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The word "裸神" in SA 1233


#1

I would like to ask @cdpatton about the word “裸神” in SA 1233 if he doesn’t mind me asking.

I tried to search for this word both in Suttacentral and https://agama.buddhason.org/ but it seems that among Chinese Agamas and Vinayas, this word only occurs in SA 1233. It appears in a group of verses by King Pasenadi which goes like this:

「財物真金寶, 象馬莊嚴具,
奴僕諸僮使, 及諸田宅等。
一切皆遺棄, 裸神獨遊往,
福運數已窮, 永捨於人身。
彼今何所有, 何所持而去,
於何事不捨, 如影之隨形。」

I don’t know if this is relevant but the word “神” appears in the Chinese Madhyamagama in the word “非神” which, I think, means not-self. Which means that “神” by itself would mean “self”.

So my question is, what could “裸神” possibly mean in the context of the verses above? If it meant something like self or soul, would that be because of how the Chinese Samyuktagama is transmitted by the Sarvastivadins?

*If anyone is going to move my topic to somewhere else, please give me an explanation or two.


#2

This doesn’t appear to be a single term on first look.

裸 means to be naked or bare-back.
神 normally means a spirit or a person’s soul. In Buddhist writings it usually translates atma as the concept of a self that transmigrates. It’s not normally a pronoun like the more common term for self 我 in Chinese.

I’m guessing that verse roughly means:

“All this they leave behind /
And depart with only their naked selves.” //

In other words, you can’t take material things with you when you die. This agrees with SN.3.2.20 fairly well.


#3

Thank you very much for your answer.