Friday, November 22, 2013

BUDDHACARITA 8.34: Affirmation (of Mateship)

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−   Vaṁśastha
priyeṇa vaśyena hitena sādhunā tvayā sahāyena yathārtha-kāriṇā |
gato 'rya-putro hy-apunar-nivttaye ramasva diṣṭyā sa-phalaḥ śramas-tava || 8.34

For, thanks to you, a devoted mate
 – willing, well-meaning, and straight,

A doer of what was necessary –

That noble son is gone, never to return.

Be glad! 
How wonderful for you, that your effort was fruitful!

The irony in today's verse is irony within irony.

On the surface it is Yaśodharā who is using irony in its crudest form, sarcasm, to punish Chandaka with her tongue.

But below the surface, the irony is that Yaśodharā's sarcastic affirmation, which is really intended to be anything but an affirmation, might truly be an affirmation. It might be an affirmation of a bodhisattva's effort, as a friend in the good, to cause another to cross over first.

The fruit (phala) in question, in that case, below the surface, might mean the third fruit of dharma, the stage from which there is no return (see SN17.41), or might mean the fourth fruit, or fourth effect, which is the stage of the arhat.

But what is being affirmed in today's verse, as I read it, is not so much that place from which, so they say, there is no return, as the role of a friend in getting there.

The Sanskrit sahāya literally means “one who goes along with you,” and as such is not given in the dictionary as “friend” but rather as “companion” or “helper.” I think it might mean the kind of companion we call a mate or a good buddy.

So today's verse, below the surface, might contain a kind of definition of a true mate – one who is devoted (priya), willing (vaśya), and straight (sādhu). One who has your best interests at heart (hita) and, when push comes to shove, is prepared in those interests to do whatever is necessary (yathārtha-kārin).

The ultimate criterion might be in the phrase, yathārtha-kāriṇā, doing the necessary, when push comes to shove. When push comes to shove might be just the moment when we find out who our true mates are. 

priyeṇa (inst. sg. m.): mfn. dear, beloved ; fond of attached or devoted to (loc.)
vaśyena (inst. sg. m.): mfn. to be subjected ; subdued , tamed , humbled ; being under control , obedient to another's will , dutiful , docile , tame , humble
hitena (inst. sg. m.): mfn. beneficial , advantageous , salutary , wholesome , suitable ; well-disposed , favourable , friendly , affectionate , kind
sādhunā (inst. sg. m.): mfn. straight , right ; leading straight to a goal , hitting the mark , unerring (as an arrow or thunderbolt) ; well-disposed , kind , willing , obedient ; good , virtuous , honourable , righteous

tvayā (inst. sg. m.): by you
sahāyena (inst. sg.): m. " one who goes along with (another) " , a companion , follower , adherent , ally , assistant , helper
yathārtha-kāriṇā (inst. sg. m.): acting truly, doing what is appropriate / necessary
yathārtha: mfn. accordant with reality , conformable to truth or the true meaning , true , genuine , right (with svapna m. a dream which is fulfilled ; with janman n. a life in the true meaning of the word);
yathārtham: according to the aim or object , suitably , fitly
kārin: mfn. doing , making , effecting , producing , acting , an actor (mostly ifc.)

gataḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. gone
ārya-putraḥ (nom. sg.): m. son of an Aryan or honourable man , (honourable designation of the son of an elder brother or of any person of rank) ; designation of a husband by his wife (in dram.)
hi: for
apunar-nivṛttaye (dat. sg.): not again to return
apunar: ind. not again
nivṛtti: returning , return

ramasva = 2nd pers. sg. imperative (middle voice) ram: to be glad or pleased , rejoice at , delight in , be fond of
diṣṭyā = inst. sg. diṣṭi: f. auspicious juncture , good fortune , happiness (esp. instr. diṣṭyā , thank heaven! I congratulate you on your good luck!)
sa-phalaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. fruitful, bearing fruit
śramaḥ (nom. sg.): m. effort
tava (gen. sg.): your

愛念自在伴 隨欲恣心作
故使聖王子 一去不復歸 
汝今應大喜 作惡已果成
寧近智慧怨 不習愚癡友 

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