Saturday, November 07, 2009

मनुष्यरूपेण मृगाश्र्चरन्ति l

In his Niti Shatakam, Bhartrihari has composed several Subhaashits on the subject of 'अज्ञ पद्धती' - about ignorant people.

He says-

येषां न विद्या न तपो न दानं l
ज्ञानं न शीलं न गुणो न धर्मः ll
ते मृत्युलोके भुवि भारभूतः l
मनुष्यरूपेण मृगाश्र्चरन्ति ll

Those (people) who do not have even a single virtue (न गुणो)- not learning (न विद्या), nor concentration (न तपो), nor charity (न दानं). Not knowledge, nor moral character (ज्ञानं न शीलं). Those who do not act according to their Dharma (न धर्मः )-

They are merely a burden on the earth (मृत्युलोके भुवि भारभूतः) - animals moving around (मृगाश्र्चरन्ति) in human form (मनुष्यरूपेण).

Things have changed since the time of Bhartrihari, and so have our ideas of morality and virtues. I wonder if the essential virtues that Bhartrihari has listed would be considered desirable in today's world?

By his yardstick, how many of us would be merely 'animals in human form'?


[ Though the more common meaning of मृग is 'deer', here it means animal (in general).]

6 comments:

Vinod_Sharma said...

We are certainly getting more and ore 'animalised'! As everyone strives to get richer and materially better off faster than ever before, the time available for the other things that Bartrihari finds of value, is getting less and less.

I suppose this has been happening in all ages but now it is happening much faster and to a lot more people. And is being openly celebrated too!

Ugich Konitari said...

I wonder if Niti shatakam says anything about "Adhogati"....

Today learning is all about quick shortcuts to fool someone, and cheating; concentration is considered a waste of time in this day and age of instant returns, and charity has nothing to do with a deserving recipient, its all about publicity.

Any surprise, that Dharma is now something to fight about, and not a descritption of a philosophy and way of living with certain rules.

Why blame the poor blames. Sometimes I think they have more ethics and character than humans.

Ugich Konitari said...

Sorry, a typo in the last para . It should be, "Why blame the poor animals..."

manju said...

Vinodji- Yes I think that is the difference- today people justify- even, as you say- celebrate- the absence of the virtues mentioned in this Subhaashit.


Ugich Konitari- Yes, but not everyone will agree that this is Adhogati!

And you are right- we have become accustomed to taking shortcuts for everything...

radha said...

What was not permitted in our days is now acceptable to many, and with that a lot of values, sadly, have changed.

manju said...

Radha- That is true, and sad too.

Practices may change, our lifestyles may change, but the core values should remain the same- I think.