What Pertains to the Sugata

Saugatavicāracarcā | A Talk: Reflecting on What Pertains to the Sugata

Submitted by: Dharmavardhanajñānagarbha Mattia Salvini, International Buddhist College, Sadao, Thailand

|| namo mañjuśriye ||

The following Sanskrit verses are based on the Buddhist Sūtras and Śāstras, and on other types of Sanskrit literature, sometimes paraphrased, but for the most only alluded to. They summarize my understanding of what a healthy relationship with the study of Buddhism can be, especially for someone who is an “insider” to the tradition, i.e. a saugata. The English rendering of the verses is not meant to be too literal.

I thank Harunaga Isaacson for corrections and very helpful suggestions on previous drafts, and for his overall encouragement and guidance; these go far beyond the present text. All mistakes are my own.

I dedicate this poem to Guru Bhadanta Vāgindraśīladhvaja.

|| सौगतविचारचर्चा ||

कल्याणं सुगमं धर्मं यो दिदेश विनाक्षरम् |

संबुद्धो हृदि विद्योतं तं नमाम्यर्थसिद्धये ||१

शब्दार्थौ सहितौ काव्यं शब्दार्थौ च तुलाधृतौ |

सम्पदं कुरुतो नित्यं स्वपरार्थैकचेतसाम् ||२

यथारुतं व्यतिक्रम्य तत्त्वसंकेतमीक्षते |

ज्योतींषि च पराभूय नीलारण्येषु दीव्यति ||३

भावाभावाङ्कितं चित्तं भावाभावाङ्कवर्जितम् |

चित्तस्य चाप्रतिष्ठाने बौद्धसर्वस्वमज्यते ||४

आदौ श्रवणकल्याणं शृणुयाद्धर्म्यमागमम्|

पुनरावृत्तिः सूत्राणां बोधादपि गरीयसी ||५

मध्ये निश्चयकल्याणे धर्मे चिन्ता प्रयुज्यताम् |

परीक्ष्य यतिभिर्ग्राह्यं सद्वचो न हि गौरवात् ||६

अन्ते शमनकल्याणं धर्मं ध्यायति योगवित् |

व्यतीत्याभासविज्ञानं ज्ञानावेधः स्वयं भवेत् ||७

तत्त्वे यस्य न जिज्ञासा तस्य धर्मः करोति किम् |

प्रलापमात्रमाश्रित्य वातव्याधिस्तु वर्धते ||८

लोकधर्मान् परित्यज्य सतां धर्मे प्रवर्तताम् |

अन्यथा नरके च्युत्वा रुद्यतां सुचिरं वृथा ||९

विभज्य नाम रूपं च विहायामिषमानसम् |

लोकोत्तरे निरासङ्गश्चेतनाशोधने चरेत् ||१०

दशश्लोक्या गुरुं नत्वा यदि पुण्यं मयार्जितम् |

भूयात्सत्यरतो लोकः श्रेयसे ऽभ्युदयाय च ||११

इति सौगतविचारचर्चा | कृतिरियं धर्मवर्धनज्ञानगर्भस्य | शुभम् ||

A Talk: Reflecting on What Pertains to the Sugata

The Sambuddha
taught the Dharma,
auspicious, easily known, without letters;
to him – in the heart, a flash of light –
I bow, to accomplish the meaning.

Word and meaning, together, are poetry,
and word and meaning held on an even scale
bring sure success to those who solely think
of the good of self and others.

One steps beyond the literal
and gazes at a symbol of the real,
and surpassing all lights
plays brightly in forests of blue.

Being and non-being mark the mind
that has no marks of being and non-being;
and in the mind’s non-placement
everything Buddhist manifests.

Beginning: one should listen
to the Dharma tradition,
auspicious to be heard.
To chant and chant the Sūtras
is even more revered
than understanding.

Middle: on the Dharma,
auspicious to make sure,
one shall reflect.
Those who practice
shall first examine,
and then trust, good sayings –
not out of reverence.

End: the knower of yoga
meditates on the Dharma,
auspicious in pacifying.
Beyond consciousness
of what appears,
takes place on its own.

What can Dharma do if one
doesn’t wish to know
what’s real?
Yet, from mere chatter,
wind-sickness increases.

Leave mundane dharmas,
then engage in the Dharma
of good people.
Or, fall into hell,
and cry, for long, in vain.

Divide name and form,
discard the materialist mind;
to the supramundane,
practice, to purify intentions.

With ten verses
I have bowed to my Guru:
if I have acquired merit,
may it lead to the world delighting in truth,
for the highest good, and to prosper.

This was “A Talk: Reflecting on What Pertains to the Sugata”, composed by Dharmavardhanajñānagarbha. May there be goodness.