‘Intelligence differs from one man to the next,
And yet each is happy with his own insight—
Each thinks himself much brighter than the rest,
Each values and praises himself to the height.
All think their own understanding the best—
Forever lauding their superior intellect,
Forever denigrating all the rest.

‘Men who make common cause share common thoughts—thinking
Much of and ever praising one another.
But when reverses mount, those selfsame men
Find intellectual differences intervene.
Thanks to the unfathomable nature of their thoughts,
There is a difference between man and man—
Each is bewildered in a different way.
For just as a skilled doctor, having diagnosed
A disease according to the book, in practice
Prescribes a medicine to effect a cure
Specific to each case,
So men use their intellect, harnessed to insight,
To put their intended actions into practice—
And other men revile them because of that.1

 # # #


1 Saṃjaya, as quoted in W.J. Johnson (trans.), The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahābhārata – The Massacre at Night (Oxford World’s Classics: 1998), pg. 14.





2 responses to “Opinions”

  1. Favorite Books of 2015 | Un Passaggio Avatar

    […] of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahābhārata (featured in Opinions), I moved on to more recent treatments such as Sunil Khilnani’s Idea of India, Rana […]

  2. patjoe3876 Avatar

    If you substitute the word “religion” for “intelligence”, the observations remain the same.

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