Friday, December 25, 2015

8. niṣprapañca

No. 8
Not Making Things Up
(fu-keron; not engaging in idle discussion)

The Tibetan translation of Aśvaghoṣa's Buddhacarita Canto 26:
| sems la rgyu ba’i spros pa de daṅ de rnams kyis | | khyim na gnas pa spaṅs nas kyaṅ ni grol min ñid |
| mchog tu źi ba thob par ’dod pa rnams kyis ’di | | śes nas spros pa med pa rnams su ’gyur bar bya |  69
EHJ69. Although a man has left his home, yet, if he is engaged in the varied activities of the mind, he is not saved; those who desire to obtain the supreme tranquility should know this and become free from all activities.

The Chinese translation of Aśvaghoṣa's Buddhacarita Canto 26:
是故當覺知 離諸虚僞法     
“Therefore, know and leave unreal things, [CW: any false factor]
逮得微妙樂 寂靜安隱處
and reach subtle happiness, the quiet and tranquil state!

Anuruddha Sutta
“When it was said: ‘This Dhamma is for one who delights in non-proliferation (nippapañcārāmassa), who takes delight in non-proliferation, not for one who delights in proliferation (papañcārāmassa), who takes delight in proliferation,’ with reference to what was this said?
Here, a bhikkhu’s mind launches out (cittam pakkhandati) upon the cessation of proliferation (papañcanirodhe), becomes placid, settles down, and is liberated in it (vimuccati). When it was said: ‘This Dhamma is for one who delights in non-proliferation, who takes delight in non-proliferation, not for one who delights in proliferation, who takes delight in proliferation,’ it is with reference to this that this was said.”

Yuikyo-gyo (Bequeathed Teaching Sūtra)
汝等比丘。若種種戲論其心則亂。 雖復出家猶未得脱。 是故比丘。當急捨離亂心戲論。若汝欲得寂滅樂者。唯當善滅戲論之患。 是名不戲論 
Nishijima-Cross translation from Master Dogen's Shobogenzo Chapter 95:
If you bhikṣus engage in all kinds of idle discussion your mind will be disturbed. Although you have left family life, still you will be unable to get free. For this reason, bhikṣus, you should immediately throw away disturbing idle discussion. If you wish to attain the joy of serenity you should just inhibit well the fault of idle discussion. This is called “not to engage in idle discussion.”


Mike Cross said...

Anandajoti Bhikkhu translates the Pali papañca as "impediments", thus:

Pūjārahe pūjayato, Buddhe yadi va sāvake,
For those who worship those worthy of worship, whether Buddhas or disciples,

papañcasamatikkante, tiṇṇasokapariddave;
who have overcome the impediments, crossed over grief and lamentation; [c]

te tādise pūjayato, nibbute akutobhaye,
for those who worship such as these, the emancipated, the fearless,

na sakkā puññaṁ saṅkhātuṁ, imettam-api kenaci.
no one is able to measure their (vast) merit, (saying:) it is as much as this. [d]

Ākāse va padaṁ natthi, samaṇo natthi bāhire,
There is no footprint in the sky, there is no ascetic on the outside,

papañcābhiratā pajā, nippapañcā Tathāgatā.
folk greatly delight in impediments, the Realised Ones are free of impediments. [m] [d]

Mike Cross said...

PED: papañca [in its p. meaning uncertain whether identical with sk. prapañca (pra+pañc to spread out; meaning "expansion, diffuseness, manifoldedness"; cp. papañceti & papañca 3) more likely, as suggested by etym. & meaning of lat. im--ped--iment--um, connected with pada, thus perhaps originally "pa--pad--ya," i. e. what is in front of (i. e. in the way of) the feet (as an obstacle)]

"freedom from speech impediments" as a translation of niṣprapañca would at least have the virtue of irony - on the surface it suggests fluency in speaking, below the surface freedom from those impediments which have to do with human speech -- as opposed to say a bird singing or a cow mooing.

For impediments, Nagarjuna makes clear in MMK, ultimately have to do with our habit of believing that things for which we have words -- nouns like cloud, flower, human being, brick, atom, samsara, nirvana, et cetera, et cetera -- exist separately as things unto themselves.

Thus, instead of seeing things as they really are, we spin, we bullshit, we philosophize.

And so what am I doing now?

And what would it mean to be free of such activity?

It might mean to go right ahead, treading on the head of Vairocana Buddha.

Mike Cross said...

是故當覺知 離諸虚僞法     
“Therefore, know and leave unreal things"

虚僞法 means unreal thing, or false dharma.

Both 虚 and 空 mean emptiness, but ironically in this context 虚, void, false, empty, desribes a thing or dharma that is wrongly conceived to be not empty.

The Chinese translation of Ashvagosha's Sanskrit thus lends support to "not making things up," as a translation of niṣprapañca.