Saturday, May 2, 2015

BUDDHACARITA 14.79: Links 10, 11, 12 - With the Grain

[No Sanskrit text]

| srid pa las ni skye ba dag | | skye bas rga śi ’byuṅ bar mkhyen |
| ’gro ba dag ni rkyen rnams las | | skyes źes yaṅ dag mkhyen pa’o | 

srid pa: existence, becoming ()
las: from
skye ba: birth ()

skye ba: birth
rga shi: aging and death (老死)
byung ba: arise
mkhyen: know

'gro ba: transmigration [state of rebirth]; transmigrator; going (gati); [sentient] beings; the world (loka)
dag: pluralizing particle
rkyen: condition; cause; minor cause; factor; reason; pratyaya (因縁);
rkyen rnams las: from causal conditions

skyes: be born; be produced; be engendered ; arise
shes: to know
yang dag: authentically
mkhyen pa: knowing, wisdom

EHJ's translation from the Tibetan:
79. From existence comes birth, from birth he knew old age and death to arise. He rightly understood that the world is produced by the causal conditions.

79. From becoming arises birth, from birth he knew ageing and death to arise. He truly realized that the birth of living beings, in new spheres in the cycle of saṁsāra, arises from causal grounds.

生生於老死 輪迴周無窮 
衆生因縁起 正覺悉覺知
and these again engender birth ; birth again produces age and death ; so does this one incessant round cause the existence of all living things. Rightly illumined, thoroughly perceiving this,... (SB)
and existence then produces birth. Birth produces old age and death. The turning of the wheel is endless for all. The conditioned origination of the beings is completely known in right awakening. (CW)

It would be particularly valuable to know what the original Sanskrit of today's verse was.

The Tibetan 'gro ba is variously defined as transmigration; going (gati); [sentient] beings (衆生); and the world (loka).

EHJ read 'gro ba as representing the Sanskrit loka; hence: “the world is produced by the causal conditions.”

In Nāgārjuna's rendering, however, the gist of which we would not expect to depart from Aśvaghoṣa's gist, what arises out of causal grounds is continued suffering in one sphere of going (gati) after another in the cycle of saṁsāra. So I have read 'gro ba as representing gati, which means going or sphere of existence. 

In MMK26.1, Nāgārjuna uses gatim (going, sphere of existence) as the object of the verb gacchati (does go), and so to capture this sense of repetition of words derived from the root √gam (to go), I have resorted to the translation “does go to a new sphere in the cycle of going.”

Better to understand what Nāgārjuna meant by gati, however, I need to study MMK Chapter 2, in which Nāgārjuna investigates in detail gata, agata, gamana, gantā, and gati -- going, not going, an act of going, a goer, and a/the way/process of going. 

In any case, such a long-winded translation of gatim (a new sphere in the cycle of going) in MMK26.1, is not very satisfactory. 

The Chinese translation, incidentally, contains not only 衆生 (living beings) which would represent the Sanskrit loka, but also 輪迴 (turning of the wheel; transmigration) which represents the Sanskrit saṁsāra.

Of further interest in the Chinese is the compound 縁起 (dependent arising) which represents the Sanskrit pratītya-samutpāda. Judging from the Chinese, then, if Aśvaghoṣa used the phrase pratītya-samutpāda anywhere, he used it in today's verse.

The Tibetan for dependent arising, however, is said to be rten cing 'brel bar 'byung ba, and there is no sign of this phrase in the Tibetan translation.

Engulfed in this cloud of uncertainty, I for one am happy to have the twelve verses of Nāgārjuna's MMK chapter 26, to keep reading and reciting.

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, a person engulfed in ignorance, in the three ways, does do – and by these actions, to a new sphere in the cycle of going, does go. Divided knowing, into the new sphere of going, does seep, having doings as its causal grounds. And so with the seeping in of this divided consciousness, psycho-physicality is instilled.
There again: With the instilling of psycho-physicality, there is the coming about of six senses. Six senses having arrived, there occurs contact. Depending on eye, on form, and on the bringing of the two together – depending in other words on psycho-physicality – divided consciousness occurs.
When the threesome of form, consciousness and eye are combined, that 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 taking hold is taking hold, the becoming arises of the taker – because becoming, if it were free of taking hold, would be liberated and would not become becoming. Five aggregates, again, are becoming itself. Out of the becoming arises birth. The suffering and suchlike of ageing and death – sorrows, accompanied by bewailing and complaining; downheartedness, troubles – all this arises out of birth. In this way there is the coming into being of this whole aggregate of suffering.
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 being realized. In the dispelling of ignorance, there is the non-coming-into-being of doings. At the same time, the dispelling of ignorance is because of the bringing-into-being of just this act of knowing. By the stopping of this one and that one, this one and that one no longer advance. This whole aggregate of suffering in this way is completely inhibited.

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