Capturing the crane. Someone asked the strategy to capture a crane. The strategist suggests the following: “Keep a lump of butter on the crane’s head. The butter would melt due to the sun, flowing over the eyes, making its eyes useless. Then it would stay in the same place immobile. Then one can easily catch it!”
How would you place the lump of butter on its head without catching it?
This nyāya illustrates the futility of such convoluted and stupid schemes.
Whispering something in the ears of the deaf. It shows the futility of such an attempt. It has the same import of araṇyarodana-nyāya.
ಮೂರ್ಖಂಗೆ ಬುದ್ಧಿಯನು ನೂರ್ಕಾಲ ಹೇಳಿದರೆ
ಗೋರ್ಕಲ್ಲ ಮೇಲೆ ಮಳೆ ಸುರಿದರಾ ಕಲ್ಲು
ನೀರ್ಕೊಂಬುದೇನೋ ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞ ।।
[Wise counsel for a fool is like the continuous rain on a boulder, such rain would never melt the boulder but just flows over it.]
One can recall the above tripadi by Sarvajña.
There is a statement which goes like this, “badhire karṇajāpo'yamandhe nṛtyapradarśanam”. The second half of the statement relies on a similar analogy which means, ‘dancing in front of the blind’.
171. Balavadapi śikṣitānāmātmanyapratyayaṃ cetaḥ
Even the most erudite would suffer from lack of confidence. This is a famous quote from the play ‘abhijñānaśākuntalam’ by the greatest playwright Kālidāsa. He quotes this statement and says that until the erudite scholars would be the audience and appreciate his play he wouldn’t be confident to claim its worthiness. In scholarly debates, even when both sides are known to be erudite, they still keep another scholar as a witness. Even when we are confident of venturing into a new area, we should ask for the opinion of another expert. This resembles another proverb which says, ‘even if you see it through your own eyes, verify’. Your eyes can deceive you.
If a lamp is placed inside a pot which has multiple perforations, the light comes out of these perforations and illuminates the exterior. We have five sense organs. Through these our knowledge surrounds and recognises objects like the pot etc. the analogy given is this nyāya. The same knowledge has multiple facets and even though the objects are different the knowledge is the same.
In the dakṣiṇāmūrti-stotram, Śrīśaṅkara, uses this nyāya, to describe knowledge as ‘nānā-chidra-ghaṭodara-sthita-mahā-dīpa-prabhā-bhāsvaram’ i.e. it is similar to the master lamp which is residing inside a pot with numerous perforations.
If there are too many kings or power centers in a country, imagine its fate! Contradictory orders and policies would wreak havoc leading to unrest and civil war. It is the same as anarchy. If there needs to be unity there should be one king.
We have five sense organs indeed. How many control centers are there to manage them? If there are many then there would be no coordination among the sense organs and it will disrupt all bodily mechanisms. It will be the same as a country ruled by multiple kings. Therefore there is only one control over our senses, says the work ‘anubhūtiprakāśa’
If a family has multiple heads the situation would indeed be the same.
Which came first, the seed or the tree? Did the tree come from the seed? Or vice versa? Which among the two came first? This cannot be decided. For the currently existing tree its the seed which is the cause. For that seed there was a tree, and so on. This isn’t a symbiotic relationship. Both are present and each of them is the cause of the other. This is true. So we have to accept that it is beyond the beginning. Whatever truthfully exists and cannot be compartmentalized into a cause effect scenario it is to be accepted that it is one with no beginning.
The same holds for bījāṅkura-nyāya (the seed and the sprout), and the aṇḍakukkuṭī-nyāya (the chicken and the egg).
Parivrājaka means sannyāsin (mendicant). There is a hierarchy. Dharmaśāśtras opine that only brāhmaṇas can become parivrājakas. In the sentence, “Brāhmaṇas came and the parivrājakas came.” Parivrājakas seems like a repetition. “Brāhmaṇas came.” would have been sufficient. Parivrājakas are already included in them. The solution to this is as follows: All the brāhmaṇas are not parivrājakas. Parivrājakas are the one who have been initiated to the fourth āśrama, i.e. sannyāsa. To give them more importance or affirm their presence we can separately announce their arrival. Whenever there seems to be some repetitions this nyāya is used to clarify and remove the flaw.
“Brāhmaṇas came and Vasiṣṭha too came.”, again there is no repetition. Vasiṣṭha isn’t like the usual brāhmaṇas, he is the great brahmarṣi. To emphasize this such usages are valid and in fact allowed. This is similar to brāhmaṇaparivrājaka-nyāya.
In the mahābhāṣya the vyākaraṇa (grammar) is said to be, “a śāśtra applicable to usage of words which are both vaidika (vedic) and laukika (worldly). Haradatta commenting about this in his ‘padamañjarī’ says, “Even though the vedic words are worldly too, they are specified separately again to show that emphasis, just like in the brāhmaṇavasiṣṭha-nyāya.”
Since vedas also exist in the real world, the words used in it are indeed worldly is his opinion.
Śramaṇa is a buddhist mendicant. So the import is, “The buddhist mendicant who is a brāhmaṇa came.” Here are the adjective ‘brāhmaṇa’ doesn’t make sense. It leads to confusion as to how is the śramaṇa a brāhmaṇa. The solution is the the śramaṇa was born as a brāhmaṇa and then he has embraced buddhism. In the current context if the meaning doesn’t make sense then it should be dealt with in a temporal manner and it should be understood that at some time in the past the meaning holds. Even when officers in some professions retire, they are still addressed with their titles. This is similar to such a practice.
This is the twentieth 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