NEETI SHATAKAM OF BHARTHRUHARI
QUOTES FROM SUBHAASHITA TRISHATEE OF RAJA BHARTRIHARI
The great philosopher-poet, Bharthruhari, was the King of Ujjain. He was the elder step brother of the renowned Vikramaaditya. His life presents to us a living account of a person’s transformation from a pleasure-loving king to an ascetic. It was he who gave us the immortal Subhashita Trishati consisting the trilogy of Neeti Sataka, Sringara Sataka and Vairagya Sataka which truly reflect his life expeiences as a king, as a lover and as an ascetic.
Students of Sanskrit are sure to have read selections from Subhashita Trishati which encompasses almost every experience known to man and pours them forth in beautiful poetry. It provides philosophy to those interested in it. It teaches morality to those who would like to lead a moral life. It has some thing in it for every one who delves into its pages. Like he has described fools in this shloka –
Criticism of fools (moorkhanindaa)
सुखतरमाराध्य्ते विशेषज्ञ: ।
ब्रह्मापि नरं न रंजयति ॥
Ajjnah sukhamaaraadhyah sukhataramaaraadhyate visheshajjnah
Jnaanalavadurvidagdham brahmaapi naram na ranjayati 1.2
The ignorant one is easily convinced. It is easier to convince a really knowledgeable person. But even the Creator himself will not be able to convince a fool who, with his half-baked knowledge, thinks that he is the wisest person in the world.
Reading this quote is in itself not sufficient, rather we should do some introspection. It exhorts us to ask few questions like
Do we argue even when we know that our knowledge is half baked?
Do we consider ourselves to be more wise than we actually are?