Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 4.1: In the Palace Penthouse

munau bruvaaNe' pi tu tatra dharmaM
dharmaM prati jNaatiShu c' aadRteShu
praasaada-saMstho madan-aika-kaaryaH
priyaa-sahaayo vijahaara nandaH

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But even when the sage was there speaking the dharma,

And even though other family members heeded the dharma,

Nanda passed the time in the company of his wife

Staying in the palace penthouse,
solely occupied with love.

The whole work of Saundarananda seems to fall broadly into four parts. The first part is the first three cantos which set the scene with their somewhat idealized portrayals of Kapilavastu, the King, and the Tathagata. The second part, cantos 4 through 11, is a more entertaining blow-by-blow account of Nanda's struggle. In the third part, cantos 12 through 16, the Buddha elucidates his teaching in detail. And the conclusion is cantos 17 and 18, including the description of how Nanda makes the teaching his own.

The first part, then, comprises 169 verses; the second part 437 verses; the third part 318 verses, and the fourth part 137 verses.

So the second part which we are now entering has 437, or more than 40%, of Saundarananda's total of 1061 verses. At the rate of one verse per day, all being well, I would finish these 437 verses in a year and two months, around the end of 2011. At a rate of two verses per day, all being well, I would finish these 437 verses in seven months, in the spring of next year, so that, adding in the 64 verses of canto 18, I would be ready to move onto Buddhacarita from next summer.

This kind of arithmetic emboldens me to start going for two verses per day -- maintaining as far as possible a bull-like gait, but at the same time the gait of a bull that is getting a move on.

For who knows how long this dew-drop life will last?

EH Johnston:
But Nanda remained in his palaces with his mistress, absorbed in love, though the Sage was expounding the Law there and his kinsfolk were proving their reverence for the Law.

Linda Covill:
Though the sage was in the city teaching the dharma, and though his near relations honored the dharma, Nanda stayed in his palace with his wife, making love his only concern.

munau = loc. sg. muni: m. sage
bruvaaNe = loc. sg. m. pres. part. bruu: , to speak , say , tell ;
to speak about any person or thing (acc. with or without prati) ; to proclaim , predict
api: even, though
tu: but
tatra: ind. there
dharmam (acc. sg.): m. the dharma, the law, the teaching

dharmam (acc. sg.): m. the dharma, the law, the teaching
prati: ind. towards
jNaatiShu = loc. pl. m. jNaati: m. " intimately acquainted " , a near relation , kinsman
ca: and
aadRteShu = loc. pl. m. aadRta: mfn. attentive , careful , zealous , diligent ; respected , honoured , worshipped

praasaada-saMsthaH (nom. sg. m.): staying in the palace penthouse
praasaada: m. (for pra-saada lit. " sitting forward " , sitting on a seat in a conspicuous place ) a lofty seat or platform for spectators , terrace ; the top-story of a lofty building ; a lofty palatial mansion (approached by steps) , palace , temple ; (with Buddhists) the monks' hall for assembly and confession
saMstha: mfn. standing together , standing or staying or resting or being in or on , contained in (loc. or comp.)
madan'-aika-kaaryaH (nom. sg. m.): having love as his sole occupation
madana: m. passion , love or the god of love
eka: mfn. one ; alone , solitary , single
kaarya: n. work or business to be done , duty , affair ; n. occupation , matter , thing

priyaa-sahaayaH (nom. sg. m.): in the company of his wife
priyaa: f. a mistress , wife
sahaaya: m. one who goes along with (another) " , a companion , follower , adherent , ally , assistant , helper in or to (loc. or comp. ; ifc. " having as a companion or assistant , accompanied or supported by ")
vijahaara = 3rd pers. sg. perfect vi- √ hR: to disperse (clouds): to move on , walk ; to spend or pass (time) ; to roam , wander through (acc.) ; (esp.) to walk or roam about for pleasure , divert one's self
nandaH (nom. sg. m.): Nanda

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