Thursday, March 27, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 9.70: No Going Back, Yet

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Upajāti (Mālā)
tathaiva śālvādhipatir-drumākhyo vanāt-sasūnur nagaraṁ viveśa |
brahmarṣi-bhūtaś-ca muner-vasiṣṭhād-dadhre śriyaṁ sāṁktir-antidevaḥ || 9.70

So again did Druma, the Śālva king whose name means Tree,

In the company of his son, enter the city from the forest.

And, having become a brahmarṣi, a brahman seer,

Antideva the Sāṁkṛti 
received the royal insignia from the sage Vasiṣṭha.

With regard to the first half of today's verse, EHJ notes that the king of the Śālvas who returned from the forest with his son can only be Dyumatsena, father-in-law of Sāvitrī.

Dyumatsena, PO explains further, lost his kingdom and went to the forest, but regained his kingdom through the marriage of his son Sātyvan to Sāvitrī, the daughter of King Aśvapati. (MBh CSL III.293-299).

The old Nepalese manuscript has drumākṣe, rendered in EBC's text as drumakṣo. EHJ amended to drumākhyo, which he translated as “called Druma.”

In the second half of today's verse, EHJ notes, brahmarṣi-bhūta refers to the fact that the Sāṁkṛtis were Kṣatriyan Brahmans; and Antideva's connection with Vasiṣtha is known from the Mahā-bharata and from BC1.52:
Then that sage who was devoted to sitting the king fittingly honoured, with foot-washing water and with welcoming water; / The king offered to him appropriate service, as once upon a time Antideva did to Vasiṣṭha.//BC1.52//
Neither EHJ nor PO, however, was able to trace the story of the king Antideva accepting sovereignty from the sage Vasiṣtha.

In today's verse, then, the counsellor is persisting with an argument that the bodhisattva-prince, as we know him well enough by now, is going to reject out of hand. It is an argument that became tiresome when the whining Nanda persisted with it in SN Canto 7, and it is an argument that has become tiresome here in the obscure Brahmanical references of the counsellor.

Since we already know the main elements of the Buddha's life story, we know that the resolve of the bodhisattva-prince is such that there is absolutely no chance of him going back to Kapilavastu without first having kept the promise he made  in BC5.84:
Then he with the lengthened eyes of a lotus – one born of mud, not of water –surveyed the city and roared a lion's roar: / “Until I have seen the far shore of birth and death I shall never again enter the city named after Kapila.”

Notice that Aśvaghoṣa does not compare the bodhisattva-prince's expression of his vow to the squeak of a mouse. He says that the bodhisattva-prince nanāda siṁha-nādam, roared a lion's roar. 

By indirect means, then, it can be argued, Aśvaghoṣa is goading us to do for ourselves what the Canto title expresses as kumārānveṣaṇaḥ, “Investigation of a Prince.” The bodhisattva-prince, or a bodhisattva-prince, is one who is resolved methodically (krameṇa), honouring a standard (vidhi), to make an effort (yatna) in the direction of release (mokṣa). The counsellor uses those four words vidhi, krama, yatna and mokṣa, but what they mean to him, evidently, is totally different from what they mean to the bodhisattva-prince, and different again from what they will mean to the enlightened Buddha.

The counsellor's conclusion, expressed in tomorrow's verse, is that there would be no fault in the bodhisattva-prince breaking his promise and going home. But even before the bodhisattva-prince has opened his mouth to give what will be his polite reply, I for one feel a strong impulse to speak up on his behalf and tell the counsellor, not necessarily politely, that there is no fucking way that the bodhisattva is going to go back home to Kapilavastu before his task is complete, so why don't you shut the fuck up with all your boring Brahmanical bullshit?

Such a rude and emotional intervention, the discerning reader might surmise, even in response to Aśvaghoṣa's relentless goading, could be evidence of a certain incompleteness or immaturity in kumārānveṣaṇaḥ, “Investigating a Prince.”

tathā: ind. likewise
eva: (emphatic)
śālvādhipatiḥ (nom. sg. m.): king of the Śālvas
śālva: m. pl. N. of a people
adhipati: m. a ruler , commander , regent , king
drumākhyaḥ [EHJ] (nom. sg.): m. called Druma
druma: m. a tree ; N. of a prince of the kim-puruṣas ; of a son of kṛṣṇa and rukmiṇī
ākhya: appellation , name
drumākṣaḥ [EBC]: m. N. of a king, Bcar. ix, 60
akṣa: m. an axle , axis ; the beam of a balance or string which holds the pivot of the beam ; n. an organ of sense ; m. the soul ; n. [only ifc. for akṣi] , the eye
dyumat-sena: m. N. of a prince of śālva , father of satyavat
dyumat: mfn. bright , light , brilliant , splendid , excellent
senā: f. a missile , dart , spear

vanāt (abl. sg.): n. the forest
sa-sūnuḥ (nom. sg. m.): with his son
nagaram (acc. sg.): n. town, city
viveśa = 3rd pers. sg. perf. viś: to enter

brahmarṣi-bhūtaḥ (nom. sg. m.):
brahmarṣi: " Brahmanical sage " , N. of a partic. class of sages supposed so belong to the Brahman caste (as vasiṣṭha &c )
bhūtaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. become ; (ifc.) being or being like anything
ca: and
muneḥ (abl. sg.): m. sage
vasiṣṭhāt (abl. sg.): m. Vasiṣṭha, " the most wealthy " , N. of a celebrated Vedic ṛṣi or sage (owner of the " cow of plenty ")

dadhre = 3rd pers. sg. perf. dhṛ: to hold , bear (also bring forth) , carry , maintain , preserve , keep , possess , have , use , employ , practise , undergo
śriyam (acc. sg.): f. light, splendour ; prosperity , welfare , good fortune , success , auspiciousness , wealth , treasure , riches , high rank , power , might , majesty , royal dignity
sāṁkṛtiḥ (nom. sg.): m. (fr. saṁ-kṛti) patr. of a sage (son of viśvāmitra and founder of the vaiyāghrapadya family)
saṁ-kṛti: mfn. putting together , arranging , preparing , making ready; m. name of various men
antidevaḥ (nom. sg.): m. N. of an ancient king and sage, RV. ; Bcar. ; mfn. being in the presence of the gods , near the gods

娑樓婆國王 名曰頭樓摩
父子遊山林 終亦倶還國 
婆私晝牟尼 及與安低疊
山林修梵行 父亦歸本國 

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