Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: 摩訶不思議
From: bamboo1 (bambookt.rim.or.jp)
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 15:16:04 GMT
References: 1, 2, 3
> > まか is expressed as 摩訶 and is from Buddhistic terminology transliterating the Sanscrit word "maha" meaning "extremely." Accordingly, 摩訶不思議 means "highly mysterious."
> I read somewhere that 不思議 is also a Buddhistic word, so I suppose it makes sense to have まか不思議.
My understanding is that 不思議 is a derivation from 不可思議 meaning totally beyond thought or description, but I am not aware of any Buddhistic nexus to this word. It is interesting to note that it denotes a number 10 to the 64th power, according to 塵劫記, a mathematical text published in 1627, which was an adaptation of the Chinese mathematics at that time.
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