Sunday, April 14, 2013

Konjaku Monogatarishū Vol. 2, Tale 1: Śuddhodana's Death #1 (part 8)

Fig. 1: 然レハ

We continue the description of Śuddhodana's funeral from last time:
So many living things all suddenly [began] to hop up and down and make a racket  (fig. 1).
Fig. 2: 水ノ
The first word, 「然レバ」, can be read in modern Japanese as either 「しかれば」 or 「されば」, but a classical Japanese dictionary only lists the reading 「されば」, which is why I selected it.

Also note the use of the word 「踊リ」. The modern meaning of the verb 「踊る」 refers to dancing. But the original meaning was equivalent to the modern Japanese word 「飛び跳ねる」: to jump or hop up and down.
They were like boats on the water being struck by waves (fig. 2).
Note the irregular use of the kanji 「値」 for the verb 「与える」. It seems like it was selected purely for its phonetic value here, as its meaning ("price"/"cost"/"value") is not used at all here.

Fig. 3: 其ノ

I'm not sure how to grammatically parse the phrase 「値ヘル」. Since 「ガ如シ」 has to be preceded by a verb in the attributive form (連体形), 「ル」 is likely an auxiliary verb in that form. It is most likely the perfective verb 「り」, which itself is preceded by the perfective/realis form (已然形) of yodan verbs. This makes sense, since the yodan verb 「値フ」 would be 「値ヘ」 in the perfective form. However, I couldn't find an entry 「値フ」 in any dictionaries, so I'm not entirely sure.

Edit: Chris has suggested that 「値ヘル」 is actually a contraction of 「ひ」+「ある」.  However, it's still not clear exactly what the meaning of this is.
At that time, the Four Heavenly Kings asked the Buddha [for permission to] shoulder the coffin (fig. 3)
The Four Heavenly Kings (caturmahārāja, or चतुर्महाराज, in Sanskrit) mentioned here "are the protectors of the world and fighters of evil."

Fig. 4: 佛

The word 「荷ヒ」 is related to the modern Japanese word 「荷なう」, and appears to have the same meaning: "to carry on [one's] shoulders".
The Buddha permitted this, and had them shoulder [the coffin] (fig. 4).
Fig. 5: 佛ハ

The construct 「荷ハシメ給フ」 can be broken down into the previously encountered verb 「荷フ」 in the imperfective form (未然形), followed by the causative auxiliary verb 「しむ」 in the continuative form (連用形), followed by the honorific auxiliary verb 「給フ」, in the predicative form (終止形).
The Buddha, holding an incense burner, walked in front of the Great King (fig. 5).
Fig. 6: 其
By "in front", I'm guessing it means "in the front of the procession", one with the Buddha in front and the Four Heavenly Kings following him, shouldering the coffin.
The graveyard was on top of Vulture Peak (fig. 6).
Note that the reading used for 「墓所」 is not a modern one (which would be either 「はかしょ」 or 「ぼしょ」). Rather, it's the classical reading 「むしょ」.

Edit: in the comments, Chris has suggested that 「墓所」 could also be read using kun'yomi, as 「はかどころ」.

Vulture Peak, which we encountered in a previous post, comes up again in fig. 6.

Finally, we once again encounter the archaic copula 「也」. It has appeared before, in a previous Konjaku post (see fig. 2).

1 comment:

  1. Sorry I was slow to respond! Fortunately I brought my copy of this story from the 新編日本古典文学大系 with me back to the US.

    My guess for 然れば is しかれば; I don't have any real reason for this though.

    My text has the furigana あ for 値, and the kanji dictionary on my electronic one does have あう as a reading for 値. So this is あひ + ある contracted to あへる, but I'm still not sure what it means.

    The taikei's text has はかどころ for 墓所. But on-yomi vs. kun-yomi is often just a matter of preference.