Sunday, July 25, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 2.46: Scouting for Actual Dharma-Happenings

atha tasmin tathaa kaale
dharma-kaamaa divaukasaH
vicerur dishi lokasya
dharma-caryaa didRkShavaH

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

Now at that time

Dharma-loving denizens of the heavens

Moved into the orbit of the human world,

Wishing to investigate dharma movements.

Dharma-loving denizens of the heavens could mean beings that naturally belong to the sky, like birds and bees, or supernatural beings whose existence is imagined, on the firm basis of unshakeable belief in cause and effect. In the latter case the expression, as I read it, is not to be taken literally but as belonging to the poetic portrayal of a legend which posits a causal basis in the practice of dharma for the birth of the King of Dharma.

In line 4 EHJ queried the addition of M to dharma-caryaa, and LC added the M, so that the singular object is dharma in action, or actual practice of dharma. I have gone zith EHJ's original, which makes the object plural -- "dharma goings-on." Either way, the point might be that the dharma-loving denizens of the heavens were not interested in human views on dharma or human discussion about dharma: they were on the lookout for real instances of dharma, in movement or in non-movement.

EH Johnston:
Now at that time the inhabitants of Heaven, being lovers of righteousness and desirous of seeing its practice, passed over the regions of the world.

Linda Covill:
Now at that time the dharma-loving denizens of heaven, hoping to see dharma in action, traversed the world in all directions.

atha: (ind.) now, and so, etc.
tasmin (loc. sg.): that
tathaa: so, thus
kaale (loc. sg.): time

dharma-kaamaaH (nom. pl. m.): dharma-loving
divaukasaH = nom. pl. divaukas: m. " sky-dweller " , a deity ; a planet ; a bee ; an elephant

vicerur = 3rd pers. pl. vi- √ car : to move in different directions , spread , expand , be diffused ; to rove , ramble about or through , traverse , pervade ; to sally forth , march against , make an attack or assault ; to stand or be situated in (loc. ; applied to heavenly bodies)
dishi = loc. sg. dish: f. quarter or region pointed at , direction (dishi , dishi , in all directions , everywhere)
lokasya = gen. sg. loka: m. intermediate space ; a tract , region , district , country , province ; the wide space or world ; the earth or world of human beings

dharma-caryaaH (acc. pl. f.): dharma-goings-on; instances of dharma in motion
dharma: dharma
caryaa: f. going about , wandering , walking or roaming about , visiting , driving
carya: n. (often ifc.) proceeding , behaviour , conduct
didRkShavaH = nom. pl. m. didRkShu: mfn. wishing to examine or try ; desiring to see

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