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November 26th

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

- भर्तृहरि

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.

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 केशाः दन्ता जीर्यन्ति जीर्यतः
चक्षुःश्रोत्रे च जीर्येते तृष्णैका तु न जीर्यते

- महाभारत, अनुशासन पर्व

jIryanti jIryataH keshaaH 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 alas! desire (thirst) is not placated!

The hair gray out, teeth fall out, hearing and vision cannot be vouched for either.  The skin gets wrinkled, the 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 cannot 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 of 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

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.

Each and every action executed should be done with a feeling of detachment.  For any deed done, any chore performed, 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

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.

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