Sunday, November 13, 2011

SAUNDARANANDA 18.48: The Buddha's Desire

mayā nu śakyaṃ pratikartum-adya kiṃ
gurau hitaiṣiṇy-anukampake tvayi /
samuddhṛto yena bhavārṇavād-ahaṃ
mahārṇavāc-cūrṇita-naur-ivormibhiḥ // 18.48 //

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How today could I possibly repay you,

My compassionate Guru whose desire is others' welfare,

By whom I was taken totally up and out
of the foaming sea of becoming,

Like a man out of a great ocean
when his boat is being battered by waves?"

In today's verse, as I read it, Nanda's gratitude is like that of a sailor who wishes somehow to repay a lifeboatman who saved his life by lifting him up and out of a stormy sea.

That kind of gratitude, directed towards somebody who helped one out in a jam, like a lifeboatman or like a teacher of the FM Alexander Technique, is only natural, from the standpoint of the rescued. At the same time, from the standpoint of the rescuer, desiring the welfare of the other (hitaiṣin) might be nothing out of the ordinary, but just an integral part of a job he loves doing.

Both aforementioned jobs may involve taking a person up.

Not having any experience of rescuing others at sea or being rescued at sea, but having some experience in Alexander work both as rescuer and person in need of rescue (when all at sea from end-gaining and faulty sensory appreciation), I am taken by Nanda's description of himself as samuddhṛtaḥ.

sam-: completely; ut-: up; hṛta: taken.

samuddhṛtaḥ: completely taken up -- so that the whole body allows the head out, and the head leads the whole body up.

EH Johnston:
What can I do in return now to-day for Thee, my compassionate Guru, Who has been so kindly disposed to me and by Whom I have been rescued from the ocean of being, like a man, whose ship has been broken by the waves, from the great ocean?'

Linda Covill:
You have entirely pulled me out of the sea of existence, like a man rescued from the great ocean when his boat has been battered by waves. What could I possibly do now in return for you, my well-wishing, compassionate guru?

mayaa (inst. sg.): by me
nu: ind. now (emphatic)
shakyam (nom. sg. n.): able , possible , practicable , capable of being (with inf. in pass. sense)
pratikartum = inf. pratikR; to do or make an opposition ; to return , repay ; to pay back (a debt)
adya: today
kim (nom. sg. n.): what?

gurau (loc. sg.): m. to the guru
hit'-aiShiNi (loc. sg. m.): mfn. well-wishing , desiring another's welfare
hita: n. benefit , advantage , profit , service , good , welfare
eShin: mfn. (generally ifc.) going after , seeking , striving for , desiring
anukampake (loc. sg. m.): compassionate
tvayi (loc. sg.): to you

samuddhRtaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. well raised or drawn up or uplifted
sam: prefix expressing " conjunction " , " union " , " thoroughness " , " intensity " , " completeness "
ud- √hṛ: to take out; to raise , lift up ; to rescue (from danger &c ) , deliver , free , save
yena (inst. sg.): by whom
bhava: m. being, existence; (with Buddhists) continuity of becoming (a link in the twelvefold chain of causation)
arNava: mfn. foaming; m. the foaming sea
aham (nom. sg. m.): I

mah"-aarNavaat (abl. sg.): m. " mighty sea " , the ocean
mahaa: great
arNava: mfn. foaming; m. the foaming sea
cuurNita-nauH (nom. sg.): a smashed ship
cuurNita: mfn. pulverised , smashed
nau: f. a ship , boat , vessel
iva: like
urmibhiH (inst. pl.): by the waves

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