SELF-REALISATION OF NOBLE WISDOM
Based on Professor Suzuki's Translation of the Lankavatara
PROFESSOR SUZUKI'S STUDIES IN THE LANKAVATARA SUTRA was published in 1929, and his TRANSLATION OF' THE LANKAVATARA in 1932 (George Routledge & Son, London). The books awakened a great deal of interest in the LANKAVATARA which, until these books appeared, had been almost unknown to the European world. They also awakened a great deal of admiration for Professor Suzuki's scholarship and patience in carrying to a conclusion so great a task and in so scholarly a manner.
Owing to the nature of the original Sanskrit text, the English translation is very difficult reading and Professor Suzuki felt, if the Sutra was ever to be read by many general readers, that an editing of it in the interest of easier reading was almost a necessity. For that reason he encouraged the editor to undertake the task, but, of course, Professor Suzuki is in no sense to be held responsible for its character or interpretations.
Under the general rube adopted by the editor, the long introductory chapter, the "meat-eating" chapter, and the chapter on Dharani, were omitted entirely as being later accretions and in no direct sense relating to the theme of the Sutra. The long chapter of verses is also omitted as being obscure and repetitious; and as the essence of the verses; is given in the prose sections,
they can be omitted without loss for the sake of easier reading. In addition, certain small sections are omitted because of their obscurity, or because they do not appear to add anything to the elucidation of the main thesis.
Under the second rule, the Sutra was cut up into more or less small sections and rearranged into something like an orderly sequence. Under the third rule, these small sections were interwoven and condensed by omitting repetitions, matter that was obscure or tiresomely argumentative. Under the fourth rule, a minimum amount of interpretation was introduced. This was absolutely necessary if the Sutra was to be easily or agreeably read, but the interpretations were confined to matter found within the text itself. Often the author of the Sutra would refer to an important doctrine by a single compound word which if translated would be meaningless to modern occidental ears; in such cases there was nothing else to be done, if the reading was to be easily understood, but to interpret it at more or less length, but I have been scrupulously careful not to do any more than was necessary to bring out the full meaning of the text.
As readers become interested in the Sutra by the reading of this Version they are urged to continue their study of it from the original Sanskrit, or from Prof. Suzuki's books.