“चन्दनानपि दावोऽग्निर्दहत्येव।” is the inspirational Chanakya quote (चाणक्य सूत्र) that we will be discussing today. The English and Hindi Translations are stated below:
- The forest fire burns even trees like sandalwood.
- दावानल चन्दन अदि को भी जला देती है ।
This spiritual quote has multiple interpretations. Have a look…
- Things affecting people around you will gradually affect you.
- Being good is not enough.
- Physical laws apply to all with no exception.
- Don’t be rigid as a tree.
Here the sandalwood tree represents a man with qualities. It represents someone who isn’t ordinary and someone with value. On the other hand the forest fire represents the destroyer (Also interpreted as time i.e. काल the destroyer). It can also be compared to someone wicked or evil in other contexts.
We humans don’t live in isolation. As a social being we are connected to each other in some way or other. This means that things affecting our fellow beings are likely to affect us. The next paragraph might help in explaining the point.
There are few social evils (like corruption, radicalisation, terrorism, drug abuse etc.) that most people tend to ignore. They ignore because it’s a common psychological defect in animals to ignore almost everything that does not affects them directly. The inactivity of good people is sufficient enough for the rise of evil. This is how bad things grow in a society and for this reason even the sandalwood tree (a good man with qualities) burns when the forest (society) catches fire.
* Logically a tree cannot do anything to protect other trees or itself, because it’s a tree, but homo sapiens can. The precise message can be quoted as “If you lack in responsibility towards others, then you are next person standing in the line of destruction”.
* When the jungle (society) burns, every tree burns with it. Even the valuable ones.
The second interpretation says “being good is not enough”.
An evil person will have no hesitation in hurting a good man. A good man must ensure that he has sufficient safeguards for himself. A sandalwood tree lacks in safeguards and it burns in forest fire.
What kind of company you keep? People who do bad things will eventually pay the price. It’s better to maintain enough distance from such people than incurring collateral damage.
Let us now have a look at the third interpretation of this spiritual quote.
The third interpretations of this inspirational quote is about the reality of this world. The physical laws apply on each and everyone.
- Death is eminent. Even good men will die one day.
- Gravity will do it’s job no matter you are a good man or a bad man. In same manner the sandalwood tree burns like any other tree.
* Truth will be truth, no matter you believe in it or not.
* Truth is truth, no matter you like it or dislike it.
The fourth interpretation is about consequences of rigidity. Before explaining this I would like to present this Chanakya Quote.
“In case of natural disasters, famine, and unstoppable enemy invasion; one should run away and save life.”
The sandalwood tree is full of qualities, but is rigid like any other tree. It cannot/will not move even in case of a fire. The straightforward message is that a man must not be too rigid in his approach. Be firm wherever necessary, otherwise be fluid and be flexible in your approach. Prefer wisdom over ego.
In history many great rulers/leaders and their armies were doomed just because of the arrogance (inability to perform what’s really required). Ask yourself “What’s the point in holding a ground that will only add to the count of casualties?”. A smart man like you will have no problem in understanding the message.
If you have something to say about those inspirational messages then please comments.