aho ubhayatah praptam
lokasya vyasanam mahat
daruny ubhayato dipte
aho—alas; ubhayatah—from both directions; praptam—received; lokasya—of the people in general; vyasanam—danger; mahat—great; daruni—a log; ubhayatah—from both sides; dipte—burning; iva—like; taskara—from thieves and rogues; palayoh—and from the king.
When the great sages consulted one another, they saw that the people were in a dangerous position from both directions. When a fire blazes on both ends of a log, the ants in the middle are in a very dangerous situation. Similarly, at that time the people in general were in a dangerous position due to an irresponsible king on one side and thieves and rogues on the other.
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