Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SAUNDARANANDA 3.16: Really Shining Light on End-gaining

viSHay'-aatmakasya hi janasya
suurya-sadRsha-vapur abhyudito
vijahaara suurya iva Gautamas tamaH.

To people possessed by their ends,

In thrall to a jumble of many pathways,

Splendour that seemed like the sun had arisen.

Gautama was like the sun, dispelling darkness.

It is only our end-gaining (1) that ties us to those old, reptilian, energy-leaking pathways in the brain and nervous system that we have hitherto re-enforced by constantly practising them (2). To begin to glimpse this, not only intellectually but through an experience as real as witnessing the break of dawn, is a kind of enlightenment (3). Gautama was a person who, through his own vibrant example, as also by other expedients, could lead people towards such experience(4).

viSHaya: object of the senses, end to be gained
aatmakasya: (genitive, agreeing with janasya) belonging to or forming the nature of
hi: (emphatic) for, indeed
janasya: (genitive) to people, for people

bahu: many, much
vividha: various, of different kinds, assorted, mixed
maarga: path
sevinaH = genitive, agreeing with janasya, of sevin: going or resorting to, serving, honouring, having sex with, fond of, addicted to, practising.

suurya: sun
sadRsha: like, similar to
vapus: beautiful, wondrous, wondrous beauty, marvel
abhyudito: risen, rising

vijahaara: dispelled
suurya iva: like the sun
Gautama: Gautama
tamaH: darkness

EH Johnston:
For Gautama, appearing with wondrous form like that of the rising sun, just as the sun dispels the darkness, dispelled the darkness of ignorance of the people, who were devoted to the objects of the senses and followed many and varied paths.

Linda Covill:
For just as the risen sun dispels darkness, so Gautama with his sun-like appearance dispelled the dark ignorance of sensual people who followed a number of different paths.


Uku said...

Sun is shining!

Thanks, Mike.

With palms together,

Mike Cross said...

Thank you, Uku.

Maybe you live in one of those countries which have long sunny days all the year round?

Uku said...

I'm not sure if my previous comment went through; browser was lacking so I'm writing my comment again.

So, I live in Finland and in here we have a quite dark winter. In Northern Finland sun ain't rising at all during mid winter; in Finnish it's called kaamos (polar night) so it's completely dark 24/7. Pretty heavy. But lucky though, I live in Southern Finland so we have couple of hours day light. I'm cool with that, I love four seasons. Sun is shining only in my head, sometimes. :)

Take care,

Mike Cross said...

Hi Uku,

How about your heart?

Jordan said...

I was looking for a word to capture how I appreciated this post. I think bravura(great skill that is shown when something artistic is done in an exciting or innovative way) is close.

When common folks are addicted to gratification,

they are slaves to this path of addictions.

Like the light of the rising sun,

Gotama's teachings dispel the darkness.

Thank you once again for your efforts in making this available.

Mike Cross said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Jordan.

Though evidently a big strong bloke, you seem to have a sensitive ear for what is simple and true vs what is contrived.

So I appreciate the continued encouragement a lot.

Jordan said...


I think the stature you perceive I have may just be the illusion derived from my sitting on the shoulders of giants.

Best wishes to you and yours in the new year, and thanks for part in lugging the burden.

Mike Cross said...

Best wishes to you and yours, Jordan, and thanks for your support and encouragement this year.


Okusan nimo kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu!