Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 6.47: The Goldilocks Principle

tvaM nirvRtiM gaccha niyaaccha baaShpaM
tapt'-aashru-mokShaat parirakSha cakShuH
yas tasya bhaavas tvayi yash ca raago
na raMsyate tvad-virahaat sa dharme

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

Cheer up and hold back your tears:

Spare your eyes the release of hot teardrops.

His feelings for you and his passion are such

That without you he will find no pleasure in the dharma.

The advice in the first half of this verse, that Sundari need not cry, is basically the same as she received in 6.21 and 6.43. The difference, we can infer, is that this time the porridge was not too hot and not too cold. In other words, it is not so much what this woman is saying as the warm and intimate manner in which she is saying it.

Again, though her prediction in the second half of the verse is patently false, Ashvaghosha seems to regard it -- because it was an appropriate response to that situation -- as part of an action that hit the target.

This principle in reverse might apply whenever one gets the smug sense of "I told you so," when a prediction one has made has hit the target. In such a case, though the words at a superficial level have hit the target, the sense of smugness might be, at a deeper level, a complete missing of the target.

The vital point here, for us who sit, might be that there is a target in the Buddha's teaching that one can never hit with words -- though it may be possible, indirectly, to manifest oneself as a target (like a bowl of porridge which is not too hot and not too cold) that is ready to be hit. And in this sense it might be said that "the readiness is all."

EH Johnston:
Be of good cheer, restrain your sobs, keep your eyes from shedding hot tears, such is his feeling and such his passion towards you that without you he will find no pleasure in following the Law.

Linda Covill:
Calm down, stop crying, spare your eyes the release of hot tears. His feelings for you and his passion are such that he will find no pleasure in the dharma while separated from you.

tvam (nom. sg.): you
nirvRtim (acc. sg.): f. complete satisfaction or happiness , bliss , pleasure , delight ; attainment of rest ; extinction (of a lamp)
gaccha = 2nd pers. sg. imperative gam: to go
niyaaccha = 2nd pers. sg. imperative ni- √ yam: to stop (trans.) , hold back ; to hold in , keep down , restrain , control , govern , regulate (as breath , the voice , the organs of sense &c )
baaShpam (acc. sg.): m. a tear, tears

tapt'-aashru-mokShaat (abl. sg.): from the release of hot tears
tapta: mfn. heated , inflamed , hot
ashru: n. a tear
mokSha: m. release
parirakSha = 2nd pers. sg. imperative pari- v rakSh: to guard well or completely , rescue , save , defend from (abl.)
cakShuH (acc. sg.): n. seeing, sight; the eye

yaH (nom. sg. m.): [he] who
tasya (gen. sg.): of him
bhaavaH (nom. sg.): m. any state of mind or body , way of thinking or feeling , sentiment , opinion , disposition ; love , affection , attachment ; the seat of the feelings or affections , heart , soul , mind
tvayi (loc. sg.): towards you
yaH (nom. sg. m.): [he] who
ca: and
raagaH (nom. sg.): m. tint , dye , (esp.) red colour , redness ; passion , (esp.) love

na: not
raMsyate = 3rd pers. sg. future ram: to be glad or pleased , rejoice at , delight in , be fond of (loc.)
tvad-virahaat (abl. sg.): because of being without you
tvad: you
viraha: m. abandonment , desertion , parting , separation (esp. of lovers) ; lack , want (ifc. = lacking)
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
dharme (loc. sg.): in the dharma

No comments: