te ced a-labdha-pratipakSha-bhaavaa
n' aiv' opashaamyeyur a-sad-virtakaaH
muhuurtam apy aprativadhyamaanaa
gRhe bhujaMgaa iva n'aadhivaasyaaH
When it is impossible to realise their opposite side,
In which case unreal thoughts might not fade away,
They must not for a moment be left unchecked:
No whiff of them should be tolerated,
as if they were snakes in the house.
If the previous verse addressed faults centred in the reptilian/mammalian parts of the brain, not to mention faults centred in crucibles of hormonal activity such as the heart and the unmentionables, then this verse seems to address faulty activity in the top two inches.
The sat of a-sat is the true or the good of the true Dharma, that which is good in the beginning, middle, and end. So the opposite side of thoughts that are untrue, negative, unreal might be the Dharma which is true, good, real.
A negative or unreal thought might be like a hazard approaching on the road ahead, a mosquito about to bite your thumb, a snake on the path, a troublesome person -- a stimulus calling not for a lot of discussion about good and bad, but calling for a decision. It is not a matter of intellectual discrimination, but a matter of discernment.
Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night plagued by myriad thoughts, I focus on the next verse of this translation, or I mentally run through the eight great human truths -- I focus on something which, for me, is wholly good, wholly positive, with no negative associations. I see it as pure gold, with all impurities driven out of it.
I don't know what it was that I discerned in the eight great human truths that led me by some mysterious process back to Ashvaghosha. It was like being led in a dream back to a treasure that was buried long, long ago.
If evil thoughts are not allayed owing to failure to find out the correct counteragent, still they must not be tolerated for a moment without opposition, any more than snakes in the house would be.
If those bad thoughts do not subside because their counteragent cannot be found, still they must not be tolerated even for a moment without being repulsed, like snakes in the house.
te (nominative, plural): they, those
ced: when, if
a-labdha: unobtained, not found
pratipakSha: m. the opposite side , hostile party , opposition ; an obstacle; an adversary , opponent , foe
bhaavaaH = nominative, plural of bhaava: being
upashaamyeyuH = 3rd person plural, optative of upa- √zam: to become calm or quiet ; to cease , become extinct ; to make quiet , calm , extinguish ; to tranquillize , appease , pacify , mitigate
a-sat: not existing, false, unreal, untrue, wrong, bad, evil
virtakaaH (nominative, plural): m. ideas, fancies, thoughts
muhuurtam: a moment , instant , any short space of time
a: not, without
prativadhyamaanaaH = nom. pl. m. present participle passive prati-√vadh: to beat back, ward off,
gRhe (locative): in the house
bhujaMgaaH (nominative, plural): m. snakes
adhivaasyaaH = nom. pl. m. gerundive from adhi-√vaas: to be scented