Thursday, February 14, 2013

BUDDHACARITA 4.75: What Goes Around Comes Around

bhas-pater-mahiṣyāṁ ca juhvatyāṁ juhvatāṁ varaḥ |
budhaṁ vibudha-dharmāṇaṁ janayām-āsa candramāḥ || 4.75 

And the Moon, most eminent among oblation-offerers,

Begat 'The Learned' Budha, who was innately very learned,

In Bṛhas-pati's own esteemed wife,

While she was offering an oblation.

Again it has been too difficult to preserve the original order of the elements, in which the subject comes last.

Any way up, following yesterday's verse which records that Bṛhas-pati fathered a child with his brother's wife, today's verse adds the information that the Moon fathered a child with Bṛhas-pati's own wife.

The gist of Udāyin's present argument seems to be that when instinctive desire is at variance with moral considerations (like the questionnable morality of fathering a child, on the spur of the moment, with somebody else's wife), it is only natural to follows one's desire, as per the example of ascetic heroes and gods.

The response of the prince will be instructive in suggesting to us the workings of the mind of a bodhisattva who has established the bodhi-mind.

If we expect the prince to respond by expressing his moral outrage, or by preaching to Udāyin the bad karmic implications of an extra-marital affair, that expectation may be disappointed.

Looking ahead, it appears that the prince does not concern himself with judging the rights and wrongs of other people's sexual mores. Rather, he seems to say that (1) he is not interested in pursuit of any end, pleasurable though it may be, that is susceptible to the ravages of aging, sickness and death; and (2) he is not interested in half-hearted application of half-hearted means.

Hence, strikingly, in BC4.93 –

na cānuvartanaṁ tan-me rucitaṁ yatra nārjavam
And neither is that submissive behaviour agreeable to me, if it is insincere.
sarva-bhāvena saṁparko yadi nāsti dhig-astu tat
Unless there is a mutual connection with the whole soul/being, to hell with it.

bṛhas-pateḥ (gen. sg.): m. " lord of prayer or devotion " N. of a deity (in whom Piety and Religion are personified ; he is the chief offerer of prayers and sacrifices , and therefore represented as the type of the priestly order , and the purohita of the gods with whom he intercedes for men ; in later times he is the god of wisdom and eloquence , to whom various works are ascribed ; he is also regarded as son of aṅgiras , husband of tārā and father of kaca , and sometimes identified with vyāsa ; in astronomy he is the regent of Jupiter and often identified with that planet)
mahiṣyām (loc. sg.): f. a female buffalo , buffalo-cow ; any woman of high rank , (esp.) the first or consecrated wife of a king (also pl.) or any queen
ca: and

juhvatyām (loc. sg. f. pres. part. hu): while she was offering an oblation
hu: to sacrifice (esp. pour butter into the fire) , offer or present an oblation ;
juhvatām (gen. pl. m. pres. part. hu): [among] offerers of oblations
varaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. " select " , choicest , valuable , precious , best , most excellent or eminent among (gen. loc. abl. , or comp.)

budham (acc. sg.): m. 'wise or learned man,' N. of a descendant of soma (and hence also called saumya , saumāyana , author of RV. x , 1 , and father of purū-ravas ; identified with the planet Mercury)
vibudha-dharmāṇam (acc. sg. m.): whose nature was to be very wise/learned
dharman: n. (esp. ifc.) nature , quality , characteristic mark or attribute
vibudha-karmāṇam (acc. sg. m.): of sage/godly/moonlike action
vibudha: mfn. very wise or learned ; m. a wise or learned man ; m. a god; m. the moon
karman: n. act , action , performance , business ; office , special duty , occupation , obligation (frequently ifc. , the first member of the compound being either the person who performs the action [e.g. vaṇik-k°] or the person or thing for or towards whom the action is performed [e.g. rāja-k° , paśu-k°] or a specification of the action [e.g. śaurya-k° , prīti-k°])

janayām-āsa = 3rd pers. sg. periphrastic causative perf. jan: to beget
candramāḥ (nom. sg.): m. the moon , deity of the moon


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