Eight Qualities of Buddhist Translators

Have been introducing features of translation approaches by Chinese Buddhist translators from the second to tenth centuries in China. Presentations in Canada and Thailand thus far have been well received. 

Cancong’s advocacy for Buddhist translators’ inner cultivation is a special feature that sacred text translators east and west may be interested in.

An Excerpt from the Biographies of Preeminent Monks, Continued
by Cancong (彥琮  557 – 610 AD)

Be sincere and love the Dharma, aim to benefit others —
      do not grow weary over time, this is the first preparatory step.
About to step onto the field of enlightenment,
first secure the fulfillment of precepts —
      do not be tainted by mockery and deviance, this is the second preparatory step.
Understand the Tripitaka completely, so you connect the two vehicles —
      do not be afraid of obscurity and stagnation, this is the third preparatory step.
Tread the histories of ancient times, perfect the craft of classics and poetry,
      do not become crude and clumsy, this is the fourth preparatory step.
Embrace equanimity and forgiveness,
let your heart’s capacity be spacious and integrating,
      do not enjoy specializations that become attachments,
this is the fifth preparatory step.
Indulge in the art of the Way, take fame and fortune lightly,
      do not wish to climb high and shine, this is the sixth preparatory step.
Know the Sanskrit language so as to be at ease with proper translation,
      do not falter in your studies, this is the seventh preparatory step.
Browse airily through elegant writings, know the forms of calligraphy overall —
      do not be enchanted by these texts, this is the eighth preparatory step.