The flames of fire always go up. With the breeze it might tilt slightly but still goes upwards. Whether someone is good or bad, if he doesn’t change his conduct and is consistent, this nyāya can be used to describe that person. Also people who keep achieving higher and higher positions, who encounter only rise but never fall, this can be used to describe them too.
‘Naming the baby before it is born!’ ‘Yet to find a wife but son’s name is Ramakrishna!’ ‘Stitching a cap for an unborn child!’
This shows the lack of mental fortitude amongst men. The mind just jumps ahead and like the dream of the tramp, it just builds castles in air. This nyāya is applicable to the fool who already is thinking about enjoying the fruits when the time is to think about whether a thing is feasible or not.
3. Atke cet madhu vindeta kimarthaṃ parvataṃ vrajet
Atke means near. When you get honey nearby then what's the need to go to the mountain? If you can achieve something without breaking a sweat then none will do something arduous.
‘योगिनां हृदये हरिः’ likewise the ultimate truth exists in our own hearts, so there is no need for going on a yātrā – to drive such message home, this nyāya is used.
There are variations which say ‘arke (Calotropis gigantea plant) cet…’ or ‘akke (a room) cet…’. The overall import is the same.
4. Aditsorvaṇijaḥ śvastanabhaṇana-nyāya
Aditsoḥ – not intending to give, śvastana – related to the next day, bhaṇana – to speak. A merchant whose intention is not to return the money he owes gave his assurance on paper saying, “I’ll return the money tomorrow.” Then everyday when he was asked he would say, ‘But I should return it only tomorrow right?’ This doesn’t apply just to merchants. It applies to Rich people, people in debt too. If you ask a rich man for money he’d say, ‘Let’s see what can be done tomorrow; come tomorrow’ is the ready answer. For someone in debt this strategy is like a diamond shield. ‘Tomorrow means no’ ; ‘Indeed tomorrow is a synonym for the word no’
5. Aniṣiddhamanumataṃ bhavati
Something which isn’t explicitly countered means it is implicitly consented. ‘Silence gives Consent.’
6. Abhyarhitaṃ pūrvam
The prime position should always be given to the person who is the most venerable. This is generally the way of the world. Starting from the prime status in homes is to be given to our parents, in social events, gatherings and governmental events this is followed. The government of course decides the privileges based on the salary and responsibilities. But how is this implemented in society? If there is an auspicious event, there will be many guests of different standing. Scholars, wealthy people, old people, kith and kin – when there is such a huge variety it is difficult to decide the correct order of their standing. In general the host decides this. In this regard, maharṣi Gautama in his dharma-sūtra has given an arrangement which is worth emulating–
वित्त-बन्धु-कर्म-जाति-विद्या-वयांसि मान्यानि ॥
श्रुतं तु सर्वेभ्यो गरीयः ॥
[Wealth, relationship, vocation, jāti, learning, age, these are the factors to be considered. Given in ascending order. But someone who is a scholar in veda and vedānta (i.e. a realized person) deserves the highest respect.]
To be noted is that Gautama has wealth the least importance. But on the contrary we have kept that on the highest pedestal.
‘abhyarhitaṃ pūrvam’ is also a sūtra in grammar. In compounding of the words according to the dvandva-samāsa there will be multiple words. Whichever word amongst them is more venerable, that should come first. Eg., mātāpitarau (mother first, then father). The dharma-śāstra (rightly) says that mother has more importance than father. One should observe how this is indeed universally accepted.
‘Who listens when one cries in the forest?’ Only result one can expect is throat pain, this nyāya is used in situations describing effort which is bound to end up without fruits. A poet beautifully describes the futility of his efforts thus: “I served a lord who was not perceptive of good qualities. This servitude is indeed like crying in the forest, applying sandalwood paste to a corpse. As though planting a lotus inland instead of water, like rain drops falling in a desert. Similar to the effort of straightening a dog’s tail. Wise counsel falling into deaf ears. A mirror held in front of a blind man.”
Araṇyacandrikā-nyāya too has a similar meaning. The moonlight being wasted on the forest.
During the wedding, there is the tradition of showing the Arundhatī star to the bride. In the saptarṣimaṇḍala constellation beside the star designated as Vasiṣṭha there is a small star. That is the star Arundhatī. First the bigger star is shown, then the smaller star is shown and it is conveyed to be Arundhatī and not the bigger star shown first. Thus the bride is able to identify the star correctly.
Thus when one needs to introduce something subtle, first something more substantial is introduced then the subtler entity is shown. This is how things are taught. This will help the student to grasp the difficult and subtle points well. The pratimāpūjā (worship of the mūrtis of deities) is prescribed to the common folks. A person who intensely believes that and worships it realizes the all pervading brahman thus making that realization easy. Aren’t the distant lands and rivers introduced in the classes by the aid of maps? Likewise there are many instances in upaniṣads. The famous example is the bhṛguvallī where first annamaya-kośa, prāṇamaya-kośa etc are introduced to Bhṛgu by Varuṇa as the ātman. Bhṛgu realizes the essence of each of these kośas by tapas and finally realizes that ātman is beyond these and transcends all these kośas. Thus he comes to the firm conclusion that none of the kośas are the ātman.
It is known by another name called Sthūlārundhatī-nyāya.
This is the second 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. The original in Kannada can be read here