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tataḥ kadā-cit kālena tad-avāpa kula-kramāt /

Some time thereafter that realm passed, through familial succession,

rājā śuddhodhano nāma śuddha-karmā jitendriyaḥ // 2.1 //

To a king named Śuddodhana who, being pure in his actions, had conquered the power of the senses.1


yaḥ sasañje na kāmeṣu śrī-prāptau na visismiye /

Neither stuck in his desires nor conceited about gaining sovereignty,

nāvamene parān-ddhyā parebhyo nāpi vivyathe // 2.2 //

He did not, as he grew, look down on others, and nor did he shrink from others in fear.


balīyān sattva-sampannaḥ śrutavān buddhimān-api /

Strong and strong-minded; learned as well as intelligent;

vikrānto nayavāṁś-caiva dhīraḥ sumukha eva ca // 2.3 //

Daring and yet prudent; determined, and cheerful with it;


vapuṣmāṁś-ca na ca stabdho dakṣiṇo na ca nārjavaḥ /

He had a fine form without being stiff; was dexterous but not dishonest;

tejasvī na ca na kṣantaḥ kartā ca na ca vismitaḥ // 2.4 //

Was energetic but not impatient; and active but never flustered.


ākṣiptaḥ śatrubhiḥ saṁkhye suhdbhiś-ca vyapāśritaḥ /

Challenged by his enemies in battle, and petitioned by friends,

abhavad yo na vimukhas-tejasā ditsayaiva ca // 2.5 //

He was not backward in responding with an intense energy, and with a willingness to give.


yaḥ pūrvai rājabhir-yātāṁ yiyāsur-dharma-paddhatim /

Wishing to tread the dutiful path of dharma trodden by previous kings,

rājyaṁ dīkṣām-iva vahan vttenānvagamat pitn // 2.6 //

And bearing his kingship like a call to total dedication, he emulated the ancestors through his conduct.


yasya su-vyavahārāc-ca rakṣaṇāc-ca sukhaṁ prajāḥ /

Due to his good governance, and under his protection, his subjects rested at ease,

śiśyire vigatodvegāḥ pitur-aṅka-gatā iva // 2.7 //

Free from anxiety, as if in a father's lap.


ktaśastraḥ ktāstro vā jāto vā vipule kule /

Whether skilled in use of book, or in use of sword; whether born into an eminent family, or not;

aktārtho na dadse yasya darśanam-eyivān // 2.8 //

Anybody who came into his presence was seen to be useful.2


hitaṁ vipriyam-apy-ukto yaḥ śuśrāva na cukṣubhe /

When given good advice, however disagreeable, he listened and did not react;

duś-ktaṁ bahv-api tyaktvā sasmāra ktam-aṇv-api // 2.9 //

He let go of a wrong done to him, however great, and remembered a service rendered, however small.


praṇatān-anujagrāha vijagrāha kula-dviṣaḥ

The meek and mild he befriended; tribal foes he apprehended;

āpānnān parijagrāha nijagrāhāsthitān pathi // 2.10 //

Sufferers he comprehended; waverers he reprehended.


prāyeṇa viṣaye yasya tac-chīlam-anuvartinaḥ /

As the general rule in his dominion, those influenced by his integrity

arjayanto dadsire dhanānīva guṇān api // 2.11 //

Seemed to take possession of virtues as if they were securing treasures.


Adhyaiṣṭa yaḥ paraṁ brahma na vyaiṣṭa satatam dhteḥ /

He minded the supreme sacred word; in fortitude, he never failed;

dānāny-adita pātrebhyaḥ pāpaṁ nākta kiṁ-cana // 2.12 //

He gave fitting gifts to deserving recipients; and no evil did he do at all.


dhtyāvākṣīt pratijṇāṁ sa sad-vājīvodyatāṁ dhuram /

A promise undertaken he resolutely carried out, like a good horse carrying a load;

na hy-avāñcīc-cyutaḥ satyān muhūrtam-api jīvitam // 2.13 //

For he did not desire, apart from truthfulness, even a moment of life.


viduṣaḥ paryupāsiṣṭa vyakāśiṣṭātmavattayā /

For the intellectually bright, he was there; with his own self-containment, he shone;

vyarociṣṭa ca śiṣṭebhyo māsīṣe candramā iva // 2.14 //

And on people in the directed state, he positively beamed -- like the moon in the last month of the rains.


avedīd buddhi-śāstrābhyām iha cāmutra ca kṣamam /

Through intelligence and learning, he knew what was fitting, both in here and out there;

arakṣīd-dhairya-vīryābhyām indriyāṇy-api ca prajāḥ // 2.15 //

He guarded, with constancy and energy, both his senses and his subjects.


ahārṣīd duḥkham-ārtānāṁ dviṣatāṁ corjitaṁ yaśaḥ /

He bore away the suffering of the oppressed and the boastful fame of the cruel,

acaiṣīc-ca nayair-bhūmiṁ bhūyasā yaśasaiva ca // 2.16 //

And covered the earth with guiding principles and a much greater glory.


apyāsīd duḥkhitān paśyan praktyā karuṇātamakaḥ /

Seeing people suffering he overflowed with his original emotion as a man of compassion;

nādhauṣīc-ca yaśo lobhād anyāyādhigatair-dhanaiḥ // 2.17 //

But he did not, through eager desire, undermine his honour by unprincipled acquisition of treasured objects.


sauhārda-dḍha-bhaktitvān maitreṣu viguṇeṣv-api /

In his kind-hearted iron devotion even to imperfect friends,

nādidāsīd-aditsīt-tu saumukhyāt svaṁ svam-arthavat // 2.18 //

He had no will to take, but willingly gave, cheerful-faced, to each according to his need.


Anivedyāgram-arhadbhyo nālikṣat kiṁ-cid-aplutaḥ /

Without offering the first portion to revered beings, and without bathing, he did not eat anything;

gām-adharmeṇa nādhukṣat kṣīra-tarṣeṇa gām-iva // 2.19 /

Neither did he milk the earth unjustly, as a cow is milked by a man thirsting for milk.


nāskṣad balim-aprāptaṁ nārukṣan-mānam-aiśvaram /

He never scattered the food offering except when due; he never developed lordly arrogance;

āgamair-buddhim-ādhikṣad dharmāya na tu kīrtaye // 2.20 //

Committing of the scriptures to his mind, he did for dharma, not for praise.


kleśārhān-api kāṁś-cit-tu nākliṣṭa kliṣṭa-karmaṇaḥ /

A few doers of harsh deeds, though they deserved harsh treatment, he did not treat harshly;

ārya-bhāvāc-ca nāghukṣad dviṣato 'pi sato guṇān // 2.21 //

And due to his noble nature he never cast a veil over the virtues of a true man, even one who defied him.


ākkṣad vapuṣā dṣṭīḥ prajānāṁ candramā iva /

With his fine form he ripped away, as does the moon, people's views;

parasvaṁ bhuvi nāmkṣan mahāviṣam-ivoragam // 2.22 //

He never touched, in an act of becoming, what belonged to others, any more than he would touch a venomous snake slithering on the earth.3


nākrukṣad viṣaye tasya kaś-cit-kaiś-cit-kva-cit kṣataḥ /

Nowhere in his dominion did anyone hurt by anyone lament;

adikṣat-tasya hastastham ārtebhyo hy-abhayaṁ dhanuḥ // 2.23 //

For the bow in his hand bestowed peace upon the afflicted.


ktāgaso 'pi praṇatān prāg-eva priya-kāriṇaḥ /

Even those who transgressed, if they were submissive (and before them, of course, those who acted agreeably),

adarśat-snigdhayā dṣṭyā ślakṣṇena vacasāsicat // 2.24 //

He surveyed with an affectionate eye, and steeped in loving speech.


bahvīr-adhyagamad vidyā viṣayeṣv-akutūhalaḥ /

He studied many subjects, without being interested in objects;

sthitaḥ kārtayuge dharme dharmāt kcchre 'pi nāsrasat // 2.25 //

Abiding in dharma as it was in the golden age, he did not drift, even in a predicament, from dharma.


avardhiṣṭa guṇaiḥ śaśvad avdhan-mitra-sampadā /

Because of his virtues, he continually grew; in his joy at the success of friends, he kept growing;

avartiṣṭa ca vddheṣu nāvtad garhite pathi // 2.26 //

In the stream of forebears long since grown old, again he kept going... but go he did not, on a blameworthy path.


śarair-aśīśamac-chatrūn guṇair-bandhūn-arīramat /

He quietened his enemies, using arrows; he gladdened his friends, using virtues;

randhrair-nācūcudad bhtyān karair-nāpīpiḍat prajāḥ // 2.27 //

His servants, when there were faults, he did not goad; the offshoots who were his subjects he did not, with doing hands, overtax.4


rakṣanāc caiva śauryāc-ca nikhilāṁ gām-avīvapat

Under his protection, and because of his heroism, seeds were planted over the whole earth;

spaṣṭayā daṇḍa-nītyā ca rātri-sattrān-avīvapat // 2.28 //

And by the transparent working of his judicial system, sessions were sat into the dark stillness of night.


kulaṁ rājarṣi-vttena yaśo-gandham-avīvapat /

By the conduct of a royal seer, he propagated through his house the fragrance of honour.

dīptyā tama ivādityas-tejasārīn-avīvapat // 2.29 //

Like the son of Aditi5 shining light into darkness, he with the intensity of his energy caused the enemies to scatter.6


apaprathat pitṁs-caiva satputra-sadsair-gunaiḥ /

Using virtues that befitted a good son, he caused the ancestors, again, to disseminate their light;

salileneva cāmbhodo vttenājihladat prajāḥ // 2.30 //

And, like a raincloud using rain, he enlivened his offshoots, his subjects, using conduct.


dānair-ajasra-vipulaiḥ somaṁ viprān-asūṣavat /

With inexhaustible and great acts of giving, he caused the brahmins to press out their soma;

rāja-dharma-sthitatvāc-ca kāle sasyam-asūṣavat // 2.31 //

And by dutifully adhering to his kingly dharma, he caused corn, at the right moment, to ripen.7


adharmiṣṭhām-acakathan na kathām-akathaṁkathaḥ/

He talked no talk that went against dharma, being free in himself of doubts and questions;

cakravartīva ca parān dharmāyābhyudasīṣahat // 2.32 //

And, like a wheel-rolling king, he caused others to be courageous in service of dharma.


rāṣṭram-anyatra ca baler na sa kiṁ-cid-adīdapat /

No special tribute did he cause the kingdom to pay him;

bhtyair-eva ca sodyogaṁ dviṣad-darpam-adīdapat // 2.33 //

But with sustained endeavour, and using only regulars, he caused enemy pride to be cut down.


svair evādīdapac cāpi bhūyo bhūyo guṇaiḥ kulam /

Again and again, he caused his own house to be pure, using just his own virtues;

prajā nādīdapac caiva sarva-dharma-vyavasthayā // 2.34 //

At the same time, he did not let his offshoots decay, for all were established in all dharmas.8


aśrāntaḥ samaye yajvā yajña-bhūmim-amīmapat /

A man of tireless sacrifice when the time was right, he caused sacrificial ground to be measured out;

pālanāc-ca dvijān brahma nirudvignān-amīmapat // 2.35 //

And he enabled twice-born men,9 who under his protection were unburdened by anxiety, to know the weight of the sacred word.10


gurubhir-vidhivat kāle saumyaḥ somam-amīmapat /

In the presence of gurus, and obeying the rule, he caused the soma to be measured out on time, as a cool, mild man of soma,11

tapasā tejasā caiva dviṣat-sainyam-amīmapat // 2.36 //

And yet, with intense ardour, with fiery energy, he saw the enemy army cut down to size.12


prajāḥ parama-dharma-jñaḥ sūkṣmaṁ dharmam-avīvasat /

As knower of the dharma that is paramount, he caused his offshoots to abide in dharma in a small way,

darśanāc-caiva dharmasya kāle svargam-avīvasat //2.37 //

And yet caused them, because of experiencing dharma, to let heaven wait.13


vyaktam-apy-artha-kcchreṣu nādharmiṣṭham-atiṣṭhipat /

Even the obvious candidate in a crisis, he did not appoint if it went against dharma;

priya ity-eva cāśaktaṁ na saṁrāgād-avīvdhat // 2.38 //

Nor, out of nothing more than fondness, did he dotingly promote incompetence.


tejasā ca tviṣā caiva ripūn dptānabībhasat /

With intense energy and with light he exposed to view his enemies, the conceited;

yaśo-dīpena dīptena pthivīṁ ca vyabībhasat // 2.39 //

And with a blazing lantern of brightness, he caused the world to shine.


ānsaṁsyān-na yaśase tenādāyi sadārthine /

He gave out of kindness, not for his glorification, and always to meet a need;

dravyaṁ mahad-api tyaktvā na caivākīrti kiṁ-cana // 2.40 //

Giving up even a thing of great substance, he mentioned nothing of it.


tenārir-api duḥkhārto nātyāji śaraṇāgataḥ /

He did not shun one afflicted by suffering, even an enemy, who had taken refuge;

jitvā dptān-api ripūn-na tenākāri vismayaḥ // 2.41 //

And having conquered his enemies, the conceited, he did not become proud on that account.


na tenābhedi māryādā kāmād-dveṣād-bhayād-api //

No rule did he break, out of love, hate, or fear;

tena satsv-api bhogeṣu nāsevīndriya-vttitā // 2.42 //

Even while abiding in pleasurable circumstances, he did not remain in thrall to the power of the senses.


na tenādarśi viṣamaṁ kāryaṁ kva-cana kiṁ-cana //

He was never seen to do shoddily anything anywhere that needed to be done;

vipriya-priyayoḥ ktye na tenāgāmi nikriyāḥ // 2.43 //

When required by friend and non-friend to act, he did not fall into inaction.


tenāpāyi yathā-kalpaṁ somaś-ca yaśa eva ca /

He drank and guarded, as prescribed, the soma and his honour;

vedaś-cāmnāyi satataṁ vedokto dharma eva ca // 2.44 //

And he was constantly mindful of the Vedas, as well as the dharma proclaimed in the Vedas.


evam-ādibhir-atyakto babhūvāsulabhair guṇaiḥ /

Not eschewed by such uncommon virtues as these

aśakyaḥ śakya-sāmantaḥ śākyarājaḥ sa śakravat // 2.45 //

Was he who on no side could be vanquished -- the unshakable Śākya King, like Śakra.14


atha tasmin tathā kāle dharmakāmā divaukasaḥ /

Now at that time dharma-loving denizens of the heavens

vicerur-diśi lokasya dharmacaryā didkṣavaḥ // 2.46 //

Moved into the orbit of the human world, wishing to investigate dharma movements.


dharmātmānaś-carantas-te dharma-jijñāsayā jagat /

Those essences of dharma, moving, with the desire to know dharma, over the earth,

dadśus- taṁ viśeṣeṇa dharmātmānaṁ narādhipam // 2.47 //

Saw that leader of men whose essence was particularly given over to dharma.


devebhyas-tuṣitebhyo 'tha bodhisattvaḥ kṣitiṁ vrajan /

Then the bodhisattva came down to earth, and rather than among Tuṣita gods,

upapattiṁ praṇidadhe kule tasya mahīpateḥ // 2.48 //

He put down birth-roots in the family of that earth-lord.


tasya devī ndevasya māyā nāma tad-ābhavat /

That man-god at that time had a goddess, a queen whose name was Māyā;

vīta-krodha-tamo-māyā māyeva divi devatā // 2.49 //

She was as devoid of anger, darkness and the māyā which is deceit as was the goddess Māyā in heaven.


svapne 'tha samaye garbham-āviśantaṁ dadarśa sā /

In a dream during that period she saw entering her womb

ṣaḍ-dantaṁ vāraṇaṁ śvetam-airāvatam-ivaujasā // 2.50 //

A white six-tusked elephant, mighty as Airāvata.15


taṁ vinirdidiśuḥ śrutvā svapnaṁ svapna-vido dvijāḥ /

When they heard this dream, brahmins who knew dreams predicted

tasya janma kumārasya lakṣmī-dharma-yaśo-bhtaḥ //2.51 //

The birth of a prince who would bring honour, through wealth or through dharma.


tasya sattva-viśeṣasya jātau jāti-kṣayaiṣiṇaḥ /

At the birth of this exceptional being whose mission was the end of re-birth

sācalā pracacālorvī taraṅgābhihateva nauḥ // 2.52 //

The earth with its immoveable mountains moved, like a boat being battered by waves.


sūrya-raśmibhir-akliṣṭaṁ puṣpa-varṣaṁ papāta khāt /

A rain of flowers, unwilted by the sun's rays, fell from the sky

dig-vāraṇa-karādhūtād vanāc-caitrarathād-iva // 2.53 //

As if shaken from the trees of Citra-ratha's forest by the trunks of the elephants of the four quarters.16


divi dundubhayo nedur-dīvyatāṁ marutām-iva/

Drums sounded in heaven, as though the storm-gods were rolling dice;

didīpe ' bhyadhikaṁ sūryaḥ śivaś-ca pavano vavau // 2.54 //

The sun blazed inestimably, and the wind blew benignly.


tutuṣus-tuṣitāś-caiva śuddhāvāsāś-ca devatāḥ /

Gods in Tuṣita Heaven became calm and content, as did gods of the clear blue Śuddhāvāsa yonder,17

saddharma-bahumānena sattvānāṁ cānukampayā // 2.55 //

Through thinking highly of true dharma, and through fellow feeling among sentient beings.


samāyayau yaśaḥ-ketuṁ śreyaḥ-ketu-karaḥ paraḥ/

To one who was a lamp of honour came a supreme bringer of the brightness of betterment:

babhrāje śāntayā lakṣmyā dharmo vigrahavān-iva // 2.56 //

He shone with tranquil splendour like dharma in a separate bodily form.


devyām-api yavīyasyām-araṇyām-iva pāvakaḥ/

To the king's younger queen, also, like fire in the notch of a fire-board,

nando nāma suto jajñe nityānanda-karaḥ kule // 2.57 //

A son was born named Nanda, Joy, a bringer of constant joy to his family.


dīrgha-bāhur-mahā-vakṣāḥ siṁhāṁso vṣabhekṣaṇaḥ

Long in the arm, broad in the chest, with shoulders of a lion and eyes of a bull,

vapuṣāgryeṇa yo nāma sundaropapadaṁ dadhe // 2.58 //

He because of his superlative looks bore the epithet "handsome."


madhumāsa iva prāptaś-candro nava ivoditaḥ /

Like a first month in spring having arrived; like a new moon having risen;

aṅgavān-iva cānaṅgaḥ sa babhau kāntayā śriyā // 2.59 //

Again, like the non-physical having taken a physical form, he radiated sheer loveliness.


sa tau saṁvardhayām-āsa narendraḥ parayā mudā

The king with exceeding gladness brought up the two of them,

arthaḥ sajjana-hastastho dharma-kāmau mahān-iva // 2.60 //

As great wealth in the hands of a good man promotes dharma and pleasure.


tasya kālena satputrau vavdhāte bhavāya tau

Those two good sons, in time, grew up to do the king proud,

āryasyārambha-mahato dharmārthāv-iva bhūtaye // 2.61 //

Just as, when his investment is great, dharma and wealth pay a noble person well.


tayoḥ satputrayor-madhye śākyarājo rarāja saḥ /

Being in the middle, with regard to those two good sons, the Śākya king reigned resplendent,

madhya-deśa iva vyakto himavat-pāripātrayoḥ // 2.62 //

Like the Madhya-deśa, the Middle Region, adorned by the Himālaya and Pāriyātra mountains.


tatas-tayoḥ saṁsktayo krameṇa narendra-sūnvoḥ kta-vidyayoś-ca /

Then, gradually, those two sons of the king became educated, in practical arts and in learning.

kāmeṣv-ajasraṁ pramamāda nandaḥ sarvārtha-siddhas-tu na saṁrarañja // 2.63 //

Nanda frittered all his time on idle pleasures; but Sarvārtha-siddha, Accomplisher of Every Aim, was not mottled by the redness of passions.


sa prekṣyaiva hi jīrṇam-āturaṁ ca mtaṁ ca

For he had seen for himself an old man, a sick man, and a corpse,

vimśan jagad-anabhijñam-ārtacittaḥ /

After which, as with a wounded mind he witnessed the unwitting world,

hdaya-gata-para-ghṇo na viṣaya-ratim-agamaj-

He was disgusted to the core and found no pleasure in objects

janana-maraṇa-bhayam-abhito vijighāṁsuḥ // 2.64 //

But wished totally to terminate the terror of being born and dying.


udvegād-apunar-bhave manaḥ praṇidhāya

Having focused his agitated mind on the end of becoming,

sa yayau śayita-varāṅganād-anāsthaḥ /

He fled the king's palace, indifferent to the most beautiful of women sleeping there;

niśi npati-nilayanād vana-gamana-ktamanāḥ

Determined to go to the forest, he fled in the night,

sarasa iva mathita-nalināt kalahaṁsaḥ // 2.65 //

Like a goose from a lake of ruined lotuses.


// saundaranande mahā-kāvye rāja-varṇano nāma dvitīyaḥ sargaḥ//2//

The 2nd canto in the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled "A Portrait of the King."






1 As per the title of Canto 13, “Defeating the Power of the Senses through the Discipline of Integrity.” The śuddha (“pure”) of śuddha-karmāḥ (“pure in his actions”) is a play on the name Śuddodhana.

2 The emphatic double negative has been translated as a positive. Aktārthah lit. “purpose not achieved,” more accurately means “not successful,” but there is a play on the word kṛta, translated in the first line as “skilled in use of.”

3 Bhuvi is the locative of bhū, whose meanings include (1) the act of becoming, and (2) the earth. To take account of this ambiguity, bhuvi is here translated twice.

4 Karair is the instrumental plural of kara, whose meanings include (1) the act of doing, (2) “the doer” = the hand, and (3) tax.

5 Aditya, or “son of Aditi,” is a name of the sun.

6 “Caused [seeds] to be planted” and “caused [sessions] to be sat” in 2.36, and “propogated” and “caused to scatter” in 2.37, are all translations of the same causitive aorist form, avīvapat, derived from the root vap, which means (1) to strew, scatter, or procreate; or (2) to cut off or mow down. In its causative usage vap means (1) to put on the ground or plant in the ground; or (2) to cause to be shorn or cut back.

7 “Caused to press out” and “caused to ripen” are both translations of asūṣavat.

8 “Caused to pay” and “caused to be cut down” in 2.33, and “caused to be pure” and “let decay” in 2.34, are translations of the same word adīdapat, derived from the roots √dā (to cause to pay), or √dā = √do (to cause to be cut down), or √dā = √dai (to cause to be pure), or √dī (to shine forth), or √dī (to cause to decay). Sarva-dharma-vyavasthayā (“being established in all dharmas”) means being grounded in the teaching which is the central teaching of the Lotus Sutra, namely, “all dharmas are real form,” or “all things are reality.” (Chinese/Japanese: 諸法実相 SHOHO-JISSO.)

9 Dvi-ja, "twice born," generally means a brahmin, one who is considered to have been born again at his initiation ceremony. Aśvaghoṣa might equally have in mind the kind of re-birth that Nanda manifests at the begining of Canto 12, when he begins to demonstrate real confidence in the Buddha's teaching of a better way (i.e. a way that is better than both hedonism and Brahmanism).

10 Or to anchor the sacred word (brahma) in the ground – see following note.

11 In later Cantos, the Buddha frequently addresses Nanda in the vocative case as saumya, which is generally translated "my friend!" but which literally means "man of the soma!" This is because the qualities attributed to the soma, and to the moon-god with whom sacrificial drinking of the soma was associated, are those of being in the first instance cool and moist; and by extension placid, gentle, mild, happy, pleasant, cheerful. In this verse, therefore, saumyaḥ, "man of soma," has connotations that are diametrically opposed to intense ardour and fiery energy.

12 “Caused to be measured out” and “enabled to know the weight” in 2.36, and “caused to be measured out” and “saw cut down to size” in 2.37, are all translations of the same word, amīmapat, a causative aorist form which can be derived from at least four roots: (to measure, build, erect), mi (to know, to fix in the ground), (to reap) and (to diminish). The resulting ambiguity may be intended to alert the reader to the ambiguity and irony which run through the whole of Saundarananda.

13 “Caused to abide” and “caused to let wait” are both translations of the same word avīvasat, derived from the roots √vas (to cause to stay or wait). The wording invites the reader to understand that the king caused his subjects to dwell in heaven in future, while simultaneously allowing an alternative reading for the more practically inclined.

14 Śakra-vat, "like the Mighty One," means like Indra, king of the gods in ancient Indian mythology. But the sound of the word might be more important than the meaning in this verse, whose primary function seems to be to round off, in a poetically pleasing manner, the long list of the king's virtues. Hence the euphonic combination of a-śakya (impossible), śakya (to be subdued or shackled), Śākya (name of the people of whom the Buddha's father was king), and Śakra (Mighty Indra).

15 Airāvata, "produced from the ocean," is the name of Indra's elephant, who holds up the eastern quarter.

16 Citra-ratha, “having a bright chariot,” is the name of the king of the gandharvas – the heavenly guardians of soma.

17 Śuddhāvāsa, “the pure abode,” is the name of a region of the sky in the realm of form/matter – whereas the Tuṣita gods belong to a heaven in the realm of desire/volition/spirit. It may be, then, that Aśvaghoṣa mentioned the Śuddhāvāsa gods for the sake of balance.






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