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 ||