Monday, November 30, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 15.37: Unconditional Love? Nice Idea!

anukuulaM pravartante
jNaatiShu jNaatayo yadaa
tadaa snehaM prakurvanti
riputvaM tu viparyayaat

- - = = - = = =
= - = = - = - =
- = = = - = = -
- = = - - = - =

As long as relatives act agreeably

Towards each other,

They engender affection;

But otherwise it is enmity.

More than ten years ago an old Zen teacher, a kind of father to me, made a mistake that shook me to the core. He did something that, as I saw it, was quite spectacularly wrong and triggered in me a great deal of enmity. The cause of the old Zen master's mistake was an idea that he was not able, in light of new empirical facts, to give up. And the cause of my suffering, subsequent to the initial shock, was also an idea that, in light of new empirical facts, I have struggled to give up.

A nice idea is a nice idea. But even the nicest idea is ever liable to be falsified by an empirical fact.

That being so, did the Buddha teach us to be skepticists? Did he teach us to be empiricists? Did he even teach us to be Buddhists?

Not on your Nelly. Because ideas -- from skepticism and empiricism right through to Buddhism -- are just where human wrong-doing starts.

Not to do the wrong thing,

To allow the right thing to do itself,

To detoxify one's own mind:

This is the teaching of FM Alexander,
along with other buddhas.

EH Johnston:
When kinsmen behave agreeably to each other, they display affection, but in the opposite case enmity.

Linda Covill:
When family members treat each other well, they engender affection, but in the opposite situation they arouse enmity.

anukuulam (acc.): mfn. following the bank (kuula) or slope or declivity ; favourable , agreeable ; friendly , kind , well-disposed
pravartante = 3rd pers. pl. pravRt: to roll or go onwards (as a carriage) , be set in motion or going

jNaatiShu = loc. pl. jNaati: m. " intimately acquainted " , a near relation, kinsman
jNaatayaH = nom. pl. jNaati
yadaa: ind. (followed by tadaa), " as often as - so often " , " whenever "

tadaa: ind. then
sneham (acc. sg.): m. oil ; smoothness , glossiness ; blandness , tenderness , love , affection
prakurvanti = 3rd pers. pl. prakR: to make , produce , accomplish , perform , achieve , effect

ripu: m. an enemy , adversary , foe
tvam: (neuter abstract noun suffix)
riputvam (acc. sg.): n. enmity
tu: but
viparyayaat (abl. viparyaya, opposite): ind. in the opposite case , other wise

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