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June 17th

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

-महाभारत, उद्योग

tṛṇāni bhūmirudakaṃ vākcaturthī ca sūnṛtā ।
etānyapi satāṃ gehe nocchidyante kadācana ॥
-mahābhārata, 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.

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.  In fact, 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 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 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 hospitalities, 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 qualifies 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 imbibing them and see where it takes us.  After all, they cost nothing :).

Be nice!

pada vigrahaH:
तृणानि भूमिः उदकं वाक् चतुर्थी च सूनृता ।
tṛṇāni bhūmiḥ udakaṃ vāk caturthī ca sūnṛtā ।

एतानि अपि सतां गेहे न उच्छिद्यन्ते कदाचन ॥
etāni api satāṃ gehe na ucchidyante kadācana ॥

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

tRuNaani bhUmiH udakaM vaak chaturthI cha sUnRutaa ।
etaani api sataaM gehe na uchChidyante kadaachana ॥

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