Half a century old
this fall, Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums, first
published in October of 1958, has sustained itself
through five decades of changing cultural and literary
fashions to become acknowledged as a modern classic.
Condescendingly or contemptuously dismissed by most
reviewers upon publication, The Dharma Bums has proven
to be a novel of enduring value and perennial interest
– remaining continuously in print for fifty
years – and one that continues to be embraced
by contemporary readers as a book that speaks pertinently
to our era.
Although Asian religious terms and concepts are today
no longer quite as exotic to readers as they were
when The Dharma Bums first appeared, it is still likely
that a number of the Buddhist references made in the
novel will be unfamiliar to many readers. At the same
time, it is also likely that certain of the literary
allusions and various other references, including
those to the popular culture of the 1930s and 40s,
will be obscure to the common reader today. It is
my hope, then, that these “Explanatory Notes
to the Dharma Bums” will provide readers concise
and helpful information with regard to the Asian sources
and the American and European roots invoked in the
The notes may also, it is to be hoped, serve to throw
into relief aspects of the conceptual substrata of
the novel. For isolating from the body of the text
those elements of the novel which derive from the
author’s eclectic knowledge in areas such as
jazz and blues, slang and folklore, history and literature,
popular culture and the spiritual traditions of East
and West, serves to highlight these same elements,
permitting us to see more clearly the diverse currents
joined by Kerouac to form the distinctive vision of
self and spirit that shapes The Dharma Bums.
Page references are to the Penguin Classics edition,
Camarillo where Charlie Parker’d
been mad and relaxed back to normal.health:
Charlie Parker (1920-1955) American jazz alto
the central figures in the development of bop.
A nervous breakdown combined with addiction
to heroin and alcohol caused his confinement
State Hospital from June 1946 to January 1947.
his stay at Camarillo in a 1947 composition
titled “Relaxin’ at Camarillo.”
whistle: a signal to go.
a poor-boy of Tokay: a small size bottle, probably
a half pint.
the Diamond Sutra: a short Buddhist text
from the “Perfection of Wisdom”.corpus
(prajnaparamita), composed around 300 A.D. The
full title is “The .Diamond-Cutter
Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.” The Diamond
Sutra is a summary of the doctrine of emptiness
(sunyata) or voidness, and the text.is
thought to have the power to cut through ignorance
like a diamond for.those
who study it and reflect upon its meaning.
bhikku: a Buddhist monk, mendicant holy man
.the wheel of
the True Meaning, or Dharma: the way, the law,
Teresa of Lisieux (1873 – 97). A Carmelite
nun who under.obedience
wrote her autobiography, describing the “little
way,” that is the.following
of Christ in little things.
of roses which Saint Teresa promised to let
fall from heaven.after
her death is a metaphor for the help which she
hoped to extend,.after
death, to those on earth.
.yard dicks: railroad
yard detectives or guards.
the S.P.: the Southern Pacific railroad.
Avalokitesvara: “the lord who looks
in every direction” or “the lord
of.what is seen.”
The supremely compassionate helper, often represented
as eleven headed and having a thousand eyes
and a thousand arms.
great chilicosms …a couple umpteen trillion
number: In the Parable of the Physician, from
the Buddha speaks of “infinite, boundless,
hundreds, thousands, myriads, kotis, nayutas
of kalpas” multiplied by “hundreds,
kotis, nayutas of numberless kalpas.”
See The Teachings of the..Compassionate
Buddha edited, with commentary, by E.A. Burtt,
1955 (p. 158). This is a paperback collection
and read by Jack Kerouac.
the Zen Lunatics of China and Japan: Zen,
from Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese ideograph
Ch’an, a school of Buddhism which came
to Japan from China, teaching “self-discipline,
deep meditation, and the.attainment
of enlightenment by direct intuitive insight
into a self-validating.transcendent
truth beyond all intellectual conceptions and
expresses its teachings in paradoxical and nonlogical.forms.”
Workers of the World, known also as Wobblies,
of revolutionary labor unions, founded in 1905
activities were often characterized by violence
which resulted in.suppression.
The influence of the organization waned after
World War I.and
came to an end during the 1920s.
Bodhisattva: beings who are at a stage of
spiritual development where.they
could at will achieve Buddhahood and enter Nirvana,
but who refrain from doing so in order to help
others to attain liberation.
Mahayana: “… a branch of Buddhism
made up of various syncretistic sects that are
found chiefly in Tibet, Nepal, China, and Japan,
scriptures based on a Sanskrit canon, believe
in a god or gods, and usually teach the bodhisattva
ideal of compassion and universal salvation
– called also Great Vehicle ….”
Hinayana: literally, in Sanskrit, the Lesser
Vehicle. One of the major sects of Buddhism,
earlier than Mahayana, based on the Pali Canon
of scriptures, and now surviving mainly in Burma,
Ceylon, and Thailand.
Sakyamuni’s four noble truths: Sakyamuni
is a title of the Buddha denoting.that
he stemmed from the Sakya tribe which inhabited
a region of .present-day
Nepal. The four noble truths are the foundation
of Buddha’s .teaching.
The first truth is the recognition of transience,
and the suffering that is its inevitable consequence.
The second truth is the recognition that.it
is desire, the pursuit of satisfaction in things,
which gives rise to suffering. The third truth
is that suffering can be brought to cessation
by the eradication of desire. The fourth truth
sets forth the means to that eradication: the
the Lankavatara Scripture: one of the most
influential early scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism,
it is also revered in Zen Buddhism. Date and
authorship are unknown. The essence of the teaching
of the scripture is that all external phenomena
are due to a wrong interpretation of inner experience,
and that the apprehension of ultimate reality
is reached by a sudden revelation in which the
truth bursts upon the yogi.
Hsuan Tsung the great Chinese monk: also
known as San-Tsang, T’ang-seng, (ca. 600
– 64 ), a Chinese Buddhist monk and pilgrim
who through his translations of Sanskrit texts
was a major influence on the development of
Buddhism in China. His famous pilgrimage to
India in search of the sources of Buddhist teachings
is described in Ta-t’ang hsi-yu chi, (Record
of the Western Journey).
‘Why did Bodhidharma come from the
West?’: This is a classical Zen koan,
also phrased as “What is the meaning of
the Buddha’s coming from the West?”
and “Why did Bodhidharma come to China?”
Bodhidharma (470 – 532) was an Indian
Buddhist monk who traveled by boat from India
to China and there established the Buddha-Mind-School,
which is also called Ch’an or in Japanese,
Zen. As the founder of the school of Ch’an,
Bodhidharma is also known as the First Patriach.
Blyth: R.H. Blyth or Reginald Horace Blyth
(1898 – 1964), born in Essex, England.
Later emigrated to Japan where he became Professor
of English Literature, and tutor to Crown Prince
(later Emperor) Akhito. Author of four volumes
of haiku translations and commentaries, published
between 1949 and 1952, and of Zen in English
Literature and Oriental Classics, Tokyo: 1948.
the complete works of D.T. Suzuki: Daisetz
Taitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), was an important
scholar of Mahayana Buddhism and Japanese religion
in general. In the West, he is chiefly known
for his writings on Zen Buddhism, including
Essays in Zen Buddhism, First, Second and Third
Series, New York: 1949 – 1953.
Han Shan: A Chinese hermit and poet who, during
the 7th century, practised Ch’an (Zen)
Buddhism according to his own style. Together
with his companion, Shih-te, he has be come
a symbol of the lay approach to enlightenment.
the Book of Tea …a scholarly treatise:
written by Kakuzo Okakura (1862 – 1913)
and published in 1906. In Chapter II of The
Book of Tea, the author quotes from a poem titled
“Thanks to Imperial Censor Meng for his
Gift of Freshly Picked Tea” written by
the Tang Dynasty poet Lu T’ung, known
also as Master Jade Spring. In this poem the
poet extols the drinking of tea in a passage
which reads: “The first cup moistens my
lips and throat, the second cup breaks my loneliness,
the third cup searches my barren entrail but
to find therein some five thousand volumes of
odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight
perspiration, -- all the wrong of life passes
away through my pores. At the fifth cup I am
purified; the sixth cup calls me to the realm
of the immortals. The seventh cup – ah,
but I could take no more! I only feel the breath
of cool wind that rises in my sleeves. Where
is Horaisan? (i.e. the Isles of the Immortals)
Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away
Matterhorn: Matterhorn Peak is located in
the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the eastern
portion of the state of California. Elevation:
12, 244 feet.
yabyum: In Tibetan Buddhism the iconographical
representation of two deities in ritualized
intercourse. With the active female astride
and facing the passive male, the two figures
make an ontological whole, representing the
indivisibility of the two truths, ultimate truth
and relative truth.
the famous Ryoanji rock garden of Shokokuji
monastery in Kyoto: fifteen rocks of various
sizes and shapes set amid carefully raked white
sand, placed in groups of seven, five, and three
in such a manner that from any aspect one rock
is hidden. See “Stone Garden” by
Will Petersen, Evergreen Review Vol. 1, No.
4, 1957, pp. 127-37. (Will Petersen was the
inspiration for the figure of Ron Sturlason
in The Dharma Bums.)
koan: in Zen Buddhism a term used to describe
a paradox or puzzle which can neither be understood
in conventional conceptual terms nor resolved
by the use of the intellect alone. The ultimate
purpose of the koan is to create an awareness
of identity with buddha-nature.
flubbed up the name of Li Po by calling
him his Japanese name: In Cathay (1915) Ezra
Pound refers to Li Po as Rihaku, a transliteration
of the Japanese pronunciation of his name. (For
Li Po, see note for p.48.)
the Everett Massacre: On November 5, 19l6,
at Everett, Washington, a violent confrontation
took place between members of the I.W.W. and
local authorities, resulting in several deaths
and numerous injuries, predominantly among the
samadhi: profound meditation in which the
mind has no awareness of itself. In Buddhism,
samadhi is the final step in the Noble Eightfold
Path, which leads to liberation from suffering
and the achievement of nirvana, or final enlightenment.
Dharmakaya: the cosmical body of the Buddha,
the essence of all beings, synonomous with Tathata
or “thusness,” that is the absolute
and true nature inherent in all appearances.
satori: in Zen Buddhism, awakening, illumination,
samsara: the endless cycle of becoming, the
life of beings in the phenomenal world; the
opposite of nirvana.
Tathagata: According to Buddhist tradition,
this is the title chosen for himself by the
Buddha. Most often translated as “Thus-Gone,”
that is one who has achieved liberation, transcended
John Muir: (1838-1914) Scots-born, American
naturalist, explorer and conservationist, who
campaigned for the establishment of natural
parks and the preservation of forests. Muir
Woods National Monument and Muir Glacier were
named in his honor. Muir’s works include:
The Mountains of California (1894); My First
Summer in the Sierra (1911); The Yosemite (1912);
and Steep Trails (1918).
Three Stooges: The Three Stooges, -- Larry,
Moe and Curly – were slapstick comedians
who appeared in numerous two-reelers (shorts)
and feature films from 1934 to 1958. See Kerouac’s
paean to the Three Stooges in Visions of Cody
(N.Y. 1972), pp. 303 – 306.
Daisy Mae: a comic strip figure; the dumb-blonde
girlfriend of Li`l Abner, in the strip of the
same name. Created in 1934 by American newspaper
cartoonist, Al Capp, Li’l Abner appeared
until the 1970s.
Ciardi and Bread Loaf Writers: John Ciardi
(1916-1986) was an American poet, translator
and teacher. From 1956 to 1972, he was director
of the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference
which convenes yearly (since 1926) at the Bread
Loaf campus of Middlebury College, Middlebury,
the eastern hems of Amida: the Pure Land,
an untainted transcendent realm created by the
Buddha Amitabha (Amida) into which his devotees
aspire to be born in their next lifetime. Conditions
in the Pure Land are conducive to enlightenment,
so that those reborn there will achieve nirvana
quickly and easily.
Li Po: also known as Li Pai (701-762 ) was
a Chinese Taoist poet, known for his wandering
and his drinking.
John Burroughs: (1837-1921) was an American
nature-writer whose publications in prose include:
Birds and Poets (1877), Locusts and Wild Honey
(1879), Whitman A Study (1902), Ways of Nature
(1905), and Field and Study (1919). He was also
the author of a volume of poetry: Bird and Bough
Paul Bunyan: an imaginary American folk hero,
a lumberjack of prodigious strength who appears
in humorous tall tales.
Kropotkin: Prince Pëtr Alexssevich Kropotkin
(1842-1921) was a Russian revolutionary and
one of the central theorists of anarchism. Kropotkin
developed the theory of Communist anarchism
or mutual aid, based on the abolition of nation
states and all private property, and the transformation
of human society into a federation of mutual
comparisons are odious …quoting Cervantes:
The phrase “Comparisons are odious”
occurs in Part II, Chapter XXIII, of Don Quixote
de la Mancha (1605) by Miguel de Cervantes (1547
Chuangtse: also Chuang-tzu (ca. 370-286 B.C.),
one of the founders of Taoism, best known for
the work which bears his name: the Chuang-tzu.
Chuang-tzu taught that the Tao, the primordial
unproduced Producer of all that is, cannot be
defined or limited, and that all life is subject
to the unending transformations of the omnipresent
Tao. Accordingly, followers of the Tao should
free themselves from worldly attachments and
entanglements, ambitions and preferences, cultivating
instead a kind of enlightened fatalism, allowing
things to follow their own course.
Buck Jones: screen name of Charles Frederick
Gebhart (1891-1942), an American cowboy film
acor. Jones starred in The Last Straw (1919),
and in numerous other films and film serials.
Natty Bumppo: was the hero of a sequence of
novels by James Fennimore Cooper, beginning
with The Pioneers (1823) and ending with The
Deerslayer (1841). Known also as Hawkeye”
or “Leatherstocking,” Natty Bumppo
embodies the natural man uncorrupted by civilization.
Shiki: Masaoka Shiki (1867 – 1902)
was the most influential haiku poet and theorist
of the late nineteenth century.
the Forest of Arden: located in that part
of Warwickshire, England, to the northwest of
the Avon. The Forest of Arden is the setting
for Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It,
where it is an Edenic, magical realm.
to me a mountain is a Buddha: Similar sentiments
are expressed by Japhy’s hero, John Muir,
in his book, My First Summer in the Sierra (1911).
On first viewing South Dome, Muir reflects that
it is “a most noble rock, it seems full
of thought …like a god.” (p. 129).
Nirmakaya: a Buddha in human form.
Sambhogakaya: Buddha in celestial form.
Surangamy sutries: Japhy’s playful
pronunciation of the surangama sutra, “Heroic
Gate Sutra” or “Heroic Progress
Samadhi Scripture,” one of the central
texts of the Chan school of Chinese Buddhism.
According to the Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism
and Zen, the sutra “emphasizes the power
of Samadhi, through which enlightenment can
be attained, and explains the various methods
of emptiness meditation through the practice
of which everyone can realize enlightenment.”
the Paramita of Dana: generosity; one of
the six (later ten) virtues developed by bodhisattvas.
Who knoweth the spirit of man that looketh
upward: “Who knoweth the spirit of man
that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast
that goeth downward to the earth?” Ecclesiastes
David O. Selznick : (1902 – 1965) legendary
Hollywood film producer and independent filmmaker,
who created the most popular feature film of
what has been called “the golden age of
Hollywood,” Gone with the Wind (1939).
Great Plum : Ta-mei Fa-ch’ang or Damei
Fachang (752 – 839). A Ch’an master
of the T’ang Dynasty. Ta-mei means «
Big Plum » and refers to the mountain
where he practiced in hermitage. Thus, “The
plum is ripe” is a pun on his name, used
in this context to express approval of Ta-mei’s
but Ou sont les neiges d’antan?: The refrain
“Mais ou sont les neiges d’antan”
(But where are the snows of yesteryear?) occurs
in the poem “Ballades Des Dames Du Temps
Jadis” by Francois Villon (1431-after
1463), appearing in his volume of poems, Le
Testament (1461 or 62).
Cheer up slaves, and horrify foreign despots:
“The attitude of great poets is to cheer
up slaves and horrify despots. The turns of
their necks, the sounds of their feet, the motions
of their wrists, are full of hazard to the one
and hope to the other.” Walt Whitman in
Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass.
zendo: a large hall in zen monasteries in
which zazen is practiced. See entry for page
86 on zazen
a Tinker Toy: a children’s construction
set consisting of wooden sticks and spools,
created in 1913 by Charles H. Pajeau and Robert
Hakuyu: A cave dwelling hermit who advised Hakuin
(see below) as to how to regain his health by
means of the practices of visualization and
concentrated breathing (as described in Japhy’s
subsequent account of Hakuin and his encounter
with “this old man who lived in a cave.”)
Hakuin: ordination name of Nagasawa Ekaku (ca.1685-1768
), a major Japanese Zen master, painter and
Rahula: the son of Gautama, the Buddha, born
near the time that Gautama resolved to leave
his home in search of enlightenment. Rahula
was later ordained as a novice and received
teaching from the Buddha.
zazen: in Zen, the basic meditation practice.
Sitting in the prescribed manner, the practitioner
first regulates breathing and thereafter thought
the Master Switch: For a fuller treatment
of this image, see Kerouac’s dystopian
fable “CITYCitycity,” in The Moderns,
An Anthology of New Writing in America, edited
by LeRoi Jones, New York: Corinth Books, 1963,
pp. 250 – 265.
what the Chinese call do-nothing: not/non-doing,
or wu-wei, is a mode of being and action in
Taoism, an active inactivity which allows things
to follow their own course. The practitioner
of wu-wei undertakes no calculated activity,
but only spontaneous actions that are in accordance
with his or her own nature. “Tao invariably
does nothing and yet there is nothing that is
the earth is a fresh planet: A paraphrase of
or an allusion to the last sentence of Walden
or Life in the Woods (1854) by Henry David Thoreau:
“The sun is but a morning star.”
Ma Rainey: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey,
born Pridgett, (1886 –1939). American
blues singer known as the “Mother of the
Blues.” Linking rural African-American
folk music with urban blues, her songs were
often characterized by earthy directness and
a new Buddha-field: Possibly an allusion
to Gleanings in Buddha Fields (1897) by Lafcadio
Sinclair Lewis: (1885-1951), American novelist,
best known for Main Street (1920) and Babbitt
(1922), satirical accounts of small town life
and conformist commercialism.
a yard bull: a railroad police officer,
guard or detective, (sometimes known as a cinder
reefer: a railroad refrigerator car.
the Digha Nikaya: one of a gathered collection
of Buddhist texts, the Digha Nikaya, or the
“Long Collection,” concerns ethical
rules, the refutation of false views, and a
code for lay Buddhists.
Fuke the Chinese Sage: P’u-Hua, called
Fuke in Japanese, (d. 860 ). A Ch’an master,
celebrated for his unconventional style; founder
of the Fuke School, stressing non-sutra activities,
including flute-playing, and the model of the
holy fool style of Zen.
Roy Hamilton: (1929-1969 ) was a 1950’s
recording artist, singing gospel-flavored songs
that appealed both to R&B fans and a broader
audience of popular music fans.
Augustine: St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430),
Christian father and doctor of the Church; author
of numerous treatises, including The City of
God, and Confessions.
Spade: a black person, from the expression “as
black as the ace of spades.” Never used
with racist connotation.
Francis: St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).
A Christian ascetic, and founder of the Franciscan
order, known for his magnanimity of spirit,
and for his life of simplicity, compassion and
joyous poverty. Author of numerous sermons and
prayers, including the Canticle of the Sun.
‘Let there be blowing-out and bliss
forevermore,’ I prayed: The literal .meaning
of the Sanskrit noun nirvana is “blown
out.” Like a flame blown out, egoism,
with all its inherent fears and cravings, is
realization of the true nature of the mind is
Moab: In the Old Testament, the eldest son
of Lot, begotten ..incestuously.
the Triple Vehicle: “destruction of
the habit-energy of karma, and the .hindrances
of discriminative knowledge and human passion.”
.the One Vehicle:
“the Bodhisatva should retire by himself
to a quiet, .secluded
place where he may reflect within himself without
else, and there let him exert himself to make
along the stages …I call this the One
Vehicle.” (The .Lankavatara
John L. Lewis: (1880-1969), American labor
Buddha: the first of the twenty-four Buddhas,
Buddha in a world cycle long past.
karma: the force – positive or negative
– generated by a person’s .actions;
the law of consequence.
Coxie’s army: a protest march lead
by Jacob S. Coxey (1854-1951) in .Washington,
D.C. on May 1, 1894, to support legislation
to create jobs..The
protestors numbered about 500.
.the Sheriff of
Cochise and Wyatt Earp: popular television programs
of the .mid 1950s,
both centered upon western lawmen, -- the sheriff
of Cochise County, Arizona, and the historical
figure, Wyatt Earp (1848-1929).
Mara: also known as Namuci, the tempter.
Hindu and Buddhist god of temptation and sensual
Buddham saranam gocchami … Dhammam
saranam gocchami … Sangham sarana gocchami:
the Three Refuges, a formula repeated three
times, meaning: “I take refuge in the
Buddha, I take refuge in the dharma, I take
refuge in the sangha (i.e. community, brotherhood).”
the famous Bulls … an ancient Chinese
cartoon: The set of illustrations known as the
Ten Oxherding Pictures is perhaps the most widely
known depiction in East Asia of Zen practice.
The original set of pictures, each with an accompanying
verse, is attributed to the Sung dynasty monk
K’uo-an Shih-yüan (twelfth century).
The original pictures are no longer extant,
but numerous monks and painters have since taken
up the theme.
an American Nat Wills tramp of 1905: Nat Wills
was the stage name of American entertainer Edward
McGregor (1873-1917), who in his popular vaudeville
act frequently portrayed a tramp.
to get drunk with the butchers: the last picture
of the Ten Oxherding Pictures, the jovial sage
with a protruding belly, carrying a wine gourd
and a large sack, is traditionally a depiction
of Master Hotei, a popular figure in Ch’an
and Zen iconography. Based, it seems, on a historical
person, Hotei is a joyous, humorous, bliss-bestowing
Zen eccentric who mingles with fishmongers,
rice merchants and others in the marketplace,
touching the hearts of ordinary people. It may
be that Kerouac is here remembering a remark
made by D.T.Suzuki that the enlightened one
“is found in company with wine-bibbers
and butchers.” Essays in Zen Buddhism
(First Series), New York: Harper and Bros.,
1949, p. 34.
the Chinese Book of Changes: the I-Ching
or Yi-Ching, also known as the Scripture of
Changes, is an ancient manual of divination
based upon the symbolisms generated by broken
and unbroken lines, forming trigramsand hexagrams.
A philosophical commentary titled the Ten Wings
waslater added to the work, reputedly by Confucius.
grunge-jumper: the word grunge means any
nasty substance or a dirty and distasteful person;
whereas a jumper is a copulator. Hence, a grunge-jumper
is one who is so indiscriminately or so desperately
lascivious as to copulate with persons who are
unclean or otherwise repellent.
prajna: “wisdom” or “consciousness”
in Sanskrit; the concept that right thought
and right view constitute wisdom. The ultimate
meaning of the term is direct awareness of the
emptiness of self and all appearances.
the Tennessee Valley Authority: a federal
agency created by the U.S. Congress in 1933
to develop the Tennessee River and its tributaries.
Alandmark of federal legislation both in terms
of long-range development of natural resources
and as an economic and social experiment in
Bo tree: or Bodhi tree, the tree under which
the Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment.
Maitreya: “the loving one” or “the
embodiment of all-embracing love,” Maitreya,
who is expected to come in the future, will
be the fifth and last of the earthly Buddhas.
Dwight Goddard: (186l-1939), an American industrial
engineer and Congregationalist minister who
travelled in China and for a time lived and
studied in a Zen monastery near Kyoto, Japan.
Goddard wrote a popular introduction to Zen
Buddhism, The Buddha’s Golden Path (1929),
and edited a compendium of Buddhist teachings
and sacred texts titled A Buddhist Bible (1932).
The latter was a favorite book of Jack Kerouac.
Kwannon: the Japanese name for Avalokitesvara.
See entry for p. 10.
Walter the Penniless and Peter the Hermit:
Walter the Penniless (Sans Avoir) was a knight
and itinerant preacher, who in the eleventh
century, led an unruly band of French peasants
across Germany and Hungary to Constantinople,
in what came to be called the Peasant’s
Crusade. Near Dracon,
their forces were ambushed and the crusade came
to a tragic end.
Peter the Hermit, also known as Peter of Amiens,
the crusade in France, and placing himself at
the head of an undisciplined
multitude of thirty thousand men, took part
in the capture ofJerusalem
Ashvhaghosha: more commonly spelled Ashvaghosha,
(ca. 80-1150 ), Indian
poet, dramatist, philosopher, and orator. A
convert to Buddhism, Ashvaghosha
was the author of the Buddhacarita, the first
the Buddha, religious texts including The Book
of Great Glory and The Awakening
of Faith in the Mahayana, as well as numerous
plays and poems
on Buddhist themes. .
switch goat: a switching engine.
John Luther “Casey” Jones (1863-1900)
was a railroad engineer
on the Illinois Central’s Cannonball Express
train; a daredevil who
raced his engine to remain on schedule. Jones
attained the posthumous
status of a folk-hero due to the manner of his
death which occurred
when in the face of an imminent collision, he
in his cab in order to pull the airbrake, thus
saving the lives of his
passengers and crew.
Min’n’Bill: a comedy-drama film
(1930) starring Marie Dressler and Wallace
Beery in the title roles, portraying two colorful
characters who struggle to keep Min’s
daughter from being placedin
care by the social welfare services.
Dharmamega: literally “the clouds
of Dharma;” the tenth and final stage
in the progress toward bodhisattvahood.
'‘Yar, but my she was yar!’ meaning
my shack all summer: The phrase .“My,
she was yar” occurs several times in the
course of the film, The.Philadelphia
Story (1940), starring Cary Grant and Katherine
‘yar’ is a nautical adjective used
to describe a boat, meaning that it is fit and