Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.70: Repeated Homage to the Buddha

tadvat paraaM shaantim upaagato 'haM
yasy' aanubhaavena vinaayakasya
karomi bhuuyaH punar-uktam asmai
namo namo 'rhaaya tathaagataaya

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

Thus have I come to utmost quiet,

Through the quieting influence of the teacher.

Again and repeatedly I do homage to him:

Homage, homage to the worthy one, the realised one!

Quietness here might mean not so much the absence of sound as the absence of noise in the system.

A lot of noise in the system, it seems to me, can be traced back to disharmonious integration of four vestibular reflexes.

Consequently, one way of restoring order might be truly to allow...

(1) the neck to be free,
(2) the head to go forward and up,
(3) the torso to expand,
(4) the limbs to release out from the torso.

And in learning what these four guiding orders really mean, not only as four but also as one, the quieting influence of a teacher, if not always indispensable, is certainly a big help.

This, for what it is worth, is how it seems to me, who, despite the quieting influence of more than one worthy teacher, is by no means a finished article but very much a work still in progress (or regress).

Is my comment a case of NI-ZEN-BIKU, an ambitious non-monk of the 2nd dhyana, excitedly discussing the second stage of sitting-meditation as if it were the utmost quiet of Nirvana?

It could well be. I remember that in the final chapter of Shobogenzo, Dogen quotes the Buddha's words (very probably via Ashvaghosha) that Those who have small desire just have Nirvana.

There again, one could argue, it is undue desire to go directly for some end that stimulates the habitual misuse of the self that is directed via faulty vestibular functioning. It is end-gaining desire, in other words, that creates the noise in the system from which Nanda has become free.

EH Johnston:
Even so by the magic power of the Teacher have I come to supreme tranquility. Again and again I do repeated obeisance to the noble Tathagata.

Linda Covill:
likewise I have come to utmost peace through the power of the teacher. Again and repeatedly I do homage, homage to him, the worthy one, the realized one.

tadvat: ind. thus, so, in like manner , likewise , also
paraam (acc. sg. f.): supreme, utmost, deepest
shaantim (acc. sg.): f. tranquillity , peace , quiet
upaagataH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. approached , arrived , come to (for protection) ; entered into any state or condition , subject to , burdened with
aham (nom. sg. m.): I

yasya = (gen. sg. m.): of which ; of that [coming to utmost quiet]
anubhaavena = inst. sg. anubhaava: m. sign or indication of a feeling (bhaava) by look or gesture ; dignity , authority , consequence
vinaayakasya = gen. sg. vinaayaka: mfn. taking away , removing ; m. "Remover (of obstacles) " ; m. a leader , guide ; m. a Guru or spiritual preceptor

karomi (1st pers. sg. kR): I do
bhuuyas: ind. once more , again , anew
punar-uktam (nom. sg. n.): repeated
punar: again , once more (also with bhuuyas)
ukta = past. part vac: to speak, announce, declare (with punar , " to speak again , repeat " ; or " to answer , reply ")
asmai (dat. sg. ayam): to this one, to him

namaH (nom. sg. namas): n. bow , obeisance , reverential salutation , adoration (by gesture or word ; often with dat. e.g. raamaaya namaH , salutation or glory to raama ; namas- √kR , to utter a salutation , do homage)
arhaaya = dat. sg. arha: mfn. meriting , deserving (praise), worthy
tathaagataaya = dat. sg. tathaagata: mfn. "being in such a condition"; he who comes and goes in the same way [as the buddhas who preceded him]", gautama buddha

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