Verse IV.32 Variations
RGVV Commentary on Verse IV.32
(2) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is like the drum of the gods.
- Just as in the heaven of the gods,
- As a result of their previous virtue
- And free from effort, location,
- Mind, form, and conception, IV.31
- The drum of the gods again and again
- Summons all the heedless gods
- Through the sounds "impermanence,"
- "Suffering," "lack of self," and "peace," IV.32
- So the lord, who pervades the world
- In its entirety, with his buddha voice,
- Teaches the dharma, free from effort
- And so on, to those who are suitable. IV.33
- Just as the sound of the divine drum in the heaven of the gods arises from their own karma,
- The sage’s teaching of the dharma in the world also arises from [the world’s] own karma.
- Just as [the drum’s] sound, free from effort, location, body, and mind, brings forth peace,
- So this dharma devoid of those four factors brings forth peace. IV.34
- Just as, when engaging in the troubles of battle in the city of the gods, the sound of this drum
- Arises as the cause for them to be fearless and to engage in the [war]play of being victorious over the forces of the asuras,
- So in the world the dhyānas, formless [absorptions], and so on, arise as the cause for the [Buddha’s] speech (P129b)
- About the principle of the unsurpassable path that destroys the afflictions and pacifies the suffering in sentient beings. IV.35
[You may wonder,] "Why does [this example] here refer [only] to the drum of dharma and not to the cymbals and other kinds of divine [musical instruments]? Due to the power of the previously committed virtuous karma of the gods, without being played [by anybody], these [other instruments] too produce divine sounds pleasant to hear." (J103) [They are not referred to here] because they are dissimilar to the Tathāgata’s voice in terms of four kinds of qualities. What are these? They are as follows: being limited, not beneficial, unpleasant, and not conducive to deliverance. By contrast, the drum of dharma is explained to be unlimited because it summons all the assemblies of heedless gods without exception (D124a) and never misses the [proper] time for [doing] so. It is beneficial because it protects [the gods] from being afraid of any harm [caused by] the hosts of their adversaries, such as the asuras, and because it connects them with the [crucial] point of heedfulness. It is pleasant because it makes [the gods] abandon the delight and pleasure due to wrong desire and because it brings them close to the [true] delight and pleasure of relishing the dharma. It is explained to be conducive to deliverance because it utters the sounds "impermanence," "suffering," "emptiness," and "lack of self" and because it pacifies misfortune and mental disturbance.
yathaiva divi devānāṃ pūrvaśuklānubhāvataḥ/
vyāpya buddhasvaraṇaivaṃ vibhurjagadaśeṣataḥ/
dharma diśati bhavyebhyo yatnādirahito'pi san//33//
devānāṃ divi divyadundubhiravo yaidvat svakarmodbhavo
dharmodāharaṇaṃ munerapi tathā loke svakarmodbhavam/
yatnasthānaśarīracittarahitaḥ śabdaḥ sa śāntyāvaho
yadvat tadvadṛte catuṣṭayamayaṃ dharmaḥ sa śāntyāvahaḥ//34//
dundubhyāḥ śabdahetuprabhavamabhayadaṃ yadvat surapure/
sattveṣu kleśaduḥkhapramathanaśamanaṃ mārgottamavidhau
dhyānārūpyādihetuprabhavamapi tathā loke nigaditam//35//
kasmād iha dharmadundubhir evādhikṛtā na tadanye divyās tūryaprakārāḥ / te ’pi hi divaukasāṃ pūrvakṛtakuśalakarmavaśād aghaṭṭitā eva divyaśravaṇamanoharaśabdam anuruvanti / tais tathāgataghoṣasya catuḥprakāraguṇavaidharmyāt / tat punaḥ katamat / tad yathā prādeśikatvam ahitatvam asukhatvam anairyāṇikatvam iti / dharmadundubhyāḥ punar aprādeśikatvam aśeṣapramattadevagaṇasaṃcodanatayā ca tatkālānatikramaṇatayā ca paridīpitam / hitatvam asurādiparacakropadravabhayaparitrāṇatayā cāpramādasaṃniyojanatayā ca / sukhatvam asatkāmaratisukhavivecanatayā ca dharmārāmaratisukhopasaṃharaṇatayā ca / nairyāṇikatvam anityaduḥkhaśūnyānātmaśabdoccāraṇatayā ca sarvopadravopāyāsopaśāntikaraṇatayā ca paridīpitam /
No Chinese commentary defined.
Other English translations
Obermiller (1931) 
- The drum of the Doctrine, again, and again,
- Summons the inattentive gods
- By the sounds of "evanescence," of "suffering,"
- Of "impersonality," and of "quiescence."
Takasaki (1966) 
- Alarms all the inattentive gods again and again,
- By producing the sounds of 'evanescence', of 'suffering',
- Of 'impersonality' and of 'quiescence';
Fuchs (2000) 
- no vibration and no intention at all,
- the drum resounds again and again
- with "impermanence" and "suffering,"
- "non-existence of self" and "peace,"
- admonishing all the careless gods.
Commentaries on this verse
- Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
- Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
- Brunnhölzl, Karl. When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sūtra and Tantra. Boston: Snow Lion Publications, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, 2014.
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 280b.1–282a.4.
- DP "drum of dharma" (chos kyi raga).
- I follow VT’s (fol. 16r4) gloss of °praṇudanaṃ as °pravartanaṃ. DP have sell ba, thus reading "to dispel the victorious [war]play of the forces of the asuras."
- I follow MB apramādapadasaṃniyojanatayā (supported by DP bag yod pa’i gnas la rab tu sbyor bas) against J apramādasaṃniyojanatayā.
- Skt. vivecana usually means "distinction" or "examination" (corresponding to DP ram par ’byed pa). However, as de Jong points out, in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, vivecayati means "causing to abandon,"dissuading from." This seems to fit the present context of standing in contrast to "bringing close to" (upasaṃharaṇa) better.
- Obermiller, E. "The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation Being a Manual of Buddhist Monism." Acta Orientalia IX (1931), pp. 81-306.
- Takasaki, Jikido. A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra): Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Serie Orientale Roma 33. Roma: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (ISMEO), 1966.
- Fuchs, Rosemarie, trans. Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul and explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Ithaca, N. Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 2000.