svayam eva yath" aalikhya
rajyec citra-karaH striyaM
tathaa kRtvaa svayaM snehaM
saMgam eti jane janaH
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Just as an artist, all by himself,
Might fall in love with a woman he painted,
So, each generating attachment by himself,
Do people become attached to one another.
The woman in the painting has a beautifully-proportioned figure and face, totally unblemished skin, and is beyond aging, sickness, and death. She smells only of roses.
The feeling of the artist who pictured her might be very real but, sadly, the woman does not really exist. There is no such woman.
Lest I lose the will to live, I keep reminding myself that in this series of verses concerning bonds of human affection or attachment, the main point remains, in the words of EHJ, "Emptying the Mind," or in the words of LC "Abandoning Notions," or in the phrase I prefer "Giving Up an Idea" -- vitarka-prahaaNa.
So although the tone may sound relentlessly and depressingly negative, where the Buddha is leading us with all this negativity in regard to ideas, is towards sitting with supreme ease, being mindful of real breathing -- in other words, towards a bit of nothing which is the realization of every jewel in Indra's net.
Apopros of the metaphor of the painter, I googled Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa...
As a painter might fall in love with a woman he had himself created (in a picture), so is man attached to man by inventing affection himself.
Just as an artist might fall in love with a woman that he has painted himself, so does a man become involved with someone when he has invented the affection himself.
svayam: ind. of or by one's self, spontaneously , voluntarily , of one's own accord
yathaa: just as
aalikhya = abs. aa√likh: to scratch ; to mark , draw , write , delineate , paint
rajyet = 3rd pers. sg. optative raNj: to be dyed or coloured , to redden , grow red , glow ; to be affected or moved , be excited or glad , be charmed or delighted by (instr.) , be attracted by or enamoured of , fall in love with (loc.)
citra-karaH (nom. sg.): m. a painter
striyam = acc. sg. strii: f. a woman
tathaa: so, likewise
kRtvaa = absolutive kR: to make, cause, fabricate
svayam: ind. by oneself
sneham (acc.): m. oiliness; blandness , tenderness , love , attachment to , fondness or affection for (loc. gen. , or comp.)
saMgam (acc. sg.): (1) m. coming together; (2) = saNgam: m. sticking , clinging to , touch , contact with ; relation to , association or intercourse with ; addiction or devotion to , propensity for , (esp.) worldly or selfish attachment or affection , desire , wish , cupidity
eti = 3rd pers. sg. i: to go to or towards (with acc.); to arrive at , reach , obtain ; to undertake anything (with acc.)
jane = loc. sg. jana: m. creature , living being , man , person, people, subjects; a common person , one of the people
janaH = nom. sg. jana