"right side"

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Post Reply
User avatar
ihrjordan
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:42 am

"right side"

Post by ihrjordan » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:19 pm

I'm curious as to how "right side" was collectively arrived at in translations because I'm having slight trouble coming to terms with the the idea that the Buddha reccomended laying on the right side of one's body even though all current day medical literature and Ayurvedic practices will tell you that the left side is the most beneficial for digestion etc. It's extremely minor but is there a possibilty that "left side" was translated as "right side" by mistake?

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8504
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: "right side"

Post by cooran » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:59 pm

Could you please provide the quote and reference to where the Buddha said this, please?

With metta,


Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

SarathW
Posts: 8288
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: "right side"

Post by SarathW » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:23 pm

Having had his outer robe folded in four and laid out, he lay down on his right side in the lion's posture, with one foot placed on top of the other, mindful & alert.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: "right side"

Post by daverupa » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:35 pm

A samana manual of health called the Charaka Samhita was forming up in the Buddha's day, and this posture is called "daksirasana". There are some other interesting health discussions in there, actually.

Have a look in Sleep Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Development, Clinical Milestones, and Advances in Treatment (2015) for chapter 4, Sleep Medicine in Ancient and Traditional India (search the book for 'daksirasana').
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

User avatar
polarbear101
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: "right side"

Post by polarbear101 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:42 pm

Dakkhiṇa
Dakkhiṇa (adj.) [Vedic dakṣiṇa, Av. dašinō; adj. forma- tion fr. adv. *deksi=*deksinos, cp. purāṇa fr. purā, viṣuṇa fr. viṣu, Lat. bīni (=bisni) fr. bis. From same root *deks are Lat. dexter (with compar. -- antithetic suffix ter=Sk. tara, as in uttara) & Gr. decitero/s; cp. also Goth. taihswa (right hand), Ohg. zeso & zesawa. See dakkha for further connections] 1. right (opp. vāma left), with a tinge of the auspicious, lucky & prominent: Vin ii.195 (hattha); PvA 112, 132 (id.); Ps i.125. hattha, pāda, etc. with ref. to a Tathāgata's body); J i.50 (˚passa the right side); PvA 178 (id.), 112 (˚bāhu); Sn p. 106 (bāha); PvA 179 (˚jānumaṇḍalena with the right knee: in veneration). -- 2. skilled, well-trained (=dakkha) J vi.512 (Com. susikkhita). -- 3. (of that point of the compass which is characterized through "orientation" by facing the rising sun, & then
lies on one's right:) southern, usually in combn with disā (direction): D iii.180 (one of the 6 points, see disā), 188 sq. (id.); M i.487; ii.72; S i.145, etc.
-- āvattaka (adj.) winding to the right D ii.18 (of the hairs of a Mahāpurisa, the 14th of his characteristics or auspicious signs; cp. BSk. dakṣiṇāvarta a precious shell, i. e. a shell the spiral of which turns to the right AvŚ i.205; Divy 51, 67, 116); J v.380; -- janapada the southern country the "Dekkan" (=dakkhiṇaŋ) D i.96, 153 (expld by Bdhgh as "Gangāya dakkhiṇato pākaṭa -- janapado" DA i.265); -- samudda the southern sea J i.202.

http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/p ... :2272.pali" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Atha kho bhagavā catugguṇaṃ saṅghāṭiṃ paññāpetvā dakkhiṇena passena sīhaseyyaṃ kappeti pāde pādaṃ accādhāya sato sampajāno.

Having had his outer robe folded in four and laid out, he lay down on his right side in the lion's posture, with one foot placed on top of the other, mindful & alert.

https://suttacentral.net/pi/sn1.38" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Maybe he just slept on the more auspicious side (whichever one that is, presumably the right one though), or perhaps he just had a personal preference. In my opinion and the opinion of a chiropractor I know, it is best to sleep on one's back so as to preserve the curvature of the spine and exert the least amount of pressure on the lungs (as it keeps the chest open).

Fortunately, right(-side) sleep isn't a factor of the path. :tongue:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

frank k
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: "right side"

Post by frank k » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:46 pm

I remember from (indian) yoga class long ago when getting up from sivasana (corpse pose lying on back), they said before sitting up first roll over on to your right side, explaining that it puts less pressure (body weight) on the heart.

from taoist yoga, they have something similar to the lion posture of the suttas, called coiling up like a dragon.
in lion posture, you lie on the right side, legs are straight and on top of each other, right hand under right side of head, left arm straight left hand on left hip.

in the coiled dragon posture, one leg is slightly bent, one is straight (they didn't say which leg is which, so i assume both permutations are acceptable).
right hand on right side of face, left arm curled and left palm on your dan tien (near belly button). the purpose of this posture is two fold, one is to prevent wet dreams, one is to stay awake, alert, mindful. by keeping mindfulness near the head area, it keeps consciousness from sinking below the dan tien and falling into the unconscioussness/sleep state. they say the "perfect man" does not fall into sleep, maintains lucidity of mind while resting in this lying coiled dragon pose. naturally if one is lucid and mindful, wet dreams cease.

I assume the buddha had the same reason for teaching the lion pose. i've done lots of testing on myself over the years, i do find that lion posture or dragon pose is better than lying on the back for maintaining lucidity and consciousness.
the drawback is my right elbow and right arm can get a little numb. so i usually alternate between lying on the back and lion/dragon.

differences between lion and dragon pose:
1. in dragon, with one leg just slightly bent, it keeps the knees from getting a little sore from the near bone to bone contact.
slightly bending on leg gives you some meat to cushion each knee.
it also makes it easier to balance lying on the side, otherwise it can feel like you can tip over more easily.
2. the left hand on dan tien and right hand under face (i make sure to have skin to skin contact for both hands) feels energetically
better, the same principles of full lotus and half lotus having your energy all return to the center, and connecting left and right sides of the body.
you can try yourself the difference between standing meditation, sitting meditation with cross legs. sitting feels energetically stronger, more connected.
standing feels like your energy at as consolidated, with the energy expanding to fill your legs, maintain balance, etc.

another great benefit of lying meditation not mentioned in suttas:
the first time i got jhana was from lying down, could not do it sitting, because of tight muscles and connective tissue.
but lying down those tight tissues opened up enough to allow free energy flow and jhana to happen.
for a couple of years, i could only get jhana while lying down. then gradually, i could do it in a sitting posture, but the energy
flow wasn't as good. over time (years), as body tissues softened, blockage in body were cleared, then i can get jhana
in any posture.
also, during the early days when i could only get jhana lying down, i could feel quite a difference between lying on my back
and lying on the right side in lion or dragon posture. jhana bliss was more than 50% stronger lying on the right side.
lying on the back compresses the back tissue, hinders qi flow more than on the right. i believe that's probably the main reason the
buddha really pushed on the lion posture.

on difference between lying on right side and left side:
one thing that i've heard from yoga (can't remember if it was indian yoga, chinese yoga, or both),
is that lying on the left side is the coarse practice of lay people having intercourse (man lies on right side).
i don't know if missionary position or lying on the side was more common, but with men being stronger with their right
hand, right arm, it makes sense they'd want to lie on the left side to keep their right arm more free and available
to steer.
http://www.audtip.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Audio Sutta Recordings

dagon
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:45 am

Re: "right side"

Post by dagon » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:54 pm

Why would any Asian person put their "dirty hand" near their face - Sleeping or meditating?

metta
dagon

archaic
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:42 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

Re: "right side"

Post by archaic » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:44 pm

frank k wrote:
Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:46 pm
I remember from (indian) yoga class long ago when getting up from sivasana (corpse pose lying on back), they said before sitting up first roll over on to your right side, explaining that it puts less pressure (body weight) on the heart.

from taoist yoga, they have something similar to the lion posture of the suttas, called coiling up like a dragon.
in lion posture, you lie on the right side, legs are straight and on top of each other, right hand under right side of head, left arm straight left hand on left hip.

in the coiled dragon posture, one leg is slightly bent, one is straight (they didn't say which leg is which, so i assume both permutations are acceptable).
right hand on right side of face, left arm curled and left palm on your dan tien (near belly button). the purpose of this posture is two fold, one is to prevent wet dreams, one is to stay awake, alert, mindful. by keeping mindfulness near the head area, it keeps consciousness from sinking below the dan tien and falling into the unconscioussness/sleep state. they say the "perfect man" does not fall into sleep, maintains lucidity of mind while resting in this lying coiled dragon pose. naturally if one is lucid and mindful, wet dreams cease.

I assume the buddha had the same reason for teaching the lion pose. i've done lots of testing on myself over the years, i do find that lion posture or dragon pose is better than lying on the back for maintaining lucidity and consciousness.
the drawback is my right elbow and right arm can get a little numb. so i usually alternate between lying on the back and lion/dragon.

differences between lion and dragon pose:
1. in dragon, with one leg just slightly bent, it keeps the knees from getting a little sore from the near bone to bone contact.
slightly bending on leg gives you some meat to cushion each knee.
it also makes it easier to balance lying on the side, otherwise it can feel like you can tip over more easily.
2. the left hand on dan tien and right hand under face (i make sure to have skin to skin contact for both hands) feels energetically
better, the same principles of full lotus and half lotus having your energy all return to the center, and connecting left and right sides of the body.
you can try yourself the difference between standing meditation, sitting meditation with cross legs. sitting feels energetically stronger, more connected.
standing feels like your energy at as consolidated, with the energy expanding to fill your legs, maintain balance, etc.

another great benefit of lying meditation not mentioned in suttas:
the first time i got jhana was from lying down, could not do it sitting, because of tight muscles and connective tissue.
but lying down those tight tissues opened up enough to allow free energy flow and jhana to happen.
for a couple of years, i could only get jhana while lying down. then gradually, i could do it in a sitting posture, but the energy
flow wasn't as good. over time (years), as body tissues softened, blockage in body were cleared, then i can get jhana
in any posture.
also, during the early days when i could only get jhana lying down, i could feel quite a difference between lying on my back
and lying on the right side in lion or dragon posture. jhana bliss was more than 50% stronger lying on the right side.
lying on the back compresses the back tissue, hinders qi flow more than on the right. i believe that's probably the main reason the
buddha really pushed on the lion posture.

on difference between lying on right side and left side:
one thing that i've heard from yoga (can't remember if it was indian yoga, chinese yoga, or both),
is that lying on the left side is the coarse practice of lay people having intercourse (man lies on right side).
i don't know if missionary position or lying on the side was more common, but with men being stronger with their right
hand, right arm, it makes sense they'd want to lie on the left side to keep their right arm more free and available
to steer.

Thank you so much for this post. You have a great breadth of knowledge, and what you've stated matches my readings as well.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests