Verse 18 from Bhartihari's Nītiśataka says:
haṃsasya hanti nitarāṃ kupito vidhātā |
na tv asya dugdha-jala-bheda-vidhau prasiddhāṃ
vaidagdha-kīrtim apahartum asau samarthaḥ ||
Which I translate as:
Extremely (nitarāṃ) angry (kupita) Brahma (vidhātṛ) destroys (hanti) only (eva) the game (vilāsa) of a swan (haṃsa) [that is a] play (vihāra) in a bed (vana) of lotus flowers (ambhojinī). But cannot (na tu samartha) he (asau) take away (apahartum) a glory (kīrti) of his (asya) wildly known (prasiddha) dexterity (vaidagdha) in ability (vidhi) to separate (bheda) milk (dugdha) from the water (jala).
My assumptions here:
- Swan is a metaphor for paṇḍit (scholar).
- Bhrahma is a metaphor for kings who can in some ways put scholars into trouble, but unable to take away their wisdom
The questions are:
- In Hinduism, what is the relationship between Brahma and swan that could result in such a behavior (Brahma destroys his game)?
- If swan stands for scholars, then what this "game" means from the scholar point of view?
- What lotus flower stands for and why the swan plays exactly there?