Fools are Beasts without Tails- Bhartruhari and Valluvar agree! (Post No.5503)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 3 October 2018


Time uploaded in London –17-11  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5503


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.



Bhartruhari’s Niti Sataka 11,12,13,14


There are some stories to illustrate the points raised in Bhatruhari’s slokas/verses. I will give some stories from Tamil and Sanskrit books.


शक्यो वारयितुं जलेन हुतभुक्च्छत्रेण सूर्यातपो
नागेन्द्रो निशिताग्कुशेन समदो दण्डेन गोगर्दभौ ।
व्याधिर्भेषजसङ्ग्रहैश्च विविधैर्मन्त्रप्रयोगैर्विषं
सर्वस्यौषधम् अस्ति शास्त्रविहितं मूर्खस्य नस्त्यौषधिम् ॥ 1.11 ॥


11:Fire can be quenched by water

Heat of the sun can be kept off by an umbrella

A wild elephant can be guided by a sharp hook

An or an ass by stick

Sickness can be subdued by the help of doctors

Poison by the charms.

A cure has been ordained by the shastras/scriptures for everything

But there is no medicine for the cure of fools.


Kamban is a great Tamil poet who composed over 10,000 verses to sing the glory of Rama. He lived about 1000 years ago in Tamil Nadu. Now and the he had some quarrels with the Chola King.


Then he composed a verse saying ,


Look! your country is only 24 Katham (appr. a katham is 10 miles). Do you think that the rest of the earth is covered by sea? O Kolli Hill ruler! Haven’t I got any other place to go?


When Kamban’s son Ambikapathy was killed by the Chola king, In another verse he asks,

Is there a tree branch which wont entertain a monkey?


A learned person will be welcomed by all.


Nannan was a cruel and stupid king. Once a teenage girl picked a mango that was fallen on the ground in the royal garden. Immediately she was presented before the king and he passed  death sentence on her. The whole town came together in support of the girl and apologized to the king on her behalf. He was adamant. Then they promised him to give gold equal to the weight f the girl. but yet he insisted that she should be executed. All the Tamil poets cursed him that his generation wont be sung by any Tamil poet. This happened 2000 years ago.


The greatest of the Indian poets, Kalidasa also had quarrels and arguments with his contemporary, king Bhoja. when he migrated to other countries Bhoja begged him to return. he had to use various tricks o bring him back.

साक्षात्पशुः पुच्छविषाणहीनः ।
तृणं न खादन्नपि जीवमानस्
तद्भागधेयं परमं पशूनाम् ॥ 1.12 ॥


12, The man who has no sense of literature and music is like a beast, though he has not got horns and a tail; he may not eat grass, but yet he lives a life exactly like that of the cattle.


(The Mogul emperor Aurangzeb was a man who never liked music or literature; quite opposite to Akbar)


येषां न विद्या न तपो न दानं
ज्ञानं न शीलं न गुणो न धर्मः ।
ते मर्त्यलोके भुवि भारभूता
मनुष्यरूपेण मृगाश्चरन्ति ॥ 1.13 ॥


13.Those in whom is neither wisdom nor penance, nor liberality nor  knowledge, nor good disposition, nor virtue, nor righteousness may live in the world of mortals in the form of men, but pass through the world like beasts encumbering the earth.

वरं पर्वतदुर्गेषु
भ्रान्तं वनचरैः सह
न मूर्खजनसम्पर्कः
सुरेन्द्रभवनेष्वपि ॥ 1.14 ॥


14 it is better to wander in a mountain pass with the wild beasts than to live in the palace of the gods with a fool.


(There is a Tamil Verse: better live in forest infested with tigers than to live under a tyrant king)


शास्त्रोपस्कृतशब्दसुन्दरगिरः शिष्यप्रदेयागमा
विख्याताः कवयो वसन्ति विषये यस्य प्रभोर्निर्धनाः ।
तज्जाड्यं वसुधादिपस्य कवयस्त्वर्थं विनापीश्वराः
कुत्स्याः स्युः कुपरीक्षका हि मणयो यैरर्घतः पातिताः ॥ 1.15 ॥


If the learned and reputed poets, whose literary creations are worth learning and emulating by their disciples, are poor and wealthless in a kingdom, then the king himself must be stupid and insensitive! The wise and the learned are already great and famous even without any wealth. If an incompetent jeweller underestimates the value of a gem, then it is his fault and not of the gem.

Tamil poet Valluvar in the Tamil Veda Tirukkural says

Beasts are lower than men in the scale of creation; even so are fools before those who have delved deep in the mines of knowledge – Kural 410


Valluvar and Bhartruhari agree that ignorant people are like beasts.


In another couplet he says,


A deluded fool is shameless, aimless in life, unfeeling, languid. He does not safeguard anything- Kural 833


He also said,

In one brief birth a fool can gain

Enough hell for seven births of pain- Kural 835




Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 29 September 2018


Time uploaded in London – 12-31 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5488


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.


Bhartruhari’s Niti Sataka 7,8,9 & 10 and Tirukkural


Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar in Tamil Veda Tirukkural says,


Even a man of no learning (fool) may be considered wise

If he holds his tongue in gatherings of learned- Kural 403


The Bible says,

A fool’s mouth is his own destruction- Proverbs 18-7

Even a fool, when he holdeth his piece, is counted wise- Proverbs 17-28


Sanskrit poet Bhartruhari says in Niti Sataka,

Brahma gave the boon of silence to fools;
This silence is a lid over one’s ignorance;
In the midst of learned people this silence
Become s an ornament for the fools 1-7

स्वायत्तम् एकान्तगुणं विधात्रा
विनिर्मितं छादनम् अज्ञतायाः ।
विशेषा‌अतः सर्वविदां समाजे
विभूषणं मौनम् अपण्डितानाम् ॥ 1.7 ॥

Parallel verses in Tirukkural

Be modest, restrained; do not argue before learned elders.
This modestly excels all other virtues.
Kural 715

To utter blundering nonsense before the learned wise like is like a fall from the height of virtue -Kural 716



Mad Elephant

When I knew only a little, I was arrogant like an elephant;
At that time, I thought I knew everything;
When I gradually learnt something from the wise
I realised I was a fool.
And my false pride melted away like a fever. 1-8

यदा किञ्चिज्ज्ञो‌உहं द्विप इव मदान्धः समभवं
तदा सर्वज्ञो‌உस्मीत्यभवदवलिप्तं मम मनः
यदा किञ्चित्किञ्चिद्बुधजनसकाशादवगतं
तदा मूर्खो‌உस्मीति ज्वर इव मदो मे व्यपगतः ॥ 1.8 ॥
Tirukkural says
As one’s ignorance is discovered the more one learns, so does repeated intercourse with a well adorned female- Kural 1110

What is folly? It is the delusion which makes men say, we have wisdom -Kural 844


Ignorant Dog

A dog licks a dry, dirty and stinking bone with its own saliva 
Full of germs without any flesh, but he imagines that he is deriving a good taste. This dog will not care even if Indra standing near him
Similarly a mean- minded person follows his pursuits shamelessly 1-9

कृमिकुलचित्तं लालाक्लिन्नं विगन्धिजुगुप्सितं
निरुपमरसं प्रीत्या खादन्नरास्थि निरामिषम् ।
सुरपतिम् अपि श्वा पार्श्वस्थं विलोक्य न शङ्कते
न हि गणयति क्षुद्रो जन्तुः परिग्रहफल्गुताम् ॥ 1.9 ॥


The pretensions of a fool to the learning that he does not possess begets doubts even about the false less learning that he does possess 
Kural 845

Petty minded fools cover their nakedness with a cloth; but they do not cover their glaring faults.
Kural 846



The River Ganga falls from the heavens on the head of Lord Shiva 
And then falls on the mountains and then on the earth.
Therefore Ganga goes further down to get immersed in the sea.

By thus descending, Ganga goes further and further downwards until she gets lost in the sea.Similarly any person who lose s his power of discretion has a continuous downfall in a hundred ways 1-10


शिरः शार्वं स्वर्गात्पशुपतिशिरस्तः क्षितिधरं
म्हीध्रादुत्तुङ्गादवनिम् अवनेश्चापि जलधिम् ।
अधो‌உधो गङ्गेयं पदम् उपगता स्तोकम्
अथवाविवेकभ्रष्टानां भवति विनिपातः शतमुखः ॥ 1.10 ॥


Tiruvalluvar in Tamil Veda Tirukkural says,

It is the hall-mark of wisdom to concentrate on the wise and the good

Instead of letting the mind wander aimlessly everywhere – Kural 422


Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says,

Like a lamp, in a spot sheltered from the wind, does not flicker, this mind that is restrained by concentration on the good, is steadfast (BG 6-18)


XXX subham xxx