Thursday, March 4, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.51: A Superior Class of Ease

yasmaat paraM tatra sukhaM sukhebhyas
tataH paraM n'aasti sukha-pravRttiH
tasmaad babhaaShe shubha-kRtsna-bhuumiM
par'-aapara-jNaH param" eti maitryaa

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

Since the ease here is beyond any ease,

And there is no progression of ease beyond it,

Therefore, as a knower of higher and lower,
he realised it as a condition of resplendent wholeness

Which, with loving kindness, he deemed superlative.

This and the previous verse relate to nobility vs ignobility, higher and lower, superiority and inferiority.

Since the previous verse describes Nanda as experiencing and knowing the ease enjoyed by the noble ones, I have decided to interpret "the knower of higher and lower" in this verse as Nanda himself.

In that case, this verse describes Nanda recognizing that the ease of non-attachment to joy is a superior class of ease, a nobler kind of ease -- this recognition being arrived at not in an arrogant or haughty way but on the contrary maitryaa, with loving kindness, in a friendly way.

EH Johnston:
Since the bliss reached at that point is the highest of all blisses, there is no continuance of bliss beyond it; therefore the Knower of the higher and lower stages called it the ShubhakRtsena stage as being supreme through benevolence.

Linda Covill:
Bliss does not operate beyond this level, since the bliss here is greater than any other bliss. Therefore the knower of the lower and the higher called it the stage of the entirely lovely, supreme through loving-kindness.

yasmaat: ind. from which cause, since
param: ind. beyond, greater than
tatra: ind. there, in that stage
sukham (acc. sg.): n. ease, effortlessness, happiness
sukhebhyaH (gen./abl. pl.): all kinds of ease

tataH: ind. from there, from that, thereupon
param: ind. beyond
na: not
aasti: there is
sukha: ease
pravRttiH (nom. sg.): f. moving onwards, advance, progress, continuing

tasmaad (correlative of yasmaat): ind. from that, therefore
babhaaSHe = 3rd pers. perfect of bhaas: to shine , be bright ; to appear (" as " or " like " nom. or instr. of an abstract noun) , occur to the mind , be conceived or imagined, become clear or evident
shubha-kRtsna-bhuumim (acc. sg.): condition of resplendent wholeness
shubha: lovely, splendid, pleasant
kRtsna: all, whole, entire; the belly
bhuumi: ground, place, position, stage, situation; (ifc.) a matter , subject , object , receptacle i.e. fit object or person for

para: mfn. superior, higher
a-para: mfn. inferior , lower (opposed to para)
jNaH (nom. sg. m.): knower, wise and learned man
paramaa (nom. sg. f.): mfn. (superlative of para): best, highest
iti: "...," thus
maitryaa (inst. sg. maitrii): because of friendliness, through loving-kindness, with love, with affability, in an easy-going manner
maitrii: f. friendship , friendliness , benevolence , good will (one of the 4 perfect states with Buddhists)

No comments: