Monday, October 11, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 5.48: Like Doctor & Patient

aniShTam apy auShadham aaturaaya
dadaati vaidyash ca yathaa nigRhya
tadvan may'-oktaM pratikuulam etat
tubhyaM hit' odarkam anugrahaaya

- = - = = - - = - = -
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And just as a doctor restrains a patient

Then gives him bitter medicine;

So have I given you, in order to help you,

This disagreeable advice with beneficial effect.

Probably as a result of early experience at the hands of incompetent doctors, not to mention a drill-and-fill dentist, this is not a metaphor that I find particularly helpful -- but there again I am not Nanda.

At the same time, while the Buddha is explaining to Nanda, using the metaphor of the doctor, why he has taken a pushy attitude towards him, the Buddha's pushiness does not extend to coercion. Rather, before instructing Ananda to drag the wimpering Nanda away, the Buddha waits for Nanda to come to his own decision.

As a rule, it may be true to say that Brits tend instinctively to despise pushiness. The behaviour of people of other cultures can strike us as incredibly pushy -- especially when they appear to be promoting themselves.

EH Johnston:
Just as a doctor compels a patient to take medicine though it be disagreeable to taste, so, though what I have told you is repellent to you, yet it is conducive to your good and is for your benefit.

Linda Covill:
Just as a doctor holds down a sick man while he gives him unwanted medicine, so do I as a kindness to you speak this unwelcome message with its beneficial results.

an-iShTam (acc. sg. n.): unwished , undesirable , disadvantageous , unfavourable ; bad , wrong , evil , ominous
api: even, though
auShadham (acc. sg.): n. herbs used in medicine , simples , a medicament , drug , medicine in general
aaturaaya = dat. sg. m. aatura: mfn. suffering , sick (in body or mind)

dadaati = 3rd pers. sg. present daa: to give, impart
vaidyaH: m. a learned man ; m. an expert (versed in his own profession , esp. in medical science) , skilled in the art of healing , a physician
ca: and
yathaa: ind. just as
nigRhya = abs. ni- √ grah: to hold down, restrain ; to keep or hold back , draw near , attract ; to seize , catch , hold , hold fast , stop , restrain , suppress , curb , tame , punish

tadvat: ind. in like manner , likewise , also
mayaa (inst. sg.): by me
ukta (nom. sg. n..): mfn. spoken, said
pratikuulam (nom. sg. n.): mfn. " against the bank " (opp. to anu-kuula) , contrary , adverse , opposite , inverted , wrong , refractory , inimical , disagreeable , unpleasant
etat (nom. sg. n.): this (referring to what precedes) ; ind. in this manner , thus

tubhyam (dat. sg.): to you
hit'-odarkam (nom. sg. n.): with beneficial result
hita: mfn. beneficial , advantageous , salutary , wholesome
udarka: m. the future result of actions , consequence , futurity , future time
anugrahaaya = dat. sg. anugraha: m. favour , kindness , showing favour , conferring benefits , promoting or furthering a good object
anu- √ grah : to uphold ; to receive , welcome ; to treat with kindness , favour , oblige ; to foster

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