Friday, March 30, 2012

Some Nuggets

Simultaneously glowing like a fire and passing water like a cloud, /
He gave off a light resembling molten gold, like a cloud set aglow by daybreak or by dusk. // 3.24 //

Looking up at him in the network of gold and pearls that seemed to wrap around him like an upraised flag, /
The king became joyful beyond measure and the assembled people, bowing down, felt deep appreciation. // 3.25 //

A shining gold they shone with their ochre robes, in the clear sky,/
Like a pair of greylag geese rising up from a lake, embracing one another with outstretched wings. // 10.4 //

Filled with the heady fragrance of the divine deodar, full of rivers and lakes, and springs and gulches, /
And filled with golden ore was the Himālayan mountain full of divine seers at which the two arrived, immediately. // 10.5 //

A lion with shoulders made orange from contact with the orange-red ore of 'the mind-rock,' arsenic,/
Looked like Āmbika's crumpled armband of wrought silver streaked with refined gold. // 10.9 //

Communities of golden mountain-men, the Kirātas, their limbs streaked with shining peacock gall, /
Rushed out from their caves like flying tigers, as if spewed out of the unmoving mountain. // 10.12 //

In various colourless hues, or else white; beautifully illuminated with golden dividing lines; /
Beyond the weaving together of strands, being nothing but a unity; are the exquisite robes that trees there bear as fruit. // 10.22 //

There rise golden lotuses with beryl stems and diamond shoots and stamens; /
Receptive to touch, they have a scent of the ultimate: still pools without ripples allow them to grow. // 10.24 //

Birds which are -- again -- different, with distinctively golden wings and bright, beryl-blue eyes, /
Birds called śiñjirikas fly to and fro, carrying away minds and ears with their songs. // 10.29 //

Adorned with curling feathers that are red at the tips, golden in the middle, /
And the colour of beryl within borders, birds there move. // 10.30 //

Just as gold born from dirt is pure, spotless, gleaming, /
And while lying in the dirt is not tarnished by the dirt's impurities, // 13.4 //

And just as a lotus-leaf is born in water and remains in water, /
But neither above nor below is sullied by the water, // 13.5 //

So the Sage, born in the world, and acting for the benefit of the world, /
Because of his state of action, and spotlessness, is not tainted by worldly things. // 13.6 //

A dirt-washer in pursuit of gold washes away first the coarse grains of dirt, /
Then the finer granules, so that the material is cleansed; and by the cleansing he retains the rudiments of gold. // 15.66 //

In the same way, a man whose mind is poised, in pursuit of liberation, lets go first of the gross faults, /
Then of the subtler ones, so that his mind is cleansed, and by the cleansing he retains the rudiments of dharma. // 15.67 //

Just as gold, washed with water, is separated from dirt in this world, methodically,
And just as the smith heats the gold in the fire and repeatedly turns it over, /
Just so is the practitioner's mind, with delicacy and accuracy, separated from faults in this world,
And just so, after cleansing it from afflictions, does the practitioner temper the mind and collect it. // 15.68 //

Again, just as the smith brings gold to a state where he can work it easily
In as many ways as he likes into all kinds of ornaments, /
So too a beggar of cleansed mind tempers his mind,
And directs his yielding mind among the powers of knowing,1 as he wishes and wherever he wishes. // 15.69 //

Holding gold in the mouth of a furnace, a goldsmith in this world blows it at the proper time, /
Douses it with water at the proper time, and gradually, at the proper time, he leaves it be. // 16.65 //

For he might burn the gold by blowing at the wrong time, he might make it unworkable by plunging it into water at the wrong time, /
And he would not bring it to full perfection if at the wrong time he were just to leave it be. // 16.66 //

Likewise, for garnering as also for calming, as also when appropriate for leaving well alone, /
One should readily attend to the appropriate factor; because even diligence is destructive when accompanied by a wrong approach." // 16.67 //

If, though fended off by such means, faults do not turn back, /
Then, eliminated in order of their grossness, they must be driven out like impurities from gold. // 16.80 //

And so, a glowing gold in his yellow-red robe, he bowed his head to the Guru /
Like a karnikāra tree, with an outburst of ruddy shoots, and a glorious blaze of flowers, nodding in the wind. // 18.5 //

After speaking thus, he prostrated himself on the ground with his whole body, out of deep appreciation for the Guru; /
He looked like a great fallen column of gold tinged with red sandalwood. // 18.20 //

Seeing, in general, that the world is moved primarily by fondness for objects and is repelled by liberation,
I for whom liberation is paramount have told it here like it is, using a kāvya poem as a pretext. /
Being aware of the deceit, take from (this verb-rooted dust) what pertains to peace and not to idle pleasure.
Then elemental dust, assuredly, shall yield up serviceable gold. // 18.64 //

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