Darpa Dalana: Money, Money, Money

In the course of a long lecture delivered by a noble-hearted wife to her miserly husband in the Darpa Dalana‘s second chapter on wealth, this verse stands out as particularly relevant to our times:

प्रभूतलाभलोभेन प्रयुक्तार्थस्य सर्वतः

भूर्जदृष्टेन तुष्टस्य नष्टबुद्धेर्धनेन किम् ४४

‘What is it for one who has

lost his mind, spent all his money

out of greed for some great profit,

and now just has a piece of paper

for his satisfaction?’

The miser soon dies – due to lack of medical attention (he didn’t want to waste money) – and Kemendra takes a wicked pleasure in describing him reborn as a unfortunate wretch:

अन्धः कुब्जः कृशः खञ्जः कुष्ठी स्थूलगलग्रहः

समूह इव दुःखानां तस्यास्तनयोऽभवत् ७७

A catalogue of miseries, he was a blind, scrawny, leprous, lame dwarf with a fat growth on his neck.

This boy ironically tries to beg from the deceased miser’s house and is beaten away from the door at the instruction of Candana, the miser’s son. Buddha then arrives to put him out of his misery, and offer Candana, and us, some salutary advice:

दत्तं वित्तं करुणानिमित्तं लोभप्रवृत्तं कृतमेव चित्तम्

यैः सञ्चयोत्साहरसैः प्रनृत्तं शोचन्ति ते पातकमात्मवृत्तम् १११

‘Those who immerse their mind in greed,

do not share their wealth, have no compassion,

are only moved by making money

at which they dance joyfully –

they come to regret their lives as downfall beckons.’


This is the second post in the series on the Darpa Dalana. To learn more about the Rasāla edition, and/or to purchase a copy of the print or eBook please click here. To read the previous posts, please click here.

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