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Sanskrit Quote : Category :: Reasoning with a fool

लभेत सिकतासु तैलमपि यत्नत: पीडयन्

पिबेच्च मृगतृष्णिकासु सलिलं पिपासार्दित:|

कदाचिदपि पर्यटन् शशविषाणमासादयेत्

न तु प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तमाराधयेत्॥

English Translation of Sanskrit Quote:

One should crush the sands forcibly and extract oil;a thirsty person should drink water from a mirage; wandering ceaselessly, obtain a hare's horn; but one should never try to reason with a fool who is characterized by stubbornness."

English Commentary on Sanskrit Quote:

One or the other time in our life, we seem to meet a person whom we call a fool. Dealing with a fool can drive you to the height of exasperation. It seems to be next to impossible. Reasoning could work wonders when done with a man of left with even a little discrimination. He who is not left with an iota of reason, he who is unwilling to listen to the other person is better left for himself. It would be a futile exercise to convince him.

Trying to reason with a fool seems to the poet to be as impossible as these tasks listed above. We know that sands lack oil content in them and so no amount of effort can extract oil from them. Mirage is an illusion. Likewise, horns of a hare is a non entity. All these tasks seem easy when it comes to convincing a fool who is characterized by stubbornness.

I don't agree with some who interpret this verse as an advice of hard work. It is a tactic of the poet to drive home the point that working with a fool is futile. I think it is another way of putting the plain statement -मूर्खस्य नास्त्यौषधम्। -meaning there is no medicine to cure foolish persons since foolishness is characterised by an incurable stubbornness.

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