Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SAUNDARANANDA 18.2: What the Buddha Desired

draṣṭuṃ sukhaṃ jñānasamāptikāle
gururhi śiṣyasya gurośca śiṣyaḥ/
pariśramaste saphalo mayīti
yato didṛkṣāsya munau babhūva//18.2//

= = - = / = - - / = - = = // - = - = / = - - / = - = =
- = - = / = - - / = - = = // - = - = / = - - / = - = -

For it is pleasant,
at a time when wisdom has been fully realized,

For teacher to see student, and for student to see teacher,

Each thinking, "Your toil has rewarded me";

For which same reason
the wish to see Nanda arose in the Sage.

In today's verse the first pāda, beginning with two heavy syllables (= = -), is in the Indravajrā form of the Upajāti metre, while the other three pādas, beginning with a light - heavy - light (- = -) combination, are in the Upendravajrā form of the Upajāti metre.

jñānasamāptikāle could be understood as meaning a moment like when a reader gets to the end of a book, or gets to the end of all the books in a Buddhist library; or it could be understood as meaning a moment like when a full moon is noticed shining in the sky -- at which time, it has been said since ancient times, the mind/moon is shining in the sky.

When the mind/moon is shining in the sky, in solitude and yet full of itself, it may show itself as a golden orb in a black night sky. Alternatively, surprisingly, it might show itself as a white disc in a blue winter sky. Again, the moon might show itself, fully, as a white crescent, or a white half-moon, in a blue autumn sky.

On the surface, or going by the dictionary, jñānasamāptikāle means at the time of complete acquisition of knowledge; but Ashvaghosha as I hear him is rather talking about full realization of wisdom, i.e, complete freedom from ignorance. Full realization of wisdom, then, might mean just sitting in full lotus without the encumbrance of any religious or cultural baggage, without stiffening up, and without pulling down. And a time when wisdom has been fully realized might mean, for example, tea-time.

With regard to the 4th line, assuming the Buddha practised what he preached, I think the desire to see Nanda that arose in the Buddha was not an unduly big or strong desire. And at a time when wisdom had been fully realized, the same might go for Nanda's desire to see his Guru.

EH Johnston:
Pleasant it is for the guru to see the pupil or the pupil the guru at the time knowledge has been acquired, each thinking, 'Your toil has been fruitful through me' ; so the Sage was desirous of seeing him too.

Linda Covill:
For at the time when knowledge has been perfected, it is pleasant for the teacher to see the student, and for the student to see the teacher, each with the thought "your striving has borne fruit through me"; and so he wished to see the sage.

draShTum = infinitive √drsh: to see
sukham (acc. sg. n.): pleasant, agreeable, happy
jNaana-samaapti-kaale (loc. sg.): at the time of complete acquisition of knowledge
jNaana: n. knowing , becoming acquainted with , knowledge , (esp.) the higher knowledge (derived from meditation on the one Universal Spirit)
samaapti: f. complete acquisition (as of knowledge or learning)
kaala: time

guruH (nom. sg. m.): the Guru
hi: for
shiShyasya (gen. sg. m.): the pupil
guroH (gen. sg. m.): the Guru
ca: and
shiShyaH (nom. sg. m.): the pupil

parishramaH (nom. sg.): m. fatigue , exertion , labour , fatiguing occupation , trouble , pain
te (gen. sg. tvam): of you
sa-phalaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. having or bearing fruit or seed , fruitful (as a tree); having good results , productive , profitable , successful
mayi (loc. sg. aham): to me
mayaa (inst. sg. aham): through me
iti: thus; ".... "

yataH: ind. whence, for which reason, on which grounds
didRkShaa: f. (fr. desiderative of √ dRsh, to see.) desire of seeing
asya (gen. sg. ayam): of this one
munau = loc. sg. m. muni: m. the sage
babhuuva = 3rd pers. perf. bhuu: to be, arise, occur

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