Wednesday, January 22, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 9.7: Boldly Going in the Right Direction

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Upajāti (Bālā)
tasmāt-tatas-tāv-upalabhya tattvaṁ taṁ vipram-āmantrya tadaiva sadyaḥ |
khinnāvakhinnāv-iva rāja-bhaktyā prasasratus-tena yataḥ sa yātaḥ || 9.7

Then the two of them, on those grounds, grasped the truth,

And said goodbye at once to that inspired sage,

Whereon, as if tired and yet tireless, through their royal devotion,

They staunchly went in that direction in which the other had gone.

In the 1st pāda, upalabhya tattvam (grasping the truth) ostensibly means being appraised of a fact – the fact in question being the fact that the prince had put an egg in his boot and beat it. But below the surface, as we examined yesterday, the true reality is not always what it seems to be on the surface.

That being so the 2nd pāda can be read as an affirmation of the principle that to see the truth is to practise the truth. In other words, the moment of seeing the truth and the moment of saying goodbye might be contiguous moments, or they might be the same moment. The moment of seeing the truth and the moment of hitting the road, Jack, might be contiguous moments; or they might be the same moment.

In the 3rd pāda, if we follow EHJ's amendment to rāja-bhaktyā (EBC has rāja-putraḥ), and if we follow PO in translating bhakti as love (“out of love for their king”), then the principle of the 3rd pāda is the principle of “He ain't heavy, he's my brother.” But bhakti can mean attachment not only in the form of love of a person but also in the form of devotion – e.g. devotion to a deity, or devotion to a principle.

If we take bhakti as meaning devotion to a principle, then the 4th pāda can be read as an expression of that principle, which might be the principle of devotion to a royal, and might also be a principle to which a true royal is devoted.

Read like this, the 4th pāda is like an open goal inviting former England no. 9 Alan Shearer to put the ball, in Shearer's own words, in the back of the fucking net. So here goes:

There is no such thing as a right position, 
but there is such a thing as a right direction.”

Thus, though ostensibly today's verse has got nothing to do with sitting-meditation, and still less to do with the teaching of FM Alexander, the gist of it is seeing the truth and, in that very moment, going tirelessly in the right direction.

tasmāt: (1) ind. (abl. of 2. tá) from that , on that account , therefore (2) from him
tataḥ: ind. then, thence ; thereupon , then , after that , afterwards
tau (nom. dual): those two
upalabhya = abs. upa- √ labh: to seize , get possession of , acquire , receive , obtain , find ; to perceive , behold , hear, to understand , learn , know , ascertain
tattvam (acc. sg.): n. true or real state , truth , reality

tam (acc. sg. m.): him
vipram: mfn stirred or excited (inwardly) , inspired , wise (said of men and gods , esp. of agni); a sage , seer , singer , poet , learned theologian ; a Brahman
āmantrya = abs. ā- √ mantr: to address ; to bid farewell , take leave
tadaiva: right then
tadā: ind. at that time , then , in that case (often used redundantly , esp. after tatas or purā)
eva: (emphatic)
sadyaḥ: ind. on the same day , in the very moment (either " at once " , " immediately " or " just " , " recently ")

khinnāvakhinnau (nom. dual): weary and yet not weary
khinna: mfn. mfn. depressed , distressed , suffering pain or uneasiness ; wearied, exhausted
ava-: ind. (as a prefix to verbs and verbal nouns expresses) off , away , down ;
iva: like, as if
rāja-bhaktyā (inst. sg. f.): because of devotion to the king
bhakti: (ifc.) the being a part of; attachment , devotion , fondness for , devotion to (with loc. , gen. or ifc.)
rāja-putraḥ [EBC] (nom. sg. m.): the king's son, the prince

prasasratur = 3rd pers. dual perf. pra-√ sṛ: to move forwards , advance (" for " or " against " acc.) , proceed (lit. and fig.) , spring up , come forth , issue from (abl.) , appear , rise , spread , extend; to break out (as fire)
tena: ind. in that direction , there (correl. to yena , " in which direction , where ") ; in that manner , thus (correl. to yena , " in what manner "); on that account , for that reason , therefore (correl. to yena, yád, yasmāt, yatas )
yataḥ: ind. from which or what , whence , whereof , wherefrom
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
yātaḥ = nom. sg. m. past. part yā: to go

既得定實已 遵崇王速命
不敢計疲勞 尋路而馳進

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