Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 2.42: Non-Buddhist Virtues (ctd.) -- Freedom from Rules through Non-Enslavement to the Power of the Senses

na ten' aabhedi maryaadaa
kaamaad dveShaad bhayaad api
tena satsv api bhogeShu
n' aasev' iindriya-vRttitaa

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

No rule did he break,

Out of love, hate, or fear;

Thus, even while abiding in pleasurable circumstances,

He did not remain in thrall to the power of the senses.

The first half of this verse can be read as meaning that the king, because of having bamboo pipes for nostrils and black beads for eyeballs, never broke any rule.

An alternative reading, and one that fits well with the second half of the verse as I read it, is that the king never broke any rule out of love, hate or fear... but he might have broken the odd rule in the absence of love, hate or fear. In other words, insofar as he resided on the plane of conscious control the king was free, as buddha, to break any rule that he deemed fit to break.

When a person's sensory appreciation is faulty, as in most of us it is, then the idea that it is bad to break a rule ties us to that faulty sensory appreciation. In that case it is necessary to give up the idea that it is bad to break a rule in order to truly be free not to break the rule.

Truly to be free is to be released from the prison of unconscious emotional reactions to stimuli received through the dirty filter of faulty sensory appreciation. And the key to this release is the giving up of an end-gaining idea. Thus, because truly to be free means, primarily, being liberated from the power of the senses, the title of Canto 13 is Thwarting the Power of the Senses through the Practice of Integrity. And because everything depends on giving up an end-gaining idea, the title of Canto 15 is Giving Up an Idea.

EH Johnston:
He never offended against the rules of propriety from passion, hatred or fear, and did not indulge his senses, though possessed of the objects of enjoyment.

Linda Covill:
He transgressed no moral boundary, whether out of desire, hatred or fear, and though pleasures were available to him, he did not cultivate sensuality.

na: not
tena (inst. sg.): by him
abhedi = 3rd pers. sg. aorist passive bhid: to split , cleave , break , cut or rend asunder , pierce , destroy ; to transgress , violate , (a compact or alliance)
maryaadaa (nom. sg.): f. " giving or containing clear marks or signs " , a frontier , limit , boundary , border , bank , shore , mark , end , extreme point , goal (in space and time); the bounds or limits of morality and propriety , rule or custom , distinct law or definition ; a covenant , agreement , bond , contract
maryaa: f. (perhaps orig. something clear or shining ; cf. mariici and marut) a mark , limit , boundary

kaamaat (abl. sg.): out of love
dveShaat (abl. sg.): out of hate
bhayaat (abl. sg.): out of fear
api: also

tena (inst. sg.): by him
tena: ind. (instr. of ta) in that manner , thus; on that account , for that reason , therefore
satsu = loc. pl. m. sat: mfn. (pr. p. of √as) being, actual, good ; abiding in (loc.)
api: even
bhogeShu: m. ( √3. bhuj) enjoyment , eating , feeding on ; use , application ; sexual enjoyment ; enjoyment of the earth or of a country i.e. rule , sway ; experiencing , feeling , perception (of pleasure or pain) ; profit , utility , advantage , pleasure , delight ; any object of enjoyment (as food , a festival &c )
√3. bhuj: to enjoy , use , possess , (esp.) enjoy a meal , eat

na: not
asevi = 3rd pers. sg. aorist passive sev: to remain or stay at , live in , frequent , haunt , inhabit , resort to (acc.) ; to enjoy sexually ; to devote or apply one's self to , cultivate , study , practise , use , employ , perform , do
indriya-vRttitaa (nom. sg. f.): being occupied with the senses
indriya: n. power of the senses ; senses ; sense-organs
vRtti: f. rolling; mode of life or conduct , course of action , behaviour , (esp.) moral conduct ; practice , business , devotion or addiction to , occupation with (often ifc. " employed about " , " engaged in " , " practising ")
-taa: (abstract noun suffix)

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