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atha nandam-adhīra-locanaṃ gṛha-yānotsukam-utsukotsukam /

Then, while Nanda was looking forward, with unsteady eyes and the eagerest of expectations, to going home,

abhigamya śivena cakṣuṣā śramaṇaḥ kaś-cid-uvāca maitrayā // 8.1 //

A certain striver with a benevolent air approached him and said, in a friendly way:


kim-idaṃ mukham-aśru-durdinaṃ hṛdaya-sthaṃ vivṛṇoti te tamaḥ /

"Why this face so clouded with tears, that reveals a darkness in your heart?

dhṛtim-ehi niyaccha vikriyāṃ na hi bāṣpaś-ca śamaś-ca śobhate // 8.2 //

Come to constancy, restrain your emotion, for tears and tranquillity do not sit well together.


dvi-vidhā samudeti vedanā niyataṃ cetasi deha eva ca /

Pain invariably arises in two ways: in the mind and in the body.

śruta-vidhy-upacāra-kovidā dvi-vidhā eva tayoś-cikitsakāḥ // 8.3 //

And for those two kinds of pain, there are healers skilled in education and in medicine.


tad-iyaṃ yadi kāyikī rujā bhiṣaje tūrṇam-anūnam-ucyatām /

So if this pain is physical be quick to tell a doctor all about it,

viniguhya hi rogam-āturo nacirāt-tīvram-anartham-ṛcchati // 8.4 //

For when a sick man conceals his illness it turns before long into something serious.


atha duḥkham-idaṃ mano-mayaṃ vada vakṣyāmi yad-atra bheṣajam /

But if this suffering is mental tell me, and I will tell you the cure for it;

manaso hi rajas-tamasvino bhiṣajo 'dhyātma-vidaḥ parīkṣakāḥ // 8.5 //

Because, for a mind enshrouded in gloom and darkness, the healer is a seeker who knows himself.1


nikhilena ca satyam-ucyatāṃ yadi vācyaṃ mayi saumya manyase /

Tell the whole truth, my friend, if you think it fit to be told, to me;

gatayo vividhā hi cetasāṃ bahu-guhyāni madākulāni ca // 8.6 //

For minds have many ways of working and many secrets, wherein concealment is complicated by conceit."2


iti tena sa coditas-tadā vyavasāyaṃ pravivakṣur-ātmanaḥ /

Pressed in this way by the striver, while wanting to explain his own decision,

avalambya kare kareṇa taṃ praviveśānyatarad vanāntaram // 8.7 //

Nanda clung to him, with hand in his hand, and went into another corner of the forest.


atha tatra śucau latā-gṛhe kusumodgāriṇi tau niṣedatuḥ /

And so there the two of them sat in a vibrant bower of flower-spewing creepers

mṛdubhir-mṛdu-māruteritair-upagūḍhāv-iva bāla-pallavaiḥ // 8.8 //

Whose soft young shoots, stirring in a soft breeze, seemed to be hiding them away.


sa jagāda tataś-cikīrṣitaṃ ghana-niśvāsa-gṛhītam-antarā /

Then, in between the heavy sighs that intermittently gripped him, he expressed his intention,

śruta-vāg-viśadāya bhikṣave viduṣā pravrajitena durvacam // 8.9 //

Which was a hard one for a man who has knowingly gone forth to express. He told it to the beggar who was so adept at hearing and talking.3


sadṛśaṃ yadi dharma-cāriṇaḥ satataṃ prāṇiṣu maitra-cetasaḥ /

"Evidently, it befits a devotee of dharma who is always friendly towards any living being,

adhṛtau tad-iyaṃ hitaiṣitā mayi te syāt karuṇātmanaḥ sataḥ // 8.10 //

That the benevolence inherent in your compassionate nature might be shown to me in my inconstancy!


ata eva ca me viśeṣataḥ pravivakṣā kṣama-vādini tvayi /

And that is why I would like especially to speak to you who preach propriety;

na hi bhāvam-imaṃ calātmane kathayeyaṃ bruvate 'py-asādhave // 8.11 //

For what I am feeling now I would not tell to a man who was out of balance in himself and who, though a good talker, was not a true person.


tad-idaṃ śrṛṇu me samāsato na rame dharma-vidhāv-ṛte priyām /

Hear me then when I say, in short, that without my beloved I do not enjoy the practice of dharma;

giri-sānuṣu kāminīm-ṛte kṛta-retā iva kiṁnaraś-caran // 8.12 //

I am like a kiṁnara without his lover roaming about, his semen ready, over mountain peaks.


vana-vāsa-sukhāt parāṅ-mukhaḥ prayiyāsā gṛham-eva yena me /

I am averse to the happiness of the forest life, and simply want to go home;

na hi śarma labhe tayā vinā nṛpatir-hīna ivottama-śriyā // 8.13 //

For without her I obtain no comfort, like a king without his sovereignty."


atha tasya niśamya tad-vacaḥ priya-bhāryābhimukhasya śocataḥ /

When he heard those words of Nanda who, with his mind on his beloved wife, was burning with pain,

śramaṇaḥ sa śiraḥ prakampayan-nijagādātma-gataṃ śanair-idam // 8.14 //

The striver, softly, while allowing his head to shake, said to himself:


kṛpaṇaṃ bata yūtha-lālaso mahato vyādha-bhayād viniḥsṛtaḥ /

"What a pity! In its longing for the herd, a rushing stag that has escaped the mortal danger of the hunter's arrow,

pravivikṣati vāgurāṃ mṛgaś-capalo gīta-raveṇa vañcitaḥ // 8.15 //

Is about to enter the hunter's trap, deceived by a call that the hunter sang.


vihagaḥ khalu jāla-saṃvṛto hita-kāmena janena mokṣitaḥ /

Truly, a bird that was caught in a net and set free by a benevolent person,

vicaran phala-puṣpa-vad-vanaṃ pravivikṣuḥ svayam-eva pañjaram // 8.16 //

Desires, as it flits about the fruiting and blossoming forest, to fly of its own volition into a cage.


kalabhaḥ kariṇā khalūddhṛtoḥ bahu-paṅkād viṣamān-nadī-talāt /

A baby elephant, truly, after an adult elephant has pulled it up out of the deep mud of a dangerous riverbed,

jala-tarṣa-vaśena tāṃ punaḥ saritaṃ grāhavatīṃ titīrṣati // 8.17 //

Is wishing, in its thirst for water, to enter again that crocodile-infested creek.


śaraṇe sa-bhujaṅgame svapan pratibuddhena pareṇa bodhitaḥ /

In a shelter where slithers a snake, a sleeping boy, awoken by an elder who is already awake,

taruṇaḥ khalu jāta-vibhramaḥ svayam-ugraṃ bhujagaṃ jighṛkṣati // 8.18 //

Has become agitated and, truly, he is about to grab the horrible reptile himself.


mahatā khalu jāta-vedasā jvalitād-utpatito vana-drumāt /

Truly, having flown up and away from a tree that is blazing in a great forest fire,

punar-icchati nīḍa-tṛṣṇayā patituṃ tatra gata-vyatho dvijaḥ // 8.19 //

A chick in its longing for the nest is wishing to fly there again, its former alarm forgotten.4


avaśaḥ khalu kāma-mūrcchayā priyayā śyena-bhayād vinā-kṛtaḥ /

Truly, a pheasant separated from its mate through fear of a hawk, and so stupefied by desire as to be helpless,

na dhṛtiṃ samupaiti na hriyaṃ karuṇaṃ jīvati jīva-jīvakaḥ // 8.20 //

Is lacking in resolve and lacking in reserve: the pathetic little beggar5 is living a pitiful life.


akṛtātmatayā tṛṣānvito ghṛṇayā caiva dhiyā ca varjitaḥ /

Greedy and untrained, devoid of decency and intelligence,

aśanaṃ khalu vāntam-ātmanā kṛpaṇaḥ śvā punar-attum-icchati // 8.21 //

Truly, a wretched dog is wishing to eat again some food that he himself has vomited."


iti manmatha-śoka-karṣitaṃ tam-anudhyāya muhur-nirīkṣya ca /

So saying, the striver contemplated Nanda for a while, beholding him tormented by the sorrows of love.

śramaṇaḥ sa hitābhikāṅkṣayā guṇavad vākyam-uvāca vipriyam // 8.22 //

Then in his eagerness to be of benefit, the striver spoke fine words, which were unpleasant to hear.


avicārayataḥ śubhāśubhaṃ viṣayeṣv-eva niviṣṭa-cetasaḥ /

"For you who draws no distinction between good and bad, whose mind is settled on objects of the senses,

upapannam-alabdha-cakṣuṣo na ratiḥ śreyasi ced bhavet-tava // 8.23 //

And who is without the eye of attainment, naturally, no delight could there be in being better.6


śravaṇe grahaṇe 'tha dhāraṇe paramārthāvagame manaḥ-śame /

Again, to him whose thinking is not firmly fixed – in the matters of hearing, grasping, retaining and understanding the supreme truth, and in the matter of mental peace --

aviṣakta-mateś-calātmano na hi dharme 'bhiratir-vidhīyate // 8.24 //

To him who easily changes his mind,7 joy in dharma is not apportioned.


viṣayeṣu tu doṣa-darśinaḥ parituṣṭasya śucer-amāninaḥ /

But that joy is certainly known8 to one who sees the faults in objects of the senses,9 who is contented, pure, and unassuming,

śama-karmasu yukta-cetasaḥ kṛta-buddher-na ratir-na vidyate // 8.25 //

Whose mind is versed in the religious acts that generate peace and whose understanding therein is formed.


ramate tṛṣito dhana-śriyā ramate kāma-sukhena bāliśaḥ /

A covetous man delights in opulence; a fool delights in sensual pleasure;

ramate praśamena saj-janaḥ paribhogān paribhūya vidyayā // 8.26 //

A true person delights in tranquillity, having transcended sensual enjoyments by virtue of his knowledge.


api ca prathitasya dhīmataḥ kula-jasyārcita-liṅga-dhāriṇaḥ /

What is more, when a man of good repute, a man of intelligence and breeding, bears the honoured insignia

sadṛśī na gṛhāya cetanā praṇatir-vāyu-vaśad girer-iva // 8.27 //

His consciousness inclines towards home no more than a mountain bends in the wind.


spṛhayet para-saṃśritāya yaḥ paribhūyātma-vaśāṃ sva-tantratām /

Only a man who aspires to dependence on another, spurning autonomy and self-reliance,

upaśānti-pathe śive sthitaḥ spṛhayed-doṣavate gṛhāya saḥ // 8.28 //

Would yearn, while he was on the auspicious path to peace, for life at home with all its faults.


vyasanābhihato yathā viśet parimuktaḥ punar-eva bandhanam /

Just as a man released from prison might, when stricken by some calamity, betake himself back to prison,

samupetya vanaṃ tathā punar-gṛha-saṃjñaṃ mṛgayeta bandhanam // 8.29 //

So might one who has retired to the forest seek out again that bondage called home.


puruṣaś-ca vihāya yaḥ kaliṃ punar-icchet kalim-eva sevitum /

The man who has left his strife behind and yet would like nothing better than to go back again to his strife:

sa vihāya bhajeta bāliśaḥ kali-bhūtām-ajitendriyaḥ priyām // 8.30 //

He is the fool who would leave behind and then return, with his senses still unconquered, to the strife that is a wife.


sa-viṣā iva saṃśritā latāḥ parimṛṣṭā iva soragā guhāḥ /

Like poisonous clinging creepers, like swept-out caves still harbouring snakes,

vivṛtā iva cāsayo dhṛtā vyasanāntā hi bhavanti yoṣitaḥ // 8.31 //

Like uncovered blades being held in the hand, women are calamitous in the end.


pramadāḥ samadā mada-pradāḥ pramadā vīta-madā bhaya-pradāḥ /

Sexy members of the female gender engender sexual desire, whereas unsexy ones are fearsome.10

iti doṣa-bhayāvahāś-ca tāḥ katham-arhanti niṣevaṇaṃ nu tāḥ // 8.32 //

Since they bring with them either a fault or fear, in what way do they merit attention?


svajanaḥ svajanena bhidyate suhṛdaś-cāpi suhṛj-janena yat /

So that kinsman breaks with kinsman and friend with friend,

paradoṣa-vicakṣaṇāḥ śaṭhās-tad-anāryāḥ pracaranti yoṣitaḥ // 8.33 //

Women, who are good at seeing faults in others,11 behave deceitfully and ignobly.


kula-jāḥ kṛpaṇī-bhavanti yad-yad-ayuktaṃ pracaranti sāhasam /

When men of good families fall on hard times, when they rashly do unfitting deeds,

praviśanti ca yac-camū-mukhaṃ rabhasās-tatra nimittam-aṅganāḥ // 8.34 //

When they recklessly enter the vanguard of an army, women in those instances are the cause.


vacanena haranti valgunā niśitena praharanti cetasā /

They beguile with lovely voices, and attack with sharpened minds:

madhu tiṣṭhati vāci yoṣitāṃ hṛdaye hālahalaṃ mahad-viṣam // 8.35 //

There is honey in women's speech, and lethal venom in their hearts.


pradahan dahano 'pi gṛhyate vi-śarīraḥ pavano 'pi gṛhyate /

A burning fire can be held, the bodiless wind can be caught,12

kupito bhujago 'pi gṛhyate pramadānāṃ tu mano na gṛhyate // 8.36 //

An angry snake can be captured, but the mind of women cannot be grasped.


na vapur-vimṛśanti na śriyaṃ na matiṃ nāpi kulaṃ na vikramam /

Without pausing to consider looks or wealth, or intelligence or breeding or valour,

praharanty-aviśeṣataḥ striyaḥ sarito grāha-kulākulā iva // 8.37 //

Women attack no matter what, like a ragged assortment of crocodiles in a river.


na vaco madhuraṃ na lālanaṃ smarati strī na ca sauhṛdaṃ kva-cit /

No charming speech, nor soothing caresses,13 nor any affection do women ever remember.

kalitā vanitaiva cañcalā tad-ihāriṣv-iva nāvalambyate // 8.38 //

The female, even when cajoled, is flighty: so rely on one no more than you would your enemies in this world.


adadatsu bhavanti narma-dāḥ pradadatsu praviśanti vibhramam /

Women flirt with men who give them nothing; with generous men, they get restless.

praṇateṣu bhavanti garvitāḥ pramadās-tṛptatarāś-ca māniṣu // 8.39 //

They look down with disdain on the humble, but towards the arrogant show simpering contentment.


guṇavatsu caranti bhartṛ-vad guṇahīneṣu caranti putravat /

They lord it over men of merit, and submit like children to men who are devoid of merit.

dhanavatsu caranti tṛṣṇayā dhanahīneṣu caranty-avajñayā // 8.40 //

When men with money are around, they act rapaciously; men who are short of money they treat with contempt.


viṣayād viṣayāntaraṃ gatā pracaraty-eva yathāhṛtāpi gau /

Just as a cow, having gone from one pasture to another pasture, keeps right on grazing, however she's restrained,

anavekṣita-pūrva-sauhṛdā ramate 'nyatra gatā tathāṅganā // 8.41 //

So a woman, without regard for any affection she felt before, moves on and takes her pleasure elsewhere.


praviśanty-api hi striyaś-citām-anubadhnanty-api mukta-jīvitāḥ /

For though women ascend their husband's funeral pyre, though they follow at the cost of their own life,

api bibhrati caiva yantraṇā na tu bhāvena vahanti sauhṛdam // 8.42 //

Though, the restraints placed upon them they can indeed bear, they are not truly capable of genuine friendship.


ramayanti patīn kathaṁ-cana pramadā yāḥ pati-devatāḥ kva-cit /

Women who sometimes, in some small way please their husband, by treating him like a god,

cala-cittatayā sahasraśo ramayante hṛdayaṃ svam-eva tāḥ // 8.43 //

A thousand times more, in their fickle-mindedness, please their own heart.


śva-pacaṃ kila senajit-sutā cakame mīna-ripuṃ kumudvatī /

The daughter of Sena-jit the Conqueror, so they say, coupled with a cooker of dogs;14 Kumud-vatī, 'the Lilly Pool,' paired up with Mīna-ripu, 'the Foe of Fishes';

mṛga-rājam-atho bṛhad-rathā pramadānām-agatir-na vidyate // 8.44 //

And Bṛhad-rathā, 'the Burly Heroine,' loved a lion: there is nothing women will not do.15


kuru-haihaya-vṛṣṇi-vaṃśa-jā bahu-māyā-kavaco 'tha śambaraḥ /

Scions of the Kurus, Haihayas and Vṛṣṇis, along with Śambara whose armour was mighty magic,16

munir-ugratapāś-ca gautamaḥ samavāpur-vanitoddhataṃ rajaḥ // 8.45 //

And the sage Ugra-tapas Gautama – 'the Gautama of Grim Austerities' -- all incurred the dust of passion which a woman raises.


akṛtajñam-anāryam-asthiraṃ vanitānām-idam-īdṛśaṃ manaḥ /

Ungrateful, ignoble, unsteady: such is the mind of women.

katham-arhati tāsu paṇḍito hṛdayaṃ sañjayituṃ calātmasu // 8.46 //

What man of wisdom could allow his heart to be fastened onto such fickle creatures?


atha sūkṣmam-atidvayāśivaṃ laghu tāsāṃ hṛdayaṃ na paśyasi /

So you fail to see how pernicious, in their intense duplicity, are their little lightweight hearts?

kim-u kāyam-asad-gṛhaṃ sravad vanitānām-aśuciṃ na paśyasi // 8.47 //

Do you not see, at least, that the bodies of women are impure, oozing houses of foulness?


yad-ahany-ahani pradhāvanair-vasanaiś-cābharaṇaiś-ca saṃskṛtam /

Day after day, by means of ablutions, garments, and jewels, they prettify an ugliness

aśubhaṃ tamasāvṛtekṣaṇaḥ śubhato gacchasi nāvagacchasi // 8.48 //

Which you, with eyes veiled by ignorance do not see as ugliness: you see it as beauty.


atha-vā samavaiṣi tat-tanūm-aśubhāṃ tvaṃ na tu saṃvid-asti te /

Or else you do see that their bodies are foul but intelligence is lacking in you:

surabhiṃ vidadhāsi hi kriyām-aśuces-tat-prabhavasya śāntaye // 8.49 //

For the fragrant task in which you are engaged is extinction of the impurity that originates in them.17


anulepanam-añjanaṃ srajo maṇi-muktā-tapanīyam-aṃśukam /

Cosmetic paste and powder, garlands, gems and pearls, gold and fine fabric:

yadi sādhu kim-atra yoṣitāṃ sahajaṃ tāsu vicīyatāṃ śuci // 8.50 //

What have these fine things, if fine they are, got to do with women? Let us examine what inherently in women is so immaculate.


malapaṅka-dharā dig-ambarā prakṛti-sthair-nakha-danta-romabhiḥ /

Dirty and unclothed, with her nails and teeth and body-hair in their natural state:

yadi sā tava sundarī bhaven-niyataṃ te 'dya na sundarī bhavet // 8.51 //

If she were like that, your Sundarī, whose name means 'Beautiful Woman,' surely wouldn't be such a beautiful woman to you now.


sravatīm-aśuciṃ spṛśec-ca kaḥ saghṛṇo jarjara-bhāṇḍavat striyam /

What man who was capable of disgust would touch a woman, leaking and unclean like an old bucket,

yadi kevalayā tvacāvṛtā na bhaven-makṣika-pattra-mātrayā // 8.52 //

If she were not scantily clad in skin as thin as a flying insect's wing?


tvaca-veṣṭitam-asthi-pañjaraṃ yadi kāyaṃ samavaiṣi yoṣitām /

If you see that women's bodies are bony skeletons wrapped around with skin

madanena ca kṛṣyase balād-aghṛṇaḥ khalv-adhṛtiś-ca manmathaḥ // 8.53 //

And yet you are forcibly drawn by passion, truly then, Love is immune to disgust and lacking in all restraint.


śubhatām-aśubheṣu kalpayan nakha-danta-tvaca-keśa-romasu /

In nails and in teeth, in skin, and in hair, both long and short, which are not beautiful, you are inventing beauty.

avicakṣaṇa kiṃ na paśyasi prakṛtiṃ ca prabhavaṃ ca yoṣitām // 8.54 //

Dullard! Don't you see what women originally are made of and what they originally are?


tad-avetya manaḥ-śarīrayor-vanitā doṣavatīr-viśeṣataḥ /

So then, reckon women, in mind and in body, to be singularly implicated with faults;

capalaṃ bhavanotsukaṃ manaḥ pratisaṃkhyāna-balena vāryatām // 8.55 //

And hold back, by the power of this reckoning, the mind which strains so impulsively for home.


śrutavān matimān kulodgataḥ paramasya praśamasya bhājanam /

You are educated, intelligent, and well-bred -- a fitting vessel for supreme tranquillity;

upagamya yathā tathā punar-na hi bhettuṃ niyamaṃ tvam-arhasi // 8.56 //

As such, you ought not in any way to break the contract into which you have entered.


abhijana-mahato manasvinaḥ priya-yaśaso bahu-mānam-icchataḥ /

For the man of spirit and noble birth; for the man who cherishes honour and strives to earn respect;

nidhanam-api varaṃ sthirātmanaś-cyuta-vinayasya na caiva jīvitam // 8.57 //

For the man of grit -- better death for him than life as a backslider.


baddhvā yathā hi kavacaṃ pragṛhīta-cāpo nindyo bhavaty-apasṛtaḥ samarād ratha-sthaḥ /

For just as he is blameworthy who, having girded his armour on and taken up a bow, then flees in his warrior's chariot away from the battle;

bhaikṣākam-abhyupagataḥ parigṛhya liṅgaṃ, nindyas-tathā bhavati kāma-hṛtendriyāśvaḥ // 8.58 //

So he too is blameworthy who, having accepted the insignia and taken to begging, then allows the stallion of his senses to be carted away by desire.


hāsyo yathā ca paramābharaṇāmbara-srag bhaikṣaṃ caran dhṛta-dhanuś-cala-citra-mauliḥ /

And just as it would be ridiculous to go begging, while bedecked in the finest ornaments, clothes and garlands, while holding an archer's bow, and with a head full of passing fancies,

vairūpyam-abhyupagataḥ para-piṇḍa-bhojī hāsyas-tathā gṛha-sukhābhimukhaḥ sa-tṛṣṇaḥ // 8.59 //

So too is it ridiculous to subsist on offerings, having consented to shapelessness, while longing thirstily for the comforts of home.


yathā sv-annaṃ bhuktvā parama-śayanīye 'pi śayit varāho nirmuktaḥ punar-aśuci dhāvet paricitam /

Just as a hog, though fed on the best of food and lain on the finest bedding, would, when set free, run back to his familiar filth;

tathā śreyaḥ śrṛṇvan praśama-sukham-āsvādya guṇavad vanaṃ śāntaṃ hitvā gṛham-abhilaṣet kāma-tṛṣitaḥ // 8.60 //

So, having tasted the excellent pleasure of cessation while learning the better way, would a man of thirsting libido abandon the tranquil forest and yearn for home.


yatholkā hasta-sthā dahati pavana-prerita-śikhā

Just as a flaming torch, when fanned by the wind, burns the hand that holds it,

yathā pādākrānto daśati bhujagaḥ krodha-rabhasaḥ /

Just as a snake, being swift to anger, bites the foot that steps on it,

yathā hanti vyāghraḥ śiśur-api gṛhīto gṛha-gataḥ

Just as a tiger, though caught as a cub, mauls the one who took it in,

tathā strī-saṃsargo bahu-vidham-anarthāya bhavati // 8.61 //

So too does association with women, in many ways, make for disaster.


tad-vijñāya manaḥ-śarīra-niyatān-nārīṣu doṣān-imān,

Therefore, know these faults to be mentally and physically bound up with women;

matvā kāma-sukhaṃ nadī-jala-calaṃ kleśāya śokāya ca /

Understand how sensual pleasure, as it flows away like river water, makes for affliction and for sorrow;

dṛṣṭvā durbalam-āma-pātra-sadṛśaṃ mṛtyūpasṛṣṭaṃ jagan

See the world, in the shadow of Death, to be fragile as an unbaked pot;

nirmokṣāya kuruṣva buddhim-atulām-utkaṇṭhituṃ nārhasi // 8.62 //

And make the peerless decision that leads to release -- instead of causing the neck to stiffen up through sorrowful yearning."




saundaranande mahākāvye strī-vighāto nāmāṣṭamaḥ sargaḥ //8//

The 8th canto in the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled "A Tirade against Women."





1 Is Nanda's pain of separation from Sundarī only mental or also physical, or neither physical nor mental? And who in Saundarananda is the healer who truly knows himself? The striver? The Buddha? Both?

2 Who in Saundarananda might Aśvaghoṣa be using an exemplar of conceit?

3 Is Aśvaghoṣa praising the striver who one who both talks the talk and walks the walk, or is he damning the striver with faint praise?

4 The final word of the verse in Sanskrit is dvi-jaḥ, lit. “one twice born,” which means 1. a bird, which is twice born in the sense of being born first in an egg laid by the mother, and then born again on hatching from the egg; and 2. a person, and especially a brahmin, who has in some sense been reborn, for example in an initiation or confirmation ceremony in the Aryan tradition. So in placing dvi-jaḥ as the last word of this verse, the striver might be appealing again to Nanda's sense of what is proper for an Aryan man of noble birth. This would be in keeping with the striver's stance as a preacher of propriety (kṣama-vādin; 8.11).

5 va-jīvakaḥ means 1. a particular species of bird, a kind of pheasant, and 2. what the dictionary defines as "a Buddhist ascetic.”

6 Śreyas, as the Buddha uses the term, especially in Canto 13, is the thing that Nanda eventually comes to believe in: better, betterment, a better way -- a better way, that is, than hedonism, and also a better way than striving in pursuit of illusory targets. This verse, however, can be understood as full, from beginning to end, of Aśvaghoṣa's irony, so that, unbeknowns to himself, the striver is just expressing the enlightenment of sitting buddha, which is free of conceit, and so there is no delight in being better than others (na ratiḥ śreyasi).

7 Calātmanaḥ generally has a negative connotation: e.g. fickle-minded (1.20), out of balance in himself (8.11), but here Aśvaghoṣa's irony might be at play again.

8 The emphatic double negative, na ratir na vidyate, is here translated as positive

9 Does this include seeing a fault in women, for being objects of mens sexual desire?

10 The word used here for woman, pramadā, etymologically is already sexually charged (pra = before; madā = sexual desire), so that the dictionary gives pramadā as “a young and wanton woman, any woman.” The similar-sounding word pra-da means engendering. The first line then, is an alliterative play on these words, and at the same time a succint distillation of an absurd view.

11 Who is the one who is seeing the fault, not in himself, but in others?

12 For example, by means of a flaming torch, or a sail.

13 Alternative reading, based on EHJ's query of na cādaraṁ instead of Shastri's conjecture na lālanaṃ (as an amendment to the original na rādranaṁ): "No charming speech, nor showing of respect...”

14 Sva-paca: lit. “a dog-cooker,” means a member of a tribe who cooks dogs, an outcaste.

15 EHJ was unable to trace the sources of these tales of female bestiality, but thought that Mīna-rupu (also mentioned or alluded to in 10.53) might here have taken the form of a crocodile.

16 Śambara is the name of a demon formerly slain by Indra; in epic and later poetry he is an enemy of Kāma, the god of love.

17 Cf. the original teaching of the Buddha, not to do any evil, to practise all forms of good, to purify one's own mind.







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