Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Buddha on Inclination



 Ingredients:
Sayings of Buddha on "Inclination".
Rendered in haiku form.

This is sixteenth in the series.

The image is "Virginie" by the Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt.



Directions:
If you do wrong deeds
And grasp for instant pleasures,
Later you’ll regret.

He who forsakes good
And denies life’s noble aim
Covets others’ gain.

Do not be inclined
To stay with those whom you like.
Separation hurts.

Do not be inclined
To face those you do not like.
Confrontation hurts.

Both likes and dislikes
Bring pain. Seeing this, be free
From inclinations.

Affections bring loss.
For those free from affections,
What then could they fear?

Ties of love bring grief.
For those free from ties of love,
What then could they fear?

Attachments bring lack.
For those free from attachments,
What then could they fear?

Greed and lust bring need.
For those free from greed and lust,
What then could they fear?

Cravings bring sorrow.
For those free just from cravings,
What then could they fear?

He is loved by all
Who cultivates his gifts of
Virtue and Insight.

He is loved by all
Who follows the way, sees truth
And does his own task.

Transcending desire
For worldly things, he is called,
“One who goes upstream”.

He whose tongue is burnt
Of all taste save Nibbana
Will surely reach it.

After a long trip,
Returning safe, with what joy
His kin welcome him!

After a long life,
Returning pure, his good deeds
Like friends embrace him.

12 comments:

  1. It seems so many people do not believe in 'wrong deeds.' I do not understand their not believing in 'wrong deeds.' Am I missing something?

    This is very beautiful to me.

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  2. Do you know who wrote this?

    By the way, super love the painting.

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  3. Sorry I've not been responding to comments. I've not been feeling well. Fighting a flu. I'll be back!

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear that. I got over a nasty chest bugger, I hope you are well soon.

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  5. Rose, you are referring to "equanimity of the cow".

    I believe in equanimity though. I think it's beautiful to be able to transcend good and bad, but how this comes about exactly is a mystery, and cannot be imposed. It's a change of perception... like a mirror of light could only reflect out light, and so cleansing that mirror of our own imperfections.

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  6. This post was actually very difficult to stomach for me. That for a mother not to have attachment for her child might be a good thing?! Very very difficult to stomach! And as if to drive the point home, Buddha keeps using different words: inclinations, affections, ties of love, attachments, greed and lust, cravings and makes the same point for all of them. But then, I saw something... he doesn't say "don't attach" etc., but he asks it as a question. If we could be free of any of these, then wouldn't we be free of the sorrow they cause from losing them, and therefore the fear of losing them? And the idea of breaking a "chain" is that we only need to break one "link in the chain", so if you like we have a choice, and the traditional choice that Buddhism teachings seem to advise to give up is "cravings", which are the "root".

    So I wonder if something like this is true...
    Not all INCLINATIONS are AFFECTIONS, but all AFFECTIONS are INCLINATIONS.
    Not all AFFECTIONS are TIES OF LOVE, but all TIES OF LOVE are AFFECTIONS.
    Not all TIES OF LOVE are ATTACHMENTS, but all ATTACHMENTS are TIES OF LOVE.
    Not all ATTACHMENTS are GREED or LUST, but all GREED or LUST are ATTACHMENTS.
    Not all GREED or LUST is CRAVINGS, but all CRAVINGS are GREED or LUST.

    Now maybe this isn't true at all... there seem to be some weak points? But if it were true, then it's like concentric circles, one containing the next, and we don't target everything, but we target that which is really enough to break the "chain of sorrow" and that is CRAVINGS.

    And then in the final verses, there's a return to the spirit of family and loved ones, once the chain has been broken!

    That thought helped me understand it anyway...

    And another, that attachments can't be broken from the outside-in. He doesn't explicitly say refrain from attachment, affection or anything else. (These are a fact. To try to deny or go against one's own natural inclinations, is to control oneself outside-in, and the result may be to repress our emotions. Why would you want to repress love?) But if we can change ourselves from inside-out, then our relationship to our inclinations might be a more objective beautiful one, that one's love for example doesn't get translated into some outer expression of an inner need (by which I don't mean "authentic need", which Nancy was referring to recently, but I mean for example when love becomes a projection of one's own desire).

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  7. Thanks for the wishes!

    Buddha wrote this. ;^)

    Ok, and I haiku-ed it... it was my project for October, and I've been posting them "live" as I did them.

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  8. But if you want to read the translation that inspired me, it's this one...
    http://www.thebigview.com/download/dhammapada.pdf

    And a more literal translation here...
    http://www.viet.net/~anson/ebud/dhp/1-index.htm

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  9. To be fair, it's not so much thinking alike as having a common source! Therein lies the great mind...

    This is a very provocative chapter, yet those who commented didn't seem to notice.

    My interpretation: First, to respect our likes and dislikes but not to let them overstep the bounds of what we know to be right. Then to try to follow our ties of love to their root which is craving. And when we uproot craving, then we can really come face to face and rejoice in kinship...and friendship, free from craving.

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  10. __/\__

    Very well put. I think the Buddha would've smiled. : )

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