Page images

of each age to consume the world, and at the final consum-

mation of all things to consume also the gods and demons. Vide Niti Saiaka, sloka 13. '

78. “How many noble men there are in the world, pure in thought, word, and deed!” Expecting -the answer, “But few.” Cf. .Bhagarad., vii. 3: “Manushyanam sahasreshu kaschid yatati siddhaye,” “Among thousands of men, who strive after perfection?” (Answer, “But few.”) Cf. also Bhagavadgita, xvii. 24 et seq.

80. With this s'loka begins the section on the praise of .

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

“ The man whom these things (external things) do not afl'ect, (O noblest of men), being the same in pain and pleasure, and firm, he is fit for immortality.” ’

84. This sloka, beginning the section on the power of fate or destiny, is pure fatalism. Everything, both in divine affairs as well as human, is represented as moving according to an irresistible law, the law of fate. .

The “basket” (karanda) is explained by Telang as the place in which the snake-charmer keeps his snakes. “ Meeting with the same fate,” “tena eva yatah patha,” went by the same route as the rat, i.e., died.

85. “The misfortunes of good men,” sddhuv.ritfdnzim ripattayala Telang points out on this passage that there is a play on the word slidhuvritta. It means “well rounded,” as applied to the ball, and “of good conduct,” as applied to men. Cf. Niti Sataka, Mis. S’at., 13.

87. Of. Job xiv. 7, “There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease ;” also Hor., Car. iv. 7; though both the writer of the Book of Job and Horace seem to draw a different conclusion from the writer of this S’ataka. The tree will sprout again, but “man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” Horace says—

“Nos ubi decidimus . . . .
Quo pater ZEneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus
Pulvis et umbra sumus.”

91. For this sloka, cf. Hitopadeéa, Mitraldbhah, 52. For Rahu, cf. Niti Sataka, sloka 27.

92. Tdvat = pmthamam, according to commentator, “Fate first creates, &c., and then destroys.”

“An excellent man” (purusharafna, lit. “a jewel of a man”), mtna, used commonly with nouns to express their extreme excellence.

93. As to the power of fate, Cf. Hifopadeéa, Mitraldbhah, I 52—“ Chakravat parivartante duhkhani cha sukhani cha.” “Like a wheel, pains and pleasures revolve.” Also in the Meghadflta, sloka 109, translated by Wilson—

“Life, like a wheel’s revolving orb, turns round,
Now whirled in air, now dragged along the ground.”

The expression may find a parallel in Anacreon, xxxiii. 7—

[ocr errors]

The power of destiny is recognised under a slightly different figure in the lines of Horace, Gar. i. 34, 14—

“ . . . hinc apicem rapax Fortuna cum stridore acuto Sustulit, hinc posuisse gaudet.”

Or in Car. iii. 10, Io, where in

“Ne currente retro funis eat rota,”

an allusion has been thought to exist to the wheel of fortune.

94. The section relating to religious works begins with this sloka. The meaning of the stanza is as follows :—Man should give himself up to the works of religion, to study of the Scripture, to the exercise of liberality, to the instruction and the benefiting others; he should offer sacrifice to the deities and


the manes; for these works will produce happiness for him in a future state, and are not in the power of destiny or fate, as all other things are, including even the deities themselves. On the idea that the gods are in the power of destiny, Cf. Eurip., Alcestis, 965 :

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

95. Continuation of the ideas in preceding s’loka. For Brahma working in the egg, Cf. Manu, i. 9, 12, 13. The Avatars or incarnations of Vishnu have been extended from ten to twenty-two. Those usually recognised are—i. Matsya, as the fish ; 2. Kflrma, the tortoise; 3. Varaha, the boar; 4. Narasinha, the man-lion ; 5. Vamana, the dwarf; 6. Parasu Rama, Rama with the axe; 7. Rama or Rama Chandra, son of Daéaratha; 8. Krishna; 9. Buddha; ro. Kalki, the white horse. The first three of these incarnations are apparently connected with some Hindii traditions of. the Deluge; that of Varaha, or the boar, is referred to NM Sataka, Mis. Sat., 3. S’iva (according to the fable) was supposed to have killed the sons of a Brahman, and was compelled to wander for twelve years as a mendicant bearing the skull of one of his victims in his hand. ' This is referred to in the Sflngdra Sat, 64, where it is said that persons who insult the god of love by want of susceptibility or reluctance are punished by being turned into ascetics, and pass their lives as Kapalikas, i.e., worshippers of

S'iva, who carry skulls which they use as the mendicant’s jar '

in which to collect their food.

99. CE Prov. xxv. 18; Eccles. vii. 8. §alya tulyah, “ equal to or like an arrow.” ‘

100. “ A field of kodrava.” Kodmva is a common kind of grain eaten by the poor, Paspalum scrobiculatum.

IoI. There is no escape from fate or destiny. This sentiment is repeated usque ad nauseam throughout the whole of

the Hitopadeéa. Cf. however, Sulmdbheda, 15, for a remarkable passage—

[ocr errors]

“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 éloka occurs in Hit, Suh.ridb/zedali, 67, in the following form—

“ Kadarthitasyapi cha dhairyavritter
buddher vinaso na hi sankaniyah
adhah kritasyape tanurapato
nadhah éikha yate kadachideva.”

“Loss of understanding is not to be apprehended in aman of firm conduct though he be troubled; the flame of a fire which may have been overturned does not go downwards.”

[ocr errors]

1. For the comparison of a woman to a plant, cf. Mrieh., act i. 26: “ Ganika tvam margajata 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 Prajapati took the form of a boar for the sake of raising the earth out of the waters. The Taittirfg/a Sanhitd says—“ This universe was formerly waters, fluid. On it Prajfipati, becoming wind, moved. He saw this earth. Becoming a boar, he took it up.” The Ramziyana also says that Brahma became a boar and took up the earth.”

For Rahu, aide éloka 34. 8. “The drum sends forth an agreeable sound,” &c. The

following may explain the allusion :—The Mridanga 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 glntinosa, 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 meaning; 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 ; apaéabdham “common rumours” as well as “vulgar expressions; and padam, “ a place ” (i.e., of fame) as well as “ a quarter of a verse.”

I 3. Cf. Prov. xxiv. 16. The just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but tha wicked shall fall into mischief. Cf. Ntti Sataka, 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.”

« PreviousContinue »