Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.9: Nanda Asks a Favour...

tat saadhu saadhu-priya mat-priy"-aarthaM
tatr' aastu bhikSh'-uuttama bhaikSha-kaalaH
asau hi madhyaM nabhaso yiyaasuH
kaalaM pratismaarayat' iiva suuryaH

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Therefore, rightly, O favourer of the righteous,
and as a favour to me,

Be there, O supreme seeker of alms,
at the time for eating alms,

For the sun is about to reach the middle of the sky

As if to remind us of the time."

The Buddha in his daily life would go begging, i.e. do his alms round, in the morning and eat a midday meal which would be the only meal of the day. So Nanda is asking the Buddha to show favour to him by taking the meal there (tatra) at his house. What Nanda says, literally, is "Let the time of alms, O uppermost beggar, be there."

The Monier Williams dictionary definition of a bhikShu as "a religious mendicant (especially a Brahman in the fourth aashrama or period of his life , when he subsists entirely on alms)," gives an indication of how widely pervaded through Indian society the tradition of subsisting on alms was.

The way that public finances are going, it is a tradition that those of us who have no private pension provision might be forced to revive, if we are fortunate enough to make it to old bones.

EH Johnston:
Therefore kindly, O Lover of the virtuous, Best of mendicants, out of graciousness for me let Thy time for questing alms be passed in our house ; for there is the sun about to reach the centre of the firmament, recalling as it were that it is time (for the midday meal).'

Linda Covill:
It would be an excellent thing, and a kindness to me, if you, beloved of the good, best of monks, were to spend your alms-time at my house. And look, the sun is heading towards the middle of the sky, as though to remind us of the time!"

tad: (nom. sg. n.) it ; (ind.) therefore
saadhu: ind. straight , aright , regularly ; n. well , rightly , skilfully , properly , agreeably (with √ vRt and loc. , " to behave well towards " ; with √ aas (to sit) , " to be well or at ease ")
saadhu-priya (vocative): O, one who loves the virtuous!
saadhu: mfn. straight , right ; leading straight to a goal , hitting the mark , unerring (as an arrow or thunderbolt) ; straightened , not entangled (as threads) ; fit , proper , right ; good , virtuous , honourable , righteous ; well-born , noble , of honourable or respectable descent ; m. a good or virtuous or honest man
priya: fond of attached or devoted to (in comp. , either ibc. e.g. priya-devana , " fond of playing " , or ifc. e.g. akSha-priya , " fond of dice " ; ifc. also = pleasant , agreeable e.g. gamana-priya , " pleasant to go)
mad: (base of the first pers. sg. pron., esp. in comp.) me
priya: n. love , kindness , favour , pleasure
artham: ifc. for the sake of , on account of , in behalf of , for

tatra: ind. there, at that place
astu (3rd pers. sg. imperative as): let it be
bhikSh'-uuttama (voc.): O, best of beggars!
bhikShu: m. m. a beggar , mendicant , religious mendicant (esp. a Brahman in the fourth aashrama or period of his life , when he subsists entirely on alms)
uttama: mfn. (superlative fr. 1. ud) uppermost , highest
bhaikSha-kaalaH (nom. sg. m.): the time for begging
bhaikSha: n. asking alms , begging , mendicancy ; n. anything obtained by begging , begged food , charity , alms
kaala: time

asau (nom. sg. m.): that (for what is not near at hand)
hi: for
madhyam (acc. sg.): n. the middle; the middle of the sky (with nabhasas)
nabhasaH (gen. sg.): n. the sky
yiyaasuH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. (fr. desid. yaa) wishing to go, going to go, about to go

kaalam (acc. sg.): m. the time
pratismaarayati = 3rd pers. sg. causitive prati- √ smR: to remind
iva: like, as if
suuryaH (nom. sg.): m. the sun

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