Dhanapala - Great Indian scholar from the 11th century

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Bhoja, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Bhoja

    Bhoja Regular Member

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    Dhanapala was an Indian scholar who lived in the late 10th and early 11th century. He became famous
    for several works. He spent one part of his life at the court of the great Indian king Bhoj of Malwa who was
    probably the greatest ruler of the Paramara Dynasty. Under the influence of Dhanapala king Bhoj gave
    up hunting.
    Once when king Bhoj went out for hunting in the company of Dhanapala king Bhoj pierced a deer
    with an arrow and looked at the face of Dhanapala, expecting an appropriate sloka of
    praise from him for his skill as a hunter. But Dhanapala only said this:
    "Your valor in hunting deserves a place in the region of hell.
    Its evil as policy, he who takes refuge is always held guiltless;
    That the weak one is slain by the mighty is always a matter of sorrow.
    Oh woe worth the day when this happens. It shows that the world is kingless."
    King Bhoj asked the poet to explain what he meant.
    Dhanapala answered: "Even foes who take grass in their mouths are reprieved
    from sentence of death. Can you slay these most innocent beasts who have always
    green grass in their mouths? Then a great pity rose in the heart of the king and he
    resolved to break his bow and renounce the sinful habit of hunting for the term of his
    natural life.
    Dhanapala was also instrumental in making king Bhoj to give up the practice of sacrificing
    animals for the propitiation of gods.
    Once king Bhoj, while in the company of Dhanapala, heard the bleating of a goat which
    was fastened to a yupa (sacrificial post) in the Yajnasala (shed for sacrifice).
    King Bhoj asked the poet Dhanapala: "What does the animal say"
    Dhanapala replied: "It is entreating not to be slain". It says:" I am not desirous of
    enjoying the fruits of heaven, I never asked you for them, I am always satisfied
    with eating grass, this conduct does not become you, holy man. If the living
    creatures sacrificed by you go to heaven, why do you not offer sacrifice of your mother and father."
    Dhanapala added by way of hitting the hail on the head: " If one goes to heaven
    by erecting sacrificial post, slaying beasts and shedding blood, by doing
    what does on go to hell.
    Truth is my sacrificial post, penance is my fire, deeds are my fuel."

    Reference: Dhanapāla and His Times: A Socio-cultural Study Based Upon His Works
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
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