caras' iity abhidhiiyase
kim idaM bhuutam aaho svit
parihaaso 'yam iidRshaH
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- - = - - = - =
- - = = - = = =
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For apsarases as wages,
So they say, you are practising dharma.
Is that so? Is it true?
Such a thing would be a joke!
A bloke slips on a banana skin. The essence of comedy. Unless he breaks his neck, in which case it is no laughing matter.
In a similar way, when a teacher gives an instruction like "keep the spine straight vertically" or "allow the spine to lengthen and the back to widen," and a student in his attempts to follow that instruction goes wrong, the student's misguided efforts may or may not be a laughing matter -- depending on how drastically the student's life is fucked up.
In the story of Handsome Nanda, the teacher is the Buddha, a man who was truly awake, and Nanda's present excursion into ascetic end-gaining is one step on the way of a gradual process leading in the right direction.
"There is no such thing as a right position," said FM Alexander, "but there is such a thing as a right direction."
There is such a thing as a right direction. And good teaching, like that of the Buddha and of Ashvaghosha leads us there.
Bad teaching of Zen Masters on power trips can never lead us there.
A phrase that Dogen used often in Shobogenzo is WARAU BESHI, "one might/should laugh." A phrase that Dogen used more often still, in relation to the bad teaching of his day, was KANASHIMU BESHI, "one might/should lament."
It is said that you follow the Law in order to obtain the Apsarases as your wages. Is this true? Oh! Such conduct would be laughable.
You are said to be practicing dharma to earn the apsarases. Well? Is it true? Such a thing would be a joke!
apsaro-bhRtakaH (nom. sg. m.): receiving apsarases as wages
apsaras: f. celestial nymph
bhRtaka: m. a hired labourer , servant ; mfn. hired , receiving wages
dharmam (acc. sg.): m. dharma
carasi = 2nd pers. sg. car: to practise
iti: "...," thus
abhidhiiyase = 2nd pers. sg. passive abhi- √ dhaa: to be named or called
kim: (interrogative pronoun)
idam (nom. sg. n.): this
bhuutam (nom. sg. n.): mfn. actually happened , true , real; n. an actual occurrence , fact , matter of fact , reality
aaho: ind. an interjection , of asking and of doubt , " Is it so? "
svid: ind. a particle of interrogation or inquiry or doubt , often translatable by " do you think? " " perhaps " , " pray " , " indeed " ,
parihaasaH (nom. sg.): m. jesting , joking , laughing at , ridiculing , deriding; a jest , a joke
ayam (nom. sg. m.): this
iidRshaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. endowed with such qualities , such