Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The coconut and berry people - नारीकेलसमाकारा

It is a general complain these days, that good people are not seen much. Kind of a lost breed. Scriptures maintain that humans have not evolved but degraded, with four quarters of good (sattva सत्त्व, dharma धर्म) in the first era of satya-yuga (सत्य-युग), then three quarters of dharma and good in tretA-yuga (त्रेता-युग), only two quarters in dwApara-yuga (द्वापर-युग). Now in kali-yuga (कलि-युग), we have only one quarter of goodness left.

No wonder we have all sorts of troubles in this yuga (युग), of increased speed of creation and consumption, but a very slow speed of satisfaction.

The essence of this, of decent people, of ladies and gentlemen as opposed to the wolf and the witch, is very nicely caught in an example from nature. This also shows that the problem of finding good people is not new! From Hitopadesha -

नारीकेलसमाकारा दृश्यन्तेऽपि हि सज्जनाः ।
अन्ये बदरिकाकारा बहिरेव मनोहराः ॥

nArIkela-samAkAra dRishyante'pi hi sajjanAH |
anye badarikAkArA bahireva manoharAH ||

good people are like coconuts and sometimes are [even] seen.
others are like berry, and enchanting from outside only.

What does it all mean?

Good people are like coconuts - hard from outside, soft and sweet from inside and are sometimes seen (rarely seen). There is a wonderful verse in Hindi on guru -
गुरु कुम्हार शिस कुम्भ है, गढ़ि-गढ़ि काढ़े खोट
अंदर हाथ सहाय दे, बाहर बाहे/मारे चोट
i.e. guru is a potter, disciple a pot, [guru] incessantly removes [deep set] flaws.
he supports from inside, but strikes outside.

Even the scolding of good people is only for your own good. They personally have no agenda, they may not even run to befriend you, but they wish well to all.

And others [bad people] are like berries - soft from outside, hard from inside and found everywhere. There are so many verses on evil minded people and to be careful of them, that one is surprised about either no one was paying heed and the advice had to repeated, or that evil intentioned people have always been a lot more. And the cause of most of this 'evil' is selfishness, pride, false attachment, ego.

Simple observation, great truths.

like it? then become a fan of the blog. please rate the post as well.
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below

and now the language aspects of the shloka -

nArIkela = coconut
samAkAraH = those with similar, same shape
sama + AkAra = same shape
AkArAH = plural

dRishyante'pi = dRishyante + api = also seen
that is they are sometimes seen as well, not totally un-found, i.e. are scarce.

hi = for emphasis

sajjanAH = good people
sat + jana = good + person = good person
sajjanAH = plural
t of sat becomes j of jana due to sandhi rules

anye = others

badarikAkArA = those that are berry shaped
badarikA = berry
AkArAH = shaped

bahireva = bahiH + eva = from outside only

manoharAH = enchanting
manaH + hara = manohara
manohArAH = plural

like it? then become a fan of the blog. please rate the post as well.
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below

(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.


  1. Very Good, I request you to start movement that there should be one subjest of SUBHASHIT in syllabus of first year of every collage and each faculty to built up Good Nation

    Dr.Dinesh Pandya.
    Bridgewater,NJ USA
    908 305 9105

  2. It is said that wide is the gate that leads to destruction, many crowd it; narrow is the gate leading to life, few find it. A ready harvest but few workers. Mary, Texas

  3. AkArah here can be taken as the quality rather than the appearance. sajjanAh, though they may appear for outward appearance and behavior look like ordinary people, their wisdom and knowledge lie deep in their inner self. This fact is compared to coconut it seems to me.


Please do add your name and place, after the comment.