pachai maamalai pol mene

Friday, April 16, 2010

vastness of knowledge and shortness of time

अनन्तपारं किल शब्द-शास्त्रं
स्वल्पं तथायुर् बहवश्च विघ्नाः।
सारं ततो ग्राह्यम् अपास्य फल्गु
हंसैर् यथा क्षीरम् इवाम्बुमध्यात्॥

anantapāraṁ kila śabda-śāstraṁ

svalpaṁ tathāyur bahavaśca vighnāaḥ |
sāraṁ tato grāhyam apāsya phalgu
haṁsair yathā kṣīram ivāmbumadhyāt ||

Panchatantram  of Vishnusarma  

അനന്തപാരം കിലശബ്ദശാസ്ത്രം

സ്വല്പംതഥായുര് ബഹവശ്ച വിഘ്നാഃ
സാരം തതോ ഗ്രാഹ്യം അപാസ്യ ഫല്ഗു

The science of words (language, literature etc.,) is of unending magnitude and is incapable of mastering because the lifetime availble is very limited and even during that period there can be so many impediments to the study.  Therefore to get hold of worldly knowledge one should absorb the essence of it and not the embellishments-- like the swan just consumes the milk alone from a dilute mixture of it with water.

this is in the beginning part of the celebrated Panchatantram.  A king was having a few sons who were absolute idiots and not inclined to study anything at any cost.  He was worried that the fellows will become future liabilities.  And they had already spent years  together in blissful ignorance. So the time at his disposal to show the right path was very limited and the  pigheadedness of the fellows did not in any way further his cause.  Hence he was in the process of finding a guru who would show the right path to the idiots. Therefore this remark.