haa caitra-ratha haa vaapi haa mandaakini haa priye /
ity aartaa vilapanto 'pi gaaM patanti divaukasaH //11.50//
= = - - - = = = = = = - - = - =
= = = - - = = = = - = - - = - =
"Oh, the grove of Citra-ratha! Oh, the pond!
Oh, the heavenly Ganges! Oh, my beloved!" --
Thus lament the distressed denizens of heaven
As they fall to earth.
Buddhists of all schools, as I was reminded by a recent comment on this blog, are liable to discuss impermanence in the abstract. Whereas Ananda's words evoke a more real sense of the reality in which the places and people we love change, or we have to leave them, or else the people we love die, or, worse still, they go off us, or turn against us -- at which time it is very natural to make a primitive noise like "Oh!" or "Haa!" or "Aaaaaaargh!"
Speaking of Buddhist schools, I had an excellent email exchange yesterday with Anandajoti Bhikkhu of Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net
The point I think we agreed upon is this: if anybody implies that the Theravada teach what the Buddha taught and that Ashvaghosa is not doing the same; or equally if anybody implies that some school of Japanese Zen Buddhism teaches what the Buddha taught and that Ashvaghosa is not doing the same, then we, from our heretical standpoint, find this not to be the case.
Zen Buddhism, as I see it, is just another -ism to be abandoned.
While the Theravada, Anandajoti pointed out, is a school of thought that developed long after the Buddha.
Ashvaghosa on the other hand is really quite close to the original teachings and seems to have been writing from a "what we can all agree on" point of view.
These, to my admittedly imperfect ears, are very excellent words indeed.
The inhabitants of heaven fall to earth, even lamenting in their distress, "Alas, grove of Citraratha! Alas, heavenly lake! Alas, Mandakini! Alas, beloved!"
The sky-dwellers fall to earth, crying out in regret: 'Oh the groves, oh the lakes, oh the heavenly Ganges, oh my beloved!'
haa: ind. an exclamation expressive of pain , anger , astonishment , satisfaction &c (= ah! alas! oh! ha! often before or after a voc. case)
caitra-ratha (voc. sg.): n. (with or without vana) the grove of kubera cultivated by the gandharva citra-ratha
citra-ratha: mfn. having a bright chariot; m. name of the king of the gandharvas
haa: ind. "oh!"
vaapi (voc. sg.): f. any pond (made by scattering or damming up earth) , a large oblong pond , an oblong reservoir of water , tank , pool , lake
haa: ind. "oh!"
mandaakini (voc. sg.): f. (fr. manda + 2. añc) " going or streaming slowly " , N. of an arm of the Ganges (flowing down through the valley of kedāra-nātha in the himālayas) and of other rivers; (esp.) the heavenly Ganges
manda: mfn. slow
añc: to bend , curve , incline , curl ; to tend , move , go , wander about ;
haa: ind. "oh!"
priye (voc. sg.): f. mistress, wife, beloved
iti: "...," thus
aartaaH (nom. pl. m.): struck by calamity , afflicted , pained , disturbed; oppressed , suffering , sick , unhappy
vilapantaH = nom. pl. pres. part. vi- √ lap: to utter moaning sounds , wail , lament , bewail
gaam (acc. sg.): f. cow; the earth (as the milk-cow of kings)
patanti = 3rd pers. pl. pat: to fall
divaukasaH = nom. pl.. divaukas: m. " sky-dweller " , a deity