Sunday, May 23, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 1.46: Wealthy & Worthy Householders, Settled in a Gated Community

sa-lajjaan diirgha-darshinaH
arhato 'tiShThipan yatra
shuuraan dakShaan kuTumbinaH

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

Householders of character and means,

Modest, far-sighted,

Worthy, stout and able,

They caused to settle there.

The main point of this verse, as I read it, is indicated by the repeated use, in atiShThipan in line 3, of the 3rd person plural causitive aorist -- they [the princes] caused [priests, soldiers, householders] to [pray, win, settle]. Again, the point seems to be that activity was directed from the top by the founders and benevolent dictators of Kapilavastu, the Shakya princes.

In line 1 the householders who the princes caused to settle in Kapilavastu are described as dhana-sampanna, moneyed, endowed with wealth, men of means. One gets the sense of somewhere like a modern gated community, which fits in with what we know of the historical background to the Buddha's early life.

A connection might be intended between two elements of line 2, sa-lajja (having shame [with regard to the past]) and diirgha-darshin (being far-sighted, looking to the future). In that sense, line 2 seems to me to presage the beginning of Canto 12, where the negative emotion of shame is instrumental in causing Nanda to want to turn over a new leaf.

EH Johnston:
There they settled on honourable terms their fellow-clansmen, who were endowed with good conduct and wealth and were self-respecting, circumspect, courageous and active.

Linda Covill:
Here they settled respectable householders of wealth and good character, who were modest, far-sighted, brave and industrious.

caaritra-dhana-sampannaan (acc. pl. m.) furnished with good conduct and wealth
caaritra: n. good conduct , good character , reputation
dhana: n. any valued object , (esp.) wealth , riches , (movable) property , money , treasure , gift
sampanna: mfn. fallen or turned out well , accomplished , effected , perfect , excellent (ifc. or with loc. = " perfectly acquainted or conversant with "); endowed or furnished with , possessed of (instr. or comp.)
sam- √ pad: to fall or happen well , turn out well , succeed , prosper , accrue to (dat. or gen.)

sa-lajjaan (acc. pl. m.): mfn. feeling shame or modesty , bashful , embarrassed
diirgha-darshinaH (acc. pl. m.): far-seeing
diirgha: mfn. long (in space and time)
darshin: mfn. ifc. seeing , looking at , observing , examining , finding

arhataH (acc. pl. m.): mfn. deserving ; worthy , venerable , respectable
atiShThipan (3rd person plural causitive aorist sthaa): they caused to stand , they settled;
yatra: ind. at which place

shuuraan (acc. pl. m.): mfn. strong , powerful , valiant , heroic , brave
dakShaan (acc. pl. m.): mfn. able , fit , adroit , expert , clever , dexterous , industrious , intelligent
kuTumbinaH = acc. pl. kuTumbin: m. a householder ; a member of a family , any one (also a servant) belonging to a family ; a peasant

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