Category Archives: Data Mining

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.

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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.