Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 10.13: Being In No Rush to Get Anywhere

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Upajāti (Upendravajrā)
a-lola-cakṣur-yuga-mātra-darśī nivtta-vāg-yantrita-manda-gāmī |
cacāra bhikṣāṁ sa tu bhikṣu-varyo nidhāya gātrāṇi calaṁ ca cetaḥ || 10.13

Looking, with eyes that did not dance, a yoke's length ahead;

Not speaking; moving slowly and with restraint,

He the best of beggars, however, went begging –

Placing within limits his limbs and the inconstant mind.

The tu (but, however) in the 3rd pāda of today's verse seems designed to serve as a reminder that, yes, there is a such a thing as a right direction, BUT there need be no desperate hurry to go in it.

What today's verse as I read it describes is an absence of impatient thirsting, which is associated with a certain conscious use of the eyes, limbs, and mind -- in which, to use a favourite phrase of Marjory Barlow, borrowed from TS Elliot, there is "stillness without fixity." 

If, in trying to be right, we imitated that kind of use of the eyes and limbs, and thereby ended up going around very slowly and carefully like a mindfulness zombie, that ironically might be just an insidious variation on the theme of impatient thirsting.

This is something that I have seen a lot in Alexander work, mainly in my own stupid self, whereby the impatient desire to feel myself going up causes me to pull myself down.

a-lola-cakṣuḥ (nom. sg. m.): with eyes that did not dance/wander/deviate
lola: mfn. moving hither and thither , shaking , rolling , tossing , dangling , swinging , agitated , unsteady , restless ; desirous , greedy , lustful
lola-cakṣus: mfn. having a rolling eye ; looking wantonly upon (loc.)
yuga-mātra-darśī (nom. sg. m.): mfn. looking as far as a yoke or towards the ground.
yuga: m. a yoke ; a measure of length = 86 aṅgulas (= 4 hastas or cubits)
mātra: n. measure; e.g. aṅgula-mātram , a finger's breadth
darśin: mfn. ifc. seeing , looking at
EBC note: Hardy explains this ‘he does not look before him further than the distance of a plough of nine spans’ (Manual of Buddhism, p. 371).

nivṛtta-vāg (nom. sg. m.):
nivṛtta: mfn. turned back ; passed away , gone , ceased , disappeared , vanished
vāc: f. speech , voice , talk , language
yantrita-manda-gāmī (nom. sg. m.):
yantrita: mfn. restrained , curbed , bound , fettered , confined (lit. and fig.)
yantṛ: to restrain , curb , bind
manda: slow , tardy , moving slowly or softly ; languid
gāmin: ifc. going or moving on or in or towards or in any peculiar manner

cacāra = 3rd pers. sg. perf. car: to move one's self , go , walk , move , stir , roam about , wander
bhikṣām (acc. sg.): f. the act of begging or asking (with √ kṛ , to beg ; with √ aṭ , car , bhram and yā , to go about begging)
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
tu: but
bhikṣu-varyaḥ (nom. sg. m.): the best of beggars

nidhāya = abs. ni- √ dhā : to put or lay down , deposit , lay up , preserve ; (with manas) to fix or direct the thoughts upon or towards i.e. resolve ; (with manasi , °sā , or hṛdaye) to keep in mind , bear in mind , remember ; to keep down, restrain
gātrāṇi (acc. pl.): n. " instrument of moving " , a limb or member of the body
calam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. moving , trembling ; unsteady
ca: and
cetaḥ (acc. sg.): n. mind

澄靜端目視 庠歩顯眞儀
入里行乞食 爲諸乞士光
歛形心不亂 好惡靡不安

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