yad" aiva yaH pashyati naama-ruupaM
kShay' iiti tad darshanam asya samyak
samyak ca nirvedam upaiti pashyan
nandii-kShayaac ca kShayam eti raagaH
When a man sees a separate bodily form
As decrepit, that insight of his is accurate;
In seeing accurately he is disenchanted
And his optimism ends,
as a result of which redness fades away.
The last word of the first line, ruupam, carries a connotation of beauty of form or loveliness of figure. I think that Ashvaghosha may have in mind the kind of beauty and loveliness that young women's make-up and mannerisms are designed to accentuate, and that young men's brains are biologically programmed to be enchanted by.
Maybe the biological programming is stronger still that causes a baby to be enchanted by his mother, and the first great disenchantment that we all experience -- though some more devastatingly than others -- is the impermanence of our original relationship with our mother. Eihei Dogen and Kodo Sawaki are two Zen masters who experienced this disenchantment particularly acutely, history records, as young orphans.
In the last year or two before I left Japan at the end of 1994, several times I visited a dojo in Ohito, in the Izu peninsular, where some personal effects of Master Kodo Sawaki were stored. The dojo belonged to a Zen Master by the name of Tsunemasa Abe, whose father was a great friend of Master Kodo. Among Master Kodo's personal effects I found a book of cartoons that began with a depiction of a gorgeous young Japanese woman dressed in traditional finery; the cartoons progressed to showing her in old age, death, and beyond death -- rotting skin falling from her old bones. How much attention Master Kodo paid to these pictures, and whether he found it useful to look at them, I don't know. I only know that the book was still there, 30 years after the Master's death, among his personal effects.
What is also known is that Master Kodo expressed his frank disenchantment in his old age in many ways, for example, by his description of the ways of Japanese society as "gurupo boke," group idiocy; and by his calling himself Masu-O, the King of Masturbation.
When the old man called himself Masu-O, was he expressing the continuation of something that should not exist? Or was he expressing the fact that something that should not exist had completely faded away?
As the bastard grandson of Kodo, I do not have any more grounds for optimism than he did.
At the core of my being is an aberrant Moro reflex that made me burn in the past, is making me burn in the present, and will make me burn in the future. Being like this is nothing to celebrate. It is no matter for joy, delight, or happiness. There are no grounds for optimism.
yaH: [he] who
pashyati = 3rd person singular of dRSh: to see
naaman: a characteristic mark or sign; name
ruupa: n. any outward appearance; handsome form , loveliness
naama-ruupam (acc. sg. n.): "name and form" = an individual being;
a distinguishable form, a separate bodily form
kShayi = acc. sg. m. kShayin: mfn. wasting , decaying , waning ; perishable
iti: thus, that, as
tad: that, in that [regard]
darshanam (nom. sg.): n. seeing , observing , looking , noticing , observation , perception; n. apprehension , judgement; discernment , understanding; n. view
asya (gen. sg.): of him
samyak: true, correct, accurate
samyak: truly, correctly, accurately
nir: being without
veda: knowledge , true or sacred knowledge or lore , knowledge of ritual; name of certain celebrated works which constitute the basis of the first period of the Hindu religion; feeling , perception; property , goods
nirvedam = acc. sg. nirveda: not having the vedas , infidel , unscriptural; complete indifference, disregard of worldly objects
upaiti = 3rd person singular upa-√i: to go or come or step near , approach , arrive at , meet with; enter into any state , fall into
pashyan: nom. sg. m. pashyat: seeing , beholding , rightly understanding
nandii = f. of nanda: joy, delight, happiness ,
kShayaat = abl. sg. kShaya: m. ending
kShayam (acc. sg.): m. ending; loss , waste , wane , diminution , destruction , decay , wasting or wearing away
eti = 3rd person singular aa-√i: to reach, attain, enter
raagaH (nom. sg.): m. colour , hue , tint , dye , (esp.) red colour , redness; any feeling or passion , (esp.) love , affection or sympathy for , vehement desire of , interest or joy or delight in
For when anyone sees that corporeality is impermanent, his views are correct, and seeing correctly he attains complete detachment and by the abolition of complaisance (in the things of this world) his passion is abolished.
When someone sees that pyscho-physical existence is imbued with decay, his insight is correct; with this correct vision he becomes disinterested in wordly objects and from the ending of pleasure in worldly objects his passion comes to an end.