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 ||

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