Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.50: The Third Stage of Sitting-Meditation

priiter viraagaat sukham aarya-juSHTaM
kaayena vindann atha samprajaanan
upekSHakaH sa smRtimaan vyahaarSHiid
dhyaanaM tRtiiyam pratilabhya dhiiraH

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

And so experiencing the ease enjoyed by the noble ones,
from non-attachment to joy,

Knowing it totally, with his body,

He remained indifferent, fully aware,

And, having realised the third stage of meditation, steady.

Non-attachment to joy might be a child at a funfair.

Attachment to joy might be a humourless person mortifying himself.

This verse, if we understood it intellectually, instead of through a psycho-physical effort to direct the whole body up, would be an invitation to attach to non-attachment and to care about indifference.

Never mind about stage number 3. It feels to me like I have been couped up for far too long through the winter, getting intensely annoyed at this temperamental lap-top, which seems to let me down at times of maximum inconvience. When was the last time I felt the joy and ease born of the solitude of the forest? ....

To a place suited for practice, free of people and free of noise,

To a place for lying down and sitting, my friend, repair in this manner;

For by first achieving solitude of the body

It is easy to obtain solitude of the mind.

The man of redness, the tranquillity of his mind unrealized,

Who does not take to a playground of solitude,

Is injured as though, unable to regain a track,

He is walking on very thorny ground.

For a seeker who is not seeing reality,

Standing in the tawdry playground of objects,

It is no easier to rein in his mind,

Than to drive a foraging bull away from corn.

But just as, when not fanned by the wind,

A bright fire dies down,

In solitary places, similarly, with little effort

An unstirred mind comes to quiet.

One who eats anything at any place,
and wears any clothes,

Who dwells in enjoyment of his own being
and loves to be anywhere without people:

He is to be known as a success,
a knower of the taste of peace and ease,
whose mind is made up --

He avoids involvement with others like a thorn.

EH Johnston:
Then experiencing with his body through freedom from ecstasy that bliss which the Saints feel, and fully aware of all things, he remained indifferent and attentive and gained the third trance.

Linda Covill:
Through his non-attachment to joy he then discovered the physical bliss enjoyed by the noble ones, and with full comprehension he passed the time in equanimity, attentive and steady; and he attained the third level of meditation.

priiteH (gen. sg): f. joy
viraagaat = abl. viraaga: m. loss of colour; dispassion; non-attachment
sukham (acc. sg.): n. ease, happiness
aarya-juSHTam (acc. sg. n.): enjoyed by noble ones
aarya: a respectable or honourable or faithful man, an inhabitant of Aryavarta; name of the race which immigrated from Central Asia into Aaryaavarta; (with Buddhists) a man who has thought on the four chief truths of Buddhism and lives accordingly; behaving like an Aryan, honourable, respectable, noble
juSHTa: pleased, loved, agreeable, usual, practised, possessed of (in compounds)

kaayena (inst. sg. kaaya): with/through the body
vindan = nom. sg. m. present participle vid: to know , understand , perceive , learn , become or be acquainted with , be conscious of , have a correct notion of
atha: ind. then, and so
samprajaanan = nom. sg. m. present participle sam + pra + jNa: distinguish, discern, know accurately or perfectly

upekSHakaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. overlooking, indifferent, disregarding
saH (nom. sg. m.): he
smRtimaan = nom. sg. m. smRtimat: mfn. having recollection or full consciousness ; having a good memory ; remembering a former life ; prudent , discreet ; versed in tradition or law
smRti: remembering, mindfulness, awareness, attention
-mant: possessive suffix
vyahaarShiit = 3rd pers. aorist vi + hR: to fare or fare well, rove or walk, spend or pass time, roam, wander; walk or roam for pleasure

dhyaanam (acc. sg.): n. meditation; stage of meditation, reflection, realisation
tRtiiyam (acc. sg. n.): the third
pratilabhya = abs. prati-√labh: obtain, get back; (with accusative) partake of
dhiiraH (nom. sg. m.): steady, constant, firm, resolute, brave, energetic, courageous, self-possessed, composed, calm

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