Saturday, March 12, 2011

SAUNDARANANDA 8.45: Blaming the Stimulus (ctd.)

bahu-maayaa-kavaco 'tha shambaraH
munir ugratapaash ca gautamaH
samavaapur vanit"-oddhataM rajaH

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Scions of the Kurus, Haihayas and Vrishnis,

Along with Shambara whose armour was much magic,

And the sage Ugra-tapas -- 'Grim Austerities' -- Gautama,

All incurred the dust of passion which a woman raises.

With his reference to the dust of passion, the striver with these words somehow brings to mind what the Buddha tells Nanda in Canto 12:

Upon transient whims which are akin to enemies, being eternally the causes of suffering,/ Upon whims like love, the world fixes. It does not know the happiness that is immune to change. // But that which prevents all suffering, the nectar of deathlessness, you have in your hands: / It is an antidote which, having drunk poison, you are going in good time to drink.// In its fear of worthless wandering your intention is worthy of respect, / For a fire of passion such as yours, upward looker in the Dharma, is being re-directed. // With a mind unbridled by burning desire it is exceedingly difficult to be steadfast,/ As when dirty water is seen by a thirsty traveller. // This consciousness awakening in you, surely, was blocked by the dust of passion,/ As the dust of a sand-storm blocks the light of the sun.//
[12.24 - 12.28]

Thus in this canto Ashvaghosha is giving us ample opportunity to be clear about one vital point, which is this:

The other-blaming thoughts of a striver who is good with words, even if they sound somehow similar to the Buddha's words, are totally and utterly different from the wisdom of Buddha.

For the umpteenth and final time in this canto, then, I refer to the Buddha's gospel according to Jimmy:

Some people say
There's a woman to blame;
But I know...
It's my own damn fault.

EH Johnston:
Princes of the Kurus, Haihayas and Vrsnis, Sambara too, though protected by many spells, and the sage Ugratapas Gautama were involved in the dust of passion raised by women.

Linda Covill:
Sons of the families of Kuru, Haihaya and Vrishni, as well as Shambara who wore armor of powerful magic, and the sage Ugra-tapas Gautama, all encountered the dust of passion stirred up by women.

kuru-haihaya-vRShNa-vaMsha-jaaH (nom. pl. m.): sons in the lineages of Kuru, Haihya and Vrishni
kuru: m. pl. N. of a people of India and of their country
haihaya: m. N. of a race
vRShNi: mfn. manly , strong , powerful , mighty ; m. pl. N. of a tribe or family (from which kRShNa is descended)
vaMsha: m bamboo; the line of a pedigree or genealogy (from its resemblance to the succession of joints in a bamboo) , lineage, race , family ; (esp. a noble race , a dynasty of kings , a list of teachers &c)
ja: mfn. born from ; m. a son of (in comp.)

bahu-maayaa-kavacaH (nom. sg. m.): having the armour of powerful magic
bahu: mfn. many, much, great, mighty
maayaa: f. art , wisdom , extraordinary or supernatural power (only in the earlier language); illusion , unreality , deception , fraud , trick , sorcery , witchcraft, magic
kavaca: mn. armour
atha: ind. now, then, moreover
shambaraH (nom. sg.): m. N. of a demon (he is the chief enemy of divo-daasa atithigva , for whose deliverance he was thrown down a mountain and slain by indra ; in epic and later poetry he is also a foe of the god of love)

muniH (nom. sg.): m. sage
ugratapaaH (nom. sg.): m. Ugra-tapas 'Grim Austerities'
ugra: mfn. powerful , violent , mighty , impetuous , strong , huge , formidable , terrible ; cruel , fierce , ferocious , savage
tapas: n. heat, pain; ascetic practice, religious austerity , bodily mortification , penance
ca: and
gautamaH (nom. sg.): m. Gautama (patronym from gotama)

samavaapuH = 3rd pers. pl. perfect sam -ava- √aap: to meet with , attain , reach , gain , obtain , incur
vanit"-oddhatam (acc. sg.): raised by women
vanitaa: f. woman
ud-dhata: mfn. raised (as dust)
rajaH (acc. sg.): n. n. " coloured or dim space " , the sphere of vapour or mist; impurity , dirt , dust ; the " darkening " quality , passion , emotion , affection

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