Friday, May 31, 2013

BUDDHACARITA 5.77: The Moon's a Maṇḍala, The Earth Is Everybody's Prize

¦−⏑−⏑−−¦¦⏑⏑−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−−   Aupacchandasaka
iha caiva bhavanti ye sahāyāḥ kaluṣe karmaṇi dharma-saṁśraye vā |
avagacchati me yathāntar-ātmā niyataṁ te 'pi janās-tad-aṁśa-bhājaḥ || 5.77

There again, all in this world who are companions,

Whether in tainted doing or in devotion to dharma,

Living beings without exception – as my inner self intuits –

Are entitled to their share of the prize.

If yesterday's verse was the thesis, that turning to dharma is ultimately something I do for myself in solitude, practising that practice which, in the first instance is born of separateness (viveka-jam), then today's verse can be read as the anti-thesis, in which the prince appears to be expressing an intuitive sense of being in the same boat, or on the same spaceship earth, as everybody else. 

The prince is describing this intuition, moreover, not as a recognition arising from his top two inches, but rather as a deep intuition, a function of the inner self. It seems to be, in other words, an intuition born not so much out of personal experience as out of some kind of collective consciousness or collective unconsciousness. 

Using a Christian (or Jewish) metaphor, FM Alexander used to say, “The people who come here are the salt of the earth."  

FM then went on to add: "If they knew what they were letting themselves in for, they wouldn't come."

Here is Aśvaghoṣa's description in SN Canto 3 of what happened to the earth at the time of the Buddha's enlightenment:
Sitting there, mind made up, as unmovingly stable as the king of mountains, / He overcame the grim army of Māra and awoke to the step which is happy, irremovable, and irreducible. // SN 3.7 // Sensing the completion of his task, the denizens of heaven whose heart's desire is the deathless nectar / Buzzed with unbridled joy. But Māra's crew was downcast and trembled. // SN3.8 // The earth with its mountains shook, that which feeds the fire blew benignly, / The drums of the gods resounded, and from the cloudless sky rain fell. // SN3.9 //
At that time, what change might an observer on the moon have noticed in the earth? I suspect that such an observer would not have noticed any change at all. So the truth might be that beyond the blue planet itself there never was nor ever will be any prize. 

The blue planet, the prince seems to be intuiting, to put it another way, is everybody's birthright. 

So what do I do to claim my inheritance? 

A major barrier (or a certain taintedness) might exist, ironically, in the question itself. 


iha: ind. here, in this world
ca: and
eva: (emphatic)
bhavanti = 3rd pers. pl. bhū: to be
ye (nom. pl. m.): [those] who
sahāyāḥ (nom. pl.): m. companion, ally

kaluṣe (loc. sg. n.): mfn. turbid , foul , muddy , impure , dirty (lit. and fig.)
karmaṇi (loc. sg.): n. act, action
dharma-saṁśraye (loc. sg.): in turning to dharma
saṁ- √ śri: to join or attach one's self to , go for refuge or succour to , resort or betake one's
self to , cling to for protection , seek the help of (acc.) ; to serve
saṁśraya: m. conjunction , combination , connection , association (ifc. " joined or connected with ") ; going or resorting or betaking one's self to any person or place (loc. or comp.) ; a refuge , asylum , shelter , resting or dwelling-place , residence , home (ifc. " residing with " , " living or dwelling or resting in or on ") ; devotion to , attachment to (ifc. " devoted or attached to "
vā: or

avagacchati = 3rd pers. sg. ava- √ gam: to hit upon , think of , conceive , learn , know , understand , anticipate , assure one's self , be convinced; to recognise
me (gen. sg.): my
yathā: ind. as
antar-ātmā (nom. sg. m.): the inner self
antar: ind. in the middle; sometimes compounded with a following word like an adjective , meaning interior , internal , intermediate
ātman: m. breath, self; (ifc.) the understanding , intellect , mind

niyatam: ind. always , constantly , decidedly , inevitably , surely
te (nom. pl. m.): [correlative of ye] they
api: and , also , moreover , besides , assuredly , surely
janāḥ (nom. pl.): m. creature , living being , man , person , race (páñca jánās , "the five races")
tad-aṁśa-bhājaḥ (nom. pl. m.): being entitled to their share of the booty
tad: that
aṁśa: m a share , portion , part , party ; inheritance ; a share of booty
bhāj: mfn. (mostly ifc. ; exceptionally with gen.) sharing or participating in , entitled to , possessing , enjoying , perceiving , feeling , sensible of. devoted to , intent upon ; forming a part of , belonging to

遭苦良友難 求法必寡朋
堪此二友者 終獲於吉安 

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