Friday, August 17, 2012

BUDDHACARITA 2.17: Fulfillment of Everything

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−    Upajāti (Sālā)
evaṁ-vidhā rāja-sutasya tasya sarvārtha-siddhiś-ca yato babhūva
tato nṛpas-tasya sutasya nāma sarvārtha-siddho 'yam-iti pracakre || 2.17

And since in that son begotten by the king

Such fulfillment of everything was realized

The ruler of men named that son of his accordingly,

Saying “He is Sarvārtha-siddha, 
Fulfillment of Everything.”

EH Johnston amended EB Cowell's rāja-sutasya tasya (that son begotten by the king / that prince; EBC “this birth of the son of the king”) to rāja-kulasya saṁpat (consummation of the royal line; EHJ “the prosperity of the royal race”), and added in a footnote to his translation: “Cowell's text in a [the 1st pāda] is so weak and differs so much from the Tibetan translation that evidently the old Nepalese manuscript was partly illegible here. I accordingly accept the Tibetan translation's reading, which ... explains how the old Nepalese manuscript was misread.”

Subsequently EHJ translated the verse: Since the prosperity of the royal race and the accomplishment of all objects had been thus brought to pass, the king named his son accordingly, saying, “He is Sarvārthasiddha.”

For what it is worth, the Chinese translation supports Cowell's text.  今王生太子 means “Now the king-begotten prince,” and so it mirrors Cowell's text almost word for word. In any event, even before consulting the Chinese translation, I didn't feel inclined to follow EHJ's amendment here. In the repetition of sutasya tasya, as I read it, there is a particular emphasis along the lines discussed yesterday, which is to say (1) the son in question, who meant to the king the fulfillment of everything, was begotten by the king, and not begotten by anybody but the king; and (2) the king had other sons too, notably the handsome Nanda, but he did not call anybody but this particular son, his first son begotten as king, “Fulfillment of Everything.” So I have stuck with Cowell's text.

Aśvaghoṣa also refers to the name Sarvārtha-siddha in the 2nd canto of Saundara-nanda:
Then, gradually, those two sons of the king became educated, in practical arts and in learning. / Nanda frittered all his time on idle pleasures; but Sarvārtha-siddha, Accomplisher of Every Aim, was not mottled by the redness of passions. // SN2.63 //
In light of this and the previous 16 verses of Buddha-carita, I think a preferable translation of Sarvārtha-siddha is Fulfillment of Everything. “Every Aim/Object Fulfilled” might be  more literal. But “Fulfillment of Everything” strikes me as more natural. The sense one gets is that Aśvaghoṣa has been portraying Śuddhodhana as the king who had it all, and the birth of a royal son and heir made everything complete.

As a description of sitting in blank silence, which is closer to hitting the target:
“Accomplishment of Every Aim” or “Fulfillment of Everything”?
No question – Fulfillment of Everything.

So as a translation of Sarvārtha-siddha, also, for the present I will go with Fulfillment of Everything.

evaṁ-vidhā (nom. sg. f.):  mfn. of such a kind , in such a form or manner , such
rāja-sutasya (gen. sg.): m. a king's son, prince
rāja-kulasya (gen. sg.) n. a king's race , royal family
sampat (nom. sg.): f. success , accomplishment , completion , fulfilment , perfection ; attainment , acquisition , possession , enjoyment , advantage , benefit , blessing  ; excellence , glory , splendour , beauty  ; good fortune , prosperity , riches , wealth

sarvārtha-siddhiḥ (nom. sg. f.): accomplishment of all aims; fulfilment of every purpose
sarvārtha: m. pl. all things or objects , all manner of things; all matters (artheṣu ind. " in all matters , in all the subjects contained in any particular work "); sarvārtham: ind. for the sake of the whole; mfn. suitable for every purpose; mfn. regarding or minding everything
siddhi: f. accomplishment , performance , fulfilment , complete attainment (of any object) , success;   the hitting of a mark (loc.)
ca: and
yataḥ: ind. whence
babhūva = 3rd pers. sg. perf. bhū: to be, happen, take place

tataḥ (correlative of yataḥ): ind. thence, from that
nṛpaḥ (nom. sg.): m. 'protector/ruler of men'; the king
tasya (gen. sg. m.): his
sutasya (gen. sg.): m. son
nāma: ind. by name

sarvārtha-siddhaḥ (nom. sg. m.): 'one who has accomplished all aims'; m. N. of gautama buddha (so called , according to some , because his parents' wishes were all fulfilled by his birth)
siddha: mfn. accomplished , fulfilled , effected , gained , acquired  ; one who has attained his object , successful ;  one who has attained the highest object , thoroughly skilled or versed in (dat. or comp.)
ayam (nom. sg. m.): this one, he
iti: “....,” thus
pracakre = pra- √ kṛ:  to make, make into

今王生太子 其徳亦復爾
以備衆徳義 名名悉達羅他 

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