Monday, December 15, 2008

SAUNDARANANDA 3.1; Starting Resolutely

tapase tataH Kapilavaastu
shriimad abhayam anurakta-janaM
sa vihaaya nishcita-manaa vanaM yayau.

For ascetic practice, then, [he left] Kapilavastu --

A teeming mass of horses, elephants and chariots,

Majestic, safe, loved by its citizens.

He left it behind, starting resolutely for the forest.

In the above four lines Ashavaghosha is describing, in a particular order:
(1) an aim, an ideal, a purpose
(2) a mass, an accumulation of massive things
(3) a peaceful situation, in which fear reactions are negated
(4) the means of transcendent action
This particular order reflects absorption into Ashvaghosha's marrow of "the highest fourfold truth," which is introduced with utter succinctness in the 12th stanza of this 3rd canto of Saundarananda. That is where, day by day, this blog is now heading. So, by the end of 2008, all being well, we shall truly have arrived at the beginning.

tapase (dat. sg.) for ascetic practice
tataH: then
Kapilavaastu (acc. sg. n.): Kapilavastu

haya: horse
gaja: elephant
ratha: chariot
ogha: stream, flood, heap, mass
saMkulam (acc. sg. n.): crowded together, filled with, thronged; thick, dense

shriimat (acc. sg. n.): majestic
abhayam (acc. sg. n.): free of fear, safe, secure
anurakta-janam (acc. sg. n.): loved by its citizens
anurakta: devoted, attached, fond
jana: people, population

sa (nom. sg. m.): he
vihaaya = abs. vi- √ haa: to leave behind , relinquish , quit , abandon
nishcita-manaaH (nom. sg. m.): with resolute mind
nishcita: determined, resolute, decided
manas: mind
vanam (acc. sg.): the forest
yayau = 3rd pers. sg. perfect yaa: to go

EH Johnston:
Then quitting the majestic and secure city of Kapilavastu, whose population was devoted to Him and which was thronged with masses of horses, elephants and chariots. He started resolutely for the forest to practise austerities.

Linda Covill:
Then leaving behind the safe and splendid city of Kapilavastu, loved by its citizens, crowded with numbers of horses, elephants, and chariots, he went to the forest with his heart set on asceticism.

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