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Bodhisattvacharyavatara by Acharya Śāntideva

Chapter VII– verse 7

Transglomeration: There is time before death will have gathered all its conditions and suddenly arrive for me; it will be too late to do anything then, like giving up my lack of effort.   Between now and then I should be gathering my own stores (of merit and wisdom).

~~~ “BCA” ~~~

V. 6 while death watches me, has my whole life covered …
↑ Stitch ↓
V. 7 … and will pounce suddenly, too late to practise then, do it now!

Reflection: we need to act (virtuously – accumulating wisdom and virtue)

(Realisation:) now, while we have the chance/time (Holmes, ‘right now get rid of time-wasting’), not when death is actually happening (Wallace, ‘with its implements prepared’ – presumably the reference to ‘gathering provisions/necessities’ refers to things such as illness, injury, aging); one will naturally abandon one’s laziness when death is leaning over you, but by then it is too late; as Batchelor brings out, this verse is in reply to the prevaricating of the lazy mind that has been forced to accept that death is inevitable but that it’ll do something about it (making use of the PHR) later; the Wallaces’ translations of Sanskrit and Tibetan shows that the emphasis on gathering virtue now rather than wait for deathbed-regret, is a Tibetan addition/emphasis (… although I’m not sure that closer reading of either the Sanskrit or Tibetan maintains this distinction incontrovertibly …)

Parallel/Echo: death gathering the conditions for our death // we should be gathering the accumulations of merit and wisdom the while

Verse: the whole verse seems to have the flavour of ‘if you wait … then it will be too late’, but I am not skilled-enough at reading the Sanskrit to see if that is how it is really meant; the Tibetan seems to leave out death’s ‘preparations’ emphasising, rather, it’s sudden arrival