Friday, November 21, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 12.109: The Gods Are On Our Side!

¦⏑⏑⏑−¦¦−⏑−⏑¦⏑−⏑−   navipulā
atha gopādhipa-sutā daivatair abhicoditā |
udbhūta-hdayānandā tatra nandabalāgamat || 12.109 

Just then a dairy farmer's daughter,

Impelled by the gods, came by,

With joy swelling up in her heart –

There came Nanda-balā, 'Power of Joy.'

There is nothing I have encountered anywhere in Aśvaghoṣa's writing to support religious belief in the existence of what Jews, Christians and Muslims call “God.” 

There is plenty, however, to support ironic acceptance of the existence of what the ancient Greeks called “the gods.” 

And those gods, today's verse suggests, were firmly on the bodhisattva's side. 

God? Who needs Him? 

atha: now, then
gopādhipa-sutā (nom. sg. f.): the daughter of the chief herdsman
gopa: m. a cowherd , herdsman , milkman (considered as a man of mixed caste)
adhipa: m. ruler, commander

daivataiḥ (inst. pl. n.): the gods
abhicoditā (nom. sg. f.): impelled
abhi- √ cud: to impel , drive ; to inflame , animate , embolden

udbhūta-hṛdayānandā (nom. sg. f.): with an upsurge of joy in her heart
udbhūta: mfn. come forth , produced , born ; raised , elevated , increased
hṛdaya: n. the heart
ānanda: m. happiness , joy , enjoyment , sensual pleasure

tatra: ind. there
nanda-balā: f. N. of a girl connected with gautama buddha
nanda: m. joy, happiness
bala: m. power, strength
agamat = 3rd pers. sg. aorist gam: to go

時彼山林側 有一牧牛長
長女名難陀 淨居天來告
菩薩在林中 汝應往供養 

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