vibhuuShayaam aasa tataH priyaaM sa
siSheviShus taaM na mRj"-aavah'-aarthaM
sven' aiva ruupeNa vibhuuShitaa hi
vibhuuShaNaanaam api bhuuShaNaM saa
- = - = = - - = - = -
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= = - = = - - = - = -
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Wishing to cherish his beloved
he bedecked her there in finery,
But not so as to make her beautiful --
For she was so graced already by her own gorgeousness
That she was rather the adorner of her adornments.
Remembering the importance of silk as a commodity whose trade was instrumental in the spread of the Buddha's teaching through lands we now call Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, et cetera, I guess what Ashvaghosha might have had in mind here by vibhuuShaNaanaam (items of ornamentation) was not only jewels but also silk accessories -- what we would call lingerie.
For the translation of the last line of the verse, "it was she who lent loveliness..." is a lovely turn of phrase by LC, elegant poet that she is, and I am tempted to borrow the phrase. On second thoughts, though, I probably would not have thought of the phrase myself and so I will stay with EHJ in the somewhat stilted and wooden non-poets' camp, mirroring the grammar of Ashvaghosha's original Sanskrit.
Once he covered her with ornaments, not that she should be decorated, but simply in order to serve her ; for she was so adorned by her beauty that she was rather the ornament of her ornaments.
At one time he arranged her jewellery on her, not to make her lovelier, but to do her a service; for she was so adorned by her own beauty that it was she who lent loveliness to her jewels.
vibhuuShayaam (acc. sg. abstract noun from vi- √ bhuuSh: to adorn , decorate): decorating, adornment
asaa = 3rd pers. sg. perfect as: to be (used as copula to form periphrastic perfect)
tataH: ind. thence, there, then
priyaam (acc. sg. f.): mfn. beloved; f. wife
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
siSheviShuH (nom. sg.): mfn. (from desiderative sev) wishing to serve
sev: to remain or stay at , live in , frequent , haunt , inhabit , resort to (acc.); to serve , wait or attend upon , honour , obey , worship ; to cherish , foster (a child) ; to enjoy sexually , have sexual intercourse with (acc.) ; to devote or apply one's self to
taam (acc. sg. f.): her
mRj"-aavah'-aartham: for the purpose of bringing a pure skin
mRjaa: f. wiping , cleansing , washing , purification , ablution ; purity , cleanliness ; a pure skin , clear complexion (= chaayaa)
chaaya: n. shading or blending of colours , play of light or colours , lustre , light , colour , colour of the face , complexion , features ; n. gracefulness , beauty
aavaha: mfn. bringing , bringing to pass , producing ; what bears or conveys
artha: mn. aim, purpose
svena (inst. sg.): by her own
ruupeNa (inst. sg.): beauty
vibhuuShitaa (nom. sg. f.): mfn. adorned , decorated
vibhuuShaNaanaam = gen. pl. vibhuuShaNa: n. decoration , ornament ; n. splendour , beauty
bhuuShaNam (nom. sg.): n. embellishment , ornament , decoration
saa (nom. sg. f.): she