Monday, October 11, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.47: Like Nurse & Infant

baalasya dhaatrii vinigRhya loShTaM
yath" oddharaty" aasya puTa-praviShTaM
tath" ojjihiirShuH khalu raaga-shalyaM
tat tvaam avocaM paruSham hitaaya

= = - = = - - = - = =
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Just as a nurse keeps firm hold of an infant

While taking out soil it has put in its mouth,

So, wishing to draw out the dart of passion,

Have I spoken to you sharply for your own good.

When in my unenlightened state I criticize others sharply, reflection after the event generally results in recognition that the mirror principle has been working unconsciously.

Marjory Barlow reported that her uncle FM Alexander, in contrast, would sometimes "consciously control himself into a rage" in order to get his message across.

Similarly, Ashvaghosha has here been describing the Buddha speaking sharply, harshly or severely (paruSham) not as a manifestation of some unresolved struggle within himself, but out of a reasoned consideration of the conditions present in Nanda.

EH Johnston:
Just as a child's nurse holds him firmly to pull out a clod of earth he has put in his mouth, so indeed in My wish to pull out the dart of passion I have spoken to you harshly for your good.

Linda Covill:
I truly wish to draw out your dart of passion, and have spoken severely to you for your own good, just as a nurse keeps a firm hold on a child while she takes out the clod of earth that has got into its mouth.

baalasya (gen. sg.): m. child
dhaatrii (nom. sg.): f. " female supporter " , a nurse ; midwife ; mother
vinigRhya = abs. vi-ni- √ grah : to lay hold of , seize , keep back , restrain , impede
loShTam (acc. sg.): m. a lump of earth or clay , clod

yathaa: ind. just as
uddharatyaa = inst. sg. uddharati = (?) uddhRti: f. the act of drawing out , extraction
asya (gen. sg.): of him
puTa-praviShTam: having entered the mouth
puTa: mn. a fold , pocket , hollow space , slit , concavity
praviShTa: mfn. entered, got into

tathaa: ind. likewise, so too
ujjihiirShuH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. (from desid. uddhR) wishing to draw out
khalu: ind. (as a particle of asseveration) indeed , verily , certainly , truly; (as a continuative particle) now , now then
raaga-shalyam (acc. sg.): the dart of passion

tad (acc. sg. n.): this ; ind. thus
tvaam (acc. sg.): to you
avocam = 1st pers. sg. aorist vac: to speak, say, tell
paruSham: ind. piercing , keen , sharp , violent , harsh , severe , unkind hitaaya (dat. sg.): n. (sg. or pl.) anything useful or salutary or suitable or proper , benefit , advantage , profit , service , good , welfare


Anonymous said...

“Conscious control into a rage”
Doesn’t ring quite true
Enlightenment of a human
Is it just a view?

Mike Cross said...

You are wise to treat those words with skepticism. But this is something I heard from Marjory Barlow, straight from the horse's mouth. The picture I got was FM pretending to be angry at some slow dimwit who needed a metaphorical kick up the backside, while all the time he was winking playfully in secret at his young niece.

Whether "enlightenment" is just a view or not is a good question.

Ashvaghosha talks in a matter of fact way about the Buddha's awakening. And Dogen describes sitting-meditation as the practice and experience that perfectly realizes bodhi, awakening.

At the same time, in China and Japan, and thence in the west through the influence of DT Suzuki and the like, I think there have been many thousands or millions of people who failed to say "no" to the glamourized idea of enlightenment and were thus deluded by it. I count myself in that number.

Marjory Barlow never claimed to be enlightened. But it is as clear as day to me that she was awake to the problem of how troublesome an idea, like a view on enlightenment, can be.

In conclusion, if we seek enlightenment of a human, it might be difficult to find it. But it seems to me that my travails led me eventually to find a few human beings who were really awake -- and top of the list was Marjory Barlow.