Friday, September 10, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 4.36: ... And the Carrot

ath' aapy an-aashyaana-visheShakaayaaM
mayy eShyasi tvaM tvaritaM tatas tvaam
nipiiDayiShyaami bhuja-dvayena
nir-bhuuShaNen' aardra-vilepanena

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

But if you hurry back to me

Before my face-paint is dry,

Then I will hold you close in my arms

With nothing embellishing them
save the moisture of fragrant oils."

Is Sundari threatening Nanda with the stick and offering him a carrot? Or is it more accurate to say that she is tempting the donkey-like Nanda with a stick-shaped carrot and a carrot-shaped carrot?

Either way, Nanda's story has a lot to do with carrots, until such time as he stops behaving like a donkey.

Through to the beginning of Canto 12, Nanda is highly susceptible to carrots, and, through the device of the celestial pink-footed nymphs of Nanda's dreams, the Buddha utilizes this susceptibility to motivate Nanda, to get the donkey moving, without worrying about the purity of motivation.

Eventually, sitting totally still at the level of the fourth dhyana, Nanda reaches the stage of indifference -- non-susceptibility to being influenced by sticks or carrots.

That, however, is not the end of the story. Before the donkey gets to eat the ultimate carrot, Nirvana, there still remain to be cut the upper fetters -- pride and suchlike -- which are tied up with superiority and self-importance.

EH Johnston:
But if you return to me quickly before the paint is dry, I shall hug you with my unadorned arms with the ointment still wet on them. '

Linda Covill:
But if you hurry back to me before my visheshaka is dry, I will hold you in my arms, bare of ornaments and still damp with unguents."

atha: and so, but etc.
api: (emphatic)
an-aashyaana-visheShakaayaam (loc. sg. f.): before my face-mark is dried
an-aashyaana: mfn. not dried
visheShaka: mn. painted mark on the face

mayi (loc. sg.): to me
eShyasi = 2nd pers. sg. future i: to go , walk ; to go to or towards (with acc.) , come
tvam (nom. sg.): you
tvaritam ([internal/adverbial] acc.]: mfn. hasty , quick , swift , expeditious
tvar: to hurry , make haste , move with speed
tataH: ind. then
tvaam (acc. sg.): you

nipiiDayiShyaami = 1st pers. sg. future ni- √ piiD: to press close to or against
bhuja-dvayena (inst. sg.): with both arms
bhuja: m. the arm (bhujayor antaram, the breast)
dvaya: n. two things , both ( e.g. tejo- , the 2 luminaries)

nir-bhuuShaNena (inst. sg.): unadorned
nir: without
bhuuShaNa: mfn. decorating , adorning (ifc.)
aardra-vilepanena: with moist fragrant oils
aardra: mf. wet , moist , damp
vilepana: n. smearing , anointing (esp. with fragrant oils &c ) ; unguent , ointment , perfume for the person (as saffron , camphor &c )

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