Yes, absolutely Saumenda. Again, as you so well said, this is a lens through which we are seeing The Buddha. This is the lens of Theravada, Kerouac’s interpretation. Did Buddha say that to Ananda? Or was it distilled through over a century of debates, discussions, and deliberations that got handed down to the scribes who wrote.

The writing, as you may appreciate, is still at a very infant stage. This is the first draft, and I headily write everything I get to read, without a second pass reading and adding commentaries (sort of my take on the mindfulness mantra of “when write, just write”). I hope to get to the second pass and deliberate on these issues (“when think, think” state, if you will). We have to.

I agree with you that Shuranagama Sutra is an extraordinarily complex “sutra”, part understood, part obscure. No wonder there have been several interpretations, and Schools of thought around these thoughts. Then there is the notion of Nothingness (Shunyata) and the notion of senses.

At this stage, I let the story as told by Kerouac to flow in the translation, with wherever I can, gleanings and glimpses from Ashwaghosa. A lot of unpacking of the story need to be done when I come back to it again in the next iteration, :-)

Your reflections, and questions, doubts, and comments are invaluable, to say the least.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in:

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