Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 17.43: Release, Ease, Refreshment, Pleasure

kaam'-agni-daahena sa vipramukto
hlaadaM paraM dhyaana-sukhaad avaapa
sukhaM vigaahy' aapsv iva gharma-khinnaH
praapy' eva c'aarthaM vipulaM daridraH

The burning fire of longing released him.

The ease that came with the realisation
caused him to feel sublime refreshment,

Like the pleasure of a heat-exhausted man
diving into water.

Again, he was like a lost and needy soul
finding something of great value.

The construction of this verse, again, can be seen as having followed a fourfold plan.

The burning fire of longing in Line 1 is an expression of SUFFERING.

Line 2 expresses a CAUSAL relation: the ease which accompanies the giving up of an end-gaining idea leads to muscular release and increased flow of endorphins.

Line 3 offers a vivid example of CESSATION OF SUFFERING.

Line 4 adds the sense of coming into possession of A MEANS THAT IS USEFUL FOR STOPPING SUFFERING.

The deeper one digs into the fourth line, the more scenarios it yields -- partly because of the wide range of possible meanings of the word artha, which vary from (1) purpose, meaning of life, (2) substance, money, or even male sexual organ, (3) use, utility, usefulness, and (4) real thing, real object, matter of substance, work.

When Ashvaghosha used the metaphor of gold, my sense is that his intention embraced the whole range of these meanings.

kaama: desire, longing, love
agni: fire
daahena = instrumental of daaha: burning, heat
saH (nominative, singular): he
vipramuktaH (nominative, singular): loosened, released, set free

hlaadam (accusative): refreshment, pleasure
para: ascendant, excellent, supreme
dhyaana-sukhaad (ablative): from/because of realisation-ease
avaapa = perfect of aap: reach, meet with, gain

sukham (accusative): pleasure, ease
vigaahya = gerundive of vi + gaah: to plunge or dive into
aapsu (locative of ap): into water
iva: like
gharma: heat
khinnaH (nominative, singular): depressed, distressed, exhausted; the/an exhausted man

praapya = gerunding of praap: to attain to, obtain, come into
iva: like
ca: and, again
artham (accusative): purpose, use, utility; substance, wealth, property, opulence, money; thing, object (said of the membrum virile)
vipula: large, great, thick, long, abundant
daridraH (nominal, singular): poor, needy, deprived (from the root draa: to run hither and thither; to be in need or poor)

EH Johnston:
Released from the burning fire of love, he experienced supreme joy from the bliss of the trance, entering into bliss, like one oppressed by heat on entering the water or like a poor man on obtaining great wealth.

Linda Covill:
Saved from the burns of passion's fire, he experienced great rapture through the bliss of meditation, like the pleasure of a heat-exhausted man when he dives into water, or like the delight of a pauper finding fabulous wealth.

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