Here’s my next installment of the Neeti Shataka. The verses are in no specific order but they are kind of thematic: Bhartruhari talks about fools in these. The poet stretches the limits of exaggeration in two verses here if only to add greater force. The sheer ridiculousness of exaggeration serves its aim: read and judge for yourself.
Agnah Sukhamaaraadhyah Sukhataramaaraadhyate Visheshagnah|
Jnaanalavadurvigdham Brahmaapi naram na Ranjayati||
Truly is this world made up of
The Ignorant, the Experts, and the Fools.
Teaching the Ignorant is easy,
Convincing an Expert likewise but
A Fool, even (Lord) Brahma cannot convince.
Praayah Kandukapaatenotpatyaaryah Patannapi|
Tathaa Patatyanaaryastu Mrutpindapatanam Tathaa||
The Wise rise forth and rebound after a Fall to set aright their lives
Alike a ball of sponge while
Fools lie mired in mud after a Fall
Alike a ball of clay.
Labheta Sikataasu Tailamapi Yatnatah Peedanpibeccha|
Mrigatrushnikaasu Salilam Pipaasaarditah||
All it involves is some labour to
Extract oil from sand,
Quench thirst with water from a Mirage,
Happen upon horns on the head of a hare but
Doomed is the toil
To please or convince a biased fool.
Postscript: Jaffna left a thoughtful suggestion to put these verses in a dedicated space on this blog. But because
I’m too lazy to do this right now I’m pressed for time, it’ll have to wait for later. You can simply click the (new) category named Bhartruhari in the sidebar to access all Bhartruhari-related posts in one place.