Saturday, September 18, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.2: ... With Head, Hands & Whole

ke cit praNamy' aanuyayur muhuurtaM
ke cit praNamy' aartha-vashena jagmuH
ke cit svakeShv aavasatheShu tasthuH
kRtv" aaNjaliin viikShaNa-tat-par'-aakShaaH

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

Some bowed and then followed for a while;

Some bowed and then went away,
being compelled to work;

Some stood still at their own dwelling-places,

Their hands joined
and eyes observing him in the distance.

This verse, as I read it, expresses not only the scene there in Kapilavastu but also the three essential means by which we devote ourselves to service of the Buddha in everyday life: namely, through study, work, and sitting-meditation; or in other words, with head, hands, and whole of ourselves.

For example, to study these words of Ashvaghosha is deliberately to follow the Buddha for a while. To sew a robe or a sitting-cushion, to clean the floor, to work in the garden, or to do one's daily job might be ways of devoting oneself through the work one is compelled, by others and by self, to do. But the best way to devote oneself to the Buddha might be just to sit still where one is, not moving anywhere and not doing anything.

EH Johnston:
Some paying reverence to Him followed Him a moment, others after making obeisance went away under stress of their business, while others stood in their dwellings with hands clasped in adoration and eyes absorbed in gazing.

Linda Covill:
After honoring him, some followed him for a short while, others had to leave due to the demands of their work, while some stood outside their houses with their hands folded in respect and their eyes absorbed in gazing at him.

ke cit (nom. pl. m.): some people
praNamya = abs. pra-Nam: to bend or bow down
anuyayur = 3rd pers. pl. perfect anu- √ yaa: to go towards or after , follow ; to imitate , equal
muhuurtam (acc. sg. n.): m. n. a moment , instant , any short space of time

ke cit (nom. pl. m.): some people
praNamya = abs. pra-Nam: to bend or bow down
artha-vashena: due to demand of work
artha: affair , concern (Ved. often acc. artham with √ i , or gam , to go to one's business , take up one's work)
vasha: m. authority , power , control , dominion ; vashena ifc. by command of , by force of , on account of , by means of , according to
jagmur = 3rd pers. pl. perfect gam: to go

ke cit (nom. pl. m.): some people
svakeShu (loc. pl. m.): their own
aavasatheShu = loc. pl. aavasatha: m. (from aa- √ vas) dwelling-place , abode , habitation
aa- √ vas: to abide , dwell; to spend (time)
tasthuH = 3rd pers. pl. perfect sthaa: to stand, stand firm, stand still

kRtva = abs. kR: to do, make
aNjaliin = acc. pl. aNjali: m. the open hands placed side by side and slightly hollowed (as if by a beggar to receive food ; hence when raised to the forehead , a mark of supplication) , reverence , salutation , benediction
viikShaNa-tat-par'-aakShaaH (nom. pl. m.): their eyes looking at him who was yonder
viikShaNa: n. (verbal action noun from vi- √iikSh) looking at , seeing , inspection , investigation
vi- √iikSh: to look at , see , behold ; to consider , observe , discern , ascertain , understand
tat: him
paras: ind. beyond , further , off , away
akSha: n. [only ifc. for akShi] the eye.

1 comment:

Mike Cross said...

Text amended on the basis of Weller's central Asian fragment to:

ke-cit praṇamyānuyayur-muhūrtaṃ ke-cit praṇamyārtha-vaśena jagmuḥ /
ke-cit svayaivāyatane tu tasthuḥ kṛtvāñjalīn vīkṣaṇa-tat-parākṣāḥ // 5.2 //

Translation changed to:

Some bowed and then followed for a while; some bowed and went, being compelled to work./ But some remained still at their own sitting-places, their hands joined and eyes observing him in the distance.//