Tag Archives: buddhism

Anything related to Buddhism

The Elephant (象)

I will bear criticism like an elephant in battle bears an arrow from a bow. Most people are bad behaviour. (戦場の象が、射られた矢にあたっても堪え忍ぶように、われらはひとのそしりを忍ぼう。多くの人は実に性質(たち)が悪いからである。)

One can take a trained elephant even into a crowd. The king himself will ride a trained elephant. He who is disciplined is the best of men, since he can bear criticism. (馴らされた象は、戦場にも連れて行かれ、王の乗りものとなる。世のそしりを忍び、自らをおさめた者は、人々の中にあっても最上の者である。)

Trained mules are excellent, and so are thoroughbred horses from the Sindh, and so are great battle elephants, but more excellent than them all is a disciplined man. (馴らされた騾馬は良い。インダス河のほとりの血統よき馬も良い。クンジャラという名の大きな象も良い。しかし自己をととのえた人はそれらよりもすぐれている。)

There is no reaching the unattainable with mounts like these, but with himself well under control a disciplined man can get there. (何となれば、これらの乗物によっては未到の地(ニルヴァーナ)に行くことはできない。そこへは、慎しみある人が、おのれ自らをよくととのえておもむく。)

Dhammapalo, the elephant, is hard to control in rut. Even when tied up, he refuses his food. The great tusker is thinking of the elephant forest. (「財を守る者」という名の象は、発情期にこめかみから液汁をしたたらせて強暴になっているときは、いかんとも制し難い。捕らえられると、一口の食物も食べない。象は象の林を慕っている。)

Then a man is a lie-abed and over-eats, a lazy person who wallows in sleep like a great over-fed hog, a fool like that will be reborn time after time. (大食いをして、眠りをこのみ、ころげまわって寝て、まどろんでいる愚鈍な人は、大きな豚のように糧を食べて肥り、くりかえし母胎に入って(迷いの生存をつづける)。)

My mind used formerly to go off wandering wherever it felt like, following its own inclination, but today I shall control it carefully, like a mahout does a rutting elephant. (この心は、以前には、望むがままに、欲するがままに、快きがままに、さすらっていた。今やわたくしはその心をすっかり抑制しよう、___象使いが鉤をもって、発情期に狂う象を全くおさえつけるように。)

Take pleasure in being careful. Guard your mind well. Extricate yourself from the mire, like a great tusker sunk in the mud. (つとめはげむのを楽しめ。おのれの心を護れ。自己を難処から救い出せ。___泥沼に落ち込んだ象のように。)

If you find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go along with him, overcoming all dangers, pleased at heart and mindful. (もしも思慮深く聡明でまじめな生活をしている人を伴侶として共に歩むことができるならば、あらゆる危険困難に打ち克って、こころ喜び、念いをおちつけて、ともに歩め。)

But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. (しかし、もしも思慮深く聡明でまじめな生活をしている人を伴侶として共に歩むことができないならば、国を捨てた国王のように、また林の中の象のように、ひとり歩め。)

It is better to travel alone. There is no companionship with a fool. Go on your way alone and commit no evil, without cares like a great elephant in the deep forest. (愚かな者を道伴れとするな。独りで行くほうがよい。孤独(ひとり)で歩め。悪いことをするな。求めるところは少なくあれ。___林の中にいる象のように。)

It is good to have companions when occasion arises, and it is good to be contented with whatever comes. Merit is good at the close of life, and the elimination of all suffering is good. (事がおこったときに、友だちのあるのは楽しい。(大きかろうとも、小さかろうとも)、どんなことにでも満足するのは楽しい。善いことをしておけば、命の終るときに楽しい。(悪いことをしなかったので)、あらゆる苦しみ(の報い)を除くことは楽しい。)

Good is filial devotion to one’s mother in the world, and devotion to one’s father is good. It is good to be a sanyasi in the world and to be a brahmin too. (世に母を敬うことは楽しい。また父を敬うことは楽しい。世に修行者を敬うことは楽しい。世にバラモンを敬うことは楽しい。)

Good is good behaviour up to old age, good is firmly established faith, good is the acquisition of understanding, and abstention from evil is good. (老いた日に至るまで戒しめをたもつことは楽しい。信仰が確立していることは楽しい。明らかな知慧を体得することは楽しい。もろもろの悪事をなさないことは楽しい。)

English translation by John Richards.
Japanese translation by 中村元 (NAKAMURA Hajime)

Laughter amidst the Stillness

One of the reasons why I enjoy buddhism so much is the occasional (and sometimes even frequent) making fun of being too serious.


A typical 俳諧の連歌 consisting of a 5, 7, 5 metre by Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉).

This could be translated as such:

Now then, lets go out / to enjoy the snow… until / I slip and fall!

On the topic of ‘mondou’

In Zen buddhism we are often in contact with the mondous (read as mondo, with a long ending o). A mondou is a Japanese word standing for a dialogue, or rather a rapid-fire question and anwer session, that tries to push the student closer to enlightenment (nirvana, 涅槃 – nehan). Mondou in kanji is 問答 (もんどう). One can easily see mon () from problem/question and kotae (), read in this case as dou, which is solution/answer.

Fear is the mind-killer

This quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune is a litany against fear from the Bene Gesserit. I find the litany quite a good way to deal with the unexpected things in life. People so easily succumb to fear, whereas the human mind can conquer a lot of issues encountered in life and the universe.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see it’s path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Why do people risk their lives for others?

From Uzumaki Naruto (うずまきナルト):

Uzumaki Naruto: “Iruka-sensei (うみのイルカ), why do people risk their lives for others?”

Iruka-sensei: “When someone dies, they disappear. Their past and present, along with their future. A lot of people die on missions and in wars, surprisingly quickly and easily. Hayate (月光ハヤテ) was one of them. The one who dies has his own dreams, but there are people who are treasured like those dreams. Parents, siblings, friends, and lovers, people who are important… They all believe in and help each other. People who were there since birth took care of them… And those bonds grow even stronger as time passes. It’s not just a saying. It will be so for the ones who are connected, because it is precious.”

After the pebble has hit the pond, the water is calm again

Found the below tidbit on a site with regard to disturbing postings to a buddhist forum:

“It can be difficult enough to pursue the Dharma with diligence without outside interference, let alone the constant harping of those who may have another agenda, spiritual or otherwise, and/or excessive amounts of unsolicited spam hawking a continuous barrage of lower mortgage rates, enlarging certain body parts, and viewing live cam shots of a variety of body orifices left unnamed.”

I found it aptly worded and definitely funny… :)

A beautiful rendition of a Zen nun: