Thursday, October 22, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 14.51: Duality vs Solitude?

yadi dvandv'-aaraame jagati viShaya-vyagra-hRdaye
vivikte nir-dvandvo viharati kRtii shaanta-hRdayaH
tataH piitva prajNaa-rasam amRtavat tRpta-hRdayo
viviktaH saMsaktaM viShaya-kRpaNaM shocati jagat

- = = = = = - - - - - = = - - - =
- = = = = = - - - - - = = - - - =
- = = = = = - - - - - = = - - - =
- = = = = = - - - - - = = - - - -

If, in a world that delights in duality
and is at heart distracted by objects,

He roves in solitude, free of duality,
a man of action, his heart at peace,

Then he drinks the essence of wisdom
as if it were the nectar of immortality
and his heart is filled.

Set apart, he sorrows
for the clinging, object-needy world.

In this verse the Buddha seems to fight duality with a duality.

Worse, he seems to invite distraction of the heart, by dangling objects like "roving in solitude," "freedom from duality," "man of action," "nectar of immortality" and "peaceful/nectar-filled heart."

The tension of this apparent contradiction is released in the 4th line, wherein one who is in but not of the world, in the isolated clarity of being alone in sitting, is ultimately not separate from the world.

Who are you and who am I?

The ruggedly independent man of action? Or one of those object-needy others?

Speaking for myself, even though I am alone by the forest at time of writing, I might still be one of the object-needy ones, though maybe not as object-needy as I once was. During a former life in Japan, I had moments of feeling very alone and at the same time very object-needy...

Hank Williams sounded just like me
When he wrote this song --
The sound of longing to be free,
While longing to belong.

EH Johnston:
If a man live, pure with tranquil heart and indifferent to the opposites, in a solitary place in the world which delights in the opposites and has its heart disturbed by sensual objects, then he drinks the draught of wisdom as if it were nectar, and with heart appeased he reaches discrimination and deplores the world which is subject to attachment and greedy for sensual objects.

Linda Covill:
The world likes alternatives and is distracted to the core by sensual experience. If a man lives in it in seclusion, indifferent to choice, virtuous and with his heart at peace, then he has sipped the taste of wisdom, as if it were the cup of deathlessness and is content at heart. A man of discernment, he grieves for the clinging world as it hoards sensual experience.

yadi: if
dva: (original stem of dvi) two, both
dvandva: n. (the repeated nom. of dva) pair , couple , male and female ; a pair of opposites (e.g. heat and cold , joy and sorrow &c ) ; strife , quarrel , contest , fight (esp. between two persons , a duel)
aaraame = loc. aaraama: m. delight , pleasure ; place of pleasure , a garden , grove
jagati = loc. jagat: n. that which moves or is alive , men and animals; n. the world
viShaya: m. sphere of influence ; scope ; concern ; sense object ; object
vyagra: mfn. not attending to any one partic. point (opp. to ekaagra) , distracted , inattentive ; bewildered , agitated , excited , alarmed
hRdaye = loc. sg. hRdaya: n. the heart ; diverted from everything else , intent on , engrossed by , eagerly occupied with or employed in (instr. loc. , or comp. ; sometimes said of hands and fingers)

vivikte = loc. vivikta: n. separation, solitude; a solitary place
nir-dvandvaH (nom. sg): free of duality
viharati = 3rd pers. sg. of vi- √ hR: to put asunder , keep apart , separate , open ; to distribute and transpose (verses or parts of verses) [to cut and paste]; to disperse (clouds) ; to move on , walk ; to spend or pass (time) . &c ; to roam , wander through (acc.) ; (esp.) to walk or roam about for pleasure , divert one's self
kRtii = nom. sg. m. kRtin: mfn. one who acts , active
shaanta: mfn. (fr. √sham) appeased , pacified , tranquil , calm , free from passions
hRdaya: n. (ifc. f(aa).) the heart (or region of the heart as the seat of feelings and sensations), soul , mind (as the seat of mental operations ); the heart or interior of the body ; the heart or centre or core or essence or best or dearest or most secret part of anything
shaanta-hRdayaH (nom. sg. m.): of tranquil heart

tataH: then
piitva = abs. pii: to drink
prajNaa: f. wisdom
rasam = acc. rasa: m. the sap or juice of plants , juice of fruit , any liquid or fluid , the best or finest or prime part of anything , essence , marrow; elixir ; nectar ; mercury , quicksilver (sometimes regarded as a kind of quintessence of the human body , else where as the seminal fluid of shiva); taste , flavour (as the principal quality of fluids) ; any object of taste , condiment , sauce , spice , seasoning; the tongue (as the organ of taste); (in rhet.) the taste or character of a work , the feeling or sentiment prevailing in it
amRta: the deathless, the nectar of immortality
vat: an affix added to words to imply likeness or resemblance , and generally translatable by " as " , " like "
tRpta: mfn. satiated , satisfied with
tRpta-hRdayaH (nom. sg. m.): of sated heart

viviktaH = nom. sg. m. vivikta: mfn. separated , kept apart , distinguished , discriminated ; isolated , alone , solitary ; clear, distinct; discriminative , judicious
saMsaktaM: mfn. adhered or stuck together
viShaya: object
kRpaNam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. inclined to grieve , pitiable , miserable , poor , wretched , feeble ; low , vile ; miserly , stingy
shocati = 3rd pers. sg. shuc: to suffer violent heat or pain , be sorrowful or afflicted , grieve , mourn at or for (loc. or acc. with prati) &c ; to bewail , lament , regret (acc.)
jagat (acc. sg.): n. the world

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