[INDOLOGY] pandits as donkeys

Diwakar ACHARYA diwakar.acharya at bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Wed Mar 16 22:37:34 UTC 2016

Dear Ram-Prasad ji,

This comparison of pundits just carrying sacred texts without knowing their meaning/value is attested in a very old floating verse cited already in the Suśruta Saṃhitā. While teaching in Kathmandu we had a student who memorized everything without caring for the meaning, and we used to call him Mr. Candanabharavāhin. He was happy with his nickname and had memorized this verse, too. Of course, without caring what it meant. Here is the SS passage:
1.4.3 adhigatamapyadhyayanamaprabhāṣitamarthataḥ kharasya candanabhāra iva kevalaṃ pariśramakaraṃ bhavati ||
1.4.4 bhavati cātra |
1.4.4ab yathā kharaścandanabhāravāhī bhārasya vettā na tu candanasya |
1.4.4cd evaṃ hi śāstrāṇi baḥūnyadhītya cārtheṣu mūḍhāḥ kharavadvahanti ||


----- Original Message -----
>> From: Ram-Prasad, Chakravarthi <c.ram-prasad at lancaster.ac.uk>
>> To: "indology at list.indology.info" <indology at list.indology.info>
>> Date: 2016-03-17 06:48:04
>> Subject: [INDOLOGY] pandits as donkeys
>> Hello,
>> Can anyone please give the/a reference for the saying which goes roughly that pandits knowing sacred texts are like donkeys carrying sandalwood?
>> Thanks
>> Ram-Prasad
>> iPhone
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Dr. Diwakar N. Acharya
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Letters
Kyoto University
Yoshida Honmachi, Sakyo-ku
Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
Tel.: +81 75 753 2803 (office)
        +81 774 32 3366 (home)

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