Tuesday, October 7, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 12.64: A Definite Gap Appears - The Spiritual Separates from the Physical

tato muñjād iṣīkeva śakuniḥ pañjarād iva |
kṣetra-jño niḥsto dehān mukta ity abhidhīyate || 12.64

Thus, like the stalk from a sheath of muñja grass,

Like a big bird from its cage,

The Knower of the Field, escaped from the body,

Is said to be liberated.

Saccharum bengalense is said to be a very large tufted grass which is of little account as a fodder plant since cattle and buffaloes will only eat the tender young leaves. 

And śakuni means any bird but especially a large one.

So Arāḍa seems to be indicating, as a relatively big deal, an event when one thing separates from another. 

In the simile of the muñja grass, the stalk and the leaf-sheaths originally belong to the same plant; but in the simile of the bird and the cage, the bird is animate and the cage is inanimate.

In today's verse, then, there seems to be no ambiguity about it. Arāḍa's teaching at this point goes against the principle of psychophysical unity.

Right here, in this separation, is the point of divergence between Arāḍa's teaching and what will be the teaching of the fully awakened Sambuddha. In the realization of the former, as Arāḍa conceives it, the spiritual is prioritized at the expense of the material, from which the spiritual escapes. In the realization of the latter, as Aśvaghoṣa describes it, the earth shakes and gods rejoice.

tataḥ: ind. then, from that, on those grounds
muñjāt (abl. sg.): m. " sounding , rustling (?) " , a species of rush or sedge-like grass , Saccharum Sara or Munja (which grows to the height of 10 feet , and is used in basketwork); the Brahmanical girdle formed of Munja
iṣīkā (nom. sg.): f. a reed , rush , stem or stalk of grass used as an arrow
iva: like

śakuniḥ (nom. sg.): m. a bird (esp. a large bird L. = gridhra or cilla accord. to some " a cock")
pañjarāt (abl. sg.): n. a cage , aviary , dove-cot , net ; the skeleton, ribs
iva: like

kṣetra-jñaḥ (nom. sg. m.): the knower of the field
niḥsṛtaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. gone out or forth (with abl. or comp.) , departed
niḥ- √ sṛ: to go out , come forth , depart , withdraw
dehāt (abl. sg.): m. the body

muktaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. set free, liberated
iti: thus
abhidhīyate = 3rd pers. sg. passive abhi- √ dhā: (in classical Sanskrit generally) to set forth , explain , tell , speak to , address , say , name ; abhi- √ dhī: to reflect upon , consider

文闇皮骨離 野鳥離樊籠
遠離於境界 解脱亦復然

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