Trying to Sweeten the Ocean with a Single Drop of Honey.

In this next shloka in the category, “अज्ञ-पध्दति” (the way of the ignorant), Bhartrihari has continued the explanation of the earlier verses.

He tells us that is impossible to make a (wilfully) foolish person change his mind, so obstinate is such a person.

To stress the point he wants to make, Bhartrihari has given three colourful examples of impossible events, and states that changing the thinking of a foolish person is just as hopeless to attain.

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व्यालं बालमृणालतन्तुभिरसौ रोद्धुं समुज्जृम्भते
छेत्तुं वज्रमणिं शिरीषकुसुमप्रान्तेन सन्नह्यते l
माधुर्यं मधुबिन्दुना रचयितुं क्षाराम्बुधेरीहते 
मूर्खान्यः प्रतिनेतुमिच्छति बलात् सूक्तैः सुधास्यन्दिभिःll

He who (यः) forcefully (बलात्tries to change the thinking  (प्रतिनेतुमिच्छति) of a foolish person(मूर्खान्) with (the help of) verses (सूक्तैः) which are sweet as nectar (सुधास्यन्दिभिः),

truly tries to contain a (रोद्धुं समुज्जृम्भते) frenzied elephant (व्यालं) with the tender threads of a lotus (बालमृणालतन्तुभिः),

(or) tries to break (छेत्तुं सन्नह्यते) a diamond (वज्रमणिं) with the petal (प्रान्त) (point) of the (delicate) Shirish flower (शिरीषकुसुम),

(or) tries to sweeten  (माधुर्यं रचयितुं) the salty ocean (क्षाराम्बुधि) with a (single) drop of honey (मधुबिन्दुना).

We see that Bhartrihari has managed to convey his thoughts in just a few lines.

And has composed a colourful verse, filled with dry humour, to do so!

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