[Saturday, August 16th]
viraktasyāpi yad idaṁ saumukhyaṁ bhavataḥ param |
aktārtho 'py anenāsmi ktārtha iva saṁprati || 12.12
“Though untainted by emotion,
You show this extreme good grace,
Because of which, although I have yet to realize the aim,
I feel like I am just realizing the aim here and now.
Today's verse, even though it is the first verse in the bodhisattva's speech, can be read as rounding off a series of four verses from BC12.9 to BC12.12.
The progression of these four verses can be summarized like this:
- Thesis: student investigates dharma.
- Anti-thesis: teacher investigates student.
- Synthesis: further investigation, in the moment of action, going on up.
- Bodhisattva suggests his experience, even as a bodhisattva, of realizing reality here and now.
Today's verse thus relates, as I read it, to FM Alexander's truth that there is no such thing as a right position, but there is such a thing as a right direction.
That being so, here and now, to make effort to go in that direction – primarily up – is absolutely the best that any of us can do.
And that might be true whether we are ones who have already accomplished the task, as enlightened buddhas, or whether we are ones who have yet to accomplish the task, as practising bodhisattvas.
In the jargon of Chinese Zen, the point might be the primacy of polishing a tile, without worrying unduly about the aim of making a mirror.
viraktasya (gen. sg. m.): mfn. mfn. discoloured , changed in colour ; changed in disposition , disaffected , estranged , averse , indifferent; become indifferent i.e. arousing no interest
api: even though
yad (nom. sg. n.): which
idam (nom. sg. n.): this
saumukhyam (nom. sg.): n. (fr. su-mukha) cheerfulness , delight in (comp.) Bcar
su-mukha: mfn. having a beautiful face; cheerful; gracious , favourable , kind to
bhavataḥ (gen. sg.): m. the gentleman present, you
param (nom. sg. n.): mfn. extreme ; better or worse than , superior or inferior to , best or worst , highest
akṛtārthaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. having one's object unaccomplished , unsuccessful.
api: even though
anena (inst. sg. n.): because of it
asmi = 1st pers. sg. as: to be
kṛtārthaḥ (nom. sg. m.): having attained an end or object or has accomplished a purpose or desire , successful , satisfied , contented
iva: like, as if
samprati: ind. directly over , against or opposite , close in front of; rightly , in the right way , at the right time ; exactly , just ; now , at this moment , at present