Tuesday, February 17, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 16.5: One After Another & All Together

ity aarya-satyaany avabudhya buddhyaa
catvaari samyak pratividhya c' aiva
sarv'-aasravaan bhaavanay" abhibhuuya
na jaayate shaantim avaapya bhuuyaH

Understanding these noble truths,
by a process of reasoning

While also befriending the four as one,

He contains all energetic leaks,
through the means of directed thought,

And, on finding peace,
is no longer subject to becoming.

Line 1, as I understand it, is an affirmation of knowing that 2 + 2 = 4, i.e. an affirmation of REASON.

Line 2 can be read as a NEGATION OF REASON. Reason deals in logical sequences of elements that come one after another, like 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10; or like (1) thesis vs (2) antithesis leading to (3) synthesis and (4) a real path transcending threefold dialectic . But reason cannot realise all things as part of one picture, which is the function of intuitive reflection. I know this paradox from Alexander work, where it is expressed in the phrase "all together, one after another." The four Alexandrian thought-directions, or orders, are to be given one after another in a certain order (which, as I see it, parallels the hierarchical development of four vestibular reflexes). The order of the orders is: (1) let the neck be free, (2) to let the head go forward and up, (3) to let the back lengthen and widen, (4) while releasing the limbs out. As verbal orders, however, these four orders cannot be thought all together. To think them all together requires an altogether different kind of thinking -- which might be called "non-thinking."

Line 3 describes the practice of INHIBITION, the truest form of which is direction of one's energy.

Line 4, following on from the previous verse, is an expression of a peaceable PATH.

iti: thus, what precedes
aarya: noble, aryan
satyaani (accusative, plural of satya): truth, reality
avabudhya = absolutive of avabudh: become sensible or aware of, perceive, know
buddhyaa = instrumental of buddhi: the power of forming and retaining conceptions and general notions, intelligence, reason, intellect, mind, discernment , judgement; understanding; presence of mind, ready wit
buddhyaa: ind. with the intention of, designedly, deliberately

catvaari: four
samyak: in one or the same direction, in the same way, at the same time, together
pratividhya = absolutive of pratividh: to perceive, understand; to become acquainted with
ca: and
eva: [emphatic]

sarva: all
aasravaan (accusative, plural aasrava): leakage, affliction
bhaavanayaa = instrumental of bhaavana: forming in the mind, conception, apprehension, imagination, supposition, thought, meditation
bhaavanayaa: in thought, in imagination; (with locative) direct one's thoughts to
abhibhuuya = absolutive of abhibhuu: to overcome, overpower, conquer, overspread; defeat

na: not
jaayate = present indicative of jan: be born, arise, become
shaantim = accusative, shaanti: tranquillity, peace, quiet; cessation, abatement, inhibition
avaapya = absolutive, avaap: reach, gain, get, arrive at, attain
bhuuyaH = nominative/accusative, singular bhuuyas: becoming; the act of becoming; 'becoming in a greater degree' i.e. more, further, once more, again, anew.

EH Johnston:
Thus understanding with his intellect the four Noble Truths and penetrating to their core, he overcomes all the infections by the cultivation of meditation and, arriving at tranquility, he is not born again.

Linda Covill:
By using his intellect to understand and completely penetrate the Four Noble Truths, and by using meditation to overpower all the rebirth-producing tendencies, he attains peace and is not born again.

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