Monday, March 22, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 17.69: Neither Something Nor Nothing

rogaad iv' aarogyam a-sahya-ruupaad
RNaad iv' aan-RNyam an-anta-saMkhyaat
dviShat-sakaashaad iva c' aapayaanaM
durbhikSha-yogaac ca yathaa subhikSham

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

Like gaining health out of incurable illness,

Relief from immeasurable debt,

Or escape from an enemy presence;

Or like gaining, after famine, plentiful food:

The first three lines of this verse are in accordance with the understanding I expressed yesterday, that Nirvana may be better understood not so much as the gaining of something as the absence of anything -- for example, absence of illness, absence of debt, or absence of hostility.

But then comes the punch line: Nanda says that Nirvana is, after a prolonged absence of anything, like gaining a lot of something.

EH Johnston:
Or like one who has obtained good health after an unbearable illness or release from a debt of unimaginable amount or escape from the face of his adversaries or plenty after famine.

Linda Covill:
like recovery from an unendurable sickness, like solvency after incalculable debt, like escape from an enemy presence, like plentiful alms after a dearth of alms,

rogaad = abl. sg. roga: m. ( √ ruj) " breaking up of strength " , disease , infirmity , sickness
iva: like
aarogyam (acc. sg.): n. (fr. a-roga) freedom from disease , health
aroga: mfn. free from disease , healthy , well
a-sahya-ruupaad (abl. sg. m.): of an insuperable form, incurable
a-sahya: mfn. unbearable , insufferable , insuperable
ruupa: n. any outward appearance or phenomenon or colour, form , shape , figure (often ifc. = " having the form or appearance or colour of " , " formed or composed of " , " consisting of " , " like to " ; sometimes used after an adj. to emphasize its meaning or almost redundantly)

RNaad = abl. sg. RNa: n. anything due , obligation , duty , debt; n. a debt of money , money owed
iva: like
an-RNyam (acc. sg.): n. (fr. an-RNa) , acquittance of debt or obligation , the not being indebted to (gen.)
an-RNa: mfn. free from debt
an-anta-saMkhyaat (abl. sg. n.): incalculable
an-anta: mfn. endless , boundless , eternal , infinite
saMkhya: mfn. counting up or over , reckoning or summing up

dviShat-sakaashaad (abl. sg.): from a hostile presence
dviShat: mfn. (from √dviSh, to hate) hating or detesting , hostile , unfriendly , foe , enemy
sakaasha: m. presence , propinquity , vicinity , nearness
iva: like
ca: and
apayaanam (acc. sg.): n. retreat , flight
apa- √ yaa: to go away , depart , retire from (abl.). ; to fall off
apa: ind. (as a prefix to nouns and verbs , expresses) away , off , back ; down
√ yaa: to go

durbhikSha-yogaat (abl. sg.): out of the yoke of famine, after contact with famine
durbhikSha: n. scarcity of provisions , dearth , famine , want , distress
yoga: m. the act of yoking; any junction , union , combination , contact with (comp.)
ca: and
yathaa: as, like
subhikSham (acc. sg.): n. abundance of food (esp. that given as alms) , abundant supply of provisions , plenty (opp. to dur-bhikSha)

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