Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.8: ...Praise & Blame of Others

praasaada-saMstho bhagavantam antaH
praviShTam ashrauSham anugrahaaya
atas tvaraavaan aham abhyupeto
gRhasya kakShyaa-mahato' bhyasuuyan

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

"I learned while in the palace penthouse, Glorious One,

That you had entered inside for our benefit;

And so I have come in a hurry,

with the many members of the palace household.

What Nanda is demonstrating here, in his failure to take responsibility for his own failings and his projection onto his staff of his own negligent tendency, is the good old mirror principle. This principle, whenever an unenlightened person is venting his emotional criticism of others, never fails.

Nanda has yet to get a grip on himself or to gain a foothold on the path of the Buddha's teaching.

His attitude here may be contrasted with his attitude at the beginning of Canto 12, at which time, although he is in another kind of emotional state -- a state of deep shame -- he has begun to find his own confidence in what the Buddha's teaching is, and thus has finally gained a foothold.

And just as Nanda's attitude may be contrasted like this, so may the Buddha's response be contrasted.

In Canto 12, knowing from where he was coming, / And that, though his senses were set against it, / Higher good was now emerging, / The Realised One spoke: "Aha! This gaining of a foothold / Is the harbinger of higher good in you, / As, when a firestick is rubbed, / Rising smoke is the harbinger of fire. / Long carried off course / By the restless horses of the senses, / You have now set foot on a path, / With clarity of vision, happily, that will not dim. / Today your birth bears fruit; / Your gain today is great; / For though you know the taste of love, / Your mind is yearning for indifference. (12.18 - 12.21).

In today's verse, in contrast, though Nanda praises the Buddha as bhagavat, Glorious One, to the Buddha this evaluation does not mean anything coming from the stammering lips of one who not only lacks emotional composure but also lacks the will to work towards it. Hence, when the Buddha finally opens his own mouth to reply to Nanda, it is only to say: While murderous death has yet to come, / Make up your mind, my friend, to work towards composure. (5.22)

EH Johnston:
'I heard when I was on the roof that His Holiness had honoured us with a visit, so I came hurrying in my anger with (the negligence of) my great household (of servants).

Linda Covill:
"When I was in my palace, I heard that the Blessed One had favoured us with a visit, so I have come in a hurry, indignant with the attendants of my large household.

praasaada-saMsthaH (nom. sg. m.): being in the palace penthouse
praasaada: m. (lit. " sitting forward " , sitting on a seat in a conspicuous place ) a lofty seat or platform for spectators , terrace ; the top-story of a lofty building ; a lofty palatial mansion (approached by steps) , palace , temple ; (with Buddhists) the monks' hall for assembly and confession
saMstha: being in
bhagavantam = acc. sg. m bhagavat: mfn. possessing fortune , fortunate , prosperous , happy ; glorious , illustrious , divine , adorable , venerable ; m. " the divine or adorable one "
antar: ind. within, in the middle

praviShTam (acc. sg. m.): mfn. entered
ashrauSham = 1st pers. sg. aorist shru: to hear, learn
anugrahaaya = dat. sg. anugraha: m. favour , kindness , showing favour , conferring benefits

ataH: ind. from this, hence
tvaraavaan = nom. sg. m. tvaraavat: mfn. expeditiously, with haste
tvaraa: f. haste , speed
aham (nom. sg. m.): I
abhyupetaH (nom. sg. m.): arrived

gRhasya (gen. sg.): m. a house ; inhabitants of a house
kakShyaa-mahataH (gen. sg. m.): the many [attendants] of the palace's inner apartment
kakShyaa: f. girth (of an animal) , girdle , zone ; f. the enclosure of an edifice (either the wall &c so enclosing it , or the court or chamber constituting the enclosure , the inner apartment of a palace)
mahat: mfn. many (people , with jana sg.); m. a great or noble man
abhyasuuyan = nom. sg. m. pres. part abhy-asuu: to show indignation , be indignant at

No comments: