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September 26th

Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अन्नदानं महादानं विद्यादानमतः परम् |
अन्नेन क्षणिका तृप्तिः यावज्जीवञ्च विद्यया ||

annadaanaM mahaadaanaM vidyaadaanamataH param |
annena kShaNikaa tRuptiH yaavajjIva~ncha vidyayaa ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Giving food to a person is a great deed, but giving vidyaa (education) is even better. The satisfaction (obtained) from food is momentary, but that (obtained) from vidyaa lasts a lifetime.

This probably was the source for the saying 'Give the man a fish, you feed him once. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life'. Indeed there is great satisfaction in giving. Giving food to the needy is essential, but a better daanam (giving) is the giving of education. One which is given selflessly, for the sake of giving knowledge to the other person. That way, the vidyaa doesn't end with us and is carried on to the generations to come. That was how our scriptures were passed down through the generations to us today. vidyaa daanam indeed is deemed as the greatest form of all kinds of giving.

Share the knowledge, spread the knowledge!

pada vigrahaH:
अन्न-दानं महा-दानं विद्या-दानम् अतः परम् |
anna-daanaM mahaa-daanaM vidyaa-daanam ataH param |

अन्नेन क्षणिका तृप्तिः यावत् जीवं च विद्यया ||
annena kShaNikaa tRuptiH yaavat jIvaM cha vidyayaa ||


  1. Excellent endeaver.
    I'll try to memorize these one a day as you post.

  2. Ram Kalyanasundaram9/28/09, 3:01 PM

    I remember one from my childhood which stayed in my mind forever - is probably a corollary to this Subhashita:

    Vyaye krute vardat eva nityam, vidya dhanam sarva dhana pradhanam!!


    Vidhya dadati vinayam, vinaya dyati paatratam, paatratva dhanam appnothi, dhanaad dharmam, thathaH sukham.

    Pardon the mistakes in transliteration :-)

    You should add these too when you get a chance...

  3. Anup, that's a nice inspiration!

  4. Thanks Ram for the suggestions. Will post them as we go along.

  5. I think the second half of the first line should be विद्यादानम् ततः परम्. That matches the meaning better than विद्या-दानम् अतः परम्.

    1. We can't do that for two reasons!

      ततः परम् means - therefore better
      अतः परम् means - better than that

      The verse is to establish that giving knowledge is 'better than' giving food. ('Hence better' does not match the context)

      Second reason, the author has used 'अतः परम्'. We do not have liberty to change the words :).

      Hope that helps.

    2. AFAIK ataH is therefore ..

    3. अतः is used in the connotations of therefore, so, hence, after that, hereafter, moreover, etc. It depends on the context of usage to determine the meaning. This happens with many Sanskrit words. Hope that helps.