Canto 12: arāḍa-darśanaḥ
Seeing Arāḍa


The length of the present Canto – 121 verses – is perhaps indicative of how important the Zen master Arāḍa was in the education of the Buddha-to-be.

Once again the two-word compound of the title allows plenty of ambiguity. Darśana, as an -na neuter action noun from the root √dṛś, to see, means showing or seeing. Other meanings of darśana include eye-sight; visiting, meeting with; experiencing, realizing; view, doctrine, philosophical system; and becoming visible or known.

Ostensibly in the Canto title arāḍa is the object of darśana; hence EH Johnston translated “Visit to Arāḍa.” The obvious alternative reading – since the bulk of the Canto is given over to Arāda’s setting out of his system in his own words – is “Arāḍa’s Doctrine” or “Arāḍa’s Philosphical System.”

The most important darśana, or realization, that the present Canto describes, however, comes towards the end of the Canto when the bodhisattva sees that sitting-meditation, on the basis of a healthy diet, is a true means to a true end, whereas ascetic self-denial is not. A Canto title that better conveyed this hidden meaning might be “Arāḍa Seeing,” or “Arāḍa, and Realization.”



tataḥ śama-vihārasya muner ikṣvāku-candramāḥ /
arāḍasyāśramaṁ bheje vapuṣā pūrayann iva // 12.1 //

Then to the vihāra of a sage whose recreation ground was peace, the moon of the Ikṣvākus betook himself – / To the ashram of Arāḍa he went, as if filling it with his shining form. //12.1//

sa kālāma-sa-gotreṇa tenālokyaiva dūrataḥ /
uccaiḥ svāgatam ity uktaḥ samīpam upajagmivān // 12.2 //

Seen from afar by that distant kinsman of Kālāma, Arāḍa Kālāma was the name of the only person that the Buddha would later recognize as his teacher. Though this Canto also records his visit to Udraka Rāmaputra, the Buddha did not recognize that Udraka had been his teacher. (See Ariyapariyesanasuttaṁ, MN 26; The Discourse about the Noble Search. Trans. Ānandajoti Bhikkhu. See also note to verse 84 below.) 01 / And greeted immediately with a welcome that resounded up on high, he drew near. //12.2//

tāv ubhau nyāyataḥ pṛṣṭvā dhātu-sāmyaṁ paras-param /
dāravyor medhyayor vṛṣyoḥ śucau deśe niṣedatuḥ // 12.3 //

After each had asked, as was the rule, after the other’s good health, / On two spotless wooden seats, at a clean place, the two of them sat. //12.3//

tam āsīnaṁ nṛpa-sutaṁ so ’bravīn muni-sattamaḥ /
bahumāna-viśālābhyāṁ darśanābhyāṁ pibann iva // 12.4 //

That son of a protector of men, sitting! In the hidden meaning, Aśvaghoṣa pictured a student of a king of dharma, sitting in full lotus. 02 The best of sages sang his praises, / Eyes with admiration opened wide, as if drinking him in: //12.4//

viditaṁ me yathā saumya niṣkrānto bhavanād asi /
chittvā sneha-mayaṁ pāśaṁ pāśaṁ dṛpta iva dvipaḥ // 12.5 //

“It is clear to me, O moony man of soma, how you have come forth from a palace, As in many previous instances, bhavanam ostensibly means a palace but in the hidden meaning can mean a place of growth, and can be synonymous with bhava, becoming, or coming into existence, the 10th in the 12 links. 03 / Cutting the snare of affection like a wild elephant breaking free of a fetter. //​12.5//

sarvathā dhṛtimac caiva prājñaṁ caiva manas tava /
yas tvaṁ prāptaḥ śriyaṁ tyaktvā latāṁ viṣa-phalām iva // 12.6 //

Altogether steadfast, and wise, is your mind; / In that you have come here abandoning royal power as if it were a creeper bearing poison fruit. //12.6//

nāścaryaṁ jīrṇa-vayaso yaj jagmuḥ pārthivā vanam /
apatyebhyaḥ śriyaṁ dattvā bhuktocchiṣṭām iva srajam // 12.7 //

No wonder is it that, in their old age, lords of the earth have gone to the forest, / Handing to their offspring royal power, like what is left of a used garland. //12.7//

idaṁ me matam āścaryaṁ nave vayasi yad bhavān /
abhuktvaiva śriyaṁ prāptaḥ sthito viṣaya-gocare // 12.8 //

This I deem a wonder: that you in the flush of youth, / Without ever taking the reins of royal power, have come here, in the very thick of sense-objects. //12.8//

tad vijñātum imaṁ dharmaṁ paramaṁ bhājanaṁ bhavān /
jñāna-plavam adhiṣṭhāya śīghraṁ duḥkhārṇavaṁ tara // 12.9 //

To investigate this dharma, therefore, you are a supremely fit person. / Climbing aboard the raft of knowing, may you swiftly cross over the foaming sea of suffering. //12.9//

śiṣye yady api vijñāte śāstraṁ kālena varṇyate /
gāmbhīryād vyavasāyāc ca na parīkṣyo bhavān mama // 12.10 //

Although the teaching [as a rule] is elucidated after some time, when the student has been investigated, / From the depth of your sincerity, and the strength of your resolve, there is no need for me to examine you.” //12.10//

iti vākyam arāḍasya vijñāya sa nararṣabhaḥ /
babhūva parama-prītaḥ provācottaram eva ca // 12.11 //

As Arāḍa said these words, that bull among men, investigating his words, / Was highly delighted and in response, emphatically, up he spoke: //12.11//

viraktasyāpi yad idaṁ saumukhyaṁ bhavataḥ param /
akṛtārtho ’py anenāsmi kṛtārtha iva saṁprati // 12.12 //

“Though untainted by emotion, you show this extreme good grace, / Because of which, although I have yet to realize the aim, I feel like I am just realizing the aim here and now. //12.12//

didṛkṣur iva hi jyotir yiyāsur iva daiśikam /
tvad-darśanam ahaṁ manye titīrṣur iva ca plavam // 12.13 //

For, as one who wishes to see esteems a light, as one who wishes to travel esteems a guide, / I esteem your way of seeing Darśanam sometimes means a view, an opinion; but in this context, as the three similes make clear, the meaning is more practical. 04 – as, again, one who wishes to cross a river esteems a boat. //12.13//

tasmād arhasi tad vaktuṁ vaktavyaṁ yadi manyase /
jarā-maraṇa-rogebhyo yathāyaṁ parimucyate // 12.14 //

So please explain it, if you deem it apt to be explained, / So that, from aging, dying and disease, this being may be released.” //12.14//

ity arāḍaḥ kumārasya māhātmyād eva coditaḥ /
saṁkṣiptaṁ kathayāṁ cakre svasya śāstrasya niścayam // 12.15 //

Arāḍa, thus spurred by the prince’s very great sincerity, / Related in brief the purport of his own teaching. Svasya śāstrasya niścayam. Some commentators have taken Arāḍa as a teacher of saṁkhya philosophy, but this phrase indicates that what Arāḍa taught is what he had worked out for himself and made his own. 05 //12.15//

śrūyatām ayam asmākaṁ siddhāntaḥ śṛṇvatāṁ vara /
yathā bhavati saṁsāro yathā caiva nivartate // 12.16 //

“Let this be learned, O best of listeners, as our ultimate purpose: / How saṁsāra comes into being, and how it ceases to be. //12.16//

prakṛtiś ca vikāraś ca janma mṛtyur jaraiva ca /
tat tāvat sattvam ity uktaṁ sthira-sattva parehi tat // 12.17 //
Prakṛti, the Primary Matter, and Vikāra, its Transformation; birth, death, and old age: / All that is called Sattva, Being. May you, O one whose being is steadfast, comprehend it! //12.17//

tatra tu prakṛtir nāma viddhi prakṛti-kovida /
pañca bhūtāny ahaṁ-kāraṁ buddhim avyaktam eva ca // 12.18 //

But what therein is called Prakṛti, the Primary Matter, know, O knower of what is primary! / As the five elements, Pañca bhūtāni, the five elements: ether, air, fire, water, earth. 06 self-consciousness, the intelligent, and Avyaktam, the Not Manifest. //12.18//

vikāra iti budhyasva viṣayān indriyāṇi ca /
pāṇi-pādaṁ ca vādaṁ ca pāyūpasthaṁ tathā manaḥ // 12.19 //

See as Vikāra, Transformation, the sense-objects and the senses, / The hands and feet, the [organ of] speech, the anus and reproductive organs – equally the mind. //12.19//

asya kṣetrasya vijñānāt kṣetra-jña iti saṁjñi ca /
kṣetra-jña iti cātmānaṁ kathayanty ātma-cintakāḥ // 12.20 //

Because it knows this field, the conscious is called Kṣetra-jña, ‘Knower of the Field.’ / At the same time, those who contemplate the ātman, the self, The meanings of ātman include 1. the self, as used in everyday speech in such statements as “I see myself in the mirror,” 2. the soul, as conceived in the imagination of religious types. Arāḍa’s use of ātman is open to be read in either way. 07 speak of the self as the knower of the field. //12.20//

sa-śiṣyaḥ kapilaś ceha pratibuddhir iti smṛtaḥ /
sa-putro ’-pratibuddhas tu prajāpatir ihocyate // 12.21 //

Kapila, “Kapila was the most eminent of the ancient Indian philosophers. His philosophical approach was unique and known as the Saṁkhya system. According to him truth must be supported by proof, i.e., perception or inference. Kapila denied the theory of creation of the universe by a being or God. He said the empircal universe consists of things evolved (vyakta) and things that are not evolved (avyakta). Kapila taught the two fundamentals of self or entity (puruṣa) and nature (prakṛti), or subject and object. All experience is based on the duality of knowing subject (puruṣa) and the known object (prakṛti).” From The First Sermon of the Buddha; 1994 (under “Kapila, the Rationalist” pp.15), by Ven. Dr. Rewata Dhamma 08 the one studied by students, is known here as Pratibuddhi, the Awake; / Whereas Prajāpati, Prajāpati, lit. “lord of creatures,” was revered as creator of the material universe having as his sons the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth.09 the one endowed with progeny, is called here Apratibuddha, the Not Awake. The opposition between Kapila and Prajāpati, then, as suggested by Arāda’s description of the former as sa-śisyaḥ (with student/s) and the latter as sa-putraḥ (with his sons [ = the elements]), may be seen as the opposition between the immaterial (especially the rational) and the material.10 //12.21//

jāyate jīryate caiva bādhyate mriyate ca yat /
tad vyaktam iti vijñeyam avyaktaṁ tu viparyayāt // 12.22 //

What is born, what grows old, what is bound, what dies: / That is to be known as Vyaktam, the Manifest; otherwise it is Avyaktam, the Not Manifest. //12.22//

a-jñānaṁ karma tṛṣṇā ca jñeyāḥ saṁsāra-hetavaḥ /
sthito ’smiṁs tritaye jantus tat sattvaṁ nātivartate // 12.23 //

Ignorance, karma, and thirsting are to be known as the causes of saṁsāra; / A creature set in these three ways fails to transcend the aforementioned Sattva, Being – //12.23//

vipratyayād ahaṁ-kārāt saṁdehād abhisaṁplavāt /
aviśeṣānupāyābhyāṁ saṅgād abhyavapātataḥ // 12.24 //

[It fails] because of wrong grounding, because of ‘I-doing’ self-consciousness, because of blurring of sight, because of blurring of boundaries, / Because of lack of discrimination and wrong means, because of attachment, and because of pulling down. These eight are taken one by one in the following eight verses. 11 //12.24//

tatra vipratyayo nāma viparītaṁ pravartate /
anyathā kurute kāryaṁ mantavyaṁ manyate ’nyathā // 12.25 //

Among those, ‘wrong grounding’ keeps setting movement in the wrong direction – / It causes to be done wrongly what is to be done; and causes to be thought wrongly what has to be thought. //12.25//

bravīmy aham ahaṁ vedmi gacchāmy aham ahaṁ sthitaḥ /
itīhaivam ahaṁ-kāras tv anahaṁ-kāra vartate // 12.26 //

I speak, I know, I go, I stand firm – / It is thus that here, O unselfconscious one!, the self-consciousness of ‘I-doing’ carries on. //12.26//

yas tu bhāvān a-saṁdigdhān ekī-bhāvena paśyati /
mṛt-piṅḍavad asaṁdeha saṁdehaḥ sa ihocyate // 12.27 //

But what sees not blurred things as coalesced into one mass, / Like a ball of mud – O one who is free of blur! – here that is called blurring of sight. //12.27//

ya evāhaṁ sa evedaṁ mano buddhiś ca karma ca /
yaś caivaiṣa gaṇaḥ so ’ham iti yaḥ so ’bhisaṁplavaḥ // 12.28 //

‘What I am is just this – this mind, this intelligence, this occupation. / Again, what this present group is, I am.’ That is blurring of boundaries. //12.28//

aviśeṣaṁ viśeṣa-jña pratibuddhāprabuddhayoḥ /
prakṛtīnāṁ ca yo veda so ’viśeṣa iti smṛtaḥ // 12.29 //

What knows no distinction – O knower of distinctions! – between the Awake and the Not Awake, / Or among the constituent parts of the Primary Matter, is known as ‘lack of discrimination.’ //12.29//

namas-kāra-vaṣaṭ-kārau prokṣaṇābhyukṣaṇādayaḥ /
an-upāya iti prājñair upāya-jña praveditaḥ // 12.30 //

Calling out namas, ‘Homage!’; calling out vaṣat, ‘Into the flame!’; and sacrificial pre-sprinkling, over-sprinkling, and the rest, / Are declared by the wise – O knower of means! – to be wrong means. //12.30//

sajjate yena dur-medhā mano-vāg-buddhi-karmabhiḥ /
viṣayeṣv anabhiṣvaṅga so ’bhiṣvaṅga iti smṛtaḥ // 12.31 //

That by which the dull-witted, using mind, voice, intent and actions, / Are tied fast to objects – O one who is free of over-attachment! – that is known as over-attachment. //12.31//

mamedam aham asyeti yad duḥkham abhimanyate /
vijñeyo ’bhyavapātaḥ sa saṁsāre yena pātyate // 12.32 //

The suffering of ‘This is mine,’ ‘I belong to this,’ – the suffering which one invents – / Know, as that suffering, the pulling down by which one is flung back into saṁsāra. //12.32//

ity avidyām hi vidvān sa pañca-parvāṁ samīhate /
tamo mohaṁ mahā-mohaṁ tāmisra-dvayam eva ca // 12.33 //

Thus does the wise one, then, targeting ignorance, think of ignorance as fivefold: / As obscuration, as delusion, as the Big Delusion, and as the two kinds of darkness. //12.33//

tatrālasyaṁ tamo viddhi mohaṁ mṛtyuṁ ca janma ca /
mahā-mohas tv asaṁmoha kāma ity eva gamyatām // 12.34 //

Among these, know obscuration to be sloth, and delusion to be dying and being born; / But the Big Delusion – O undeluded one! – understand to mean Love. //12.34//

yasmād atra ca bhūtāni pramuhyanti mahānty api /
tasmād eṣa mahā-bāho mahā-moha iti smṛtaḥ // 12.35 //

And since in Love even mighty beings swoon, / Therefore – O man of mighty arm! – it is known as the Big Delusion. //12.35//

tāmisram iti cākrodha krodham evādhikurvate /
viṣādaṁ cāndha-tāmisram aviṣāda pracakṣate // 12.36 //

With the word ‘darkness’ – O one without anger! – they refer to anger. / And depression – O irrepressible one! – they call ‘blind darkness.’ //12.36//

anayāvidyayā bālaḥ saṁyuktaḥ paṇca-parvayā /
saṁsāre duḥkha-bhūyiṣṭhe janmasv abhiniṣicyate // 12.37 //

The immature person who is possessed of this fivefold ignorance / Into saṁsāra, where suffering prevails, in birth after birth is swept. Abhiniṣicyate. as when a person is swept away by a fast-flowing river. Nāgārjuna picks up niṣicyate and uses it in MMK26.2 – nāma-rūpaṁ niṣicyate, “psycho-physicality is instilled.” The root √sic has a liquid connotation, meaning to pour, sprinkle, or irrigate. 12 //12.37//

draṣṭā śrotā ca mantā ca kārya-karaṇam eva ca /
aham ity evam āgamya saṁsāre parivartate // 12.38 //

‘The seer, the hearer, the thinker, and the very act of doing of what is to be done – / All that is I.’ Having fallen into such thoughts, around and round he goes in saṁsāra. //12.38//

ity ebhir hetubhir dhīman janma-srotaḥ pravartate /
hetv abhāvāt phalābhāva iti vijñātum arhasi // 12.39 //

Thus – O perspicacious one! – in the presence of these causes, the stream of births starts flowing. / In the absence of causes, there is no effect, as you are to investigate. //12.39//

tatra samyaṅ-matir vidyān mokṣa-kāma catuṣṭayam /
pratibuddhāprabuddhau ca vyaktam avyaktam eva ca // 12.40 //

In that absence – O desirer of release! – a right-minded man may know the four: / The Awake and the Not Awake; the Manifest and the Not Manifest. Cf. the Buddha, quoted in Shobogenzo chap. 61, Kembutsu, Meeting Buddha: “If we see [both] the many forms and [their] non-form, we at once meet the Tathāgata.”13 //12.40//

yathāvad etad vijñāya kṣetra-jño hi catuṣṭayam /
ājavaṁjavatāṁ hitvā prāpnoti padam akṣaram // 12.41 //

For having properly fathomed this four, the knower of the field / Abandons the rushing torrent of births and deaths and realizes the undying step. //12.41//

ity arthaṁ brāhmaṇā loke parama-brahma-vādinaḥ /
brahma-caryaṁ carantīha brāhmaṇān vāsayanti ca // 12.42 //

For this purpose brahmins In a pejorative sense a brāḥmaṇa, or brahmin, is a man of the priestly caste responsible for divine knowledge of the supreme Spirit (brahma) or of the personal god (brahmā). In this sense, the Brahmanism of a brahmin in the Buddha’s teaching is just another view to be abandoned. But, for example, in the final chapter of Udāna-varga, titled Brahmāṇa-varga, the Buddha seems to have used the term brāhmanaṁ in an affirmative sense, for a person devoted to pyscho-physical growth and development. 14 here on earth, giving voice to the highest brahma Parama-brahma-vādinaḥ ostensibly means “speaking of the Supreme Spirit, Brahma” i.e. speaking of God. But brahma (from the root √bṛh, to become fat, to grow) has many possible meanings, including a pious effusion; a mantra, especially the sacred syllable Om; and the spiritual or celibate life (see following note). 15, / Practise here and now brahma-practice, Brahma-carya,”brahma-practice,” narrowly means celibacy – see e.g. SN11.25 where Nanda is ridiculed for practising devout abstinence (brahma-caryam) for the sake of non-abstinence (a-brahma-caryāya) with heavenly nymphs. 16 and cause brahmins to dwell in it.” Below the surface, the suggestion may be that promoting growth in others is the highest thing we can aspire to. 17 //12.42//

iti vākyam idaṁ śrutvā munes tasya nṛpātmajaḥ /
abhyupāyaṁ ca papraccha padam eva ca naiṣṭhikam // 12.43 //

The prince, having listened to these words of that sage, / Asked about the means; and about the step, yes, The emphatic eva seems designed to remind us that in the final analysis, the point of polishing a tile might be – abandoning a Soto Zen view – to make a mirror. 18 which represents the end. //12.43//

brahma-caryam idaṁ caryaṁ yathā yāvac ca yatra ca /
dharmasyāsya ca paryantaṁ bhavān vyākhyātum arhati // 12.44 //

“How is this brahma-practice to be practised? And to what lengths? And where? / Again, what is the end-point of this dharma? Will you please explain in detail.” //12.44//

ity arāḍo yathā-śāstraṁ vispaṣṭārthaṁ samāsataḥ /
tam evānyena kalpena dharmam asmai vyabhāṣata // 12.45 //

And so Arāḍa, by the book, succinctly, making his meaning plain, / Tried again, in a different way, to explain to him that same dharma. //12.45//

ayam ādau gṛhān muktvā bhaikṣākaṁ liṅgam āśritaḥ /
samudācāra-vistīrṇaṁ śīlam ādāya vartate // 12.46 //

“First, having left home and adopted the beggar’s emblem, / Having taken to the way of integrity which is riveted with acts done well, the one in question carries on. //12.46//

saṁtoṣaṁ param āsthāya yena tena yatas tataḥ /
viviktaṁ sevate vāsaṁ nir-dvandvaḥ śāstra-vit kṛtī // 12.47 //

Staying close to the deepest contentment, with whatever, from wherever, / He abides in seclusion, free from dichotomies: a knower of the teaching, a man of action. The real meaning of this line was totally lost on those in China who spoke of “a separate transmission outside of the teaching.” For them, Zen was all about being a man of action, while thinking light of verbal teaching. 19 //12.47//

tato rāgād bhayaṁ dṛṣṭvā vairāgyāc ca paraṁ śivam /
nigṛhṇann indriya-grāmaṁ yatate manasaḥ śame // 12.48 //

He sees, on these grounds, how horror arises out of redness, but the highest happiness out of its absence, / And he mobilizes himself – curbing the senses – in the direction of quieting of the mind. //12.48//

atho viviktaṁ kāmebhyo vyāpādādibhya eva ca /
viveka-jam avāpnoti pūrva-dhyānaṁ vitarkavat // 12.49 //

Then he arrives at a stage secluded from desires, and also from things like malice; / He reaches the stage born of seclusion – the first dhyāna, in which there is thinking. Arāḍa’s description of the four dhyānas tallies very well with the description in SN Canto 17 of Nanda’s practice and experience, viz: Distanced from desires and tainted things, containing ideas and containing thoughts / Born of solitude and possessed of joy and ease, is the first stage of meditation, which he then entered. // SN17.42 //20 //12.49//

tac ca dhyāna-sukhaṁ prāpya tat tad eva vitarkayan /
apūrva-sukha-lābhena hriyate bāliśo janaḥ // 12.50 //

Experiencing this state of meditative ease, while thinking various things – this but also that – / The immature person is carried away by enjoyment of the new-found happiness. //12.50//

śamenaivaṁ vidhenāyaṁ kāma-dveṣa-vigarhiṇā /
brahma-lokam avāpnoti paritoṣeṇa vaṇcitaḥ // 12.51 //

Via tranquillity of this order, which is the renouncing of loves and of hates, / At a brahma-world A spiritual state. 21 this [youngster] arrives – if, by feeling fully satisfied, he is taken in. //12.51//

jñātvā vidvān vitarkāṁs tu manaḥ-saṁkṣobha-kārakān /
tad-viyuktam avāpnoti dhyānaṁ prīti-sukhānvitam // 12.52 //

The wise one, in contrast, knowing thoughts to cause agitation of the mind, / Arrives at a stage divorced from that, a dhyāna containing its own joy and ease. Cf SN Canto 17: Even in that, he realised, ideas about aforesaid things, and thoughts about what is or is not good, / Are something not quieted, causing disturbance in the mind, and so he decided to cut them out. // SN17.44 //...And so gradually bereft of idea and thought, his mind tranquil from one-pointedness, / He realised the joy and ease born of balanced stillness – that inner wellbeing which is the second stage of meditation. // SN17.47 //22 //12.52//

hriyamāṇas tayā prītyā yo viśeṣaṁ na paśyati /
sthānaṁ bhāsvaram āpnoti deveṣv ābhāsureṣu saḥ // 12.53 //

If, carried away by this joy, he sees no higher distinction, / He occupies a resplendent station among Ābhāsura deities, the Shining Gods. A state of intense spiritual ecstasy. Ibid: And on reaching that stage, in which the mind is silent, he experienced an intense joy that he had never experienced before. / But here too he found a fault, in joy, just as he had in ideas. // SN17.48 //23 //12.53//

yas tu prīti-sukhāt tasmād vivecayati mānasam /
tṛtīyaṁ labhate dhyānaṁ sukhaṁ prīti-vivarjitam // 12.54 //

The one, in contrast, who separates his mind from this joy and ease, / Obtains the third dhyāna – which has the ease without the joy. Ibid: For when a man finds intense joy in anything, paradoxically, suffering for him is right there. / Hence, seeing the faults there in joy, he kept going up, into practice that goes beyond joy. // SN17.49 // And so experiencing the ease enjoyed by the noble ones, from non-attachment to joy, knowing it totally, with his body, / He remained indifferent, fully aware, and, having realised the third stage of meditation, steady. // SN17.50 //24 //12.54//

yas tu tasmin sukhe magno na viśeṣāya yatnavān /
śubha-kṛtsnaiḥ sa sāmānyaṁ sukhaṁ prāpnoti daivataiḥ // 12.55 //

He who, immersed in this ease, has no will to higher distinction, / Experiences ease as one with Śubha-kṛtsna deities, the Gods of Resplendent Wholeness. Ibid: Since the ease here is beyond any ease, and there is no progression of ease beyond it, / Therefore, as a knower of higher and lower, he realised it as a condition of resplendent wholeness which he deemed – in a friendly way – to be superlative. // SN17.51 //25 //12.55//

tādṛśaṁ sukham āsādya yo na rajyaty upekṣakaḥ /
caturthaṁ dhyānam āpnoti sukha-duḥkha-vivarjitam // 12.56 //

The one who, sitting in the presence of such ease, is not enamoured of it but is indifferent – / He reaches the fourth dhyāna, beyond ease and suffering. Ibid: Then, having already transcended ease and suffering, and emotional reactivity, / He realised the lucidity in which there is indifference and full awareness: thus, beyond suffering and ease, is the fourth stage of meditation. // 17.54 //26 //12.56//

tatra ke-cid vyavasyanti mokṣa ity abhimāninaḥ /
sukha-duḥkha-parityāgād avyāpārāc ca cetasaḥ // 12.57 //

Some settle for that stage, thinking it, in their conceit, to be liberation – / Because of the giving up of ease and suffering, and because of the inactivity of the mind. //12.57//

asya dhyānasya tu phalaṁ samaṁ devair bṛhat-phalaiḥ /
kathayanti bṛhat-kālaṁ bṛhat-prajñā-parīkṣakāḥ // 12.58 //

Whereas, truly, the fruit of this act of meditating, like the abundant Abundant, Fat, immensely and vast, are all translations of bṛhat, from the root √bṛh which is discussed above in connection with brahma. 27 fruit of the Bṛhat-phala deities, the Gods of Fat Profit, / Is immensely long-lasting – say those who investigate the vast real wisdom. Ibid. Consequently, relying on the fourth stage of meditation, he made up his mind to win the worthy state, / Like a king joining forces with a strong and noble ally and then aspiring to conquer unconquered lands. // SN17.56 //28 //12.58//

samādher vyutthitas tasmād dṛṣṭvā doṣāṁś charīriṇām /
jñānam ārohati prājñaḥ śarīra-vinivṛttaye // 12.59 //

The man of wisdom, giving up the balancing act of that samādhi, having seen the faults of people possessed of bodies, Śarīriṇām, embodied beings. Ostensibly, all earthly creatures. In the ironic hidden meaning, the unduly body-conscious. 29 / Rises to the challenge which is the act of knowing – he rises up, in the direction of bodily extinction. With this verse Arāḍa’s description appears on the surface to depart from what the Buddha will later teach. Below the surface, however, throwing away concern about feeling balanced in one’s being and looking good in one’s form, might be a true step on the way of dropping off body and mind.. Cf: Then he cut the five upper fetters: with the sword of intuitive wisdom which is raised aloft by cultivation of the mind, / He completely severed the five aspirational fetters, which are bound up with superiority, and tied to the first person. // SN17.57 //30 //12.59//

tatas tad-dhyānam utsṛjya viśeṣe kṛta-niścayaḥ /
kāmebhya iva sat-prājño rūpād api virajyate // 12.60 //

Having thus let go of that meditation, and with his mind set on higher distinction, / The one who really understands what is real – like he lost interest in desires – loses interest in form. Like the women sleeping in odd postures in Canto 5. 31 //12.60//

śarīre khāni yāny asya tāny ādau parikalpayan /
ghaneṣv api tato dravyeṣv ākāśam adhimucyate // 12.61 //

Of spaces which are openings in his body, first he forms a picture; / Then in solid masses also, he affirms space. //12.61//

ākāśa-gatam ātmānaṁ saṁkṣipya tv aparo budhaḥ /
tad evānantataḥ paśyan viśeṣam adhigacchati // 12.62 //

Another one who is wise, in contrast, condenses into the centre the self that permeates space, / And, seeing even that as unbounded, he thereby attains distinction. Cf what the Buddha tells Nanda in SN Canto 16: “It may not be possible, following a single method, to kill off bad ideas that habit has so deeply entrenched; / In that case, one should commit to a second course but never give up the good work.” // SN16.70 //32 //12.62//

adhyātma-kuśalaṣ tv anyo nivartyātmānam ātmanā /
kiṁ-cin nāstīti saṁpaśyann ākiṁcanya iti smṛtaḥ // 12.63 //

But one who is different, one who is skilful in regard to his own self, having dropped off the self by means of the self, / In realizing that there is nothing there, is known as a man of being without anything. Ostensibly Arāḍa is describing a man with peculiar insight into the ātman, the self, or – for the spiritually-minded – the individual vs the universal soul. In the hidden meaning, anyaḥ again points to one beyond conventional understanding. He or she realizes what is to be realized simply in being without anything. 33 //12.63//

tato muñjād iṣīkeva śakuniḥ pañjarād iva /
kṣetra-jño niḥsṛto dehān mukta ity abhidhīyate // 12.64 //

Thus, like the stalk from a sheath of muñja grass, Saccharum bengalense is a species of grass that grows very tall – Arāḍa seems to be indicating a conspicuous happening of some sort. 34 like a big bird from its cage, / The Knower of the Field, escaped from the body, is said to be liberated. If we accept the irony of the preceding verses, in which, below the surface, Arāḍa’s teaching is a perfect mirror of what the Buddha himself will later teach, then this verse may be taken as the one that flags up the essential difference between Arāḍa’s teaching and the dharma that the Buddha will teach. 35 //12.64//

etat tat paramaṁ brahma nirliṅgaṁ dhruvam akṣaram /
yan mokṣa iti tattva-jñāḥ kathayanti manīṣiṇaḥ // 12.65 //

This is that supreme Brahma, beyond emblematic representation, constant, imperishable, / Which those who know the truth, learned brahmins, call ‘Liberation.’ Arāḍa in the final analysis is a believer in the Supreme Brahma, Who is above and beyond the material world. 36 //12.65//

ity upāyaś ca mokṣaś ca mayā saṁdarśitas tava /
yadi jñātaṁ yadi rucir yathāvat pratipadyatām // 12.66 //

Thus the means, and the liberation, I have revealed to you; / If you have understood it, and if it pleases you, undertake it properly. //12.66//

jaigīṣavyo ’tha janako vṛddhaś caiva parāśaraḥ /
imaṁ panthānam āsādya muktā hy anye ca mokṣiṇaḥ // 12.67 //

For Jaigīṣavya, ‘Son of Ambition,’ and Janaka, ‘The Begetter’, as well as Vṛddha Parāśara, ‘The Old Crusher,’ / By realizing this path in their sitting, Meanings of ā-√sad include 1. to meet with, reach, realize; and 2. to sit, sit near. 37 were liberated – as were other liberation-seekers, being different. As in so many previous instances, anye (others) in its hidden meaning suggests real individuals, who do not conform to easy assumptions or idealistic expectations. 38” //12.67//

iti tasya sa tad-vākyaṁ gṛhītvā tu vicārya ca /
pūrva-hetu-bala-prāptaḥ pratyuttaram uvāca ha // 12.68 //

But [the bodhisattva], having taken in these words of the other, and reflected on them this way and that, / Being possessed of the power of previous causes, spoke up in reply: //12.68//

śrutaṁ jñānam idaṁ sūkṣmaṁ parataḥ parataḥ śivam /
kṣetra-jñasyāparityāgād avaimy etad anaiṣṭhikam // 12.69 //

“I have listened to this wisdom of yours, which grows more subtle stage by stage, and more wholesome, / But insofar as the Knower of the Field is not abandoned, I see this wisdom as short of the ultimate. //12.69//

vikāra-prakṛtibhyo hi kṣetra-jñaṁ muktam apy aham /
manye prasava-dharmāṇaṁ bīja-dharmāṇam eva ca // 12.70 //

For, I consider ‘the Knower of the Field,’ even when freed from ‘the Transformed and the Primary,’ / To be engendering in nature and to be, in its very nature, a seed. //12.70//

viśuddho yady api hy ātmā nirmukta iti kalpyate /
bhūyaḥ pratyaya-sad-bhāvād amuktaḥ sa bhaviṣyati // 12.71 //

For even if the pure self By viśuddhaḥ... ātmā, the pure self, the bodhisattva indicates that he has in view not the self we refer to in everyday speech but the self as philosophical or religious abstraction, the soul. 39 – ‘the soul’ – is declared to have been released, / Once again, as long as the grounds exist, it will become not released. //12.71//

ṛtu-bhūmy-ambu-virahād yathā bījaṁ na rohati /
rohati pratyayais tais tais tadvat so ’pi mato mama // 12.72 //

Just as, in the absence of season, soil and water, a seed does not grow, / But does rise up when those various causal grounds are present, so also, as I see it, does [‘the soul.’] Ostensibly the bodhisattva thus recognizes the existence of a soul. But in the real meaning, what he recognizes is the arising in people’s deluded minds of a concept. 40 //12.72//

yat karmājñāna-tṛṣṇānāṁ tyāgān mokṣaś ca kalpyate /
atyantas tat-parityāgaḥ saty ātmani na vidyate // 12.73 //

And as for liberation being brought about through letting go of karma, ignorance and thirsting, / There is no complete abandonment of these three so long as the soul persists. //12.73//

hitvā hitvā trayam idaṁ viśeṣas tūpalabhyate /
ātmanas tu sthitir yatra tatra sūkṣmam idaṁ trayam // 12.74 //

By deeper and deeper abandoning of these three, higher distinction is obtained, / But where the soul prevails, there – subtly – these three are. //12.74//

sūkṣmatvāc caiva doṣāṇām avyāpārāc ca cetasaḥ /
dīrghatvād āyuṣaś caiva mokṣas tu parikalpyate // 12.75 //

And yet, because of the subtlety of the faults, because of the inactivity of the mind, / And because of the length of a lifetime, liberation is posited. //12.75//

ahaṁ-kāra-parityāgo yaś caiṣa parikalpyate /
saty ātmani parityāgo nāhaṁ-kārasya vidyate // 12.76 //

As for this abandonment of the self-consciousness of ‘I-doing’ which, again, is posited – / So long as the soul persists there has been no abandonment of ‘I-doing.’ //12.76//

saṁkhyādibhir amuktaś ca nir-guṇo na bhavaty ayam /
tasmād asati nairguṇye nāsya mokṣo ’bhidhīyate // 12.77 //

Again, when not freed from intellectual efforts like enumeration, this [abandonment] does not become free of defining features; / Therefore, in the absence of freedom from defining features, “Freedom from defining features” is nairguṇya, translated in BC Canto 6 as “the being-without virtue.” See BC6.24.41 there is said to be no freedom in it. //12.77//

guṇino hi guṇānāṁ ca vyatireko na vidyate /
rūpoṣṇābhyāṁ virahito na hy agnir upalabhyate // 12.78 //

For between things defined by features and the defining features there is no gap – / Bereft of form and heat, no fire, for example, is realized. //12.78//

prāg dehān na bhaved dehī prāg guṇebhyas tathā guṇī /
tasmād ādau vimuktaḥ san śarīrī badhyate punaḥ // 12.79 //

Prior to the body, no owner of a body can exist; prior to defining features, likewise, nothing defined by features can exist. / On this basis does the possessor of a body, having been free from the beginning, become bound again. An ironic expression of donkey business arriving, in the everyday life of a Zen practitioner. 42 //12.79//

kṣetra-jño vi-śarīraś ca jño vā syād ajña eva vā /
yadi jño jñeyam asyāsti jñeye sati na mucyate // 12.80 //

Again, a disembodied knower of the field must be either a knower or else unknowing. / If he is a knower, something remains that he should know, and in something remaining that he should know, he is not liberated. //12.80//

athājña iti siddho vaḥ kalpitena kim ātmanā /
vināpi hy ātmanājñānaṁ prasiddhaṁ kāṣṭha-kuḍyavat // 12.81 //

Or else, if it’s your conclusion that he is unknowing, then what is the point of inventing a soul? / For even when the soul is absent, not knowing is well established [or realizing is realized] – as in the case of a log or a wall. //12.81// The second half of this verse can be read in a number of ways, partly because of the ambiguity of ātmanājñānam, which could be ātmanā + jñānam (knowing) or ātmanā + ajñānam (not knowing) or ātmanā + ājñānam (realizing, noticing). 43

parataḥ paratas tyāgo yasmāt tu guṇavān smṛtaḥ /
tasmāt sarva-parityāgān manye kṛtsnāṁ kṛtārthatām // 12.82 //

But since abandonment that goes further and further back, is known, according to tradition, to be excellent, / Therefore I suppose that from abandoning all follows complete accomplishment of the task.” //12.82//

iti dharmam arāḍasya viditvā na tutoṣa saḥ /
akṛtsnam iti vijñāya tata pratijagāma ha // 12.83 //

Thus, having understood the dharma of Arāḍa, he was not satisfied. / Knowing it to be incomplete, back he went from there. //12.83//

viśeṣam atha śuśrūṣur udrakasyāśramaṁ yayau /
ātma-grāhāc ca tasyāpi jagṛhe na sa darśanam // 12.84 //

So, desiring to learn of deeper distinction, he went to the ashram of Udraka. In The First Sermon of the Buddha, as quoted above, Ven. Rewata Dhamma noted that Udraka himself had not attained the realm of neither perception nor non-perception. He told the Bodhisattva only what the ascetic Rāma had achieved. So when the Bodhisattva proved himself to be the equal of his master [Rāma], he offered the Bodhisattva the leadership, and practising under the Bodhisattva’s guidance, he himself attained the highest jhānic state of neither perception nor non-perception.
Again, Ānandajoti Bhikkhu has pointed out, based on his translations of Ariyapariyesanasuttaṁ (MN 26) and Bodhirājakumārasuttaṁ (MN 85), that the Buddha did not refer to Udraka as having been his teacher. He rather described Udraka as having been a friend in brahma-practice (Pali: sabrahmacārī).
Thus Arāḍa seems to have been the only one that the Buddha recognized as having been his teacher, and this is reflected in the relatively detailed attention given to Arāḍa’s own words in this Canto.
/ And his doctrine, Darśanam, view, doctrine, translated earlier (with reference to Arāḍa in verse 13) as “way of seeing”; and in the Canto title – where darśana could carry several possible meanings – simply as “Seeing.” 45 which was grounded in the notion of a soul, he also did not accept. //12.84//

saṁjñāsaṁjñitvayor doṣaṁ jñātvā hi munir udrakaḥ /
ākiṁcanyāt paraṁ lebhe saṁjñāsaṁjñātmikāṁ gatim // 12.85 //

For, knowing the fault in the duality of consciousness and unconsciousness, the sage Udraka had glimpsed, / Beyond being without anything, the [single] realm made up of consciousness and unconsciousness. //12.85//

yasmāc cālaṁbane sūkṣme saṁjñāsaṁjñe tataḥ param /
nāsaṁjñī naiva saṁjñeti tasmāt tatra gata-spṛhaḥ // 12.86 //

Since, again, there are subtle dual underpinnings in consciousness and in unconsciousness, [Udraka understood] that beyond that duality / There was neither the unconscious nor consciousness, on which grounds, being there, one was free of aspiring. //12.86//

yataś ca buddhis tatraiva sthitānyatrāpracāriṇī /
sūkṣmāpaṭvī tatas tatra nāsaṁjñitvaṁ na saṁjñitā // 12.87 //

Again, because the mind, being right there, stood still, not wandering elsewhere, / Therefore in that state – that subtle, not intellectual, state of the mind – there was neither unconsciousness nor consciousness. //12.87//

yasmāc ca tad api prāpya punar āvartate jagat /
bodhi-sattvaḥ paraṁ prepsus tasmād udrakam atyajat // 12.88 //

But since, again, even having reached that state, [the mind] returns to the jostling world, / Therefore, desiring to reach the ultimate, the bodhisattva left Udraka. //12.88//

tato hitvāśramaṁ tasya śreyo ’rthī kṛta-niścayaḥ /
bheje gayasya rājarṣer nagarī-saṁjñam āśramam // 12.89 //

Thus having abandoned the ashram of that sage, seeking better, with determination, / He betook himself to the hermitage of the royal seer Gaya – to the ashram known as Nagarī. //12.89//

atha nairaṇjanā-tīre śucau śuci-parākramaḥ /
cakāra vāsam ekānta-vihārābhiratir muniḥ // 12.90 //

And so, on a pure bank of the Nairaṇjanā, he whose heroic endeavour was pure / Took up his dwelling as a sage who delighted in a solitary vihāra – a lonely practice-place, and the pleasure ground of devotion to a single end. The meanings of ekānta (eka = one + anta = end, border) include 1. a lonely or secret place, and 2. devotion to one object. 46 //12.90//

[ * * * ] tat-pūrvam pañcendriya-vaśoddhatān /
tapaḥ [ * * ] vratino bhikṣūn pañca niraikṣata // 12.91 //

Then he saw the five who had retreated there before him, raised up by their dominion over the five senses / As they upheld their vows of ascetic practice – he saw the five ascetic mendicants. //12.91//

te copatasthur dṛṣṭvātra bhikṣavas taṁ mumukṣavaḥ /
puṇyārjita-dhanārogyam indriyārthā iveśvaram // 12.92 //

Those bhikṣus saw him there and, desiring liberation, came up to him / As sensory objects answer to the capable one whose material riches, and freedom from disease, are earned on merit. The teaching point is that in the real world – as opposed to the realm of human ideologies – hierarchies naturally exist. 47 //12.92//

saṁpūjyamānas taiḥ prahvair vinayād anuvartibhiḥ /
tad-vaśa-sthāyibhiḥ śiṣyair lolair mana ivendriyaiḥ // 12.93 //

He was greatly honoured by those [five] humble followers. Being obedient, because of training, they deferred to him, / Abiding as disciples under his dominion, like the restless senses deferring to the mind. The simile ostensibly says something about the relation between the five bhikṣus and the bodhisattva, but again Aśvaghoṣa is more interested, below the surface, in describing subordination of the senses to the mind. 48 //12.93//

mṛtyu-janmānta-karaṇe syād upāyo ’yam ity atha /
duṣkarāṇi samārebhe tapāṁsy anaśanena saḥ // 12.94 //

He intuited that here might be a means to end death and birth Ostensibly he wrongly intuited that ascetic austerities might be a means. In the hidden meaning, he rightly intuited that subordination of the senses to the mind might be a means. 49 / Whereupon he undertook harsh austerities, going without food. //12.94//

upavāsa-vidhīn naikān kurvan nara-durācarān /
varṣāṇi ṣaṭ śama-prepsur akarot kārśyam ātmanaḥ // 12.95 //

Doing many kinds of fasting that were difficult for a man to do, / For six years, in the quest for peace, he wasted himself away. //12.95//

anna-kāleṣu caikaikaiḥ sa kola-tila-taṇḍulaiḥ /
apāra-pāra-saṁsāra-pāraṁ prepsur apārayat // 12.96 //

At mealtimes, with jujube fruits, sesame seeds, and grains of rice, one by one, / In his quest for the far end of saṁsāra, where there is no end to ends, he kept himself alive. //12.96//

dehād apacayas tena tapasā tasya yaḥ kṛtaḥ /
sa evopacayo bhūyas tejasāsya kṛto ’bhavat // 12.97 //

Whatever was taken out of his body by that ascetic practice, / Was made up for by his amazing energy. //12.97//

kṛśo ’py akṛśa-kīrti-śrīr hlādaṁ cakre ’nya-cakṣuṣām /
kumudānām iva śarac-chukla-pakṣādi-candramāḥ // 12.98 //

Pared down as he was, yet with his glory and majesty unimpaired, he gladdened other eyes, Anya-cakṣuṣām: ostensible meaning: to the eyes of others; hidden meaning: to eyes which were different, to eyes that were contrarian, to eyes not bound to conventional ways of seeing. 50 / As the hairy moon-lilies are gladdened, The kumada (= Nymphaea pubescens, the white water lily or hairy water lily) is seen in Sanskrit poetry as having a particularly strong connection with the moon. Hence kaumudī (of the hairy water lily) is another word for moonlight; and the moon is variously known as kumuda-pati (master of the hairy water lily), kumada-suhṛd (friend of the hairy water lily), and so on. In Kālidāsa’s famous poem Vikramorvāśīya, the king will only revive at the touch of Urvāśī’s hand, just as the hairy water lily blooms only under the moon’s rays.51 at the beginning of the bright fortnight, Śuklá-pakṣa means the bright half of a month, the fifteen days when the moon is waxing. 52 by the autumn moon. //12.98//

tvag-asthi-śeṣo niḥśeṣair medaḥ-piśita-śoṇitaiḥ /
kṣīṇo ’py akṣīṇa-gāmbhīryaḥ samudra iva sa vyabhāt // 12.99 //

Reduced to skin and bone, with no reserves remaining of fat or flesh or blood, / Diminished, and yet undiminished in his inner depths, like the sea, he sparkled. //12.99//

atha kaṣṭa-tapaḥ-spaṣṭa-vyartha-kliṣṭa-tanur muniḥ /
bhava-bhīrur imāṁ cakre buddhiṁ buddhatva-kāṅkṣayā // 12.100 //

And so the sage whose body was evidently being tormented, to no avail, by pernicious austerities, / Formed – while being wary of becoming – the following resolve, in his longing for buddhahood. //12.100//

nāyaṁ dharmo virāgāya na bodhāya na muktaye /
jambu-mūle mayā prāpto yas tadā sa vidhir dhruvaḥ // 12.101 //

“This dharma is good neither for detachment, nor for awakening, nor for liberation. / What I realized back then, at the foot of the rose-apple tree – that is a sure method. See description of the prince naturally entering the first dhyāna, BC5.8 ff: Desiring to be alone with his thoughts, he fended away those amicable hangers on / And drew close to the root of a solitary rose-apple tree whose abundant plumage fluttered agreeably all around. //5.8// There he sat upon the honest, verdant earth whose horizons shimmered like emeralds; / And, while reflecting how the living world arises and perishes, he dangled on the path of standing firmly upright, which is of the mind. //5.9// In stumbling upon firm upstandingness of the mind, he was instantly released from worries, such as those associated with desires for objects; / He entered the first peaceful stage, in which there are ideas and thoughts, of the meditation whose essence is freedom from polluting influences. //5.10//53 //12.101//

na cāsau durbalenāptuṁ śakyam ity āgatādaraḥ /
śarīra-bala-vṛddhy-artham idaṁ bhūyo ’nvacintayat // 12.102 //

But that cannot be realized by one who is weak.” Thus did he reflect. / Still more, with a view to increasing his bodily strength, on this did he meditate further: //12.102//

kṣut-pipāsā-śrama-klāntaḥ śramād asvastha-mānasaḥ /
prāpnuyān manasāvāpyaṁ phalaṁ katham anirvṛtaḥ // 12.103 //

“Worn out by hunger, thirst and fatigue, with a mind that, from fatigue, is not well in itself, / How can one obtain the result which is to be realized by the mind – when one is not contented? //12.103//

nirvṛtiḥ prāpyate samyak satatendriya-tarpaṇāt /
saṁtarpitendriyatayā manaḥ-svāsthyam avāpyate // 12.104 //

Contentment is properly obtained through keeping the senses constantly appeased; / By full appeasement of the senses, wellness of the mind is realized. //12.104//

svastha-prasanna-manasaḥ samādhir upapadyate /
samādhi-yukta-cittasya dhyāna-yogaḥ pravartate // 12.105 //

In one whose mind is well and tranquil, samādhi, balanced stillness, sets in. / In one whose mind is possessed of samādhi, dhyāna, meditative practice, progresses. //12.105//

dhyāna-pravartanād dharmāḥ prāpyante yair avāpyate /
durlabhaṁ śāntam ajaraṁ paraṁ tad amṛtaṁ padam // 12.106 //

Through meditation’s progress are obtained dharmas, timeless teachings, by which is realized the deathless – / That hard-won, quieted, unaging, ultimate immortal step.” //12.106//

tasmād āhāra-mūlo ’yam upāya iti niścayaḥ /
āhāra-karaṇe dhīraḥ kṛtvāmita-matir matim // 12.107 //

Having therefore decided that eating food is the foundation of this means to an end, / He, the firm and constant one, whose resolve was beyond measure, resolving to take food... //12.107//

snāto nairañjanā-tīrād uttatāra śanaiḥ kṛśaḥ /
bhaktyāvanata-śākhāgrair datta-hastas taṭa-drumaiḥ // 12.108 //

... had got out of the water – Having bathed, he climbed up the bank of the Nairañjanā, ascending, in his wizened state, gradually, / While, lowering the tips of their branches in devotion, the trees on the shore lent him a hand. //12.108//

atha gopādhipa-sutā daivatair abhicoditā /
udbhūta-hṛdayānandā tatra nandabalāgamat // 12.109 //

Just then a dairy farmer’s daughter, impelled by the gods, came by, / With joy swelling up in her heart – there came Nanda-balā, ‘Power of Joy.’ //12.109//

sita-śaṅkhojjvala-bhujā nīla-kambala-vāsinī /
sa-phena-mālā-nīlāmbur yamuneva sarid-varā // 12.110 //

She wore a dark-blue shawl, and her arms were all lit up with white shells, / So that she seemed like the Yamunā, best of rivers, when its dark-blue waters are wreathed with foam. //12.110//

sā śraddhā-vardhita-prītir vikasal-locanotpalā /
śirasā praṇipatyainaṁ grāhayām āsa pāyasam // 12.111 //

She with a gladness bolstered by trust, with the lotuses of her eyes beaming, / Bowed her head respectfully to him and made him accept milk rice. //12.111//

kṛtvā tad-upabhogena prāpta-janma-phalāṁ sa tām /
bodhi-prāptau samartho ’bhūt saṁtarpita-ṣaḍ-indriyaḥ // 12.112 //

He, by eating that food, caused her to attain the fruit of her birth, / And he became capable of attainment of awakening, his six senses now being fully appeased. //12.112//

paryāptāpyāna-mūrtiś ca sārdhaṁ sva-yaśasā muniḥ /
kānti-dhairye babhāraikaḥ śaśāṅkārṇavayor dvayoḥ // 12.113 //

His physical body having realized fullness, along with the glory of his person, / The sage, as one, bore the radiant charm and the deep, constant calm of the moon and of the ocean. //12.113//

āvṛtta iti vijñāya taṁ jahuḥ paṇca-bhikṣavaḥ /
manīṣiṇam ivātmānaṁ nirmuktaṁ pañca-dhātavaḥ // 12.114 //

Knowing that he had turned back, the five bhikṣus left him / Like the five elements departing when a thinking self has been set free. Ostensibly, they wrongly opined that he had given up, and went away in disgust. In a deeper reading, they truly grasped the real situation, and naturally cleared off and left him alone, without any effort on his part to get rid of them. 54 //12.114//

vyavasāya-dvitīyo ’tha śādvalāstīrṇa-bhūtalam /
so ’śvattha-mūlaṁ prayayau bodhāya kṛta-niścayaḥ // 12.115 //

And so with resolve as his companion, to where the earth was covered with fresh green grass, / To the foot of a fig-tree – an aśvattha, ‘under which horses stand,’ The tree in question (Ficus Religiosa) was so called because mature fig trees of that genus afforded horses plentiful shade from the sun. 55 – he went, setting his heart firmly in the direction of awakening. //12.115//

tatas tadānīṁ gaja-rāja-vikramaḥ pada-svanenānupamena bodhitaḥ /
mahā-muner āgata-bodhi-niścayo jagāda kālo bhujagottamaḥ stutim // 12.116 //

Just then the snake with the spirit of an elephant-king was awakened by the peerless sound of the sage’s feet; / Realizing that the great sage was set on awakening, the black cobra Kāla, most excellent of serpents, sang the sage’s praises: //12.116//

yathā mune tvac-caraṇāvapīḍitā muhur-muhur niṣṭanatīva medinī /
yathā ca te rājati sūryavat prabhā dhruvaṁ tvam iṣṭaṁ phalam adya bhokṣyase // 12.117 //

“As surely as the earth, O sage!, pressed down under your footsteps, rolls like thunder, / And as surely as the light of you shines forth like the sun, you today will enjoy the longed-for fruit. //12.117//

yathā bhramantyo divi cāṣa-paṅktayaḥ pradakṣiṇaṁ tvāṁ kamalākṣa kurvate /
yathā ca saumyā divi vānti vāyavas tvam adya buddho niyataṁ bhaviṣyasi // 12.118 //

As surely as flocks of blue jays wheeling through the sky keep you – O lotus-eyed one! – on their right wing, / And as surely as in the sky gentle breezes blow, you today will be an awakened one, a buddha.” //12.118//

tato bhujaṅga-pravareṇa saṁstutas tṛṇāny upādāya śucīni lāvakāt /
kṛta-pratijño niṣasāda bodhaye mahā-taror mūlam upāśritaḥ śuceḥ // 12.119 //

Then, his praises having been sung by the best of serpents, [the sage] accepted from a grass-cutter some pristine grass, / And making a vow in the direction of awakening, he sat at the foot of the great tree, placing himself in the compass of the great pristine tree. //12.119//

tataḥ sa paryaṅkam akampyam uttamaṁ babandha suptoraga-bhoga-piṇḍitam /
bhinadmi tāvad bhuvi naitad āsanaṁ na yāmi yāvat kṛta-kṛtyatām iti // 12.120 //

Then the supreme, unshakeable cross-legged posture – in which sleeping serpents’ coils are rolled into a ball – he took up, / As if to say, “I shall not break this sitting posture on the earth until I have done completely what is to be done.” //12.120//

tato yayur mudam atulāṁ divaukaso vavāśire na mṛga-gaṇāḥ na pakṣiṇaḥ /
na sasvanur vana-taravo ’nilāhatāḥ kṛtāsane bhagavati niścitātmani // 12.121 //

Then the denizens of heaven felt unequalled joy; no sound did any beast make, nor any bird; / Though buffeted by the wind, no forest tree did creak, when the Glorious One took his sitting posture, resolute to the core. //12.121//

iti buddha-carite mahā-kāvye ‘rāḍa-darśano nāma dvādaśaḥ sargaḥ // 12 //
The 12th canto, titled Seeing Arāḍa,
in an epic tale of awakened action.