Friday, February 27, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 16.15: Suffering Will Be Suffering -- Like a Seed, Like Fire

biija-svabhaavo hi yath" eha dRShto
bhuuto 'pi bhavyo 'pi tath" aanumeyaH
pratyakShatash ca jvalano yath" oShNo
bhuuto 'pi bhavyo 'pi tath" oShNa eva

For just as it is evident to us now
what kind of thing a seed is,

We can infer that it was so in the past
and that it will be so in the future.

And just as fire burning before us is hot,

So was it and so will it be, hot.

Battered into submission by verse after unremitting verse on the subject of suffering, one is left with not much to say in response to Ashvaghosha's teaching of the noble truth of suffering, except "I surrender."

biija: seed
svabhaavaH (nominative singular): native place; own condition or state of being, natural state or constitution, innate or inherent disposition, nature, impulse, spontaneity
hi: for
yatha: just as
iha: in this place , here; now , at this time
dRShtaH = nominative, singular of dRShTa: seen, looked at, beheld, perceived, noticed; visible, apparent; evident

bhuutaH (nominative, singular): been, gone, the past
api: also
bhavyaH (nominative, singular): future, the future
api: also
tathaa: likewise
anumeya: to be measured; inferable, to be inferred, proved or conjectured

pratyakSatas: before the eyes , visibly , perceptibly; evidently , clearly , plainly
ca: and
jvalanaH (nominative, singular): fire
yathaa: just as
uShNa: heat , warmth , the hot season

bhuutaH: past
api: also
bhavyaH: future
api: also
tathaa: likewise
uShNa: heat, warmth, the hot season
eva: indeed

EH Johnston:
For as the nature of a seed is known by present experience in this world, it is to be inferred that its nature was the same in the past and will be the same in the future. And as fire in our presence is perceived to be hot, so also it has (always) been hot and will (always) be hot.

Linda Covill:
For just as the inherent nature of a seed is obvious here and now, its inherent nature in the past and the future can be inferred. And as there is heat from a fire burning in front of us, so was there also heat in the past and will be in the future.

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