न तु प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तमाराधायेत्

In the earlier post, we considered the first shloka in the category, “अज्ञ-पध्दति” (the way of the ignorant). 

Here are the next two verses. These verses are very lyrical and  Bhartrihari has given some interesting and graphic examples to make his point!

It is easy to explain something to an ignorant person, and even easier to explain something to a learned one.

But it is very difficult to explain anything to someone who is wilfully ignorant .






.प्रसह्य मणिमुद्धरेन्मकरवक्रदंष्ट्राकुरात्

समुद्रमपि संतरेत्प्रचलदूर्मिमालाकुलम् l

भुजंगमपि कोपितं शिरसी पुष्पवद्धारयेत्

न तु प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तमाराधायेत् ll

 (Perhaps) it would be possible (प्रसह्य),    to wrest (उद्धरेत्)   a jewel (मणिम्) from the jaws of a crocodile (मकरवक्रदंष्ट्राकुरात् ),

It would even (अपि) be possible to cross (संतरेत्)  the ocean (समुद्रम्) when it is agitated (प्रचलद्) by a series of (माला) rolling waves (उर्मि),

It would even (अपि) be feasible to keep (धारयेत्) an angry (कोपितं) serpent (भुजंगम्) on one’s head (शिरसी) as one would place a flower (पुष्पवद्),

(But) it would be impossible (न तु) for anyone to explain something to a wilfully foolish person so that he is satisfied (प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तम्  आराधायेत्).

The next shloka is just as engaging as the earlier one!

लभेत सिकतासु तैलमपि यत्नतः पीडयन्
(Maybe it would be possible to obtain oil by grinding grains of sand),
पिबेच्च मृगतृष्णिकासु सलिलं पिपासार्दितः l
(A thirsty person could drink water from a mirage and satisfy his thirst),

कदाचिदपि पर्यटञ्शशविषाणमासाधयेत्
(It would even be easy to find the horn of a hare after searching for a while),
न तु प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तमाराधायेत् ll
(But it would be impossible for anyone to explain something to a wilfully foolish person so that he is satisfied).

An obstinately foolish person walks around with blinkers on his eyes. He is determined not to see things from the viewpoint of any one else. He is sure that only he is correct and all others are wrong.

And nothing will convince him otherwise!



  1. Ah, how well Bhartrihari has described the ignoramuses of our times who are battling it out in the numerous TV studios! 🙂 Though there must have been wilful ignoramuses at the time of Bhartrihari too, I am sure they were more amenable to looking at other viewpoints than those of our times, don’t you agree?


    1. Nowadays it is very easy to see that one’s opinions reach a very large audience- thanks to these news channel debates.
      Perhaps that is why these people with their half-baked views seem to be always ‘in our face’, so to say.
      And yes, they do seem to be very stuck on their own opinions, don’t they?😐


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