September 25th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
यदि सत्सङ्गनिरतो भविष्यसि भविष्यसि ।
तथा सज्जनगोष्ठिषु पतिष्यसि पतिष्यसि ॥

- हितोपदेश, मित्रलाभ

Transliteration:
yadi satsa~nganirato bhaviShyasi bhaviShyasi |
tathaa sajjanagoShThiShu patiShyasi patiShyasi ||
- hitopadesha, mitralaabha

Meaning of the subhAShita:
If (you) stay in good company, you shall stay.  Similarly, if (you) fall off from good company, (you) shall fall.

Commentary:
One's character is immensely influenced by the company he keeps.  The more one stays in good company, the better he prospers.  That, in turn implies, that when one's company or association is not up to the mark, he shall fall off from the pedestal of character.  The company one keeps speaks volumes about his mettle.  Someone once said, 'tell me thy friends and I shall tell you thy character'!  Such is the profoundness of one's  association.  The more one keeps good company, the more he grows.  The more one moves away  from it, the more he regresses.  One has to be mindful of this always.  It is not a goal to achieve one day and forget all about it!  It is a constant process towards progress.

The beauty of the verse, is also in the play of the words.  The verse at first shot might seem confusing or even wrong!  But punctuation is powerful.  There is a ',' between the two bhaviShyasi-s and the two patiShyasi-s!  The first bhaviShyasi indicates, being in good company.  The second one means, you shall be (as in, survive)!  Similarly, the first patiShyasi means, fall off from good company.  The second one implies, you shall fall (in morality and survival)!!

May each person be good and keep good company, so the entire universe will become a 'company to keep' :).

pada vigrahaH:
यदि सत्-सङ्ग-निरतः भविष्यसि भविष्यसि ।
yadi sat-sa~gga-nirataH bhaviShyasi bhaviShyasi |

तथा सज्जन-गोष्ठिषु पतिष्यसि पतिष्यसि ॥
tathaa sajjana-goShThiShu patiShyasi patiShyasi ||

September 23rd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
शमार्थं सर्वशास्त्राणि विहितानि मनीषिभिः ।
स एव सर्वशास्त्रज्ञः यस्य शान्तं मनः सदा ॥
- महाभारत

Transliteration:
shamaarthaM sarvashaastraaNi vihitaani manIShibhiH |
sa eva sarvashaastraj~naH yasya shaantaM manaH sadaa ||
- mahaabhaarata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The learned contrived all the shaastras (treatises) to quieten the mind.  He alone is cognizant of all shaastraas, whose mind is calm at all times.

Commentary:
It is said that data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.  Gaining that wisdom, is the very purpose of reading treatises.  

The very purport of the contrivers of those treatises, is to teach the reader, how to quieten the mind.  All the shaastras proclaim the same wisdom - quietening of the mind.  It is like the many rivers flowing, with the same purpose of pouring into the mighty ocean.  If one has already reached the ocean, why would he be required to know the flow of the river?  Hence, the poet says, he who already knows how to keep the mind calm and placid, has true cognizance and mastery over all the shaastras!  He does not have to read any shaastras or work towards achieving a goal in life.  Because, he would have already achieved the purpose of any being's reason for existence! 


Each one of us is running in all directions in search of ONE THING and that is tranquility of mind.  The very mind, that is right within ourselves!  He who has won that fort has nothing else to achieve!  May each and every one of us find that inner peace and find it soon.  That shall certainly make the noisy world a much more quieter and serene place to be in!

pada vigrahaH:
शम-अर्थं सर्व-शास्त्राणि विहितानि मनीषिभिः ।
shama-arthaM sarva-shaastraaNi vihitaani manIShibhiH |

स एव सर्व-शास्त्रज्ञः यस्य शान्तं मनः सदा ॥
sa eva sarva-shaastraj~naH yasya shaantaM manaH sadaa ||

September 16th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
वृक्षान् छित्वा पशून्हत्वा कृत्वा रुदिरकर्दमम् ।
यद्येवं गम्यते स्वर्गे नरकः केन गम्यते ॥

- पञ्चतन्त्र, काकोलूकीय

Transliteration:
vRukShaan Chitvaa pashUnhatvaa kRutvaa rudirakardamam |
yadyevaM gamyate swarge narakaH kena gamyate ||
- pa~nchatantra, kaakolUkIya

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Tearing down trees, massacring animals, having created a bloody mire - if this is how heaven is attained,  (then) hell is attained by whom?! 

Commentary:
There is a story where a little boy came to a tree.  The tree gave him leaves to play with.  He would climb on the trunk and swing from the branches.  When the boy grew up, the tree provided the man with fruit and wood to build his home.  When the man wanted more, the tree gave more, until only a stump was left.  Even then, when the weary man came by, the stump straightened up and gave him a place to sit on!  Such is the magnanimity of the tree.  But then, in return, man loots and loots, until nothing is left, like there is no tomorrow!  What to say about the massacring of animals?  The millions that are slain in the name of animal farming is appalling.  Does man realize what a bloody quagmire he is creating and letting flow?  Does he understand that he is hurting himself in the long haul? Does he even comprehend that there are repercussions for his actions?

No one wants to go to hell.  The wish and hope of all beings, is to reach heaven.  With those aspirations in mind, if man's actions are thus, one can only imagine the brutality if the aim was to actually reach hell!!  The poet sarcastically says, if these beings reach the garden of Eden, who else shall make it to Hades?!!

Heaven or hell is not for attaining after life, but to create them here and now!  One can either make earth a green heaven or one bloody hell!  It is all in our own hands.

pada vigrahaH:
वृक्षान् छित्वा पशून् हत्वा कृत्वा रुदिर-कर्दमम् ।
vRukShaan Chitvaa pashUn hatvaa kRutvaa rudira-kardamam |

यदि एवं गम्यते स्वर्गे नरकः केन गम्यते ॥
yadi evaM gamyate swarge narakaH kena gamyate ||

September 9th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
वनस्पतेरपक्वानि फलानि प्रचिनोति यः ।
स नाप्नोति रसं तेभ्यो बीजं चास्य विनश्यति ॥

- विदुरनीति

Transliteration:
vanaspaterapakvaani phalaani prachinoti yaH |
sa naapnoti rasaM tebhyo bIjaM chaasya vinashyati ||
- viduranIti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
He who plucks the unripe fruit from the fruit trees, not only doesn't he acquire their juices, but spoils its seed as well. 

Commentary:
When a fruit is not ripe, it is not ready for plucking.  Nature has designed things so perfectly, that, when a fruit is ripe, just a small touch is enough for it to detach itself from the tree and fall into one's hand!  Not only that, the peel separates from the fruit easily and so does the seed (if it is inside)!  There is not much effort needed.  When such a perfect design is tampered, it is quite natural that the result is tampered as well.  If the fruit is plucked when it is unripe, all its juices wouldn't have reached their peak.  Their flavors would not have developed to their entirety.  The seed inside, wouldn't have reached its fullest potential either!  All these would not be available to their fullest potential for enjoyment.  Why risk so many losses?!  

Keeping the patience till the fruit is ready for harvest, reaps far many more benefits to the person than to one that loses his patience.  Hurrying up nature won't work.  The tree will not ripen the fruit as per the onlooker's schedule after all!  Only time can fill in the right juices in the right proportions.

Similarly, in all walks of life, one has to do the right things. at the right time, at the right place.  The same action done in an untimely manner will most certainly turn out wasteful.  One can not say, 'but I put in a lot of effort'!!  For, it is not the effort alone that yields results, it is the perfect timing as well.  Just like a player can not hit a goal even before the game starts and expect to score, one has to put in his efforts in the right direction at all times.

After all, doing what's right, the right way at the right time, is the key to success in all walks of life! 

pada vigrahaH:
वनस्पतेः अ-पक्वानि फलानि प्रचिनोति यः ।
vanaspateH a-pakvaani phalaani prachinoti yaH |

स न आप्नोति रसं तेभ्यः बीजं च अस्य विनश्यति ॥
sa na aapnoti rasaM tebhyaH bIjaM cha asya vinashyati ||

September 2nd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सदा वक्रस्सदारुष्टः सदापूजामपेक्षते ।
कन्याराशिस्थितो नित्यं जामाता दशमो ग्रहः ॥

Transliteration:
sadaa vakrassadaaruShTaH sadaapUjaamapekShate |
kanyaaraashisthito nityaM jaamaataa dashamo grahaH ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Always crooked, always angry, always expecting veneration - put up in the 'kanyaa raashi' (sun sign virgo, also implying the daughter) eternally, son-in-law is the tenth planet.

Commentary:
It is a norm amongst some, that a son-in-law should be given special care and treatment  by the parents of the girl.  Such a son-in-law is known to be ever angry and always finding faults with anything that is done.  The parents are constantly anxious about providing the best possible care and attention to their son-in-law.  They are weary tending to him all the time.  This seems to be a verse emerging out of the plight of such parents who have given their daughter in marriage to a very demanding man.  Hence, they are expressing their plight in a satirical way, comparing the son-in-law to be the tenth planet, sitting in the 'kanyaa raashi' (kanyaa happens to be one of the 'zodiac signs' (virgo) and also means 'daughter') eternally.

Not necessarily all son-in-laws have this attitude, but some of them that do have, bring out the poet in a person to say such a verse.  More than what this stands for, this one is shared for its sense of humor, in which a given scenario is presented in the language.  How even a mundane issue is addressed humorously and satirically!

May not any parents feel this kind of pain, nor a son-in-law get this kind of a name....

pada vigrahaH:
सदा वक्रः सदा रुष्टः सदा पूजाम् अपेक्षते ।
sadaa vakraH sadaa ruShTaH sadaa pUjaam apekShate |

कन्या-राशि-स्थितो नित्यं जामाता दशमः ग्रहः ॥
kanyaa-raashi-sthito nityaM jaamaataa dashamaH grahaH ||

August 26th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
वलीभिर्मुखमाक्रान्तं पलितैरङ्कितं शिरः ।
गात्राणि शिथिलायन्ते तृष्णैका तरुणायते ॥

- वैराग्यशतक

Transliteration:
valIbhirmukhamaakraantaM palitaira~nkitaM shiraH |
gaatraaNi shithilaayante tRuShNaikaa taruNaayate ||
- vairaagyashataka

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Face encroached in wrinkles; head marked by grays; limbs frail/feeble; appetence alone is young!

Commentary:
Gray hair, wrinkled face and feeble limbs are all signs of impending old age.  The organs lax and become fragile and incoherent because they have grown, matured, enjoyed being their best during youth and ripened due to time and usage.  But then, there is one very powerful trait of the being that doesn't undergo this cycle of growing, maturing, enjoying at its best and then... ripening!  It for sure undergoes the first three stages.  But on reaching its pinnacle it just remains there and keeps growing wider and deeper!  It is insatiable and infinitely growing as well!!  'Appetence', 'thirst', 'intense craving', 'strong desire'....  Many are its names, but effects all the same.  It is insatiable at any age!  A new craving, a new thirst, a new desire.... once that is satisfied, there is some other craving, thirst or desire, ready to take over....  This seems to have no end at any stage of life.  The poet observes that thirst is the only attribute of the being, that gets stuck in its youth and never outgrows that stage! The rest of the organs show clear signs of dilapidation! 

The thirst of desire can never be fulfilled nor fully quenched.  If drinking salt water, you drink and the thirst increases.  Desire is just the same!  The more it is fed, the more it increases.  Nipping it in the bud is the easiest way of conquering it, they say.

pada vigrahaH:
वलीभिः मुखम् आक्रान्तं पलितैः अङ्कितं शिरः ।
valIbhiH mukham aakraantaM palitaiH a~nkitaM shiraH |

गात्राणि शिथिलायन्ते तृष्णा एका तरुणायते ॥
gaatraaNi shithilaayante tRuShNaa ekaa taruNaayate ||

August 19th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
गृहं गृहमटन् भिक्षुः शिक्षते न तु याचते ।
अदत्वा मद्दृशो मा भूः दत्वा त्वं त्वद्दृशो भव ॥

- अज्ञात

Transliteration:
gRuhaM gRuhamaTan bhikShuH shikShate na tu yaachate |
adatvaa maddRusho maa bhUH datvaa tvaM tvaddRusho bhava ||
- aj~naata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Roaming from home to home, the cadger is not begging but teaching - do not become like myself, by not giving, but remain like yourself, by giving.

Commentary:
Why does a beggar go from house to house, begging for alms?  Is it because he does not have enough so he goes begging?  The poet says, 'not really'!!  The poet opines that the cadger goes from home to home, in order to teach the dwellers a very important moral.  He wants to teach them, remain like yourself by giving alms, do not become like me by being close-fisted!  How does he justify that?  Hands that give shall also receive.  To lead a comfortable life in the society, the inhabitant of the home sure has received many a blessings and favors to lead the kind of life he does.  By giving to those in need, he will only better his chances of receiving generously further in his own life.  Without giving, he is certain to run out of credits in his account of good deeds and land up on the streets like the cadger himself!!  So the cadger is walking around, as if, warning the avaricious that, without giving, the same shall be their fate, sooner or later.

By giving, one only makes his own life better. In giving, the bigger beneficiary is the giver really!  For, the contentment that comes in giving, is far less than the satisfaction of receiving.  Give with all your heart.

pada vigrahaH:
गृहं गृहम् अटन् भिक्षुः शिक्षते न तु याचते ।
gRuhaM gRuham aTan bhikShuH shikShate na tu yaachate |

अदत्वा मत् दृशः मा भूः दत्वा त्वं त्वत् दृशः भव ॥
adatvaa mat dRushaH maa bhUH datvaa tvaM tvat dRushaH bhava ||

August 12th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
इदमेव हि पाण्डित्यं चातुर्यमिदमेव हि ।
इदमेव सुबुद्धित्वमायादल्पतरो व्ययः ॥

- समयोचितपद्यमालिका

Transliteration:
idameva hi paaNDityaM chaaturyamidameva hi |
idameva subuddhitvamaayaadalpataro vyayaH ||
- samayochitapadyamaalikaa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
This alone is erudition, this alone is dexterity, this alone is good intellect - expense less than revenue.

Commentary:
Not stretching beyond means!

What one possesses, only that he can expend.  What one owns, only that he can give.  What one earns, only that he can spend.  Isn't this a straight forward philosophy?  The poet opines that this alone is erudition, dexterity and good intellect.  Although all these, are different facets of decision making, the emphasis here is 'all these have to give the same end result'.  There is no choice about it.  For, owing to someone is a burden of the heaviest kind.   Even enslaving someone may be a better choice, for only the person is pawned for that.  But to a debtor, the heaviest interest one pays is his dignity and self-respect!

The most sensible way to avoid getting into this scenario is, living within one's means.  Not stretching beyond what one can afford.  Always having some stored for a rainy day.  Even ants do that!  Shouldn't humans do it more ardently :). 

Spending is quick, earning is slow.  Beware!  Earn slowly, spend more slowly :). 

pada vigrahaH:
इदम् एव हि पाण्डित्यं चातुर्यम् इदम् एव हि ।
idam eva hi paaNDityaM chaaturyam idam eva hi |

इदम् एव सु-बुद्धित्वम् आयात् अल्पतरः व्ययः ॥
idam eva su-buddhitvam aayaat alpataraH vyayaH ||

August 5th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
घटं भिद्यात् पटं छिन्द्यात् कुर्यात् रासभरोहणम् ।
येन केनाप्युपायेन प्रसिद्धः पुरुषो भवेत् ॥

- समयोचितपद्यमालिका

Transliteration:
ghaTaM bhidyaat paTaM Chindyaat kuryaat raasabharohaNam |
yena kenaapyupaayena prasiddhaH puruSho bhavet ||
- samayochitapadyamaalikaa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Destroy a pot, tear up a cloth, (or) mount a donkey (too)!  By one means or another, become a famous man!!

Commentary:
By hook or crook, achieve thy goal.  This seems to be the tag line some people ardently believe in!  

The poet sarcastically says, to become famous, some will resort to any means.  That could be breaking things and making noise, tearing stuff and attracting attention, or even riding a donkey to make a statement!  

This is appalling to some, but comes naturally to few others.  They create all kinds of drama around themselves get the spot light onto themselves.  It is like they say, people whose pictures are published in the news paper are famous. So, to become famous (and be on the news paper), one can either be a good cop or a great thief. Pictures of both the people shall be published!­! It is upto oneself to choose his route of becoming famous :).

It is said that fame is the advantage of being known to people you don't know nor care to know about!  It is all ephemeral, the fame as well as the famous.  Why run behind something so tentative and unreal, trading at the price of truth, honesty and morale?!

Make thy pick...

pada vigrahaH:
घटं भिद्यात् पटं छिन्द्यात् कुर्यात् रासभ रोहणम् ।
ghaTaM bhidyaat paTaM Chindyaat kuryaat raasabha rohaNam |

येन केनापि उपायेन प्रसिद्धः पुरुषः भवेत् ॥
yena kenaapi upaayena prasiddhaH puruShaH bhavet ||

July 29th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
उपकर्तुं यथा स्वल्पः समर्थो न तथा महान् ।
प्रायः कूपस्तृषां हन्ति न कदापि तु वारिधिः ॥
- सुभाषितरत्नसमुच्चय

Transliteration:
upakartuM yathaa svalpaH samartho na tathaa mahaan |
praayaH kUpastRuShaaM hanti na kadaapi tu vaaridhiH ||
- subhaaShitaratnasamuchchaya

Meaning of the subhAShita:
In the way a trifle can be of assistance, the great may not be able to.  Probably a well can quench the thirst, but never the (mighty) ocean.

Commentary:
Each in its own space and time.  The purpose of one can not be served by the other.  An ocean may be all mighty and magnificent.  But when a thirsty man comes to it, he will look for a different source of drinking water.  Although the ocean is a store house of the most percentage of water available on earth, although torrential rains are an ounce in the face of its capacity, not a drop of it is useful in quenching the thirst of a weary traveler!  But then, a well, which is a minuscule speck in comparison to the ocean, may very well be a heavenly sight to the parched throat of a tired hiker.

Same holds good in all aspects of life.  Each person can not be the leader of the world!  If that is true, then who will they lead?!  As much as leaders are required, people that need to be lead are essential as well.  Every man can't be an architect, there needs to be someone to build the structure as well.  That means, the builder can not become the architect either.  One person's shoe can not fit another. At the same time, the existence of each and every being is very important.

For that matter, the existence of every grain of sand and blade of grass is crucial.  If it wasn't required to be there, He would have already made sure that it was not there!  If it is there, it already is important and essential.  So are beings.  If they weren't special and essential, the Lord wouldn't have made them!! 

Never disrespect anything or anyone based on their pervasiveness.  All are indispensable in their own unique ways!  Value for what they essentially are.  A great man once said, 'Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'!!  What a profound statement that is!

pada vigrahaH: 
उपकर्तुं यथा स्वल्पः समर्थः न तथा महान् ।
upakartuM yathaa svalpaH samarthaH na tathaa mahaan |


प्रायः कूपः तृषां हन्ति न कदा अपि तु वारिधिः ॥
praayaH kUpaH tRuShaaM hanti na kadaa api tu vaaridhiH ||


July 22nd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
रात्रिर्गमिष्यति भविष्यति सुप्रभातम्
भास्वानुदेष्यति हसिष्यति पङ्कजश्रीः ।
इत्थं विचिन्तयति कोशगते द्विरेफे
हा हन्त हन्त नलिनीं गज उज्जहार ॥ 

- कुवलयानन्द

Transliteration:
raatrirgamiShyati bhaviShyati suprabhaatam
bhaaswaanudeShyati hasiShyati pa~nkajashrIH |
itthaM vichintayati koshagate dvirephe
haa hanta hanta nalinIM gaja ujjahaara ||
- kuvalayaananda

Meaning of the subhAShita:
"The night shall pass, dawn shall arrive, sun shall rise and the lotus shall bloom" - even as the bee, stuck in the lotus bud, was thinking; alas, alas, an elephant uprooted the lotus!!

Commentary:
Timing is everything... or... destiny has the final say!  This is the story of a busy little bee, who, was anxious to get the last sip of nectar before the fall of the day.  He hovered over a lotus and settled down for the sip.  But since it was almost dusk, the lotus closed its petals to rest for the day and the bee got stuck inside the petals.  There was no way it could get out from the grasp of the tender petals of the closed lotus bud!  So, the bee consoled itself thus, "the night shall pass, daybreak shall come, the sun shall rise and the lotus shall bloom..." - so that when the flower opened the petals, it could fly away.  But alas, what luck!  Even as the bee was thinking thus, a rut elephant uprooted the closed lotus bud!!  Now that it wasn't rooted anymore, neither the rise of the sun nor the midday scorch can make a difference.  The bud shall never ever open again, hence trapping the bee inside, to draw its last breath :(.

Like they say, 'it is in your moments of decision, your destiny is shaped'!  Perhaps, the outcome would have been different if the bee had judged the time of the day better.  Perhaps, the bee would have been spared if he wasn't greedy for that one more sip.  Perhaps the consequence would have been different if the bee was swift enough to fly out when the bud was closing up.... perhaps... perhaps... But these can only be speculations.

Many a times in life, one would never know what would have happened if only he made his choices differently.  Or perhaps, it is the choices, not chances, that determine one's destiny?!!  It is probably for oneself to decide...

pada vigrahaH:
रात्रिः गमिष्यति भविष्यति सुप्रभातम्
raatriH gamiShyati bhaviShyati suprabhaatam

भास्वान् उदेष्यति हसिष्यति पङ्कजश्रीः ।
bhaaswaan udeShyati hasiShyati pa~nkajashrIH |

इत्थं विचिन्तयति कोश-गते द्विरेफे
itthaM vichintayati kosha-gate dvirephe

हा हन्त हन्त नलिनीं गज उज्जहार ॥
haa hanta hanta nalinIM gaja ujjahaara ||

July 15th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
भवन्ति नम्रास्तरवः फलोद्गमैः
नवाम्बुभिर्दूरविलम्बिनो घनाः ।
अनुद्धताः सत्पुरुषाः समृद्धिभिः
स्वभाव एवैष परोपकारिणाम् ॥

- नीतिशतक

Transliteration:
bhavanti namraastraravaH phalodgamaiH
navaambubhirdUravilambino ghanaaH |
anuddhataaH satpuruShaaH samRuddhibhiH
svabhaava evaiSha paropakaariNaam ||
- nItishataka

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Trees bow down when fruit are shooting forth; clouds when carrying water, hang far down; in opulence,  the noble become humble - this is the very nature of the benevolent.

Commentary:
"If you wish to have peace provide peace for others" - this probably is the motivation for the trees, clouds and the noble!  They attain their internal peace by their act of benevolence to others.  Not just being affable, they are humble too.  Humility is their prime attribute.

When a tree is full of fruit, it does not stretch itself straight up in arrogance, arrogance that it is providing fruit to everyone.  It bends down in humility, as if to make it easier for others to access its fruit! 

When clouds are overborne with water, they hang low as if in diffidence, so they could shower their cool waters at the earliest!

The noble when bestowed with opulence, they display utmost humility.  They do not have even an ounce of arrogance about any of their resources or boons.  They display utmost modesty and believe that humility is a life long lesson.  There is no time they relax from being humble!  It is a natural trait that comes spontaneously to them at all times.  Their clear stance is that 'humility is the cornerstone for all other virtues'.  Hence they never take respite from their wonderful attribute.

Those that do good to others never take pride in themselves.  Pride makes us artificial, humility makes us real.  Let's be real!

pada vigrahaH:
भवन्ति नम्राः तरवः फल-उद्गमैः
bhavanti namraaH taravaH phala-udgamaiH

नव-अम्बुभिः दूरविलम्बिनः घनाः ।
nava-ambubhiH dUravilambinaH ghanaaH |


अनुद्धताः सत्-पुरुषाः समृद्धिभिः
anuddhataaH sat-puruShaaH samRuddhibhiH

स्वभाव एव एष पर-उपकारिणाम् ॥
svabhaava eva eSha para-upakaariNaam ||


July 8th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
लभेत सिकतासु तैलमपि यत्नतः पीडयन्
पिबेच्च मृगतृष्णिकासु सलिलं पिपासार्दितः ।
कदाचिदपि पर्यटन् शशविषाणमासादयेत्
न तु प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तमाराधयेत् ॥
- नीतिशतक, भर्तृहरि

Transliteration:
labheta sikataasu tailamapi yatnataH pIDayan
pibechcha mRugatRuShNikaasu salilaM pipaasaarditaH |
kadaachidapi paryaTan shashaviShaaNamaasaadayet
na tu pratiniviShTamUrkhajanachittamaaraadhayet ||
- nItishataka, bhartRuhari

Meaning of the subhAShita:
(One) may procure oil from sand after forceful exertion; an extremely thirsty person may get a drink of water from a mirage; sometimes after (immense) wandering, may obtain a rabbit horn; but can never appease the mind of a perverse fool!

Commentary:
Is there even an ounce of oil content in whole heap of sand?  Is there any real water in a mirage?  Does a hare even have a horn, for one to be able to find it?  The answer to all these three scenarios is obviously a big NO!  But then, the poet says, probably, all these virtual impossibilities may still be a possibility!!  After exerting oneself to the extreme, one may finally be able to squeeze out a drop of oil from a heap of sand!  An exceedingly parched person might get a drink of water from a mirage even!  Although a hare doesn't ever grow a horn, one might, after an extensive hunt, be able to procure one!  None of these are deemed impossible, in comparison to pleasing the mind of an obstinate fool.  Now that, is a whole different ball game.  That is not just impossible, it is exceptional impossibility to the Nth degree!!  Anyone even trying to mitigate the mind of a fool, would be making a futile effort.

A wise man may change his mind, but a fool never - they say.  Once the mind of an imbecile is set on something, the poet says in another verse, it is not possible even for Lord brahma to change it.  A fool would be adamantly hung up on his stance and not be perturbed by anyone at any cost.  Then what is the point in trying to convince someone that has decided to never be convinced?! 

Why waste efforts in something fruitless?  At the same time, if one has decided to be implausible, for no good reason, now he knows what he shall be called :). 

pada vigrahaH:
लभेत सिकतासु तैलम् अपि यत्नतः पीडयन्
labheta sikataasu tailam api yatnataH pIDayan

पिबेत् च मृगतृष्णिकासु सलिलं पिपास अर्दितः ।
pibet cha mRugatRuShNikaasu salilaM pipaasa arditaH |

कदाचित् अपि पर्यटन् शश-विषाणम् आसादयेत् 
kadaachit api paryaTan shasha-viShaaNam aasaadayet

न तु प्रतिनिविष्ट-मूर्ख-जन-चित्तम् आराधयेत् ॥
na tu pratiniviShTa-mUrkha-jana-chittam aaraadhayet ||

July 1st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
प्रामाण्यबुद्धिः स्तोत्रेषु देवताबुद्धिरात्मनि ।
कीटबुद्धिर्मनुष्येषु नूतनायाः श्रियः फलम् ॥
- कलिविडम्बना

Transliteration:
praamaaNyabuddhiH stotreShu devataabuddhiraatmani |
kITabuddhirmanuShyeShu nUtanaayaaH shriyaH phalam ||
- kaliviDambanaa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Authoritativeness in one's own praises; perceiving oneself as divine; discerning other humans as insects - these are the fruit of new found wealth. 

Commentary:
People at large, value material wealth and having lots of it, gives a sense of accomplishment. If that wealth came overnight, what to ask of such a person!  He would be constantly boasting off his possessions.  Swelling up on one's own praises isn't a very pleasant trait.  It is easy for him to think of himself as superior to the rest.  That is followed by gloating about himself and thinking of himself as God!  The counter effect of that, regarding the rest of the human species as 'insignificant insects'!! 

There is a saying in another language, which can be translated to somewhat like this - 'when a mediocre person gets wealth suddenly out of nowhere, he wakes up in the middle of the night and holds out an umbrella'!  The reason here, he suddenly remembers that he is wealthy and wants to show off.  He would be at home in the middle of the night and there is no need for an umbrella inside a home, is there?  But he will hold it out just to show that he owns an umbrella now :).
 
Someone even said 'self praise is almost slander'!  Why demean oneself when one can use his new found resources for the betterment of the society?  That takes a lot of humility!  Nothing else can lead a person in the right path.

Someone born and rolling in wealth might be able to deal with it, but for someone who suddenly found new resources, it takes very strong morals to keep him from becoming arrogant!  Keep thy head on thine shoulders at all times :).  Everything else shall follow.

pada vigrahaH:
प्रामाण्य-बुद्धिः स्तोत्रेषु देवता-बुद्धिः आत्मनि ।
praamaaNya-buddhiH stotreShu devataa-buddhiH aatmani |

कीट-बुद्धिः मनुष्येषु नूतन आयाः श्रियः फलम् ॥
kITa-buddhiH manuShyeShu nUtana aayaaH shriyaH phalam || 

June 24th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
उदीरितोऽर्थः पशुनापि गृह्यते
हयाश्च नागाश्च वहन्ति देशिताः ।
अनुक्तमप्यूहति पण्डितो जनः
परेङ्गितज्ञानफला हि बुद्धयः ॥

- हितोपदेश, सुहृद्भेद

Transliteration:
udIrito.rthaH pashunaapi gRuhyate
hayaashcha naagaashcha vahanti deshitaaH |
anuktamapyUhati paNDito janaH
pare~ngitaj~naanaphalaa hi buddhayaH ||
- hitopadesha, suhRudbheda

Meaning of the subhAShita:
That which is enunciated clearly, is grasped by even animals, (just as) horses and serpents execute on orders.  The intelligent perceive even that which is unsaid.  Certainly the consequence of intelligence is, an understanding of the intent of others.

Commentary:
'Stay', 'fetch', 'run', 'dance', 'jump' - even animals respond to such instructions.  A horse can run when whipped.  A snake can nod it's head according to the snake charmer's flute movements.  Animals (at least the domestic ones :), promptly do what they are told.  Doing what they are told, is no rocket science to the animals.  They do not have to use much intellect or make decisions to follow instructions.

Shouldn't the intellect of man set him apart?  The intelligence of man allows him to understand and perceive even the untold words.  He can deduce and act, depending upon previous experiences, reactions and responses from those around him.  He thinks his actions through, comprehends the repercussions and executes intelligently.  He takes initiative to do even those tasks that were not assigned to him, in so many words.  Initiative is doing the right thing without being told!  Many a scientists, mathematicians and even philosophers have tread paths that were never explored before.  That is exactly why they were able to make their discoveries or theories!  That is why someone once said, 'Discoveries are often made by not following the instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried'!!  Else, the world would see no discoveries uncovered nor have inventions invented :).  The author says, in fact, the consequence of proper intelligence is - the ability to perceive the untold stories!

Get smart.  Do not wait for someone to give instructions all the time.  Take charge, take initiative... Give it your best in all good faith and see what comes!  The color of life shall change as you see it!!

pada vigrahaH:
उदीरितः अर्थः पशुना अपि गृह्यते

udIritaH arthaH pashunaa api gRuhyate

हयाः च नागाः च वहन्ति देशिताः ।
hayaaH cha naagaaH cha vahanti deshitaaH |

अनुक्तम् अपि ऊहति पण्डितः जनः
anuktam api Uhati paNDitaH janaH

पर-इङ्गित-ज्ञान-फला हि बुद्धयः ॥
 para-i~ngita-j~naana-phalaa hi buddhayaH ||



June 17th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
तृणानि भूमिरुदकं वाक्चतुर्थी च सूनृता ।
एतान्यपि सतां गेहे नोच्छिद्यन्ते कदाचन ॥

-महाभारत, उद्योग

Transliteration:
tRuNaani bhUmirudakaM vaakchaturthI cha sUnRutaa |
etaanyapi sataaM gehe nochChidyante kadaachana ||
- mahaabhaarata, udyoga

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Grass, land, water and fourth being pleasant and honest speech - these are never severed off from the home of a righteous person.

Commentary:
A righteous man, may not be rich and famous.  He may not have cushions of silk with threads of gold.  He may not have silver plates and golden spoons to eat from.  He may not have an elaborate 7 course menu to offer either.  But, there is never a scarcity of grass.  Grass, because during those days, they would offer a seat of grass.  Hence that means, the virtuous people always welcome and offer a seat to their guest.  They have land, meaning, a place to sit or lie down even, so the guest is comfortable.  Water, a very essential element for the survival of any kind of being.  Be it a rich man or a poor man, be it an animal or a human, be it a bird or a beast, no one can survive without water.  Infact, that is the reason for inhabitants only on planet earth and not any other solar planet - water!  An honorable man always offers a drink for his visitor to quench his thirst.  There is no special water for the rich man or an ordinary water for the common man.  They may come in different packages, but the basic composition of all waters are invariably the same.  The rich man's water can't comprise of some traces of gold obviously :).  All these are basic elements that one can provide which is already  given to him by the Lord.

But then, the fourth, is a distinct one.  Pleasant and gentle speech!  This is a faculty that comes through cultivating a good disposition and having a generous heart.  It doesn't need any special equipment or privileges or possessions.  All it takes, is a pure, pleasing and gentle demeanor and a great big heart.  Reminds of another poem by a saint (basavaNNa).  He says, 'If you greet others at the first sight with a - How do you do? Do come in! - will yo turn ugly?  If you say - please sit down - will your floor cave in?  If you are first to greet (without waiting for the other to speak first), would your head or belly burst?'  He says even if you don't have anything to offer, if you can't offer these basic hospitality, will the Lord appreciate you?

The author of this verse says, these four faculties are never severed from the home of a virtuous person.  No matter his financial status, any human can provide these four.  Then that means, each and every one of us qualify to become a virtuous person!  So what's holding us back?  Why are there so many animosities amongst people and why are there so many wars strewn across history?  Looks like there is a very simple solution!  Adapting these four, completely inexpensive traits, shall lead us to the path of happiness and peaceful co-existence.  Let us work towards adapting them and see where it takes us.  After all, they cost nothing :).

Be nice!

pada vigrahaH:
तृणानि भूमिः उदकं वाक् चतुर्थी च सूनृता ।
tRuNaani bhUmiH udakaM vaak chaturthI cha sUnRutaa |

एतानि अपि सतां गेहे न उच्छिद्यन्ते कदाचन ॥
etaani api sataaM gehe na uchChidyante kadaachana ||

June 10th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
उच्चैरुच्चरितव्यं यत्किञ्चिदजानतापि पुरुषेण ।
मूर्खा बहु मन्यन्ते विदुषामपि संशयो भवति ॥

- सुभाषितसुधानिधि

Transliteration:
uchchairuchcharitavyaM yatki~nchidajaanataapi puruSheNa |
mUrkhaa bahu manyante viduShaamapi saMshayo bhavati ||
- subhaaShitasudhaanidhi

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Whatever little is spoken by a person, should be pronounced intensely, even if unaware of everything.  For, (not only shall) the imbecile  regard highly, even the wise shall become incredulous.

Commentary:
While speaking, the conviction of the speaker weighs in quite a bit, along with what is being spoken!  Like it or not, if the speaker is not certain of himself, how can he expect his audience to have any faith in what he is saying?  Swallowing the words, stuttering or stammering, catches no attention of the onlooker, nor does mumbling or droning.

They say, 'write to be understood, speak to be heard'!  If one wants to be heard, he needs to speak and speak clearly, he MUST!  Speech is power, when used aptly, or one will regret that he ever opened his mouth :).  But when he does, he should make sure it is loud and clear.

The poet goes a step further and says, even if unaware of everything, one should speak clearly!  Because, the dull witted shall have a high regard, due to one's delivery and the smart ones too shall doubt for a moment, that one might know everything ;). Deception is not the purpose here, nor is he promoting pompousness!  All the author is saying is, be confident and present whatever little you know, in a crystal clear manner.

Don't mumble... SPEAK UP, so you can be heard! 

pada vigrahaH:
उच्चैः उच्चरितव्यं यत् किञ्चित् अजानता अपि पुरुषेण ।
uchchaiH uchcharitavyaM yat ki~nchit ajaanataa api puruSheNa |

मूर्खाः बहु मन्यन्ते विदुषाम् अपि संशयः भवति ॥
mUrkhaaH bahu manyante viduShaam api saMshayaH bhavati ||

June 3rd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
उद्यन्तु शतमादित्या उद्यन्तु शतमिन्दवः ।
न विना विदुषां वाक्यैर्नश्यत्याभ्यन्तरं तमः ॥

- सभारञ्जन शतक

Transliteration:
udyantu shatamaadityaa udyantu shatamindavaH |
na vinaa viduShaaM vaakyairnashyatyaabhyantaraM tamaH ||
- sabhaara~njana shataka

Meaning of the subhAShita:
May a hundred suns rise, may (there) rise hundred moons.  (But) without listening to the words of the wise men, the internal darkness can not be annihilated!

Commentary:
They say, 'there isn't enough darkness in the world to put out the light of even one little candle'.  At the same time, at the other end of the spectrum, 'there isn't enough light in this world to eradicate even an ounce of the darkness within, without listening to the wise words of wisdom of the learned'! 

A human is in a unique situation than any other living being.  He is the only animal blessed with the faculty of speech and understanding.  He is the only being who has been blessed with a thinking mind and an intellect to make choices!  Ever since the dinosaur era, has anyone ever heard of a more intelligent animal than a human?  Why on earth did God give that facility if  it did not mean for Him, to set humans apart from the rest of the creatures?  Would the Lord ever create a strand of hair without a purpose?!!  Then, why did He create such an elaborate and complicated structure of language and thought process, explicit just for the homo sapiens?!!  Obviously, there was an equally specific and essential purpose for it!  Would it be to show the supremacy of the humans over other animals?  Definitely not!  Dominion and surrender aren't natural to any being.  That which doesn't come naturally, can not be dharma.  That which is not dharma, CAN NOT be the purpose in the Lord's mind!  Then, what could it be?  The only possible reason could be, to spread the knowledge..., the knowledge of the ultimate truth. The poet says, the ignorance within, which is equated to darkness, can be eradicated only through listening to the wise words of the learned!  Even if a hundred suns rise all at once and a hundred moons emerge along with that, the unanimous light is not sufficient to decimate the ignorance of the within!  The one and only ray of hope to cure that murkiness is, listening to the teaching of the great masters and seers of all times.  No other choice!

Isn't it better to light a candle than curse the darkness!  May each find his guiding light and tread towards attaining his goal with ease.

pada vigrahaH:
उद्यन्तु शतम् आदित्याः उद्यन्तु शतम् इन्दवः ।

udyantu shatam aadityaaH udyantu shatam indavaH |

न विना विदुषां वाक्यैः नश्यति आभ्यन्तरं तमः ॥
na vinaa viduShaaM vaakyaiH nashyati aabhyantaraM tamaH ||

May 27th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु मातृरूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥

Transliteration:
yaa devI sarvabhUteShu maatRurUpeNa saMsthitaa |
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namaH ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
To that Goddess, who is residing in all beings, in the form of the mother, I bow, salute, pray and prostrate to her!

Commentary:
Once when a little girl was asked where her home was, she gave a matter-of-fact-ly answer, 'where my mom is!'  What a simple, yet profound answer!  'A home is where the heart is' and 'the heart is where mother is', isn't it!  'Mother' is the name of God in the hearts and lips of little children! My mother always said that, since God Himself could not be present physically at all places, He created mothers!  It is the mother who, not only gives birth to her offspring, but nestles and nourishes when young, then on, nurses and nurtures forever.  A new born knows not, the whims and fancies of the world.  It is the mother (or a motherly figure), who takes the child by the hand and accustoms it to its surroundings!  It is she who teaches the first words, it is she who inculcates values, it is she who teaches the child right from wrong.  A mother's heart is a beacon of love, not just for her own children, but for children in general.  This phenomenon of a mother is prevalent not just in human beings, but in all forms of beings in general!  Yes, even in those that lay eggs and leave, even in those that leave young cubs behind to fend for themselves!  How?  Well, even the mother of those species makes sure she lays her eggs in the safest place that she can find, she leaves the cubs only when she has made sure she has taught them the tricks of trade for survival!  Hence, that divine element of nurturing, is present in all mothers, invariably.  For that matter, whatever be the gender of the being giving that tending affection, it is considered 'motherly love'!  Doesn't that make her synonymous with nurturing?!!  The author of the verse is hence prostrating and saluting, again and again, to that divinity present in all mothers universally. 

Reverence to thee O mother!  Reverence to thee!

pada vigrahaH:
या देवी सर्व-भूतेषु मातृ-रूपेण संस्थिता ।
yaa devI sarva bhUteShu maatRu rUpeNa saMsthitaa |

नमः तस्यै नमः तस्यै नमः तस्यै नमो नमः ॥
namaH tasyai namaH tasyai namaH tasyai namo namaH ||


May 20th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
मित्रद्रोही कृतघ्नश्च यश्च विश्वासघातकः ।
ते नरा नरकं यान्ति यावच्चन्द्रदिवाकरौ ॥

- पञ्चतन्त्र, मित्रभेद

Transliteration:
mitradrohI kRutaghnashcha yashcha vishvaasaghaatakaH |
te naraa narakaM yaanti yaavachchandradivaakarau ||
- pa~nchatantra, mitrabheda

Meaning of the subhAShita:
He who is treacherous to a friend; he who is ungrateful for rendered benefactions; he who is a traitor (fells trust) - these people attain hell - as long as the sun and moon are existent. 

Commentary:
Friends are for pulling one out of rough times, not for putting them through!  When one considers another as a friend and confides in him, there is no ethical justification for betraying him.  One would have let all his guards down and exposed his most vulnerable side to that friend.  Back stabbing that credence is not dharma in any which way.

When you pray on someone, do not prey on them :).  When someone has been a benefactor in time of need, there is nothing in this world that can be given to repay that debt.  One would be indebted to that patron for ever in his life, because, he gave assistance in time of need.  There is no deed that can compensate for that  timely aid received.  Forgetting that and showing ingratitude is not even a choice!  When something is not even in the dictionary, how can the use of it be acceptable?  Similarly, when something is not even a choice, how can that be deemed as dharma?!!

Trust is a silken thread, that keeps everything in the world functioning.  If there was no trust factor, then one would not trust the grain grown by the farmer or the fruit brought by the gardener!  One would have to depend on himself for everything and be entirely self sufficient!  Even then, he will have to trust in his own abilities and mother nature at least, to assist in his efforts!  Hence, it is quite unlikely for anyone to live like without trusting anyone.  That means, trust, is a very essential ingredient for basic survival also.  It is the very thread on which the world keeps functioning.  Breaking that bond is not something small.  Like someone said, 'I am not upset that you lied to me, but because, I can't believe you anymore'.  It breaks not only the faith in the current situation alone, but for all the forthcoming scenarios as well!  That which breaks the very reason for co-existence, can not be dharma!

Anything that is not coherent with dharma, is punishable.  Whether one likes it or not, he has to reap the fruit of all his actions.  The fruit for such breakage of bonds of trust is, they shall rot in hell!  When the poet says they shall attain hell, till the sun and moon exist,  it does not mean, they stay in hell till the sun and moon exist, but that, this law holds good as long as the sun and moon are shining!

To be trusted, is a much greater compliment than to be loved!  Be trust worthy!

pada vigrahaH:
मित्र-द्रोही कृतघ्नः च यः च विश्वास-घातकः ।
mitra-drohI kRutaghnaH cha yaH cha vishvaasa-ghaatakaH |

ते नराः नरकं यान्ति यावत् चन्द्र-दिवाकरौ ॥
te naraaH narakaM yaanti yaavat chandra-divaakarau ||

May 13th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
यत्रोऽत्साहसमारम्भो यत्रालस्यविहीनता ।
नयविक्रमसम्योगस्तत्र श्रीरचला ध्रुवम् ॥

- पञ्चतन्त्र, मित्रसम्प्राप्‍ति 

Transliteration:
yatro.tsaahasamaarambho yatraalasyavihInataa |
nayavikramasamyogastatra shrIrachalaa dhruvam ||
- pa~nchatantra, mitrasampraapti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Where there is zeal in the effort, where there is absence of indolence, there, in a conjugation of humility and courage, wealth is certain to be steady.

Commentary:
Zealousness in any actions is what makes the task that much easier (or harder)!  When there is enthusiasm and passion in what one is undertaking, it kindles gusto in those around.  It ignites a sense of eagerness in everyone to reach the goal sooner and better. To be zealous constantly, in the face of all kinds of hurdles and brick walls one comes across, takes a lot of courage!

About zeal, it is said that, it fits only the wise, but found mostly in the fools :).  When there is energy, shouldn't there be a sense of direction for that energy!  Where there is no mis-directed energy, there is no place for indolence.  'Indolence', the word just makes laziness appear classy :).  But is useful nowhere!

Wisdom and proper knowledge brings humility in a person.  In a union of humility and courage, there is no stopping for prosperity.  Where there is prosperity, there is abundance and abundance leads to wealth!  Hence, if aspiring for wealth, inculcate these very essential attributes!

pada vigrahaH:
यत्र उत्साह-समारम्भः यत्र आलस्य-विहीनता ।
yatra utsaaha-samaarambhaH yatra aalasya-vihInataa |

नय-विक्रम-सम्योगः तत्र श्रीः अचला ध्रुवम् ॥
naya-vikrama-samyogaH tatra shrIH achalaa dhruvam ||

May 6th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
दुर्जनः परिहर्तव्यो विद्ययाऽलङ्कृतोऽपि सन् ।
मणिना भूषितः सर्पः किमसौ न भयङ्करः ॥

- नीतिशतक, भर्तृहरि

Transliteration:
durjanaH parihartavyo vidyayaa.la~nkRuto.pi san |
maNinaa bhUShitaH sarpaH kimasau na bhaya~nkaraH ||
- nItishataka, bhartRuhari

Meaning of the subhAShita:
An evil doer should be evaded, even if ornate with knowledge too!  Just because it is adorned with a jewel,  isn't a snake scary?

Commentary:
Someone once said, 'If you see a snake, just kill it.  For God's sake... do not appoint a committee on snakes!'  Such is the repute of a snake.  The enticement of the beautiful jewel on its head will not overtake the fear it generates in the hearts of the people.  It still is regarded a scary creature and people would stay away from it.  Similarly, a person's versatility in different arenas or his expertise in a particular field, will not draw people to him if his mind is evil.  Those around him are bound to be hurt.  Many a times, the evilness of his mind may not even be evident to those around.  Especially if he is a learned man, he would have mastered the art of deceit!  Hence, the author says, just because a snake brandishes a shiny jewel on its head, it doesn't make it any less scary.  An evil doer, adorned with vidyaa (knowledge), is just the same.  Hence, avoid the snake and the evil doer, just the same, at all costs!

Knowledge and viciousness do not go hand in hand.  One day or the other, the malevolence shall be exposed and ostracized. True knowledge should make one humble and pious.  Aim for true vidyaa.   Respect, lovableness and piety will follow automatically.

pada vigrahaH:
दुर्जनः परिहर्तव्यः विद्यया अलङ्कृतः अपि सन् ।
durjanaH parihartavyaH vidyayaa ala~nkRutaH api san |

मणिना भूषितः सर्पः किम् असौ न भयङ्करः ॥
maNinaa bhUShitaH sarpaH kim asau na bhaya~nkaraH ||

April 29th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अनिच्छन्तोऽपि विनयं विद्याभ्यासेन बालकाः ।
भेषजेनेव नैरुज्यं प्रापणीयाः प्रयत्नतः ॥

- हरिहर सुभाषित

Transliteration:
anichChanto.pi vinayaM vidyaabhyaasena baalakaaH |
bheShajeneva nairujyaM praapaNIyaaH prayatnataH ||
- harihara subhaaShita

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Just as a disease (is treated) through obtaining medicine; children should be taught humility (and values), through education, even if not desired.

Commentary:
Medicine doesn't always taste good or smell enticing.  But then, when in sickness, that is the best remedy for the disease.  Then does the person have a choice.  Don't his likes and dislikes get set aside under such  a circumstance?  It is the exact same scenario when a child's upbringing is at hand.  Just because he has his whims and fancies, a child can not be allowed to go about his demeanor however he pleases.  It becomes the most primal duty of those around, to inculcate values in the child through education.  Acquiring the right knowledge, chisels him out into a wonderful human being as he grows up.

The bitter taste of the medicine cannot become the deciding factor for its consumption.  Just like that, the hardships and sacrifices along the way, cannot be the dominion for learning or becoming better human beings! 

pada vigrahaH:
अनिच्छन्तः अपि विनयं विद्या-अभ्यासेन बालकाः ।
anichChantaH api vinayaM vidyaa-abhyaasena baalakaaH |

भेषजेन इव नैरुज्यं प्रापणीयाः प्रयत्नतः ॥
bheShajena iva nairujyaM praapaNIyaaH prayatnataH ||

April 22nd


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
यदमी दशन्ति दशना रसना तत्स्वादमनुभवति ।
प्रकृतिरियं विमलानां क्लिश्यन्ति यदन्यकार्येषु ॥
- सुभाषितरत्नभाण्डागार

Transliteration:
yadamI dashanti dashanaa rasanaa tatsvaadamanubhavati |
prakRutiriyaM vimalaanaaM klishyanti yadanyakaaryeShu ||
- subhaaShitaratnabhaaNDaagaara

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The taste of that which is chewed by the teeth, is enjoyed by the tongue!  Anguish over the benefaction for others - this is the nature of the impeccable souls.

Commentary:
One of the job descriptions of the teeth is, chewing the food.  It does its role ardently too.  But then, it never ever gets to taste the food that it helped chew!  The tongue which didn't really aid in the chewing of the food, gets to enjoy every bit of the flavor all the time! 

Such is the nature of noble, impeccable souls.  They strive with their entire being, for the betterment of others, without even a remote vested interest for themselves.  They get absolutely no material benefit out of their actions, but they tirelessly give their best for every action they execute!  These noble souls are the very reason that we have a working society.

If each and everyone strives to give their best for the those around, what a wonderful society ours would be!  If not able to serve that way, may one not pose impediments or throw hurdles, in the path of such great souls.  That itself would be a small benefaction they offer to the society.

pada vigrahaH:
यत् अमी दशन्ति दशनाः रसना तत् स्वादम् अनुभवति ।
yat amI dashanti dashanaaH rasanaa tat svaadam anubhavati |

प्रकृतिः इयं विमलानां क्लिश्यन्ति यत् अन्य-कार्येषु ॥
prakRutiH iyaM vimalaanaaM klishyanti yat anya-kaaryeShu ||

April 15th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
वरं पर्वतदुर्गेषु भ्रान्तं वनचरैः सह ।
न मूर्खजनसम्पर्कः सुरेन्द्रभवनेष्वपि ॥ 

- नीतिशतक, भर्तृहरि

Transliteration:
varaM parvatadurgeShu bhraantaM vanacharaiH saha |
na mUrkhajanasamparkaH surendrabhavaneShvapi ||
- nItishataka, bhartRuhari

Meaning of the subhAShita:
It is rather a blessing to wander in the mountains and caves with wild animals, than keeping the company of the imbecile, even in the palatial quarters of indra (the king of Gods)!

Commentary:
It is not about the ambiance and the setting, as much as it is about the company.  There should be a common goal, a productive direction and an enjoyable experience when in one's company.  If none of it is practical, then it is better to have no company at all.  The poet curtly says, one will have a blessed time meandering on the mountains and caves of a forest with wild animals, rather than savoring the company of the ludicrous, even if the venue is the heaven itself! 

The company of the imbecile, many a times, brings about adverse consequences for others also.  There is no productive development on either front.  Also, the time and efforts of both go futile, many a times detrimental even.  Time and again, it has been seen that 'bad company corrupts good character'.  Isn't it better to keep the sanity than working on redoing it again!

Someone once jokingly said, 'Go to heaven for the climate, to hell for the company'!  But in reality, if the company is bad, reject the climate too :).

pada vigrahaH:
वरं पर्वत-दुर्गेषु भ्रान्तं वन-चरैः सह ।
varaM parvata-durgeShu bhraantaM vana-charaiH saha |

न मूर्ख-जन-सम्पर्कः सुरेन्द्र-भवनेषु अपि ॥
na mUrkha-jana-samparkaH surendra-bhavaneShu api ||


April 8th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
श्रीमानजननिन्द्यश्च शूरश्चाप्यविकत्थनः ।
समदृष्टिः प्रभुश्चैव दुर्लभाः पुरुषास्त्रयः ॥ 

- योगावासिष्ठ, वैराग्य

Transliteration:
shrImaanajananindyashcha shUrashchaapyavikatthanaH |
samadRuShTiH prabhushchaiva durlabhaaH puruShaastrayaH ||
- yogaavaasiShTha, vairaagya

Meaning of the subhAShita:
A wealthy man who is not culpable, a valiant man who is not blusterous, a leader who is unprejudiced - these 3 people are rare to find!

Commentary:
A wealthy man, whether he gained his wealth by just means or unjust means, gets censured.  He gets blamed for having earned by wrong means or for not doing enough good with his affluence or for being overly lucky even!  Very rarely is a man who is applauded for his abundance and his attitude towards his fortune.

If one is courageous, chances are, he is arrogant of his valiance and is narrating his valor at every chance he gets!  Humility, in conjunction with heroism, is a rare commodity.  How often do we come across a raama or a hanumaan? 

When power is in the hands, arrogance goes to the head!  Misuse of the power, prejudice towards kith and kin, bias towards the lowly and helpless - these become their main attributes.  It is very scarce to see someone with power in his hands and a level head on his shoulders.  A true leader is he who can view all his subjects equally!  This is a virtue of rarity by itself.  He who possess this is a true statesman.

A politician thinks of the next election, whereas, a statesman thinks of the next generation!  If being a leader, be as statesman.

pada vigrahaH:
श्रीमान् अ-जन-निन्द्यः च शूरः च अपि अ-विकत्थनः ।
shrImaan a-jana-nindyaH cha shUraH cha api a-vikatthanaH |

सम-दृष्टिः प्रभुः च एव दुर्लभाः पुरुषाः त्रयः ॥
sama-dRuShTiH prabhuH cha eva durlabhaaH puruShaaH trayaH ||

April 1st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सुदुर्बलं नावजानाति किञ्चित् युक्तो रिपुं सेवते बुद्धिपूर्वम् ।
न विग्रहं रोचयते बलस्थैः
काले च यो विक्रमते स धीरः ॥
- विदुरनीति

Transliteration:
sudurbalaM naavajaanaati ki~nchit yukto ripuM sevate buddhipUrvam |
na vigrahaM rochayate balasthaiH kaale cha yo vikramate sa dhIraH ||
- viduranIti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
He who does not show even a little contempt towards the weak, handles the enemies with discern, steers clear from having a conflict with the stronger and demonstrates valor is brave.

Commentary:
Bravery is not a measure of how muscular a person is.  Nor is it the yard stick of how aggressive one is.  True bravery shows up in different colors.

The brave are compassionate towards the weak.  They do not show the slightest contempt towards those that have lesser endurance.

They deal with their opponents tactfully.  Just because they have muscle or brains, for that matter, do not invite trouble onto themselves unnecessarily.

If the opponent is stronger, it is certainly not a smart idea to rub the wrong way.  Acknowledging the other person's strength takes courage too!  In such a circumstance, the true brave, keeps his head on his shoulders and does not go asking for trouble.

All these are validations for one's bravery. He who is brave is free!  Live bravely.  There is nothing to lose really!

pada vigrahaH:
सुदुर्बलं न अवजानाति किञ्चित् युक्तः रिपुं सेवते बुद्धि-पूर्वम् ।
sudurbalaM na avajaanaati ki~nchit yuktaH ripuM sevate buddhi-pUrvam |

न विग्रहं रोचयते बलस्थैः काले च यो विक्रमते स धीरः ॥ 
na vigrahaM rochayate balasthaiH kaale cha yo vikramate sa dhIraH ||

March 25th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
एतावानेव पुरुषः कृतं यस्मिन्न नश्यति ।
यावच्च कुर्यादन्योऽस्य कुर्याद्बहुगुणं ततः ॥

- महाभारत, आदिपर्व

Transliteration:
etaavaaneva puruShaH kRutaM yasminna nashyati |
yaavachcha kuryaadanyo.sya kuryaadbahuguNaM tataH ||
- mahaabhaarata, aadiparva

Meaning of the subhAShita:
He to whom a favor done, does not dissipate right there, is the real (noble) man.  On receiving benevolence from others, return it manifold.

Commentary:
Do not stop the buck!  On receiving benevolence from others, it is not ethical to forget it and move on.  Neither is it business, to return an equivalent or lesser favor.  For, it is not a 'buy one, get one of equal or lesser value' sale :).  Remembering and returning the favor in plentiful is a magisterial attribute!

The scriptures are strewn with multitudes of such examples.  Once when the paaNDavaa-s were in disguise, (after the lakShaagRuha (wax palace) incident), took shelter in a brahmin's house in ekachakraa nagara.  The people of the town had a pact with a raakShasa (demon) named bakaasuraa, that one person would go to him from each family as food.  When it was the turn of the brahmin's family, kuntI the mother of the paaNDavaa-s, offered to send her own son bhIma, in return of their favor.  They had given shelter to them in time of need, in turn, she offered to send her own son in place of a member of their family!  That is nobility!

On the other hand, on receiving news about sItaa, after hanumaan's visit to lankaa, Lord raama embraces him and pledges his friendship to hanumaan for ever!!  He does not diminish the immense favor He did, with a simple 'Thank you'!  That is nobility.  In fact, interestingly enough, there is NO equivalent word for 'thank you' in Sanskrit!  There is only कृतज्ञता भाव (kRutaj~jataa bhaava) - कृतं जानामि इति भावः (kRutaM jaanaami iti bhaavaH) - I acknowledge your favor, I am aware of your benevolence.  There is nothing that can be done to repay that debt,  I am greatly indebted to you!

An extension of this value is, also, the noble do not keep track of what favors they have scattered around and expect multitudes of favors in return either.  No log books or statistics of their own good deeds.  They do their best at any given time to aid those in need and move on. 

Don't these attributes make life much simpler and satisfactory?  Don't they keep the hearts purer and lighter?  No baggage, no regrets, no guilt...

The take home point here, the true noble, never forget what they receive nor remember what they give!  Acquire nobility in its true sense.

pada vigrahaH:
एतावान् एव पुरुषः कृतं यस्मिन् न नश्यति ।
etaavaan eva puruShaH kRutaM yasmin na nashyati |

यावत् च कुर्यात् अन्यः अस्य कुर्यात् बहु-गुणं ततः ॥
yaavat cha kuryaat anyaH asya kuryaat bahu-guNaM tataH ||

March 18th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
कुतो वा नूतनं वस्तु वयमुत्प्रेक्षितुं क्षमाः ।
वचो विन्यासवैचित्र्यमात्रमत्र विचार्यताम् ॥

- न्यायमञ्जरी

Transliteration:
kuto vaa nUtanaM vastu vayamutprekShituM kShamaaH |
vacho vinyaasavaichitryamaatramatra vichaaryataam ||
- nyaayama~njarI

Meaning of the subhAShita:
How can we exaggerate a new fact?  Only, the same can be said in a variety of ways! 

Commentary:
When a discovery is made, can one exaggerate is so much that it changes the facts all together?  Not really.  But then, the same can be presented in a variety of ways.

This rule is not true only of new found discoveries and inventions alone.  Even when narrating an incident, one cannot deviate too much from reality.  Or, it becomes a fiction!  But then, the same can be presented in many different ways.  Depending on how the approach is, the results are received accordingly!

The best example for presenting rightly, is that of hanumaan.  After his return from lankaa, when He first met raama, He ardently said, 'द्रष्टा सीता' (draShTaa sItaa - saw sItaa), instead of inadvertently saying the word sItaa first.  The logic being, He didn't want to cause any unnecessary anxiety in raama's mind, immediately on hearing the word sItaa.  raama's mind could have thought of many unpleasant happenings to sItaa, before hanumaan could even have a chance of saying that He saw Her.  He was THAT thoughtful!  He first conveyed the main highlight of his quest, which was, the sighting of sItaa!  The same thing could have been narrated with choice uncanny words, unwanted details or an unpleasant demeanor.  But that wasn't the case.  He was SO cautious of raama's feelings even in the split second timing of his words!  That should be the true thoughts behind one's speech and that is a marvelous way of presenting the facts as well.

The lesson to take - Saying things the way they are isn't the only criteria.  The same can be done in many different ways.  Be mindful and complaisant of others' feelings.  That not only sets amiable communication standards, but also paves way for honest and hearty conversations as well as relationships!

pada vigrahaH:
कुतः वा नूतनं वस्तु वयम् उत्प्रेक्षितुं क्षमाः ।
kutaH vaa nUtanaM vastu vayam utprekShituM kShamaaH |

वचः विन्यास-वैचित्र्य-मात्रम् अत्र विचार्यताम् ॥
vachaH vinyaasa-vaichitrya-maatram atra vichaaryataam ||