Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BUDDHACARITA 14.68: Six Senses Arise Depending on Psycho-Physicality (5→4)

[No Sanskrit text]

| de nas skye mched drug gis ni | | skye ba mkhyen phyir blo gros mdzad |
| de nas de’i rgyu mid daṅ gzugs | | rgyu la mkhas pas mkhyen pa’o | 

skye mched drug: six senses (六入)
skye mched: sense bases ()
drug: six ()

skye ba: produce
mkhyen: knowing, seeing
blo gros: understand

rgyu: cause
mid dang gzugs: name and form (名色)
ming: name ()
gzugs: form ().

rgyu: cause
mkhas pa: skillful, wise
mkhyen: knowing, seeing

EHJ's translation from the Tibetan:
68. Further he made up his mind to understand the origin of the six organs of sense. Thereon the knower of causes knew the cause to be name-and-form.

68. Further he made up his mind to understand the origin of six senses. Thereon the knower of causes knew the cause to be psycho-physicality.

The six entrances are caused by name and thing, (SB)
The six sense faculties originate from name-and-form, (CW)

My understanding of what the bodhisattva observed in today's verse is that “six senses” is a divisive concept. And the origin of that division is in separation of body and mind.
The fact to be faced is that the human self was robbed of much of its inheritance when the separation implied by the conception of the organism as 'spirit,' 'mind' and 'body' was accepted as a working principle, for it left unbridged the gap between the 'subconscious' and the conscious. I venture to assert that if the gap is to be bridged, it will be by means of a knowledge, gained through practical experience, which will enable us to inhibit our instinctive, 'subconscious' reaction to a given stimulus, and to hold it inhibited while initiating a conscious direction, guidance, and control of the use of the self that was previously unfamiliar. 
I suggest that only those who become capable of translating into practice what is involved in the procedure just described can justly claim to have experienced detachment in the basic sense.

-- F. M. Alexander, The Universal Constant in Living, 1946

What Alexander is talking about here, when he talks about translating the principles of inhibition and direction into practice, is just an act of knowing. And insofar as it is an act of sitting in lotus, it might be just the act of knowing to which Nāgārjuna refers in MMK26.11:

punar-bhavāya saṁskārān avidyā-nivṛtas tridhā |
abhisaṁskurute yāṁs tair gatiṁ gacchati karmabhiḥ ||MMK26.1||
vijñānaṁ saṁniviśate saṁskāra-pratyayaṁ gatau |
saṁniviṣṭe 'tha vijñāne nāma-rūpaṁ niṣicyate ||2||
niṣikte nāma-rūpe tu ṣaḍāyatana-saṁbhavaḥ |
ṣaḍāyatanam āgamya saṁsparśaḥ saṁpravartate ||3||
cakṣuḥ pratītya rūpaṁ ca samanvāhāram eva ca |
nāma-rūpaṁ pratītyaivaṁ vijñānaṁ saṁpravartate ||4||
saṁnipātas trayāṇāṁ yo rūpa-vijñāna-cakṣuṣām |
sparśaḥ saḥ tasmāt sparśāc ca vedanā saṁpravartate ||5||
vedanā-pratyayā tṛṣṇā vedanārthaṁ hi tṛṣyate |
tṛṣyamāṇa upādānam upādatte catur-vidham ||6||
upādāne sati bhava upādātuḥ pravartate |
syād dhi yady anupādāno mucyeta na bhaved bhavaḥ ||7||
pañca skandhāḥ sa ca bhavaḥ bhavāj jātiḥ pravartate |
jarā-maraṇa-duḥkhādi śokāḥ sa-paridevanāḥ ||8||
daurmanasyam upāyāsā jāter etat pravartate |
kevalasyaivam etasya duḥkha-skandhasya saṁbhavaḥ ||9||
saṁsāra-mūlaṁ saṁskārān avidvān saṁskaroty ataḥ |
avidvān kārakas tasmān na vidvāṁs tattva-darśanāt ||10||
avidyāyāṁ niruddhāyāṁ saṁskārāṇām asaṁbhavaḥ |
avidyāyā nirodhas tu jñānasyāsyaiva bhāvanāt ||11||
tasya tasya nirodhena tat tan nābhipravartate |
duḥkha-skandhaḥ kevalo 'yam evaṁ samyaṅ nirudhyate ||12||
The doings that lead to yet further becoming, the one enclosed in ignorance, in three ways, does do; and by these actions he goes to a sphere of existence. Divided consciousness, with doings as its causal grounds, seeps into the sphere of existence. And so, divided consciousness having seeped in, psycho-physicality is instilled. 
Conversely, once psycho-physicality is instilled, there is the coming about of six senses; six senses having arrived, there occurs contact; and – depending upon an eye, upon physical form, and upon the two being brought together – depending thus upon psycho-physicality, there occurs divided consciousness. 
Combination of the threesome of physical form, consciousness and eye, is contact; and from that contact there occurs feeling. With feeling as its causal grounds, there is thirsting – because the object of feeling is thirsted after. While thirsting is going on, taking hold takes hold in the four ways. While there is taking hold, the becoming arises of the taker – because becoming, if it were free of taking, would be liberated and would not become becoming. The five aggregates, again, are becoming itself. Out of the becoming arises birth. The suffering and suchlike of aging and death; sorrows accompanied by lamentations; dejectedness, troubles: all this arises out of birth. In this way this whole aggregate of suffering comes into being. 
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 realizing. In the destruction of ignorance, there is the non-coming-into-being of doings. The destruction of ignorance, however, is because of the bringing-into-being of just this act of knowing. By the destruction of this one and that one, this one and that one no longer advance. This whole aggregate of suffering in this way is well and truly destroyed.

The act of knowing through which ignorance is destroyed, then, causes to be bridged the gap out of which six senses emerge.

Alexander and Nāgārjuna are saying the same thing, but it is not an easy thing to understand. It is not something that can be understood without translation into practice.

“Psycho-physical integration," my Alexander head of training, the late Ray Evans, used to say,  "is a principle, and a state of being.”

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