अथ हंसा निशायामतिपेतुस्तद्धैवं हं सोहं समभ्युवाद हो होऽयि भल्लाक्ष भल्लाक्ष जानश्रुतेः पौत्रायणस्य समं दिवा ज्योतिराततं तन्मा प्रसाङ्क्षी स्तत्त्वा मा प्रधाक्षीरिति ॥ ४.१.२ ॥
atha haṃsā niśāyāmatipetustaddhaivaṃ haṃ sohaṃ samabhyuvāda ho ho’yi bhallākṣa bhallākṣa jānaśruteḥ pautrāyaṇasya samaṃ divā jyotirātataṃ tanmā prasāṅkṣī stattvā mā pradhākṣīriti || 4.1.2 ||
2. Once he saw some swans flying overhead at night. The swan flying behind called out to the one ahead: ‘Hey, you short-sided one! Don’t you see that the brightness of Jānaśruti has spread all over the sky like daylight? Beware you don’t touch it. See that it doesn’t bum you’.
Atha ha, once; haṃsāḥ, swans [i.e., some sages who had taken the form of swans]; niśāyām, at night; atipetuḥ, were flying; tat, then; haṃsaḥ, one of the swans; evam ha abhyuvāda, loudly said; haṃsam, to the other swan; ho ho ayi bhallākṣa bhallākṣa, hey, you short-sided one [don’t you see?]; jānaśruteḥ pautrāyaṇasya jyotiḥ, the light [emanating] from Jānaśruti; divā, in the sky; samam ātatam, has spread like daylight; tat, that [light]; mā prasāṅkṣīḥ, don’t touch; tat tvā mā pradhākṣī iti, don’t let it burn you.
One evening the king was resting on the roof of his palace and he noticed a couple of swans flying above him in the sky. These swans were actually sages or gods in disguise. Just then the swan flying behind joked with the one ahead about the king, within the king’s hearing.