Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

  1. #1

    Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    This may sound really dumb, but:

    "Gate, Gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi, Svaha."

    How does one pronounce all that? Is "gate" like a gate on a fence, or like "Gah-tay" or something else?

  2. #2

    Re: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    Dear Fendis,

    I'm no Sanskrit scholar, but "gah-tay" is definitely more like it than the English "gate" in the sense of a fence gate, though please be aware you are still using your own language's syllable-system which doesn't really represent the other language's pronounciation.

    Please note that the Japanese version of the Heart Sutra transliterates the Mantra to "Gyate Gyate Hara Gyate Hara So Gyate Boji Sowa Ka" which is as far away from the Sankskrit original as you can get IMHO....but that doesn't seem to have had any detrimental effect on the Sutra's powers historically speaking (for those who believe such things).


    Old school mantra specialists will point out however, that the pronounciation of a mantra will have to be completely perfect in order to have the desired effect. Well...the Japanese Buddhuists seem to have survived the last couple of hundred years just fine

    Gassho,

    Hans


    P.S. I'm more of the "it's what's in your heart that counts when chanting the Heart Sutra" guy

    P.P.S. Please keep in mind that I am just a novice in an on-going training process, take everything I write with a pinch of salt, since it might very well be wrong

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,053
    Blog Entries
    119

    Re: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    This brings to mind the story of the young student who comes upon a hermit on an island who is chanting. The student notices the hermit is not chanting correctly and instructs him in the proper manner then continues on his way in his boat. Suddenly, he hears shouting and turns to see the hermit running across the water to catch up to the boat. The shocked student waits for the hermit who, arriving at the boat asks, "I am sorry but I have forgotten your instructions; could you repeat them please?"

  4. #4

    Re: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by fendis
    This may sound really dumb, but:

    "Gate, Gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi, Svaha."

    How does one pronounce all that? Is "gate" like a gate on a fence, or like "Gah-tay" or something else?
    What Hans said.

    I would also like to add this, if you want a fairly precise pronunciation guide to the wonderful language of Sanskrit:

    Gate is pronounced more like gah-teh (the last sound is like "meh", and not "may". It's not a diphthong).

    P?ragate is pronounced as it seems (with the same gate at the end as we saw above). Remember that the line over the first A means that this vowel should be long, not stressed. That is, you just prolong it a bit when pronouncing it.

    P?rasa?gate: almost the same as p?ragate, although the ?, the letter with a dot under, means that this is a nasalized vowel, so it's not just an ordinary M. More like the French way of nasalizing words.

    Bodhi: Hm ... difficult to explain. Never like "bode", more like how the russians pronounce vod in "vodka", that is, again no diphthong. The H is heavily emphasized, like in the (British) English pronunciation of the word "upheaval".

    Sv?h?: The V is a semi-vowel, I usually pronounce it as W. So, Swaah-haah, both vowels are long.

    Hope this helps!

    /Philip

  5. #5

    Re: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    You can also check various youtube videos and listen to the pronunciation. Here a Japanese version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccy708RQ1DA[/video]]

    Go to 2:52 minute mark.

    Another good one, also in Japanese:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65iXzTR7tw0&feature=player_embedded[/video]] ... r_embedded

    Of course, if you ain't hip to that, try:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV6VyvAHOdg[/video]]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CcIH7oxBP4[/video]]
    :mrgreen:

  6. #6

    Re: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    Thank you all. Sorry I couldn't reply sooner, I lost my internet!

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,053
    Blog Entries
    119

    Re: Heart Sutra, Stupid Question...

    Now that we can embed video, let's celebrate it !!

    Hanya Shin Kyo (Heart Sutra) followed by Honzonjogu

    [youtube] [/youtube]

Similar Threads

  1. Heart sutra lullaby
    By AlanLa in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-20-2011, 01:45 PM
  2. Heart Sutra Bells
    By Myozan Kodo in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 06-11-2011, 02:38 PM
  3. Heart sutra in English
    By Hoyu in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-16-2011, 12:00 AM
  4. Heart Sutra
    By Onshin in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-23-2010, 09:12 AM
  5. Heart Sutra III
    By will in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-07-2008, 07:58 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •