December 31st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
यद्यदालिखति मनः आशावर्तिकाभीः हृदयफलके ।
तत्तद्बाल इव विधिर्निभृतं हसित्वा प्रोञ्छति ॥

- सप्‍तशति 

Transliteration:
yadyadaalikhati manaH aashaavartikaabhIH hRudayaphalake |
tattadbaala iva vidhirnibhRutaM hasitvaa pro~nChati ||
- saptashati

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Whatever the mind inscribes (paints), with the brushes of desire, on the board of the heart, fate, stealthily, smilingly, wipes it all out, like a little child!

Commentary:
Man proposes, God disposes!

Not all desires of everyone burgeon and culminate in bearing fruit.  One may paint his heart in all hues and shades of his desires, but only destiny has the final say.  The poet beautifully compares destiny to a little child, who stealthily, yet with a smile on his face, does some mischief and leaves the site without a trace :).  Similarly, destiny sneaks up noiselessly, wipes out all efforts and desires without a trace and leaves unperturbed!

What does this say?  That no matter what one longs for, his say is only until he puts forth his efforts.  Whether they yield results or not, is entirely up to his destiny.  Many a times, if an aspiration is not fulfilled, may be there is a higher reason.  If one gives in to this kind of an attitude, failure to attain the expected outcome won't seem so hard after all.  But he needs to put forth his best of best efforts, no doubt.   And destiny is based on one's own prior vices and virtues.  Each person is the architect of his own fate. 

Someone once said, 'Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence'.  If better results are aspired for the future, make the present better.  So may all proceed with their best foot forward!

pada vigrahaH:
यत् यत् आलिखति मनः आशा-वर्तिकाभीः हृदय-फलके ।
yat yat aalikhati manaH aashaa-vartikaabhIH hRudaya-phalake |

तत् तत् बाल इव विधिः निभृतं हसित्वा प्रोञ्छति ॥
tat tat baala iva vidhiH nibhRutaM hasitvaa pro~nChati ||

December 24th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
किं मित्रमन्ते सुकृतं न लोकाः
किं ध्येयमीशस्य पादं न शोकाः ।
किं काम्यमव्याजसुखं न भोगाः
किं जल्पनीयं हरिनाम नान्यत् ॥

- रसगङ्गाधर

Transliteration:
kiM mitramante sukRutaM na lokaaH
kiM dhyeyamIshasya paadaM na shokaaH |
kiM kaamyamavyaajasukhaM na bhogaaH
kiM jalpanIyaM harinaama naanyat ||
- rasaga~ngaadhara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Who is a friend in the end?  Good deed(s), not people.  What should be contemplated upon?  The Lord's feet, not sorrows.  What should be desired?  Un-abound happiness, not indulgences.  What should be prattled?  Only the name of shrI hari, nothing else.

Commentary:
A friend in need is a friend indeed.  True friends are hard to find.  A single rose can be my garden, a single friend, my world!  All these statements are nice to quote and very true as well.  But they can only go so far.  When passing on, one's best friends are his vices & virtues, and his vices & virtues alone!  One needs to keep this in mind, at all times, when here.  Earn as many friends here, but at the same time, keep thy sight on the friends that accompany through the entire journey!

Given the nature of the mind, it constantly keeps churning up thoughts.  It is its very nature.  It does not stay still.  Through out the waking hours, it jumps from one thought to another, from one town to another, even one world to another.  There is no stopping it.  (Isn't that why it is not only said to be faster than the wind , but compared to a monkey, too :).   Thoughts are the very existence and thriving purposes of the mind.  In that case, why not feed it something healthy?  Think of the Lord's lotus feet.  Contemplate and meditate on His prowess and presence in the very existence of all beings!  

When there is a mind and there are thoughts in that mind, it is quite but natural to want something desirable!  Then why not desire for something that is more eternal and long lasting.  In aspiring for something  trivial with a very small shelf life, isn't one wasting precious time that could have been focused on acquiring something that lasts forever?  What lasts forever is the bliss, the one attained by treading the path of dharma, not the pleasures of the senses.

A mind which has thoughts, thoughts oriented towards desires and what can be said about the speech coming forth?  With so many thoughts and desires, it is only predictable that there will be a lot of chattering.  Many a times, mindless too...  Instead of gossip, why not make it the Lord's name!

With virtue as friend, the mind and desires under check, even the mindless prattling automatically becomes the name of the Lord, nothing else! Knowing the goals and priorities shall put the traveler on the right path, without a doubt.

pada vigrahaH:
किं मित्रम् अन्ते सुकृतं न लोकाः
kiM mitram ante sukRutaM na lokaaH

किं ध्येयम् ईशस्य पादं न शोकाः । 
kiM dhyeyam Ishasya paadaM na shokaaH |

किं काम्यम् अव्याज-सुखं न भोगाः 
kiM kaamyam avyaaja-sukhaM na bhogaaH

किं जल्पनीयं हरि-नाम न अन्यत् ॥
kiM jalpanIyaM hari-naama na anyat ||

December 17th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अहन्यहनि भूतानि गच्छन्तीह यमालयम् ।
शेषाः स्थावरमिच्छन्ति किमाश्चर्यमतः परम् ॥

- महाभारत, वन पर्व

Transliteration:
ahanyahani bhUtaani gachChantIha yamaalayam |
sheShaaH sthaavaramichChanti kimaashcharyamataH param ||
- mahaabhaarata, vana parva

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Every day,  beings go to the abode of yama (death).  The rest desire for immortality.  What can be more astonishing than this!

Commentary:
Day in and day out, beings see death in one form or another.  It could be the passing of a near and dear one, or a road kill on the street.  Although the reality of life, rather death, is evident from the very moment of birth, beings want to believe that somehow, they shall be spared that trouble!  What can be more a more astonishing phenomenon than that!  Isn't this denial the biggest wonder of the world! 

If we really think about it, the root cause for all fears anyone ever has is, the fear of death.  Be it claustrophobia, hydrophobia, or whatever other phobia, the main underlying cause is the fear that one might die in those circumstances. The 'fear of unknown' is so intense, that it overbears all other knowledge. One wants to embrace the 'ignorance is bliss' philosophy and pretend that the unknown shall never come to him, so he doesn't have to face that 'fear of unknown'!  Someone once asked, "If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...Would you slow down? Or speed up?"  If one knew a little more about what happens after life, the fear probably might not become so gripping.  This probably is one arena where science has not been able to explain or prove much.  Science believes only on seeing proof.  But philosophy first totally believes and then, perceives its authenticity!  That is the key to this knowledge.  Scriptures given by the rishis (sages) come to aid here.  They were scientists of the highest order who experienced life beyond life.  Guess there should be some bearing to what they have written then!

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.”

pada vigrahaH:
अहनि अहनि भूतानि गच्छन्ति इह यम आलयम् ।
ahani ahani bhUtaani gachChanti iha yama aalayam |

शेषाः स्थावरम् इच्छन्ति किम् आश्चर्यम् अतः परम् ॥
sheShaaH sthaavaram ichChanti kim aashcharyam ataH param ||

December 10th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
लोभात् क्रोधः प्रभवति लोभात् कामः प्रजायते
लोभात् मोहश्च नाशश्च लोभः पापस्य कारणम्

- अज्ञात

Transliteration:
lobhaat krodhaH prabhavati lobhaat kaamaH prajaayate
lobhaat mohashcha naashashcha lobhaH paapasya kaaraNam
- aj~naata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
From greed originates anger; greed gives rise to lust/desire; from greed (come) attachment and ruin; greed is the cause for sin.

Commentary:
Poverty wants much, but avarice... everything!  There is no end or means to justify them either.  He who is greedy is always wanting something.  It is like a monster, standing with his mouth wide open, to devour everything that comes its way.  The more that greed is fed, the more hungry it gets!

Apart from all these havoc that greed causes, it is the originator of anger.  When the greedy doesn't get what his heart desires, the first response is to get angry.  Anger breeds resentment, another unhealthy emotion, to go along with it.  Anger burns the angry first, before causing any harm to the person he is angry with!

Greed gives rise to lust.  Lust is never quenched and is inflamed further with indulgence.

Greed conjoined with lust and anger can only lead towards attachment and destruction, all of which, lead one towards committing sin.  They say hell has 3 gates - lust; anger and greed, all of which can originate from greed.  The best way to keep away from spiraling down this road, is keeping greed at bay. 

pada vigrahaH:
लोभात् क्रोधः प्रभवति लोभात् कामः प्रजायते
lobhaat krodhaH prabhavati lobhaat kaamaH prajaayate

लोभात् मोहः च नाशः च लोभः पापस्य कारणम्
lobhaat mohaH cha naashaH cha lobhaH paapasya kaaraNam

December 3rd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
पिण्डे पिण्डे मतिर्भिन्ना कुण्डे कुण्डे नवं पयः
जातौ जातौ नवाचारा नवा वाणी मुखे मुखे

- सुभाषितरत्नभाण्डागार

Transliteration:
piNDe piNDe matirbhinnaa kuNDe kuNDe navaM payaH
jaatau jaatau navaachaaraa navaa vaaNI mukhe mukhe
- subhaaShitaratnabhaaNDaagaara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Varied is the intellect in different people; varied is the (taste in) water from different sources; varied are the customs for different descents; varied are the speech from different visages.

Commentary:
Water from each well, pond and lake taste different.  Each lineage of people have different customs, practices and beliefs.  Each individual speaks differently and sounds differently.  Similarly, each person is different and each has a different perspective.  It is these varied perspectives that make the world different and beautiful!  Else, imagine a world full of people like oneself!!  That is not only impractical and boring, but also impossible at the same time.  If one person is exactly like the other, each with his own ego, imagine the outcome of such a situation!  Neither shall give up, neither shall win.  End of the day neither likes each other, which implies that they both hate themselves!  So, thank God! for making variety the spice of life :).  Inspite of being born out of the same energy and shining through the light of the same supreme power, each individual is different .  It is best when the surroundings are accepted in their varied colors and hues. 

The essence of all beings is the same, only their approaches different.  Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects ;).  When received with an open mind, the world around seems quite amusing and entertaining too.  No point hanging on to a stringent mindset and fretting about every fleeting thought that arises in the mind, isn't it! 

pada vigrahaH:
पिण्डे पिण्डे मतिः भिन्ना कुण्डे कुण्डे नवं पयः
piNDe piNDe matiH bhinnaa kuNDe kuNDe navaM payaH

जातौ जातौ नव आचाराः नवा वाणी मुखे मुखे
jaatau jaatau nava aachaaraaH navaa vaaNI mukhe mukhe

November 26th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सुजनो न याति वैरं परहितनिरतो विनाशकालेऽपि
छेदेऽपि चन्दनतरुः सुरभयति मुखं कुठारस्य

- भर्तृहरि

Transliteration:
sujano na yaati vairaM parahitanirato vinaashakaale.pi
Chede.pi chandanataruH surabhayati mukhaM kuThaarasya
- bhartRuhari

Meaning of the subhAShita:
An affable person, (who is) always engrossed in the benefaction of others, shall not resort to hostility, even in times of (his own) downfall.  Upon chopping, the sandal tree only smears its fragrance onto the blade of the axe.

Commentary:
When an axe fells a sandal tree, it does not pick up a sword to fight, nor a shield to protect itself.  It not only gets felled, but also graces the blade of the axe that is chopping it, with its wonderful fragrance!  Such is the grace of a benevolent person.  He does not resort to hostility or aggression even in times of his own downfall, so as to say.  Such a person never really falls down in the real sense.  It may look like a downfall in worldly measures, but then, they are the true heroes.  For, on the scale of benevolence and graciousness, they shall always stand up high!  Their honor and repute shall never see a descent.  Isn't that the true measure of eminence!

A person whose amicability factor doesn't change with adversity is the most amicable of all!  Isn't that also an indication that, affability of a person, has more to do with what he gives 'of' himself, rather than what he takes 'for' himself?  Give, with a good heart and intention.  That will be thy savior for a long time to come. 

pada vigrahaH:
सुजनः न याति वैरं पर-हित-निरतः विनाश-काले अपि
sujanaH na yaati vairaM para-hita-nirataH vinaasha-kaale api

छेदे अपि चन्दन-तरुः सुरभयति मुखं कुठारस्य
Chede api chandana-taruH surabhayati mukhaM kuThaarasya

November 19th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
जीर्यन्ति जीर्यतः केशा दन्ता जीर्यन्ति जीर्यतः
चक्षुःश्रोत्रे च जीर्येते तृष्णैका तु न जीर्यते

- महाभारत, अनुशासन पर्व


Transliteration:
jIryanti jIryataH keshaa dantaa jIryanti jIryataH
chakShuHshrotre cha jIryete tRuShNaikaa tu na jIryate
- mahaabhaarata, anushaasana parva

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The hair ripen with age; the teeth wear out with age; eyes and ears get feeble too; but desire (thirst) is not appeased!

Commentary:
The hair gray out, teeth fall out, hearing and vision cannot be vouched for either.  The skin gets wrinkled, back gets hunched, limbs get weak too.  The effects of age can be seen on all faculties!  At least then, one would think that he has lived his life and realized the impermanence of all material things, including his own body.  But no!!  His desires are stronger than ever, his persistence...well, persistent than ever!  The need for self gratification and acquisition of material possessions come with so much more force, as if there is a time crunch to fit in all his needs into the short span left over!  But then, if one desires many things, all the many shall yet look too few.  There is no end to these wants.  Quenching an unquenchable thirst drains out too much energy and the true purpose of life is lost in the process...

Come old age, can one cut out all his desires?  Not a chance!  It is all in the training of the mind.  If one is used to rolling in likes and dislikes from childhood, youth through adulthood, he can not flip over in old age and decide to renounce everything to become a saint!  It is in keeping a level head and constantly instructing the mind, the ephemerality of life and reminding it the higher purpose.

Put a leash on desires from the get go.  Isn't it easier to train a horse already under the reigns than a wild one, running recklessly!

pada vigrahaH:
जीर्यन्ति जीर्यतः केशाः दन्ताः जीर्यन्ति जीर्यतः
jIryanti jIryataH keshaaH dantaaH jIryanti jIryataH

चक्षुः श्रोत्रे च जीर्येते तृष्णा एका तु न जीर्यते
chakShuH shrotre cha jIryete tRuShNaa ekaa tu na jIryate

November 12th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
तत्कर्म यन्न बन्धाय सा विद्या या विमुक्तये
आयासायापरं कर्म विद्याऽन्या शिल्पनैपुणम्

- विष्णुपुराण

Transliteration:
tatkarma yanna bandhaaya saa vidyaa yaa vimuktaye
aayaasaayaaparaM karma vidyaa,nyaa shilpanaipuNam
- viShNupuraaNa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
That is action, which doesn't lead to binding; that is knowledge, which leads to liberation.  All other actions are mere chores of arduousness; all other sciences are plain craftsmanship.

Commentary:
Each and every action executed should be done with a feeling of detachment.  For any deed done, any chore preformed, the motive behind should not be a selfish one.  It should be performed with the attitude of duty and responsibility alone.  Not because it brings oneself name and fame, nor because it makes one feel entitled and accomplished.  Any action performed as food for the ego, is as good as not done, says the poet!  One is even hurting himself more by indulging in such actions, for he is only tying himself up further.  It is as if a free bird, willfully flying itself into a cage, closing the door, locking itself up and throwing away the keys!   Obviously, it would take the bird forever to free itself up and enjoy the unbound skies again!! 

Only that is knowledge which leads one towards the path of liberation.  Everything else, is mere craftsmanship, says the poet.  Any other learning is just another skill.  It might be the skill of the hand, heart or head.  But that which does not emancipate one from the bindings of the world, mainly his ego, is no learning.

The essences of these two definitions are essentially, a call for a shift in attitude.  The same chores and skills can lead to the ultimate goal, when the attitude towards the doing and the result itself, are that of detachment.  For, he who would be pristine and pure, needs but one thing - detachment!  There is no pain, hatred or sadness where there is detachment.  It is a win-win situation!

pada vigrahaH:
तत् कर्म यत् न बन्धाय सा विद्या या विमुक्तये
tat karma yat na bandhaaya saa vidyaa yaa vimuktaye

आयासाय अपरं कर्म विद्या अन्या शिल्प-नैपुणम्
aayaasaaya aparaM karma vidyaa anyaa shilpa-naipuNam

November 5th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
शुभं करोति कल्याणम् आरोग्यं धनसम्पदः
शत्रुबुद्धि विनाशाय दीपज्योतिर्नमोस्तुते

Transliteration:
shubhaM karoti kalyaaNam aarogyaM dhanasampadaH
shatrubuddhi vinaashaaya deepajyotirnamostute

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The bestow-er of auspiciousness, fortune, health, wealth, prostrations to thee, O light of the lamp, for the  destruction of the attitude of enmity.

Commentary:
A lamp is a symbol of not only light, but also knowledge.  Just as it eradicates darkness where it is, the light of knowledge eradicates ignorance.  It is the ignorance of the ego which differentiates - one's from others', his from her's, mine from yours.  Where there is differentiation, there is either an inferiority or superiority complex.  That leads to jealousy, which in turn to enmity.  The light of knowledge cuts out this cycle in the  very bud.  For the one who is aware that there is the same light of the Supreme power in everyone, there is no room for enmity!

May the light of that lamp flourish in each home and heart.  May it bestow good fortune, health, wealth and austerity to all.  May the spiritual growth and wealth of all increase abundantly now and always.

pada vigrahaH:
शुभं करोति कल्याणम् आरोग्यं धन-सम्पदः
shubhaM karoti kalyaaNam aarogyaM dhana-sampadaH

शत्रु-बुद्धि विनाशाय दीप-ज्योतिः नमोस्तु ते
shatru-buddhi vinaashaaya deepa-jyotiH namostu te

October 29th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
नष्टं मृतमतिक्रान्तं नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः
पण्डितानाञ्च मूर्खाणां विशेषोऽयं यतः स्मृतः

- पञ्चतन्त्र, मित्रभेद

Transliteration:
naShTaM mRutamatikraantaM naanushochanti paNDitaaH
paNDitaanaa~ncha mUrkhaaNaaM visheSho.yaM yataH smRutaH
- pa~nchatantra, mitrabheda

Meaning of the subhAShita:
(For) that which is lost, dead or has passed - the intelligent do not bemoan.  It is deemed, that is the difference between the intelligent and the imbecile.

Commentary:
That which is lost cannot be brought back, the dead cannot be revived nor can the past be changed!  That which is inevitable cannot be altered. The only thing one can do is, play the one string in his hand, his attitude.  It is only the imbecile that invest any time in worrying about the past.  The poet says that the intelligent do not bemoan and bewail such things.  That is what sets him apart from the rest.  The intelligent clearly understand that the past has passed and shall stay there.  They do everything they can, to make a difference in today and take only the lessons from yesterday.   They take further steps with that resolve in their mind.  It takes a lot of strength, courage and grace to move on into the future, despite the past!

No man is rich enough to buy back the past :).  No amount of fretting will put a dent in what is already history!  Don't make the future an experiment and past a regret.  Even God, cannot change the past.  Hence, keep the lessons from the past, live in the present and shape a bright future!

pada vigrahaH:
नष्टं मृतम् अतिक्रान्तं न अनुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः
naShTaM mRutam atikraantaM na anushochanti paNDitaaH

पण्डितानां च मूर्खाणां विशेषः अयं यतः स्मृतः
paNDitaanaaM cha mUrkhaaNaaM visheShaH ayaM yataH smRutaH

October 22nd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
स्वभावसुन्दरं वस्तु न संस्कारमपेक्षते
मुक्तारत्नस्य शाणाश्मघर्षणं नोपयुज्यते

- दृष्टान्तकलिका

Transliteration:
svabhaavasundaraM vastu na saMskaaramapekShate
muktaaratnasya shaaNaashmagharShaNaM nopayujyate
- dRuShTaantakalikaa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
That which is beautiful by nature, does not need further refinement.  For a pearl, grinding on a touch stone will do no good!

Commentary:
A pearl, in its original form is lustrous.  One does not have to scrub or polish it, to make it shine brighter.  Infact, such grinding harms the pearl, for it chips away its layers!  By it's very nature, it has the shine that it has.  Any kind of processing can make it no less nor no more!

That is true for the characteristics of a person too.  They shall shine all on their own, whether he is sitting on a king's throne or living in some obscure thatch, his originality, his attributes, his nature, shall not change.  Just as sweetness is inseparable from sugar, just as saltiness is inseverable from salt, so is the inherent intrinsic characteristic of anyone or anything.  No contentions there.  So, trust thy nature and let it shine, all on its own accord!

pada vigrahaH:
स्वभाव-सुन्दरं वस्तु न संस्कारम् अपेक्षते
svabhaava-sundaraM vastu na saMskaaram apekShate

मुक्तारत्नस्य शाण-अश्म-घर्षणं न उपयुज्यते
muktaaratnasya shaaNa-ashma-gharShaNaM na upayujyate

October 15th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अणुभ्यश्च महद्भ्यश्च शास्त्रेभ्यः कुशलो नरः
सर्वतः सारमादद्यात् पुष्पेभ्य इव शट्पदः

-भागवत

Transliteration:
aNubhyashcha mahadbhyashcha shaastrebhyaH kushalo naraH
sarvataH saaramaadadyaat puShpebhya iva shaTpadaH
- bhaagavata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
May the indoctrination be infinitesimal or ginormous, the skilled learn the essence from all, just as the bees collect nectar.

Commentary:
The bees do not discriminate.  Whether the it is a huge sunflower or a tiny little jasmine, they suck the nectar from it with the same eagerness and alertness!  For the bee, each drop of nectar as precious, irrespective of its origin.  For, each drop, collectively, makes up the honey in the hive!

Such should  be the interest, attentiveness and curiosity while learning any kind of knowledge.  Each doctrine has its own special place and need.  So, certainly extract the essence of all knowledge with all eagerness.

Being conscious about one's own ignorance is the greatest step towards knowledge, for ignorance is never better than knowledge!  Knowledge is power.  So, get powerful!

pada vigrahaH:
अणुभ्यः च महद्भ्यः च शास्त्रेभ्यः कुशलः नरः 
aNubhyaH cha mahadbhyaH cha shaastrebhyaH kushalaH naraH

सर्वतः सारम् आदद्यात् पुष्पेभ्यः इव शट्पदः
sarvataH saaram aadadyaat puShpebhyaH iva shaTpadaH

October 8th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
गुणाः सन्ति नराणां चेद्विकसन्त्येव ते स्वयम्
न हि कस्तूरिकामोदः शपथेन निवार्यते 

- अज्ञात

Transliteration:
guNaaH santi naraaNaaM chedvikasantyeva te svayam
na hi kastUrikaamodaH shapathena nivaaryate
- aj~naata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
If there are efficacies in people, they shall blossom on their own.  It is not possible to ward off the perfume of the musk by any means.

Commentary:
What is inherent, can for no reason, stay hidden, nor can it be changed!  Can any amount of washing or drying in the sun, wash away the innate fragrance of musk?  Can any amount of coaxing, make a nightingale sing any less sweetly?  Can any amount of bleaching, strip away the colors from the feathers of a peacock?

The attribute which is inherent, is as good as engrained in its very existence!  That is true for the nature of people as well.  The intrinsic nature of a person can not be masked for very long.  One day or another, it shall surface.  Whether it is a person's good attributes or the evil ones, they can't lay low for ever.

Moral here, if something is an integral characteristic, one doesn't have to put up a commercial for it.  It shall shine on its own.  Nobody or nothing can dilute that!  Have faith in that innate strength and keep going!

pada vigrahaH:
गुणाः सन्ति नराणां चेत् विकसन्ति एव ते स्वयम्
guNaaH santi naraaNaaM chet vikasanti eva te svayam

न हि कस्तूरिका आमोदः शपथेन निवार्यते
na hi kastUrikaa aamodaH shapathena nivaaryate

October 1st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
कृतस्य करणं नास्ति मृतस्य मरणं तथा
गतस्य शोचनं नास्ति ह्येतद्वेदविदां मतम्
- अज्ञात

Transliteration:
kRutasya karaNaM naasti mRutasya maraNaM tathaa
gatasya shochanaM naasti hyetadvedavidaaM matam
- aj~naata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
There is no doing of that which is (already) done; also there is no death to the already dead; there is no sorrow for that which has passed - this is the opinion of those that are cognizant of the vedas.

Commentary:
Do not cry over spilt milk!

Once a task is done, there is no re-doing it.  Once a seed sprouts, there is no re-sprouting for that seed.  Once a child grows up, there is no re-growing for that child. Similarly, there is no death to the already dead.  When these concepts are accepted, why not the fact that there is no sorrow for that which has already passed.  When there is no option of un-doing or re-doing, what is the purpose of sulking in sorrow!  Those that are aware of the vedas, clearly know and understand that this is an essence from the vedas directly.  They accept the past as past and leave the sorrow behind as well.

Again, it is not worth crying over spilt milk.

pada vigrahaH:
कृतस्य करणं न अस्ति मृतस्य मरणं तथा
kRutasya karaNaM na asti mRutasya maraNaM tathaa

गतस्य शोचनं न अस्ति हि एतत् वेदविदां मतम्
gatasya shochanaM na asti hi etat vedavidaaM matam

September 25th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
धर्मो यशो नयो दाक्ष्यं मनोहारि सुभाषितम्
इत्यादि गुणरत्नानां सङ्ग्रही नावसीदति
- सुभाषितरत्नभाण्डागार

Transliteration:
dharmo yasho nayo daakShyaM manohaari subhaaShitam
ityaadi guNaratnaanaaM sa~ngrahI naavasIdati
- subhaaShitaratnabhaaNDaagaara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
He who collects jewels of merits such as dharma (virtue), fame, principles, politeness, mind captivating subhaaShitaa-s, etc, will never perish.

Commentary:
Why do people collect anything? People collect, in an effort to remember and re-live, for a connection to the past and memories! Objects can connect the collector to the historic, valued past. Hence, one's collections should be towards extracting the cream of the past, time tested treasures, from the experience of his elders and ancestors.

The question now is, what should one collect to flourish in life? Not real estate, not cash, not jewels nor property. A good collection of merit is what he needs. The best of them are - dharma (virtue), fame, principles, politeness, mind captivating subhaaShitaa-s and the like. One may lead a life without money or property or embellishments. But without principles, virtues and politeness, there is no life. How about subhaaShitaa-s? The wisdom of a culture lies in its proverbs and sayings, although brief and pithy. They have much to say in very little. They save time in speaking and upon occasion, may be the fullest and safest answers. Collect and learn them; they are notable measures of directions for human life!

How does one collect subhaaShitaa-s? Well, to build a ship, one doesn't need to collect wood or put down schedules, but rather, learn to long for the endless immensity of the sea. Then the task of building the ship will automatically be simplified! To collect subhaaShitaa-s, if one develops a love for learning the deep set values in them, appreciation for their brevity and their immense importance in shaping the culture and the society, then the collection will happen naturally!

Collect such invaluable treasures that make life precious and treasure them dearer than life. As the poet says, such a person will never perish. Success will come looking for that person. May each of us travel in that direction. We will meet like minded people, with similar interests along the path, for, bird of same feather flock together! Hope we cut paths somewhere, sometime :).

pada vigrahaH:
धर्मः यशः नयः दाक्ष्यं मनोहारि सुभाषितम्
dharmaH yashaH nayaH daakShyaM manohaari subhaaShitam

इत्यादि गुण-रत्नानां सङ्ग्रही न अवसीदति
ityaadi guNa-ratnaanaaM sa~ngrahI na avasIdati

September 24th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव च
बुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि मनः प्रग्रहमेव च
- कठोपनिषत्

Transliteration:
aatmaanaM rathinaM viddhi sharIraM rathameva cha
buddhiM tu saarathiM viddhi manaH pragrahameva cha
- kaThopaniShat

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Know thyself as the traveler and body as the chariot. Perceive intellect as the charioteer and mind as the reigns.

Commentary:
Who should be in charge? While riding in a chariot, who should have the final say? Should it be the chariot, the charioteer, the reigns or the horses! Actually, none of the above! The chariot, charioteer, the horses, all are required to take orders from the rider. He is the one who knows his goal, his destination. So, he is the one required to know the path as well. The 5 senses are the horses and the sense objects are only few of the  various paths. One can take charge of his horses and lead them in the right path, or allow the horses to stray according to their own whims and fancies, choosing their own roads towards success or downfall. When this scenario can't procure great results, then how can letting oneself to be led by the senses, be appropriate!

Hearing only what pleases the ear, can't do good, for the ear wants to hear only praises. It doesn't want to hear any advice from anyone, whether valid or not.

Seeing only what pleases the eye, isn't the best choice, for the eye only likes to see what appeals to it, not the reality of things like they actually are.

Letting the tongue taste all it wants can only bring harm to the person's health. Just because the tongue doesn't relish healthy food, one can't provide it with processed convenience fodder that is harmful on a longer run. So on, and so forth.

The best way is to keep the charioteer (intellect) have the reigns (mind) in his control and make sure that the intellect listens to the voyager, the self! Then, there will be no case of run away horses or chariots :), the traveler can safely reach his destination, which is, attaining liberation.  When the charioteer is the Lord himself, there is no doubt that the journey, as well as the destination become pleasant!

pada vigrahaH:
आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथम् एव च
aatmaanaM rathinaM viddhi sharIraM ratham eva cha

बुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि मनः प्रग्रहम् एव च
buddhiM tu saarathiM viddhi manaH pragraham eva cha

September 23rd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया |
पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं कालेन पच्यते ॥  

- महाभारत, उद्योगपर्व

Transliteration:
aachaaryaat paadamaadatte paadaM shiShyaH svamedhayaa |
paadaM sabrahmachaaribhyaH paadaM kaalena pachyate ||
- mahaabhaarata, udyogaparva

Meaning of the subhAShita:
A (student acquires a) quarter from the teacher, a quarter from his own intelligence, a quarter from classmates, a quarter is digested in time.

Commentary:
For one's learning, sources are many. He can not rely just upon a teacher to prepare a potion of the lessons and feed it to him all at once. The teacher's contribution to one's learning is only twenty five percent. The other twenty five comes from the student's own interest and perceptions. The other quarter comes over time. One quarter comes from his fellow mates. Due to differences in perception, they might have a different outlook. That, many a times gives insight into the topic in a different angle. Hence, even classmates contribute to one's learning.  Although one has learnt by heart, all the chapters and scriptures, new meanings shall dawn to him over a period of time. With age and maturity, come a deeper understanding of the concepts learnt in grade school sometimes!

Learning doesn't stop after graduation. Like the poet says, over time, they gain a quarter of the knowledge. Learning is a constant process. Someone once said, I am learning all the time; my tombstone will be my diploma! Anyone who stops learning is old; his chronological age doesn't matter. There is something new to learn everyday, if one pays attention. Learning is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere. Why not earn it with all effort!

pada vigrahaH:
आचार्यात् पादम् आदत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्व-मेधया |
aachaaryaat paadam aadatte paadaM shiShyaH sva-medhayaa |

पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं कालेन पच्यते ॥ 
paadaM sabrahmachaaribhyaH paadaM kaalena pachyate ||

September 22nd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अवज्ञया न दातव्यं कस्यचिल्लीलयापि वा
अवज्ञया कृतं हन्याद्दातारं नात्र संशयः

Transliteration:
avaj~nayaa na daatavyaM kasyachillIlayaapi vaa
avaj~nayaa kRutaM hanyaaddaataaraM naatra saMshayaH

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Never give (charity) to anyone with contempt, even for pretense. Charity done in contempt will obliterate the giver, there is no doubt about that.

Commentary:
'Giving' is an act that is done out of the goodness of one's heart, not for name and fame. It should be done with humility and modesty. Giving is not for the benefit of the receiver, as much as it is for the giver, actually. The giver was blessed with a little more than the receiver. Hence he is able to share. But then, the giver benefits more because it teaches him selflessness. So, the attitude with which he gives is very important. Giving with contempt or arrogance is the worst kind of giving. The poet says, not even the sake of pretense should one give with contempt, for it is certain to destroy the giver! Isn't giving futile if one is putting an axe on his own feet? If the giving is bringing down one's moral and value grounds, might as well not give!

Like they say, you get the best out of others, when you give the best of yourself. And that begins with the attitude with which it is given. Humility is the only way. The value of a person resides in what and how he gives; not is what he is capable of receiving. For, it is in giving that we receive! And, the manner of giving is worth much more than the gift itself.

pada vigrahaH:
अवज्ञया न दातव्यं कस्यचित् लीलयापि वा
avaj~nayaa na daatavyaM kasyachit lIlayaapi vaa

अवज्ञया कृतं हन्यात् दातारं न अत्र संशयः
avaj~nayaa kRutaM hanyaat daataaraM na atra saMshayaH

September 21st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
श्रेयाम्सि बहु विघ्नानि भवन्ति महतामपि
अश्रेयसि प्रवृत्तानां दूरं यान्ति विनायकाः

Transliteration:
shreyaamsi bahu vighnaani bhavanti mahataamapi
ashreyasi pravRuttaanaaM dUraM yaanti vinaayakaaH

Meaning of the subhAShita:
For the noble who perform laudable deeds, there are many a hurdles. From those involved in disgraceful deeds, even obstacles stay away!

Commentary:
There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy, the other difficult. The easy route's only reward is that, it's easy! The reason being, even obstacles prefer to stay out of the way of the person vested in disgraceful interests! The poet says, if obstacles were personified, even they, would rather be in the company of the noble :). That is probably why there are lot more pit stops on the path to nobility. That is probably why the noble see lot more hardships in the due course. That is probably why the noble become, well.., noble :).

In other words, do not lose heart due meeting hardships on the way. Do not compromise ethics for entertainment. Do not trade morals for matter. If there are impediments on the way, that means life is giving an opportunity to learn! If there are stumbling blocks, that means nobility and strength are being tested! If there are struggles, that means you did not choose an easy, rosy, unethical path! Hang in there. The light at the end of the tunnel will soon be visible.

Because..., it's choice, not chance, that determines one's destiny!!

pada vigrahaH:
श्रेयाम्सि बहु विघ्नानि भवन्ति महताम् अपि
shreyaamsi bahu vighnaani bhavanti mahataam api

अश्रेयसि प्रवृत्तानां दूरं यान्ति विनायकाः
ashreyasi pravRuttaanaaM dUraM yaanti vinaayakaaH

September 20th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
रोहते सायकैर्विद्धं वनं परशुना हतम्
वाचा दुरुक्तं भीभत्सं न सम्रोहति वाक्क्षतम्
- महाभारत, उद्योगपर्व

Transliteration:
rohate saayakairviddhaM vanaM parashunaa hatam
vaachaa duruktaM bhIbhatsaM na samrohati vaakkShatam
- mahaabhaarata, udyogaparva

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The (injury) caused by an arrow might heal; a forest felled with an axe may sprout. (But) the (wound) caused by a spiteful, mean word shall barely ever recover.

Commentary:
Physical injuries are quick to mend. The body has the natural ability to try and fix the wound at the earliest. Even plants, when chopped with an axe, have the strength in their roots to sprout the plant again to its lush green self. But when a spiteful word is spoken, the damage caused is tremendous. Without any physical contact, one can easily hurt someone's heart and kill their spirit. Words have colossal power in them. They could either make or break the listener on many levels. One has to be very cautious at all times and watch his words. For, sped arrows and spoken words can never be taken back. Once out of the mouth, it could be. as permanent as, written on stone. It gets etched in the mind of the listener for ever.

Sticks and stones may break the bones, but spiteful words can kill the heart! Speech is often regretted. Taking a moment before saying something might save a lot of grief for everyone.

pada vigrahaH:
रोहते सायकैः विद्धं वनं परशुना हतम्
rohate saayakaiH viddhaM vanaM parashunaa hatam

वाचा दुर्-उक्तं भीभत्सं न सम्-रोहति वाक् क्षतम्
vaachaa dur-uktaM bhIbhatsaM na sam-rohati vaak kShatam

September 19th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
शत्रोरपि गुणा वाच्या दोषा वाच्या गुरोरपि
सर्वदा सर्वयत्नेन पुत्रे शिष्यवदाचरेत्
- सुभाषितरत्नभाण्डागार

Transliteration:
shatrorapi guNaa vaachyaa doShaa vaachyaa gurorapi
sarvadaa sarvayatnena putre shiShyavadaacharet
- subhaaShitaratnabhaaNDaagaara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Merits should be spoken of, even in an enemy; wrongdoings are to be pointed out, even in a teacher; with all effort, deal with offspring as you would with students.

Commentary:
Everyone has their own merits and demerits, even enemies. Just because he is not one's favorite person, it doesn't mean that his merits should be discounted. Great kings have always admired the valor of other powerful kings, although they were going head to head against each other. The value is given to the merit, not the person himself. Always see the best in others.

Follies are follies, whether coming from a layman, a scholar, an uneducated or for that matter, even a teacher. In order to uphold dharma, the scriptures too give the liberty to students or youngsters to call out on anyone taking a wrong step, even if he is an educator himself. dharma has the last word, always! Have the courage and confidence to speak up against wrongdoings.

The responsibility of any parent is to equip their offspring with life essential skills, rich with morals and values that lead them towards leading a spiritually rich, peaceful lifestyle. For that, the parents need to be detached while teaching them. Their merits rewarded and follies penalized, just as they would their students. Indulging them at all times will teach them no life lessons. If one wants their offspring to be ready to take on the world as young adults, they need to build that confidence in them, while growing up. That can come only when they are dealt as one would, their students, without any attachment and the main goal being, teaching them life skills! Such adults make a much contented, peaceful and happy society, which in turn makes the world a much happier place.

Right tool, for the right trade :).

pada vigrahaH:
शत्रोः अपि गुणा वाच्या दोषा वाच्या गुरोः अपि
shatroH api guNaa vaachyaa doShaa vaachyaa guroH api

सर्वदा सर्व-यत्नेन पुत्रे शिष्यवत् आचरेत्
sarvadaa sarva-yatnena putre shiShyavat aacharet

September 18th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
विषस्य विषयाणाञ्च दूरमत्यन्तमन्तरम्
उपभुक्तं विषं हन्ति विषयाः स्मरणादपि

Transliteration:
viShasya viShayaaNaa~ncha dUramatyantamantaram
upabhuktaM viShaM hanti viShayaaH smaraNaadapi

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The disparity between 'viSha' (poison) and 'viShaya' (object of sense) is enormous. viSha kills on consumption; viShaya kills just by reminiscing.

Commentary:
In sanskrit, the words for 'poison' and 'objects of sense', sound almost similar. Poison is called viSha, sense objects are called viShaya. The disparity in pronunciation is of only one syllable in the end. But then, their attributes have a ginormous divergence! They couldn't differ from each other more!

viSha kills on consumption. One can safely hold it, see it, hear about it or sometimes, smell it even. It kills only when tasted ;). But then, viShaya on the contrary, kills at the very recollection or thought of it!! For example, if one thinks of a piece of jewelry, he does not have to touch it, see it, hold it, hear the details about it and obviously, smell or taste it either. The very thought can entrap the person in its grasp! If his vaasana-s are such, then his entire day, week or years, can go by, in being caught up about acquiring that article. Such is the power of a sense object. Even without being physically present in front of the person, it can take him through a vicious trap with barely any outlet. Hence, the poet says, viShaya-s are far more hazardous than even poison!!

Let not the materials possess you, in your quest to possess the materials! viShaya is the only form of distraction from true bliss. Find thy way to thy bliss.

pada vigrahaH:
विषस्य विषयाणां च दूरम् अत्यन्तम् अन्तरम्
viShasya viShayaaNaaM cha dUram atyantam antaram

उपभुक्तं विषं हन्ति विषयाः स्मरणात् अपि
upabhuktaM viShaM hanti viShayaaH smaraNaat api

September 17th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सत्यानुसारिणी लक्ष्मीः कीर्तिस्त्यागानुसारिणी
अभ्याससारिणी विद्या बुद्धिः कर्मानुसारिणी
- सुभाषितरत्नभाण्डागार

Transliteration:
satyaanusaariNI lakShmIH kIrtistyaagaanusaariNI
abhyaasasaariNI vidyaa buddhiH karmaanusaariNI
- subhaaShitaratnabhaaNDaagaara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Wealth follows truthfulness; fame follows liberality; knowledge follows practice; intellect follows implementation (action).

Commentary:
Where there is honesty, Goddess lakShmI (Goddess of wealth) lives. Goddess lakShmI is known for her affinity to honesty and cleanliness. Where there is no honesty, tentatively, prosperity might seem to reside. But on a longer run, he is certain to end up paying the price, one way or another. It is better to let prosperity take its course, following honesty.

Both the good guys and the bad guys make it to the news paper. But which one gets the fame? It is the good guy who did a noble deed. It is the morality and the liberality of action that takes him to fame.

Knowledge is not a ready dish to be served up for the taking. It comes only through practicing over and over again. Learning and relearning until one has perfected the knowledge, is the only way to go.

Intellect is something that comes along with one's implementation of his knowledge. An architect can think very well, how he can design a space. That intellect comes to him due to constantly thinking in that module. Hence intellect follows implementation.

No shortcuts. Take the right path, reap the right results!

pada vigrahaH:
सत्य अनुसारिणी लक्ष्मीः कीर्तिः त्याग अनुसारिणी
satya anusaariNI lakShmIH kIrtiH tyaaga anusaariNI

अभ्यास-सारिणी विद्या बुद्धिः कर्म अनुसारिणी
abhyaasa-saariNI vidyaa buddhiH karma anusaariNI


September 16th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
शनैःशनैर्विनीयन्ते तर्जनैस्तोषणैरपि
नवा इवाश्वाः कुशलैर्बालाश्चपलचेतसः
- हरिहरसुभाषित

Transliteration:
shanaiHshanairvinIyante tarjanaistoShaNairapi
navaa ivaashvaaH kushalairbaalaashchapalachetasaH
- hariharasubhaaShita

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The skillful discipline the agile minded children slowly and gradually, with both reprovals and rewards, as they would, new horses.

Commentary:
Taming a new horse is a skillful job. The trainer handles the horse with both love and sternness. He talks very lovingly to the horse while feeding it and training it. But if it does not heed, he gets very stern with the horse as well! It is an integral part of training a horse. A horse so tamed could then be handled by anyone and not just the trainer!

Almost the same rules apply in raising children. By nature, their minds are agile and nimble. If one has to discipline them, he can not always please them. Their demands might, many a times, be far from being satiable. Just because it upsets the child, one can not bring a tiger home, for his asking!! Children need to understand that every demand they put forth cannot be met. Showering them with sweet words can be saved for another time, when they are not throwing tantrums. Showing them that they are loved and cared for, is a very essential part as well. The hugs and kisses are for a later time, when they are not being disciplined. Raising children is not a 'one rule for all situations' policy.

Only then, shall the child grow up to be a confident adult, who can not only take care of himself, but also value the values. He would grow up to be a respectful human being, who also respects the thoughts and needs of those around him. Such children can be easily compatible with most people later on in their lives. Isn't that the cherished treasure children should be left with!

pada vigrahaH:
शनैः शनैः विनीयन्ते तर्जनैः तोषणैः अपि
shanaiH shanaiH vinIyante tarjanaiH toShaNaiH api

नवा इव अश्वाः कुशलैः बालाः चपल-चेतसः
navaa iva ashvaaH kushalaiH baalaaH chapala-chetasaH

September 15th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
दुःखे दुःखाधिकान्पश्येत् सुखे पश्येत्सुखाधिकान्
आत्मानं शोकहर्षाभ्यां शत्रुभ्यामिव नार्पयेत्
- सुभाषितसुधानिधि

Transliteration:
duHkhe duHkhaadhikaanpashyet sukhe pashyetsukhaadhikaan
aatmaanaM shokaharShaabhyaaM shatrubhyaamiva naarpayet
- subhaaShitasudhaanidhi

Meaning of the subhAShita:
When in sorrow, see those that are in more sorrow; in times of pleasure, see those that have more pleasure. Just as you wouldn't offer yourself to the enemies, do not give into pleasures and sorrows.

Commentary:
When in sorrow, one should see someone in more distress and console himself that he is better off. When complaining of having to walk with feet that are bare, think of someone who has no legs for shoes to wear! That will be humbling enough.

Similarly, when rolling in riches and feeling proud of the possessions, think of the king who has seen lot many more riches but humble yet. That will put a check on arrogance in the bud!

When facing an enemy, would one succumb and give up himself as a offering to the enemy? Then why offer ourselves to the mundane pains/pleasures and let ourselves be caught and carried away in their drift! Always be reminded - this too shall pass. Be it pain or pleasure, it comes with an expiration date on it. Once that is reached, the tide shall change. Then what is use of getting caught in something that is so impermanent!

An hour of pain can feel as long as a day of pleasure, if we let it. The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you!

pada vigrahaH:
दुःखे दुःख अधिकान् पश्येत् सुखे पश्येत् सुख अधिकान्
duHkhe duHkha adhikaan pashyet sukhe pashyet sukha adhikaan

आत्मानं शोक-हर्षाभ्यां शत्रुभ्याम् इव न अर्पयेत्
aatmaanaM shoka-harShaabhyaaM shatrubhyaam iva na arpayet

September 14th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
वैद्यानां शारदी माता पिता च कुसुमाकरः
यमदम्ष्ट्रा स्वसा प्रोक्ता हितभुक् मितभुक् रिपुः

Transliteration:
vaidyaanaaM shaaradI maataa pitaa cha kusumaakaraH
yamadamShTraa svasaa proktaa hitabhuk mitabhuk ripuH

Meaning of the subhAShita:
For a doctor, autumn is the mother, cupid is the father. The teeth of yama (Lord of death) is the sister. One who eats suitable and measured portions, is the enemy!

Commentary:
When does one go to a doctor? Obviously when he is sick. The doctor earns a living due to people that get sick. People fall sick when the weather changes, like in autumn. They fall sick when they are love struck and are not eating or sleeping well. Those in the clutches of death will certainly visit a doctor in an effort to get better. Kith and kin aid to one's prosperity. Likewise, autumn, cupid and clutches of death help the doctor to keep his practice alive! Hence, the poet very humorously says that, they are like family to him. The poet proceeds to say, he who eats suitable food in limited portions is an enemy to the doctor! For, he will stay fit and healthy, and will not need to see a doctor. Isn't it only the enemies that curtail the growth and prosperity of another person! So, he is a doctor's enemy ;).

Moral of the story, eat healthy, eat in limits. It is the biggest open secret to good health! Just by being conscious and aware of what is going into the mouth, one can keep illnesses at bay.

He who has health, has hope. He who has hope, has everything! May everyone have everything :).

pada vigrahaH:
वैद्यानां शारदी माता पिता च कुसुमाकरः
vaidyaanaaM shaaradI maataa pitaa cha kusumaakaraH

यम-दम्ष्ट्रा स्वसा प्रोक्ता हितभुक् मितभुक् रिपुः
yama-damShTraa svasaa proktaa hitabhuk mitabhuk ripuH

September 13th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
रिक्तपाणीर्नपश्येत राजानं दैवतं गुरुम्
दैवज्ञं पुत्रकं मित्रं फलेन फलमादिशेत्

Transliteration:
riktapaaNIrnapashyeta raajaanaM daivataM gurum
daivaj~naM putrakaM mitraM phalena phalamaadishet

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Do not go empty handed to see a king, God, teacher, a learned person, a child or a friend. Invoke fruitfulness with fruit!

Commentary:
There is a purpose for going to see someone. It could be love, reverence, devotion, affection or even fear! Without a purpose, one would have not taken the pain and effort to go to see anyone. For the visit to be fruitful, why not start with a fruit! Meaning, take some fruit to offer to the person.

When one goes to see a king, God in the temple, his teacher, a learned person, a child or a friend, it is a nice gesture to take something along. Going empty handed to such places is not customary. It shows the person that you cared to think of them even before actually seeing them! That is enough to make them happy. Whether it is a fruit, a flower, a dish or a snack - it doesn't matter. It is the thought that counts.

A wise person values not so much the gift, as the love of the giver. Also, the manner of giving is worth more than the gift itself.

When giving, give thoughtfully. When receiving, receive the giver's thoughts!


pada vigrahaH:
रिक्त-पाणीः न पश्येत राजानं दैवतं गुरुम्
rikta-paaNIH na pashyeta raajaanaM daivataM gurum

दैवज्ञं पुत्रकं मित्रं फलेन फलम् आदिशेत्
daivaj~naM putrakaM mitraM phalena phalam aadishet

September 12th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अक्षराणि परीक्ष्यन्तामम्बराडम्बरेण किम्
शम्भुरम्बरहीनोऽपि सर्वज्ञः किं न कथ्यते
- अप्पय्यदीक्षित

Transliteration:
akSharaaNi parIkShyantaamambaraaDambareNa kim
shambhurambarahIno.pi sarvaj~naH kiM na kathyate
- appayyadIkShita

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Examine the vidyaa, what is the point in flashy robes? Even though He is digambara (one whose robes are the 4 directions), isn't Lord shiva considered a sarvajna (all knowing)!

Commentary:
Language, is the dress of thought. One's mind set and thinking can be gauged through his speech. Working on that is a much better effort than time spent in superficial attire. One can be the best dressed in town, but the minute he opens his mouth to speak, the language could be foul or uncultured. His dress can earn him only so much value. But after that, it is the learning and the culture he has imbibed that come into picture.

Lord shiva is never in flashy robes or jewelry. His robes are elephant/tiger skin and snakes are His jewelry, at best! But isn't He worshiped and revered as all-knowing and all-pervading! It is the knowledge that carries more weight.

There may be those that dress better or eat better, but those that enjoy and appreciate the value of learning, sleep better! Think about it - elegance is not putting on a new dress, as much as putting on good values.

pada vigrahaH:
अक्षराणि परीक्ष्यन्ताम् अम्बर-आडम्बरेण किम्
akSharaaNi parIkShyantaam ambara-aaDambareNa kim

शम्भुः अम्बर-हीनः अपि सर्वज्ञः किं न कथ्यते
shambhuH ambara-hInaH api sarvaj~naH kiM na kathyate

September 11th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सर्वतीर्थमयी माता सर्वदेवमयः पिता
मातरं पितरं तस्मात् सर्वयत्नेन पूजयेत्

Transliteration:
sarvatIrthamayI maataa sarvadevamayaH pitaa
maataraM pitaraM tasmaat sarvayatnena pUjayet

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Mother is (the embodiment) of all pilgrimages, father is (the embodiment) of all deities. Hence, mother and father are to be revered with all efforts.

Commentary:
To get the same virtues as one would, on visiting all holy places, all he has to do is, revere his mother. Father is an embodiment of all the deities themselves. They are the sole cause for us being here in this world today. It is hard to imagine one's life without them, their nurture and care. Parents constantly strive to provide the best that they could possibly give, for their children at all times. There is no well wisher better than parents!

Isn't that why even Lord gaNesha, being the remover of all hurdles Himself, bowed down to His parents! They posed a challenge to Him and His brother Lord subrahmaNya, as to who will be the first to circle the world. Lord subrahmaNya immediately took off on His peacock, all around to world. But gaNesha, who was very aware of the strengths and weaknesses :) of His speed, simply circled around His parents, paarvati and parameShwara, and prostrated to them. He had indeed won the challenge! For, it is true that parents think the world of their children and they are worth more than the world to the children!

Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence! May love and respect be the most important cornerstones of parenting.

pada vigrahaH:
सर्व-तीर्थमयी माता सर्व-देवमयः पिता
sarva-tIrthamayI maataa sarva-devamayaH pitaa

मातरं पितरं तस्मात् सर्व-यत्नेन पूजयेत्
maataraM pitaraM tasmaat sarva-yatnena pUjayet

September 10th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
तपः परं कृतयुगे त्रेतायां ज्ञानमुच्यते
द्वापरे यज्ञमित्यूचुः दानमेकं कलौ युगे
- पराशरस्मृति

Transliteration:
tapaH paraM kRutayuge tretaayaaM j~naanamuchyate
dvaapare yaj~namityUchuH daanamekaM kalau yuge
- paraasharasmRuti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
In the kRuta yuga penance was the best; in tretaa yuga, knowledge it is said; they say fire sacrifices in the dwaapara yuga; in kali yuga, it is only giving.

Commentary:
kRuta yuga or the satya yuga, is the first of the cycle of 4 eras. It is a very significant one, where the Gods govern the mankind. During that era, very tough and rigid penances were deemed as most rewarding. dharma was very well established and to be most virtuous, one needed to perform penances and meditations.

After some declension of dharma, came the tretaa yuga. During that epoch, one could attain liberation through the mode of jnaana (knowledge). Learning the scriptures and following a pious life was sufficient to be virtuous.

Further fall of dharma gave rise to the dwapara yuga. In this age, one was required to perform sacrifices and give offerings through the fire to the deities, in order to increase their virtues.

After almost the downfall of dharma, the eon called kali yuga started. In this time and era, to be virtuous, all one needs to do is, give selflessly! Gaining virtue has been made so simple. One doesn't have to perform very rigorous penances nor understand multitudes of scriptures nor perform tough sacrifices. Giving up the attachment to possessions and sharing with fellow beings generously, is all that is required to make one virtuous! Is that too much to ask for?

Giving can be at various levels. If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart. It is not what is given that matters as much as how it is given. You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. Give heartily!

pada vigrahaH:
तपः परं कृत-युगे त्रेतायां ज्ञानम् उच्यते
tapaH paraM kRuta-yuge tretaayaaM j~naanam uchyate

द्वापरे यज्ञम् इति ऊचुः दानम् एकं कलौ युगे
dvaapare yaj~nam iti UchuH daanam ekaM kalau yuge

September 9th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
किमप्यस्ति स्वभावेन सुन्दरं वाप्यसुन्दरम्
यदेव रोचते यस्मै तद्भवेत्तस्य सुन्दरम्
- हितोपदेष, सुहृद्भेद

Transliteration:
kimapyasti svabhaavena sundaraM vaapyasundaram
yadeva rochate yasmai tadbhavettasya sundaram
- hitopadeSha, suhRudbheda

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Is there anything that is beautiful or ugly inherently? Whatever appeals to whomever, that looks beautiful to him.

Commentary:
Beauty lies is in the eyes of the beholder! There is nothing on earth that comes bearing a beautiful or ugly tag. The inherent nature of anything does not include this tag. In the creator's eye, everything is equally beautiful and each has its own special place and requirement in this world. Or, He would not have taken the time and energy in creating it.

But then, to the onlooker's eye, some things are appealing, some are not. No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly, or vice versa. Who is most beautiful in this world? There is no best answer to this question. To someone, the person voted as the most beautiful in the world, may not be as appealing as their simple looking spouse. One does not love a person because of their beauty, but the person looks beautiful because of their love!

All said and done, physical beauty is only skin deep. The real beauty of a person comes from the inner depths of his existence. It is a blend of his integrity, solidarity, modesty, kindness and humility. Cultivate those traits to make thyself beautiful!

pada vigrahaH:
किम् अपि अस्ति स्वभावेन सुन्दरं वा अपि असुन्दरम्
kim api asti svabhaavena sundaraM vaa api asundaram

यदेव रोचते यस्मै तत् भवेत् तस्य सुन्दरम्
yadeva rochate yasmai tat bhavet tasya sundaram

September 8th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
क्षन्तव्यो मन्दबुद्धीनामपराधो मनीषिणा
न हि सर्वत्र पाण्डित्यं सुलभं पुरुषे क्वचित्

Transliteration:
kShantavyo mandabuddhInaamaparaadho manIShiNaa
na hi sarvatra paaNDityaM sulabhaM puruShe kvachit

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The follies of the dull witted should be forgiven. For, erudition doesn't come easy to people everywhere.

Commentary:
Erudition and eloquence are God given gifts. It does not come easily to all. Those that are blessed with that gift, have no reason to be proud of it. They did not have much of a say in being intelligent, it was given to them! At the same time, the intelligent need to be tolerant to the follies of the less intelligent. They deserve forgiveness for, fastidiousness in not their best trait!

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. There is learning everywhere alright! Even if a question seems foolish, be tolerant! Pray the Lord to give him the understanding and maturity. At the same time, thank God for the wisdom you have been blessed with.

pada vigrahaH:
क्षन्तव्यः मन्द-बुद्धीनाम् अपराधः मनीषिणा
kShantavyaH manda-buddhInaam aparaadhaH manIShiNaa

न हि सर्वत्र पाण्डित्यं सुलभं पुरुषे क्वचित्
na hi sarvatra paaNDityaM sulabhaM puruShe kvachit