Is there an English translations of the Chinese parallel to the Udana?

Is the an English translations of the Chinese parallel to the Udana?

I am especially interested in the Chinese parallel to Ud 1.10 and the equivalent to the following passage:

Thanks in advance.

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見而實而見,  聞而實而聞,
知而實而知,  是謂名苦際。

<<出曜經>> 泥洹品第二十七

Which is something like:

The seen is seen just as it is (tathā), what is heard is heard just as it is,
what is known is known just as it is, this has been called the end of suffering.

The use of 實, “tathā” gives me a feeling of reality free from false conceptualisation (this is not easy to put in English- this is “suchness”). There is an explanation in the Chinese text below which I haven’t included.

Just limiting the search to SC listed parallels only. If Chinese readers wish to explore more, see Ken Su’s article on trisyllabic verse in the Faju Jing:

A15012886.pdf (3.0 MB)
pp 54-59 for other occurrences of this trope.

Compare also Sanskrit

dṛṣṭe tu dṛṣṭamātreṇa śrute ca śrutamātratā ।
mate tathaiva vijñāte duḥkhasyānto nirucyate ।।

Which also uses term “tathā” in a similar way which is not in the Pali.


The verses that conclude Ud 1.10 are in the same chapter of T212, but the story about Bahiya is not included in the commentary. There is just some mention that the verses were said with deluded Jains in mind. Interesting that the Pali has this verse embedded in the story. Should it really be prose?


What does the Sanskrit translate to?

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dṛṣṭe tu dṛṣṭamātreṇa śrute ca śrutamātratā ।
mate tathaiva vijñāte duḥkhasyānto nirucyate ।।

At a pinch…

And further, in the seen, there is only the seen, and in the heard, only the heard;
Cognising what is thought just as it is (tathā)*, this is called the end of suffering.

Cf: Skilling, Questioning the Buddha: A Selection of Twenty-Five Sutras- let there be naught but the perceived in the perceived.

Tathā is a doctrinally loaded word here, as the text then continues to break out in spontaneous mantra about the word tathā, as one does:

ene mene tathā dapphe daḍapphe ceti budhyataḥ ।
sarvasmād viratiḥ pāpād duḥkhasyānto nirucyate ।।

Understanding: Eeny meeny tathā dappy dadappy,
Turning away from all evil, this is called the end of suffering.

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This is interesting. It appears that all the explicit references to “you” disappearing from the Pali are only implicit in the Chinese and Sanskrit.

Yeah, I gather that they are just verses in these texts, not addressed to Bahiya.

I don’t know if Bahiya exists elsewhere in Chinese or Sanskrit: I haven’t looked.

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Is this a common thing, mantras using these semantically empty words for aesthetic / sound in this way? (In these types of Sanskrit texts I mean). Is there any particular context in which ‘ene mene …’ is used over others?

Mettā :pray:

This is interesting. “Ene Mene” is similar sounding to " eeny meeny", and maybe the same as they are just empty words. Quick google search reveal german words “ene mene” as the equivalent of " eeny meeny". Considering sanskrit has the same root as European language, maybe there is connection?

Usually mantra is based on words that have meaning. For example, " Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha"
Gate has the meaning of “go”.
Another one “dhara dhara dhiri dhiri dhuru dhuru”
Dhara means " to grasp" “to hold” " to retain". The other “dhiri” and “dhuru” is just variation of the first “dhara”.

Empty words as mantra is unusual, but it exist. One example that came to mind is the mantra of Manjushri, “Om arapacana dhi”. Some experts said it is actually a tongue twister, which has the effect of stimulating the brain and make one smarter.

I also got another interesting result from google search when looking up " ene mene"
It showed up here:

tatra bhagavān virūpākṣaṃ mahārājamāmantrayate | iti hi mahārāja ene mene daṣphe daṇḍaṣphe eṣa evānto duḥkhasyeti

It looked similar, but different. Dasphe instead of dapphe.

Googling the mantra above, I got another result, this time a book. It showed up the preview of google book:

The Origins of the World’s Mythologies

Michael Witzel

So, when one understand eeny meeny dappie as it is, (as empty words)
One would end suffering?
Maybe it is about turning away from conceptual thoughts?
I got zen vibes from this whole thing.


It’s really hard to know whether something is meaningless, or if we just haven’t worked out the meaning yet…

Isn’t arapacana the name of the Karoshti alphabet?

I kind of wonder now if the ene mene component may have entered the Sanskrit via Greek (via the dasyus?) k. It sounds like Greek for “one by one” (“ena m’ena”) according to this: Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe — Idea of the day — 6.13.18 | by the other chris pratt | Medium. Also Aramaic mene mene (numbered, numbered) as in the writing on the wall in Dan. 5:25.

I know the Witzel index gives Hindi sources, but one of them is for a song which was actually anti-colonial (Eena Meena Deeka, 1957)- the lyrics go roughly like, “Eeena Meena don’t wan’t” i.e. that eenie meenie miney mo is what the British colonial children said. The other rhyme may have evolved under British influence too.

There are more parallels for this mantra in Chinese, but I’m too lazy to go through them now as it’s not my speciality area and it hurts my head.



If anyone enjoys reading mantra in Chinese:

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yes! Its name derived from first 5 sylabbles.

In modern latin equivalent, its like saying the mantra like this:

Om A B C D E Dhi

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I know next to nothing about Mahayana Buddhism, but is this use of tatha as suchness in these passages what they mean by Buddha Nature?

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I am not aware of any concrete link between this particular passage and the concept of Buddha nature, but then again, there are many, many volumes of Mahayana commentary that I haven’t read. The concept of tathātā does show up in some Buddha nature elaborations though.

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