Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 16.54: Pick Your Own Antidote to Excitement

shamaaya yat syaan niyataM nimittaM
jaat'-odbhave cetasi tasya kaalaH
evaM hi cittam prashamaM niyacchet
pradiipyamaano 'gnir iv' odakena

A stimulus one has ascertained to be calming

Has its time when one's mind is excited;

For thus the mind subsides into quietness,

Like a blazing fire doused with water.

A calming stimulus might be, for you, the sight of a tree, or for me the sound of running water, or for him the natural rhythm of his own breathing, or for her the smell of familiar incense, and for us all the feel of ground under our feet or, better still, under our sitting bones.

Such a calming stimulus can be seen as an antidote to fault no. 1 of five faults which are now being discussed, in the following order:
1. too much excitement in the nervous system; hypertonus.
2. too little excitement in the nervous system; hypotonus.
3. passion
4. malice
5. delusion/ignorance.

shamaaya = dative of shama: m. tranquillity , calmness , rest , equanimity
yat (nom. sg. n.): [that] which
syaat = 3rd person singular, present optative of as: to be
niyatam (nom. sg. n.): fixed , established , settled , sure
nimittam (nom. sg.): n. cause, stimulus

jaata: born, grown , produced , arisen
udbhave = locative of udbhava: existence , generation , origin , production , birth; springing from , growing
cetasi = locative of cetas: mind, heart
tasya (genitive): its, of it
kaalaH (nominative, singular): time, proper time

evam: thus, in this manner,
hi: for
cittam (nom. sg.): n. the mind, the thinking mind, thinking
prashamam (acc. sg.): calmness , tranquillity (esp. of mind) , quiet , rest , cessation , extinction , abatement
niyacchet = from ny -√as (?): to throw or cast or lay or put; to take off; to give up , resign (as life) ; to settle

pradiipyamaanaH = nom. sg. m. present participle pra-√ diip: to flame forth , blaze , burst into flames
agniH (nom. sg.): m. fire
iva: like
udakena = instrumental of udaka: water

EH Johnston:
It is when the mind is excited that it is the time for the subject of meditation which is prescribed for tranquillity; for thus the thoughts can assume tranquillity, as a blazing fire would be quenched by water.

Linda Covill:
When the mind is excited, it is the time for the meditational technique prescribed for tranquillity, for thus the mind, like a blazing fire doused by water, subsides into peace.

No comments: