Sunday, August 24, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 12.13: What Am I Like?

[Sunday, August 17th]

didkṣur iva hi jyotir yiyāsur iva daiśikam |
tvad-darśanam ahaṁ manye titīrṣur iva ca plavam || 12.13

For, as one who wishes to see esteems a light,

As one who wishes to travel esteems a guide,

I esteem your way of seeing –

As, again, one who wishes to cross esteems a boat.

Today's verse fits neatly enough into the first phase of four phases, since it is all about wishing or desiring or volition. The desire is indicated by the three desiderative forms didṛkṣuḥ, wishing to see; yiyāsuḥ, wishing to travel; and titīrṣuḥ, wishing to cross over

Equally the verse is about what I esteem (ahaṁ manye).

The Old Nepalese manuscript has at the beginning of the 3rd pāda tvad-darśanāha, and it is thus one syllable short. 

EBC took the compound as the ablative tvad-darśanāt, and translated, “I feel at the sight of thee..."  EBC thus read darśana  in its original sense of seeing. 

As EHJ noted, however, the tat in the next verse suggests another meaning of darśana, and the most likely definition is n. view, doctrine, philosophical system. EHJ translates tvad-darśanam as “your system” and PO as “your philosophy." But since the bodhisattva does not yet know what Arāḍa's approach to liberation is (since he does not yet know that Arāḍa's approach is so philosophical and systematic), I figured that a more general word like “approach” might fit the context better, as a translation of darśana

At the same time, I decided on reflection, there may be some merit in EBC's taking darśana in its first meaning as “sight.” 

As EHJ himself notes:
Darśanam, primarily 'system' here, as is shown by tat in the next verse, means also that the prince looks on the sight of Arāḍa as lucky ; for the sight of a holy man or of a king (cp SN2.8 and the epithet piyadassana given to cakravartin kings in the Pali canon) is deemed to bring good luck in India.

The verse EHJ refers to in Saundarananda is this:

kṛtaśastraḥ kṛtāstro vā jāto vā vipule kule /
Whether skilled in use of book, or in use of sword; 
whether born into an eminent family, or not;
akṛtārtho na dadṛse yasya darśanam-eyivān // SN2.8 //
Anybody who came into his presence was seen to be useful.

How we understand tvad-darśanam in today's verse, then, has implications for the canto title arāḍa-darśanam, which ostensibly means Seeing Arāḍa or Meeting Arāḍa (EHJ: Visit to Arāḍa ; PO: The Meeting with Arāḍa) but which can also be read as Arāḍa's Seeing, i.e. Arāḍa's Way of Seeing, Arāḍa's Philosophical System, Arāḍa's Approach. 

The solution may be to resort once again to a slash –  Arāḍa / Seeing, as in BC Canto 6 Chandaka / Turning Back. 

Or another option is The Seeing of Arāḍa, as in BC Canto 9, The Seeking of a Prince. 

didṛkṣuḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn desirous of seeing
iva: like
hi: for
jyotiḥ (acc. sg.): n. light (of the sun , dawn , fire , lightning , &c)

yiyāsuḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. desirous of travelling
yā: to go , proceed , move , walk , set out , march , advance , travel , journey
iva: like
daiśikam (acc. sg.): m. a guide

tvad-darśanam (acc. sg. n.): meeting with you; your presence ; your philosophical system
darśana: n. audience , meeting (with gen. ; instr. with or without saha Vet. ; in comp.); n. view , doctrine , philosophical system ; n. the becoming visible or known , presence ; n. appearance without iva)
aham (nom. sg. m.): I
manye = 1st pers. sg. man: to regard or consider any one or anything (acc.) as (acc. with or

titīrṣuḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. desirous of crossing over
iva: like
ca: and
plavam (acc. sg.): mn. a float , raft , boat , small ship

夜行得炬火 迷方者蒙導
度海得輕舟 我今亦如是

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