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 ||

March 11th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
दूरस्थो ज्ञायते सर्वः पर्वते ज्वलनादिवत् ।
चूडामणिः शिरस्थोऽपि दृश्यते न स्वचक्षुषा ॥

- रामयणमञ्जरी, किष्किन्दा

Transliteration:
dUrastho j~naayate sarvaH parvate jvalanaadivat |
chUDaamaNiH shirastho.pi dRushyate na svachakShuShaa ||
- raamayaNama~njarI, kiShkindaa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Those that are far away seem like the fire atop a hill.  But when on one's own head, even a crest jewel, is invisible to the eye.

Commentary:
Grass on the other side is greener!  The verse says the same thing.  When something is far away, it is valued more.  It is evident to all as if it something nice and shiny, just as the fire atop a hill and misleading too.  Fire from far might seem like a shiny jewel.  But then, even if one has a precious crest jewel on his own head, he can not see it with his own eyes.

The essence here is, know the worth of what's in hand.  Ignoring one's own talents & gifts and aspiring for something that is not, will aid in no way.  Extending the logic, many a times, people do not see the good in those closely around them, but sing praises of the 'idea' of the character of someone not connected!

Start where you are. Distant fields always look greener, but opportunity lies right where you are. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.  

pada vigrahaH: 
दूरस्थः ज्ञायते सर्वः पर्वते ज्वलन अदिवत् ।
dUrasthaH j~naayate sarvaH parvate jvalana adivat |

चूडामणिः शिरस्थः अपि दृश्यते न स्व-चक्षुषा ॥
chUDaamaNiH shirasthaH api dRushyate na sva-chakShuShaa ||

March 4th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
गुणग्रामाभिसम्वादि नामापि हि महात्मनाम् ।
यथा सुवर्णश्रीखण्डरत्नाकरसुधाकराः ॥

- प्रसन्नराघव

Transliteration:
guNagraamaabhisamvaadi naamaapi hi mahaatmanaam |
yathaa suvarNashrIkhaNDa ratnaakara sudhaakaraaH ||
- prasannaraaghava

Meaning of the subhAShita:
What to say about the virtues and valor of the noble, even their name shows their greatness!  Just like suvarNa (one with an attractive color - gold), shrIkhaNDa (piece of wood filled with the richness of sandal - sandalwood), ratnaakara (one who holds precious gems and stones - ocean), sudhaakara (one who gives beatitude like that of the divine nectar - moon).

Commentary:
The noble are dripping with nobility in every aspect related to them.  They are constantly looking for means and ways to do good to others.  Their nobility oozes out from all sides that even their names are an indication of their virtues!   Even their names give away their characteristics!

Name is the first entity with which one identifies oneself!  Specially in Sanskrit, words are derived to such appropriation that there is no contention to their accordance or congruity.  Each word has a declension and its own special root word which gives self evidence to the word itself.  In olden days, this may quite very well have been the reason to give substantial, meaningful and an appropriate name when a child was born.  The child would grow up to become an embodiment of his name.  The name is given with a hope of its fruitfulness.  That is what he identifies himself with, for the rest of his life!  However, a name without merit, is in vain after all :(.

The purpose of the verse from the poet is not so much for the generalization, but for upholding the fact that the nobility of the noble can be found in ever aspect of their being.  They ceaselessly work for the betterment of those around and selflessly give themselves in their entirety for the welfare of the others.   That certainly is something to ponder about, isn't it?!

pada vigrahaH:
गुण-ग्राम-अभिसम्वादि नाम अपि हि महात्मनाम् ।
guNa-graama-abhisamvaadi naama api hi mahaatmanaam | 


यथा सुवर्ण-श्रीखण्ड-रत्नाकर-सुधाकराः ॥
yathaa suvarNa-shrIkhaNDa-ratnaakara-sudhaakaraaH ||