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unknown character from Chinese Buddhist text

This archaic character is described in CBETA as [這-言+(血/(豕-一))]

It does not seem to be in Unicode yet. I don't care about pronunciation, what would it mean?

The context is 由斯經歷,保爾行途。取經早[這-言+(血/(豕-一))],滿爾心願。我是觀音菩薩。(T 256; 8.851a26-28)

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  • Looks like a variant on 𨄞, chóng 快
    – Mou某
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:16
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    Using Unicode IDS, this can be written as ⿺辶⿱𦓐豕 or as ⿺辶⿱血𧰨, and this is currently in zi.tools.
    – Michaelyus
    Nov 22, 2023 at 4:27
  • I think this is the character: 𨖼
    – dROOOze
    Nov 23, 2023 at 8:04
  • No. The radical yin 乑 is not the same as shi 豕. But thanks for playing.
    – Jayarava
    Nov 24, 2023 at 9:36
  • Uhh, I’m not sure where you’re getting “yin” from, and whether you know how characters work in general. Firstly, 乑 is a variation on 众. Secondly, characters are made from components, not “radicals”, which are artificial dictionary organisation tools. Thirdly, there is no such component as “血/(豕-一)” which has a traceable glyph origin; this means that “血/(豕-一)” is almost certainly derived from a transcription error. Note that your idea of there being a 豕 in the character is wrong, as the collection of strokes making up the shape 豕 is fused to the collection of strokes making up the shape 血.
    – dROOOze
    Nov 24, 2023 at 17:45

3 Answers 3

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I don't care about pronunciation, what would it mean?

This is not the right idea. Chinese characters represent words, and words have both sound and meaning. If you knew what the pronunciation is, you would be over halfway to finding out the word the character represented, and hence knowing its meaning.


Existing studies offer little in the way of interpreting that character's meaning, but at least two academic publications offer the components as 「⿺眾辶」 or 「⿺衆辶」 (Siu 2017 p.12; 張靜二 1985 p. 253), making up a character which looks like 「𨖼」. I’ll maintain that writing the character with 「血/(豕-一)」 is a transcription error, as there was no known widespread component 「血/(豕-一)」 used in other characters, and certainly not any which has a direct relation to the meaning or sound of the words used in the heart sutra.

If you really wanted to get to the bottom of this, rather than look at the printed transcription, make a trip to the British Museum's "Exploring the Silk Roads" exhibition and take some high-resolution clear photos at their Stein collection. Here's some images of original excerpts as excavated from Dūnhuáng, all taken from Volume 19 of 黃永武《敦煌寳藏》. The yellow circle contains the character you're after (。。。取經早「?」,滿爾心願。。。), while the blue circles and indicated characters are some examples that you should expect similarities or differences to.

《唐梵飜對字音般若波羅蜜多心經》

Stein no. 2464 (《敦煌寳藏》019, p.687-688)

敦煌寳藏019, p688, 斯2464《唐梵飜對字音般若波羅蜜多心經》

。。。師若受持,可保來往。「遂」乃口受與法師訖。。。

If the unknown character contains the strokes of 「豕」, it should highly resemble 「遂」 from the same writer.

《佛相好經》

Stein no. 2461 (《敦煌寳藏》019, p.633-634)

敦煌寳藏019, p633, 斯2461《佛相好經》

敦煌寳藏019, p634, 斯2461《佛相好經》

This is unlikely to have the same penmanship as Stein no. 2464, but it should be written around the same era.

。。。出五色光明,「還」入毛孔。。。

。。。其舌下十脈「衆」光流出。。。

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  • there was no known widespread component 「血/(豕-一)」 I'm not sure if it's worth pointing out, but there's a way of writing 衆 that looks very similar to OP's picture. I've seen 衆 written that way occassionally in calligraphic works, so maybe that influenced the way the character was transcribed? See: dict.variants.moe.edu.tw/variants/rbt/… . Nov 26, 2023 at 3:18
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    @wang_xiao_ming yes, that's also how I got to 衆 in the first place - I didn't find it through the academic publications I listed in the answer. The 𧰨 part contains the same number of strokes as 乑 and 众, so it's a short leap to get 𧰨. However, I don't think OP knows how characters work, and I didn't want to try to explain that "because of 衆's bottom part being easily changed into 𧰨, you can get the character in question, but don't look at the zi.tools link because it points to an unrelated Vietnamese 同形異字".
    – dROOOze
    Nov 26, 2023 at 3:27
  • Thanks. This is a much more helpful than your previous comments.
    – Jayarava
    Nov 26, 2023 at 8:51
  • In Siu (2017), the note you refer to says [原字:「這」去「言」代「眾」. Though of course, 這 is not the term we see in Taishō Ed. So where does it come from?
    – Jayarava
    Nov 26, 2023 at 9:17
  • @Jayarava「這」去「言」代「眾」 means “take the character 這, remove (去掉) the component 言, and replace (代換) it with 眾”. It doesn’t mean that the character 這 was in the text. It’s the same kind of description as 這-言+(血/(豕-一)).
    – dROOOze
    Nov 26, 2023 at 9:38
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A few close ones:

汉语大字典第二版 p.4141, sound chang4, meaning 逸. Also in 中华字海 p. 651 but sound chong4. 汉语大字典

异体字字典 has the following variants for 還: 还1, 还2.

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  • The radical yin 乑 is not the same as shi 豕
    – Jayarava
    Nov 24, 2023 at 9:37
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The context is excerpted from a version of《般若波羅蜜多心經》(in the page 2), a buddhist scripture translated in Tang Dynasty.

The character in the picture is “还” written in ancient method. A similar character can be found in 辞海 (in the part of 楷书, may require login to get onto the website)

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  • Also a modern passage about it also translated it as “还” sohu.com/a/394477695_562249
    – Tec99
    Nov 21, 2023 at 11:17
  • well, the quoted sohu link is in simplified chinese 😼 Nov 21, 2023 at 14:16
  • At least it shows that the original sentence is “由斯經歷,保爾行途。取經早還,滿爾心願。” (though typed in simplified Chinese), also there is another internet source indicates that is 还/還 : buddha.origthatone.com/…
    – Tec99
    Nov 21, 2023 at 15:12
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    well, the original text should be in traditional chinese, hand-written or printed. all equivalent in simplified chinese involved a conversion, by ocr, or someone typed it. what’s in doubt is, converting traditional to simplified, which induce errors 😾 Nov 21, 2023 at 15:23
  • So I found another traditional Chinese sources (the buddha one) to further prove my opinion.
    – Tec99
    Nov 21, 2023 at 15:30

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