Saturday, July 24, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 2.45: An Unshackled State of Grace

evam-aadibhir a-tyakto
babhuuv' aa-sulabhair guNaiH
shaakya-raajaH sa shakra-vat

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Not eschewed by such

Uncommon virtues as these

Was he who on no side could be shackled --

The unshackleable Shakya King, like Shakra.

shakra-vat, "like Shakra," means like Indra, king of the gods in ancient Indian mythology.

But the primary function of this verse is to round off, in a poetically pleasing manner, the long list of the king's virtues.

Hence the euphonic combination of...
a-shakya: impossible
shakya: to be subdued, shackled
shaakya: Shakya
shakra: Indra

The style of expression of the verse, as I read it, suggests that virtues are not forced into being but rather that they grace a person.

EH Johnston:
This invincible king of the Shakyas, to whom the vassal princes were submissive, was endowed like Shakra with these and other rare virtues.

Linda Covill:
Never deficient in rare qualities such as these was that king of the Shakyas, who with his capable feudatories was as unconquerable as Indra.

evam: such
aadibhiH (inst. pl.): beginning with, etc., and so on
a-tyaktaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. not left , not abandoned , not parted from
tyaj: to leave , abandon , quit ; to give up , surrender , resign , part from , renounce

babhuuva = 3rd pers. sg. perfect bhuu: to be
a-sulabhaiH (inst. pl. m.): mfn. difficult of attainment , rare
su-labha: mfn. easy to be obtained or effected , easily accessible or attainable , feasible , easy , common , trivial
guNaiH (inst. pl.): m. virtue, good quality

a-shakya: mfn. impossible , impractible ; not to be overcome , invincible
shakya: mfn. able , possible , practicable , capable of being; to be conquered or subdued , liable to be compelled to
saamantaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. (fr. sam-anta) being on all sides ; bordering , limiting ; m. a neighbour ; m. a vassal , feudatory prince , the chief of a district (paying tribute to a lord paramount) ; m. a leader , general , captain , champion
sam: (expresses joining or union)
anta: limit, boundary

shaakya-raajaH (nom. sg. m.): the Shakya King
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
shakra-vat (adverbial comparative): like Shakra
shakra: mfn. strong , powerful , mighty (applied to various gods , but esp. to indra) ; m. N. of indra
-vat: (adverbial suffix) like

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