It is so overwhelming to see scholars scanning the lessons with a good magnifying lens and offering their enlightening comments !
(1) Shri. H. N. Bhat –
Another version with some different readings found on some other site:
अविश्रान्तम् वहेद् भारम् शीतोष्णं च न विन्दति
ससन्तोषस्तथा नित्यम् त्रीणि शिक्षेत गर्दभात्
The above subhAshit teaches us three things to be learnt from a Donkey.
and those are:
1. He carries load (meaning he slogs, takes pains..that’s what we also have to do to achieve our
objectives)without taking any rest
2. He doesn’t care about cold,hot weather,monsoon…anything…just does it whatever has been assigned to him…and (that too with honesty)
These are the three things one should learn from a donkey –
The above is the simple interpretation of the सुभाषित.
There are 24 teachers in the nature listed in भागवतपुराण which lists many animals as teachers for learning good conduct, including honey bee, turtle, our donkey etc. I don’t have ready list right now. But would be possible to get later.
(2) Shri. Aravind Kolhatkar –
This verse reminds me of a witty observation in PL Deshpande’s play ‘तुझे आहे तुजपाशी’
PL Deshpande calls the donkey an exemplar of the स्थितप्रज्ञ because the donkey eats a discarded paper and a discarded banana peel with the same relish!
(3) Dr. Avinash Sathaye –
८-२ The poet has taken liberty to use the verb चरते in आत्मनेपदम् Such liberties taken by poets are often explained away by saying निरङ्कुशाः कवयः ! Poets are not to be reined in by rules of grammar ! Just appreciate the thoughts and ideas being presented !
but you did not note that शिक्षेत् is also faulty – or आर्ष as the euphemism goes(:-))
Notice that the alternate version fixes this issue since it has शिक्षेत.
I think वहेत् can be justified as proper, since he does not always carry loads when tired. It is only trying to say that even though tired, he “may carry the loads”. The other two actions are unconditionally present.
(1) It is fascinating to see that Dr. Sathaye noted that not only the word चरते but also the word शिक्षेत् is erroneous, because this is a declension if the verb were to be परस्मैपदी. But the धातुः “शिक्ष्” is आत्मनेपदी and hence its correct declension becomes शिक्षेत as is used in the other version provided by Shri. H. N. Bhat.
(2) Shri. H. N. Bhat also provides interesting information –
“…24 teachers in the nature listed in भागवतपुराण..”
In a chat with him, we found the reference being –
एते मे गुरवो राजन्श्चतुर्विंशतिराश्रिताः ।
(3) All the teachers in the nature are teachers only to one who can see qualities to be learnt from them. As the proverb says, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. To recognize a teacher, one needs the “eye” and humility of a student.