Lesson 18 – A story from the Hitopadeśa

A short YouTube version is available here. [Expand to the full article to be able to click on the link]

In the previous lesson, Lesson 17, we looked at the imperfect, optative and imperative, active and middle of some verbs of class 2.

In this lesson, Lesson 18, we will take another story from the Hitopadeśa and analyse it.

The story below, “The Brahmin with the goat and the three rouges”, appears also in the Pañcatantra.

The Brahmin with the goat and the three rouges

अस्ति गौतमारण्ये प्रस्तुतयज्ञः कस्चिद्ब्राह्मणः । स च यज्ञार्थं ग्रामान्तराच्छागमुपक्रीय स्कन्धे कृत्वा गच्छन्धूर्तत्रयेणावलोकितः । ततस्ते धूर्ता यद्येष च्छागः केनाप्युपायेन प्राप्य खाद्यते तदा मतिप्रकर्षो भवतीत्यालोच्य प्रान्तरे वृक्षत्रयतले ब्राह्मणस्य वर्त्मन्युपविश्य स्थिताः । तत्रैकेन धूर्तेन स ब्राह्मणो गच्छन्नभिहितः । भो ब्राह्मण । किमिति त्वया कुक्कुरः स्कन्धेनोह्यते । ब्राह्मणो ब्रूते । नायं श्वा । यज्ञच्छागोऽयं । अनन्तरं पुनर्द्वितीयेन क्रोशमात्रावस्थितेन तदेवोक्तम् । तदाकर्ण्य ब्राह्मणस्तं छागं भूमौ निधाय मुहुर्मुहुर्निरीक्ष्य पुनः स्कन्धे कृत्वा दोलायमानमतिश्चलितः । तदनन्तरं पुनर्गच्छन्स ब्राह्मणस्त्रितीयेन धूर्तेनोक्तः । भो ब्राह्मण । किमिति कुक्कुरं स्कन्धेन भवान्वहति । तदाकर्ण्य निश्चितमेवायं कुक्कुर इति मत्वा छागं त्यक्त्वा स्नात्वा स्वगृहं ययौ । स च्छागो तैर्धूर्तैर्नीत्वा भक्षितः । अतोऽहं ब्रवीमि ।

  • आत्मौपम्येन यो वेत्ति दुर्जनं सत्यवादिनम् ।
  • स तथा वञ्च्यते धुर्तैर्ब्राह्मणश्छागतो यथा ।।

asti gautamāraṇye prastutayajñaḥ kascidbrāhmaṇaḥ | sa ca yajñārthaṃ grāmāntarācchāgamupakrīya skandhe kr̥tvā gacchandhūrtatrayeṇāvalokitaḥ | tataste dhūrtā yadyeṣa cchāgaḥ kenāpyupāyena prāpya khādyate tadā matiprakarṣo bhavatītyālocya prāntare vr̥kṣatrayatale brāhmaṇasya vartmanyupaviśya sthitāḥ | tatraikena dhūrtena sa brāhmaṇo gacchannabhihitaḥ | bho brāhmaṇa | kimiti tvayā kukkuraḥ skandhenohyate | brāhmaṇo brūte | nāyaṃ śvā | yajñacchāgo’yaṃ | anantaraṃ punardvitīyena krośamātrāvasthitena tadevoktam | tadākarṇya brāhmaṇastaṃ chāgaṃ bhūmau nidhāya muhurmuhurnirīkṣya punaḥ skandhe kr̥tvā dolāyamānamatiścalitaḥ | tadanantaraṃ punargacchansa brāhmaṇastritīyena dhūrtenoktaḥ | bho brāhmaṇa | kimiti kukkuraṃ skandhena bhavānvahati | tadākarṇya niścitamevāyaṃ kukkura iti matvā chāgaṃ tyaktvā snātvā svagr̥haṃ yayau | sa cchāgo tairdhūrtairnītvā bhakṣitaḥ | ato’haṃ bravīmi |

  • ātmaupamyena yo vetti durjanaṃ satyavādinam |
  • sa tathā vañcyate dhurtairbrāhmaṇaśchāgato yathā ||

[Note: words explained before in the previous stories will not be explained again]

  • gautamāraṇye – locative singular of neuter gautamāraṇya (“Gautama forest”) – in Gautama forest
    • gautama + araṇya (“wilderness”)
      •  gautama is from gotama
      • araṇya is from araṇa (“distant, strange”)
  • prastutayajñaḥ – nominatine singular of masculine adjective prastutayajña (“having sacrifice begun”) – “who has a sacrifice ongoing”
    • prastuta is pra + past passive participle of √stu (“praise”) “that which can be mentioned” “begun”
    • yajña (“sacrifice”) is from class 1 root √yaj (“offer’)
  • kascid – kaḥ + cid “some”
  • yajñārtham – indeclinable adverb (yajña + artham) meaning “for the sake of sacrifice”
    • the noun artha (“object, purpose”) added in teh accusative (or locative) at the end of a word makes an adverb indicates “for the sake of the <word> etc.”
  • grāmāntarāt – ablative singular of neuter grāmāntara (“inside the village”) – from the village
    • grāmāntara is grāma (m) “village” + antara (n) “inside”
      • antara is from antar (“inward”)
  • chāgam – accusative singular of masculine chāga (“goat”)
  • upakrīya – indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having bought”
    • from vi + class 9 root √krī (“buy”)
  • skandhe – locative singular of masculine skandha (“shoulder”) – on the shoulder
  • kr̥tvā – indeclinable (continuative – ktvānta) – “having done”
    • from class 8 root √kr̥ (“do”)
    • skandhe kr̥tvā means “having put on shoulder”
  • gacchan – nominative singular of masculine adjective gacchant (“going”)
    • gacchant is present active participle of class 1 root √gam (“go”)
  • dhūrtatrayeṇā – instrumental singular of neuter dhūrtatraya (“triad of rogues”) – by a trio of swindlers
    • dhūrtatraya is dhūrta (adj) “cunning, rogue”) + traya (adj) (“triple, threefold”)
      • dhūrta is past passive participle of class 1 root √dhvr̥ (“injure”)
  • avalokitaḥ – nominative singular of masculine adjective avalokita (“seen”) – seen
    • ava (verbal prefix) + lokita (past passive participle of class 1 root √lok (“look”)
  • tataḥ – indeclinable adverb – “thereupon”
  • te – nominative plural of masculine pronoun tad (“that”) – those
  • yadi – indeclinable adverb used as protasis ; apodosis is tadā later on
    • yadi…..tadā – “if…then”
  • eṣaḥ – nominative singular of masculine pronoun etad (“this”)
  • cchāgaḥ – note the doubling of ch here. after a vowel the ch is doubled by adding c in front. Like sas the eṣas also loses its final “s” before all consonants so eṣas becomes eṣa
  • kena api – my any means
  • upāyena – instrumental singular of masculine upāya (“stratagem”) – by any stratagem
    • from upa + class 2 root √i (“go”)
  • prāpya –  indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having got”
    • from vi + class 5 root √āp (“obtain”)
  • khādyate – present indicative passive third person singular of class 1 root √khād (“chew”) – “be eaten” [We will look at passive constructions in later lessons]
  • tadā – indeclinable adverb – see yadi above
  • matiprakarṣaḥ – nominative singular of masculine matiprakarṣa (“wit superiority”) – a nice trick
    • mati (“mind”) is from class 4 root √man (“think”)
    • pra + karṣa ; karṣa is from class 1 root √kr̥ṣ (“draw, plough”)
  • bhavati – present indicative third person singular of class 1 root √bhū (“become”)
  • iti – indeclinable particle “thus”
    • “iti” is used in Sanskrit for a couple of  purposes
      • To report direct speech (note that there is no concept of indirect speech in Sanskrit. Any indirect speech must be converted to direct speech when translating into Sanskrit)
        • eg: रामो रावणम् अहन् इति लक्ष्मणोऽवदत् rāmo rāvaṇam ahan iti lakṣmaṇo’vadat meaning: Lakshmana said, “Rama killed Raavana”.
      • To signify a person’s reason or intention for an action (or what a person thinks)
        • For example, to translate “Rama was there, so Ravana did not go home.” We can say, “Rama was there” iti “Ravana did not go home” रामो तत्रास्तीति रावणो गृहं नागच्छन् rāmo tatrāstīti rāvaṇo gr̥haṃ nāgacchan
  • ālocya –  indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having thought”
    • from ā + class 1 root √loc (“see, consider”)
  • prāntare – locative singular of neuter prāntara (“a long interval, long distance”) – in the long, lonely  road
  • vr̥kṣatrayatale – locative singular of masculine vr̥kṣatrayatala (“under three trees”) – under three (separate) trees
    • “-tale” at the end of words can mean “under” or “on”.
  • vartmani – locative singular of neuter vartman (“wheel-track”) – on the way
    • from class 1 root √vr̥t (“turn”)
  • upaviśya – indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having settled down, having sat”
    • from upa + class 6 root √viś (“see, consider”)
  • sthitāḥ – nominative plural of masculine adjective sthita (“stood’) – (they) waited
    • past participle of class 1 root √sthā (“stand”)
  • abhihitaḥ – nominative singular of masculine adjective abhihita (“addressed”) – said
    • past passive participle of abhi + class 3 root √dhā (“put”)
  • kim – used as iterrogative adverb “why”
  • iti – indeclinable adverb “thus”
  • kukkuraḥ – nominative singular of masculine kukkura (“dog”) – dog
    • possibly from onomatopoetic kurkura
  • uhyate – present indicative passive third person singular of class 1 root √vah (“carry’) – is being carried
  • brūte – present indicative middle third person singular of class 2 root √brū (“say”) – says
  • na – indeclinable adverb “not”
  • ayaṃ – nominative singular masculine of pronoun idam (“this”) -this
  • śvā – nominative singular of masculine śvan (‘dog”) -dog
  • yajñacchāgaḥ – nominative singular of masculine yajñacchāga (“sacrificial goat”) – goat for sacrifice
    • yajña + cchāga
      • yajña is from class 1 root √yaj (“offer”)
  • anantaraṃ – used as adverb “afterwards, immediately afterwards”
    • from adjective an-antara (“without interval”)
  • punaḥ – indeclinable adverb “again”
    • the visarga stands for “r” not “s”. So the word is punar.
  • dvitīyena – instrumental singular of dvitīya (“second”)  – by the second
    • from dvita (“second”)
  • krośamātrāvasthitena –  instrumental singular of adjective krośamātrāvasthita (“standing at a distance of a kos”) – by him standing ata  distance of a kos
    • krośa + mātra + avasthita
      • krośa (m) “call, calling distance” is from class 1 root √kruś (“call out, cry out”)
        • This is used as a unit of measurement called the Kos (approximatley 1.91 miles) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kos_(unit)
        • mātra “of measure” used at end of words. krośamātra – measure of one kos
          • mātra is from feminine mātrā “measure”
  • uktam – nominative singular of neuter ukta (“said”)
    • ukta is past passive participle of class 3 root √vac (“speak”)
      • uktam is used impersonally “by him was said”
  • ākarṇya – indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having heard”
    • from ā + class 10 root √karṇ (“pierce, bore”) (?) or from denominative root √karṇaya from masculine karṇa (“ear”)
    • we will learn about denominatives in later lessons
  • bhūmau – locative singular of feminine bhūmi (“earth”) – on the ground
    • from class 1 root √bhū (“be”)
  • nidhāya – indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having set down”
    • from ni + class 3 root √dhā (“put”)
  • muhuḥ – indeclinable adverb (“in a moment”)
    • from class 4 root √muh “”be confused”)
    • muhuḥ muhuḥ (muhurmuhuḥ) means “repeatedly” [at one moment, at another moment]
  • nirīkṣya – indeclinable (continuative – lyabanta) – “having looked at”
    • from ni + class 1 root √īkṣ (“see”)
  • dolāyamānamatiḥ – nominative singular masculine of adjective dolāyamānamati (“having a wavering mind”)
    • dolāyamāna + mati
      • dolāyamāna (“swinging”) is present middle participle of denominative  class 1 root √dolāya “swing”
        • √dolāya is from feminine dolā “swing” which is from class 1 (?) root √dul
  • calitaḥ – nominative singular of masculine of adjective calita (“moved, started off”)
    • past passive participle of class 1 root √cal (“stir, move”)
  • tritīyena – instrumental singular of tritīya (“third”)  – by the third
    • from trita (“third”)
  • bhavān – nominative singular of masculine bhavant (“lord”) -“sir”
    • maybe contraction of bhagavant
  • vahati – present indicative third person singular of class 1 root √vah (“carry’) – carrying
  • niścitam – indeclinable adverb “decidedly, surely”
    • from adjective niścita which is nis + class 3 root √ci (“look, observe’)
  •  tyaktvā – indeclinable (continuative – ktvānta) – “having discarded”
    • from class 1 root √tyaj (“forsake”)
  • snātvā – indeclinable (continuative – ktvānta) – “having bathed”
    • from class 2 root √snā (“bathe”)
    • bathing since he touched a dog!
  • svagr̥haṃ – accusative singular of neuter svagr̥ha (“own house’) – own house
    • sva (“own”) + gr̥ha (from class 9 root √grah (“sieze”)
  • yayau – perfect active  (“liṭ parasmai padam”) third person singular of class 2 root √yā (“go’) – went
    • we will learn about perfects in a later lesson
  • nītvā – indeclinable (continuative – ktvānta) – “having carried off”
    • from  class 1 root √nī (“lead, carry”)
  • bhakṣitaḥ – nominative singular of masculine adjective bhakṣita (“eaten”) – was eaten
    • past passive participle of class 1 root √bhakṣ (“eat”)
  • ātmaupamyena – instrumental singular of neuter ātmaupamya (“likeness to one’s self”) -thinking another is like one
    • ātma + aupamya
      • ātma for atman (“self’) in compounds
      • aupamya “likeness” from upamā (f) “comparison”
        • upamā is from upa + class 3 root √mā (“measure’)
  • vetti – present indicative active third person singular of class 2 root √vid (“know”) – thinks
  • durjanaṃ – accusative singular of masculine durjana (“evil person’)
    • dus (prefix meaning “evil, bad”) + jana (m) “creature, man”
      • jana is from class 1 root √jan (“be born”)
  • satyavādinam – accusative singular of masculine adjective satyavādin (“truthful, truth saying”)
    • satya (adj) + vādin (adj)
      • satya maybe from sant (“good, noble”) from class 2 root √as (“be”)
      • vādin is from class from root 1 √vad (“speak”)
  • vañcyate – present indicative passive third person singular of class 1 root √vañc (“move crookedly”) – gets cheated
  • chāgataḥ – indeclinable adverb (“concerning the goat, with reference to the goat”) – in the situation involving the goat
    • the suffix “tas” is added to nouns, prepositions etc. to give a locative (and sometimes general) value
      • (see Whitney 1098)

The word-for-word meaning is:

asti (there is)  gautamāraṇye (in the Gautama forest) prastutayajñaḥ (having sacrifice begun) kaḥ cit (a certain) brāhmaṇaḥ (brahmin) | sa (he) ca yajñārthaṃ (for the sacrifice) grāmāntarāt (from the village) chāgam (a goat) upakrīya (having bought) skandhe  kr̥tvā (carrying on shoulder) gacchan (going) dhūrtatrayeṇa (by three rouges) avalokitaḥ (seen) | tataḥ (therupon) te (those) dhūrtāḥ (rouges) yadi (if) eṣaḥ (this) chāgaḥ (goat) kena api upāyena (by any means) prāpya (having got) khādyate (be eaten)  tadā (then)  matiprakarṣaḥ (a nice trick) bhavati (will be) iti (thus) ālocya (having thought) prāntare (on the road) vr̥kṣatrayatale (under three trees) brāhmaṇasya (of the brahmin) vartmani (in teh way) upaviśya (having settled down)  sthitāḥ (waited) | tatra (there) ekena dhūrtena (by one rogue) saḥ (that)  brāhmaṇaḥ (brahmin) gacchan (going) abhihitaḥ (said)| bho brāhmaṇa (O brahmin!) | kim (why) iti (thus) tvayā (by you) kukkuraḥ (a dog) skandhena (by shoulder) uhyate (carry)| brāhmaṇaḥ (the brahmin)  brūte (says) | na (not) ayaṃ (this) śvā (a dog)| yajñacchāgaḥ (sacrifice goat) ayaṃ (this) | anantaraṃ (afterwards) punaḥ (again) dvitīyena (by the second) krośamātrāvasthitena (who was standing a Kos distance away)  tat (that) eva (same) uktam (said) | tat (that) ākarṇya (having heard) brāhmaṇaḥ (brahmin) taṃ (that) chāgaṃ (goat)bhūmau (on the ground) nidhāya (having set down) muhurmuhur (again and again) nirīkṣya (having looked at) punaḥ (again) skandhe kr̥tvā (having put on the shoulder) dolāyamānamatiḥ (with a wavering mind) calitaḥ (started off) | tadanantaraṃ (afterwards) punaḥ (again) gacchan (going) saḥ (that) brāhmaṇaḥ (brahmin)  tritīyena (by the third) dhūrtena (by the rogue) uktaḥ (said)| bho brāhmaṇa (O brahmin!) | kim (why) iti (thus) kukkuraṃ (dog)  skandhena (shoulder)  bhavān (sir) vahati (carrying)| tat (that) ākarṇya (having heard) niścitam eva (surely)  ayaṃ (this) kukkura (dog) iti (thus) matvā (having thought) chāgaṃ (goat)  tyaktvā  (having discarded) snātvā (having bathed) svagr̥haṃ (own house)  yayau (went) | saḥ (that) chāgaḥ (goat) taiḥ (by those) dhūrtaiḥ (rogues) nītvā  (having carried off) bhakṣitaḥ (was eaten) | ataḥ (therfore) ahaṃ (I)  bravīmi (say) |

  • ātmaupamyena (by comparing to oneself) yo (who) vetti (knows) durjanaṃ (evil person) satyavādinam (truthful)  |
  • sa (he) tathā (the) vañcyate (is cheated ) dhurtaiḥ (by the rogues) brāhmaṇaḥ (the brahmin) chāgataḥ (in the matter of the goat) yathā (like)||

The meaning is

There was in the Gautama forest a Brahmin who had a sacrifice ongoing. He bought a goat for the sacrifice from the village and carrying it on his shoulder was going (to his house) when he was observed by three rogues. The rogues thought that that it will be a nice trick if they were able to take the goat away from the Brahmin and eat it. So they settled down under trees and waited (separately at a distance of a kos from each other) on the road the Brahmin was going by. Then first rogue told the Brahmin, “O Brahmin! Why are you carrying this dog on your shoulder?”. The Brahmin said, “This is not a dog. It is a goat for the sacrifice.” Afterwards, the second rogue standing a kos distance away said the same thing. Hearing this the Brahmin set his goat down on the road and looked at it again and again (just to make sure it is not a dog!) and then put it back on his shoulder and went on his way with doubt in his mind. Afterwards, the third rogue asked him, “Why is the gentleman carrying a dog on his shoulder?” Hearing this, the Brahmin decided that this is surely a dog and discarded the goat, had a bath and went home. The three rogues carried off the goat and ate it. Therefore I say,

“He who thinks that an evil person is truthful like himself, is cheated like the Brahmin in the story concerning the goat.”

This is the end of Lesson 18.

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