The Scripture In Forty Summary

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The Scripture in Forty-Two Sections is a collection of parables, traditionally considered as the first Buddhist scripture translated into Chinese. However, there are also aspects of the text that suggests that the scripture is actually a Chinese product. The reason why it is hard to distinguish one from the other is because the scripture is both. Physically, the text most likely have been compiled in China. Yet, it consists of Buddhist teachings translated in a way that makes it both appealing and understandable to the Chinese. With that said, the Scripture in Forty-Two Sections is both a Chinese product and a translation of Indian Buddhism. The traditionally believed origin of the Scripture in Forty-Two Sections is based on the legend …show more content…
When translating and converting, once again one would also have to make adjustments that would be convincing. But, the message of what one is trying to preach always remains the same. This can be seen in the scripture. Besides starting with “The Buddha said…” it also incorporated pre-Buddhist Chinese ideals like filial piety and Daoism (“The Way”). “When gazing at the tremendous variety of shapes and forms of...the world contemplate their impermanence. If you keep your mind thus you will attain the Way in no time” (The Scripture in Forty-Two Sections, 16). Traditional Chinese ideal of the Way has to do with preservation and eternity as opposed to Buddhism which is more focused on the end. This text shows a discrepancy in the usual use of “the Way” to suit a completely different ideal. Yet, it was done this way to appeal to the Chinese but the translational aspect is obvious from the partial understanding of the foreign ideas or words based on its misuse. Another example; “Feeding ten billion solitary buddhas is not as good as liberating one’s parents…” (9). This is a clear use of filial piety as a method of persuasion but the lesson is still essentially, Buddhist--universal salvation. The text is a translation because it is communicating Indian Buddhism in a way that the Chinese can

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