Saturday, May 23, 2009


As a result of re-reading Canto 16 over the past few days, endeavoring to see the wood in spite of the trees, the main changes I have made are noted below. It seems to me at this point that there has been nothing of any value in any of my comments, but making them has been part of a process -- just as mining and extraction of gold is liable to involve accumulating a lot of slag. As ever, the true gold is in the bold.

mano-dhaaraNayaa (16.1)
through mental self-possession

Rddhi-pravekaM ca bahu-prakaaraM (16.2)
The principal psychic power, taking many forms

catvaari samyak pratividhya c' aaiva (16.5)
while getting to know the four as one

jar"-aader vyasanasya (16.7)
a tragedy like growing old

pravRtti (16.10; 16.17; 16.18; 16.38; 16.42)
the continuing cycle of doing; continual doing;
as opposed to nivRtti, non-doing

citta-shariira-yoni (16.11)
born from an expectant mind-body

jNaatavyam etena ca kaaraNena
lokasya doShebhya iti prvRttiH (16.18)

Again, you must understand how, due to this cause,
Because of men's faults, the cycle of doing continues

janma prajaanaam (16.19)
living creatures are reborn

vairaagyatas taasu na jaayate saH (16.24)
Thanks to that dispassion he is not born in those realms

kRtii nirvRtiM abhyueto (16.29)
a man of action who has come to quiet

vidhivad (16.30)
working to principle

tasy' odbhavaM tasya ca yo nirodham (16.39)
its starting and its stopping

nirodha-satye (16.41)
with regard to the truth of stopping

tasmaat pravRttiM parigaccha duHkhaM
pravartakaan apy avagaccha doShaan
nivRttim aagaccha ca tan-nirodhaM
nivartakaM c' aapy avagaccha maargam(16.42)

Then comprehend suffering as doing,
And know the faults as causes of its continuance,
Realise stopping as non-doing,
And know the path as a turning back.

braviimi samyak kShayam aasravaaNaaM (16.46)
I predict the complete stopping of energy leaks.

tasmaat paraM saumya vidhaaya viiryam (16.47)
So my friend garner you energy greatly

maitr'-opasaMhara-vidhir na kaaryaH (16.59)
The principle of directing love towards oneself is not to be applied

sevyas tv idaM-pratyayataa-vihaaraH (16.64)
One should appreciate the causality which this is

tac tac caritaM viditvaa (16.68)
from his knowledge of specific practices

stemming from inexperience within the self

cittena cittam parigRhya (16.83)
grip the mind with the mind

tath" aiva viiryaM kaTukaM shrameNa(16.93)
So direction of energy, through the struggle it involves, is bitter

viirya (16.94; 16.95)
directed energy

nimittam kausiidyaM bhavati puruShasy' aatra na ripuH (16.96)
The cause is the laziness in him, and not an enemy


Raymond said...


I have been the only one reliably commenting on your blog for the past few months. And while my own life (and mind) spins and swirls, I have read every day.

So, I can unreservedly say that the text means absolutely nothing to me outside of viewing it as a means to elucidate your own journey.

Keep up the good work. Ashvaghosha - Buddhism - needs your mining.


Mike Cross said...

Thank you, Raymond.

For me this work is an opportunity for which I feel extremely grateful to serve the Buddha, as a student of the Buddha.

But "Buddhism," my friend, you can keep, along with optimism, pessimism, feminism, and every other damned -ism.

True Buddhism? To hell with that -- I had more than skinful of it already.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.


Raymond said...


Good point.

My own skinful has come to an abrupt stop...and a natural - perhaps continuing forever - shedding is taking place.

Take care.


jiblet said...

Hi Mike,

I sent the following comment in response to your publication of the whole of Canto 16 yesterday:

"Mike, anugRhIto'smi.

Mike = vocative.
anugRhIta = passive past participle (adjectival sense) of anu √grah, to treat with kindness, favour, oblige. So: favoured, obliged.
asmi = 1st person singular present indicative active of √as, to be. So: I am.
anugRhIto'smi = I am favoured, obliged.

Jiblet's translation:
Thanks, Mike."

It hasn't appeared yet. Perhaps the comment didn't arrive. Perhaps you don't like it. Perhaps you're overcome with modesty. Or just been busy.

Apart from wishing to show off to you and your readers that I can say "thank you", and parse it, in sanskrit (think I did ok), it seems very right to publicly express gratitude for your sincere and consistent efforts.

As the expression of a man's relationship with the words of a distant ancestor, and an insight into the process of extracting gold, there is, for me, much of very great value in your comments. Please don't doubt it.

If you get this message, feel free to publish it instead of the original, shorter comment. Or vice versa. Or both. Or not.

Mike Cross said...

Thanks, jiblet.

For some reason the comment didn't arrive yesterday, but it is appreciated.

Thanks for the encouragement,