The Precious Garland v.148-165

Nagarjuna (150–250 CE)

Lust for a woman mostly comes
From thinking that her body is clean,
But there is nothing clean
In a woman’s body.

The mouth is a vessel filled with foul
Saliva and filth between the teeth,
The nose with fluids, snot and mucus,
The eyes with their own filth and tears.

The body is a vessel filled
With excrement, urine, lungs and liver;
He whose vision is obscured and does not see
A woman thus, and so lusts for her body.

Just as some fools desire
An ornimental pot of filth,
So the ignorant and obscured
And the worldly desire women.

If the world is greatly attached
To the nauseous stinking body
Which should cause loss of attachment,
How can it be lead free from desire?

Just as pigs yearn greatly for
A source of excrement, urine and vomit,
So some lustful ones desire
A source of excrement, urine and vomit.

This filthy city of a body,
With protruding holes for the elements
Is called by stupid beings
An object of pleasure.

Once you have seen for yourself the filth
Of excrement, urine and so forth,
How could you be attracted
To a body so composed?

Why should you lust desirously for this
While recognising it as a filthy form
Produced by a seed whose essence is filth,
A mixture of blood and semen?

He who lies on a filthy mass
Covered by skin moisened with
Those fluids, merely lies
On top of a woman’s bladder.

If whether beautiful or
Ugly, whether old or young,
All the bodies of women are filthy
From what attributes does your lust arise?

Just as it is not fit to desire filth
Although it have good color
and shape in it’s very freshness,
so is it with a woman’s body.

How could the nature of this putrid corpse,
A rotten mass covered outside by skin,
Not be seen when it looks
So very horrible?

‘The skin is not foul,
It is like a cloak.’
Over a mass of filth
How could it be clean?

A pot although beautiful outside
Is reviled when filled with filth.
Why is the body, when so filled
And foul by nature, not reviled?

If against filth you revile,
Why not against this body
Which befouls clean scents,
Garlands, food and drink?

Just as one’s own or others’
Filthiness is reviled,
Why not revile against one’s own
And others’ filthy bodies?

Since your own body is
As filthy as a woman’s,
Should not you abandon
Desire for self and other?

 

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