Monthly Archives: January 2014

Read with me! Buddha’s message for Amrapali (6 Jan 2014) 佛陀向菴摩羅女説法

Chapter 22: Verses 40-55, on Buddha’s message to Amrapali

第二十二品:佛陀向菴摩羅女説法(中文版在下面

(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

40. Then when she had seated herself in accordance with the Omniscient’s directions, the Sage addressed her with words suited to her understanding:-

41. “This your intention is virtuous and your mind is steadfast by purification; yet desire for the Law is hard to find in a woman who is young and in the bloom of her beauty.’

42. What cause is there for wonder that the Law should attract men of intelligence or women who are afflicted by misfortune or are self-controlled or ill?

43. But it is extraordinary that in the world solely devoted to the objects of sense a young woman, by nature weak in comprehension and unsteady in mind, should entertain the idea of the Law.

44. Your mind is turned to the Law, that is your real wealth, for since the world of the living is transitory, there are no riches outside the Law.

45. Health is borne down by illness, youth cut short by age, and life snatched away by death, but for the Law there is no such calamity.

46. Since in seeking (for pleasure) one obtains only separation from the pleasant and association with the unpleasant, therefore the Law is the best path.

47. Dependence on others is great suffering, self-dependence the highest bliss; yet, when born in the race of Manu, all females are dependent on others.

48. Therefore you should come to a proper conclusion, since the suffering of women is excessive by reason equally of their dependence on others and of child-birth.”

49. Young in years, but not like the young in disposition, intelligence and gravity, she listened joyfully to these words of the Great Sage.

50. Through the Tathagata’s preaching of the Law, she cast aside the condition of mind that was given up to the lusts, and, despising the state of being a woman and turning aside from the objects of sense, she felt loathing for her means of livelihood.

51. Then entirely prostrating her slender body, like a mango-branch laden with blossom, she fixed her eye with devotion on the Great Sage and again stood with purified sight for the Law.

52. The woman, though modest by nature, yet ever spurred on by longing for the Law, joined her hands like a clump of lotuses and spoke with gently uttered voice:—

53. “O Holy One, You have attained the goal and soothe suffering in the world. Deign in company with Your disciples to make the time of alms-seeking fruitful for me who am ripe for the fruit, in order that I may receive a sermon.”

54. Then the Blessed One, seeing her to be so devoted, and knowing animate beings to be dependent on food, gave His consent by silence and announced His intention to her with a gesture.

55. He, Who possessed the supreme Law and an eye that discerned occasions, rejoiced exceedingly in the vessel of the Law, … knowing that the best gain is by faith. He praised her.

p0042a18║ 世尊命令坐,  隨心為說法:
p0042a19║「汝心已純靜,  表徹外德容,
p0042a20║ 壯年豐財寶,  備德兼姿顏,
p0042a21║ 能信樂正法,  是則世之難。
p0042a22║ 丈夫宿智慧,  樂法非為奇,
p0042a23║ 女人情志弱,  智淺愛欲深,
p0042a24║ 而能樂正法,  此亦為甚難。
p0042a25║ 人生於世間,  唯應法自娛,
p0042a26║ 財色非常寶,  唯正法為珍。
p0042a27║ 強良病所壞,  少壯老所遷,
p0042a28║ 命為死所困,  行法無能侵,
p0042a29║ 所愛莫不離,  不愛而強隣,
p0042b01║ 所求不隨意,  唯法為從心,
p0042b02║ 他力為大苦,  自在力為歡。
p0042b03║ 女人悉由他,  兼懷他子苦,
p0042b04║ 是故當思惟,  厭離於女身。」
p0042b05║ 彼菴摩羅女,  聞法心歡喜,
p0042b06║ 堅固智增明,  能斷於愛欲,
p0042b07║ 即自厭女身,  不染於境界。
p0042b08║ 雖耻於陋形,  法力勸其心,
p0042b09║ 稽首而白佛:  「已蒙尊攝受,
p0042b10║ 哀受明供養,  令滿其志願。」
p0042b11║ 佛知彼誠心,  兼利諸群生,
p0042b12║ 默然受其請。  令即隨歡喜,
p0042b13║ 視聽轉增明,  作禮而還家。

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Data mining the Asita-Subhadra connection: Progress Report 1

Out of 126 clusters, I have gone through the first 20, and found that 7 are chiasmically meaningful, which is much higher than I thought.

Even more surprisingly, the clusters threw up what I previously gleaned by reading and manually comparing those parts.

Here’s a preview of what I have gotten thus far.

ProgressReport1 - clusters

I understand that might not be all that intelligible, but here’s what I gleaned from those clusters.

ProgressReport1 - gleanings

In terms of providing different perspectives of what is chiasmic, I think this method is holding up very well so far, and has generated quite a few matches that I did not pick up on while reading these two sections. (what I did pick up on is briefly presented here)

The most interesting would probably be the one found in cluster 4 – the Buddha was born to end birth. How strange that seems! Have you ever heard of someone doing something in order to stop doing that very same action?

Discussion with Eric brought to my mind how eating can be considered an example of this. We eat to starve off hunger so that we do not have to eat further, but, as Eric quickly points out, that is only a temporary relief. Perhaps that’s the importance of the Buddha’s endeavour – it is said to be the ultimate relief.

Read with me! Buddha’s warning to his disciples continues (5 Jan 2014) 佛對比丘的告誡

Chapter 22: Verses 26-39, on the continuation of the Buddha’s warning to his disciples

第二十二品:佛對比丘的告誡(中文版在下面

(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

26. By seeing woman as impermanent, suffering, without self and impure, the minds of the adepts are not overcome on looking at her.

27. With minds well accustomed to these temptations, like cattle to their pastures, how can men be deluded when attacked by the pleasures of the gods?

28. Therefore taking the arrows of mystic wisdom, grasping the bow of energy in your hands and girding on the armour of awareness, think well on the idea of the objects of sense.

29. It is better to sear the eyes with red-hot iron pins than to look on woman’s rolling eyes with misdirected awareness.

30. If at the moment of death your mind be subject to passion, it binds you helplessly and takes you to a rebirth among animals or in Hell.

31. Therefore recognize this danger and do not dwell on the external characteristics, for he sees truly, who sees in the body only Matter.

32. In the world it is not the sense-organs which bind the objects, nor is it the objects which bind the senses. Whoever feels passion for them (the objects of sense), to them is he bound. 33. The objects and the sense organs are mutually attached, like two oxen harnessed to the same yoke.

34. The eye grasps the form and the mind considers it, and from that consideration arise passion with regard to the object and also freedom from passion.

35. If then great calamity ensues by not properly examining the objects of sense, activity in the domain of the senses is conjoined with all disasters.

36. Therefore not abandoning awareness, faring with the highest heedfulness, and having regard to your own good, you should meditate energetically with your minds.”

37. While He thus instructed the disciples who had not proceeded to the end of the matter, Amrapali, seeing Him, drew near with folded hands.

38. Seeing the Seer seated with tranquil mind under a tree, she deemed herself highly favoured by His occupation of the grove.

39. Then with great reverence, setting her eyes, restless as they were, in order, she did obeisance to the Sage with her head, which was like a campaka flower fully opened.

p0041c24║ 迷亂生德想,  不覺醜穢形,
p0041c25║ 當觀無常苦,  不淨無我所。
p0041c26║ 諦見其真實,  滅除貪欲想,
p0041c27║ 正觀於自境,  天女尚不樂。
p0041c28║ 況復人間欲,  而能留人心?
p0041c29║ 當執精進弓,  智慧鋒利箭,
p0042a01║ 被正念重鎧,  決戰於五欲。
p0042a02║ 寧以熱鐵槍,  貫徹於雙目,
p0042a03║ 不以愛欲心,  而觀於女色。
p0042a04║ 愛欲迷其心,  炫惑於女色,
p0042a05║ 亂想而命終,  必墮三惡道,
p0042a06║ 畏彼惡道苦,  不受女人欺。
p0042a07║ 根不繫境界,  境界不繫根,
p0042a08║ 於中貪欲想,  由根繫境界。
p0042a09║ 猶如二耕牛,  同一軛一鞅,
p0042a10║ 牛不轉相縛,  根境界亦然。
p0042a11║ 是故當制心,  勿令其放逸。」
p0042a12║ 佛為諸比丘,  種種說法已,
p0042a13║ 彼菴摩羅女,  漸至世尊前。
p0042a14║ 見佛坐樹下,  禪定靜思惟,
p0042a15║ 念佛大悲心,  哀受我樹林。
p0042a16║ 端心斂儀容,  止素妖冶情,
p0042a17║ 恭形心純至,  稽首接足禮。

Read with me! Amrapali visits the Buddha and the disciples are warned (4 Jan 2014) 佛陀告誡弟子不把守六根的危險

Chapter 22: Verses 15-25, on Amrapali’s visit to the Buddha and the latter’s warning to his disciples

第二十二品:菴摩羅女到訪,佛陀告誡弟子(中文版在下面

(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

15. After passing one night there, the Srighana, moved on to the city of Vaisali and abode in a glorious grove in the domain of Amrapali.

16. The courtesan Amrapali, hearing the Teacher was there, mounted a modest equipage and went forth with great joy.

17. She wore diaphanous white garments and was without garlands or body-paint, like a woman of good family at the time of worshipping the gods.

18. In the pride of her beauty,’ she attracted by her united charms the minds and the wealth of the Licchavi nobles.

19. Self-assured in her loveliness and glory, like a forest goddess in beauty, she descended from her chariot and quickly entered the grove.

20. The Blessed One, seeing that her eyes were flashing and that she was a cause of grief to women of family, commanded His disciples with voice like a drum:-

21. “This is Amrapali approaching, the mental fever of those whose strength is little; do you take your stand on knowledge, controlling your minds with the elixir of awareness.

22. Better is the neighbourhood of a snake or of an enemy with drawn sword, than that of woman for the man who is devoid of awareness and wisdom.

23. Whether sitting or lying down, whether walking or standing, or even when portrayed in a picture, woman carries away men’s hearts.

24. Even if they be afflicted by disaster, or fling their arms about weeping, or be burnt with dishevelled hair, yet women are pre-eminent in power.

25. Making use of extraneous things, they deceive by many adventitious qualities, and concealing their real qualities they delude fools.

p0041c05║ 前至鞞舍離,  住於菴羅林。
p0041c06║ 彼菴摩羅女,  承佛詣其園,
p0041c07║ 侍女眾隨從,  庠序出奉迎。
p0041c08║ 善執諸情根,  身服輕素衣,
p0041c09║ 捨離莊嚴服,  自沐浴香花。
p0041c10║ 猶世貞賢女,  潔素以祠天,
p0041c11║ 端正妙容姿,  猶天玉女形。
p0041c12║ 佛遙見女來,  告諸比丘眾:
p0041c13║「此女極端正,  能留行者情,
p0041c14║ 汝等當正念,  以慧鎮其心。
p0041c15║ 寧在暴虎口,  狂夫利劍下,
p0041c16║ 不於女人所,  而起愛欲情。
p0041c17║ 女人顯恣態,  若行住坐臥,
p0041c18║ 乃至畫像形,  悉表妖姿容,
p0041c19║ 劫奪人善心,  如何不自防?
p0041c20║ 現啼笑憙怒,  縱體而垂肩,
p0041c21║ 或散髮髻傾,  猶尚亂人心。
p0041c22║ 況復飾容儀?  以顯妙姿顏,
p0041c23║ 莊嚴隱陋形,  誘誑於愚夫。

Read with me! Women strive to attract Siddhartha Part 2 and his reactions (3 Jan 2014) 婇女無法誘惑悉達多

Chapter 4: Verses 43-61, on women’s attempt to attract Siddhartha at the pleasure grove and how they failed

第四品:園林中女極力掏悉達多歡欣,卻無有成效(中文版在下面

(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

43. Then another with rolling eyes sniffed at a blue lotus and addressed the prince with words that were slightly indistinct in her excitement:—

44. “See, my lord, this mango loaded with honey-scented flowers, in which the koil calls, looking as if imprisoned in a golden cage.

45. Look at this asoka tree, the increaser of lovers’ sorrows, in which the bees murmur as if scorched by fire.

46. Behold this tilaka tree, embraced by a mango branch, like a man in white garments embraced by a woman with yellow body-paint.

47. See the kurubaka in full bloom, shining like lac just squeezed out, which bends over as if dazzled by the brilliance of the women’s nails.

48. And look at this young asoka tree, all covered with young shoots, which stands as if abashed by the glitter of our hands.

49. See the pond enveloped by the sinduvara bushes growing on its bank, like a woman lying down and clothed in white silk.

50. Consider the mighty power of women; for instance, the sheldrake in the water there follows obediently behind his mate like a servant.

51. Listen to the sound of the impassioned cuckoo’s cry; another koil calls at once like an echo.

52. Can it be that spring brings passion to the birds, but not to the wiseacre who reflects on what he should not reflect on?”

53. Thus these young women, to whose minds love had given free rein, assailed the prince with wiles of every kind.

54. But despite such allurements the prince firmly guarded his senses, and in his perturbation over the inevitability of death, was neither rejoiced nor distressed.

55. He, the supreme man, saw that they had no firm footing in the real truth, and with mind that was at the same time both perturbed and steadfast he thus meditated:—

56. “Do these women then not understand the transitoriness of youth, that they are so inebriated with their own beauty, which old age will destroy?

57. Surely they do not perceive anyone overwhelmed by illness, that they are so full of mirth, so void of fear in a world in which disease is a law of nature.

58. And quite clearly they sport and laugh so much at ease and unperturbed, because they are ignorant of death who carries all away.

59. For what rational being would stand or sit or lie at ease, still less laugh, when he knows of old age, disease and death?

60. But he is just like a being without reason, who, on seeing another aged or ill or even dead, remains indifferent and unmoved.

61. For when one tree is shorn both of its flowers and its fruit and falls or is cut down, another tree is not distressed thereby.”

p0007b16║ 菩薩心清淨,  堅固難可轉,
p0007b17║ 聞諸婇女說,  不憂亦不喜。
p0007b18║ 倍生厭思惟,  嘆此為奇怪,
p0007b19║ 始知諸女人,  欲心盛如是。
p0007b20║ 不知少壯色,  俄頃老死壞,
p0007b21║ 哀哉此大惑,  愚癡覆其心。
p0007b22║ 當思老病死,  晝夜勤勗勵,
p0007b23║ 鋒刃臨其頸,  如何猶嬉笑?
p0007b24║ 見他老病死,  不知自觀察,
p0007b25║ 是則泥木人,  當有何心慮?
p0007b26║ 如空野雙樹,  華葉俱茂盛,
p0007b27║ 一已被斬伐,  第二不知怖。
p0007b28║ 此等諸人輩,  無心亦如是。

Attack plan for data mining the Buddhacarita

This is not meant to be comprehensive, but I need to do sufficient research to write a paper. And I am adhering to a principle I last learned, that I should not stop a project in the middle of what I expected to complete, for it would do me no good in understanding the pros and cons of using this method.

So the simple attack plan is this:

1. Use the current clusters generated from the analysis of Asita’s and Subhadra’s appearance in the Buddhacarita.

2. Continue to dig into all the clusters, which currently number 126.

3. Analyze them manually to see if the clustering revealed any interesting ways to understand structure of the Buddhacarita chiasmically.

4. Report in, both here and to my professors who are or might be interested in this work.

Read with me! Women strive to attract Siddhartha Part 1 (2 Jan 2014) 細談婇女如何引誘悉達多

Chapter 4: Verses 26-42, a series of rich metaphors and drama on how the women in the pleasure grove try to attract Siddhartha

第四品:細談婇女如何引誘悉達多(中文版在下面

(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

26. But what with the king’s command, and the prince’s gentleness and the power of intoxication and love, they soon abandoned timidity.

27. Then surrounded by the women, the prince wandered through the garden, like an elephant through the Himalayan forest, accompanied by a herd of females.

28. In that lovely grove he shone with the women in attendance on him, like Vivasvat surrounded by Apsarases in the pleasaunce of Vibhraja.

29. Then some of the young women there, pretending to be under the influence of intoxication, touched him with their firm, rounded, close-set, charming breasts.

30. One made a false stumble and clasped him by force with her tender arm-creepers, which hung down loosely from her drooping shoulders.

31. Another, whose mouth with copper-coloured lower lip smelt of spirituous liquor, whispered in his ear, “Listen to a secret”.

32. Another, who was all wet with unguents, said as if commanding him, “Make a line here “, in the hope of winning the touch of his hand.

33. Another repeatedly let her blue garments slip down under the pretext of intoxication, and with her girdle partly seen she seemed like the night with the lightning flashing.

34. Some walked up and down so as to make their golden zones tinkle and displayed to him their hips veiled by diaphanous robes.

35. Others grasped mango-boughs in full flower and leaned so as to display bosoms like golden jars.

36. Another lotus-eyed damsel came from a lotus-bed with a lotus and stood by the side of the lotus-faced prince as if she were Padmasri.

37. Another sang a sweet song with gesticulations to bring out the sense, reproving his indifference, as it were, with looks that said, “You deceive yourself”.

38. Another imitated him by drawing the bow of her brows on her fair countenance and making gestures in mimicry of his solemnity.

39. A damsel with fine rounded breasts and earrings shaking with her laughter mocked him out loud, saying, “Finish it, Sir”.

40. Similarly, as he was retreating, some bound him with ropes of garlands, and others restrained him with words that were like ankuses but were softened with innuendoes.

41. Another in order to bring about an argument seized a mango-spray and asked, stuttering with intoxication, “Whose flower now is this?”

42. One of them, modelling her gait and outward appearance on those of a man, said to him, “Sir, you have been conquered by women, conquer this earth now!”

p0007a26║ 爾時婇女眾,  慶聞優陀說,
p0007a27║ 增其踊悅心,  如鞭策良馬,
p0007a28║ 往到太子前,  各進種種術。
p0007a29║ 歌舞或言笑,  揚眉露白齒,
p0007b01║ 美目相眄睞,  輕衣現素身。
p0007b02║ 妖搖而徐步,  詐親漸習近,
p0007b03║ 情欲實其心,  兼奉大王旨,
p0007b04║ 慢形媟隱陋,  忘其慚愧情。
p0007b05║ 太子心堅固,  傲然不改容,
p0007b06║ 猶如大龍象,  群象眾圍遶,
p0007b07║ 不能亂其心,  處眾若閑居。
p0007b08║ 猶如天帝釋,  諸天女圍繞,
p0007b09║ 太子在園林,  圍繞亦如是。
p0007b10║ 或為整衣服,  或為洗手足,
p0007b11║ 或以香塗身,  或以華嚴飾。
p0007b12║ 或為貫瓔珞,  或有扶抱身,
p0007b13║ 或為安枕席,  或傾身密語。
p0007b14║ 或世俗調戲,  或說眾欲事,
p0007b15║ 或作諸欲形,  規以動其心。