Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 16.47: Direct Flow, Stop Leaks -- Not Spiritually

tasmaat paraM saumya vidhaaya viiryaM
shiighraM ghaTasv aasrava saMkShayaaya
duHkhaan a-nityaaMsh ca nir-aatamakaaMsh ca
dhaatunn visheSheNa pariikShamaaNaH

Therefore, good man, direct all your energy

And strive quickly to stop energetic leakage,

Examining in detail
-- as suffering and impermanent and devoid of self --

The elements.

Line 1 and Line 2 can be read as expressing the same thing from opposite viewpoints -- for example, directing the flow of energy up one's spine, which may be a very good way of stopping it flowing where it ought not to go. "Direction is the truest form of inhibition," as is said in the world of Alexander work.

With respect to the word shiigram, "quickly," another favourite saying of FM Alexander may be relevant, namely that "The conscious mind must be quickened!" The reason FM used to emphasize that the conscious mind must be quickened, I think, is that the unconscious misdirection of energy is prone to happen extremely rapidly. A person has got to be really on the ball to stop it. Recently I have been observing this on TV in Cesar Millan's work with dogs. A bulldog can go from a calm-submissive 0 to a red-eyed killing-mode 10 in just a couple of seconds. So Cesar endeavors to stay on the ball and nip the unwanted response in the bud before it gets to 1 or 2. My wife and I shared a poignant moment a few weeks ago when Cesar was explaining all this while correcting a bulldog. We looked at each other and smiled wryly, exchanging no words but sharing the same recognition that in describing the tendency of the bulldog Cesar was just exactly describing the tendency of yours truly.

In Line 3, suffering, impermanence and absence of self are three characteristics of what is real, but in Line 4 the elements -- as investigated by scientists, and as prone to be overlooked by workers in the spiritual sphere -- are just what is.

So with this translation I have struggled to maintain the essence of the original four-phased expression that may be observed within the verse.

tasmaat: from that, therefore
param: utmost, in a high degree, completely
saumya (voc.): " O gentle Sir! " " O good Sir! " " O excellent man! " as the proper mode of addressing a Brahman
vidhaaya = absolutive of vidhaa: to give out, supply, effect, make ready, direct
viiryam (accusative): manliness , valour , strength , power , energy

shiighram: quickly
ghaTasu = imperative of ghaT: to be intently occupied about , be busy with , strive or endeavour after , exert one's self for (loc. dat. acc.)
aasrava: leakage
saMkShayaaya = dative of saMkShaya: complete destruction or consumption , wasting , waning , decay , disappearance

duHkhaan (acc. pl. m.): uneasy , uncomfortable , unpleasant , difficult
a-nityaan (acc. pl. m.): not everlasting , transient , occasional , incidental; irregular , unusual; unstable; uncertain
ca: and
nir-aatamakaan (acc. pl. m.): having no separate soul or no individual existence
ca: and

dhaatuun = acc. pl. dhaatu: m. element , primitive matter
visheSheNa (inst. visheSha): particularly, especially, in detail
pariikShamaaNaH = nom. sg. m. present participle of pari-√iikSh: to look round , inspect carefully , try , examine , find out , observe , perceive

EH Johnston:
Therefore, applying your utmost energy, strive quickly for the destruction of the infections, and in especial examine the elements which are full of suffering, impermanent and devoid of self.

Linda Covill:
Therefore apply your utmost energy, dear friend, and be quick to strive for the eradication of the rebirth-producing tendencies, investigating in particular the elements, which are full of suffering, impermanent and without self.

No comments: