Monday, July 7, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 11.46: Not Doing Anything, Because of Believing in Everything

⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Upajāti (Sālā)
rājye npas-tyāgini bahv-a-mitre viśvāsam-āgacchati ced-vipannaḥ |
athāpi viśraṁbham-upaiti neha kiṁ nāma saukhyaṁ cakitasya rājñaḥ || 11.46

Sovereignty is fleeting and faced with many enemies:

When a protector of men believes in it and breathes easy,
he is come to nought;

Or else, if he cannot be confident in this present realm and rest easy,

Where does happiness lie, for a timorous king?

What the bodhisattva is conscious of expressing in today's verse is what he has been conscious of expressing in previous verses – i.e. that no king has it easy. When it comes to belief, a king is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he is too trusting, vipannaḥ,  he is ruined (EHJ) or he's doomed (PO); but if he is too suspicious then in that frightened state he cannot be happy either.

Below the surface what the bodhisattva might be talking about, without realizing it, yet, is the balanced state of a king of dharma who believes in nothing and who, in so believing in nothing, believes in everything.

In the latter reading, sovereignty might mean the balanced state itself, which is fleeting in the sense of being momentary, and which is safeguarded in the face of threats from enemies like greed, anger and delusion. At the same time, really believing in sovereignty might mean really believing that the right thing does itself, in which case a good criterion for real belief might be easy breathing.

In the latter reading, again, come to nought might describe body and mind having dropped off already. Come to nought, in other words, might describe the whole edifice of suffering having been demolished.

On the basis of non-doing sitting practice, then, today's verse gels without any trouble with the teaching concerning non-doing of the Japanese Zen Patriarch Dogen, and also with the teaching concerning non-doing of the Indian Zen Patriarch Nāgārjuna, viz:

saṁsāra-mūlaṁ saṁskārān avidvān saṁskaroty ataḥ |
avidvān kārakas tasmān na vidvāṁs tattva-darśanāt ||MMK26.10

The doings which are the root of saṁsāra

Thus does the ignorant one do.

The ignorant one therefore is the doer;

The wise one is not, because of reality making itself known.

avidyāyāṁ niruddhāyāṁ saṁskārāṇām asaṁbhavaḥ |
avidyāyā nirodhas tu jñānasyāsyaiva bhāvanāt ||MMK26.11

In the ceasing of ignorance,

There is the non-coming-into-being of doings.

The cessation of ignorance, however,

Is because of the bringing-into-being of just this act of knowing.

tasya tasya nirodhena tat-tan nābhipravartate |
duḥkha-skandhaḥ kevalo 'yam evaṁ samyaṅ nirudhyate ||MMK26.12

By the destruction of each [link],

Each is discontinued.

This whole edifice of suffering

Is thus totally demolished.

Understood and translated like this, tattva-darśana, "reality making itself known" means "the right thing doing itself" -- a truth that is only realized in practice and experience. Realized in action, but not by doing. 

Nāgārjuna is not saying that ignorance is ended by understanding “dependent origination" as a doctrine. Ignorance is ended by an act of knowing. That's why in Pali, in Sanskrit, in Chinese and in Japanese, in Suttas, in Sūtras, and in the teachings of Zen masters, due emphasis is always given – as highlighted yesterday -- to the non-doing act of sitting with the legs crossed.

Today's verse, as I read it, is a stimulus to consider what role is played in this realization by belief, or confidence. Not the belief that causes a person to hold his or her breath in hopeful expectation of being saved. The confidence that facilitates easy breathing. 

rājye (loc. sg.): n. kingdom, kingship
nṛpaḥ (nom. sg.): m. protector of men, king
tyāgini (loc. sg. m.): mfn. giving up ; one who has resigned (as an ascetic who abandons worldly objects) = tyājaka mfn. one who abandons or expels
vaṁka-mitre [EBC]: 'loving crooked turns'
vaṅka: m. " roaming about " , a vagabond ; crookedness
EBC note: Professor Keilhorn would read raṁka-mītre
raṅka: mfn. niggardly , avaricious ; poor , miserable , hungry; m. a beggar , starveling
bahv-a-mitre [EHJ] (loc. sg. n.): having many enemies

viśvāsam (acc. sg.): m. confidence , trust , reliance , faith or belief in (loc. gen. instr. with or without saha , or comp.)
vi- √ śvas: to draw breath freely , be free from fear or apprehension , be trustful or confident , trust or confide in , rely or depend on (acc. gen. , or loc.)
√ śvas: to blow, hiss; to breathe
āgacchati = 3rd pers. sg. ā- √ gam: to come to, attain ; to fall into (any state of mind)
ced: ind. when, if
vipannaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. gone wrong , failed , miscarried ; afflicted , distressed ; ruined , destroyed , decayed , dead , gone
vi- √ pad: to go wrongly , fail , miscarry , come to nought , perish die

atha: ind. and, and so
api: also
viśrambham (acc. sg.): m. slackening ; trust , confidence in (loc. gen. , or comp.)
vi- √ śram: to rest , repose , recreate one's self ; to rest i.e. trust or confide in , rely on ; to feel at ease or comfortable
upaiti = 3rd pers. sg. upa- √i: to go near , arrive at
na: not
iha: in this

kim: ind. (interrogative particle) what? how? wherefore?
nāma: ind. by name ; after an interr. = then , pray e.g. kiṁ n° , kathaṁ n° , kadā nevertheless , what then? pray , what? &c
saukhyam (nom. sg.): n. welfare , comfort , health , happiness , felicity , enjoyment
saukha: vṛddhi form in comp. of sukha.
cakitasya (gen. sg. m.): mfn. trembling , timid , frightened
rājñaḥ (gen. sg.): m. king

爲王多怨憎 雖親或成患
無親而獨立 此復有何歡

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