pachai maamalai pol mene

Saturday, June 18, 2011

water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

धनिनोऽप्यदानविभवाः गण्यन्ते धुरि महादरिद्राणां।
हन्ति न य न पिपासामतः समुद्रोऽपि मरुरेव॥११६॥
बल्ललदेवस्य भोजप्रबन्धात्
dhanino'pyadānavibhavāḥ gaṇyante dhuri mahādaridrāṇāṁ|
hanti na ya na pipāsāmataḥ samudro'pi marureva||116||
ballaladevasya bhojaprabandhāt

an interesting quote from the Bhojaprabandham of Ballaladeva 

 Even if people  are immensely rich they are actually very poor    if they  do not have the mind to help others and share the benefit of their wealth  collectively.  
The great ocean though full of water, could be equated to desert  because the water possessed by it could not quench the thirst of anybody because of its salinity.

This  simple but straightforward statement  brings out with clarity the fact that individual merits will be recognized in the society only if it has  a utility content for all. 
 If a man has somehow managed to earn a lot of money and keeps it all for himself without helping others, neither such person nor his money will have any relevance for the society as a whole.  
Perhaps the exception will be the Income-tax people who may forcibly  try to reduce the wealth through various levies.  
This fact would apply with equal force to the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience one has acquired.   
If, after studying a lot if one keeps aloof without sharing the knowledge with others, he will be lacking in lustre like a bright lamp placed inside a closed earthen pot. 

The appropriate comparison for this is the water of the ocean saturated with salt.  

Nobody can drink and the existence will be similar to living in a desert, where again water is scarce..   
One may remember  Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, who cried caught in a ship in rough seas, 
"water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink"

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