Saturday, July 3, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 2.24: Non-Buddhist Virtues (ctd.) -- Tough Love

kRt'-aagaso 'pi praNataan
praag eva priya-kaariNaH
adarshat snigdhayaa dRShTyaa
shlakShNena vacas" aasicat

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Even those who transgressed, if submissive,

And before them, of course, those who acted agreeably,

He surveyed with an affectionate eye

And steeped in loving speech.

If the previous verse expresses a certain virile intolerance to one kind of softness (lack of solid conviction in regard to cause and effect), this verse as I read it redresses the balance by affirming another kind of softness (tolerance of mistakes, love, gentleness, etc.).

There is an echo in Dogen's teaching of cause and effect in Shobogenzo, where a certain latitude seems to be expressed in regard to human errors and mistakes, but little latitude is allowed when it comes to accepting or negating the absolute rule of cause and effect.

So this and the previous verse together, as I read them, are saying something about a kind of tough love. The previous verse can be read as upholding the principle of being as hard as nails in not negating cause and effect -- a tough side of tough love -- and this verse as expressing the loving side.

EH Johnston:
Not to speak of those who did his pleasure, even the guilty when they humbled themselves before him he regarded with a benign eye and bedewed with soft words.

Linda Covill:
He let his gentle gaze and soft words fall not only on those that had previously done him service, but also on those offenders who submitted to him.

kRt'-aagasaH (acc. pl. m.): those who transgressed
kRta: done
aagas: n. transgression , offence , injury , sin , fault
api: also
praNataan (acc. pl. m.): mfn. bent forwards , bowed , inclined ; humble , submissive

praak: ind. before (in place or in order or time); previously
eva: (emphatic)
priya-kaariNaH (acc. pl. m.): those who acted agreeably
priya: n. love , kindness , favour , pleasure ; ind. agreeably , kindly , in a pleasant way
kaarin: mfn. doing , making , effecting , producing , acting , an actor

adarshat = 3rd pers. sg. aorist dRsh: to see, behold , look at , regard ; care for
snigdhayaa = inst. sg. f. snigdha: mfn. sticky , viscous or viscid , glutinous , unctuous , slippery , smooth; oily; adhesive , attached , affectionate , tender , friendly , attached to or fond; soft , mild , bland , gentle ; lovely , agreeable , charming
dRShTyaa = inst. sg. dRShTi: f. seeing , viewing , beholding; eye, look, glance

shlakShNena = inst. sg. n. shlakShna: mfn. (fr. √ shliS ? ) slippery , smooth , polished , even , soft , tender , gentle , bland etc; small , minute , thin , slim , fine; honest
√ shliS to adhere , attach , cling to ; to clasp , embrace
vacasaa (inst. sg.): n. speech, voice, word
asicat = 3rd pers. sg. aorist sic: to pour out , discharge , emit , shed , infuse or pour into or on (loc.) ; to emit semen , impregnate ; to scatter in small drops , sprinkle , besprinkle or moisten with (instr.); to dip , soak , steep

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