[INDOLOGY] Characteristics of Fools

rajam rajam at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 5 16:58:03 EST 2015


Interesting observation by Ashok Aklujkar, and thanks.

So … may I take it that the word “Mūrkha” or “muurkha” to render the meaning “fool?”

In Tamil we have a saying … “mūrkkaṉum mutalaiyum koṇṭatu viṭā” (“mūrkkaṉ and crocodile won’t let their catch go”) implying the stubbornness in both species (man and animal). 

So, “mūrkkaṉ” is a nominal form derived from  “Mūrkha” or “muurkha”???

Regards,
Rajam


> On Feb 5, 2015, at 5:30 AM, Ashok Aklujkar <ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> For a few general observations, please see the latter half of this email.
> 
> Dominik Wujastyk: "There's a copy in the British Library, listed in the printed catalogue of Marathi books."
> 
> Someone proficient in Telugu should also check if the text in the following is essentially the same or significantly different: 
> 
> Mūrkha śatakam [title not printed as a compound word]
> 
> Author:	Śrī Na Ca Rāmānujācāryulu
> Publisher:	Haidarābādu : Pratulaku, Cakravarti Pracuraṇalu, 1988.
> Edition/Format:	<icon-bks.gif> Book : TeluguView all editions and formats
> Database:	WorldCat
> 
> The same source lists the book as available at:
> 
> 1. University of California, NRLF 
> Northern Regional Library Facility
> Richmond, CA 94804 United States
> 
> 2. UC Berkeley Libraries 
> Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
> 
> 3. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System 
> Madison, WI 53706 United States
> 
> 4. University of Chicago Library 
> Chicago, IL 60637 United States
> 
> 5. University of Texas Libraries 
> University of Texas Libraries
> Austin, TX 78713 United States
> 
> 6. HathiTrust Digital Library 
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109 United States
> 
> A similar request to those who are proficient in Kannada:
> Saṭīka mūrkha śataka.
> 
> Author:	Timmappa Liṅgappa Hegaḍe
> Publisher:	Uḍupi : Śrī Madhvasiddhānta Granthālaya, 1925.
> Edition/Format:	<icon-bks.gif> Book : Kannada
> 
> Such texts, collecting the ways in which men can act foolishly, are  probably to be distinguished from the texts containing the stories of foolishness themselves. The Daasa-bodha of Sant Ram(a)da(a)s in Marathi, for example, has a Muurkha-lak.sa.na chapter, but it does not narrate any story that would serve as a background for a particular lak.s.a.na. 
> 
> The stories are sometimes summarized in short expressions, and the expressions alone are mentioned; e.g., pa.dhata-muurkha (in Marathi) would stand for an account of a learned (or superficially learned) fool, who takes the words of a text or speech literally (or too literally). 
> 
> Such summations become possible because the stories about fools are a part of Indian folklore (as they are of the folklores of several other countries). Most adults of the community know them. 
> 
> Occasionally, the stories are nasty and spread prejudice. 
> 
> (The shortest fool story I have heard in Canada is: "When the brightest man from New Foundland moved to Toronto, the average i.q. of both the places dropped drastically." I hope there are no newfies on this forum; if there are, they must be an exception by the very logic of the context; they will understand that, as a person very much given to historical accuracy, I cannot change what I heard. Also, since I am not a Torontonian (I hail from Khelm), I have nothing personal to gain in sharing the story. Nor am I known for telling or fabricating Sardarji jokes.)
> 
> The foolishness theme sometimes intersects with the themes of other stories populating Indian folklore; e.g., it is not uncommon to find in the stories a brahmin fool or a son-in-law fool. (Compare the depiction of a rich person or his son as a fool In western stories and t.v. comedies.) If the festival of Holi is only a day in some parts of India for dragging down the respectables of the society from their pedestal, the fool stories can be a 365-day festival toward a similar purpose. 
> 
> The genre of fools' stories is scattered over texts otherwise showing different pre-occupations; e.g., while the story of the three or four brahmins who resurrect a lion/tiger only to be killed by that lion/tiger is  found in the Pa;nca-tantra and Hitopade;sa recensions, it and similar stories are also found in various recasts of the  B.rhat-kathaa. The principal aim of these latter may not be to teach wisdom. They may not even contain the word muurkha or its synonyms. 
> 
> 
> a.a.
> 
> 
> 
>> On Feb 3, 2015, at 11:04 PM, Eli Franco <franco at uni-leipzig.de <mailto:franco at uni-leipzig.de>> wrote:
>> 
>> Would anyone be able to send me a scan of the following?
>> 
>> Murkhasataka. The Hundred Characteristics of Fools. Sanskrit
>> verses, with a translation by Janardana Hari Athalye. Ratnagiri, 1877.
> 
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