Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 2.63: Nanda's Fall from Grace (Perils of a Good Education)

tatas tayoH saMskRtayo krameNa
nar'-endra-suunvoH kRta-vidyayosh ca
kaameShv' ajasraM pramamaada nandaH
sarvaartha-siddhas tu na saMraraNja

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Then, gradually,
those two sons of the king became educated,

In ways of action and in learning.

Nanda frittered all his time on idle pleasures;

But Sarvartha-siddha, Accomplisher of Every Aim,
was not mottled by the redness of passions.

Implicit in this verse, as I read it, is a cause and effect relation wherein the process of education provides a strong stimulus for all but bodhisattvas with exceptionally good karma, to go wrong -- largely because of fearful trying to be right.

Thus, the more educated a person is (and the worse an individual's karma is), the more likely they are to have diverged from any original state of grace they enjoyed as a child. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

As FM Alexander observed in connection with what might crudely be described as postural re-education:

"A child of three can understand this work, but give me a man who has been educated and God help me!"

If the habit of trying to be right is causing a stiff neck and other related problems, then start by giving up all idea of being right and a lot of problems will already have been cut off at source.

A child of three can understand it. But an educated man of fifty...?

For an educated man of fifty, each verse, like each new day, is a new stimulus, a new opportunity -- to go wrong by trying to be right, or to drop off body and mind and hit the target.

May this translation, imperfect though it is, help all living beings towards realisation of the truth of Sarvartha-siddha, Hitter of Every Target.

EH Johnston:
Then in due course the two princes were initiated and learned all sciences; Nanda indulged himself perpetually in pleasure but Sarvarthasiddha did not give way to passion.

Linda Covill:
The two princes gradually grew in refinement and learning, but while Nanda for ever idled away his time in pleasures, Sarvartha-siddha was not so colored.

tataH: ind. then
tayoH (gen. dual): of those two
saMskRtayaH = nom. pl. saMskRti: f. making ready , preparation , perfection ; formation ; determination, effort
saM-s-√ kR: to put together , form well , join together , compose ; to prepare , make ready , dress , cook (food) ; to form or arrange according to sacred precept , consecrate ; to adorn , embellish , refine , elaborate , make perfect , (esp.) form language according to strict rules
krameNa: ind. instr. in regular course , gradually , by degrees

nar'-endra-suunvoH (gen dual.): the two princes
nar'-endra: m. " man-lord " , king , prince
suunu: m. a son , child , offspring
kRta-vidyayoH (loc./gen dual): in good works and learning
kRta: n. deed , work , action ; n. service done , kind action , benefit ; n. magic , sorcery ; mfn. done , made , accomplished , performed ; prepared , made ready ; well done , proper , good ; cultivated ; appointed (as a duty)
vidyaa: f. knowledge , science , learning
ca: and

kaameShu = loc. pl. kaama: m. desires, pleasures
ajasram: ind. ceaselessly, constantly
pramamaada = 3rd pers. sg. pefect pra- √ mad: to enjoy one's self , be joyous , sport , play ; to be careless or negligent , to be indifferent to or heedless about (abl. or loc.) ; to neglect duty for , idle away time in (loc.)
nandaH (nom. sg. m. ): Nanda

sarvaartha-siddhaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. one who has accomplished all aims ; m. N. of gautama buddha (so called , according to some , because his parents' wishes were all fulfilled by his birth)
sarva: all
artha: aim, purpose
siddha: mfn. accomplished , fulfilled , effected ; successful
tu: but
na: not
saMraraNja = 3rd pers. sg. perfect saM- √ raNj: to be dyed or coloured , become red ; to be affected with any passion

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