Day 76 – The Great Compassion Dharani

This is the start of the heart of The Thousand Hands Sutra, a text called The Great Compassion Dharani. The very first line is one that bugs me, because I’m still not happy with it’s expression in English. The last Korean word, Dae-wol-luk, has a lot of nuances to it.

The profound ability within me
is awakened not by words,
but by the determination to save all beings.

“The determination to save all beings” isn’t wrong, but it also means great ability, plus, desire to save all beings, plus … where does this ability, and desire, come from? It comes from awakening to our foundation and seeing our connection, our oneness with all other beings. If I clearly feel their suffering as my own, if their struggles and confusion are just as painful to me as to them, then how could I not want them to find a wiser, healthier way of living? So is Dae-wol-luk better expressed as awaking to the oneness of our foundation? Or, “realizing our inner connection with all the world”? I don’t know.

The Great Compassion Dharani

The profound ability within me
is awakened not by words,
but by the determination to save all beings.

신묘장구대다라니 神妙章句大陀羅尼
자신의 묘법은 글귀 아닌 대원력이니

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