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“Nâkâle mriyate janturviddhah saranaśatairapi
kusagreņaiva samprishța prâptákalo na jîvati.” “A creature, though pierced by a hundred arrows, does not die if his time be not come; but if the time of his death be near, he dies if pricked even by a blade of grass.”
106. The idea contained in the sloka occurs in Hit., Suhrid· bhedaḥ, 67, in the following form
“Kadarthitasyâpi cha dhairyavșitter
buddher vinâso na hi sankanîyaḥ
nâdhaḥ śikhâ yâte kadâchideva.” “Loss of understanding is not to be apprehended in a man of firm conduct though he be troubled; the flame of a fire which may have been overturned does not go downwards.”
1. For the comparison of a woman to a plant, cf. Mrich., act i. 26: “Gaņikâ tvam mârgajâtâ lataiva !” “Thou, a harlot, art like a creeper growing by the roadside.” Also Catullus, lxi. 34–
“Ut tenax hedera huc et huc
Arborem implicat errans.” 3. The creator Prajâpati took the form of a boar for the sake of raising the earth out of the waters. The Taittirîya Sanhitâ says—“This universe was formerly waters, fluid. On it Prajapati, becoming wind, moved. He saw this earth. Becoming a boar, he took it up.” The Ramâyana also says that Brahmâ became a boar and took up the earth.”
For Rahu, vide sloka 34.
8. “ The drum sends forth an agreeable sound,” &c. The following may explain the allusion :—The Mșidanga is made of wood, and has two mouths. The right mouth is prepared with] black kharali (a mixture of ashes, red chalk, the tar of the Diospyros glutinosa, and parched rice); the left mouth is simply covered with leather. The players, before beginning
to perform on it, anoint this end with an ointment made of flour. The meaning of the stanza seems to be, that as the drum sounds when struck by the man who has spread the flour ointment over it, so a man sends forth the praises of the patron who supplies him with benefits.
10. This stanza contains throughout a play upon words used in a double meaniug; the force of the expression is, however, untranslatable, except in the manner in which I have rendered them. Artham means “revenue" as applied to the minister of state, “meaning” as referring to the man of letters; apaśabdham “common rumours ” as well as “vulgar expressions; and padam, "a place” (i.e., of fame) as well as “a quarter of a verse.”
13. Cf. Prov. xxiv. 16. The just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Cf. Nîti Šataka, 85.
14. The answer to the question proposed in this sloka is, “No! for the swan is too noble a bird to indulge in such low practices.”
VAIR ÂGYA SATAKA.
Concerning Renunciation. 1. SALUTATION to the deity who is not definable in time or space, infinite, pure intelligence in incarnate form; who is peace and glory; whose sole essence is self-knowledge.
The Evil Qualities of Desire. 2. Learned men are eaten up with jealousy; mighty men are spoiled through pride; the minds of some men are obscured through ignorance: therefore the eloquent teachings of science are neglected.
3. When I look through the world, I see no profit in any action. The result of good actions makes me afraid when I reflect on them; for the great enjoyments gained after long continuance in the practice of great virtues hinder men from perfect liberation, since they are attracted to objects of sense.
4. I have dug up the earth to find treasure; I have smelted minerals; I have crossed the sea; I have conciliated kings with great effort; I have spent my nights in a cemetery; I have laboured to acquire religious knowledge; but my efforts are all in vain. Desire! wilt thou not leave me?
5. I have wandered over lands crossed with difficulty, but I have gained no fruit; I have put away from me my pride of family; I have performed services that have profited me nothing; I have cast off my self-respect, and have eaten like a crow in a stranger's house. But yet, desire! thou dost still increase, ever given to evil, and art never satisfied.
6. I have suffered the abuse of evil men in hope of gain; I have repressed my tears and forced laughter, though my heart was void; I have restrained my feelings; I have bowed myself before fools. O desire, foolish desire! wilt thou lead me yet further ?
7. Day by day our life slips away from us, while the sun rises and sets: our business is so great and weighty that the flight of time escapes us. We behold birth, pain, old age, ending in death, and yet we are not afraid. We are, as it were, intoxicated : we have drunk of the wine of infatuation.
8. If one were to see his wife overcome by hunger, her garments old and torn, her children hanging round her, crying with pinched, unhappy faces; though he might fear refusal and stammer in his speech, yet would he ask alms; but he would not beg to satisfy his own wants.
9. Our desire for pleasure fails; respect is no longer paid us by the world; our equals in age have gone to Svarga; our friends whom we love even as ourselves will soon follow; we walk slowly, supported by a stick; our eyes are dim. Alas! our body is subdued; it trembles at the approach of death.
10. It has been ordained by the Creator that the serpents shall gain their livelihood on air, without effort and without injury to others; the cattle have been created eating shoots of grass and lying on the ground. The same mode of living has been appointed for men who pass over the ocean of this world with subdued senses: men who seek to live in such a way as this continually go on to perfection.
II. We have not meditated on the Supreme Being bringing future births to an end: we have not, through the energy of our righteousness, been able to open for ourselves the door of Svarga : we have not embraced a woman even in imagination. We have only (if our life has been spent thus) destroyed the tree of youth which our mother gave us, as though we had cut it down with an axe.
12. We have gained no pleasure, but pleasure has taken us captive; we have not practised penance, but we have suffered pain in the pursuit of earthly joys. Time never grows old, but our life passes away.
13. We have pardoned injuries, but not for the sake of showing forgiveness; we have abandoned the pleasures of home, but not because we were willing to cast them aside; we have suffered pain from cold winds, but we have shrunk from penance because of its painfulness; we have thought night and day on the acquisition of wealth, but we have given no thought to the Supreme Being; we have performed all the acts which the sages have prescribed for us, but we have gained no fruits.
14. My face is covered with wrinkles, my head is grey, my limbs are feeble, but desire alone is ever strong in me.
15. The same piece of sky which encircles the moon by night, that encircles the sun by day. Ah! how great is the labour of both !
16. Objects of sense, however long they may be with us, must one day depart; but there is this difference between separating oneself from them and not giving them up. If they forsake us, we shall suffer unequalled pain and grief; but if we forsake them of our own accord, we shall gain unending peace and happiness.
The Mighty Power of Desire. 17. Desire ceases in a man when self-restraint, developed by means of true discrimination, shines forth in him; but the end of desire increases yet more and more in the lofty contact (with royal objects): by this means even Indra himself, the king of the winds, is the prey of desire, inasmuch as he is wretched because of the appetite which he feels for his royal position-a position decrepit through age.