October 24th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
गगनं गगनाकारं सागरः सागरोपमः ।
रामरावणयोर्युद्धं रामरावणयोरिव ॥ 
- रामायण, युद्धकाण्ड

Transliteration:
gaganaM gaganaakaaraM saagaraH saagaropamaH |
raamaraavaNayoryuddhaM raamaraavaNayoriva ||
- raamaayaNa, yuddhakaaNDa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
The vastness of the sky is equal to (that of) the sky; the ocean is analogous to the ocean; the battle between raama and raavaNa is like the battle between raama and raavaNa!

Commentary:
This verse looks like it is repeating itself!  Is it so?  Not really.  In this verse, the poet is at loss of words to describe or give comparisons.  He says, the best analogy for the vastness of the sky is none other than the sky itself!  Can anything be as deep and vast as an ocean?  The only collation or resemblance one can give for an ocean is - the ocean itself!  Similarly, the one and only correlation one can come up with for the fierce battle between raama and raavaNa is..., the battle between raama and raavaNa!!  They fought with such ferocity and strength that, no comparison could suffice the description.  Finally, the poet just says, it was as unmatched as itself!  Lord raama was of great valor.  But raavaNa could keep up with him.  He was an equal match to raama in his physical strength.  But what brought him down, was his mental weakness, his arrogance.

This very well depicts our inner demons.  The good thoughts are raama, the ignoble ones being raavaNa.  Their internal battle is nothing short of the battle between Lord raama and raavaNa themselves.  Just as there is no simile to the war between raama and raavaNa, nothing can be compared to the inner turmoil each one of us goes through at our own crossroads either.  Brings to mind, the story of the two wolves - the good one and the bad one.  When the grandson asked 'which one wins', the grandfather replied 'which ever you feed'!  It is entirely up to us, who we allow to win.  It sure is not easy to win the evil thoughts, just like raavaNa was invincible... But once the initial bombardment is overcome, the path for the good paves the way itself.  Because, physical strength, ignoble thoughts, and selfish motives can only survive so long.  If the thought that 'only the good and the ethical win eventually' is kept in mind, probably triumph comes sooner.

May this 'vijayadashami' which reminds us of raama's victory over raavaNa, also remind us to fight our inner war with the same tenacity as He did!  May everyone achieve noble merits in all their noble endeavors today and always!

P.S.:  This verse is an extraction from a four line verse, but the subhaaShita aspect is covered in these two lines itself.  Hence the extraction.

pada vigrahaH:
गगनं गगन-आकारं सागरः सागर-उपमः ।
gaganaM gagana-aakaaraM saagaraH saagara-upamaH |

राम-रावणयोः युद्धं राम-रावणयोः इव ॥ 
raama-raavaNayoH yuddhaM raama-raavaNayoH iva ||

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