I did manage to find the Pali verses eventually (Ch 11, ver 153-54). I also got from Prof Lal a postcard he had printed with this exclamation, in Devanagari, so I was able to get the pronunciation right. Last year, I managed to learn this and set it to melody, to add to my small collection of devotional songs and chants from different faiths and in different langauges. (Rishiraj/Chotu was most amused by my efforts to memorise this while travelling in a Maruti 800 car.)
Anekajatisamsaram sandhavissam anibbisam
gahakarakam gavesanto dukkha jati punappunam.
Gahakaraka! Ditthosi, puna geham na kahasi
sabba te phasuka bhagga gahakutam visankhatam
visankharagatam cittam tanhanam khayamajjhaga.
I, who have been seeking the builder of this house, failing to attain Enlightenment which would enable me to find him, have wandered through innumerable births in samsara. To be born again and again is, indeed, dukkha!
Oh house-builder! You are seen, you shall build no house again. All your rafters are broken, your roof-tree is destroyed. My mind has reached the unconditioned; the end of craving has been attained.
A few weeks ago I attended the screening of Tathagata, a feature film on the Buddha’s search for enlightenment, made by the Bengali writer and documentary film-maker Shahzad Firdaus. A commendable effort indeed. I was particularly delighted with the language, pure Sanskritised Hindi, which one rarely hears and I myself rarely use now, since I speak a more Urdu-ised Hindusthani in order to be able to communicate with the Urdu-speaking people I mostly have truck with. Not only did I follow every words of the dialogue, it was also deeply satisfying and pleasurable to hear such refined language.
On the internet, I discovered a painting of the Buddha’s enlightenment, by Marianna Rydvald a Swedish painter living in Maui, Hawaii. I am reproducing that below. This image is the wallpaper on my computer screen! For those familiar with the texts about the life of the Buddha, this is a grand scene indeed, of the Buddha prevailing over Mara.