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 Story 1

The first story


 Introduction

Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka, once again. This is the first document containing the first story in Sanskrit. This story was extracted from the celebrated Pañcatantra (an ancient writing in Sanskrit). It is, of course, an espiritually-oriented tale with a final moral. Pañcatantra is not related to the Tantra-s (See Tantricism in Trika section) as you might think. Not at all. It is simply a book full of uplifting tales and stories with morals. Even though it might seem to be intended only for children, the examples and teachings exhibited are useful for everybody.

My interest in telling you stories is not only for you to learn how to lead your life suitably and the like, but for you to learn Sanskrit. The Sanskrit style of Pañcatantra is correct, but rather old. For example, there are conjugations in Perfect Tense (Remote Past), which is generally used in old scriptures (e.g. Purāṇa-s). Thus, you will face now a different kind of Sanskrit, which will enrich your knowledge of this language. Besides, I have mostly attempted to translate literally as much as possible at the cost of losing a little clarity (e.g. to use sometimes the Passive Voice to show how the sentence is formed and the verbs are conjugated, instead of the Active Voice, which is much more easy to understand). Again, I have respected the Sanskrit paragraphs situated between | (short pauses) at the cost of getting many short paragraphs in English. In short, I have tried to translate all as faithfully as possible so that you may understand how the Sanskrit sentence is structured. Of course, I will be using these translations as examples in Translating documents, which deals with "how to translate Sanskrit texts".

However, I will be including something new: "a running translation", which will be much easier to read as I will not be translating "to the letter" but in a free way. Moreover, the paragraphs will be larger than those ones implemented by the author of the story. Thus, you will be able to enjoy the tale in a better manner. Even though a free translation is not indispensable as far as translations of formal scriptures containing no stories is concerned, it is vital when you have to read informal tales and stories, I think.

Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.

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 Story and formal translation

कस्मिंश्चिन्नगरे कश्चित्स्वभावकृपणो नाम ब्राह्मणः प्रतिवसति स्म। तस्य भिक्षार्जितैः सक्तुभिर्भुक्तोर्वरितैर्घटः परिपूरितः। तं च घटं नागदन्तेऽवलम्ब्य तस्याधस्तात्खट्वां निधाय सततमेकदृष्ट्या तमवलोकयति। अथ कदाचिद्रात्रौ सुप्तश्चिन्तयामास यत् परिपूर्णोऽयं घटस्तावत्सक्तुभिर्वर्तते तद्यदि दुर्भिक्षं भवति तदनेन रूपकाणां शतमुत्पद्यते। ततस्तेन मयाजाद्वयं ग्रहीतव्यं। ततः षण्मासिकप्रसववशात्ताभ्यां यूथं भविष्यति। ततोऽजाभिः प्रभूता गा ग्रहीष्यामि गोभिर्महिषीर्महिषीभिर्वडवाः। वडवाप्रसवतः प्रभूता अश्वा भविष्यन्ति। तेषां विक्रयात्प्रभूतं सुवर्णं भविष्यति। सुवर्णेन चतुःशालं गृहं सम्पद्यते ततः कश्चिद्ब्राह्मणो मम गृहमागत्य प्राप्तवयस्कां रूपाढ्यां कन्यां दास्यति। तत्सकाशात्पुत्रो मे भविष्यति। तस्याहं सोमशर्मेति नाम करिष्यामि। तत्तस्मिञ्जानुचलनयोग्ये सञ्जातेऽहं पुस्तकं गृहीत्वाश्वशालायाः पृष्ठदेश उपविष्टस्तदवधारयिष्यामि। अत्रान्तरे सोमशर्मा मां दृष्ट्वा जनन्युत्सङ्गाज्जानुप्रचलनपरोऽश्वखुरासन्नवर्ती मत्समीपमागमिष्यति। ततोऽहं ब्राह्मणीं कोपाविष्टोऽभिधास्यामि गृहाण तावद्बालकम्। सापि गृहकर्मव्यग्रतयास्मद्वचनं न श्रोष्यति। ततोऽहं समुत्थाय तां पादप्रहारेण ताडयिष्यामि। एवं तेन ध्यानस्थितेन तथैव पादप्रहारो दत्तो यथा स घटो भग्नः। सक्तुभिः पाण्डुरतां गतः॥

Kasmiṁścinnagare kaścitsvabhāvakripaṇo nāma brāhmaṇaḥ prativasati sma| Tasya bhikṣārjitaiḥ saktubhirbhuktorvaritairghaṭaḥ paripūritaḥ| Taṁ ca ghaṭaṁ nāgadante'valambya tasyādhastātkhaṭvāṁ nidhāya satatamekadṛṣṭyā tamavalokayati| Atha kadācidrātrau suptaścintayāmāsa yat paripūrṇo'yaṁ ghaṭastāvatsaktubhirvartate tadyadi durbhikṣaṁ bhavati tadanena rūpakāṇāṁ śatamutpadyate| Tatastena mayājādvayaṁ grahītavyam| Tataḥ ṣaṇmāsikaprasavavaśāttābhyāṁ yūthaṁ bhaviṣyati| Tato'jābhiḥ prabhūtā gā grahīṣyāmi gobhirmahiṣīrmahiṣībhirvaḍavāḥ| Vaḍavāprasavataḥ prabhūtā aśvā bhaviṣyanti| Teṣām vikrayātprabhūtaṁ suvarṇaṁ bhaviṣyati| Suvarṇena catuḥśālaṁ gṛhaṁ sampadyate tataḥ kaścidbrāhmaṇo mama gṛhamāgatya prāptavayaskāṁ rūpāḍhyāṁ kanyāṁ dāsyati| Tatsakāśātputro me bhaviṣyati| Tasyāhaṁ somaśarmeti nāma kariṣyāmi| Tattasmiñjānucalanayogye sañjāte'haṁ pustakaṁ gṛhītvāśvaśālāyāḥ pṛṣṭhadeśa upaviṣṭastadavadhārayiṣyāmi| Atrāntare somaśarmā māṁ dṛṣṭvā jananyutsaṅgājjānupracalanaparo'śvakhurāsannavartī matsamīpamāgamiṣyati| Tato'haṁ brāhmaṇīṁ kopāviṣṭo'bhidhāsyāmi gṛhāṇa tāvadbālakam| Sāpi gṛhakarmavyagratayāsmadvacanaṁ na śroṣyati| Tato'haṁ samutthāya tāṁ pādaprahāreṇa tāḍayiṣyāmi| Evaṁ tena dhyānasthitena tathaiva pādaprahāro datto yathā sa ghaṭo bhagnaḥ| Saktubhiḥ pāṇḍuratāṁ gataḥ||

Pañcatantra 5, 9


In a certain (kasmin-cid) city --nagara-- (nagare), lived (prativasati sma1) a brāhmaṇa2 (kaścit... brāhmaṇaḥ) whose name (nāma) (was) Svabhāvakṛpaṇa (svabhāvakṛpaṇaḥ)|

His (tasya) pot (ghaṭaḥ) (had been) filled up (paripūritaḥ) with the leftovers (bhuktaḥ urvaritaiḥ) of groats3 --saktu(s)-- (saktubhiḥ) (that he had) gotten by begging (bhikṣā-arjitaiḥ)|

Then (ca), after having hanged (avalambya) that (tam) pot (ghaṭaḥ) in the fang (danta) of a snake (nāga) --serving as a kind of nail-- (and) placed (nidhāya) (his) bed (khaṭvām) below (adhastāt) it --i.e. below the pot-- (tasya), he stared (ekadṛṣṭyā... avalokayati)4 it (tam) uninterruptedly (satatam)|

Now (atha), a certain (kadācid) night --rātri-- (rātrau), (while) lain down to sleep (suptaḥ), he reflected (cintayāmāsa) in this way (yad): "Meanwhile (tāvat), this (ayam) pot (ghaṭaḥ) is (vartate) completely full (paripūrṇaḥ) of groats (saktubhiḥ)|5

Therefore (tad), if (yadi) a famine (durbhikṣam) happens to occur (bhavati), then (tad), with this --i.e. by selling the pot with groats-- (anena), one hundred (śatam) rupees --rūpaka(s)-- (rūpakāṇām) (would) be obtained (by me) (utpadyate)|

Afterward (tatas), with that (money) (tena), I (will) have to buy (mayā... grahītavyam) two (dvayam) she-goats (ājā)|

Later (tatas), since (vaśāt) there is a parturition (prasava) happening every six months (ṣaṭ-māsika), a herd (yūtham) will be formed (bhaviṣyati) from those two (she-goats) (tābhyām)|

After that (tatas), with the (sale of the) goats (ajābhiḥ), I will purchase (grahīṣyāmi) numerous (prabhūtāḥ) cows (gāḥ). With the (sale of the) cows (gobhiḥ) (I will buy) female buffaloes (mahiṣīḥ), (and) with (the sale of the) female buffaloes (mahiṣībhiḥ) (I will buy) mares (vaḍavāḥ)|

From the parturition(s) (prasavataḥ) by (those) mares (vaḍavā), numerous (prabhūtāḥ) horses (aśvāḥ) will be (born) (bhaviṣyanti)|

From the sale (vikrayāt) of those (horses) (teṣām), plenty (prabhūtam) of gold (suvarṇam) will appear (bhaviṣyati)|

With (that) gold (suvarṇena), a house (gṛham) having four (catur) halls (śālam) (will) be obtained (by me) (sampadyate)6. Afterward (tatas), a certain (kaścid) brāhmaṇa7 (brāhmaṇaḥ), after having come (āgatya) to my (mama) house (gṛham), will give (me) (citta) (his) daughter in marriage (kanyām dāsyati), who is middle-aged (prāpta-vayaskām), wealthy (āḍhyām) (and) possessed of a handsome figure (rūpa)|

From (sakāśāt) her (tad), my (me) son (putraḥ) will be (born) (bhaviṣyati)|

I (aham) will name (nāma kariṣyāmi) him (tasya) 'Somaśarmā' (somaśarmā iti)|

Consequently (tad), when he --i.e. his son-- (tasmin) grows (sañjāte) (and) is capable (yogye) of balancing (calana) on (my) knees (jānu), then (tad) I (aham), having taken (gṛhītvā) a book (pustakam) (and) seated (upaviṣṭaḥ) at the rear (pṛṣṭha-deśe) of the stable for horses (aśva-śālāyāḥ), will reflect (avadhārayiṣyāmi)|

In the meantime (atrāntare), Somaśarmā (somaśarmā), seeing (dṛṣṭvā) me (mām) from the lap (utsaṅgāt) of (his) mother (jananī), will come near (samīpam āgamiṣyati) me (mat) with the intention (paraḥ) of balancing (pracalana) on (my) knees (jānu), (but in doing so, he will also) come close (āsannavartī) (dangerously) to the horses' hoofs (aśva-khura)|

For that reason (tatas), I (aham), (really) angry (kopāviṣṭaḥ), will tell (abhidhāsyāmi) the brāhmaṇī --lit. "a brāhmaṇa's wife", i.e. his wife-- (brāhmanīm): 'Seize (gṛhāṇa) the child (bālakam) at once (tāvat)'|

Still (api), because of being occupied (vyagratayā) in household (gṛha) chores (karma), she (sā) will not listen (na śroṣyati) my (mat) command (vacanam)|

So (tatas), having risen (samutthāya), I will kick (pāda-prahāreṇa tāḍayiṣyāmi) her (tām)"|

Thus (evam), a kick (pāda-prahāraḥ) (was) given (dattaḥ) by that (brāhmaṇa) (tena) while pondering (dhyāna-sthitena), exactly (as he was mentally doing) (tathā eva). As a result (yathā), the pot (saḥ ghaṭaḥ) (got) broken (bhagnaḥ)|

(The brāhmaṇa) turned white (pāṇḍuratām gataḥ) because of the groats (saktubhiḥ) (that fell on him)||

1 The particle "sma" is used here in connection with a Present Tense (prativasati or "he lives") to transform it into a Past Tense ("he lived"). This use of "sma" is rather old, as it can also be found in the vedic Brāhmaṇa-s.
2 One belonging to the first caste out of the traditional four ones. He is generally a priest.
3 Coarsely-ground peeled barley (after soaking).
4 Despite "ekadṛṣṭyā... avalokayati" literally means "he stares" (Present Tense), I am translating it in the Past Tense ("he stared") to be consistent with the previous sentences. In short, it is as if the particle "sma" would be here again.
5 Even though there is a short pause indicated by "|", the paragraph containing the reflection of Svabhāvakṛpaṇa continues below. The same thing will occur in the following paragraphs, except in the two final ones.
6 Yes, the use of the Passive Voice might sound strange. However, I always try to translate all "to the letter" so that you can see how the sentence is being actually formed. Thus, in Active Voice would read: "With that gold, I will obtain a house having four halls".
7 See 2.

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 Free translation of the story

In a certain city, lived a brāhmaṇa whose name was Svabhāvakṛpaṇa. He had filled up his pot with the leftovers of groats he got by begging. Then, he hanged that pot in the fang of a snake, placed his bed below it and stared it uninterruptedly.

Now, a certain night, while lain down to sleep, he reflected in this way:

"Meanwhile, this pot is completely full of groats. Therefore, if a famine happens to occur, then, by selling this pot with groats I will get one hundred rupees. Afterward, with that money, I will have to buy two she-goats. Later, since the she-goats bring forth every six months, a herd will be formed from those two she-goats.

After that, with the sale of the goats, I will purchase numerous cows. With the sale of the cows, I will buy female buffaloes, and with the sale of the female buffaloes I will buy mares. From the parturitions by those mares, numerous horses will be born. From the sale of those horses, I will receive plenty of gold. With that gold, I will buy a house having four halls. Afterward, a certain brāhmaṇa, after having come to my house, will give me his middle-aged, wealthy and handsome-bodied daughter in marriage. My son will be born from her. I will name him 'Somaśarmā'.

Consequently, when my son grows and is capable of balancing on my knees, then, I will take a book and go to the rear of the stable for horses. There, I will seat and reflect. In the meantime, Somaśarmā, seeing me from the lap of his mother, will want to come near me with the intention of balancing on my knees, but in doing so, he will also come dangerously close to the horses' hoofs. For that reason, I, really affected by anger, will tell my wife: 'Seize that child at once'. Still, because of her being occupied in household chores, she will not listen to my command. So, I will rise and kick her".

Thus, while pondering, that brāhmaṇa gave a real kick exactly as he was mentally doing. As a result, the pot got broken, and he turned white due to the groats that fell on him.

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 Concluding remarks

Well, the moral is that you should not have too many "mental" projects lest you also turn white with the groats, hehe.

Besides, the history also recommends that you never should kick a lady... no, this is not the moral, I am kidding.

This tale contains some interesting things such as the particle "sma". This word was anciently used (Vedic Brāhmaṇa-s, etc.) as a simple way to have a sentence in Past Tense, without conjugating the verb in that Tense. Thus, the verb is firstly conjugated in the Present Tense, and then, with the addition of "sma", all becomes Past Tense. For example: "prativasati sma" ("he/she/it lived", "he" in the story, of course). The verb "prativas" (to live) is firstly conjugated in the Present Tense, 3rd Person singular (prativasati), and then you add "sma" to turn all into Past Tense.

Besides, there is a verb being conjugated in the Perfect Tense (remote Past Tense), which was mostly used in such ancient scriptures as the Vedic Purāṇa-s. The word is "cintayāmāsa" ("he/she/it reflected... a long time ago" or "I reflected... a long time ago"; the pronoun "he" is chosen in the story, of course) occurring right before the description of the brāhmaṇa's mental project:

Now (atha), a certain (kadācid) night --rātri-- (rātrau), (while) lain down to sleep (suptaḥ), he reflected (cintayāmāsa) in this way (yad): "Meanwhile (tāvat)...

How is it formed? Listen to my explanation:

The root is "cint" (to reflect, think, etc.) and belongs to the Gaṇa or House 10. Now you have to form the base by following the general and special rules I taught you in Verbs (2) (English). Therefore, the base is "cintay". Good! There are two kinds of Perfect Tense: Reduplicative and Periphrastic. I want to form the Periphrastic Perfect of "cint". The rules to form that type of Perfect Tense tell me that I must first add "ām" to the base:

cintay + ām = cintayām

After that, I have to add the reduplicated forms (Reduplicative Perfect Tense) of the roots "as" (to be), "bhū" (to become) or "kṛ" (to do). The reduplicated forms for these roots are the following (only 3rd Person singular, obviously)... believe me, please: "āsa" (he/she/it was... a long time ago), "babhūva" (he/she/it became... a long time ago) and "cakāra/cakre" --only Parasmaipada in this case, that is, "cakāra", because "cint" conjugates in Parasmaipadā alone in prose, although it might be metrically conjugated in Ātmanepada... but, do not worry about this as it is only for the sake of information-- (he/she/it did... a long time ago). Well, the author used "āsa". So,

cintayām + āsa = cintayāmāsa

However, if he would have used "babhūva" or "cakāra", the conjugated verb would read:

"cintayāmbabhūva" or "cintayāñcakāra"

Of course, there are many other rules to keep in mind when conjugating in the Periphrastic Perfect Tense, but this root has been, fortunately, a simple one to handle. Do you want some difficult examples now?... No, my God. Just kidding. Enough of this complexities.

Read stories in Sanskrit, learn Sanskrit in the process and be immensely happy. See you in the next story.

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 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

For further information about Sanskrit, Yoga and Indian Philosophy; or if you simply want to comment, ask a question or correct a mistake, feel free to contact us: This is our e-mail address.