Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 15.38: Lucky in Love? Not Likely!

a-hito dRshyate jNaatir
a-jNaatir dRshyate hitaH
snehaM kaary'-aantaraal lokash
chinatti ca karoti ca

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

A close relation proves to be an enemy;

A stranger proves to be a friend.

By the different things they do,

Folk break and make affection.

A close relation might be expected always to be on one's side, whereas a stranger is less likely to be so. That is the general idea.

But empirical facts, as are to be observed in the laboratory of the family lawyer's office, or on the slaughter-bench of the history of royal families, invariably falsify such general ideas.

This verse as I read it echoes the point made in 15.35, that what holds human societies together is not strength of emotional bonds but rather cause and effect.

The making or breaking of bonds of affection is a matter not of Cupid's intervention or of genetics, but of individual decisions to do or not to do.

So judge a dog not by its breed, but by its deed. And if that deed is horrific, as when a dog kills a child, invariably in the background is a dog-owner harbouring some idea.

Ban the breed and destroy the dog, but nothing will change for the better until person gives up idea.

EH Johnston:
Kinsmen are known to act in unfriendly fashion and strangers in friendly. Men make and break affection according to their interests.

Linda Covill:
A family member may be ill-disposed towards you, while someone unrelated is demonstrably friendly. A man makes or breaks affection because of his different needs.

a-hitaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. unfit , improper ; unadvantageous ; noxious , hostile; m. an enemy
dRshyate = 3rd pers. sg. passive dRsh: to be seen , become visible , appear ; to be shown or manifested , appear as (iva) , prove
jNaatiH = nom. sg. jNaati: family member, kinsman

a-jNaatiH (nom. sg.): m. non-family member, not a kinsman, not related
dRshyate: is seen, is visibly, proves
hitaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. beneficial , advantageous , salutary , wholesome , suitable , agreeing with (often , said of diet , regimen , medicines &c ) , convenient , suitable , fit , agreeable to or for (dat. gen. loc. , or comp.) ; well-disposed , favourable , friendly , affectionate , kind
m. a friend , benefactor

sneham (acc.): m. oiliness, affection
kaarya: n. work or business to be done , duty , affair; n. occupation , matter , thing , enterprise , emergency , occurrence , crisis ;
occasion , need ; an effect, result; motive , object , aim , purpose; cause , origin
antaraat = ablative antara: n. (ifc.) different , other , another (e.g. desh'aantaram , another country)
lokaH (nom. sg.): m. the earth or world of human beings; mankind, folk

chinatti = 3rd pers. sg. chid: to cut off , amputate , cut through; to destroy , annihilate , efface
ca: and
karoti = 3rd pers. sg. kR: to make
ca: and

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