aapuH puraM tat puruhuuta-kalpaas
te tejas" aaryeNa na vismayena
aapur yasho-gandham atash ca shashvat
sutaa yayaater iva kiirtimantaH
= = - = = - - = - = =
= = - = = - - = - = -
= = - = = - - = - = =
- = - = = - - = - = =
Those equals of Indra took charge of that city
With noble ardour but without arrogance;
And they thus took on the fragrance of honour, forever,
Like the celebrated sons of Yayati.
In line 2 na vismayena ("without arrogance") comes from the root smi, which means to smile , blush , become red or radiant. And tejasaa in line 2 also has connotations of glowing with fiery energy. So line 2 is expressing something in balance, wherein a prince shows noble ardour or aspiration, without getting unduly full of himself or otherwise carried away.
The link with and the legend of Yayati, may be that out of Yayati's five sons, four had sufficient modesty, or self-restraint, NOT to make the kind of bargain with Yayati that Yayati expected them to make -- Yayati expected all his sons to be pompous enough, and sufficiently ardent in their political ambitions, to be willing to trade in their youth for political power, but four of the five sons said No.
In this verse again, as for example in verse 1.52, though there is no explicit mention of "the Middle Way," a song of the middle way is singing itself through Ashvaghosha. And the body from which such a song spontaneously emerges, I venture to suggest, in invariably the body of sitting-buddha, in which the back is lengthening without arching and narrowing.
It strikes me this morning that it doesn't matter that nobody has listened to what yours truly has been trying to say, from the standpoint and sit-point of Alexander work, about "true Buddhism." Because what I would like to say has already been said, much better than I can say it, by the likes of Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna.
Translation work when done sincerely is very modest work, like polishing a tile. Straying into the area of commentary, pulled along by some unconscious desire to make a kind of excellent mirror, tends all too easily to become all about me and my views and opinions.
So this verse also, as I read it, relates to the one great matter of how truly to polish a tile -- knowing it to be a noble act, and being enthusiastic about it, without getting over-excited about it and straying into pomposity.
When a person wants to make a mirror so much that their desire causes them to think that their own important end justifies dodgy means, that kind of overbearing behaviour, which FM Alexander called 'end-gaining,' carries with it a certain shameful stink.
The FM Alexander Technique, practised under the guidance of a teacher who knows the score, can be a good tool for groping for the origins of the shameful stink.
On the contrary, polishing a tile as a Means-Whereby in the Middle Way carries with it the fragrance of honour (yasho-gandha). That, as I read it, is the main point of this verse, and it is also the central teaching of Master Dogen's Shobogenzo.
Did I stray into pomposity? Yes, and not for the first time, I did. The gold, as always, is in the bold.
These Indra-like heroes protected this city with noble courage not with arrogance, and thus they acquired glory of everlasting fragrance like the famed sons of Yayati.
The princes protected the city in a manner befitting much-invoked Indra, with vigor and nobility, but without arrogance, and won for themselves the perpetual scent of glory like the renowned sons of Yayati.
aapur = 3rd pers. pl. perfect aap: to reach , overtake , meet with , fall upon; to obtain , gain , take possession of'; to arrive at ; to enter , pervade , occupy
puram (acc. sg.): the city
tat (acc. sg.): that
puruhuuta-kalpaaH (nom. sg. m.): equals of much-invoked Indra
puruhuuta: mfn. much invoked or invoked by many; m. N. of indra
huuta: called , summoned , invited
kalpa: mfn. proper , fit , able , competent , equal to (with gen. loc. , inf. , or ifc)
te (nom. pl.): they
tejasaa = inst. sg. tejas: n. the sharp edge (of a knife &c ) , point or top of a flame or ray , glow , glare , splendour , brilliance , light , fire ; clearness of the eyes ; fiery energy , ardour , vital power , spirit , efficacy , essence
aryeNa = inst. sg. arya: mfn. behaving like an Aryan , worthy of one , honourable , respectable , noble
vismayena = inst. sg. vismaya: m. (from vi - vsmi) pride , arrogance
vsmi: to smile , blush , become red or radiant , shine ; to smile , laugh ; to expand , bloom (as a flower) ; to be proud or arrogant
aapur = 3rd pers. pl. perfect aap: to reach , overtake , meet with , fall upon; to arrive at
yasho-gandham (acc. sg.): the fragrance of glory ; the smell of fame
yashas: n. beautiful appearance , beauty , splendour , worth ; honour , glory , fame , renown
gandha: m. smell , odour ; fragrance , scent ; (ifc.) the mere smell of anything , small quantity , little
ataH: ind. from this, hence
shashvat: ind. perpetually , continually , repeatedly , always , ever
sutaaH (nom. pl.): mfn. begotten , brought forth ; m. a son, offspring
yayaateH = gen. sg. yayaati; m. (prob. fr. v yat) N. of a celebrated monarch of the lunar race (son of king nahuSha whom he succeeded ; from his two wives came the two lines of the lunar race , yadu being the son of devayaanii , daughter of ushanas or shukra , and puru of sharmiShThaa , daughter of vRiSha-parvan)
kiirtimantaH = nom. pl. m. kiirtimat: mfn. praised , famous
kiirti: f. (from vkR, to make mention of , praise , speak highly of) mention , making mention of , speech , report ; good report , fame , renown , glory ; Fame (personified as daughter of dakSha and wife of dharma)
-mat: (possessive suffix)