−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Upajāti (Māyā)bhūyaś-ca tasmai vidadhe sutāya viśeṣa-yuktaṁ viṣaya-pracāram |
calendriyatvād-api nāma śakto nāsmān-vijahyād-iti nāthamānaḥ || 3.50
And once more he arranged for his son
A special playground of sensual enjoyments,
All the time praying:
“Though be it through the fickle power of the senses,
Would that he were unable to leave us!”
On a textual note, EHJ amended śaktaḥ (able) at the end of the 3rd pāda to saktaḥ (attached), but I have stuck for the present to the original reading.
The possessor of the earth possesses the earth through the power of the senses. At the same time, he knows this power to be cala, moving, unsteady, changeable, fickle, unreliable.
Marjory Barlow used to day, “We cannot control our feelings. Our feelings control us.”
Because our feelings control us, possession of the earth is inevitably a function of feeling. But because the power of the senses is unreliable, reliance on feeling is liable to cause us to lose possession of the earth.
In this situation, possession of the earth cannot be regained relying on feeling, any more than a ship can be navigated by a faulty compass.
But even with a broken compass, and no sat-nav, a sailor in the northern hemisphere who is heading south can keep heading south by observing where the sun is and where the stars are, and reasoning on that basis where south is.
“We cannot control what we feel,” Marjory Barlow used to say, “But we can control, at least to some extent, what we think.”
Marjory was talking about the use of reason, as opposed to reliance on what her uncle FM Alexander called “faulty sensory appreciation” or “unreliable sense of feeling.”
The irony in today's verse is that the mighty possessor of earthly power, though described as arranging things for his son, is not truly doing anything for the benefit of his son; he is acting for the sake of his own selfish self, on the basis of his fear and insecurity.
The moral to be drawn is that a possessor of the earth whose only recourse is to the physical, mighty though he may be for a while, is inherently insecure in his powerful possession of the earth.
When I showed Marjory Barlow the way I had been taught to sit in Japan, pulling in the chin “slightly,” her observation was simply that “There is no freedom in it.”
SHIN NO KEKKAFUZA SUBESHI
“We should practise full lotus sitting with the body,” affirmed Dogen.
This sitting seems to me to have something to do with sheer muscle power, in the way that hard physical training can imbue a person with enhanced physical power, in an Arnold Schwarzenneger kind of way.
SHIN NO KEKKAFUZA SUBESHI
“We should practise full lotus sitting with the mind,” Dogen affirmed further.
This sitting has to do with using reason to circumvent the unreliable power of the senses, in a more nerdy 2 + 2 = 4 kind of way.
SHINJIN DATSURAKU NO KEKKAFUZA SUBESHI
“We should practice full lotus sitting as body and mind dropping off.”
bhūyaḥ: ind. once more
tasmai (dat. sg. m.): for him
vidadhe = 3rd pers. sg. perf. vi- √ dhā: to put in order , arrange , dispose , prepare , make ready
sutāya (dat. sg.): m. son
viśeṣa-yuktam (acc. sg.): possessed of distinction
viśeṣa: m. distinction
yukta: mfn. yoked ; furnished or endowed or filled or supplied or provided with , accompanied by , possessed of (instr. or comp.)
viṣaya-pracāram (acc. sg.): a playground of sensual enjoyments
viṣaya: m. anything perceptible by the senses , any object of affection or concern or attention , any special worldly object or aim or matter or business , (pl.) sensual enjoyments , sensuality
pracāra: m. roaming , wandering ; application , employment , use ; a playground , place of exercise ; a pasture-ground
calendriyatvāt (abl. sg.): because of the restlessness of his senses
cala: mfn. moving ; unsteady , fluctuating , perishable
indriya: n. faculty of sense , sense , organ of sense
-tva (abstract noun suffix)
nāma: (with opt. often = would that e.g. api nāmaīvaṁ syāt , would that it were so)
śaktaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. able , competent for , equal to , capable of
saktaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. clinging or adhering to , sticking in (loc.); fixed or intent upon , directed towards , addicted or devoted to , fond of , engaged in , occupied with (loc.)
asmān (acc. pl.): us
vijahyāt = 3rd pers. sg. opt. vi- √ hā: to leave behind , relinquish , quit , abandon
iti: “....,” thus
nāthamānaḥ = nom. sg. m. pres. part. nāth: to seek aid , approach with prayers or requests (loc.) ; to ask , solicit , beg