Canto 5: nanda-pravrājanaḥ
Nanda Is Caused to Go Forth.

Introduction

In the title of the present Canto pravrājana, which means banishment or exile, is derived from the causative of pra-√vraj, which means to go forth, i.e. to leave home and take to the life of a wandering mendicant. So nanda-pravrājanaḥ means “Nanda Is Caused to Go Forth [as a Monk].” EH Johnston translated “The Initiation of Nanda” and Linda Covill “Nanda is Made to Ordain.” 01

At the same time, Nanda means joy or happiness; and so the ironic hidden meaning of the Canto title – ironic insofar as the title of the whole poem can be read as “An Epic Tale of Beautiful Happiness” (saundara-nanda mahā-kāvya) – is “The Banishment of Joy.”

There is beauty in Aśvaghoṣa’s description of the shaven-headed Nanda, whom he compares to a rain-sodden lotus protruding limply from a pond, but for Nanda the shaving of his head does indeed represent the banishment of all joy. For Nanda, there is no happiness in it. Rather great joy and ultimate happiness follow much later in the process when, as described in cantos 17 and 18, Nanda succeeds in gaining mastery over the Buddha’s teaching of the four noble truths.

 

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athāvatīryāśva-ratha-dvipebhyaḥ śākyā yathā-sva-rddhi-gṛhīta-veṣāḥ /
mahā-paṇebhyo vyavahāriṇaś ca mahā-munau bhakti-vaśāt praṇemuḥ // 5.1 //

Then the Śākyas, each clothed in accordance with his wealth and accomplishments, got down from their horses, chariots, and elephants, / And the traders came out of their big shops: by dint of their devotion, they bowed down before the great Sage. // 5.1 //

ke-cit praṇamyānuyayur muhūrtaṁ ke-cit praṇamyārtha-vaśena jagmuḥ /
ke-cit svayaivāyatane tu tasthuḥ kṛtvāñjalīn vīkṣaṇa-tat-parākṣāḥ // 5.2 //

Some bowed and then followed for a while; some bowed and went, being compelled to work. / But some remained still at their own dwelling-places, The Nepalese manuscripts have ke-cit svakeṣv āvasatheṣu tasthuḥ “Some stood/remained still at their own dwelling-places.” Weller’s fragment has ke-cit svayaivāyatane tu tasthuḥ. This might be translated “But some remained still at their very own (svaya + eva) seats (āyatane),” thus being even more suggestive, in its hidden meaning, of sitting-meditation itself. The MW dictionary gives āvasatha as dwelling-place, abode, habitation, and āyatana as resting-place, support, seat, place, home, house. 02 their hands joined and eyes observing him in the distance. // 5.2 //

buddhas tatas tatra narendra-mārge sroto mahad-bhaktimato janasya /
jagāma duḥkhena vigāhamāno jalāgame srota ivāpagāyāḥ // 5.3 //

The Buddha then, and there, on the royal road, struggled on / Into the gushing throng of the greatly devoted, as if entering the torrent of a river in the rains. // 5.3 //

atho mahadbhiḥ pathi saṁpatadbhiḥ saṁpūjyamānāya tathāgatāya /
kartuṁ praṇāmaṁ na śaśāka nandas tenābhireme tu guror mahimnā // 5.4 //

And so, with the great and the good rapidly converging on the road, to honour the Tathāgata, / Nanda was unable to make a bow; but still he could delight in the Guru’s greatness. // 5.4 //

svaṁ cāvasaṅgaṁ pathi nirmumukṣur bhaktiṁ janasyānya-mateś ca rakṣan /
nandaṁ ca gehābhimukhaṁ jighṛkṣan mārgaṁ tato ’nyaṁ sugataḥ prapede // 5.5 //

Wishing to shake off adherents Or more literally “adherence” – avasaṅgam is singular. 03 to him on the road, while tending the devotion of people who were differently minded, Anya-mateḥ, “other-minded,” on the surface means heretical, non-Buddhist, skeptical, disbelieving, in a perjorative sense, but Aśvaghoṣa’s real intention may be that the Buddha discouraged blind belief and valued the efforts of individuals to think his teaching out for themselves. 04 / And wishing to take Nanda in hand, who was turning for home, the One Gone Well therefore took a different For further examples in Saundara-nanda of this use of anya, which means not only “other” or “different” but also “odd, individual, singular, alternative, unconventional,” see especially SN Canto 10. 05 path. // 5.5 //

tato viviktaṁ ca vivikta-cetāḥ sanmārga-vin mārgam abhipratasthe /
gatvāgrataś cāgryatamāya tasmai nāndī-vimuktāya nanāma nandaḥ // 5.6 //

He of the solitary and separate mind, a knower of the true path, took a solitary and separate path; / And Nanda whose name was Joy, going out in front, could bow to him, the One gone beyond joy, who was furthest out in front. // 5.6 //

śanair vrajann eva sa gauraveṇa paṭāvṛtāṁso vinatārdha-kāyaḥ /
adho-nibaddhāñjalir ūrdhva-netraḥ sagadgadaṁ vākyam idaṁ babhāṣe // 5.7 //

Walking forward meekly, with respectful seriousness, with cloak over one shoulder, body half-stooped, / Hands held down and eyes raised up, Nanda stuttered these words: // 5.7 //

prāsāda-saṁstho bhagavantam antaḥ-praviṣṭam aśrauṣam anugrahāya /
atas tvarāvān aham abhyupeto gṛhasya kakṣyā mahato ’bhyasūyan // 5.8 //

“While I was in the palace penthouse, Glorious One, I learned that you came in for our benefit; / And so I have come in a hurry, indignant with the many members of the palace household. // 5.8 //

tat sādhu sādhu-priya mat-priyārtham tatrāstu bhikṣūttama bhaikṣa-kālaḥ /
asau hi madhyaṁ nabhaso yiyāsuḥ kālaṁ pratismārayatīva sūryaḥ // 5.9 //

Therefore, rightly, O Favourer of the Righteous, and as a favour to me, be there [at the palace], O Supreme Seeker of Alms, at the time for eating alms, / For the sun is about to reach the middle of the sky, as if to remind us of the time.” // 5.9 //

ity evam uktaḥ praṇatena tena snehābhimānonmukha-locanena /
tādṛṅ nimittaṁ sugataś cakāra nāhāra-kṛtyaṁ sa yathā viveda // 5.10 //

Thus addressed by the bowing [Nanda], whose expectant eyes looked up with tender affection, / The One Gone Well made a sign such that Nanda knew he would not be taking a meal. // 5.10 //

tataḥ sa kṛtvā munaye praṇāmaṁ gṛha-prayāṇāya matiṁ cakāra /
anugrahārthaṁ sugatas tu tasmai pātraṁ dadau puṣkara-pattra-netraḥ // 5.11 //

Then, having made his bow to the Sage, he made up his mind to head home; / But, as a favour, the One Gone Well, with lotus petal eyes, handed him his bowl. // 5.11 //

tataḥ sa loke dadataḥ phalārthaṁ pātrasya tasyāpratimasya pātram /
jagrāha cāpa-grahaṇa-kṣamābhyāṁ padmopamābhyāṁ prayataḥ karābhyām // 5.12 //

The Incomparable Vessel was offering his own vessel, to reap a fruit in the human world, / And so Nanda, outstretched, held the bowl with lotus-like hands, which were better suited to the holding of a bow. // 5.12 //

parāṅmukhas tv anya-manaskam ārād vijñāya nandaḥ sugataṁ gatāstham /
hasta-stha-pātro ’pi gṛhaṁ yiyāsuḥ sasāra mārgān munim īkṣamāṇaḥ // 5.13 //

But as soon as he sensed that the mind of the One Gone Well had gone elsewhere and was not on him, Nanda backtracked Parāṅmukha means 1. having the face turned away or averted, turning the back upon; 2. being averse from, hostile to. Since the relevant portion of the text is missing or illegible in both palm-leaf and paper manuscripts, the ending could be parāṅmukhaḥ or parāṅmukhaṁ (as per Shastri’s conjecture). EHJ notes that (a) Shastri’s parāṅmukhaṁ may be correct; and (b) parāṅmukhaḥ (read here as “turning the back upon” i.e. back-tracking) might also mean “averse from following the Buddha.”06; / Wanting, even with the bowl in his hands, to go home, he sidled away from the path – while keeping his eye on the Sage. // 5.13 //

bhāryānurāgeṇa yadā gṛhaṁ sa pātraṁ gṛhītvāpi yiyāsur eva /
vimohayām āsa munis tatas taṁ rathyā-mukhasyāvaraṇena tasya // 5.14 //

Then, at the moment that he in his yearning for his wife, despite holding the bowl, was about to head for home, / Just then the Sage bamboozled him, by blocking his entrance to the highway. // 5.14 //

nirmokṣa-bījaṁ hi dadarśa tasya jñānaṁ mṛdu kleśa-rajaś ca tīvram /
kleśānukūlaṁ viṣayātmakaṁ ca nandaṁ yatas taṁ munir ācakarṣa // 5.15 //

For he saw that in Nanda the seed of liberation, which is wisdom, was tenuous; while the fog of the afflictions was terribly thick; / And since he was susceptible to the afflictions and sensual by nature, therefore the Sage reined him in. // 5.15 //

saṁkleśa-pakṣo dvividhaś ca dṛṣṭas tathā dvikalpo vyavadāna-pakṣaḥ /
ātmāśrayo hetu-balādhikasya bāhyāśrayaḥ pratyaya-gauravasya // 5.16 //

There are understood to be two aspects to defilement; correspondingly, there are two approaches to purification: Vyavadāna, “purification,” is from the root ava-√do, which means to cut off or cut out. Cf. Udānavarga 28.1: sarva-pāpasyākaraṇaṁ kuśalasyopasaṁpadaḥ / svacitta-paryavadanam etad buddhasya śāsanam // The corresponding Pali (Dhammapāda 183) is sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṁ, kusalassa upasampadā / sacittapariyodapanaṁ etaṁ buddhāna’ sāsanaṁ // In Chinese: 諸惡莫作 衆善奉行 自其意 是諸佛教. MW gives the Sanskrit paryavadāna as “complete destruction or disappearance.” The Pali pariyodapanaṁ and the Chinese 淨, however, both mean purification or cleansing.
The not doing of any wrong,
Undertaking what is good,
Cleansing one’s own mind –
This is the teaching of buddhas.
07
/ In one with stronger motivation from within, there is self-reliance; in one who assigns weight to conditions, there is outer-dependence. // 5.16 //

ayatnato hetu-balādhikas tu nirmucyate ghaṭṭita-mātra eva /
yatnena tu pratyaya-neya-buddhir vimokṣam āpnoti parāśrayeṇa // 5.17 //

The one who is more strongly self-motivated loosens ties Nirmucyate is originally passive – he is easily freed, he naturally comes undone. 08 without even trying, on receipt of the slightest stimulus; / Whereas the one whose mind is led by conditions struggles to find freedom, because of his dependence on others. // 5.17 //

nandaḥ sa ca pratyaya-neya-cetā yaṁ śiśriye tan-mayatām avāpa /
yasmād imaṁ tatra cakāra yatnaṁ taṁ sneha-paṅkān munir ujjihīrṣan // 5.18 //

And Nanda, whose mind was led by conditions, became absorbed into whomever he depended on; / The Sage, therefore, made this effort in his case, wishing to lift him out of the mire of love. // 5.18 //

nandas tu duḥkhena viceṣṭamānaḥ śanair agatyā gurum anvagacchat /
bhāryā-mukhaṁ vīkṣaṇa-lola-netraṁ vicintayann ārdra-viśeṣakaṁ tat // 5.19 //

But Nanda followed the Guru meekly and helplessly, squirming with discomfort, / As he thought of his wife’s face, her eyes looking out restlessly, and the painted marks still moist. // 5.19 //

tato munis taṁ priya-mālya-hāraṁ vasanta-māsena kṛtābhihāram /
nināya bhagna-pramadā-vihāraṁ vidyā-vihārābhimataṁ vihāram // 5.20 //

And so the Sage led him, lover of garlands of pearls and flowers, whom the month of Spring, [Love’s friend,] Vasanta, lit. “the brilliant (season),” Spring, is often personified and considered as a friend or attendant of Kāma-deva, god of Love. 09 had appropriated, / To a playground where women were a broken amusement – to the vihāra, Vihāra, which means walking for pleasure or amusement, and hence a place of recreation or pleasure-ground, was the name given to a hall where monks met or walked about. It came to mean the grounds of a monastery or temple. 10 beloved as a pleasure-ground of learning. // 5.20 //

dīnaṁ mahā-kāruṇikas tatas taṁ dṛṣṭvā muhūrtaṁ karuṇāyamānaḥ /
kareṇa cakrāṅka-talena mūrdhni pasparśa caivedam uvāca cainam // 5.21 //

Then the Greatly Compassionate One, watching him in his moment of misery and pitying him, / Put a hand, with wheel-marked palm, on his head and spoke to him thus: // 5.21 //

yāvan na hiṁsraḥ samupaiti kālaḥ śamāya tāvat kuru saumya buddhim /
sarvāvavasthāsu hi vartamānaḥ sarvābhisāreṇa nihanti mṛtyuḥ // 5.22 //

“While murderous Time has yet to come calling, set your mind, my friend, in the direction of peace. / For operating in all situations, using all manner of attacks, Death kills. // 5.22 //

sādhāraṇāt svapna-nibhād asārāl lolaṁ manaḥ kāma-sukhān niyaccha /
havyair ivāgneḥ pavaneritasya lokasya kāmair na hi tṛptir asti // 5.23 //

Restrain the restless mind from sensual pleasures, which are common, dream-like, and insubstantial; / For no more than a wind-fanned fire is sated by offerings are men satisfied by pleasures. // 5.23 //

śraddhā-dhanaṁ śreṣṭhatamaṁ dhanebhyaḥ prajñā-rasas tṛpti-karo rasebhyaḥ /
pradhānam adhyātma-sukhaṁ sukhebhyo ’vidyā-ratir duḥkhatamā ratibhyaḥ // 5.24 //

Most excellent among gifts is the gift of confidence. Most satisfying of tastes is the taste of real wisdom. / Foremost among comforts is being comfortable in oneself. The bliss of ignorance is the sorriest bliss. The alternative reading vidyā-ratir duḥkhatamā ratibhyaḥ means “delight in [intellectual] knowledge is the sorriest delight.” So, if ‘vidya is read, with the silent prefix a-, then the sentence means that ignorance is the sorriest bliss; but without the silent prefix, the sentence means that knowledge is the sorriest bliss. The ambiguity may well be intentional. 11 // 5.24 //

hitasya vaktā pravaraḥ suhṛdbhyo dharmāya khedo guṇavān śramebhyaḥ /
jñānāya kṛtyaṁ paramaṁ kriyābhyaḥ kim indriyāṇām upagamya dāsyam // 5.25 //

The kindest-hearted friend is he who tells one what is truly salutary. The most meritorious effort is to exhaust oneself in pursuit of the truth. / Supreme among labours is to work towards true understanding. Why would one enter into service of the senses? // 5.25 //

tan niścitaṁ bhī-klama-śug-viyuktaṁ pareṣv anāyattam ahāryam anyaiḥ /
nityaṁ śivaṁ śānti-sukhaṁ vṛṇīṣva kim indriyārthārtham anartham ūḍhvā // 5.26 //

Select then that which is conclusive, which is beyond fear, fatigue and sorrow, and which is neither dependent on others nor removable by others: / Select the lasting and benign happiness of extinction. What is the point of enduring disappointment, by making an object of sense-objects? // 5.26 //

jarā-samā nāsty amṛjā prajānāṁ vyādheḥ samo nāsti jagaty anarthaḥ /
mṛtyoḥ samaṁ nāsti bhayaṁ pṛthivyām etat trayaṁ khalv avaśena sevyam // 5.27 //

Nothing takes away people’s beauty like aging, there is no misfortune in the world like sickness, / And no terror on earth like death. Yet these three, inevitably, shall be obeyed. // 5.27 //

snehena kaś-cin na samo ’sti pāśaḥ sroto na tṛṣṇā-samam asti hāri /
rāgāgninā nāsti samas tathāgnis tac cet trayaṁ nāsti sukhaṁ ca te ’sti // 5.28 //

There is no fetter like love, no torrent that carries one away like thirst, / And likewise no fire like the fire of passion. If not for these three, happiness would be yours. // 5.28 //

avaśya-bhāvī priya-viprayogas tasmāc ca śoko niyataṁ niṣevyaḥ /
śokena conmādam upeyivāṁso rājarṣayo ’nye ’py avaśā viceluḥ // 5.29 //

Separation from loved ones is inevitable, on which account grief is bound to be experienced. / And it is through grief that other seers who were princes have gone mad and fallen helplessly apart. // 5.29 //

prajñā-mayaṁ varma badhāna tasmān no kṣānti-nighnasya hi śoka-bāṇāḥ /
mahac ca dagdhuṁ bhava-kakṣa-jālaṁ saṁdhukṣayālpāgnim ivātma-tejaḥ // 5.30 //

So bind on the armour whose fabric is wisdom, for the arrows of grief are as naught to one steeped in patience; / And kindle the fire of your own energy to burn up the great tangled web of becoming, just as you would kindle a small fire to burn up undergrowth collected into a great heap. Bhava means becoming, the 10th in the 12 links in the dependent arising of suffering (see BC Canto 14), and one of the three (or four) categories of polluting influences. Kakṣa means dry wood, underwood (often the lair of wild beasts), spreading creepers, tangled undergrowth. Jāla means a net or a web, or (at the end of a compound) a collection, multitude, mass. Mahat… bhava-kakṣa-jālam, then, means (metaphorically) a great tangled web of becoming; at the same time mahat… kakṣa-jālam means (more literally) tangled undergrowth collected into a great heap. To convey the metaphorical and literal meanings combined in the one Sanskrit phrase, I have translated it twice. 12 // 5.30 //

yathauṣadhair hasta-gataiḥ savidyo na daśyate kaś-cana pannagena /
tathānapekṣo jita-loka-moho na daśyate śoka-bhujaṁgamena // 5.31 //

Just as a man concerned with science, herbs in hand, is not bitten by any snake, / So a man without concern, having overcome the folly of the world, is not bitten by the snake of grief. // 5.31 //

āsthāya yogaṁ parigamya tattvaṁ na trāsam āgacchati mṛtyu-kāle /
ābaddha-varmā sudhanuḥ kṛtāstro jigīṣayā śūra ivāhava-sthaḥ // 5.32 //

Staying with practice and fully committed to what is, at the hour of death he is not afraid – / Like a warrior-hero standing in battle, clad in armour, and equipped with a good bow, with skill in archery, and with the will to win.” // 5.32 //

ity evam uktaḥ sa tathāgatena sarveṣu bhūteṣv anukampakena /
dhṛṣṭaṁ girāntarhṛdayena sīdaṁs tatheti nandaḥ sugataṁ babhāṣe // 5.33 //

Addressed thus by the One Thus Come, the Tathāgata, in his compassion for all living beings, / Nanda while sinking inside said boldly to the Sugata, the One Well Gone: “So be it!” // 5.33 //

atha pramādāc ca tam ujjihīrṣan matvāgamasyaiva ca pātra-bhūtam /
pravrājayānanda śamāya nandam ity abravīn maitra-manā maharṣiḥ // 5.34 //

And so wishing to lift him up out of heedlessness, and deeming him to be a vessel worthy of the living tradition, / The Great Seer, with kindness in his heart, said: “Ānanda! The bhikṣu Ānanda, a cousin of the Buddha and Nanda, is the protagonist of SN Canto 11, in which he guides Nanda to understand the folly of aspiring to a heavenly bliss which can only ever be temporary. 13 Let Nanda go forth towards tranquillity.” // 5.34 //

nandaṁ tato ’ntarmanasā rudantam ehīti vaideha-munir jagāda /
śanais tatas taṁ samupetya nando na pravrajiṣyāmy aham ity uvāca // 5.35 //

Then the sage of Videha The sage of Videha is an epithet of Ānanda. Videha corresponds to the area north of the Ganges which is now known as Tirhut, in the state of Bihar (Land of Vihāras). 14 said to Nanda, who was weeping inside: “Come!” / At this Nanda approached him meekly and said “I won’t go forth.” // 5.35 //

śrutvātha nandasya manīṣitaṁ tad buddhāya vaideha-muniḥ śaśaṁsa /
saṁśrutya tasmād api tasya bhāvaṁ mahā-munir nandam uvāca bhūyaḥ // 5.36 //

On hearing Nanda’s idea, the Videha sage related it to the Buddha; / And so, after hearing from him also as to Nanda’s actual state, the Great Sage spoke to Nanda again: // 5.36 //

mayy agraje pravrajite ’jitātmane bhrātṛṣv anupravrajiteṣu cāsmān /
jñātīṁś ca dṛṣṭvā vratino gṛha-sthān saṁvinna-vit te ’sti na vāsti cetaḥ // 5.37 //

“O you who have yet to conquer yourself! Given that I, your elder brother, have gone forth, and your cousins have gone forth after me, / And seeing that our relatives who remain at home are committed to practice, are you minded to be conscious of consciousness, or are you not? // 5.37 //

rājarṣayas te viditā na nūnaṁ vanāni ye śiśriyire hasantaḥ /
niṣṭhīvya kāmān upaśānti-kāmāḥ kāmeṣu naivaṁ kṛpaṇeṣu saktāḥ // 5.38 //

Evidently the royal seers are unbeknown to you who retreated smiling into the forests; / Having spat out desires, they were desirous of tranquillity and thus not stuck in lower order desires. // 5.38 //

bhūyaḥ samālokya gṛheṣu doṣān niśāmya tat-tyāga-kṛtaṁ ca śarma /
naivāsti moktuṁ matir ālayaṁ te deśaṁ mumūrṣor iva sopasargam // 5.39 //

Again, you have experienced the drawbacks of family life Gṛheṣu doṣān lit. means “the faults in homes” or “the faults in families.” 15 and you have observed the relief to be had from leaving it, / And yet you, like a man in a disaster area who is resigned to his death, have no intention of giving up and leaving house and home. // 5.39 //

saṁsāra-kāntāra-parāyaṇasya śive kathaṁ te pathi nārurukṣā /
āropyamāṇasya tam eva mārgaṁ bhraṣṭasya sārthād iva sārthikasya // 5.40 //

How can you be so devoted to the wasteland of saṁsāra and so devoid of desire to take the auspicious path / When – like a desert trader who drops out from a caravan – you have been set on that very path? // 5.40 //

yaḥ sarvato veśmani dahyamāne śayīta mohān na tato vyapeyāt /
kālāgninā vyādhi-jarā-śikhena loke pradīpe sa bhavet pramattaḥ // 5.41 //

One who in a house burning on all sides, instead of getting out of there, would lie down in his folly to sleep, / Only he might be heedless, in a world burning in the fire of Time, with its flames of sickness and aging. // 5.41 //

praṇīyamānaś ca yathā vadhāya matto hasec ca pralapec ca vadhyaḥ /
mṛtyau tathā tiṣṭhati pāśa-haste śocyaḥ pramādyan viparīta-cetāḥ // 5.42 //

Again, like the condemned man being led, drunkenly laughing and babbling, to the stake, / Equally to be lamented is one whose mind is upside-down, cavorting while Death stands by, with noose in hand. // 5.42 //

yadā narendrāś ca kuṭumbinaś ca vihāya bandhūṁś ca parigrahāṁś ca /
yayuś ca yāsyanti ca yānti caiva priyeṣv anityeṣu kuto ’nurodhaḥ // 5.43 //

When kings and humble householders, leaving relations and possessions behind, / Have gone forth, will go forth, and even now are going forth, what is the point of pandering to fleeting fondnesses? // 5.43 //

kiṁ-cin na paśyāmi ratasya yatra tad-anya-bhāvena bhaven na duḥkham /
tasmāt kva-cin na kṣamate prasaktir yadi kṣamas tad-vigamān na śokaḥ // 5.44 //

I do not see any pleasure which might not, by turning into something else, become pain. / Therefore no attachment bears scrutiny – unless the grief is bearable that arises from the absence of its object. // 5.44 //

tat saumya lolaṁ parigamya lokaṁ māyopamaṁ citram ivendrajālam /
priyābhidhānaṁ tyaja moha-jālaṁ chettuṁ matis te yadi duḥkha-jālam // 5.45 //

So, my friend, knowing the human world to be fickle, a net of Indra, a web of fictions, like a gaudy magic show, / Abandon the net of delusion you call ‘my love,’ if you are minded to cut the net of suffering. // 5.45 //

varaṁ hitodarkam āniṣṭam annaṁ na svādu yat syād ahitānubaddham /
yasmād ahaṁ tvā viniyojayāmi śive śucau vartmani vipriye ’pi // 5.46 //

Unfancied food that does one good is better than tasty food that may do harm: / On that basis I commend you to a course which, though unpalatable, is wholesome and honest. // 5.46 //

bālasya dhātrī vinigṛhya loṣṭaṁ yathoddharatyāsya puṭa-praviṣṭam /
tathojjihīrṣuḥ khalu rāga-śalyaṁ tat tvām avocaṁ paruṣaṁ hitāya // 5.47 //

Just as a nurse keeps firm hold of an infant while taking out soil it has put in its mouth, / So, wishing to draw out the dart of passion, have I spoken to you sharply for your own good. // 5.47 //

aniṣṭam apy auṣadham āturāya dadāti vaidyaś ca yathā nigṛhya /
tadvan mayoktaṁ pratikūlam etat tubhyaṁ hitodarkam anugrahāya // 5.48 //

And just as a doctor restrains a patient then gives him bitter medicine; / So have I given you, in order to help you, this disagreeable advice with beneficial effect. // 5.48 //

tad yāvad eva kṣaṇa-saṁnipāto na mṛtyur āgacchati yāvad eva /
yāvad vayo yoga-vidhau samarthaṁ buddhiṁ kuru śreyasi tāvad eva // 5.49 //

Therefore, while you are meeting the present moment, while death has yet to come, / So long as you have the energy for practice, decide on better.” // 5.49 //

ity evam uktaḥ sa vināyakena hitaiṣiṇā kāruṇikena nandaḥ /
kartāsmi sarvaṁ bhagavan vacas te tathā yathā jñāpayasīty uvāca // 5.50 //

Addressed thus by his benevolent and compassionate guide, / Nanda said, “I shall do, Glorious One, all that you say, just as you teach it.” // 5.50 //

ādāya vaideha-munis tatas taṁ nināya saṁśliṣya viceṣṭamānam /
vyayojayac cāśru-pariplutākṣaṁ keśa-śriyaṁ chatra-nibhasya mūrdhnaḥ // 5.51 //

At this the sage of Videha reclaimed him, and held him close as he led him off writhing, / And then, while [Nanda’s] eyes welled with tears, he separated the crowning glory of his hair from the royal umbrella of his head. // 5.51 //

atho nataṁ tasya mukhaṁ sabāṣpaṁ pravāsyamāneṣu śiro-ruheṣu /
vakrāgra-nālaṁ nalinaṁ taḍāge varṣodaka-klinnam ivābabhāse // 5.52 //

As his hair was thus being banished, his tearful downcast face / Resembled a rain-sodden lotus in a pond with the top of its stalk sagging down. // 5.52 //

nandas tatas taru-kaṣāya-virakta-vāsāś cintāvaśo nava-gṛhīta iva dvipendraḥ /
pūrṇaḥ śaśī bahula-pakṣa-gataḥ kṣapānte bālātapena pariṣikta ivāvabhāse // 5.53 //

Thence, in drab garb with the dull yellow-red colour of tree bark, and despondent as a newly-captured elephant, / Nanda resembled a waning full moon at night’s end, sprinkled by the powdery rays of the early morning sun. // 5.53 //

saundaranande mahā-kāvye nanda-pravrājano nāma pañcama sargaḥ //5//
The 5th canto in the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled “Nanda Is Caused to Go Forth.”