Canto 9: madāpavādaḥ
Negation of Vanity


Apavāda means speaking ill of, blaming, denouncing, denying, negating. The compound madāpavāda could be 1. mada + apavāda or 2. madā + apavāda. In other words, the fault spoken ill of, could be either 1. mada, which means over-exuberance, intoxication, infatuation; Aśvaghoṣa in fact seems elsewhere to use mada as synonymous with madā in the sense of lust. See for example SN3.14: krodha-mada-bhaya-taraṅga-calam, “disturbed by waves of anger, lust, and fear.” 01 or 2. madā, whose meanings include a. lust, ruttishness; and b. pride, arrogance, presumption, conceit. Ostensibly, then, madāpavāda could mean either (1.), as per Linda Covill, “The Denuncation of Infatuation”; or (2b.), as per EH Johnston, “The Denunciation of Conceit”; or even (2a.), The Denunciation of Lust.

Verses 29 and 30, which discuss intoxication, lend support to the former reading of mada as (1.) intoxication. And verse 50, which compares Nanda to an elephant in rut, supports the latter reading of madā as (2a.) ruttishness or lust. But the main thrust of the striver’s argument in the present Canto is directed against (2b.) the vanity of youth. Thus in verse 7 the striver explicitly targets Nanda’s conceit (abhimāna) in regard to physical strength and in verse 8 he addresses Nanda as “taker of pride in strength!” (bala-dṛpta).

The main irony of this Canto, if we take madā as meaning vanity or conceit, is that the conceitedness which is the object of the striver’s denunciations, is also the cause of his own presumptuous preachiness. Just as in BC Canto 10 (Blaming Desires), an overarching desire for liberation causes the bodhisattva to blame desires, in the present Canto it seems to be the Buddhist striver’s overweening vanity that causes him to negate vanity. So it might be the old story of the pot calling the kettle black – in which case the Canto title “Denunciation of Conceit” or “Negation of Vanity” might equally be translated “Denunciation out of Conceit” or “Negation born of Vanity.”



athaivam ukto ’pi sa tena bhikṣuṇā jagāma naivopaśamaṁ priyāṁ prati /
tathā hi tām eva tadā sa cintayan na tasya śuśrāva visaṁjña-vad vacaḥ // 9.1 //

Though the beggar reproached him in such a manner, [Nanda] did not arrive at any kind of tranquillity with regard to his beloved; / So much did he think about her that he failed, as if he were unconscious, to hear a word the other said. // 9.1 //

yathā hi vaidyasya cikīrṣataḥ śivaṁ vaco na gṛṇhāti mumūrṣur āturaḥ /
tathaiva matto bala-rūpa-yauvanair hitaṁ na jagrāha sa tasya tad-vacaḥ // 9.2 //

For, just as an invalid who wants to die does not accept the kind advice of a doctor who intends to do him good; / So Nanda, bubbling with strength and looks and youth, did not accept that salutary advice of the striver. // 9.2 //

na cātra citraṁ yadi rāga-pāpmanā mano ’bhibhūyeta tamo-vṛtātmanaḥ /
narasya pāpmā hi tadā nivartate yadā bhavaty anta-gataṁ tamas tanu // 9.3 //

It is not surprising, in such a case, that one whose mind is shrouded in darkness should be overpowered by the wrongness that arises out of a tainted desire; / For a person’s wrongness ceases only when the darkness of ignorance, having reached its limit, begins to diminish. // 9.3 //

tatas tathākṣiptam avekṣya taṁ tadā balena rūpeṇa ca yauvanena ca /
gṛha-prayāṇaṁ prati ca vyavasthitaṁ śaśāsa nandaṁ śramaṇaḥ sa śāntaye // 9.4 //

And so, observing Nanda to be caught up, as he was, in his own strength and looks and youth, / Seeing him all set to go home, the striver chastised Nanda, in the name of tranquillity. // 9.4 //

balaṁ ca rūpaṁ ca navaṁ ca yauvanaṁ tathāvagacchāmi yathāvagacchasi /
ahaṁ tv idaṁ te trayam avyavasthitaṁ yathāvabuddho na tathāvabudhyase // 9.5 //

“Your strength and looks and youthfulness I recognize as you do; / But that these three are impermanent you do not realise as I do. // 9.5 //

idaṁ hi rogāyatanaṁ jarāvaśaṁ nadī-taṭānokaha-vac calācalam /
na vetsi dehaṁ jala-phena-durbalaṁ balasthatām ātmani yena manyase // 9.6 //

For this body is a domicile for disease and in the face of senility it teeters helplessly, like a tree An-oka-ha, “not leaving its home,” means a tree. 02 with its roots on a riverbank. / Because you do not know it to be as fragile as froth on water, therefore you feel there to be abiding strength in you. // 9.6 //

yad ānna-pānāsana-yāna-karmaṇām asevanād apy atisevanād api /
śarīram āsanna-vipatti dṛśyate bale ’bhimānas tava kena hetunā // 9.7 //

When, through failure to eat and drink, or sit down, or move about, and also through over-indulgence in those acts, / The body manifestly goes to ruin, what reason is there for you to have the conceit of physical strength? // 9.7 //

himātapa-vyādhi-jarā-kṣud-ādibhir yadāpy anarthair upanīyate jagat /
jalaṁ śucau māsa ivārka-raśmibhiḥ kṣayaṁ vrajan kiṁ bala-dṛpta manyase // 9.8 //

By cold and heat, by sickness and aging, and by hunger and other such adversities, the living are being reduced / Like water in the hot season by the sun’s rays. In these circumstances, what are you thinking, O taker of pride in strength! as you wander towards your end? // 9.8 //

tvag-asthi-māṁsa-kṣataj-ātmakaṁ yadā śarīram āhāra-vaśena tiṣṭhati /
ajasram ārtaṁ satata-pratikriyaṁ balānvito ’smīti kathaṁ vihanyase // 9.9 //

When a body made of skin, bone, flesh and blood owes its very existence to the taking of food, / When it is always ailing, needing continuous intervention, how can you labour under an illusion like ‘I am inherently strong’? // 9.9 //

yathā ghaṭaṁ mṛn-mayam āmam āśrito naras titīrṣet kṣubhitaṁ mahārṇavam /
samucchrayaṁ tadvad asāram udvahan balaṁ vyavasyed viṣayārtham udyataḥ // 9.10 //

Like a man who aspires to cross the stormy ocean in an unbaked earthen pot, / Is he who would assume the sapless accretion of his body to be strong as he carries it around, striving after an object. // 9.10 //

śarīram āmād api mṛn-mayād ghaṭād idaṁ tu niḥsāratamaṁ mataṁ mama /
ciraṁ hi tiṣṭhed vidhivad dhṛto ghaṭaḥ samucchrayo ’yaṁ sudhṛto ’pi bhidyate // 9.11 //

But even more fragile than an unbaked earthen pot, in my opinion, is this body; / For a pot that is properly kept might survive for many ages whereas this accretion crumbles even if well maintained. // 9.11 //

yad āmbu-bhū-vāyv-analāś ca dhātavaḥ sadā viruddhā viṣamā ivoragāḥ /
bhavanty anarthāya śarīram āśritāḥ kathaṁ balaṁ roga-vidho vyavasyasi // 9.12 //

When the elements of water, earth, wind and fire are in constant opposition, like antagonistic snakes, / When they meet in a body only to make for calamity, how can you, in your propensity to sickness, be convinced of your strength? // 9.12 //

prayānti mantraiḥ praśamaṁ bhujaṁgamā na mantra-sādhyas tu bhavanti dhātavaḥ /
kva-cic ca kaṁ-cic ca daśanti pannagāḥ sadā ca sarvaṁ ca tudanti dhātavaḥ // 9.13 //

Snakes are lulled by charms, Mantraiḥ means by charms or by mantras. 03 but the elements are not apt to be charmed. / Snakes bite some people some of the time; the elements strike all people all of the time. // 9.13 //

idaṁ hi śayyāsana-pāna-bhojanair guṇaiḥ śarīraṁ ciram apy avekṣitam /
na marṣayaty ekam api vyatikramaṁ yato mahāśī-viṣa-vat prakupyati // 9.14 //

For this body, though long tended with good habits of sleeping and sitting, and of eating and drinking, / Does not forgive a single step too far – at which it rears up in anger, like a great venomous snake. // 9.14 //

yadā himārto jvalanaṁ niṣevate himaṁ nidāghābhihato ’bhikāṅkṣati /
kṣudhānvito ’nnaṁ salilaṁ tṛṣānvito balaṁ kutaḥ kiṁ ca kathaṁ ca kasya ca // 9.15 //

Pained by cold, one turns to fire; oppressed by heat, one longs for cold; / When hungry, one longs for food; when thirsty, for water. Where then is strength? What is it? How is it? Whose is it? // 9.15 //

tad evam ājñāya śarīram āturaṁ balānvito ’smīti na mantum arhasi /
asāram asvantam aniścitaṁ jagaj jagaty anitye balam avyavasthitam // 9.16 //

So see a body as ailing and do not think ‘I am possessed of strength.’ / The world is insubstantial, inauspicious, EHJ noted that he thought that Speyer’s asvāntam = anātmakam (unreal), rather than asvantam (inauspicious), might be the correct reading. 04 and uncertain, and in an impermanent world, power is undependable. // 9.16 //

kva kārta-vīryasya balābhimāninaḥ sahasra-bāhor balam arjunasya tat /
cakarta bāhūn yudhi yasya bhārgavaḥ mahānti śrṛṅgāṇy aśanir girer iva // 9.17 //

Where is the power of Kṛta-vīrya’s son, the thousand-armed Arjuna, who fancied himself to be so strong? Arjuna (son of Kuntī; see note to SN7.45) was an ambidextrous master-archer, renowned as the greatest warrior on earth. He is one of the Pāṇḍava heroes of the Mahā-bhārata. The Bhagavad Gita is addressed by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna, on the eve of the great battle between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kurus. 05 / In battle, Bhārgava, ‘The Scion of the Bhṛgus,’ severed his arms like a thunderbolt lopping off the lofty horns of a mountain. Bhārgava, lit. ‘Belonging to the Bhṛgus,’ is a name of Paraśu-rāma “Rāma with the Axe,” who according to one version of Indian mythology was Arjuna’s nemesis. 06 // 9.17 //

kva tad balaṁ kaṁsa-vikarṣiṇo hares turaṅga-rājasya puṭāvabhedinaḥ /
yam eka-bāṇena nijaghnivān jarāḥ kramāgatā rūpam ivottamaṁ jarā // 9.18 //

Where is the strength of Hari Kṛṣṇa, ‘The Kaṁsa-tormentor,’ Kaṁsa, a king of Mathurā, was a relation (uncle or cousin) of Kṛṣṇa, and became his implacable enemy; hence Kṛṣṇa’s epithets include kaṃsa-vikarṣin (Kaṃsa-tormentor) and kaṃsa-jit (Kaṃsa-slayer). The Hari of Hari Kṛṣṇa is though to derive from the root √hṛ, “to take away [evil].”07 who broke the Horse-King’s jaw? EHJ notes that the story of how Kṛṣṇa broke the jaw of the horse Keshin is recorded in Canto 10 of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which focuses on devotion (bhakti) to various incarnations of Viṣṇu but especially to Kṛṣṇa. 08 / With one arrow from Jaras Jaras (masculine) is the name of a hunter who wounded Kṛṣṇa. Jaras (feminine) means old age. 09 he was brought down, like utmost beauty brought down, in due order, by old age. // 9.18 //

diteḥ sutasyāmara-roṣa-kāriṇaś camū-rucer vā namuceḥ kva tad balam /
yam āhave kruddham ivāntakaṁ sthitaṁ jaghāna phenāvayavena vāsavaḥ // 9.19 //

Where is the strength of Namuci son of Diti, light of an army and provoker of the gods? / He stood his ground in battle, furious as death, but Indra Vāsava, “descended from the Vasus (the Good Ones),” is a name of Indra. 10 slew him with a spattering of foam. Ṛg-veda 8.14.13: “With waters’ foam you tore off, O Indra!, the head of Namuci, subduing all contending hosts.”11 // 9.19 //

balaṁ kurūṇāṁ kva ca tat tadābhavad yudhi jvalitvā tarasaujasā ca ye /
samit-samiddhā jvalanā ivādhvare hatāsavo bhasmani paryavasthitāḥ // 9.20 //

And where is the power once possessed by the Kurus who blazed in combat with speed and stamina / And then lay in ashes, like sacrificial fires whose firewood has burned, their life-breath snuffed out? // 9.20 //

ato viditvā bala-vīrya-mānināṁ balānvitānām avamarditaṁ balam /
jagaj jarā-mṛtyu-vaśaṁ vicārayan bale ’bhimānaṁ na vidhātum arhasi // 9.21 //

Know, therefore, that the strength of powerful men, who fancy themselves imbued with strength and drive, is ground down; / And do not, as you survey a world in the sway of aging and death, take pride in strength. // 9.21 //

balaṁ mahad vā yadi vā na manyase kuruṣva yuddhaṁ saha tāvad indriyaiḥ /
jayaś ca te ’trāsti mahac ca te balaṁ parājayaś ced vitathaṁ ca te balam // 9.22 //

Whether or not you think your strength is great, just do battle against the senses! / If you are victorious in this, your strength is great; if you are defeated, your strength is nothing. // 9.22 //

tathā hi vīrāḥ puruṣā na te matā jayanti ye sāśva-ratha-dvipān arīn
yathā matā vīratarā manīṣiṇo jayanti lolāni ṣaḍ-indriyāṇi ye // 9.23 //

Less heroic are those men thought who conquer enemies armed with horses, chariots and elephants, / Than those heroic thinkers are thought who conquer the restless six senses. // 9.23 //

ahaṁ vapuṣmān iti yac ca manyase vicakṣaṇaṁ naitad idaṁ ca gṛhyatām /
kva tad-vapuḥ sā ca vapuṣmatī tanur gadasya śāmyasya ca sāraṇasya ca // 9.24 //

Again, that you think ‘I am good looking’ is not astute. Let this be grasped: / Where are the good looks, where the beautiful bodies, of Gada, Śāmba, and Sāraṇa? It has not been possible to ascertain who these three were – which in itself, in a way, supports the striver’s argument. 12// 9.24 //

yathā mayūraś cala-citra-candrako bibharti rūpaṁ guṇavat sva-bhāvataḥ /
śarīra-saṁskāra-guṇād ṛte tathā bibharṣi rūpaṁ yadi rūpavān asi // 9.25 //

Just as a peacock, flashing the eye in its tail, naturally carries its excellent looks, / That is how, without any distinction got from grooming the body, Saṁskāra is from the verb saṁs-√kṛ, lit. “to do/make/form/put (√kṛ) together (sam-).” The many meanings of saṁs-√kṛ thus include to put together, to compose, to form well, emphatically to do; to prepare, make ready, dress; to adorn, embellish, refine, elaborate, make perfect. In the context of this verse, then, śarīra-saṃskāra means “adorning/grooming the body.” But the phrase brings to mind the instruction in the Great Sutta on Mindfulness (DN22) that the practitioner should breathe in and breathe out while “causing the body’s doings to cease” (Pali: passambhayaṁ kāya-saṅkhāraṁ – in Sanskrit, praśamayan kāya-saṁskārān). 13 you must carry your looks – if after all you are good-looking. // 9.25 //

yadi pratīpaṁ vṛṇuyān na vāsasā na śauca-kāle yadi saṁspṛśed apaḥ /
mṛjā-viśeṣaṁ yadi nādadīta vā vapur vapuṣman vada kīdṛśaṁ bhavet // 9.26 //

If its unpleasantness were not covered with clothes, if it never touched water after excretion, / Or if it never received a good washing, tell me, O handsome one! what might a body be like? // 9.26 //

navaṁ vayaś cātma-gataṁ niśāmya yad gṛhonmukhaṁ te viṣayāptaye manaḥ /
niyaccha tac chaila-nadīrayopamaṁ drutaṁ hi gacchaty anivarti yauvanam // 9.27 //

Again, perceiving the prime of life to be a personal belonging, your mind looks forward to going home and gaining its sensual end: / Curb that mind! for, like a river coursing down a rocky mountain, youth passes swiftly and does not return. // 9.27 //

ṛtur vyatītaḥ parivartate punaḥ kṣayaṁ prayātaḥ punar eti candramāḥ /
gataṁ gataṁ naiva tu saṁnivartate jalaṁ nadīnāṁ ca nṛṇāṁ ca yauvanam // 9.28 //

A season that has passed comes around again, the moon wanes and waxes again, / But gone, gone, never to return is the water of rivers, and the youth of men. // 9.28 //

vivarṇita-śmaśru valī-vikuñcitaṁ viśīrṇa-dantaṁ śithila-bhru niṣprabham /
yadā mukhaṁ drakṣyasi jarjaraṁ tadā jarābhibhūto vimado bhaviṣyasi // 9.29 //

When you are white whiskered and wrinkled, with broken teeth and sagging brows; when you are lacking in lustre; / When, humbled by age, you see your face grown old, then you will sober up. // 9.29 //

niṣevya pānaṁ madanīyam uttamaṁ niśā-vivāseṣu cirād vimādyati /
naras tu matto bala-rūpa-yauvanair na kaś-cid aprāpya jarāṁ vimādyati // 9.30 //

Having wasted nights and greeted dawns drinking the most intoxicating liquor, one finally comes around, / But drunk on strength, looks and youth, no man ever comes round – until he reaches old age. // 9.30 //

yathekṣur atyanta-rasa-prapīḍito bhuvi praviddho dahanāya śuṣyate /
tathā jarā-yantra-nipīḍitā tanur nipīta-sārā maraṇāya tiṣṭhati // 9.31 //

Just as sugar-cane, when all its juice has been squeezed out, is thrown on the ground to dry, ready for burning, / So, pressed in the vice of aging and drained of energy, does the body wait to die. // 9.31 //

yathā hi nṛbhyāṁ kara-pattram īritaṁ samucchritaṁ dāru bhinatty anekadhā /
tathocchritāṁ pātayati prajām imām ahar-niśābhyām upasaṁhitā jarā // 9.32 //

Just as a saw worked by two men cuts a tall tree into many pieces, / So old age, pushed and pulled by day and night, topples people here and now who are high and mighty. // 9.32 //

smṛteḥ pramoṣo vapuṣaḥ parābhavo rateḥ kṣayo vāc-chruti-cakṣuṣāṁ grahaḥ /
śramasya yonir bala-vīryayor vadho jarā-samo nāsti śarīriṇāṁ ripuḥ // 9.33 //

Robber of memory; destroyer of looks; ender of pleasure; seizer of speech, hearing and sight; / Birthplace of fatigue; slayer of strength and manly vigour: for those with a body, there is no enemy to rival aging. // 9.33 //

idaṁ viditvā nidhanasya daiśikaṁ jarābhidhānaṁ jagato mahad-bhayam /
ahaṁ vapuṣmān balavān yuveti vā na mānam āroḍhum anāryam arhasi // 9.34 //

Knowing this great terror of the world named ‘aging’ to be a pointer on the way to death, / Do not rise to the ignoble conceit of an ‘I’ that is beautiful, or young, or strong. // 9.34 //

ahaṁ mamety eva ca rakta-cetasaḥ śarīra-saṁjñe tava yaḥ kalau grahaḥ /
tam utsṛjaivaṁ yadi śāmyatā bhaved bhayaṁ hy ahaṁ ceti mameti cārchati // 9.35 //

With your mind tainted by ‘I’ and ‘mine,’ you are latching onto the strife called a body. / Let go of that, if peace is to come about, for ‘I’ and ‘mine’ usher in danger. // 9.35 //

yadā śarīre na vaśo ’sti kasya-cin nirasyamāne vividhair upaplavaiḥ /
kathaṁ kṣamaṁ vettum ahaṁ mameti vā śarīra-saṁjñaṁ gṛham āpadām idam // 9.36 //

When no-one has dominion over a body that is ravaged by manifold misfortunes, / How can it be right to recognize as ‘I’ or as ‘mine’ this house of calamities called a body? // 9.36 //

sa-pannage yaḥ ku-gṛhe sadāśucau rameta nityaṁ prati-saṁskṛte ’bale /
sa duṣṭa-dhātāv aśucau calācale rameta kāye viparīta-darśanaḥ // 9.37 //

One who would delight in a flimsy snake-infested hovel that was always unclean and constantly needing repair: This can be read as a typical expression of the pessimistic, interventionist view of human health, posture, et cetera. See also verse 9. 14 / He is the man of perverted view who would delight in a body with its corrupted elements and unclean, unstable state. // 9.37 //

yathā prajābhyaḥ ku-nṛpo balād balīn haraty aśeṣaṁ ca na cābhirakṣati /
tathaiva kāyo vasanādi-sādhanaṁ haraty aśeṣaṁ ca na cānuvartate // 9.38 //

Just as a bad king takes forcibly from his subjects his full toll of taxes, and yet does not protect; / So the body takes its full toll of provisions such as clothes and the like, and yet does not obey. // 9.38 //

yathā prarohanti tṛṇāny ayatnataḥ kṣitau prayatnāt tu bhavanti śālayaḥ /
tathaiva duḥkhāni bhavanty ayatnataḥ sukhāni yatnena bhavanti vā na vā // 9.39 //

Just as in soil, grass sprouts readily but rice is grown through sustained effort, / So too does sorrow arise readily whereas happiness is produced with effort, if at all. // 9.39 //

śarīram ārtaṁ parikarṣataś calaṁ na cāsti kiṁ-cit paramārthataḥ sukham /
sukhaṁ hi duḥkha-pratikāra-sevayā sthite ca duḥkhe tanuni vyavasyati // 9.40 //

For him who drags around a hurting, perishable body, there is no such thing, in the supreme sense, as happiness; / For what he determines to be happiness, by taking counter-measures against suffering, is only a condition wherein suffering remains minimal. // 9.40 //

yathānapekṣyāgryam apīpsitaṁ sukhaṁ prabādhate duḥkham upetam aṇv api /
tathānapekṣyātmani duḥkham āgataṁ na vidyate kiṁ-cana kasya-cit sukhaṁ // 9.41 //

Just as the intrusion of even a slight discomfort spoils enjoyment of the greatest longed-for pleasure, / In a similar way, nobody ever enjoys any happiness by disregarding suffering that is upon him. // 9.41 //

śarīram īdṛg bahu-duḥkham adhruvaṁ phalānurodhād atha nāvagacchasi /
dravat phalebhyo dhṛti-raśmibhir mano nigṛhyatāṁ gaur iva śasya-lālasā // 9.42 //

You fail to see the body as it is – full of suffering and inconstant – because of fondness for its effects: / Let the mind that chases after effects, like a cow after corn, be restrained by the reins of steadfastness. // 9.42 //

na kāma-bhogā hi bhavanti tṛptaye havīṁṣi dīptasya vibhā-vasor iva /
yathā yathā kāma-sukheṣu vartate tathā tathecchā viṣayeṣu vardhate // 9.43 //

For sensual enjoyments, like offerings fed into a blazing fire, do not make for satisfaction; / The more one indulges in sensual pleasures, the more the desire for sensual objects grows. // 9.43 //

yathā ca kuṣṭha-vyasanena duḥkhitaḥ pratāpayan naiva śamaṁ nigacchati /
tathendriyārtheṣv ajitendriyaś caran na kāma-bhogair upaśāntim ṛcchati // 9.44 //

Again, just as a man suffering from the blight of leprosy does not obtain a cure by way of application of heat, / Similarly, one who goes among sense objects with his senses unconquered does not tend towards peace by way of sensual enjoyments. // 9.44 //

yathā hi bhaiṣajya-sukhābhikāṅkṣayā bhajeta rogān na bhajeta tat-kṣamam /
tathā śarīre bahu-duḥkha-bhājane rameta mohād viṣayābhikāṅkṣayā // 9.45 //

For just as desire for pleasure from one’s medicine might cause one to accept one’s infirmity instead of taking proper measures against it, / So, because of desire for one’s object, might one ignorantly rejoice in that receptacle of much suffering which is a body. // 9.45 //

anartha-kāmaḥ puruṣasya yo janaḥ sa tasya śatruḥ kila tena karmaṇā /
anartha-mūlā viṣayāś ca kevalā nanu praheyā viṣamā yathārayaḥ // 9.46 //

One who wishes adversity on a man is said, because of that action, to be his enemy. / Should not sense objects, as the sole root of adversity, The striver’s words sound in places very much like the Buddha’s teaching – until we investigate the two in detail. For example, if in the Buddha’s teaching there is a sole root of adversity, does it lie in the object, or in the tendency to thirst for that object? Aśvaghoṣa’s intention, in formulating the striver’s arguments as he does, may be to stimulate us to ask such questions and to conduct such investigations – not innocently believing the striver’s words just because the striver was a Buddhist monk in personal contact with the Buddha himself. 15 be shunned as dangerous enemies? // 9.46 //

ihaiva bhūtvā ripavo vadhātmakāḥ prayānti kāle puruṣasya mitratāṁ /
paratra caiveha ca duḥkha-hetavo bhavanti kāmā na tu kasya-cic chivāḥ // 9.47 //

Those who were his deadly enemies in this world can in time become a man’s friend; / But not benign for anybody, in this or other worlds, are the desires which are the causes of suffering. // 9.47 //

yathopayuktaṁ rasa-varṇa-gandhavad vadhāya kimpāka-phalaṁ na puṣṭaye /
niṣevyamāṇā viṣayāś calātmano bhavanty anarthāya tathā na bhūtaye // 9.48 //

Just as eating a tasty, colourful and fragrant kiṁpāka fruit leads to death not nourishment, / So an imbalanced person’s devotion to objects makes for misfortune, and not for well-being. // 9.48 //

tad etad ājñāya vipāpmanātmanā vimokṣa-dharmādy-upasaṁhitaṁ hitam /
juṣasva me saj-jana-saṁmataṁ mataṁ pracakṣva vā niścayam udgiran giram // 9.49 //

As an innocent, then, heed this good advice pertaining to liberation, dharma, and so forth; / Affirm my opinion, with which the righteous As the first element in the compound, sadjana could refer to true people or to a true person in the singular. In the latter case, the striver might be heard as suggesting – without justification – that he is speaking on behalf of the Buddha. 16 concur. Or else speak up and state your agenda.” // 9.49 //

iti hitam api bahv apīdam uktaḥ śruta-mahatā śramaṇena tena nandaḥ /
na dhṛtim upayayau na śarma lebhe dvirada ivātimado madāndha-cetāḥ // 9.50 //

Though reproached at length in this salutary fashion by a striver so great in hearing what is heard, / Nanda neither found firmness nor took comfort: he was like a tusker in full rut, mind blinded by lust. In this compound, madāndha (whether read as madā + andha or as mada + andha) evidently means blinded by sexual desire, wantonness, lust, ruttishness, or rut (as of an elephant). 17// 9.50 //

nandasya bhāvam avagamya tataḥ sa bhikṣuḥ pāriplavaṁ gṛha-sukhābhimukhaṁ na dharme /
sattvāśayānuśaya-bhāva-parīkṣakāya buddhāya tattva-viduṣe kathayāṁ cakāra // 9.51 //

Then, having assured himself that Nanda’s being was not in the dharma but was turned unsteadily towards the comforts of home, / That beggar reported back to the investigator of living creatures’ dispositions, tendencies and ways of being, to the Buddha, knower of reality. // 9.51 //

saundaranande mahākāvye madāpavado nāma navamaḥ sargaḥ //9//
The 9th canto in the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled “Negation of Vanity.”