Thursday, March 10, 2011

SAUNDARANANDA 8.43: Women as Imperfect Servants of Men

ramayanti patiin katham cana
pramadaa yaaH pati-devataaH kva cit
cala-citta-tayaa sahasrasho
ramayante hRdayaM svam eva taaH

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

Women who in some small way please their husband,

Treating him like a god, sometimes,

A thousand times more, in their fickle-mindedness,

Please their own heart.

On what planet did the striver form his view of what a husband might expect from a wife?

Even as an enemy of feminism, I can't help feeling that he has set the bar a bit high. He seems to be complaining that women have any agenda of their own, as opposed to devoting themselves to pleasing their husbands in every way all of the time.

I can think of two or three of my antecedents who would have been susceptible to being knocked down by a feather if their wives had treated them like a god in any way at any time.

In any event, the striver is drawing to his conclusion about the unreliability of the fickle female mind, into which basket he is advizing Nanda not to place any eggs.

EH Johnston:
Even the women who treat their husbands as gods and sometimes in some way or other give them pleasure, from fickleness of mind please themselves a thousand times.

Linda Covill:
Women who sometimes please their husbands in some ways, treating them as gods, please their own hearts a thousand times more with their inconsistency.

ramayanti = 3rd pers. pl. causative ram: to gladden , delight , please , caress
patiin (acc. pl.): m. a master , owner , possessor , lord; husband
katham cana: in any way , some how ; scarcely , with difficulty

pramadaaH (nom. pl.): f. women
yaaH (nom. pl. f.): who
pati-devataaH (nom. pl. f.): regarding a husband as a divinity , honouring a husband above all others
kva cit: sometimes

cala-citta-tayaa (inst. sg. f.): because of fickle-mindedness
cala-citta: n. fickleness of mind
-taa: (abstract noun suffix)
sahasra-shaH: ind. by thousands
sahasra: a thousand

ramayante = 3rd pers. pl. causative (middle voice) ram: to enjoy one's self , be pleased or delighted
hRdayam (acc. sg.): n. the heart
svam (acc. sg. n.): their own
eva: (emphatic)
taaH (nom. pl. f.): they

No comments: