Monday, May 18, 2015

Meditation and Poetics - 92 - Haiku 5 (Śrāvaka Buddha)


     [Hanging scroll of an Indian Buddhist arhat by Japanese painter,  Shiba Kokan (1747-1818)]

AG: Then there's the Śrāvaka Buddha as part of the Hinayana.  The guy who just meditates for himself and never gets out of it into the bodhisattva path.  So there's an old Chinese poem deriding an aged monk for worshipping the sutras, for worshipping the books themselves.
“Burning incense, lighting tapers/ a white-haired old monk is chanting the ten-thousand-Buddha’s-names  Sutra/ For how many years has he been drinking the wine of Śrāvaka/Up to now he’s never wakened from his stupor.”
The Śrāvaka buddhas are the buddhas who get into samadhi states, meditative states, calm, tranquility samadhi states and just get stuck there, without ever moving out into action or into the world or giving those states up for the benefit of other sentient beings.

Student:  Shah-lock-ah?

AG: Śrā-vak-a


Student: Śrāvaka

AG: Śrāvaka Buddha is a sort of buddha who gets up into a samadhi meditative state and never steps out of himself to do anything for anybody else.  Or, as Robert Creeley said in one of his early poems [ "The Immoral Proposition"] - "If you never do anything for anybody else you are spared the pain of existence."  Does anybody know how that goes?  "If you never do anything for anybody else you're spared the…."


Bobbie Louise Hawkins (Creeley's ex-wife is in the audience):  "... you're spared the pain of human relation-/ships."

AG:  Yeah.  "You are spared the pain of human relationships." "If you never do anything for anybody else, you're spared the pain of human relationships," if that's what you want.  "If  you never do anything for anybody else.." - that's the Śrāvaka Buddha 


So, “For how many years has he been drinking the wine of Śrāvaka/ Up to now he's never wakened from his stupor.” – [(Actually, the wine of vanity, in a sense)].


1 comment:

  1. Diego C. EstradaMay 18, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    This came as a reminder of the consequences of selfishness towards others. If you deprive others from your own gifts, you also deprived yourself from them because you don't have any chance to see them in practice. One should avoid drinking the wine of Sravaka.

    ReplyDelete