Riddles (prahElikaah) in Sanskrit

Shikaripura Harihareswara hoysala at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Thu Dec 28 08:04:51 UTC 2000

--- Examples of Riddles in Sanskrit ---
This is in response to Sri Dmitri's question (quoted below):
1.  If you are looking for 'riddles' in Sanskrit, they are called
( 'prahElayati = abhipraayam sUchayati'; "vyakthIkRutya kamapyartham,
svarUpArthasya gOpanaat| yatra baahyaantaraavarthii, kathyatE sA
2.  And, one source for them is the book 'subhaashita-ratna-bhandaagaram'
(edited by Sri Narayana Raama Acharya, Chaukhamba Samskrita PratishThaana,
Delhi, 1991 Edition) which lists thirty nine (39) different Sanskrit
riddles , which are from various sources, in shloka format  (with answers)
on page 184 through 186.
3.  Also, one good example for riddles occurs in Rgveda:
"dvaa suparNaa sayujaa sakhaayaa, samaanam vRukSham pari ShasvajaatE|
thayOr anyah pippalam svaadvatti anashannan anyO abhi chaakashiiti|"
(Rgveda 1.164.20; atharva vEda 9.9.20; mundaka upanishat 3.1.1; nirukta
14.30; shEtashvatara upa. 4.6; etc)
4.  Please check Book iii  of 'kaavyaadarsha' of Dandin (7th Century) you
may get some examples of riddles there!
Good Luck!
Stockton, California.
Date:    Wed, 27 Dec 2000 20:01:52 +0000
From:    Dmitri <dmitris at PIPELINE.COM>
Subject: Re: sa.mkiir.naa -- any examples?

An example of such riddle is a Sphynx question:
"Who walks in the morning on four legs, in the afternoon on two and in the
evening on three?"

What I am looking for is an example of ancient (about 500 BCE) riddle in
Sanskrit (or any other language of ancient India), based on words having
several meanings and, if possible, on two ways of splitting an untterance
into words.

Is there such riddle, used in works on phylosophy, grammar, rhetoric?
I would appreciate a complete example.

Best regards, Dmitri.


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