Monday, December 29, 2008

SAUNDARANANDA 3.15: Wanting to Know the Lie of the Land of His Fathers

sa viniiya KaashiSHu GayeSHu
bahu-janam atho Giri-vraje
pitryam api parama-kaaruNiko
nagaram yayaav anujighRkSHayaa tadaa.

Having at Kasi and at Gaya led away

Many people; as also at the cow-pens of Giri-vraja,

He felt deepest compassion too
for his ancestral hometown.

In order to scent how it actually was,
he made his way to the city.

The mission of leading people out of suffering (1), sometimes involves getting one's feet dirty (2). The Buddha was not only a hero who did not mind getting his feet dirty for the sake of non-family; he was also a real human being who, though having given up the comforts of family life, still felt deep compassion for his own human family (3). So he made his way to Kapilavastu to find out, first of all, what was actually going on there (4).

sa: he
viniiya: having led away
KaashiSHu: (locative) in Kasi
GayeSHu: (locative) in Gaya

bahu-janam: (accusative) many people
atha: (connecting particle) and then, next
Girivraje: (locative) in Giri-vraja
vraja: cow-pen, cattle-shed, enclosure or station of herdsmen

pitryam: paternal, ancestral [birthplace/town]
api: also
parama: deepest, highest, etc.
kaaruNika: compassionate

nagaram: (accusative) to the town, city
yayau: went
anujighRkSHayaa: (instrumental) with the intention of snuffling at, with the wish to smell at, wishing to kiss
tadaa: at that time, there and then, actually

EH Johnston:
Then, after converting multitudes in Kasi, Gaya, and Girivraja, He went in the depth of His pity to His ancestral town to bring favour on it.

Linda Covill:
After guiding many people to insight in Kashi, Gaya and Giri-vraja, he wished to show favor also to his ancestral city, and so with supreme compassion he made his way there.

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