Of advice, and stupidity…

Read the previous part here…

Advice should not be offered to anybody and everybody. Learn from that incident where a person with such a nice home, was rendered homeless.

Damanaka said “How did that happen?”

Karataka replied…


वानरचटकदंपतीकथा

The story of the money and the sparrow couple

On a big tree in a forest not so far away from here, lived a sparrow couple. They had built a nest on one of it’s branches, and lived peacefully, and happily.

One year, the rains were heavier than usual. Trees swayed in the winds, and the weather turned very cold as well. The sparrow couple were well protected, since the branches of the tree were thick and strong, and so they huddled together and waited for the season to pass.

One such day, a monkey that was wandering in that area came to rest under this tree. It was cold and rainy, and the monkey’s teeth were chattering from the cold and his body was shivering since he was drenched. He crouched under the tree, hoping that the rain would stop soon, and he would get to see some sunshine.

Seeing him in this pitiable condition, the female sparrow said “My friend…you look able-bodied and strong. Then why are you wandering in this cold season? Build a house, and stay inside, rather than suffering this way.”

The monkey, who was already in a bad mood, shouted back “Shut up, you mean woman! How dare you make fun of me?”

And he thought to himself “Is my condition so bad now that a tiny bird can make fun of me and get away with it? She thinks she is clever, and sarcastic. I am suffering here already, and her speaking this way makes it worse.” Thinking this way, he shouted out “You fool! Why do you have to worry about me? How does it matter to you, if I am happy, or sad? It is said…

वाच्यं श्रद्धा-समेतस्य पृच्छतेश् च विशेषतः ।
प्रोक्तं श्रद्धा-विहीनस्य अरण्य-रुदितोपमम् ॥ ४२४ ॥

vācyaṃ śraddhā-sametasya pṛcchateś ca viśeṣataḥ |
proktaṃ śraddhā-vihīnasya araṇya-ruditopamam || 424 ||

One should open up only in front of a person who speaks genuinely and with concern. Speaking about one’s troubles to a rude or unconcerned person, is like crying in a desolate forest.

And speaking thus, the frustrated monkey climbed up the tree, to the nest of the sparrows, threw it down and destroyed it. The sparrow couple flew away, sad because they had lost their beautiful home.

“That is why I say”, concluded Karataka, advice should not be offered to anybody and everybody. Learn from that incident where a person with such a nice home, was rendered homeless.

Damanaka sat down, and Karataka continued unabated.

“You are a fool, Damanaka. You will not learn a thing, even if someone teaches you with care and sincerity. And this is not your fault. Only a person who is good at heart is able to gain wisdom from being taught. It is said…

किं करोत्य् एव पाण्डित्यम् अस्थाने विनियोजितम् ।
अन्धकार-प्रतिच्छन्ने घटे दीप इवाहितः ॥ ४२५ ॥

kiṃ karoty eva pāṇḍityam asthāne viniyojitam |
andhakāra-praticchanne ghaṭe dīpa ivāhitaḥ || 425 ||

Of what use is wisdom given to an undeserving person? Much like a lamp kept inside the dark, closed pot cannot light up a house, the light of knowledge cannot light up the mind of a wicked individual.

You think you know everything, but you are ignorant. It is due to this ignorance that you cannot even think about what is good or bad for yourself. You are truly worthless. It is said…

जातः पुत्रो ऽनुजातश् च अतिजातस् तथैव च ।
अपजातश् च लोकेऽस्मिन् मन्तव्याः शास्त्र-वेदिभिः ॥ ४२६ ॥

मातृ-तुल्य-गुणो जातस् त्व् अनुजातः पितुः समः ।
अतिजातो ऽधिकस् तस्माद् अपजातो ऽधमाधमः ॥ ४२७ ॥

jātaḥ putro ‘nujātaś ca atijātas tathaiva ca |
apajātaś ca loke’smin mantavyāḥ śāstra-vedibhiḥ || 426 ||

mātṛ-tulya-guṇo jātas tv anujātaḥ pituḥ samaḥ |
atijāto ‘dhikas tasmād apajāto ‘dhamādhamaḥ || 427 ||

There are four types of children in the world, so say the wise – Jaata is a child who has the qualities of the mother. A child who has the qualities of the father is called Anujaata – one who is born asa reflection of his parent. A child who has qualities that exceed those of his parents is called Atijaata, the one who excels. And a child who has the worst of the qualities of his parent is called Apajaata – the one without qualities.

It is rightly said…

धर्म-बुद्धिः कुबुद्धिश् च द्वाव् एतौ विदितौ मम ।
पुत्रेण व्यर्थ-पाण्डित्यात् पिता धूमेन घातितः ॥ ४२९ ॥

dharma-buddhiḥ kubuddhiś ca dvāv etau viditau mama |
putreṇa vyartha-pāṇḍityāt pitā dhūmena ghātitaḥ || 429 ||

I know both Dharma-Buddhi and Paapa-Buddhi. It is due to the stupidity of the son that the father nearly died from smoke.”

Damanaka said “How did that happen?”

Karataka replied…

to be continued

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