May 29th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
चत्वारो धनदायादाः धर्माग्निनृपतस्कराः
तेषां ज्येष्ठावमानेन त्रयः कुप्यन्ति सोदराः
- त्रिशतीव्याख्या, नीति

Transliteration:
chatvaaro dhanadaayaadaaH dharmaagninRupataskaraaH
teShaaM jyeShThaavamaanena trayaH kupyanti sodaraaH
- trishatIvyaakhyaa, nIti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The four cousins to wealth are - virtue, fire, king and thief. If the older one - virtue, is disrespected, the other 3 brothers get livid!

Commentary:
The rivalry between cousins is very well established in the mahaabhaarata. When a cousin shows negligence towards one of the brothers, all other brothers stand up against him, until he is crushed to dust. The poet has beautifully extended this to compare money/wealth to duryodhana. Virtue, fire, king and thief (although only 4 here), as the paandavas. If wealth is used to disrespect or humiliate virtue, meaning, wealth is put to use for unjust purposes, it has to face the wrath of the other 3 brothers, namely, fire, king and thief! These brothers will become the cause for the downfall of that wealth that is not put to use for performing good deeds. Such wealth gets destroyed by fire or other such natural calamity, a king or an official might annex it or a thief might lay his hands on such wealth. Either way, the owner of such wealth would not be able to keep his wealth!

Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service (a virtuous deed).

pada vigrahaH:
चत्वारः धन दायादाः धर्म अग्नि नृप तस्कराः
chatvaaraH dhana daayaadaaH dharma agni nRupa taskaraaH

तेषां ज्येष्ठ अवमानेन त्रयः कुप्यन्ति सोदराः
teShaaM jyeShThaavamaanena trayaH kupyanti sodaraaH

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