Friday, March 19, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.66: Watery Virtues

nirvaapya kaam'-aagnim ahaM hi diiptaM
dhRty-ambunaa paavakam ambun"eva
hlaadaM paraM saampratam aagato 'smi
shiitaM hradaM gharma iv' aavatiirNaH

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

For, by putting out the burning fire of desires,

Using the water of constancy,
As if using water to put out a blaze,

I have now come to a state of supreme refreshment

Like a hot person descending into a cool pool.

In what sense is dhRti, constancy, firmness, or steadfastness, comparable to ambu, water?

Maybe in the sense that water never gets stuck when it runs into any obstacle -- whether it is flowing or still, it is constantly fluid.

End-gaining desires flare up and subside, and one human life is a very fleeting occurrence, but the means-whereby which is like water, or like lifeblood, need not stop flowing.

To use the water of constancy might be to come back, four times a day, to the practice of sitting-dhyana. To use the water of constancy might be to come back, many times a day, to attending to a means-whereby.

For FM Alexander, attending to a means-whereby meant paying attention to what he called The Universal Constant in Living -- by which he meant the manner of one's use of the self, as a constant influence on functions like breathing, beating of the heart, and flowing of the lifeblood.

EH Johnston:
For by extinguishing the blazing fire of the passions with the water of steadfastness as if I were extinguishing a fire with water, I have now come to the highest happiness, like a man descending into a cool pool in the hot weather.

Linda Covill:
Just as I would put out a fire with water, I have extinguished the burning fire of passion with the water of steadfastness; now I have come to utter rapture, like someone slipping into a cool lake during the summer heat.

nirvaapya (abs.): by/after blowing/putting out
nir-√vaa: to blow (as wind) ; to cease to blow , to be blown out or extinguished ; to be allayed or refreshed or exhilarated : Caus. -vaapayati , to put out , extinguish , allay , cool , refresh , delight
nir: out
√vaa: to blow
kaam'-aagnim (acc. sg. m.): the fire of desire
aham (nom. sg.): I
hi: for
diiptam (acc. sg. m.): mfn. blazing, burning

dhRti: f. firmness , constancy , resolution
ambunaa = inst. sg. ambu: n. water
paavakam (acc. sg.): mfn. pure , clear , bright , shining (said of agni , suurya and other gods); m. fire ; m. a saint , a person purified by religious abstraction or one who is purified from sin
ambunaa = inst. sg. ambu: n. water
iva: like

hlaadam (acc. sg.): m. refreshment , pleasure , gladness , joy , delight
param (acc. sg. m.): mfn. supreme
saampratam: ind. presently, now
aagataH (nom. sg. m): come to or into (acc.); entered (into any state or condition of mind)
asmi: I am

shiitam (acc. sg. m.): mfn. cold, cool
hradam (acc. sg.): m. a large or deep piece of water , lake , pool
gharmaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. hot [Apte]; m. heat ; the hot season; perspiration; a cauldron , boiler
iva: like
avatiirNaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. (from ava- √tRR) alighted , descended ; got over (a disease) ; translated
ava- √tRR: to descend into (loc. or acc.); to betake one's self to (acc.), arrive at
ava: ind. off , away , down
√tRR: to pass across or over ; to float , swim

No comments: