Friday, December 25, 2009

SAUNDARANANDA 15.62: Zero Life Expectancy

tasmaan n' aayuShi vishvaasaM
caNcale kartum arhasi
nityam harati kaalo hi
sthaaviryaM na pratiikShate

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

So place no trust

In teetering life,

For Time is always carrying it off

And does not wait for old age.

According to Britain's Office for National Statistics, life expectancy for a 50-year old British male is around 30 years.
The Buddha in this canto, in contrast, is telling us:
Don't even expect the next breath!

EH Johnston:
Therefore place no trust in this transitory life ; for Death is ever carrying people off and has no reverence for old age.

Linda Covill:
So place no trust in this fleeting life, for time is always seizing people and need not wait for old age.

tasmaat: ind. on that basis, therefore
na: not
aayuShi = loc. sg. aayus: n. life , vital power , vigour , health , duration of life , long life
vishvaasam (acc. sg.): m. confidence , trust , reliance , faith or belief in
vi-√shvas: to draw breath freely , be free from fear or apprehension , be trustful or confident , trust or confide in , rely or depend on

caNcale = loc. caNcala: mfn. (fr. intens. √cal) moving to and fro , movable , unsteady , shaking , quivering , flickering &c; unsteady , inconstant
kartum = inf. kR: to do, make
arhasi: you should

nityam: ind. always , constantly
harati = 3rd pers. sg. hR: to take , bear , carry ; to take away , carry off , seize , deprive of , steal , rob
kaalaH (nom. sg.): m. time , destiny , fate ; time (as destroying all things) , death
hi: for

sthaaviryam = (?) acc. sg: sthaavira: n. (fr. sthavira) old age
na: not
pratiikShate = 3rd pers. sg. prati-√iikSh: to look at , behold , perceive; to look forward to , wait for , expect ; to look at with indifference , bear with , tolerate (acc.)


Jordan said...

Happy Birthday Mike!

jiblet said...

A brief google search revealed:

"Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier."

-Dan Bennett (US comedian and juggler)

And that'll have to do.

Happy Birthday, Mike.

Mike Cross said...

Many thanks Jordan, jiblet.