Sunday, August 24, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 12.15: Arāḍa Spurred into Action

[Tuesday, August 19th]

ity arāḍaḥ kumārasya māhātmyād eva coditaḥ |
saṁkṣiptaṁ kathayāṁ cakre svasya śāstrasya niścayam || 12.15

Arāḍa, thus spurred

By the prince's very great sincerity,

Related in brief

The purport of his own teaching.

Today's verse as I read it belongs to the 3rd phase since it describes action spurred by great sincerity.

EBC translated the 4th pāda, “the tenets of his doctrine”; EHJ “the conclusions of his doctrine”; PO “the conclusions of his system of thought.”

Those translations, to my ears, carry a pejorative connotation, since the tenets or conclusions of a doctrine suggest something that is fixed, not real.

But what Arāḍa was primarily concerned with, as he states in tomorrow's verse, was how saṁsāra comes into being. This purport of Arāḍa's teaching thus would also be the purport of the Buddha's teaching. And, though the bodhisattva ultimately found Arāda's teaching wanting, he continued to consider Arāḍa to have been his teacher.

For that reason I have translated niścayam as “purport” – reading niścayam, which is singular, not (as per the earlier definitions given in the MW dictionary) “fixed opinion” or “certainty” but rather (as per the later definitions) “purpose” or “aim.”

I have also seen fit to give svasya its original emphasis, translating not only as “his” but as “his own.” The point Aśvaghoṣa is emphasizing might be that, although Buddhist scholars like to see everybody's teaching as belonging to this or that sect or school, Arāḍa's teaching, as Aśvaghoṣa is about to outline it, was nothing but Arāḍa's teaching. (Neither Arāḍa nor Aśvaghoṣa mention anything about Sāṁkhya philosophy.) 

iti: “...,” thus
arāḍaḥ (nom. sg.): m. Arāḍa
kumārasya (gen. sg.): m. the prince

māhātmyāt (abl. sg.): n. (fr. mahātman) magnanimity , highmindedness ; exalted state or position , majesty , dignity
eva: (emphatic)
coditaḥ (nom. sg. m.): mfn. caused to move quickly ; driven , impelled , incited

saṁkṣiptam (acc. sg.): mfn. thrown or dashed or heaped together &c
kathayām cakre = 3rd pers. sg. perf. kathayām kṛ: to tell , relate , narrate , report , inform , speak about , declare , explain , describe

svasya (gen. sg.): his own
śāstrasya (gen. sg.): n. teaching , instruction , direction
niścayam (acc. sg.): m. inquiry , ascertainment , fixed opinion , conviction , certainty , positiveness ; resolution , resolve, fixed intention , design , purpose , aim

爾時阿羅藍 聞太子所問
自以諸經論 略爲其解説

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