I know you were all waiting to hear what the king said. Here’s a bit more of the passage. The order of the lines is Devanāgarī, transliteration (with sandhi), pre-sandhi words, glosses, English.
एतच्चिंतयित्वा स राजा पंडितसभां कारितवान् ।
etacciṃtayitvā sa rājā paṃḍita-sabhāṃ kāritavān
etad cintayitvā sas rājā paṇḍita-sabhām kāritavān
this-s.nom.n think-gerundive that-s.nom.m wise-assembly-s.acc make-PassPart-caus-s.nom.m
Having considered these things, the King convened an assembly of wise men.
राजोवाच । भो भोः पंडिताः श्रूयतां ।
rājovāca bhobhoḥ paṃḍitāḥ śrūyatāṃ
rājā uvāca bhobhos paṇḍitās śrūyatām
The King said, “O wise men, let it be heard:
अस्ति कश्चिदेवंभूतो विद्वान्यो
asti kaś-cid-evaṃ-bhūto vidvān yo
asti kas-cid evam-bhūtas vidvān yas
be-PresPart-3s who-s.nom-ever such-s.nom.m sage-s.nom.m who-s.snom.m
Is there any sage among you who—
nityam unmārga-gāminām an-adhigata-śāstrāṇām idānīm
constantly wrong.way-go-gerund-p.m not-read-PassPart-book-p.m. now
being always wayward and never reading books—
नीतिशास्त्रोपदेशेन पुनर्जन्म कारयितुं समर्थः ।
nīti-śāstr-opadeśena punar-janma kārayituṃ samarthaḥ?
nīti-śāstra-upadeśena punar-janma kārayitum sam-arthas?
behavior-book-instruction-s.ins again-birth-s.acc effect-infinitive with-capable-s.nom.m
can instruct them in reading and proper behavior, [giving them] a second birth?”
This is from the prologue to the Hitopadeśa. The king, whose name is Sudarśana, has a problem many kings have had: his sons are pretty worthless. He asks the pundits for help. (Yep, pundit is a borrowing from Sanksrit.) As he appears in a book written by a brahmin, the dude who steps up to help, one Viṣṇuśarma, believes that the answer is that they sit with a brahmin, i.e. himself, and learn moral tales.
I will report back later on the actual fables. But for now let’s look at one of the words in the text:
First, you may well ask, is that one word? It’s written as one. And by the rules of sandhi, it’s pronounced as one. But Müller transliterates it as four words:
nityam – constantly
unmārga-gāminām – wrong-ways-going
an-adhigata-śāstrāṇām – non-reading-books
The first three words are a description of the unruly princes, and grammatically this can be considered a really big compound. Idānīm ‘now’ probably got dragged in only because it was too tempting to combine the initial i– with the preceding –m.
Sanskrit is extremely fond of these combined words, and this is by no means on the longer end of the possibilities— you can easily have compounds with 20 or 30 roots.
Now, you can certainly do this in English:
“Can anyone instruct my undirected, non-book-reading sons by reading-conduct-instruction?”
But we usually consider this sort of thing inelegant; it reminds of bureaucratic language: “You must submit the project extension protocol revision form to the acting assistant operations and processes group manager.” We’d be more likely to use subclauses:
“My sons are constantly going the wrong way and never read books; can anyone teach them to value good conduct and literature?”
You only have to inflect the last member of a compound, so possibly the compounds were easier than regular clauses. Or perhaps they were embraced for their difficulty. After all, when the Hitopadeśa was written, the spoken language was already very different. A.L. Basham describes classical Sanskrit as one of the most “ornate and artificial” languages in the world. He also suggests that these compounds may be influenced by Tamil, which also encourages concatenations without explicit connectors or inflections.