Thursday, November 21, 2013

BUDDHACARITA 8.33: Tears vs Action

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−   Vaṁśastha
anāryam-asnidgham-amitra-karma me nśaṁsa ktvā kim-ihādya rodiṣi |
niyaccha bāṣpaṁ bhava tuṣṭa-mānaso na saṁvadaty-aśru ca tac-ca karma te || 8.33

It is an ignoble and ungentle action, the action of a non-friend,

That you, O dealer in others' pain, have done to me.
Why now do you weep?

Stop the tears! Let your mind be satisfied!

Tears, and that action of yours, do not chime well together.

The ostensible gist of today's verse is “Look what you have done to me! I hope you are satisfied!” Ostensibly these are sarcastic words a woman might say to a man she blamed, when she was beside herself with grief.

Below the surface, however, today's verse can be read as the words a buddha might say having, by the means of sitting with right foot on left thigh and left foot on right thigh, totally become himself.

In the former case karma kṛtvā me means “[you] having done a deed to me .” In the latter case, karma kṛtvā me means “[I] having made action my own.”

Ostensibly, again, the śaṁsa of the vocative nṛ-śaṁsa in the 2nd pāda is from śam, to hurt or to injure. Hence “O cruel one” [EBC] or “You brute,” [EHJ] or “You heartless man” [PO]. But śaṁsa can also be read as deriving from śaṁs, to praise or to wish well, in which case nṛ-śaṁsa means “O one who wishes men well.”

Below the surface, then, today's verse might be read as teaching addressed by a buddha to one who most truly wishes others well, a bodhisattva.

So whereas niyaccha bāṣpam seems to mean “Stop [your] tears” or “Quit [your bloody] sobbing,” niyaccha bāṣpam might really mean, as a buddha's encouragement to a bodhisattva, “Stop [all needless] tears” or “Let tears [in general] cease.”

Below the surface, in the round, today's verse might be read as a buddha's encouragement to a bodhisattva to get out of the area of emotional Buddhist compassion and into the area of action itself:

“Action beyond āryan snobbery and beyond attachment,
action [even] beyond friendship, 

I have made my own, O you who wishes men well!
Here and now, why would you lament?

Stop tears! Let minds be satisfied!

Tears, and the aforementioned action, do not belong together in you.”

I have got into the habit of resorting freely, in some verses, to the use of square brackets in order to show a hidden meaning below (literally below) the ostensible meaning. In other verses, like today's verse, I eschew square brackets in favour of English phrases that allow as much of the ambiguity to come through as possible. Hence "O dealer in others' pain!" for nṛśaṁsa in today's verse. This lack of consistency in use of square brackets is not very satisfactory. Never mind, if I just keep blundering through, on a verse by verse basis, my digging may help prepare the ground for somebody to come along in future years and grow a great big beautiful cabbage.

Any way up, in conclusion, the real turning words in today's verse, as I read it, are karma kṛtvā me, and bhava tuṣṭa-mānasaḥ. If there are hidden horse pictures in today's verse, I think the horse is saying “I have made action into my own possession” (karma kṛtvā me) and “Let the mind be satisfied” (bhava tuṣṭa-mānasaḥ).

anāryam (acc. sg. n.): mfn. not honourable or respectable , vulgar , inferior
asnidgham (acc. sg. n.): mfn. not smooth , harsh , hard
snidgha: mfn. adhesive , attached , affectionate , tender , friendly , attached to or fond of; soft , mild , bland , gentle
amitra-karma (acc. sg. n.): the act of an enemy ; [the act of a friend in being without]
amitra: an enemy , adversary , foe ; mfn. not having a friend
karman: n. act, action
me (gen. sg.): of/to/for me

nśaṁsa (voc. sg.): O injurer of men! O cruel one! [O one who wishes men well!]
nśaṁsa: mfn. injuring men , mischievous , noxious , cruel , base
nṛ: m. a man , hero (used also of gods) , person
śam: to toil at , fatigue or exert one's self (esp. in performing ritual acts) ; to put an end to , hurt , injure , destroy
śaṁsa: m. recitation , invocation , praise ; wishing well or ill to , a blessing or a curse
śaṁs: to recite , repeat; to praise , extoll
ktvā = abs. kṛ: to do, make, perform
kim: why?
iha: here, now
adya: today, now
rodiṣi = 2nd pers. sg. rud: to weep , cry , howl , roar , lament ,

nigaccha [old Nepalese manuscript] = 2nd pers. sg. imperative ni- √ gam: to settle down upon or near (acc. or loc.); to enter , resort to , undergo , incur , become (with acc. e.g. śāntim , to become pacified
niyaccha [EBC/EHJ] = 2nd pers. sg. imperative ni- √ yam: to stop; to hold in, suppress
bāṣpam (acc. sg.): n. tear, tears
bhava = 2nd pers. sg. imperative bhū: to become, be
tuṣṭa-mānasaḥ (nom. sg. m.): pleased in your mind
tuṣṭa: mfn. satisfied , pleased
mānasa: n. the mental powers , mind , spirit , heart , soul

na: not
saṁvadati = 3rd pers. sg. saṁ- √ vad : to speak together or at the same time ; to sound together or in concord (said of musical instruments) ; to agree , accord , consent ; to coincide , fit together (so as to give one sense)
aśru (nom. sg.): n. tear, tears
ca: and
tat (nom. sg. n.): that
ca: and
karma (nom. sg.): n. act, action
te (gen. sg.): of yours

終是不正人 不昵非善友

不吉縱強暴 應笑用啼爲
將去而啼還 反覆不相應

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