Wednesday, April 7, 2010


oM namo buddhaaya

= - = = = -

Om! Homage to the Awakened!

Translating a text like Saundarananda requires the translator to do a lot of work. But the essential job of translation is not a job of doing; it is a job of listening. The task is, to the best of one's ability, to listen to the voice of Buddha, primarily by sitting in the listening posture of Buddha. The word "OM", as I hear it, is a kind of invitation to wake up the whole body-mind and listen with the whole body-mind to the sound of the whole body-mind resonating...


Om! Homage to a phrase that frees,
Like "letting go", of pain and ease.
Om! Homage to the birds and bees.
Om! Homage to the grass and trees.

Because the birds and bees are the Awakened, they sing and buzz the Dharma. And because the grass and trees are the Awakened, the grass and trees are just a Sangha -- a true and great, all-encompassing, non-Buddhist Sangha.

Om! Homage to the Awakened!

EH Johnston:
OM! Hail to the Buddha!

Linda Covill:
Homage to the Buddha!

om: ind. a word of solemn affirmation and respectful assent; it is placed at the commencement of most Hindu works , and as a sacred exclamation may be uttered [but not so as to be heard by ears profane] at the beginning and end of a reading of the vedas or previously to any prayer ; it is also regarded as a particle of auspicious salutation [Hail!] ; om appears first in the upaniShads as a mystic monosyllable , and is there set forth as the object of profound religious meditation , the highest spiritual efficacy being attributed not only to the whole word but also to the three sounds a , u , m , of which it consists ; in later times om is the mystic name for the Hindu triad , and represents the union of the three gods; (Buddhists place om at the beginning of their vidyaa ShaDhakSharii or mystical formulary in six syllables [viz. om maNi padme huuM]
namas: n. bow , obeisance , reverential salutation, homage
buddhaaya = dat. sg. buddha: mfn. awakened , awake ; m. a wise or learned man , sage ; m. (with Buddhists) a fully enlightened man who has achieved perfect knowledge of the truth and thereby is liberated from all existence and before his own attainment of nirvaaNa reveals the method of obtaining it , (esp.) the principal buddha of the present age (born at kapila-vastu about the year 500 B.C)

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