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5. Śaśavishâņa, " the horn of a hare ;” proverbial for that which does not exist. Cf. the following, given by Telang in his note on this passage
“Esha bandhyâsuto yâti khapushpakritasekharaḥ
mțiga trishạâmbhasi snâtaḥ śaśaśțińgadhanurdharaḥ.” “The son of a barren woman goes along, wearing a crown made from flowers that grew in the sky, bathing in a mirage, carrying a bow made of hare's horn.” Bringing together all the most impossible things. With this sloka may be compared Prov. xxvii. 22, and Ecclus. xxi. and xxii.
6. Vyala may be translated either “elephant” or “serpent.”
7. This stanza is the one in which the author shows the highest knowledge of the world. It is merely an elaborated form of the English proverb, “Speech is silver, silence is gold.” The same idea runs through a good many verses of the Proverbs of Solomon, e.g., X. 19, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.” So also xiii. 3, xvii. 27. Cf. Ecclus. xx. 18, 19, 20. Orientals always seem to have regarded talkativeness as an evil and a sign of folly. “The empty pitcher makes the most sound.”
8. Kińchid-jna, “knowing somewhat,” is explained by Telang to refer not to the speaker's estimate of himself at the time of his “blindness," but to the view he takes of himself after his " intoxication” has left him. “When I knew (that which now I know was but) a little,” is the idea to be conveyed.
9. As a dog prefers the carrion which he has before him to any sight however magnificent, so the fool keeps his eyes fixed on himself and his small acquirement, and
10. Continually falls lower and lower in the scale of intellect.
12-13. Cf. Ps. xlviii. 20 (Vulg.): “Homo, cum in honore esset, non intellexit; comparatus est jumentis insipientibus, et similis factus est illis." For bhuvi bharabhútâḥ, cf. Iliad, xviii. Ιο4 : αλλ' ήμαι παρά νηυσι ετώσιον άχθος αρούρης.
14. Cf. Prov. xvii. 12.
15. With this sloka begins the section or chapter relating to wisdom. Cf. Hitopadeśa, Mitrabhedah, 66, 71, 72, for ideas similar to those contained in the last line of this sloka.
16. Kalpa-anta, the end of a kalpa, the destruction of the world. A kalpa is supposed to be a day and night of Brahmâ, and to equal 4,320,000,000 years of men. After the creation of the world, it is supposed to remain unaltered for one of Brahmâ's days, a period of 2,160,000,000 years of men. The world, and all that it contains, is then destroyed by fire, only the gods, sages, and elements surviving. On Brahmâ's awaking after his night, which lasts an equal number of years with the day, he repeats the process of creation. This goes on continually until his existence of a hundred years is brought to an end, when he, the gods, the sages, and the whole universe are resolved into their constituent elements.
17. Abhi-nava-mada-lekha - śyama-gandha-sthahanam vâranânám, “Elephants, the surface of their cheeks dark through the lines of mada (flowing freshly)." Abhinava, &c., Bahuvrihi comp. qualifying varandnam.
18. The Scholiast says on this śloka, “Yo yasya svâbhâvikaḥ sadguṇah tad guņam na ko 'pi hartum saknoti,” “No one can take away the virtue of him who is virtuous in his natural disposition.” Bohlen
says, “Deus ipse sapienti adimere non potest doctrinam; . . . Brahmâ ipse nil valet adversus fatum (vidhi) et unum ipsi negatum est, ut infecta reddat quæ fuorras menti quasi fuerint inusta.” The latter part of this sloka refers to a supposed faculty of the swan for separating milk from water which has been previously mixed in the act of drinking it, which has passed into a proverb. Regnaud remarks, "Préjugé sur l'erreur duquel il est inutile d'insister." Cf. Sak., "Haņso hi kshiram âdatte tanmiśrâ varjayatyapaḥ," “For the flamingo extracts (takes) the milk (and) leaves behind the water that is mixed with it.” The Hindûs imagine that the hansa or flamingo has the power of separating milk from water (Śak., Mon. Williams, p. 266 note). Prof. M. Williams quotes this sloka of Bhartřihari in his note in sak., and continues, " This reference is probably to the milky juice of the water-lily, which would be its (the hansa's) natural food, and to which allusion is often made by the Hindu poets."
19-20. Cicero (pro. Arch., c. 7) has a sentiment somewhat similar to that contained in these slokas: “Hæc studia adolescentiam alunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res ornant,
adversis perfugium ac solatium præbent; delectant domi, non impediunt foris, pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur.” Cf. Proy. xii. 1.
21. Some editors have vachanena, “what is the use of words ?" If the reading kavachena be taken, it means, "what is the use of armour ?” trans. by Regnaud, “la patience est une cuirasse." The man who has enemies within, i.e., the passions, can have no worse enemies to fear. The passions or faults of the mind are six in number—desire, wrath, covetousness, bewilderment, pride, and envy. Shad-varga, the aggregate of six things, is the appellation given to them (Mon. Williams' Lex., under Shad-varga). The end of the last line, sukavita yadasti rajyena kim? “If there is good poetry, what need of a kingdom ?" seems to mean that the man who is learned and intelligent has no need of external things to produce or add to his happiness.
22. Enumerates the virtues which a man must practise if he would live happily. Kala, in l. 4, signifies here “qualities,” referring to the virtues enumerated in the preceding lines.
23. Sińchate vâche satyam, "pours truth into the speech," or "impregnates the speech with truthfulness.”
24. Kavīśvarâh, "learned poets ;” lit. “ kings of poets." Cf. śloka 12.
Rasa-siddhaḥ= well versed in or conversant with the poetical rasas or affections, accomplished in poetry (Mon. Williams' Lex., Rasas). The poetical rasas are ten: sringara, love; vira, heroism ; bibhatsa, disgust; raudra, anger; hâsya, mirth; bhayanaka, terror; karuna, pity; adbhuta, wonder; śánta, tranquillity; vatsalya, paternal fondness.
27. This stanza is quoted in Mudrârâkshasa, act ii. (p. 79, Majumdar's series), trans. by Wilson :
“ Obstacles foreseen
28. Even in adversity the foot must be constant; vipady
uchchaiḥ stheyam = one must retain dignity in misfortune (Telang) ; uchchaih-steya = firmness of character.
30. This sloka occurs at Hitop., Subridbheda, 39.
31. Vadana-udara-darśanam-kurute, “makes the showing of the interior of his mouth." Cf. Hitop., Subridbhèda, 40.
32. Parivartini samsare, “while he passes from one birth to another," or while transmigrations go on; parivartini means “revolving, constantly recurring.” This sloka occurs in Hitop., Introd., 14, the order of the lines being reversed. On this Bohlen remarks in his notes to the Niti Sataka, that in the Arabic translation of the Indian fables known as Kalilah and Dimnah, there verses have been altered to avoid suggesting the doctrine of metempsychosis. Hitopadesa, Mitralabha, 114. 33. Also Uttararâmacharita
“Naisargikî surabhiņaḥ kusumasya siddhâ
mûrdhni sthitir na charanair avatâdanâni.” “The fitting place for the sweet-smelling flower is on the head, not to be trodden under foot.”—Uttararamacharita, act i. (p. 10 of Majumdara's series, Calcutta, 1874).
34. The fable to which this śloka refers is as follows :-After the deities had produced the amţita by churning the ocean, Rahu by a stratagem introduced himself among them, and drank some of it. The deities of the sun and moon discovered the theft, and told Vishņu, who cut off his head. The amţit had, however, made him immortal, and he was therefore placed among the stars, where he periodically shows his displeasure at the way in which the sun and moon behaved by swallowing them. This is supposed to take place whenever an eclipse occurs of either the sun or moon.
35. Phanâ-phalaka-sthitam, " placed on the flat surface of his hood.”
36. The explanation for this stanza may be supplied from the fable which represents Indra as cutting off the wings of the mountains. Mainâka, the son of Himalaya, took refuge in the ocean and so escaped. In the Ramâyana he is supposed himself to relate the circumstance to Hanuman :
“Formerly the mountains were winged, and flew through the heaven as swiftly as the wind. And as they flew hither
and thither, gods and men were filled with fear lest they might fall. Then Indra, filled with wrath, cut off the wings of the mountains with his thunderbolt. And as he approached me, brandishing his weapon, I was cast down into the ocean by the mighty Pavana. And my wings being concealed, helped by your father and took refuge in the ocean."-Ramayana, v. 8.
In the Bhațţikavya, viii. 8, the line occurs -6 Pitrâ samrakshitam sakrât sa mainâkâdrim aikshata," "He (Hanuman) saw the mountain Mainâka which had been saved from Indra by his own father." Cf. also Raghuv.
saranyam enam sataso mahidhrah
dharmottaram madhyamamâśrayante. “The mountains by hundreds fled to him for refuge when their pride had been taken from them by Indra, when he cut off their wings; as kings assailed by enemies fly to that king among them who is distinguished for his honour.” Raghuv., xiii. 7.
Cf. also—“Pakshachchhedodyatam sakram silâvarshîva parvataḥ," “ As a mountain sending forth a shower of stones (attacks) Indra who is approaching to cut off its wings.”— Raghuv., iv. 40.
Cf. also Kumara Sambhava—"Asůta sâ nâgavadhúpabhogyam mainâkamambho nidhibaddha sakhyam kruddhe pi pakshachchhidi vșitrasakravavedanâjnam kulisakshatânâm," "She brought forth Mainâka, the delight of the daughter of the serpents, who made an alliance with Ocean, and so, though the enemy of Vșitra was angry, knew not the stroke of the thunderbolt when the wings of the mountains were cut off.” — Kum. Sam., i. 20.
Bhartsihari in this stanza appears to bring forward Mainaka as an example of want of firmness. It would have been better for him to meet his fate with resignation and firmness than to have fled, since his father Himâlaya had been overpowered.
37. Savitur-ina-kantah. Ina, from root in, means “powerful,” “ mighty,” “glorious :" so a name of the sun.