Thursday, September 30, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.26: Endgaining vs Extinction Thereof

tan nishcitaM bhii-klama-shug-viyuktaM
pareShv an-aayattam ahaaryam anyaiH
nityam shivaM shaanti-sukhaM vRNiiShva
kim indriy'-aarth'-aartham anartham uuDhvaa

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

Select then that which is conclusive,
which is beyond fear, fatigue and sorrow,

And which is neither dependent on others
nor removable by others:

Select the lasting and benign happiness of extinction.

What is gained by wasting oneself
on objects of the senses?

The last line includes a play on the word artha, meaning or value, which I originally endeavoured to mirror in translation:
What is the point of suffering non-value through valuing what the senses value?

A more closely literal translation might be:
"Suffering non-value for the sake of objects of the senses ... and then what?"

A translation in more natural/interpretive English might be:
"What is gained by wasting oneself on objects of the senses?"

The point of the verse, as I read it, is to highlight the folly of pursuing happiness in an end-gaining (dare I say it? stereo-typically American) manner, and the merit of working towards the complete giving up of end-gaining -- even if it is only for a single moment of consciousness.

In the end, for anyone who is engaged in the business of release, it may be that to give up an end-gaining idea is the conclusive realization of the truth of what works.

EH Johnston:
Choose then the certain, everlasting, holy joy of tranquillity, which is free from fear, distress and sorrow, which is not dependent on others and cannot be taken away by them ; what is the good of suffering calamity for the sake of the objects of the senses?

Linda Covill:
So choose the bliss of tranquillity, which is certain, free from fear, weariness and grief, which is neither dependent on others nor assailable by them, and which is eternal and pure. Why endure pain for the sake of sense objects?

tad: ind. on that account , for that reason , therefore
nishcitam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. ascertained , determined , settled , decided
bhii-klama-shug-viyuktam (acc. sg. n.): divorced from fear, fatigue, and grief
bhii: f. fear , apprehension , fright , alarm , dread
klama: m. fatigue , exhaustion , languor , weariness
shuc: f. pain , sorrow , grief
viyukta: mfn. disjoined , detached , separated or delivered from , deprived or destitute of

pareShu = loc. pl. para: others
an-aayattam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. not adhering , resting on , depending on ; not being at the disposition of
ahaaryam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. not to be stolen , not to be removed
anyaiH = inst. pl. anya: others

nityam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. continual , perpetual , eternal ; ordinary , usual , invariable
shivam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. auspicious , propitious , gracious , favourable , benign , kind ; happy
shaanti-sukham (acc. sg.): the ease of the inhibited state, the comfort of peace
shaanti: f. tranquillity , peace , quiet , peace or calmness of mind , absence of passion ; alleviation (of evil or pain) , cessation , abatement , extinction (of fire &c )
sukha: n. ease, comfort, happiness
vRNiiShva = 2nd pers. sg. imperative vR: to choose , select , choose for one's self

kim: why?
indriy'-aarth'-aartham (acc. sg. n.): for the sake of objects of the senses
indriya: power of the senses
artha: aim (very often artham for the sake of , on account of , in behalf of , for) ; object of the senses
an-artham (acc. sg.): m. non-value , a worthless or useless object ; disappointing occurrence , reverse , evil
uuDhvaa = abs. vah: to carry; to bear , suffer , endure

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