One-word Sanskrit question from the Heart Sutra

in the line from the Heart Sutra
(Harvard-Kyoto transcription)

viharaty acittAvaraNaH

which Conze translates

“dwells without thought coverings”

isn’t viharaty the sandhi of the verb viharati

which means “keep separate” &c. (Monier-Williams p. 1003, col. 2) ?

Deep thanks to anyone who can confirm or correct this!

I would avoid the Conze translation. There’s a running joke about his “Heart” problems:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280568003_Heart_Murmurs_Some_Problems_with_Conze's_Prajnaparamitahrdaya

Thanks for this. I am familiar with Huifeng’s and Jayarava’s work, which is of considerable interest for the Chinese textual tradition. But my problem here is just the one word: viharati

am I correctly reading it as the word meaning “keep separate” on Monier-Williams p. 1003?

I’m not sure what you mean… viharati and harati are different words…and the vi- definitely belongs to -harati not to āśritya

Sorry, my bad typing. Yes, my question is about viharati. I corrected it in my posts so as not to promote confusion. Thanks for pointing it out!

I see. Yes, that’s the right entry, but usually we’d take it in the sense listed near the bottom: “to spend or pass (time)… to roam, wander…”

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Along the same lines as described by @Khemarato.bhikkhu, the place where you spend time is usually called a vihara. Many southeast asian countries call their temples or monasteries, vihara. Its still in use; people name their homes “xyz vihara” routinely in India.

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Thanks! You have made me wildly happy!

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Ah, that must be where Conze got the idea he could translate it as “dwells”!

Viharati is a normal word used in meditation to indicate that one “remains” or “dwells” for a period of time. It’s an auxilliary verb indicating duration.

It’s worth noting that in Pali/Sanskrit it is commonly used and has long lost its metaphorical force. To viharati is just “to dwell”, rather than “to dwell (like one dwells in a building)”.

Āvaraṇa is a synonym for nīvaraṇa, i.e. the “hindrances”. The phrase means “to meditate with mind free of hindrances”. If it’s used outside of meditation context (for example, of a Buddha) then it could mean “lives with mind free of hindrances”.

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Thank you for that richly detailed clarification! Your drawing in the traditional associations and use of both words meaningfully deepens my understanding of a key passage!

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