Thursday, July 31, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 11.70: 'Aving Us On?

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−   Vaṁśastha
avendravad-divy-ava śaśvad-arkavad-guṇair-ava śreya ihāva gām-ava |
avāyur-āryair-ava sat-sutān ava śriyaś-ca rājann-ava dharmam-ātmanaḥ || 11.70

Keep rejoicing like Indra in heaven.
Keep shining forever like the sun.

Keep on, by way of virtues.
Keep, here in this world, to the higher good.
Keep watch over the earth.

Keep your good health.
Keep company with noble ones.
Keep safe the sons and daughters of the good.

Keep your royal power, O King, and your own dharma.

According to the grammarians, EHJ notes, the root √av has eighteen senses, many of them probably assumed for etymological purposes, and, though T translates it throughout by bsruṅs, to protect, there can be no doubt that Aśvaghoṣa intends it to be understood in nine different ways here.... The translation is therefore necessarily tentative.

Some of the eighteen senses of √av are given in the MW dictionary as follows:
  • to drive , impel , animate (as a car or horse) ;
  • to promote , favour , (chiefly Ved.) to satisfy , refresh ;
  • to offer (as a hymn to the gods) ;
  • to lead or bring to ;
  • (said of the gods) to be pleased with , like , accept favourably (as sacrifices , prayers or hymns) RV. ;
  • (chiefly said of kings or princes) to guard , defend , protect , govern .

If we ask, as people who sit, what the word-play in today's verse has got to do with the one great matter which is sitting, the answer might be contained in EHJ's protestation that The translation is therefore necessarily tentative.

Dogen finishes the penultimate paragraph of Shobogenzo chap. 3, Genjo-koan, by asserting:
Realization is 何必 (KA-HITSU).
Realization is: 'How necessarily?'
In other words, realization might be indefinable.

Even though yesterday we discussed it as “harsh reality,” as if it had jagged edges, it might be ambiguity itself.

Today's verse, then, in conclusion, might be intended to remind us that the truth that we are excavating by sitting-Zen, and at the same time by studying the words of Zen ancestors like Dogen and Aśvaghoṣa, is not always susceptible to being expressed literally in words.

atha: ind. and so...
ava [EHJ] (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: “be happy”)
indravat: ind. like Indra
divi (loc. sg.): in heaven
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av):  (EHJ: shine)
śaśvat: ind. perpetually , continually , repeatedly , always , ever
arkavat: like the sun
arka: m. ( √ arc) , Ved. a ray , flash of lightning; the sun
arkavat: mfn. possessing or holding the thunderbolt

guṇaiḥ (inst. pl.): m. good quality , virtue , merit , excellence
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: flourish)
śreya (acc. sg.): n. the better state , the better fortune or condition (sometimes used when the subject of a sentence would seem to require the masc. form)
iha: ind. in this world, here
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: understand)
gām (acc. sg.): f. the earth (as milk-cow of kings)
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av):(EHJ: rule)

ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: obtain)
āyus: n. life , vital power , vigour , health , duration of life , long life
āryaiḥ (inst. pl. m.): by the noble
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: protect)
sat-sutān (acc. pl. m.): good sons, sons of the good
suta: a son , child , offspring;
sutā: f. daughter
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: enter into )

śriyaḥ (acc. sg.): f. royal power, sovereignty; Śrī = N. of lakṣmī (as goddess of prosperity or beauty)
ca: and
rājan (voc. sg.): O king!
ava (2nd pers. sg. imperative av): (EHJ: observe)
dharmam (gen. sg.): m. dharma
ātmanaḥ (gen. sg. m.): one's own

願汝國安隱 善護如帝釋
慧明照天下 猶如盛日光
殊勝大地主 端心護其命
正化護其子 以法王天下

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