Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BUDDHACARITA 13.70: The Edification of Māra

¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−   Vaṁśastha
tataḥ sa saṁśrutya ca tasya tad vaco mahā-muneḥ prekṣya ca niṣprakaṁpatām |
jagāma māro vimano hatodyamaḥ śarair jagac cetasi yair vihanyate || 13.70

And so, having listened to that speech of the other,

And having witnessed the unshakability of a great sage,

Māra, deflated, his bubble pricked, went on his way,

Taking with him the arrows by which,
in its heart and mind, the world is struck.

Today's verse can be read as expressing a peaceful means-whereby for the ending of bubbles -- a means involving listening to another (as opposed to stubbornly sticking to the idea that causes the bubble to form), and involving witnessing a great sage's unshakability (as opposed to the fickleness of one who has no principle to work to). 

With regard to cetasi in the 4th pada, in BC13.66 I translated baddhāṁ cetasi as “bound in mind,” but in today's verse cetasi is more naturally translated as “in the heart.” Hence:
Having listened to his words, and having seen the unshaken firmness of the great saint, Māra departed dispirited and broken in purpose with those very arrows by which, O world, thou art smitten in thy heart. (EBC)
And when Mara heard that speech of his and observed the great sage's unshakenness, then, his efforts frustrated, he went away dejectedly with the arrows by which the world is smitten in the heart. (EHJ)

We usually think of Cupid shooting his arrow into the heart (cue 80s earworm from ABC ... Shoot that poison arrow... Shoot that poison arrow to my heart.)

But when we reflect on what Māra represents, as  saddharma-ripuḥ, “the enemy of true dharma” (BC13.1), “in its heart and mind” might be a good compromise.

tataḥ: ind. then
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
saṁśrutya = abs. saṁ- √ śru: , to hear or hear from; attend or listen attentively to (acc.)
ca: and
tasya (gen. sg.): his
tad (acc. sg. n.): that
vacaḥ (acc. sg.): n. saying, speech, words

mahā-muneḥ (gen. sg. m.): the great sage
prekṣya = abs. pra- √īkṣ: to look at , view , behold , observe
ca: and
niṣprakaṁpatām (acc. sg.): f. immovability, unshakenness
niṣ-prakampa: mfn. immovable

jagāma = 3rd pers. sg. perf. gam: to go
māraḥ (nom. sg.): m. Māra
vimanaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. dejected , downcast = vimanas
vimanas: mfn. destitute of mind , foolish , silly ; out of one's mind or senses , discomposed , perplexed , dejected , downcast , heart-broken ; changed in mind or feeling , averse , hostile
hatodyamaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. one whose efforts are crushed , broken in purpose , Bcar. xiii , 71 (conj.)
hata: mfn. struck , beaten (also said of a drum) , smitten , killed , slain , destroyed , ended , gone , lost
ud-yama: m. the act of raising or lifting up , elevation ; the act of striving after , exerting one's self , exertion , strenuous and continued effort , perseverance , diligence , zeal

śaraiḥ (inst. pl.): m. arrow
jagat (nom. sg.): n. the world, the living
cetasi (loc. sg.): n. consciousness , intelligence , thinking soul , heart , mind
yaiḥ (inst. pl. m.): by which
vihanyate = 3rd pers. sg. passive vi- √ han: to strike apart or asunder , disperse , shatter , break , destroy ; [passive] to be frustrated or disappointed , exert one's self in vain

魔聞空中聲 見菩薩安靜
慚愧離憍慢 復道還天上

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