Thursday, March 25, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.72: Dragged Up, Set Free

tasmaac ca vyasana-paraad anartha-paNkaad
utkRShya krama-shithilaH kariiva paNkaat
shaante' smin virajasi vijvare vishoke
sad-dharme vitamasi naiSThike vimuktaH

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

And from that extreme predicament,
from that worthless mire,

Up he dragged me,
like a feeble-footed elephant from the mud,

To be released
into this quieted, untainted, feverless, sorrowless,

Ultimate true reality, which is free from darkness.

Free from darkness (vitamas) might mean existing on what FM Alexander called "the plane of conscious control" -- three battles having been won with the unconscious influence on head-neck imbalance of Moro/TLR, on left-right imbalance of ATNR, and of top-down imbalance of STNR.

A couple of weeks ago I saw briefly featured on CBBC TV (a children's TV channel) my old karate instructor Morio Higaonna, an Okinawan who must now be in his late 60s at least, and I was struck, from his bearing and manner, that he has evidently won those three battles -- through his unswerving devotion to and confidence in the kata of karate-do as he received them. In movement and in stillness, even in an old man there is dynamic, powerful and expansive balance -- balance of the head on the neck, balance between left and right sides, and balance between top and bottom.

So-called Zen masters who preach "true reality," even if they have certificates of "Dharma-transmission," if they haven't won those three battles in the context of the traditional kata of buddhas, which is cross-legged sitting, they are not the real dragon; they are just feeble-footed fake elephants.

With the definite intention of not being like that -- even though I might have a tendency to be like that -- I am going in April, for the first time in several months, to spend some weeks alone by the forest.

What Ashvaghosha has been describing in these last six cantos, Canto 12 through Canto 17, is just a battle that Nanda has now conclusively won. Even though, out of humility, Nanda wishes to give the credit to the Buddha, the truth is that Nanda as an individual won the battle himself. Not even the Buddha could win the battle for him.

EH Johnston:
And dragged me up from out of the slough of calamity, the lowest of passions, like an exhausted elephant from a slough; now I am saved in the good Law, the ultimate beatitude, which is peaceful and free from passion, fret, grief and ignorance.

Linda Covill:
I was dragged from the worst of predicaments, the worthless slime, like a feeble-footed elephant from the mud; now I am liberated into this good dharma, which is peaceful, ultimate, without passion, without fever, without grief, and without mental darkness.

tasmaat: ind. from that
ca: and
vyasana-paraat (abl. sg.): from an extreme predicament
vyasana: n. moving to and fro , wagging (of a tail); evil predicament or plight
para: extreme, the worst
anartha-paNkaad (abl. sg.): from the worthless mire
anartha: worthless
paNka: mn. mud , mire , dirt; moral impurity, sin

utkRShya = abs. (ud- √kRS) : to draw or drag or pull up
krama-shithilaH (nom. sg. m.): feeble-footed
krama: m. a step ; the foot
shithila: mfn. loose , slack , lax , relaxed , untied , flaccid , not rigid or compact ; unsteady ; languid , inert , unenergetic , weak , feeble
karii = nom. sg. karin: m. " having a trunk " , an elephant
iva: like
paNkaat (abl. sg.): from the mud, mire

shaante (loc. sg. m.): mfn. appeased , pacified , tranquil , calm , free from passions , undisturbed
asmin (loc. sg. m.): this
virajasi (loc. sg. m.): free from dust , clean , pure (also fig. " free from passion ")
rajas: n. " coloured or dim space "; vapour , mist , clouds , gloom , dimness , darkness ; impurity , dirt , dust ; the " darkening " quality , passion , emotion , affection
vijvare (loc. sg. m.): free from fever or pain ; free from distress or anxiety , cheerful ; exempt from decay
jvara: m. fever; fever of the soul , mental pain , affliction , grief
vishoke (loc. sg. m.): free from sorrow
shoka: m. flame , glow , heat ; sorrow , affliction , anguish , pain , trouble , grief

sad-dharme (loc. sg.): m. the true dharma, teaching, law
vitamasi (loc. sg. m.): free from darkness
tamas: n. darkness , gloom; mental darkness , ignorance , illusion , error
naiSThike (loc. sg. m.): forming the end , final , last; highest , perfect , complete; belonging to the character or office of a perpetual student
vimuktaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. unloosed , unharnessed, unyoked ; set free , liberated (esp. from mundane existence)

No comments: