Saturday, December 12, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 15.49: Ease Not Got by Going Somewhere

lokasy' aabhyaahatasy' aasya
duHkhaiH shaariira-maanasaiH
kShemaH kash cin na desho 'sti
svastho yatra gato bhavet

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

In this world beset

By hardships physical and mental,

There is no cosy place

To which one might go and be at ease.

In Canto 17, Ashvaghosha describes Nanda's progression (or regression) through:
(1) the first dhyaana, which is possessed of ideas (vitarkavat) and at the same time possessed of joy and ease (priiti-sukh'-opapannam);
(2) the second dhyaana in which he finds a deeper joy still in giving up ideas;
(3) the third dhyaana in which he finds supreme ease in giving up attachment to joy; and
(4) the fourth dhyaana in which Nanda gives up all difficulty and ease.

"At ease" in the above verse is svastha, which has more of a connotation of robust health, whereas "ease" in the description of the four dhyanas is sukha, which has more of a connotation of happiness. Still, the point might be that ease is got not by going somewhere but by giving something up.

First steps on this path, the Daily Mail reported yesterday, have been taken by none other than Victoria Beckham (aka "Posh Spice"). Welcome, Posh, not to a place, but to a way of being, and maybe to a way of finding a bit more ease in the practice of sitting-dhyaana.

EH Johnston:
In this world, which is overwhelmed by suffering of body and mind, there is no peaceful country to which one may go and be at ease.

Linda Covill:
The world, stricken by physical and mental suffering, has no safe place to which one could go and be at ease.

lokasya = gen. sg. loka: n. the world
abhyaahatasya = gen. sg. n. abhyaahata: mfn. struck , wounded ; seized by , afflicted with
abhi: ind. (a prefix to verbs and nouns , expressing) to , towards , into , over , upon
aahata: mfn. struck , beaten , hit , hurt ; fastened , fixed
asya (gen. sg. n.): this

duHkhaiH = inst. pl. duHkha: suffering, hardship, trouble
shaariira-maanasaiH (inst. pl): body-mind, psycho-physical, physico-mental

kShemaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. ( √kSi) habitable ; giving rest or ease or security ; at ease , prosperous , safe
√kSi: to abide , stay , dwell , reside (used especially of an undisturbed or secret residence)
kash cit (nom. sg. m.): any
na: not
deshaH (nom. sg.): m. point , region , spot , place; country
asti: there is

svasthaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. self-abiding , being in one's self ; being in one's natural state , being one's self uninjured , unmolested , contented , doing well , sound, well , healthy , comfortable , at ease ; relying upon one's self , confident , resolute , composed ; self-sufficient , independent
yatra: where, in which, wherein
gataH (nom. sg. m.): gone to, being in
bhavet (3rd pers. sg. optative bhuu): one might be

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