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Saturday, 19 December 2009

An Interesting Story about a Sanskrit Poet

This is a story I have heard from my uncle about a Sanskrit poet (one version refers to the poet in the story as Bhasa and another as Bana Bhatta, so let us not get into who the poet actually was). I was discussing this story with a few of my colleagues recently and thought it is worthy to be blogged about.

So, this poet was writing a novel / mahakavya, which was going to take a long time, and he was getting old with failing health. He was half way through his work and felt that he might not be able to finish it in his lifetime. He wanted someone to finish the epic after his death, but he wanted that person to be worthy enough to do so. He knew both his sons were equally good at writing, so he thought of choosing one of them for the task. So, he called them both, and gave them a small test. He asked them to come up with a poetic sentence that could explain the following statement: "There is a dead tree in front of me".

The first son came forward and said, "शुष्कोवृक्षस्तिष्ठत्यग्रे", which, when expanded, becomes "शुष्कः वृक्षः तिष्ठति अग्रे". The second son, took some time, and came up with this: "नीरसतरुरिह पुरतो भाति", which is nothing but "नीरसः तरुः इह पुरतो भाति". The poet was pleased with the sentence the second son came up with, as he could put even the information regarding a dry tree in a more pleasant way. So, he chose his second son to complete his work.

1 comment:

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these Sanskrit books?