Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.38: Desire as a Means

raaja'-rShayas te viditaa na nuunaM
vanaani ye shishriyire hasantaH
niShThiivya kaamaan upashaanti-kaamaaH
kaameShu n'aivaM kRpaNeShu saktaaH

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

Evidently the royal seers are unbeknown to you

Who retreated smiling into the forests;

Having spat out desires,
they were desirous of tranquillity

And thus not stuck in desires of a lower order.

In verse after verse of Saundarananda, we are reminded what to desire and what to oppose. The thing to desire is the nectar of tranquillity, liberation, peace, extinction, the end of becoming. And the enemies to oppose are inauspicious ideas and conceptions, along with the faults that stem from thirsting.

Desire itself is not one of the enemies. Not even base desires, desires of a lower order, are the enemy in this verse. In this verse as I read it the enemy is being stuck.

As FM Alexander used to say, "You all fix. It's your worst evil."

In order not to be stuck, in order to refresh the desire for freedom, in Alexander work we say, "I wish to allow the neck to be free...."

But sometimes we say it without really meaning it.

Marjory Barlow exhorted, "It has to be real!"

I think what Marjory meant was that the wish, the desire, has to be real.

The inhibition, the giving up of the idea that triggers off the whole tangle of misuse, has to be real. And the wish to be free also has to be real.

EH Johnston:
Surely you have forgotten about the royal seers, who joyfully adopted the forest life, spewing out the passions, passionate only for tranquillity and so not attached to the miserable passions.

Linda Covill:
Presumably you don't know about the king-seers who smilingly withdrew to the forest. They spat out desires, clung to no miserable desires, their only desire was for peace.

raaja'-rShayaH (nom. pl. m.): royal seers
raajan: m. a king , sovereign , prince
RShi: m. a singer of sacred hymns , an inspired poet or sage ; the RiShis were regarded by later generations as patriarchal sages or saints , occupying the same position in India history as the heroes and patriarchs of other countries , and constitute a peculiar class of beings in the early mythical system , as distinct from gods , men , asuras , &c ; they are the authors or rather seers of the Vedic hymns ; a saint or sanctified sage in general , an ascetic
te (gen. sg.): of/to you
viditaaH (nom. pl. m.): mfn. known , understood , learnt
na: not
nuunam: ind. now , at present , just , immediately ; now then , therefore ; (esp. in later lang.) certainly , assuredly , indeed

vanaani (acc. pl.): n. forest, wood
ye (nom. pl. m.): who
shishriyire = 3rd pers. pl. perfect (middle voice) shri: to lean on , rest on , recline against (acc.) , cling to (loc.) , be supported or fixed or depend on , abide in or on (acc. loc. or adv.); to go to , approach , resort or have recourse to (for help or refuge) , tend towards (acc.) ; to go into, enter
hasantaH = nom. pl. m. pres. part. has: to laugh , smile , laugh at

niShThiivya = abs. ni- √ ShThiv: to spit , spit out , eject from the mouth
kaamaan (acc. pl.): m. desires
upashaanti-kaamaaH (nom. sg. pl.): desiring tranquillity
upashaanti: f. cessation , intermission , remission; tranquillity, calmness
kaama: n. (ifc.) desirous of , desiring

kaameShu (loc. pl. m.): desires
na: not
evam: ind. thus
kRpaNeShu (loc. pl. m.): mfn. inclined to grieve , pitiable , miserable , poor , wretched , feeble ; low , vile ; miserly , stingy
saktaaH (nom. pl. m.): mfn. clinging or adhering to , sticking in (loc.)

No comments: