Karataka scolds Damanaka

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Seeing them fight from a distance, Karataka looked at Damanaka angrily and said ” You fool! Look at what you have done! This enmity that you created between two friends is wrong. You claim to know politics, but you don’t. The learned say…”

कार्याण्य् उत्तम-दण्ड-साहस-फलान्य् आयास-साध्यानि ये प्रीत्या संशमयन्ति नीति-कुशलाः साम्नैव ते मन्त्रिणः ।
निःसाराल्प-फलानि ये त्व् अविधिना वाञ्छन्ति दण्डोद्यमैस् तेषां दुर्नय-चेष्टितैर् नरपतेर् आरोप्यते श्रीस् तुलाम् ॥ ४०७ ॥

kāryāṇy uttama-daṇḍa-sāhasa-phalāny āyāsa-sādhyāni ye prītyā saṃśamayanti nīti-kuśalāḥ sāmnaiva te mantriṇaḥ |
niḥsārālpa-phalāni ye tv avidhinā vāñchanti daṇḍodyamais teṣāṃ durnaya-ceṣṭitair narapater āropyate śrīs tulām || 407 ||

Some problems must be dealt with firm methods, including punishment. However, ministers who are able to solve even those issues with reconciliation and love, are said to be experts in the administrative sciences. And those ministers who go about solving even trivial issues through punishment and violence, ruin the prosperity of their kingdoms.

“Oh Damanaka, if Pingalaka dies due to this strategy of yours, what use is a minister like you to him? Even if Sanjeevaka dies, it would not be fruitful, and from the sight of it, he is sure to die. You fool, all you know is to sow discontent and enmity – with this kind of mentality, how did you think that you would be an able minister?”

Karataka continued ” Of the four strategies that are advocated, violence is the worst of all, and should only be used in extreme circumstances, so say the wise.”

साम्नैव यत्र सिद्धिर् न तत्र दण्डो बुधेन विनियोज्यः ।
पित्तं यदि शर्करया शाम्यति को ऽर्थः पटोलेन ॥ ४०९ ॥

sāmnaiva yatra siddhir na tatra daṇḍo budhena viniyojyaḥ |
pittaṃ yadi śarkarayā śāmyati ko ‘rthaḥ paṭolena || 409 ||

Where one can diffuse a tense situation through reconciliation, violence should not be resorted to at all, so say the wise. If bile can be subdued by eating sugar, why would you have bitter medicine?

We take a pause in the story here. Karataka, who was a witness to the vicious plotting by Damanaka, now realises his folly. While he agrees that Sanjeevaka was an imminent threat, he now thinks that it would have been better for them to talk it out, rather than sow the seeds of discontent and enmity between Pingalaka and the bull. Damanaka sweet-talked Karataka into supporting him throughout, but Karataka sees the results of these actions, and does not like it at all. He goes on to scold Damanaka, and cite many instances to prove his point.

We are at the climax of this tale, but there are a few more stories woven in. For those who cannot wait to know the end…the point of the Panchatantra is to enjoy the journey, and learn from the various slokas that accompany these stories. The end is just the culmination, a closure…

Let’s read on!

Karataka didn’t stop. He was very angry at this turn of events. “Your desire for the minister’s post was also wasteful. You have no clue of the proper strategies required to be followed in order to advise a king and the kingdom.”

“Strategies are five-fold – Planning, before commencing any action, the optimum use of your resources, acting according to the situation that arises, with discretion, finding solutions to issues that come up unexpectedly, and taking every task to it’s logical conclusion. “

“Your strategy, on the other hand, is leading to the death of both the king and the minister. Of what possible use is this strategy? If you have any brains left, think of how this tragedy can be avoided. The true test of a minister is when he is able to convert enmity between two parties, into friendship, thus avoiding violence and destruction. It is said…”

मन्त्रिणां भिन्न-सन्धाने भिषजां सान्निपातिके ।
कर्मणि व्यज्यते प्रज्ञा स्वस्थे को वा न पण्डितः ॥ ४१२ ॥

mantriṇāṃ bhinna-sandhāne bhiṣajāṃ sānnipātike |
karmaṇi vyajyate prajñā svasthe ko vā na paṇḍitaḥ || 412 ||

The intelligence of the doctor is known only when he treats an epidemic. The intelligence of a minister is known when he negotiates successfully with people who have differences of opinion with the king. When everything is alright who does not act wisely?”

“But you fool, I know that you cannot do this. You have a crooked brain! It is said…

घातयितुम् एव नीचः पर-कार्यं वेत्ति न प्रसाधयितुम् ।
पातयितुम् एव शक्तिर् नाखोरुद्धर्तुम् अन्न-पिटकम् ॥ ४१३ ॥

ghātayitum eva nīcaḥ para-kāryaṃ vetti na prasādhayitum |
pātayitum eva śaktir nākhoruddhartum anna-piṭakam || 413 ||

A crooked and mean person only knows how to cause ruin; he cannot resolve anything. A rat is strong enough to make the rice-pot fall down; not to keep it back straight.stand it back up.

to be continued