Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SAUNDARANANDA 7.39: Another One Bites the Dust

rakto girer muurdhani menakaayaaM
kaam'-aatmakatvaac ca sa taala-jaNghaH
paadena vishvaavasunaa sa-roShaM
vajreNa hintaala iv' aabhijaghne

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

And when 'Long Shanks' Tala-jangha,
on top of a mountain,

Was reddened, in his libidinousness,
with passion for nymph Menaka,

From the foot of 'All Beneficent' Vishva-vasu
he got an angry kick

Like a thunderbolt striking a hin-tala palm.

Tala-jangha is more literally "Shanks [as Long] as a Palm Tree," so that the metaphor of lightning striking a palm tree is a kind of play on Tala-jangha's name.

Again, as Ashvaghosha continues to put defeatist words into Nanda's mouth, one senses a wry humour at work in the background. Titling this canto "Nanda's Lament" is just the pretext of a sly man. What Ashvaghosha is really doing here, as I hear him, is remorselessly satirizing the ascetic heroes of 'the Brahmanical tradition.'

EH Johnston:
And the passionate Talajangha, enamoured of Menaka on the top of the mountain, was struck in wrath by Vishvavasu with his foot, like a hintala palm by the thunderbolt.

Linda Covill:
Essentially lustful, Tala-jangha became besotted with Menaka on a mountain-top. Vishva-vasu angrily kicked at him with his foot, like a thunderbolt striking a date tree.

raktaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. reddened; excited , affected with passion or love , impassioned , enamoured , charmed with (instr.) , attached or devoted to , fond of (loc.)
gireH (gen. sg.): m. mountain
muurdhani (loc. sg.): m. head; (fig.) the highest or first part of anything , top , point , summit
menakaayaam (loc. sg.): f. N. of an apsaras (wife of hima-vat)

kaam'-aatmakatvaat (abl. sg.): because of having a desirous nature
kaama: m. desire ; love , especially sexual love or sensuality
aatmaka: mfn. having or consisting of the nature or character of (in comp.)
tva = abstract noun suffix

ca: and
sa (nom. sg. m.): he
taala-jaNghaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. having legs as long as a palm-tree ; belonging to the taala-jaNgha tribe ; m. a prince of that tribe ; m. name of the ancestor of the taala-jaNgha tribe (descendant of sharyaati ; son of jaya-dhvaja)
taala: m. the palmyra tree or fan-palm (Borassus flabelliformi)
jaNgah: f. the shank (from the ankle to the knee)

paadena (inst. sg.): m. the foot
vishvaa-vasunaa (inst. sg. m.): mfn. beneficent to all (said of viShNu) ; m. N. of a gandharva (regarded as the author of the hymn RV. x , 139); m. name of a son of puruu-ravas (said to be one of the vishve devaaH, universal deities)
vishvaa = in comp. for vishva: all, everyone, universal
vaasu = in comp. for vasu: mfn. excellent , good , beneficent ; n. wealth, goods, riches
sa-roSham (acc. sg. n.): mfn. full of anger , angry , wrathful

vajreNa (inst. sg.): mn. " the hard or mighty one " , a thunderbolt (esp. that of indra)
hintaalaH (nom. sg.): m. the marshy date tree
iva: like
abhijaghne = 3rd pers. sg. perfect (middle voice): to thump at, strike

No comments: