been able to suggest means by which certain points regarding Buddhism can be discussed with greater clarity and proper hermeneutic approach is developed to serve as principal tool for this purpose.


    Om Mani Padme Hum

    With Warm Regards

    Avinash Kumar Srivastava

  13. Tantra Amishuta says:

    Thank you dear guru for your article i look forward to continuing to read more articles, may you be well for all sentient beings and may wet find enlightenment. Om Mani padme hum

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Amishuta sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con đọc bài viết này. Con mong chờ được đọc thêm các bài viết khác của Thầy ạ.

      Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

      Con cầu nguyện chúng con đạt được giác ngộ.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”


  14. Tantra Mikaya says:

    dear holy guru. Thank you for your article Wrongness Misconceided – A KIND OF SPIRITUAL SLAVERY AND LACK OF BODHIYANGA OF DISCRIMINATION. This article is very instructive and I hope many times that my lyrics will come with the correct interpretation. I know that for cultural reasons people sometimes express themselves in a different way and it can lead to misunderstandings. I read German books in Buddhism that are often described as sometimes having a different meaning in the Western world. That’s why it helps me read Chanhtuduy.com to properly understand the wisdom of Buddha. we should not try to interpret Buddha’s wisdom ourselves. Through language cultural vocabulary or translator, the dharma could be misinterpreted. Thank you for your article. May our holy Guru life long for the sake of all sentient beings. OM MANI PADME HUM

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mikaya sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết của Thầy: “Lỗi sai thành đúng vì bị nô lệ tâm linh thiếu trạch pháp nhãn (biện chứng khoa học).

      Bài viết của Thầy ý nghĩa, lợi lạc và con hy vọng rằng mỗi khi con comment, con hiểu đúng nội dung bài viết của Thầy. Con hiểu rằng do sự khác biệt về văn hóa, con người diễn tả ý của mình theo nhiều cách khác nhau và có thế dẫn đến sự hiểu lầm.

      Con đã đọc các quyển sách về đạo Phật bằng tiếng Đức và con thấy có rất nhiều điểm viết không đúng tính thời đại, không phù hợp với thế giới Phương Tây. Chỉ khi con đọc các bài viết của Thầy trên chanhtuduy.com, con thấy dễ hiểu và hiểu đúng được về trí tuệ Phật đà.

      Con hiểu là những người bình thường như chúng con không nên dịch lời Phật dạy theo tâm ý của bản thân. Bởi vì do sự khác biệt ngôn ngữ, văn hóa, trình độ mà dịch giả có thể sẽ dịch sai lời Phật dạy.

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã viết bài này.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy tôn quý trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  15. Tantra Mahadeva says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    Thank you for this article. Emptiness from all thoughts, opinions, ideas and concepts leads to pure state of being. In such a state, mind is ripe to receive dharma.

    May all beings understand the all pervading emptiness

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  16. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol Guru.

    My name is tantra siramitra.

    I read the article, and i seen the point that the venerebol Guru as just said, and it makes sense  i agree!!

    My Avery one be happy.


  17. Elana Dower says:

    Dearest Guru,

    Thank you again for taking the time to teach the correct was to interpret Buddha’s teachings. I am going to read more about the “eight realizations of beings” I am able to google it and read further.

    May you  find yourself closer to enlightenment today.

    Om Mani Padme Hum


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