Sandarbhasūkti - part 14

115. Dīrghaśaṣkulībhakṣaṇa-nyāya

When eating large/long śaṣkulīs i.e. chakli all the five sense organs feel happy! Since they are large, let's assume that we hold them in our hands while we eat. The skin gains by  the touch. Its form is felt by our eyes. The taste is savoured by our tongue. The cumin ghee etc which form the ingredients through their aroma satisfy the nose. The eating sounds pleasing to our ears. Thus at the same time we get information from the five primary senses, the sound, the touch, the sight, the taste and the aroma. This is used when such realizations happen through all the five senses at the same time. But it doesn't actually happen concurrently. It feels as though it is simultaneous. Sometimes things happening one after the other too might seem concurrent. The ‘śatapatra-patraśata-bheda-nyāya’ (which appears later) is quoted as an analogy for that.
The great poet, Magha in his kāvya śiśupalavadham beautifully describes a situation involving the consumption of wine.

क्रान्तकन्तवदनप्रतिबिंबे भग्नबालसहकारसुगन्धौ ।
स्वादुनि प्रणदितालिनि शीते निर्ववार मधुनीन्द्रियवर्गः ॥

Meaning: One damsel is drinking wine from a golden goblet. Her beloved is standing behind her shoulders. His face is reflected in the wine. The wine contains mango flowers and is thus aromatic; and tasty; the bees are buzzing around the goblet; and the wine is cooled. Thus all the five senses of the woman have been satisfied.

The poet’s intent is to say that the eyes have been satisfied by the sight of the beloved, the nose by the aroma, the tongue by the taste, ears by the buzzing and the skin by the coolness.
Compare the nyāya involving the śaṣkulī given by the śāstrakāras and the description of the consumption of the wine by the poet. At once one can discern the difference between rough and fine tastes of the respective people!

116. Devadattahantṛhata-nyāya

If the murderer of Devadatta is murdered, Devadatta can’t be revived. The import is that killing the murderer won’t bring back the dead man alive.  The English proverb about “Worrying over spilt milk” has some commonality here. One should think of a solution beforehand. If the person who intended to murder Devadatta is killed first then Devadatta would live. But when he is already dead, there is no use killing his murderer. This nyāya finds ample usage in the mahābhāṣya of Patañjali.

117. Devadattaśaurya-nyāya

Devadatta is known to be valourous. If he goes to a new place, the people there might get to know his prowess, or such a situation might not arise. But he still remains Devadatta. He might lose his valor due to some reason but he wouldn’t become someone else. This nyāya opines that attributes or disguises wouldn’t inherently change the person. A person wearing a silk turban cannot instantly turn into a follower of Gandhi just by wearing a Gandhi cap. The cap is just a change in the clothing, not the nature of the person.
In the mahābhāṣya of Patañjali there is a discussion about guṇas (attributes) and abhedakas (identifiers), “attributes cannot change the person.” Devadatta whether he shaves his head, or grows long hair with matted locks he still remains Devadatta. The commentator Kaiyaṭa says, “When a person who has shaved his head steals, even after growing the hair back he is still considered as a thief!”

118. Dehalīdīpa-nyāya

Dehalī means threshold or the doorsill. If a lap is placed there it illuminates both the inner house and the other quadrangle. This is still prevalent in the poor. If one task has two results or one word has two usages this nyāya is used as an analogy. This is similar to kākākṣigolaka-nyāya.

119. Dhānyapalāla-nyāya

Palāla is the husk or the chaff, dhānya is the grain. The husk exists covering the grain. Just because it isn’t edible one won’t throw away the grain too. The husk is removed and the grain is consumed. Thus discarding an object which gives pleasure just because it might lead to pain isn’t prudent. A poet says, “The worldly pleasure comes with pain so it should be discarded isn’t a good argument. Would a hungry man throw away all the grains just because of the husk?”
There is a verse in pañcadaśi:

ग्रन्थमभ्यस्य मेधावी ज्ञानविज्ञानतत्परः ।
पलालमिव धान्यार्थी त्यजेद्ग्रन्थमशेषतः ॥
“A wise man after reading the books and assimilating all the knowledge should discard the books. Just like how one discards the husk after getting the grains”

120. Dhenupannaga-nyāya

Dhenu means cow, pannaga means snake. The cow eats grass and gives milk. The snake drinks the milk and gives venom! A good man holds even a small act of kindness dear and tries to return the favour. A wicked man would instead harm someone who has helped him. This nyāya is used to describe such a situation.

121. Na khalu kuṭajabījādvaṭāṅkuro jāyate

You cannot expect a banyan tree by planting some other seed. The results are always as per the initiation. Good deeds bring good fruits and bad deeds likewise bring bad fruits is the opinion of this nyāya. There is a verse in Manusmṛti.

अन्यदुप्तं जातमन्यदित्येतन्नोपपद्यते ।
उप्यते यद्धि यद्बीजं तत्तदेव प्ररोहति ॥ 10.40
“A seed was sown, some other tree was born, this can never happen. Whatever seed is sown the tree will be of the same kind.”

This is the same as the English maxim, “As you sow, so shall you reap”.

122. Naṭabhāryā-nyāya

An actress depending on the role becomes a wife for many actors. She has the capability of playing the wife of any of the actors. Depending on the situation if one can follow anyone this nyāya is used. ‘Meaning follows the word.’ In grammar when rules are applied to the vowels the same holds for the consonants connected to these vowels, this nyāya is used to describe that. In the mahābhāṣya this is used to comment on aṣṭādhyāyi 6.1.23 as follows,

“व्यञ्जनानि पुनर्नटभार्यावद्भवन्ति यथा नटानां स्त्रियो रङ्गगता- यो यः पृच्छति ‘कस्य यायं? कस्य यायं?’ इति तं तं तव तवेत्याहुः. एवं व्यञ्जनान्यपि यस्य यस्य कार्यमुच्यते तं तं भजन्ते.”

one example which can be seen the ‘u’ in nuti is related to both ‘n’ and ‘t’ [1] . For people who always follow others and don’t have their own personality this nyāya can be applied.

This is the fourteenth part of the multi-part translation of the Kannada book "Sandarbha Sukti" by Mahamahopadhyaya Vidwan Dr. N Ranganatha Sharma. Thanks to Dr. Sharada Chaitra for granting us permission to translate this wonderful work. Thanks to Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh for his inputs. The original in Kannada can be read here


[1] Here the example is a bit confusing, what might be the intended meaning is in "nuti" 'u' is related to 'n' but in another phrase say "na tu", 'u' is related to 't'. Similar things can happen with consonants, in "nuti" 'n' is related to 'u' but in "nīti", 'n' is related to 'ī'.



Mahamahopadhyaya Vidwan Ranganatha Sharma was a renowned Sanskrit scholar and an authority on Vyakarana or Grammar. He is noted for his translation of the entire Valmiki Ramayana into Kannada, which was published with a foreword by DVG. He has authored several books in Kannada and Sanskrit. He is a recipient of the national award for Sanskrit learning and has received the Rajyotsava Award.  



Raghavendra G S is a keen student of classical literature in Sanskrit and Kannada. He is one of the contributing editors of Prekshaa.

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