Friday, October 12, 2012

BUDDHACARITA 3.16: Sending Up Friar Tuck

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Upajāti (Sālā)
kāsāṁ-cid-āsāṁ tu varāṅganānāṁ jāta-tvarāṇām-api sotsukānām |
gatiṁ gurutvāj-jagṛhur-viśālāḥ śroṇī-rathāḥ pīna-payo-dharāś-ca || 3.16

But some among these fine ladies,

Hurry though they might in their eagerness,

Were stopped in their tracks, by the heft

Of the mighty chariots of their hips
and their big fat bosoms.

And so using the floodgate of awareness to close a dam on the power of the senses, / Know the measure, in eating food, that conduces to meditation and to health. // SN14.1 // For it depresses in-breath and out-breath, and brings tiredness and sleepiness, / When food is taken in excess; it also destroys enterprise. // 14.2 // And just as eating too much conduces to a dearth of value, / So eating too little makes for a lack of efficacy. // 14.3 // Of its substance, lustre, and stamina; of its usefulness and its very strength, / A meagre diet deprives the body. // 14.4 // Just as a weighing scale bends down with a heavy weight, bends upwards with a light one, / And stays in balance with the right one, so does this body according to intake of food. // 14.5 // Therefore food is to be eaten, each reflecting on his own energy, /And none apportioning himself too much or too little under the influence of pride. // 14.6 // For the fire of the body is damped down when it is burdened by a heavy load of food, / Like a small blaze suddenly covered with a big heap of firewood. // 14.7 // Excessive fasting, also, is not recommended; / For one who does not eat is extinguished like a fire without fuel. // 14.8 // Since without food there is none that survives among those that bear breath, / Therefore eating food is not a sin; but being choosy, in this area, is prohibited. // 14.9 // For on no other single object are sentient beings so stuck / As on the heedless eating of food. To the reason for this one must be awake. // 14.10 // Just as one who is wounded, for the purpose of healing, puts ointment on a wound, / So does one who wills freedom, for the purpose of staving off hunger, eat food. // 14.11 // Just as, in order to ready it for bearing a burden, one greases a wagon's axle, / So, in order to journey through life, does the wise man utilize food. // 14.12 // And just as two travellers in order to cross a wasteland / Might feed upon the flesh of a child, though grievously pained to do so, as its mother and father, // 14.13 // So food should be eaten, consciously, / Neither for display, nor for appearance; neither to excite hilarity, nor to feed extravagance. // 14.14 // Food is provided for the upkeep of the body / As if to prop, before it falls, a dilapidated house. // 14.15 // Just as somebody might take pains to build and then carry a raft, / Not because he is so fond of it but because he means to cross a great flood, // 14.16 // So too, by various means, do men of insight sustain the body, / Not because they are so fond of it but because they mean to cross a flood of suffering. // 14.17 // Just as a king under siege yields, in sorrow, to a rival king, / Not out of devotion, nor through thirsting, but solely to safeguard life, // 14.18 // So the devotee of practice tenders food to his body / Solely to stave off hunger, neither with passion nor as devotion. // SN14.19 //
Thus the Buddha cautions Nanda against needlessly stuffing one's face. But were there monks of Aśvaghoṣa's time who seemed never to have listened to the Buddha's words? And if so, what did Aśvaghoṣa make of such corpulent backsliders? On this matter, as in most matters,  Aśvaghoṣa does not state any view of his own – at least not directly.

kāsāṁ-cid āsām (gen. pl. f.): some of these
tu: but
varāṅganānām (gen. pl. f.): choicest women
vara: mfn. " select " , choicest , valuable , precious , best , most excellent or eminent among (gen.)
aṅgana: f. " a woman with well-rounded limbs " , any woman or female

jāta-tvarāṇām (gen. pl. f.): with hurry arisen in them
jāta: mfn. arisen
tvarā: f. haste , speed
api: even (emphatic)
sotsukānām (gen. pl. f.): regretful , sorrowful , anxious about , yearning or longing for (loc. or acc.)
sa: (possessive prefix)
utsuka: mfn. (fr. su , " well " , with 1. ud in the sense of " apart " , and affix ka) , restless , uneasy , unquiet , anxious ; anxiously desirous , zealously active , striving or making exertions for any object ; eager for

gatim (acc. sg.): f. going , moving , gait , deportment ; manner or power of going
guru-tvāt (abl. sg.): n. weight , heaviness
jagṛhur = 3rd pers. pl. perfect grah: to seize, take ; to stop, arrest
viśālāḥ (nom. pl. m.): spacious , extensive , broad , wide , large ; great , important , powerful , mighty , illustrious , eminent

śroṇī-rathāḥ (nom. pl. m.): the chariots of their hips
śroṇī: f. the hips and loins &c
ratha: m. ( √ ṛ) " goer " , a chariot , car , esp. a two-wheeled war-chariot ; a limb , member , part ; m. ( √ ram) pleasure , joy , delight
pīna-payo-dharāḥ (nom. pl. m.): fat breasts
pīna: mfn. swelling , swollen , full , round , thick , large , fat
payo-dhara: m. " containing water or milk " , a cloud ; a woman's breast or an udder
ca: and

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