Aryadeva: People receive suffering from their very bodies, but happiness from other (external sources). Why are you so devoted to your body, which acts as a container for all your sufferings?
1 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
(Byang-chub sems-dpa’i rnal-‘byor spyod-pa bzhi-brgya-pa’i bstan-bcos kyi tshig-le’ur byas-pa, Skt. Bodhisattva-yogacarya-catu:shataka-shastra-karika) by Aryadeva translated by Alexander Berzin, 1978 according to the commentary of Gyeltsabjey (rGyal-tshab rJe Dar-ma rin-chen)
I prostrate to the Arya Manjushri.
One: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Grasping (at the Body as) Permanent
(1) As the master over the three planes of perishable existence,
The Lord of Death, by self-nature, is without a creator,
What could be more improper than to fall asleep
While the real situation is that he will definitely come. Continue reading
Aryadeva: Why then for one (petty reason) do you have arrogance?
2 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
Four: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Grasping (at the Body as Having) an Impossible “Self” (about Which To Feel Pride)
(1) What hallowed (arhat) in the world
would develop arrogant pride
Thinking, “I (am king and this land is exclusively) mine”?
Why, because all lands are equally (used)
By everybody (on them).
(2) As a servant of the masses, having been apportioned
one-sixth (as your wage),
What is the reason for your arrogant pride?
Whatever (is to be done), you have to do that.
This comes from your having been (appointed) under their power. Continue reading
Aryadeva: Just as a doctor doesn’t fight with a (patient) likewise, a sage sees the disturbing emotions as the enemy, not the person who’s possessed with these emotions.
3 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
Five: Indicating the Behavior of Bodhisattvas
(1) There are no actions of the Buddhas
That are not causes (for benefiting others).
Even their breath is issued
Only for the sake of (acting as a) medicine for limited beings.
(2) Just as the word Lord of Death
Produces terror for all the world;
Likewise, this word Omniscient One
Produces terror indeed for the Lord of Death.
(3) The Able Sage (Buddha) possesses (the foresight to know
When) to act and not to act,
What to teach and not to teach.
Therefore, what reason is there to say
that the Omniscient One is not omniscient.
(4) Because you cannot see (any action),
Such as going and so forth, (becoming) positive and so on
Except through the thought (that motivates it),
Therefore the mind is established as crucial for all karma. Continue reading
Aryadeva: Having realized the facts of reality, even if you do not achieve a (nirvana) state beyond sorrow in this (lifetime), it is certain that you’ll achieve it with no effort in your next rebirth, just like (what happens with the type of) karma (that ripens in your next life).
4 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
Eight: Training Disciples
(1) Just as dissimilar people
Will not stay close friends for long
(when their attachment is gone);
Likewise, desire will not stay for a long time
In those who realize the faults of all (things).
(2) Some have attachment for a certain (object or person);
Some have repulsion for that very same (thing);
And some are insensitive toward it.
Therefore, an object of desire is not (truly existent as such). Continue reading
Aryadeva: The Buddhas never said that particles are static and permanent.
5 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
Nine: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting Static Functional Phenomena
[Starting with this chapter, verses are written as paragraphs rather than divided into lines.]
(1) All (functional phenomena) arise as a fact of being the result (of a collection of causes and circumstances). Therefore, there’s no such thing as a static (functional phenomenon that is causeless and truly existent). Except for the Thusly Gone Able Sage (Buddhas), there isn’t anyone (who can simultaneously cognize, nonconceptually,) just how functional phenomena (are both nonstatic and devoid of true existence).
(2) Whatever (functional phenomena there are) do not exist just at any place or at any time without relying (on causes and circumstances). Therefore, there is no such thing whatsoever as a (functional phenomenon that is) static, anytime, anywhere. Continue reading
Aryadeva:The Buddhas have said that the practice of Dharma is, in short, doing no harm (in order to attain a higher status rebirth) and (realizing) voidness, the (natural) state beyond sorrow (in order to attain liberation or enlightenment).
6 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
Twelve: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting (Attraction to Distorted) Views
(1) A listener who is upright and unbiased, has common sense (discrimination), and takes keen interest is described as being a proper vessel (for these voidness teachings. To the mind of such a suitable disciple,) the good qualities of the propounder (of the teachings) will not change into a different aspect (and appear as faults). Nor will (this change of good qualities into faults) happen with respect to the listener either.
(2) (Buddha) spoke of compulsive samsaric existence (as true suffering) and the method of (entering) compulsive existence(as the true origin of suffering), also the method of pacifying (both as the true pathway mind), and likewise their pacification (as a true stopping). Continue reading
Aryadeva: any position that (asserts either) true existence, total nonexistence, both true existence and nonexistence, (or neither) does not exist (as a valid one with the support of logic). Even after a very long time, (proponents of) such (positions) will never have the ability to expound an answer (that could refute voidness, because voidness is irrefutable).
7 – Aryadeva: Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga
Thirteen: The Meditations for Refuting (Truly Existent) Cognitive Sensors and Cognitive Objects
(1) You do not see absolutely everything about a vase at the timewhen you see (its) form. Who would state “(because) the vase (is perceived by) bare (visual) cognition” as a reason (to prove) its (truly existent) reality?
(2) By this very (same) analysis, those with superior intelligenceshould refute fragrant odors, sweet (tastes), and smooth (tactile sensations as being truly existent and establishing the true existence of physical objects by the bare sensory cognition of them) – all (of them), each one.
(3) Suppose that all (qualities of an object) were to become seen by (the visual cognition that) sees its form. Then, by (the fact that such visual cognition) does not see (that object’s odor – even if you would accept that) it sees its form – how could it not become the case that it does not see (the form either? This would absurdly follow because just as if it sees one quality, it should see all of them; likewise if it does not see one, it should not see any).
(4) It cannot be the case that you have bare (sensory) cognition only simply with respect to forms (as truly existent whole “things”). Why? Because these (forms) have a far portion, a near portion, and a middle (one, and so are only imputations on their parts). Continue reading
I quattro assiomi per esaminare un insegnamento di Dharma
Quando Buddha disse “Non credete a quello che insegno solo per fede o per rispetto, ma investigatelo per conto vostro come se steste comprando dell’oro,” intendeva dire di fare un’indagine applicando questi quattro assiomi.
Alexander Berzin, Gennaio 2001. Traduzione italiana a cura di Francesca Paoletti.
Il successo nella pratica del Dharma dipende dall’avere un atteggiamento realistico. Questo significa esaminare gli insegnamenti di Dharma in maniera coerente con il reale modo di esistere delle cose. Per quest’esame, Buddha ha insegnato quattro assiomi (rigs-pa bzhi), che sono le assunzioni di base nel pensiero buddista. Ricordiamoci le parole del Buddha: “Non accettate quel che sto insegnando solo per fede o per rispetto verso di me, ma investigate gli insegnamenti per conto vostro come se steste comprando dell’oro.” Continue reading
Qualunque sia il modo in cui eseguiamo l´offerta, è importante fermarsi un attimo per chiarire la nostra mente, e cercare d’immaginarsi in una terra pura campo di Buddha. Poi, in quello stato, fate l´offerta del mandala.
Una breve spiegazione dell’offerta del mandala nella richiesta per un insegnamento
Alexander Berzin, Morelia, Mexico, Aprile 2004 [Trascrizione leggermente redatta]. Traduzione italiana a cura di Julian Piras.
Prima di ricevere un insegnamento, è importante richiederlo con un´offerta del mandala. E facendo quest´offerta, è importante capire il significato del verso che recitiamo.
Dirigendo e offrendo ai campi di Buddha
Questa base profumata con acque fragranti, cosparsa di fiori,
E sormontata dal Monte Meru, da quattro isole, dal sole e dalla luna,
Possano tutti i migratori essere condotti alle terre pure.
Om idam guru ratna mandala-kam nir-yatayami.
Vi offro questo mandala, preziosi guru. Continue reading
Con le mani giunte vi richiedo Vittoriosi che potreste andare oltre alla tristezza: Vi imploro, rimanete per incalcolabili eoni, Per non lasciare questi esseri migratori nella loro cecità. (Shantideva)
I preliminari per la meditazione o lo studio: la pratica in sette rami
Alexander Berzin. Berlino, Germania, 9 Gennaio 2001. Traduzione italiana a cura di Julian Piras, Novembre 2011.
Questa sera, vorrei spiegare in un modo più pratico i preliminari che eseguiamo all´inizio delle nostre lezioni sul testo di Shantideva, Guida allo stile di vita del Bodhisattva (Bodhisattvacharya-avatara). Essi includono la pratica in sette rami, che deriva da questo testo. La pratica di questi preliminari prima di ascoltare ed imparare il Dharma ci aiuta a stabilire uno stato mentale ricettivo. Usiamo la stessa serie di pratiche prima delle nostre meditazioni quotidiane e prima delle nostre sessioni di studio del Dharma a casa.
Pulire la stanza e disporre le offerte
Se eseguiamo queste pratiche come preliminari per la meditazione a casa, dobbiamo prima pulire e mettere a posto la camera, come facciamo prima delle lezioni. Se per esempio ci sono fogli di carta o vestiti per terra, dovremo raccoglierli e metterli via. Mentre siamo impegnati in quest`attività, pensiamo: “Possa la mia mente diventare chiara, pulita, ben ordinata, come lo sta diventando la stanza.” Continue reading