Lesson 128

संस्कृताध्ययने अष्टविंशत्यधिकशततमः पाठः – Lesson 128

There was a query recently (Oct. 2018) at भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्- Google group asking meaning of the following सुभाषितम्.

On Google-search I located the सुभाषितम् at <http://subhashitani.wordsofwisdom.in/2009/12/blog-post_4.html> There the सुभाषितम् is said to be from भल्लटशतकम्. I have done a correction चणकाभ्यूषान् in place of चणकभ्यूषान्

रे रे रासभ वस्त्रभारवहनात् कुग्रासमश्नासि किं

   राजाश्वावसथं प्रयाहि चणकाभ्यूषान् सुखं भक्षय |

सर्वान् पुच्छवतो हयानभिवदन्त्यत्राधिकारे स्थिताः

   राजा तैरुपदिष्टमेव मनुते सत्यं तटस्थाः परे ||

(1) पदच्छेदैः ⇒ रे रे रासभ वस्त्र-भार-वहनात् कुग्रासम् अश्नासि किम् राजा-अश्व-अवसथम् प्रयाहि चणक-अभ्यूषान् सुखं भक्षय सर्वान् पुच्छवतः हयान् अभिवदन्ति अत्र अधिकारे स्थिताः राजा तैः उपदिष्टम् एव मनुते सत्यम् तटस्थाः परे

(2) समासविग्रहाः

(2’1) रासभ (रासभ पुँ. → संबुद्धौ एक vocative singular)

  • रासेन (स्वरविशेषेण) भाति इति रासभः (उपपद-तत्पुरुषः)
  • रासभः [रासेः अभच् Uṇ.3.124] An ass, a donkey.
  • रासः 1 An uproar, a din, confused noise.

(2’2) वस्त्र-भार-वहनात् (वस्त्र-भार-वहनम् → तस्मात् 5’1)

  • वस्त्राणां भारः वस्त्रभारः (षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः)
  • वस्त्रभारस्य वहनम् वस्त्रभारवहनम् (षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः)
  • वस्त्रभारवहनम् = carrying the load of clothes (for the washer-man).
  • Donkeys were beasts of burden for the washer-men. Hence the mention here of वस्त्र-भार-वहनम्

(2’3) कुग्रासम् (कुग्रासः → तम्, पुँ. 2’1)

  • कुत्सितः ग्रासः कुग्रासः (उपपद-तत्पुरुषः)
  • कु ind. A prefix implying ‘badness’, ‘deterioration’, ‘depreciation’, ‘sin’, ‘reproach’, ‘littleness’, ‘want’, ‘deficiency’, &c. Its various substitutes are कद् (कदश्व), कव (कवोष्ण), का (कोष्ण), किं (किंप्रभुः); cf. Pt.5.17.
    • विग्रह-s of compounds having कु as are usually detailed, using the word कुत्सित
    • कुत्सित p. p. 1 Despised, contemptible; अस्य क्रूरैर्नृशंसैश्च कर्मभिर्लोककुत्सितैः Rām.5.49.19. -2 Low, mean, vile. -तम् Censure.
    • कुत्स् 10 Ā. (कुत्सयते, कुत्सित) To abuse, revile, censure, condemn; पूजयेदशनं नित्यमद्याच्चैतदकुत्सयन् Ms.2.54; Y.1.31; Śānti.2.3.
  • ग्रासः [ग्रस् कर्मणि घञ्] 1 A mouthful, a quantity of anything equal to a mouthful; Ms.3.133;6.28; Y.3.55.
  • कुग्रासः = contemptible food

(2’4) राजाश्वावसथम् (राजाश्वावसथः → तम्, पुँ. 2’1)

  • राज्ञः अश्वः राजाश्वः (षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः)
  • राजाश्वाय अवसथः राजाश्वावसथः (चतुर्थी-तत्पुरुषः)
  • अवसथः = dwelling, abode; stable for horses; kennel for a dog; cowshed for cows; etc.
  • राजाश्वावसथः = stable for horses of the king

(2’5) चणकाभ्यूषान् (चणकाभ्यूषः → तान्, पुँ. 2’3)

  • चणकानाम् अभ्यूषः चणकाभ्यूषः (षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः)
  • चणकः 1 Chick-pea; उत्पतितो$पि हि चणकः शक्तः किं भ्राष्ट्रकं भक्तुम् Pt.1.132. -2 N. of a gotra. -Comp. -अम्लम् sour peas. ˚वारि Water mixed with sour peas. -आत्मजः the sage चाणक्य.
  • अभ्यूषः [अभितः उ-ऊ-ष्यते अग्निना दह्यते, उ ऊ-ष् बाहु˚ क] – boiled, baked, specially prepared अभि+ऊष् अभिवस्

(2’6) तटस्थाः (तटस्थः → ते, पुँ. 1’3)

  • तटे तिष्ठन् इति तटस्थः (उपपद-तत्पुरुषः)
  • तटः = river-bank, shore
  • तटस्थः = one, who stays on the shore; stays aloof

(3) शब्दविशिष्टानां विश्लेषणानि

(3’1) प्रयाहि – प्र+या 2प. → लोटि म.पु. एकवचनम् |

(3’2) पुच्छवतः (पुच्छ+वत् पुच्छेन युक्तः पुच्छवान् वि.) → पुँ. द्वितीया, बहुवचनम् |

(3’3) अभिवदन्ति (अभि+वद् 1प.) → लटि प्र.पु. बहुवचनम् |

(3’4) राजा (राजन् पुँ. → प्रथमा, एकवचनम् )

(3’5) मनुते – मन् 8आ. → लटि प्र.पु. एकवचनम् |

(3’6) परे (पर, सर्व. → पुँ. प्र. बहु. )

(4) अन्वयार्थाः

  1. रे रे रासभ = Eh Eh Donkey!
  2. वस्त्र-भार-वहनात् कुग्रासम् अश्नासि किम् = Why are you eating garbage after having carried so much weight?
  3. राजा-अश्व-अवसथम् प्रयाहि Go to the royal stable where they keep the king’s horses.
  4. चणक-अभ्यूषान् सुखं भक्षय You (may) happily eat the special preparations of gram.
  5. अत्र अधिकारे स्थिताः सर्वान् पुच्छवतः हयान् (इति) अभिवदन्ति The officers of the stable consider anything with a tail as a horse.
  6. राजा (अपि) तैः उपदिष्टम् एव मनुते The king also regards their words.
  7. सत्यम् तटस्थाः परे = It is also true, that there are others who (know what is right) (but) keep mum.

(4’1) अन्वयार्थाः The translation given at <http://subhashitani.wordsofwisdom.in/2009/12/blog-post_4.html> is ⇒

  1. Eh Eh Donkey!
  2. Why are you eating garbage after having carried so much weight ? (The weight is of clothes, as is clearly mentioned in the सुभाषितम्.)
  3. Go to the royal stable where they keep the horses.
  4. Don’t mind the officers there. (The wording of the सुभाषितम् does not lend this translation “Don’t mind the officers”)
  5. They consider anything with a tail as a horse.
  6. That place is filled with yes-men who consider the king’s words to be the ultimate truth. (The wording of the सुभाषितम् refers to the King giving regard to the words of the officers, not that the officers giving consideration to King’s words.)
  7. The others (who can know right from wrong) will not mind (do not care) you eating there.
  • Sentence (4) is not the translation of Sanskrit sentence (4)
  • Translation of sentence (6) is wrong. The verb मनुते is singular and hence has राजा as its subject. So राजा मनुते would mean “the king considers”. The translation “yes-men who consider” makes “yes-men” as the subject, which is plural and does not match with the verb मनुते which is singular.
    • Also तैः उपदिष्टम् (as advised by them) refers to the advice of the officers. The translation says “king’s words”.

(4’2) अन्वयार्थाः – Translation in Kannada at <https://www.facebook.com/shubhodayaprakashana/posts/%E0%B2%A6%E0%B2%BF%E0%B2%A8%E0%B2%95%E0%B3%8D%E0%B2%95%E0%B3%8A%E0%B2%82%E0%B2%A6%E0%B3%81-%E0%B2%B8%E0%B3%81%E0%B2%AD%E0%B2%BE%E0%B2%B7%E0%B2%BF%E0%B2%A4-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%87-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%87-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AD-%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D-%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%97%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%BF-%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%82-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%A5%E0%A4%82-%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D/1137681646254664/> reads ⇒

ಎಲೈ ಕತ್ತೆಯೇ, ಈ ಪರಿ ಭಾರದ ಬಟ್ಟೆಗಳ ಮೂಟೆಯನ್ನು ಹೊತ್ತು ದಾರಿಯ ಬದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದ ಆಹಾರವನ್ನು (ರದ್ದಿ, ಒಣ ಹುಲ್ಲು ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ಯಾಕೆ ತಿನ್ನುತ್ತೀಯಾ? ರಾಜನ ಕುದುರೆ ಲಾಯಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಕಡಲೆಯನ್ನು ತಿನ್ನು. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನಿನ್ನನ್ನು ಯಾರು ಕತ್ತೆಯೆಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜನಿಂದ ನಿಯುಕ್ತರಾದ ಸೇವಕರು (ಹೌದಪ್ಪಗಳು) ಬಾಲಗಳನ್ನು ಲೆಕ್ಕ ಮಾಡಿ ಇಂತಿಷ್ಟು ಕುದುರೆಗಳು ಎಂದು ಲೆಕ್ಕ ನೀಡುವವರು. ನಿನ್ನನ್ನು ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಕತ್ತೆಯೆಂದು ಯಾರೂ ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಲಾರರು.

Elai katteyē, ī pari bhārada baṭṭegaḷa mūṭeyannu hottu dāriya badiyalli sikkida āhāravannu (raddi, oṇa hullu ityādi) yāke tinnuttīyā? Rājana kudure lāyakke hōgi kaḍaleyannu tinnu. Alli ninnannu yāru katteyendu parigaṇisuvudilla. Alli rājaninda niyuktarāda sēvakaru (haudappagaḷu) bālagaḷannu lekka māḍi intiṣṭu kuduregaḷu endu lekka nīḍuvavaru. Ninnannu alli katteyendu yārū parigaṇisalāraru.

एल्ले कत्तेयो ई परिभारद बट्टेगळ मूटेयन्नु होत्तु दारेय बडियल्लि सिक्किद आहारवन्नु (रद्दी ओन, हुल्लु इत्यादि) याके तिनुत्तिया ? राजन कुदुरे लायक्के होगि कडलेयन्नु तिन्नु. अल्लि निन्नन्नु यारू कत्तेयोन्दु परिगणिसुवुदिल्ल. अल्लि राजनिन्द नियुक्तराद सेवकरू (हौदप्पगळु “हौदु अप्पा”-गळु) बालगळन्नु लेक्क माडि इन्तिष्ट कुदरेगळु लेक्क नीडुववरु. निन्नन्न अल्लि कत्तेयोन्दु यारू परिगणिसलाररु.

Since I know somewhat of Kannada, My English translation of this para in Kannada would be ⇒

Eh donkey ! After carrying this heavy load, why do you knock at the doors and eat whatever you get to eat (trash, dry grass, etc.) ? Go to the stable of King’s horses and eat the gram. There nobody will recognize you as a donkey. The servants (the yes-men) there, appointed by the King count the tails and count as many horses. There nobody will think of you as a donkey.  

Now compare this with अन्वयार्थाः

Eh Eh Donkey! Why are you eating garbage after having carried so much weight of clothes ? Go to the royal stable where they keep the king’s horses. You (may) happily eat the special preparations of gram (specially prepared for the royal horses). The officers there consider anything with a tail as a horse. The king also regards their words. It is also true, that there are others, who (know what is right) (but) keep mum.

(5) छन्दोविश्लेषणम्

रे रे रासभ वस्त्रभारवहनात् कुग्रासमश्नासि किं (19 अक्षराणि)

(2 2 2)(112)(121)(112) (221)(221) (2) इति मात्राः

म-स-ज-स-त-त-ग इति गणाः

सूर्याश्वैर्यदि मः सजौ सततगाः शार्दूलविक्रीडितम् |

The poet seems to have thought it good to use the word रासभ for the donkey. Having used this word, the poet has also attempted some अनुप्रास onomatopoeia 

  • the sound र occurs 6 times and the sound स occurs 5 times (also श्  once) in the first line.
  • the sound र occurs once and the sounds श ष स occur 5 times in the second line राजाश्वावसथं प्रयाहि चणकाभ्यूषान् सुखं भक्षय
  • the sound र occurs thrice and the sound स occur 2 times in the third line सर्वान् पुच्छवतो हयानभिवदन्त्यत्राधिकारे स्थिताः
  • the sound र occurs thrice and the sounds ष and स occur 3 times in the fourth line राजा तैरुपदिष्टमेव मनुते सत्यं तटस्थाः परे

(6) Notes

(6’1) The translations available on the internet are not exact. One should do one’s own study.

(6’2) In the verse the line सर्वान् पुच्छवतो हयानभिवदन्त्यत्राधिकारे स्थिताः connotes lack of discernment among the officials. The verse is a satire on a state of mismanagement or maladministration and misgovernance, where horses and donkeys are treated equally, where honest labor gets no recognition.

(6’3) सर्वान् पुच्छवतो हयानभिवदन्त्यत्राधिकारे स्थिताः brings to mind, what all characteristics distinguish horses from donkeys. One important characteristics of horses is that they will never sit down. Every creature is born with such special characteristics, which seems to have been called as its श्रद्धा (see सत्त्वानुरूपा हि सर्वस्य श्रद्धा भवति भारत | श्रद्धामयोऽयं पुरुषः यो यत्श्रद्धः स एव सः – गीता 17’3) My friend Mr. विजय काणे said, श्रद्धा is the software, which is unique to a species, which is सत्त्वानुरूपा. Horses are born with the inbuilt software, that they have to stand all their life. Dogs are born with the software that they have to be loyal to their master. Donkeys are born with the श्रद्धा their unique software, that they have to carry, whatever be loaded on their backs. But, for a lighter vein, is not there the story of a donkey, which realized that a load of salt becomes lighter, if he takes a dip in the water-stream ?

(6’4) राजा तैरुपदिष्टमेव मनुते is a criticism of a king who does not exercise his own discretion. This brings to mind a सुभाषितम् (said to be from चाणक्यनीतिः) – धनिकः श्रोत्रियो राजा नदी वैद्यस्तु पञ्चमः । पञ्च यत्र न विद्यन्ते न तत्र दिवसं वसेत् One should not stay, even for one day, at such place,

  1. where there is no धनिकः wealthy (philanthropic) person,
    1. There is another सुभाषितम् with absolutely identical theme – तत्र मित्र न वस्तव्यं यत्र नास्ति चतुष्टयम् । ऋणदाता च वैद्यश्च श्रोत्रियः सजला नदी Here the word used is ऋणदाता in place of धनिकः. A wealthy person may not be philanthropic, but there should be at least someone, ऋणदाता who will give loan.
  2. no श्रोत्रिय (one, who is worth listening to) i.e. no wise person whose advice is taken and respected; it is also implied, that he does not stay तटस्थ aloof
  3. no राजा no king i.e. no good governance, no justice, no capability to capture and punish any bad elements within the society and no capability to defend the society from external aggression
  4. no नदी river, i.e. no reliable water-resource,
  5. no वैद्य i.e. no medical service.

(6’5)  सत्यं तटस्थाः परे is a fact in most democracies, that the intelligentsia prefer being in the academies or in research laboratories than in the political arena.

  • Have we known any Nobel laureate having been also a politician or political activist ?
  • Late President of India Abdul Kalam, who had no political affiliations, but adorned the post with great dignity.
  • It comes to mind that the post of Secretary General of United Nations demands a challenging combination of affable character स्नेहस्वभावः,  high intellectual acumen बुद्धिमत्ता, political wisdom नीतिचातुर्यम् just and timely action न्यायकारिता.

शुभमस्तु !

-o-O-o-

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