AG: 15th Chorus. Now he’s got to explain himself at this point a little bit, so he starts to – 15th Chorus.
“Meaning-/ I’m just an old calvert/cross/ dead of die pork” – (“die pork” – Buddha died at the age of eighty two when he was given some bad pork, incidentally. And Jack was a big goy who ate a lot of pork anyway – “I’m just an old calvert/cross” – (Calvert whiskey – Calvert also is a martyr in… one of the Irish martyrs? Cross, anyways, is a cross. That is Christian.
Student: How about Calvary? [alleged location of Jesus’ crucifixion]?
Student: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.
AG: Yeah, yes, probably – “calvert/cross”, “Calvary cross”, “calvert”. But he died of drink, remember. And he was drinking Calvert at the time.
“I’m just an old calvert/cross/dead of die pork/I believe in the sweetness/of Jesus/AndBuddha.I believe/In St.Francis,/Avaloki/Tesvara,/the Saints/Of First Century/India A D/And Scholars/Santivedan/And Otherwise/Santayanan/Everywhere”
Shantideva was the author of what? Does anybody … who’s the Buddhist here? Shantideva wrote … he’s on one of the reading lists for the Buddhist courses. He’s a 2nd Century A.D. Buddhist philosopher who… probably “The Path to Enlightenment,” or something like that, describing different stages of (the) Mahayana path. [Editorial note – actually 8th Century A.D. (C.E) – Allen is presumably referring to the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra. The Dalai Lama’s lecture on his “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” may be accessed here )
So what does he believe in? – He believes in “the sweetness/of Jesus..” Remember he had over here, (the 14th Chorus), when they “…arrested me/For the size/Of my heart” – So the tone is the Sacred Heart all through the book, and suffering. And the heart suffering which is the basic theme of all of Kerouac – suffering heart.
“… arrested me/For the size/Of my heart” – “… tore my heart out/At the top of the pyramid”
So, “I believe in the sweetness/of Jesus/And Buddha/I believe/In St.Francis,/Avaloki/Tesvara” – (“Avalokitesvara” you know? Anybody? Avalokitesvara is the statue of Buddha which has got a thousand arms – four, or six, or eight, or twelve, or a thousand, arms – meaning a thousand-handed compassion – that is, endless compassion. Avalokitesvara means down-glancing Lord – Lord looking down on suffering and trying to help out – The Bodhisattva path, (which is to help other people rather than help yourself.)
“In St.Francis,/Avaloki/Tesvara,/the Saints/ Of First Century/India A D/And Scholars/ Santivedan/And Otherwise/Santayanan/ Everywhere” – (George Santayana -sort of a sweet Catholic philosopher, 19th-20th century – Actually, he’s just making a declaration of sacred heart and literary scholarship (in) art and philosophy – (a) very idealistic little brief statement).
Audio for the above can heard here beginning at approximately thirty-three-and-a-quarter minutes in and continuing until thirty-six-and-a-quarter minutes in