[Advaita-l] Pranams; and a translation problem

jiva das jivadas3 at yahoo.ca
Thu Dec 7 16:10:51 CST 2006

Pranams to you fine ladies and gentlemen for your responses to my <pauruSa> question. All your responses have been helpful.

I have a question which is more poetic than philosophical, but which I hope will be answered by some one of you philosophers who also knows poetics or grammar, particularly the <samAsa-vRtti>. It is from the <vairAgya-prakaraNa> of Yoga Vasishtha, in which the teenage Rama laments and berates every aspect of life. In Canto 15 he rants against <ahaMkAra>. He says:

<putra-mitra-kalatrAdi-tantra-mantra-vivarjitam | 
  prasAritam anen'eha mune 'haMkAra-vairiNA> [yv 1.15.17] 

   17  Children, friends, wives, and all such things that Tantra and Mantra fail to 
provide, are given here by our rival Egoity. *

It is a difficult shloka. Some alternative translations: 
   <son-friend-wife-and-all = tantra-mantra-deprived / muni are laid out here by this egoity-enemy> [Literal trans.]
   <17 Muni, it is the enemy Egoity who creates with Tantra magic and Mantra charms our sons and friends and wives to captivate us.> [Beta]
   <We cannot be free from the likes of sons, friends and wife spread out by the foe of ego even with the help of mantras and tantras.> [Murthy, italics mine] 
   <Our inveterate enemy of egoism, has (like a magician) spread about us the enchantments of our wives, friends and children, whose spells it is hard to break.> [RPA] ]


saMtoSaH paramo lAbhaH sat-saGgaH paramA gatiH | 
vicAraH paramaM jJAnaM zamo hi paramaM sukham [Yoga Vasishtha 2.16.19] 
   = Contentment is the highest gain, Good Company the highest course, Enquiry the highest wisdom, and Peace the highest enjoyment.

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