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

September 7th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
षट्कर्णो भिद्यते मन्त्रश्चतुष्कर्णः स्थिरो भवेत्
द्विकर्णस्य च मन्त्रस्य ब्रह्माप्यन्तन्न गच्छति

Transliteration:
ShaTkarNo bhidyate mantrashchatuShkarNaH sthiro bhavet
dvikarNasya cha mantrasya brahmaapyantanna gachChati

Meaning of the subhAShita:
That which is (heard) by six ears gets shattered; that which is (heard) by four ears gets affirmed. That which stays between the two ears, even Lord brahma can not meet the end of it!

Commentary:
Spells, thoughts or secrets! That which is heard by six or more ears, (meaning, including the speaker, two others), gets broken. Although humans have two ears and one mouth, the tendency is, to speak more than listen! News and rumors travel faster than wind. They get transmitted from one mouth to another, with the inclusions of others' versions and exaggerations as well. Within no time, it will be the talk of the town!

That which is heard by four ears, (meaning, the speaker and only one other person), gets affirmed. When a guru teaches a mantra to his disciple, he teaches him in the ear. That strengthens the potency of the mantra. On a more mundane level, if a thought is shared with the spouse, a parent, a friend or a well wisher, he gets a re-affirmation as well as a second opinion to his thoughts. Depending on that he could either continue further in the direction or abandon it.

But the thought that stays between two ears, (meaning, in one's own head), even Lord brahma can not foresee the outcome of it! The thoughts kept within are unbreakable and predicting their outcome is impossible. For every thought, the connecting thoughts can take many a different turns and branch out further with many more possibilities and probabilities. The mind is so complex that it could go any which way, depending on the mindset of the person, at that given time. Then how can anyone guess the end result?

If publicizing is the idea, talk about it with two people. Also remember, he who gossips with you, gossips of you!

If reassurance or advice about something is the quest, discuss it with one near or dear person. For, affirmation without disciple is the beginning of delusion!

If ultimate secrecy is the goal, do not open thy mouth! Then even Lord brahma can't figure it out :).

Choice is yours!

pada vigrahaH:
षट्-कर्णः भिद्यते मन्त्रः चतुष्-कर्णः स्थिरः भवेत्
ShaT-karNaH bhidyate mantraH chatuSh-karNaH sthiraH bhavet

द्वि-कर्णस्य च मन्त्रस्य ब्रह्मा अपि अन्तं न गच्छति
dvi-karNasya cha mantrasya brahmaa api antaM na gachChati

September 6th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
बलाद्दत्तं बलाद्भुक्तं बलद्यच्चापि लेखितम्
सर्वान् बलकृतानर्थान् अकृतान् मनुरब्रवीत्
- मनुस्मृति

Transliteration:
balaaddattaM balaadbhuktaM baladyachchaapi lekhitam
sarvaan balakRutaanarthaan akRutaan manurabravIt
- manusmRuti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
That which is given forcefully, that which is possessed (enjoyed) forcefully, also that which is written forcefully; all affairs extracted by force are wretched, said manu.

Commentary:
Any action should be performed willingly by anyone! 'Force', should not be the driving force behind any deed, else it goes futile.

Giving should be beneficial to the receiver. Giving something for the sake of giving and forcing the other to receive it, no matter what, is a wasteful effort. It could be material object or monetary help or even an advice for that matter; giving by force, is not appreciated.

Taking by force is an obvious 'no, no'. Nobody wants anything snatched from them, for any reason!

Using strength to make one write anything is not useful either. One might be given an imposition to write 'I shall not lie', a hundred times. But that forced writing does not help inculcate that value in the person. One can be forced to sign off his entire property by force. That, if proven, does not hold up in the court of law even.

Manu says, any affair that is achieved through force, is wretched. No good fruit can be expected from such deeds. Pressurizing one to give into the others' strength, can yield nothing but contempt and fear. Neither is beneficial for the betterment of either of the involved individuals. It only makes one a tyrant and the other, the threatened. Neither grows spiritually. It curtails the blossoming of the soul in both. Then, what is the purpose of showing unwanted force?

Force, is all-conquering; but its victories, short-lived! Plan long term :).

pada vigrahaH:
बलात् दत्तं बलात् भुक्तं बलत् यत् चापि लेखितम्
balaat dattaM balaat bhuktaM balat yat chaapi lekhitam

सर्वान् बलकृतान् अर्थान् अकृतान् मनुः अब्रवीत्
sarvaan balakRutaan arthaan akRutaan manuH abravIt

September 5th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
देहे पातिनि का रक्षा यशो रक्ष्यमपातवत्
नरः पातितकायोऽपि यशःकायेन जीवति
- सुभाषितरत्नभाण्डागार

Transliteration:
dehe paatini kaa rakShaa yasho rakShyamapaatavat
naraH paatitakaayo.pi yashaHkaayena jIvati
- subhaaShitaratnabhaaNDaagaara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Why protect the body that is bound to fall off, protect the honor without falling. Even when the body is thrown, the being lives through his honor.

Commentary:
Immortality is not for the body. If one wishes to live eternally, the foot prints he needs to leave are not his physical ones, but those of his deeds. Many a beings have performed penances, desirous of physical immortality, in vain. What is the point in protecting the physical body that is bound to be discarded at some point or the other. Whether alive or have passed on, the seeds of the deeds one has sown live on. His valor and honor never die. Not only his glory lives on, his deeds live on too. For, his life would have been an inspiration for many a beings, for generations to come! That way, the society at large benefits from not only his deeds directly, but from the deeds of those that are inspired by him. As such, he becomes immortal through his deeds of honor!

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and that, is immortal. We all shall die. May the goal not be to live forever, but to create something that will!

pada vigrahaH:
देहे पातिनि का रक्षा यशः रक्ष्यम् अपातवत्
dehe paatini kaa rakShaa yashaH rakShyam apaatavat

नरः पातित-कायः अपि यशः-कायेन जीवति
naraH paatita-kaayaH api yashaH-kaayena jIvati

September 4th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
मधु पश्यति मूढात्मा प्रपातं नैव पश्यति
करोति निन्दितं कर्म नरकान्न बिभेति च
- देवीभागवत

Transliteration:
madhu pashyati mUDhaatmaa prapaataM naiva pashyati
karoti ninditaM karma narakaanna bibheti cha
- devIbhaagavata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The imbecile sees the honey, not the chasm (he is falling into), performs despicable deeds and is not afraid of going to hell either.

Commentary:
With his sight fixated upon the honey in the hive above, the imbecile does not watch his step to see if he is falling off the cliff! Only an imbecile can undertake such a task. In real lives, many a times, the honorable and despicable actions are not as well defined as the honey and the cliff. One needs to be aware of his actions constantly and avoid those that are not virtuous. The scriptures all say that one indulging in such deeds goes to hell. A dull witted person, although he knows his deeds are detestable, engages in them, without even the fear of the consequences. The act itself is so enticing to him, (like the sweetness of the honey draws his attention), the crevice on the land he is standing itself goes unnoticed!

Each of us bears his own hell. They say, 'Go to heaven for the climate and to hell for the company!' :). Let not that come true. Let each one make his own heaven and inspire those around to make their own as well.

pada vigrahaH:
मधु पश्यति मूढ-आत्मा प्रपातं न एव पश्यति
madhu pashyati mUDha-aatmaa prapaataM na eva pashyati

करोति निन्दितं कर्म नरकात् न बिभेति च
karoti ninditaM karma narakaat na bibheti cha

September 3rd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
साहित्यसङ्गीतकलाविहीनः
साक्षात्पशुः पुच्छविषाणहीनः
तृणं न खादन्नपि जीवमानः
तद्भागधेयं परमं पशूनाम्
- नीतिशतक

Transliteration:
saahityasa~ngItakalaavihInaH
saakShaatpashuH puchChaviShaaNahInaH
tRuNaM na khaadannapi jIvamaanaH
tadbhaagadheyaM paramaM pashUnaam
- nItishataka

Meaning of the subhAShita:
He who is devoid of (the knowledge of) literary compositions, music/melody or art forms, is an embodiment of an animal without a tail and horns. The animals are fortunate that he survives without eating up the grass!

Commentary:
The poet opines that those devoid of literature/scriptures, a flair for music or other art forms, (vidyaa in short), is as good as an animal. He is just short on the tail and horns faculty :). The poet furthermore says that, the real animals should be thankful that such a human being doesn't consume grass for food! Or the animals would run short on their feed too :).

The essence here being the fact that a human being needs not only to be appreciative of different art forms, he should value learning of all forms. vidyaa(knowledge) is one faculty that sets humans apart from animals. If that is not valued, isn't he same as animals?

Knowledge is the food for the soul! Feed the soul healthy food in heavenly portions :).

pada vigrahaH:
साहित्य-सङ्गीत-कला-विहीनः
saahitya-sa~ngIta-kalaa-vihInaH

साक्षात् पशुः पुच्छ-विषाण-हीनः
saakShaat pashuH puchCha-viShaaNa-hInaH

तृणं न खादन्न् अपि जीवमानः
tRuNaM na khaadann api jIvamaanaH

तत् भागधेयं परमं पशूनाम्
tat bhaagadheyaM paramaM pashUnaam

September 2nd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सर्वेषामेव शौचानां अर्थशौचं परं स्मृतम्
योऽर्थे शुचिर्हि स शुचिर्न मृद्वारिशुचिः शुचिः
- मनुस्मृति

Transliteration:
sarveShaameva shauchaanaaM arthashauchaM paraM smRutam
yo.rthe shuchirhi sa shuchirna mRudvaarishuchiH shuchiH
- manusmRuti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Amongst all kinds of purities, purity in matters of wealth is deemed the highest. He who is lucid in matters of money is only lucid. Cleanliness is not achieved through bathing with mud and water. (Mud was used as a scrub to cleanse).

Commentary:
Give and take are supposed to have a spiritual aspect to them. Taking wealth that does not belong to one, is considered a crime. Be it in any which way or form, taking wealth is stealing! It not only adds additional burden to one's own karma, but also increases his RuNa (debt) as well.

He who is lucid in matters of money is considered as most lucid. Bathing with fragrant oils and applying perfumes are all only superficial cleansing. Purity in dealing with wealth, is an affair of a different order. It has more to do with one's integrity and morale. Hence, it is considered superior.

Money often costs too much! Let not the price be one's solidarity and integrity!!

pada vigrahaH:
सर्वेषाम् एव शौचानां अर्थ-शौचं परं स्मृतम्
sarveShaam eva shauchaanaaM artha-shauchaM paraM smRutam

यः अर्थे शुचिः हि स शुचिः न मृत्-वारि-शुचिः शुचिः
yaH arthe shuchiH hi sa shuchiH na mRut-vaari-shuchiH shuchiH

September 1st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
यशोदया समा कापि देवतानास्ति भूतले
उलूखले यया बद्धो मुक्तिदो मुक्तिमिच्छति


Transliteration:
yashodayaa samaa kaapi devataanaasti bhUtale
ulUkhale yayaa baddho muktido muktimichChati

Meaning of the subhAShita:
There is no deity on this earth equal to yashodaa. He who liberates everyone, is asking her to release him, from the mortar that she has tied him to!

Commentary:
Who else can claim that they had tied down the liberator of all worlds. Only Lord Krishna's mother yashodaa can! Although she did not give birth to Him, she enjoyed the best of his childhood years!! She rocked Him to sleep, she held Him when He was hurt (or pretended to be hurt). She fed Him when He was hungry, she watched Him when He playfully bothered the gopi-s of vRundaavan. She watched Him drink milk, she caught Him stealing butter. She watched Him in His sleep, she kept an eye on Him when He was naughty. She hugged Him with love and she punished Him too, when he was mischievous!!

Once she even tied Him up with a rope, to a mortar, as she could not bear to hear anymore complaints about His mischief, from the villagers. The puppeteer that He is, He pretended to be bothered by the ropes and begged her to relieve Him of the ties! He who liberates one and all, from all kinds of bondage, implored yashodaa to release Him!! Isn't she the most envious of all beings! She had one blissful and blessed life, where she enjoyed motherhood of the ultimate order!

It is said that the Lord takes incarnations and comes to earth, especially to experience motherly love!!  Such is the greatness of a Mother's affection!

May He, Lord Krishna, bestow and shower such incredible joy on one and all!

pada vigrahaH:
यशोदया समा का अपि देवता न अस्ति भूतले
yashodayaa samaa kaa api devataa na asti bhUtale

उलूखले यया बद्धः मुक्तिदः मुक्तिम् इच्छति
ulUkhale yayaa baddhaH muktidaH muktim ichChati