Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 9.20: Royal Dharma (Immutable, Approachable, Practical, Invincible)

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Upajāti (Haṁsī)
dhruvānujau yau bali-vajrabāhū vaibhrājam-āṣāḍham-athāntidevam |
videha-rājaṁ janakaṁ tathaiva [pāka]-drumaṁ sena-jitaś-ca rājñaḥ || 9.20

'Oblation-Offering' Bali and 'Thunderbolt-Armed' Vajra-bāhu,
who were the younger brothers of 'The Immutable' Dhruva;

'Born of Brightness' Vaibhrāja, 
'Born of the Midsummer Month' Āṣāḍha,
and 'Close to the Gods' Antideva;

Likewise the Videha King Janaka, 'The Producer';

'[Ripening] Tree' [Pāka]-druma 
and 'Army Vanquishing' King Senajit –

Today's verse is essentially a list of names of kings whom King Śuddhodana is citing to support his argument that even those who stay at home have attained the dharma of liberation.

If we look for meaning in the names of the kings and in the order in which those names are listed, for a start it makes sense that 'The Immutable' Dhruva is cited in the 1st pāda. In the first of the four phases of Zen philosophy, we desire to devote our perishable selves to that teaching which is immutable – as immutable as gold, or as immutable as the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

The 2nd pāda can be read as standing in relation to the 1st pāda in the way that something as familiar as an ice-cream or a hot-water bottle stands in relation to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

The 3rd pāda takes us into the realm of action itself – action being the practical agent of production, or the generator of effects.

And the 4th pāda can be read as suggesting mature practice of sitting-meditation as what vanquishes the armies of Māra.

The grim armies of Māra, in my book, are all those forces that Māra mobilizes to bring us down, if we let him. We will have plenty of opportunity to consider how to defeat Māra – primarily by the means of just sitting there like a mountain – when we encounter Māra in Canto 13. The title of that canto is māra-vijayaḥ, “Victory Over Māra.”

The title of the present canto is kumārānveṣaṇaḥ, which I think is a deliberately ambiguous compound. But one of the ways of reading kumārānveṣaṇaḥ is “Seeking the Royal Prince.” And one way of seeking the royal prince is by the kind of investigation just carried out in four phases. At the same time this kind of investigation, truly, has to be more than an intellectual exercise. At the fourth phase, at least, the investigation has to leap into the area of seeking the royal prince with one's own sitting bones atop one's own round black cushion. That means seeking the guy who is going to go into battle with Māra and royally kick Māra's ass.

dhruvānujau (acc. dual m.): the younger brothers of Dhruva
dhruva: mfn. fixed , firm , immovable , unchangeable , constant , lasting , permanent , eternal ; m. the polar star (personified as son of uttāna-pāda and grandson of manu) ; m. the unchangeable longitude of fixed stars , a constant arc ; a knot ; m. a post , stake ; m. name of the syllable Om ; of brahmā ; of viṣṇu ; of śiva ; of a son of vasu-deva and rohiṇī
anu-ja: m. a younger brother ; mfn. born after , later , younger
yau (acc. dual m.): who were
bali-vajrabāhū (acc. dual m.): Bali and Vajra-bāhu
bali: m. any offering or propitiatory oblation ; name of a king
vajra-bāhu: " thunderbolt-armed " , wielder of a thunderbolt (said of indra , agni and rudra) ; m. N. of a king of Orissa and of another person

vaibhrājam (acc. sg. m.): m. (fr. vi-bhrāj , or vibhrāja) patr. of viṣvak-sena
vibhrāja: m. N. of a king
vi- √ bhrāj: to shine forth, be bright or radiant
āṣāḍham (acc. sg. m.): m. (fr. a-ṣāḍhā) , N. of a month (corresponding to part of June and July) in which the full moon is near the constellation aṣāḍhā ; a staff of the wood of the palāśa (carried by an ascetic during certain religious observances in the month āṣāḍha) ; N. of a prince
aṣāḍhā: f. sg. or pl. N. of two lunar mansions
atha: and, then, or else
antidevam (acc. sg. m.): mfn. being in the presence of the gods , near the gods RV. i , 180 , 7. ; m. N. of an ancient king and sage, ib. ; Bcar.

videha-rājam (acc. sg. m.): the Videha King
janakam (acc. sg. m.): mfn. generative , generating , begetting , producing , causing ; m. a progenitor , father ; m. N. of a king of videha or mithilā (son of mithi and father of udāvasu)
tathā: ind. likewise
eva: (emphatic)

yāṅge(?gi?)druma [old Nepalese manuscript]: ??
druma: m. a tree (sometimes also any plant ; according to some esp. a tree of indra's paradise = pārijāta) ; N. of a prince of the kim-puruṣas ; of a son of kṛṣṇa and rukmiṇī
pāka-drumam [EBC] (acc. sg. m.): “his tree of ripe blessing”
pāka: mfn. (either fr. √1. pā+ka , " drinking , sucking " , or fr. √2. pac , " ripening , growing ") very young ; m. ( √2. pac ) cooking , baking , roasting , boiling; ripening , ripeness
śālva-drumam [PO] (acc. sg. m.): Druma of Śālva
śālva: m. pl. N. of a people
sena-jitaḥ (acc. sg. m.): mfn. vanquishing armies ; m. N. of a king
ca: and
rājñaḥ (acc. sg.): m. king

頭留摩先王 阿闍阿渉
跋闍羅婆休 毘跋羅安提

毘提訶闍那 那羅濕波羅 

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