Monthly Archives: August 2015

First Commentary on the Digha Nikaya Since the Fifth Century

August 26, 2015 (Toronto). Chroniker Press has published the first comprehensive commentary on the Digha Nikaya since Buddhaghosa’s Sumangala-vilasini, entitled Conversations with the Buddha: A Reader’s Guide to the Digha Nikaya, by Tseten Thokmey, the Buddhist name of Alexander Duncan. Conversations is written from a modern, non-sectarian, universalist point of view. Unlike many sectarian exegetes, Conversations does not try to “second guess” the Pali Canon, but takes the Pali Canon itself “at its word,” disregarding nothing, to establish a basis for the Dharma Transmission to the West. The hermeneutic is non-historicist and phenomenological. This is Duncan’s seventh book.

The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 74.

74

The people don’t fear death.
What a burden is the fear of death.
But even if people were to fear death
And an executioner were willing
Who would dare
To execute such a criminal plan.
Yet the state has always punished murder with murder,
Assuming responsibility for killing from death itself.
Trying to supplant nature is like trying to supplant the master carpenter.
The man who tries to supplant the master carpenter
Is unlikely not to hurt his hand!

民不畏死,奈何以死懼之?若使民常畏死,而為奇者,吾得執而殺之,孰敢?常有司殺者殺。夫司殺者,是大匠斲;夫代大匠斲者,希有不傷其手矣。

The Book of the Right Way of Laozi -73.

73

Rashness kills,
While those who avoid rashness prosper.
Both of these may do good or do harm.
The world eliminates evil. Who understands the reason of it?
Nature follows the path of least resistance, but the good carries the victory:
Silent yet responsive;
Aloof yet cooperative;
Righteous yet cunning.
The cosmic web is vast,
All-encompassing, self-perpetuating; everything is accounted for.

勇於敢則殺,勇於不敢則活。此兩者,或利或害。天之所惡,孰知其故?是以聖人猶難之。天之道,不爭而善勝,不言而善應,不召而自來,繟然而善謀。天網恢恢,踈而不失。