Sunday, September 26, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.18: Needy Nanda, a Coreless Chameleon

nandaH sa ca pratyaya-neya-cetaa
yaM shishriye tan-maya-taam avaapa
yasmaad imaM tatra cakaara yatnaM
taM sneha-paNkaan munir ujjihiirShan

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

And Nanda, his consciousness led by circumstances,

Got absorbed into the fabric of whomever he was with;

The Sage, therefore, made this effort in his case,

Wishing to lift him out of the mire of love.

Literally, he took on the being-made-of-that of whomever he resorted to. In other words, Nanda was what we would call a chameleon.

But which of us, if circumstances conspire, is not like that?

Try living in Japan for 13 years, for example, without a bit, or more than a bit, of Japanese stupidity rubbing off on you.... "Yes, Sensei! Yes, Roshi! Even though British teachers have spent years and years toiling to give me the best education money couldn't buy, if you say so, I will do it like that, feeling right and traditional. I won't question your traditional teaching, even if you are talking out of your arse."

What comes out of that kind of effort is not stillness without fixity, but rather fixity without stillness, manifested on the physical level in stiff necks and bad backs.

Contrast the attitude of FM Alexander, champion of the individual, who insisted that he did not want a bunch of monkeys following him around imitating him. He rather wanted people who would go back to the beginning, again and again, and work the whole thing out for themselves, so that each would truly make the teaching his or her own.

EH Johnston:
And Nanda, whose mind was susceptible only to external conditions, identified himself with whomsoever he went to for support ; therefore the Sage made this effort in order to draw him out of the slough of love.

Linda Covill:
Now Nanda, whose mind was governed by faith, became absorbed in whomever he depended on. That is why the sage, wishing to lift him out of the mire of love, made an effort for him.

nandaH (nom. sg. m.): Nanda
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
ca: and
pratyaya-neya-cetaaH (nom. sg. m.): his mind governed by circumstances
pratyaya: m. belief, faith ; (with Buddhists) a co-operating cause
neya: mfn. to be led or guided or managed or governed
cetas: n. consciousness , intelligence , thinking soul , heart , mind

yam (acc. sg.): in whom
shishriye = 3rd pers. sg. perfect (middle voice) shri: to lean on , rest on , recline against (acc.) , cling to (loc.) , be supported or fixed or depend on ; to go to , approach , resort or have recourse to (for help or refuge)
tan-mayataam (acc. sg.): f. the being absorbed in or identical with that
tad: that
tan-maya: mfn. made up of that , absorbed in or identical with that
-taa: (abstract noun suffix)
avaapa = 3rd pers. sg. perfect avaap: to reach , attain , obtain , gain , get ; to suffer (e.g. blame or unpleasantness or pain)

yasmaat: ind. from which , from which cause , since , as , because
imam = acc. sg. m. ayam: this
tatra: ind. there, then, in that case
cakaara = 3rd pers. sg. perfect kR: to do, make
yatna (acc. sg.): m. activity of will ; effort , exertion , energy , zeal , trouble

tam (acc. sg. m.): him
sneha-paNkaat (abl. sg.): out of the mire of love
sneha: m. oiliness ; blandness , tenderness , love , attachment to , fondness or affection
paNka: m. mud , mire , dirt
muniH (nom. sg. m.): the Sage
ujjihiirShan = nom. sg. m. pres. part. desiderative ud- √ hR : to lift up
ud: (prefix) up, upwards
√ hR: to take , bear , convey ; take off, remove

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