Thursday, November 11, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 6.27: Thinking, Breathing, Movement

saMcintya saMcintya guNaamsh ca bhartur
diirghaM nishashvaasa tataama c'aiva
vibhuuShaNa-shrii-nihite prakoShThe
taamre kar'-aagre ca vinirdudhaava

= = - = = - - = - = =
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As she thought and she thought
of her husband's good points,

She heaved long sighs and she gasped;

The forearms that bore her gleaming jewellery,

And her hands with their reddened fingertips,
she flung outward.

In the early years after the Buddha's death, they say there were no Buddha images. But by Ashvaghosha's time, people had begun to sculpt beautiful statues of the Buddha, which we can still see in museums, and Ashvagosha himself left us his verbal portrait of the Buddha.

So the idealized image of the Buddha sitting like the king of mountains is all very well, but here in this verse we have the very raw material of our own practice: obsessive thinking, emotional breathing, and an aberrant Moro reflex.

EH Johnston:
And ever reflecting on the virtue of her lord, she heaved deep sighs and swooned ; she flung her forearms about, the depositaries of glorious ornaments, and her reddened fingers.

Linda Covill:
Turning her husband's merits over and over in her mind, she gulped long breaths, choked, and jerked her forearms with their wealth of costly ornaments and her hennaed fingertips.

saMcintya = abs. saM- √ cint : to think about , think over , consider carefully , reflect about (acc.)
guNaan (acc. pl.): a quality , peculiarity , attribute or property ; good quality , virtue , merit , excellence
ca: and
bhartuH (gen. sg.): of her husband

diirgham: ind. long , for a long time
nishashvaasa = 3rd pers. sg. perfect ni- √ shvas : to draw in the breath , inspire ; to hiss, snort, etc.
tataama: to gasp for breath (as one suffocating) , choke , be suffocated , faint away , be exhausted , perish , be distressed or disturbed or perplexed ; to stop (as breath) , become immovable or stiff
ca: and
eva: (emphatic)

vibhuuShaNa-shrii-nihite (acc. dual. n.): on which were deposited splendid ornaments
vibhuuShaNa: n. decoration , ornament
shrii: mfn. diffusing light or radiance , splendid , radiant , beautifying , adorning (ifc. ; agni- , adhvara- , kShatra- , gaNa- , jana-shrii &c )
nihita: mfn. ( √dhaa) laid , placed , deposited
ni -√dhaa: to put or lay down , deposit
prakoShThe = acc. dual prakoShTha: mn. the fore-arm

taamre (acc. dual n.): of a coppery red colour
kar'-aagre (acc. dual n.): the finger tips of her two hands
kara: m. "the doer"; hand
agra: n. foremost point or part, tip
ca: and
vinirdudhaava = 3rd pers. sg. perfect vi-nir- √ dhuu: to shake off , drive or blow away , scatter ; to shake about , agitate ; to reject , repudiate
vi: ind. apart, asunder
nir: ind. out, forth, away
√ dhuu: to shake , agitate , cause to tremble ; to shake off , remove , liberate one's self from (acc.)

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