rajo gRhNanti vaasaaMsi mlaayanti paramaah srajaH/
gaatrebhyo jaayate svedo ratir bhavati n' aasane//11.52//
- = = = - = = = = = - - - = - =
= = = = - = = = - = - - - = - =
Their clothes gather dust,
Their glorious garlands wither,
Sweat appears on their limbs,
And in their sitting there is no enjoyment.
Again, this verse might best be read in conjunction with 11.34, whose theme is also ratiH, enjoyment: Therefore if you want enjoyment, let your mind be directed within./ Tranquil and impeccable is enjoyment of the inner self and there is no enjoyment to equal it.//11.34//
Line 4 of today's verse, as I read it, is a real punch-line, in the background to which is Ananda's experience and understanding that sitting ceases to be enjoyable under the burden of some agenda, hidden or otherwise.
Ananda, as I hear him, is not only saying something preachy about the ultimate undesirability of churning endlessly forward on the wheel of samsara. He is also saying something humorous about our unskillful efforts to step off that wheel, i.e., about our groping around in the dark for the backward step of turning light and letting it shine.
Ashvaghosha might be intending to remind us, through Ananda, that the backward step as taught by the Buddha is inherently enjoyable. Surely this is something that, whatever false starting point we started trying to understand "Buddhism" from, we can all ultimately agree upon: The Buddha taught his followers to sit, and this sitting was totally different from asceticism. Instead of being painful, it was supposed to be enjoyable.
So if we are failing to enjoy it, because of being after something -- like pleasure for example; or recognition; or buddahood; or security, a feeling of being all right, a sense of being on the right path -- it might be wise to go back to first principles and ask: In my sitting, what originally am I after?
A wise answer might be: I am after nothing.
In which case, a wise follow-up question might be: What kind of nothing am I after?
Their clothes retain the dust, their magnificent garlands wither, sweat appears on their limbs and they find no delight in their places.
Their clothes collect dust, their sublime wreaths wither, sweat appears on their bodies, and they take no joy in their station.
rajaH (acc. sg.): n. impurity , dirt , dust , any small particle of matter
gRhNanti = 3rd pers. pl. graH: to take, grasp, catch ; to pluck , pick , gather
vaasaaMsi = nom. pl. vaasas: n. clothes
mlaayanti = 3rd pers. pl. mlaa / mlai: , to fade , wither , decay , vanish ; to be languid or exhausted or dejected , have a worn appearance
paramaaH (nom. pl. f.): mfn. best, most excellent
srajaH = nom. pl. sraj: f. a wreath of flowers , garland
gaatrebhyaH (abl. pl.): n. n. " instrument of moving " , a limb or member of the body ; the body
jaayate = 3rd pers. sg. jan: to be born or produced , come into existence , to happen
svedaH (nom. sg.): m. sweating , perspiring , sweat
ratiH (nom. sg.): f. rest , repose ; pleasure , enjoyment , delight in , fondness for (loc.)
bhavati = 3rd pers. sg. bhuu: be, become, come into being, happen
asane (loc. sg.): n. sitting; seat , place , stool