Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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This is a case study of the metaphorical expressions in the Buddhist sutra “宝积经” (Bao Ji Jing, Ratnakūtasūtra) from the cognitive perspective provided by conceptual metaphor theory, aiming at discovering the conceptual system behind those metaphorical expressions and investigating what kind of role conceptual metaphors play in constructing and interpreting Buddhist doctrines. Altogether 64 metaphorical expressions in “Bao Ji Jing” are analysed, which centre around three themes: singing praise to Bodhisattva’s benefactions, looking on the emptiness and illusions of the mind and concluding persuasions. The key findings are that (1) metaphorical expressions are typically used for legitimising Buddhist doctrines and, to a lesser degree, delegitimising non-Buddhist doctrines; (2) the metaphorical expressions detected are usually highly consistent in structure, with a few or even over a dozen appearing in parallel; (3) often a metaphor is composed of a major source concept and a minor source concept on the one hand, and a major target concept and a minor target concept on the other, with the relationship between the former mapped onto that of the latter; and (4) a metaphor typically activates a series of projections between its source domain and target domain, giving rise to conceptual blends in the process.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Buddhist sutra; conceptual blending; conceptual metaphor; “Bao Ji Jing”
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