Thursday, January 20, 2011

SAUNDARANANDA 7.47: Worrying about Worthiness to Wear the Insignia

yaasyaami tasmaad gRham eva bhuuyaH
kaamaM kariShye vidhivat sa-kaamaM
na hy anya-cittasya cal'-endriyasya
liNgaM kShamaM dharma-pathaac cyutasya

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

Therefore I shall go right back home again

And make love properly, as I please!

For the insignia do not sit well

Upon a backslider from the path of dharma,
whose senses are restless and whose mind is elsewhere.

This kind of worrying about worthiness to wear the insignia might be the hallmark of being worthy to wear the insignia.

In her tireless effort to liberate her pupil from the tendency to try to be right, Marjory Barlow once said to me: "You are an inveterate worrier, aren't you." She paused and added, "I know, because I am too." The point I took from this is that it is OK to be a worrier. Don't worry about being a worrier.

"The insignia" is a translation of liNgam, which might otherwise be translated as "the uniform of a wandering mendicant who follows the Buddha's teaching." Its three essential elements are robe, bowl, and shaved head -- a not totally perfect example of one of which is shown left, courtesy of my wife who has just taken the pictures in our back garden.

However and wherever one ends up following the Buddha's teaching, there might be many merits in maintaining this insignia of a shaved head. In the mental sphere, one's mind is spared the stress of decisions about which hair-style, what barber, et cetera. In the material sphere, there is no need to spend money on hair-cuts as well as shampoo and other hair-care products. In the social sphere, by the absence of matted locks one shows oneself not to be a follower of Brahmanism, Rastafarianism, and the like. But above all to shave the head every few days is regular practice -- not tapas, but yoga, work in progress.

What we are studying is the difference between tapas, and yoga for the sake of yoga.

True practice of yoga for the sake of yoga depends on clear understanding of what end-gaining is, and on regular daily practice of not doing it.

That is what this blog is all about, as continuing work in progress.

EH Johnston:
I will therefore go home again and practise love at my will in due form ; for the mendicant's symbols are not suited to one who in the restlessness of his senses ever thinks of another and has lapsed from the path of the Law.

Linda Covill:
Therefore I will go home again, and make love legitimately, as I please. For the insignia of a monk are inappropriate for one of restless senses, whose mind is elsewhere, and who has slipped from the path of dharma.

yaasyaami = 1st. pers. sg. future yaa: to go
tasmaat: ind. from that, therefore
gRham (acc. sg.): mn. house, home
eva: (emphatic)
bhuuyaH: ind. again

kaamam (acc. sg.): m. desire; love , especially sexual love or sensuality
kariShye = 1st pers. sg. future kR: to do, make
vidhivat: ind. according to rule , duly
sa-kaamam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. satisfying desires ; having one's wishes fulfilled , satisfied , contented ; acting on purpose or with free will ; full of love

na: not
hi: for
anya-cittasya (gen. sg.): mfn. whose mind is fixed on some one or something else.
cal'-endriyasya (gen. sg.): mfn. having unsteady organs
cala: mfn. moving, restless, unsteady
indirya: n. power of the senses

liNgam (nom. sg.): n. a mark , spot , sign , token , badge , emblem ; any assumed or false badge or mark , guise , disguise
kShamam (nom. sg. n.): fit , appropriate , becoming , suitable , proper for (gen.)
dharma-pathaat (abl. sg.): from the path of dharma
cyutasya (gen. sg.): mfn. gone away from (abl.) ; deviated from

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