Monday, September 1, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 12.28: The Blur (2) – I Am This Job, This Flock

ya evāhaṁ sa evedaṁ mano buddhiś ca karma ca |
yaś caivaiṣa gaṇaḥ so 'ham iti yaḥ so 'bhisaṁplavaḥ || 12.28

“What I am is just this –

This mind, this intelligence, this occupation.

Again, what this present group is, I am.”

That is blurring of boundaries.

Again, I read today's verse as the teaching of a teacher who has only a little dust on his eyes – the teaching of a teacher whose teaching deserves to be studied.

For the 3rd pāda of today's verse EBC's text has
yaś caivaṁ sa gaṇaḥ so 'ham,
which EBC translates all this aggregate is the same as "I". 

The old Nepalese manuscript has 
yaś caiveśa gaṇaḥ so 'ham.

EHJ noted that idam in the 1st pāda suggests that the old Nepalese manuscript's reading in the 3rd pāda derives from eṣa. He therefore amended the 3rd pāda to read:
yaś caivaiṣa gaṇaḥ so 'ham,
which EHJ translated this group is identical with the ego.

PO translates I'm truly the same as this group.

“This aggregate” or “this group” could mean the group formed from the three elements specified in the 2nd pāda – this group of mind, intelligence and karma. I suppose from EHJ's note that this is how he read it. 

At the same time, the first word that the MW dictionary gives in its definition of gaṇa is “flock.”

Taking gaṇa in this second sense, Arāḍa in today's verse can be read as describing our tendency to fail to be true to our selves because of mistakenly identifying ourselves 
1., on the inside, with partial aspects of ourself like our mind, our intelligence, and our karma (i.e. in this context our job or occupation); and 
2., on the outside, with a group to which we consider ourselves to belong.

When Emperor Wu asked Master Bodhidharma who he was, Bodhidharma famously replied “I don't know.”

Bodhidharma knew full well that he was not any specific or extrinsic things. He knew full well that Emperor Wu's question was the question of an ignorant person who had not transcended the blur.

In response, Master Bodhidharma didn't affirm the blurring of boundaries by saying, “I am an enlightened being.” Or “I am an Indian Zen Master.” Or even “I am a humble Buddhist monk.” Being true to himself from his head to his toes, he just said, in all clarity, "I don't know.”

So it may not be possible to draw the line between self and others, but that is no excuse for blurring it. 

yaḥ (nom. sg. m.): [that] which
eva: (emphatic)
aham (nom. sg. m.): I
sa (nom. sg. m.):
eva: (emphatic)
idam (nom. sg. n.): this

manaḥ (nom. sg.): n. mind
buddhiḥ (nom. sg.): f. intelligence
ca: and
karma (nom. sg.): n. karma, action ; office , special duty , occupation ; work, labour
ca: and

yaḥ (nom. sg. m.): [that] which
ca: and
eva: (emphatic)
eṣaḥ (nom. sg. m.): this , this here , here (especially as pointing to what is nearest to the speaker e.g. eṣa bāṇaḥ , this arrow here in my hand
gaṇaḥ (nom. sg.): m. a flock , troop , multitude , number , tribe , series , class ; a company , any assemblage or association of men formed for the attainment of the same aims ; a sect in philosophy or religion
saḥ (nom. sg. m.): it, this
aham (nom. sg.): m. the I

iti: “....,” thus
yaḥ (nom. sg. m.): [that] which
saḥ (nom. sg. m.): it, this
abhisaṁplavaḥ (nom. sg.):m. fluctuation, Bcar.
abhi-: ind. (a prefix to verbs and nouns , expressing) to , towards , into , over , upon. (As a prefix to verbs of motion) it expresses the notion or going towards , approaching , &c
samplava: m. flowing together , meeting or swelling (of waters) , flood , deluge ; a dense mass , heap , multitude ; conglomeration , taking a form or shape , rise , origin ; noise , tumult (esp. of battle) ;

若説法是我 説彼即是意亦説覺與業 諸數復説我 

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