Saturday, October 16, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 6.1: Sundari No Longer Sundari

tato hRte bhartari gauraveNa
priitau hRtaayaam a-ratau kRtaayaaM
tatr' aiva harmy'-opari vartamaanaa
na sundarii s" aiva tadaa babhaase

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

And so, her husband having been taken
by respect for the Guru,

Bereft of her happiness, left joyless,

Though she remained at the same spot,
high up in the palace,

Sundari no longer seemed to be herself.

The four elements of the four lines of this verse, as I read it, are
(1) what is important, what really matters, what has meaning (gaurava -- but, for God's sake, do not call it religious),
(2) emotional feelings,
(3) concrete location in space,
(4) an individual human self, truly realized or not.

There is a lot I would like to write on each of these subjects, but I want to finish drilling a hole in the kitchen wall this morning, and finish fitting a cooker hood with a ducting system. I struggled pathetically with my old drill on Thursday and then again yesterday, and then last night went out to Wickes and bought an SDS percussion drill. (Then when I got home and realized I needed special SDS drill bits, I went back to Wickes again to get those -- one mistake after another.) The drill was over my budget despite being on sale with 25% off. Still, I am very confident (a confidence which is totally different from religious belief) that the new drill will do the job. Today, unlike yesterday, I will be Like a man fully furnished with a means (1.9).

On the subject of meaning, I could say something about Michael Thaler, of One Foot In Front of Another, and the connection to the work of Victor Frankl.

On the subject of emotional feeling, there is much to be explored in connection with the Moro reflex and what FM Alexander called faulty sensory appreciation.

I have a friend, an artist, who is currently obsessed with the subject of space. She asked me if, since she needs to put something in writing to fulfill academic requirements, if I might write a few words on the Buddhist view of space. Not blooming likely!

But the element that I would really like to say something about, if I had more time, and if I were better with words, is what I am coming to regard as the whole point of Saundarananda, as I read it, which has to do with Nanda not becoming anything.

And yet truly being himself...

Having attained to the seat of arhathood, he was worthy of being served:

Without ambition, without partiality, without expectation;

Without fear, sorrow, pride, or passion;

Being nothing but himself, he seemed in his constancy to be different.

EH Johnston:
Dismayed then, with her lord carried away by his respect for his elder brother and with her ecstasy vanished, Sundari remained in the same place on the palace roof but appeared no longer the same.

Linda Covill:
Now with her husband having been spirited away by his respect for the Buddha, Sundari's delight evaporated and she was made wretched. She no longer seemed herself, though she stayed in the same place high up in the palace.

tataH: ind. then, thence
hRte (loc. sg. m.): mfn. taken , taken away , seized
hR: to take away , carry off , seize , deprive of , steal , rob
bhartari (loc. sg.): m. husband
gauraveNa (inst. sg.): n. heaviness ; n. respect shown to a person

priitau (loc. sg.): f. any pleasurable sensation , pleasure , joy , gladness
hRtaayaam (loc. sg. f.): mfn. taken , taken away , seized
a-ratau (loc. sg.): f. dissatisfaction , discontent , dullness , languor ; anxiety , distress , regret
kRtaayaam (loc. sg. f.): mfn. done, made

tatra: ind. there, at that place
eva: (emphatic)
harmy'-opari: ind. high up in the palace
harmya: palace
upari: ind. (as a separable adverb) above , upon , on , upwards , towards the upper side of
vartamaanaa = nom. sg. f. pres. part vRt: to roll; to be , live , exist , be found , remain , stay , abide , dwell

na: not
sundarii saa eva (nom. sg. f.): Sundari herself; the same beautiful Sundari
sundarii (nom. sg. f.): Sundari; a beautiful woman , any woman
saa (nom. sg. f.): she
eva: (emphatic) herself, the same
tadaa: ind. at that time , then , in that case (often used redundantly , esp. after tataH)
babhaase = 3rd pers. sg. perfect bhaas: to appear (" as " or " like " nom.)

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