Monday, September 27, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.19: Nanda Begins to Suffer...

nandas tu duHkhena viceShTamaanaH
shanair a-gatyaa gurum anvagacchat
bhaaryaa-mukhaM viikShaNa-lola-netraM
vicintayann aardra-visheshakaM tat

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

But Nanda, squirming with discomfort,

Followed the Guru meekly and helplessly,

Thinking of his wife's face,
her eyes looking out restlessly,

And the painted marks still moist.

Here is the first mention, in connection with Nanda's experience, of duHkha, un-ease, dis-comfort, dis-satisfaction, or in short, suffering.

Notice that in Ashvaghosha's portrayal of Nanda's career, it is not that some great experience of suffering causes Nanda to get religion and turn to Buddhism.

People who equate Buddhism with religion, it seems to me, tend to see it this way round. But Ashvaghosha, in his portrayal of Nanda's development, does not portray it this way round.

Rather, it is Nanda's reverence for the truth of the Buddha's way that causes him to allow the Buddha to lead him -- like an alchemist leading his apprentice into his laboratory -- into a world of suffering.

EH Johnston:
But Nanda, writhing with grief, followed the Guru slowly and helplessly, thinking of his wife's face with eyes restlessly watching for him and with the paint still wet.

Linda Covill:
Nanda followed the guru slowly and helplessly, contorted with grief, thinking of his wife's face with its visheshaka no longer wet and her restless eyes watching for him.

nandaH (nom. sg. m.): Nanda
tu: but
duHkhena (inst. sg.): n. uneasiness , pain , sorrow , trouble , difficult
viceShTamaanaH = nom. sg. m. pres. part vi- √ ceShT : to move the limbs about , writhe , wallow , struggle

shanaiH: ind. quietly , softly , gently , gradually
a-gatyaa: ind. unavoidably, indispensably
gurum (acc. sg.): m. the Guru
anvagacchat = 3rd pers. sg. imperfect anu- √ gam: to go after , follow ; obey, imitate

bhaaryaa-mukham (acc. sg.): his wife's face
viikShaNa-lola-netram (acc. sg.): eyes restless with looking
viikShaNa: n. looking at , seeing , inspection , investigation ; gaze
lola: mfn. moving hither and thither, changeable
netra: eye

vicintayan = nom. sg. m. pres. part vi- √ cint: to think of , reflect upon , ponder ; to fancy, imagine
aardra-visheshakam (acc. sg.): moist face-paint
aardra: wet, moist, damp
visheshaka: mn. a mark on the forehead (made with sandal &c )
tat: (emphatic) that

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