Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.49: Going On Up

priitiH paraa vastuni yatra yasya
viparyayaat tasya hi tatra duHkhaM
priitaav ataH prekSHya sa tatra doSHaan
priiti-kSHaye yogam upaaruroha

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

For when a man finds intense joy in anything,

Paradoxically, suffering for him is right there.

So seeing the faults there in joy,

He kept going up, into practice that goes beyond joy.

The 4th line, as I read it, conveys a sense of direction and dynamism, with priiti-kShaya, "waning of joy," being in the locative case, and with the final word of the verse being from the root upaaruh, to go up...

In Alexander work we say, "Let the neck be free to let the head go forward and UP, to let the back lengthen and widen, while sending the knees forwards and away."

FM Alexander's niece Marjory Barlow, knowing that my direction in life has mainly to do with endeavoring to clarify the Buddha's teaching for self and others, said to me: "Those directions will take you where you want to go."

And the central one of those directions is up -- as in the final word of this verse, upaaruroha, he went up, he kept going up.

Even at the level of the second dhyana, wherein thought directions are not affirmed, and ideas of "forward" and "up" are not affirmed, up is still up.

Up in the tree is a bird.
Down here I sit on the flat.
Down is a four-letter word.
Up is most surely not that.

EH Johnston:
For by the law of opposites suffering is present in any matter in which the highest ecstasy is experienced by man; therefore seeing the defects ensuing at this stage from ecstasy, he entered on Yoga for its abolition.

Linda Covill:
For he who takes profound joy in anything will also find unsatisfactoriness in it, because of the possibility of its alteration; so noticing the flaws in joy, he undertook yogic practice to destroy joy.

priitiH (nom. sg.): f. joy
paraa (nom. sg. f.): profound, extreme, superlative
vastuni = loc. sg. vastu: n. any really existing or abiding substance or essence , thing , object
yatra (used to express locative of ya): in which [thing]
yasya (gen. sg.): of whom
viparyayaat: ind. (= abl. viparyaya, from viparii) in the opposite case , other wise
viparyaya: mfn. reversed , inverted , perverse , contrary to (gen.); m. turning round, reversal, turning into its opposite; transposition , change , alteration , inverted order or succession , opposite of
vi-pari-√i: to turn round or back , return ; to turn out badly or wrongly , fail
tasya (gen; correlative of yasya): to/of/for him
hi: for
tatra: ind. in that, therein
duHkham (nom. sg.): n. suffering, unsatisfactoriness

pritau (loc. sg.): in joy
ataH: ind. therefore, from this, hence
prekSHya (absolutive of prekSH): on seeing; having seen, noticed, discerned, observed
saH (nom. sg. m.): he
tatra: ind. in that, therein
doSHaan (acc. pl.): m. faults, defects, drawbacks, pitfalls

priiti: joy
kShaye = loc. sg. kShaya: m. loss, waste, wane, diminution, destruction, decay, wasting or wearing away; abatement; end, termination
yogam (acc. sg.): m. the act of yoking [body and mind]; practice, yogic practice; means, expedient, method
upaaruroha = 3rd pers. perfect upaa + ruh: to ascend or go up to, mount, arrive at, reach


Harry said...

Hi, Mike.

From our conversation in a previous thread:

"The Rinzai crowd generally tends to be somewhat arty-farty and to belittle the use of reason. For me, that kind of attitude was never it."

I don't drink Guiness much any more, it makes the Baby Jund... ,I mean the Baby Jesus, cry :-))

Anyway, I think what you said may be *generally* true of Rinzai, although I haven't had much experience of it myself. But, I'm in touch with one 'Rinzai' teacher who says that you should never *try* to answer the koan. His does not really seem to be the 'great doubt' model of 'holding the koan in the belly like a ball of fire' etc.

This teacher says you should just 'drop the koan in there' as an open statement/question, whenever, during the day, during zazen (if you want), and if answers come up then just drop them too... until something comes up that seems to resonate in which case you'll remember it when it comes to giving your answer.

Well, I thought that was interesting: 'Non-koaning'.

Coming from Belfast, I'm keen to examine and question 'sectarian divides'.



Mike Cross said...

The sound of snoring.

Harry said...

Hee hee,

You never lost it.