December 8th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अकारणेनैव चतुराः तर्कयन्ति परेङ्गितम् ।
गर्भस्थं केतकीपुष्पम् आमोदेनेव षट्पदाः ॥
-प्रसन्नराघव 

Transliteration:
akaaraNenaiva chaturaaH tarkayanti pare~ngitam |
garbhasthaM ketakIpuShpam aamodeneva ShaTpadaaH ||
-prasannaraaghava 

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Without any summons, the clever inquire into others' intentions; (just as), the bees (locate) a hidden ketakI flower with just it's fragrance.

Commentary:
It is said that the outward actions reveal one's hidden intentions!  It is not necessary that a person expresses all his thoughts, in his actions or words.  The reasons for this could be many.  He may not have the necessary circumstances to express; or an ambiance; or may even lack the word skills to express himself.

But then, a clever person does not necessarily have to be told!  He can assimilate the thoughts and intentions of the other just through subtle hints or maybe, from the body language or other environmental factors.  Just like in the fable, Androcles understood that the Lion had a thorn in his foot, without being told by the Lion :).

The poet gives the example of the bees.  They do not need to first physically see the fragrant ketakI flower, before aspiring to sip its nectar.  They can follow the scent of the flower and zero in exactly to the location of the flower, although it lays hidden or far from sight!  Similar is the way of an intelligent person.  He can grasp the intentions, whether good or bad, of the other person/being.  Anyone can handle a situation better if he understands the other person.  If the intentions are good, they can aid each other in materializing their thoughts.  If the intentions are bad, it is certainly smart to stay away from such a situation or such company.  Or how wonderful the person would feel if someone read his thoughts and put it to action, just to make him happy!  Hence, in all scenarios, being adept and skillful at reading another's mind turns out to be a blessing!

The intelligence to read another's mind makes one think in the other's terms, forcing him to stretch himself!  That can happen when one thinks with his mind, what he sees with his eyes.  Blessed are such people and so are the ones that keep such company.

pada vigrahaH:
अकारणेन एव चतुराः तर्कयन्ति पर-इङ्गितम् ।
akaaraNena eva chaturaaH tarkayanti para-i~ngitam |

गर्भस्थं केतकी-पुष्पम् आमोदेन इव षट्पदाः ॥
garbhasthaM ketakI-puShpam aamodena iva ShaTpadaaH ||


November 20th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अनायासेन मरणं विना दैन्येन जीवनम् ।
देहान्ते तव सायुज्यं देहि मे पार्वतीपते ॥ 

Transliteration:
anaayaasena maraNaM vinaa dainyena jeevanam |
dehaante tava saayujyaM dehi me paarvatIpate ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Death without exertion; Life without affliction; Thy proximity (Attainment of thy abode) upon leaving the body - grant me these O Lord of paarvatI. 

Commentary:
Upon asking 'what do you want', there may be a plethora of wishes one wants to ask for.  Grant me a big house, a bigger bank balance, plentiful youth, good children, lots of friends, good health.....  The list can be endless!

But the author of this verse has very simple, but most profound and eternal wishes to ask for!

No matter how many riches one is showered with, if he is living a painful existence in his body, who would not want to be liberated from that pain?!  The best of the ambiances and the greatest of the food will prove repulsive for someone who is suffering from pain of any kind - it could be physical pain, being on life support, etc., or a mental affliction of the highest order.  Anyone would want to live a fruitful, satisfying life and pass away peacefully, without much effort, exertion or toil.  This is something to pray for.

While living, there can be multitudes of scarcities - there are places where there is not enough drinking water, there are people who do not have food to eat or a shelter to sleep under.  Such scenarios are not pleasant for any being and would want to be released from the affliction of poverty of any kind.  That sure is something to pray for, so that he can pursue his goal in life without worries.

Through out our lives, we are taught to engage in good deeds, so that we are liberated from the bondage of the cycle of birth and death.  That really is the final goal of any being anyway.  If one is granted the abode of the Lord Himself, a merger with the Lord of paarvatI, being one with parashiva Himself, what more would one ever want?!!

Think about it....  Aren't these the aspects one should contemplate upon and ask for?!

pada vigrahaH:
अनायासेन मरणं विना दैन्येन जीवनम् ।
anaayaasena maraNaM vinaa dainyena jeevanam |

देह-अन्ते तव सायुज्यं देहि मे पार्वती-पते ॥ 
deha-ante tava saayujyaM dehi me paarvatI-pate ||

October 31


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अपूर्वः कोऽपि कोशोऽयं विद्यते तव भारति ।
व्ययतो वृद्धिमायाति क्षयमायाति सञ्चयात् ॥

Transliteration:
apUrvaH ko.pi kosho.yaM vidyate tava bhaarati |
vyayato vRuddhimaayaati kShayamaayaati sa~nchayaat ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
O devI saraswati (bhaarati),  your repository is like none other!  Upon spending, it grows; upon gathering, it shrinks!!

Commentary:
In real world, what do we see?  If we spend something, what we retain decreases; upon collecting, what we possess increases.  But in Goddess saraswati's arena, the rules are completely opposite, the author says.

When one expends his knowledge, as in - teaching or sharing with others, his horizons broaden.  While teaching, a new outlook may dawn on him, which he never saw before.  His memory gets refreshed every time he shares his knowledge.  It gives him clarity of thought and a better understanding.  His value for what he is teaching intensifies in himself.  It will be reinforced in his mind and his faith in it shall get stronger!  It is a complete win win situation!!

If one collects shells for example, by keeping it to himself, his collection increases.  On the contrary, keeping knowledge to oneself (or confined in the books), only aids in dissipation of that knowledge.  One, he is not allowing himself to reflect upon that knowledge.  That knowledge that is not put to practice is of no use anyways.  Over time, he may even forget what he had learnt.  Worse, upon the passing away of that person, that particular knowledge may die with him!  If he did not pass it on to others, he has not paid off the debt of his teachers.  The best way to repay our guru-s and teachers they say, is by passing on the knowledge that they imparted to us.  If one stagnates that knowledge in himself, he would be curtailing the growth of the coming generations.  If our ancestors did the same to us, every generation would have to start over, all the way from inventing fire from the fire stones!!

Knowledge, is like water.  It is sparkling and crystal clear when it is flowing.  If it stagnates, it makes a swamp!  Anyone would readily drink water from a running stream rather than a stagnant swamp.  So, why no let knowledge flow like a river, drench in its refreshing waters and quench our inherent thirst for learning!  Being born as humans, each of us have this undying thirst for learning new things.
So, why no satiate our thirst by learning from others, as well as quell the strife in others by sharing what we know?!!

pada vigrahaH:
अपूर्वः कः अपि कोशः अयं विद्यते तव भारति ।
apUrvaH kaH api koshaH ayaM vidyate tava bhaarati |

व्ययतः वृद्धिम् आयाति क्षयम् आयाति सञ्चयात् ॥
vyayataH vRuddhim aayaati kShayam aayaati sa~nchayaat ||

September 25th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
चित्ते प्रसन्ने भुवनं प्रसन्नं चित्ते विषण्णे भुवनं विषण्णम् ।
अतोऽभिलाषो यदि ते सुखे स्यात् चित्तप्रसादे प्रथमं यतस्व ॥

Transliteration:
chitte prasanne bhuvanaM prasannaM chitte viShaNNe bhuvanaM viShaNNam |
ato.bhilaaSho yadi te sukhe syaat chittaprasaade prathamaM yatasva ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
If the mind is happy, the entire world (seems) happy.  If the mind is despondent, the entire world (seems) despondent.  Hence, if you desire happiness, strive towards the happiness of the mind first.

Commentary:
By definition, mind, is the set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory.  It is a subtle body, meaning, it cannot be felt through the 5 gross sense organs.  It is perceived, by oneself!  Anyone can only try to understand another's mind, but total perception is available only to the self. In another subhaaShita, it is said, that which is in one's mind cannot be perceived even by Lord brahma, the creator!  Such is the intricacy of mind.

Now that the complexity of the mind is established, what is it's role in influencing the outlook of a person?  Well, it is as simple as - if the mind is happy, the world looks happy and cheerful; if the mind is sad, the world looks sad and morose!  The same exact world around the person, can look an entirely opposite shade, if the mind is not cheerful!  Obviously, who wants sadness?  Everyone wants to live in a happy and peaceful world.  The author says, in that case, first work towards keeping your mind happy!  Now, how is that achieved?  By having a positive outlook at life.  By trusting that there is someone above watching at all times and whatever He is bringing to one's life, it is for one's own betterment.  Positive attitude keeps the mind merry.  A child is happy and he does not need a reason for that!  If that kind of an outlook is developed by us adults, then the world truly would be such a beautiful place.  No one would need doctors for any ailments, because, a healthy mind has a healthy body.  The state of one's mind influences one at all levels - body, mind, spirit.

Hence to be a well rounded person, it is all the more essential to strive towards keeping the mind cheerful and positive.  Stay happy, understand life!

pada vigrahaH:
चित्ते प्रसन्ने भुवनं प्रसन्नं चित्ते विषण्णे भुवनं विषण्णम् ।
chitte prasanne bhuvanaM prasannaM chitte viShaNNe bhuvanaM viShaNNam |

अतोः अभिलाषः यदि ते सुखे स्यात् चित्त-प्रसादे प्रथमं यतस्व ॥
atoH abhilaaShaH yadi te sukhe syaat chitta-prasaade prathamaM yatasva ||

August 28th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अहिंसा प्रथमं पुष्पं पुष्पमिन्द्रिय निग्रहः ।
सर्वभूतदया पुष्पं क्षमा पुष्पं विशेषतः ॥
ज्ञानं पुष्पं तपः पुष्पं शान्तिः पुष्पं तथैव च ।
सत्यमष्टविधं पुष्पं विष्णोः प्रीतिकरं भवेत् ॥

Transliteration:
ahiMsaa prathamaM puShpaM puShpamindriya nigrahaH |
sarvabhUtadayaa puShpaM kShamaa puShpaM visheShataH ||
j~naanaM puShpaM tapaH puShpaM shaantiH puShpaM tathaiva cha |
satyamaShTavidhaM puShpaM viShNoH prItikaraM bhavet ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Non-violence is the first flower, control over the senses is a flower, compassion towards all beings is a flower, forbearance is a flower especially, (right) knowledge is a flower, penance is a flower, then, also, peace is a flower, truth being the eighth flower - these are dearest to Lord viShNu.

Commentary:
The Lord does not ask one to worship Him lavishly in a temple or a peeTham (pedestal), with flowers of gold and silver.  He doesn't not wish to be drenched in milk and honey either!  Worshiping Him can happen anywhere, at any time.  The mode of worship is not necessarily ritualistic or religious.  If one can offer these 8 flowers to Him, He would be more than pleased with such a being!!  It's as easy as that!  What are those 8 special flowers?

1.  Non-violence:  Not just in the deeds, but in thoughts, words as well as at heart.  One has to be non-aggressive at all planes of his being.

2.  Control over the senses:  Sense organs are are like wild horses, let loose!  If one does not know how to reign them, they shall take charge and cause havoc of the most disastrous kind.

3.  Compassion towards all beings:  Be it a bird, bee, animal or human, one has to be kind, compassionate and humane towards them.  When one can see equality in all beings, that essential divinity existing in them all, that itself is a pure flower that can be offered to Him.

4.  Forbearance:  Being patient and forgiving towards all beings is an offering to the Lord.

5.  Right knowledge:  Not just knowledge of any kind, but the Right Knowledge, about the supreme truth and a quest for that truth is a sincere flower that the Lord likes.

6.  Penance:  Penance is not just of the kind where one sits under a tree without food or water for days.  Living by his dharma at every step, at every circumstance, no matter how difficult - that in itself is a penance that appeases the Lord.

7.  Peace:  Un-intrusive, non-disruptive state of everything, and leaving them that way, is peace.  If one keeps it all the time, that itself is worship.

8.  Truth:  There is nothing else equal to this!  If one has an immense thirst for attaining the ultimate truth and has succeeded in achieving too, his worship of the Lord is complete as well!

If one can offer even one of these 8 flowers with utmost respect and devotion to the Lord, he has gone that much closer to the Lord!  Then, what to say of some one who has offered all these 8!!  These are  the flowers dearest to Lord viShNu.  In whatever name or form the Lord is addressed, no other rituals nor ceremonies nor pomp and show are necessary to attain Him apart from these 8!

pada vigrahaH:
अहिंसा प्रथमं पुष्पं पुष्पम् इन्द्रिय निग्रहः ।
ahiMsaa prathamaM puShpaM puShpam indriya nigrahaH |

सर्व-भूत-दया पुष्पं क्षमा पुष्पं विशेषतः ॥
sarva-bhUta-dayaa puShpaM kShamaa puShpaM visheShataH ||

ज्ञानं पुष्पं तपः पुष्पं शान्तिः पुष्पं तथ एव च ।
j~naanaM puShpaM tapaH puShpaM shaantiH puShpaM tatha eva cha |

सत्यम् अष्ट-विधं पुष्पं विष्णोः प्रीतिकरं भवेत् ॥
satyam aShTa-vidhaM puShpaM viShNoH prItikaraM bhavet ||


July 21st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अज्ञेभ्यो ग्रन्थिनः श्रेष्ठाः ग्रन्थिभ्यो धारिणो वराः ।
धारिभ्यो ज्ञानिनः श्रेष्ठाः ज्ञानिभ्यो व्यवसायिनः ॥

Transliteration:
aj~nebhyo granthinaH shreShThaaH granthibhyo dhaariNo varaaH |
dhaaribhyo j~naaninaH shreShThaaH j~naanibhyo vyavasaayinaH ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Among the ignorant, a well read person is better; amid the well read, those who have a grasp (of the material) are a blessing.  In the midst of those with a good grasp, those that have assimilated the knowledge are considered better; among those that have assimilated the knowledge, those that put it to practice are deemed the best!

Commentary:
There are many an ignorant people in the world.  In their midst, someone who is well read and knowledgeable, is respected.

But then, is it enough to just be well read?  In a crowd of well read people, someone who has a good handle over (memorized) the material, is looked up to.

Obviously, if one had to choose between someone who has memorized against someone who has understood the subject, the vote would go to the person who has understood the subject.

So, is the one who has understood, the best?  Oh, no!  If someone who has understood, stood against someone who has put it to practice, who would be revered?!  Invariably, the one who has put it to practice and made it his own!!

Practice what you preach and preach what you practice!  If one just spoke and never made it his own, he has no authority over that knowledge, nor does his preaching have any value.  The world around respects and reveres who puts his own words and knowledge to practice.  Assimilating the knowledge and putting it to use as assimilated, is the best culminating point for any learning.

If one is incorporating his learning, he doesn't have to proclaim that he knows a lot, about a lot of things.  He doesn't have to blow his own conch about how well read he is, nor does he have to await accolades for his understanding.  When one applies his knowledge in his day to day life, the rest of the 3 factors are given to him, meaning - he is well read, he has understood and assimilated all that knowledge, else, he wouldn't be able to incorporate it into his daily life!

It is said, an ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching!  And then, there is - practice makes perfect!  So get practicing and perfecting!!

pada vigrahaH:
अज्ञेभ्यः ग्रन्थिनः श्रेष्ठाः ग्रन्थिभ्यः धारिणः वराः ।
aj~nebhyaH granthinaH shreShThaaH granthibhyaH dhaariNaH varaaH |

धारिभ्यः ज्ञानिनः श्रेष्ठाः ज्ञानिभ्यः व्यवसायिनः ॥
dhaaribhyaH j~naaninaH shreShThaaH j~naanibhyaH vyavasaayinaH ||

June 16th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
ज्येष्ठो भ्राता पिता चैव यश्च विद्यां प्रयच्छति ।
त्रयस्ते पितरो ज्ञेया धर्मे वर्त्मनि वर्तिनः ॥
-रामायण, किष्किन्धा

Transliteration:
jyeShTho bhraataa pitaa chaiva yashcha vidyaaM prayachChati |
trayaste pitaro j~neyaa dharme vartmani vartinaH ||
-raamaayaNa, kiShkindhaa

Meaning of the subhAShita:
An elder brother, father himself and he who gives knowledge - these three are to be perceived(respected) as fathers by those on the path of virtue.

Commentary:
A father, as we know by definition, is the man who gives birth to us. He is to be respected and revered always! But then, in one's life, one encounters more than one father figures! The poet says that an elder brother, who protects and nurtures his siblings, is equivalent to a father too. The real janaka (man who has given birth to), is of course revered, for all the tending and selfless love he showers on his children!  A guru, who imparts knowledge and gives birth to a new perspective in the being, is also to be revered as a father!

Hence, those on the path of virtue, find many such father figures in their lives, to whom they offer veneration and obeisance through out their lives. Many a times, it may not be expressed in so many words, but that emotion of gratitude and regard for them, shall linger in the hearts of the virtuous, for ever!

pada vigrahaH:
ज्येष्ठः भ्राता पिता च एव यः च विद्यां प्रयच्छति ।
jyeShThaH bhraataa pitaa cha eva yaH cha vidyaaM prayachChati |

त्रयः ते पितरः ज्ञेया धर्मे वर्त्मनि वर्तिनः ॥
trayaH te pitaraH j~neyaa dharme vartmani vartinaH ||


May 24th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां शरीरस्थो महान् रिपुः ।
नास्त्युद्यमसमो बन्धुः कुर्वाणो नावसीदति ॥
-नीतिशतक

Transliteration:
aalasyaM hi manuShyaaNaaM sharIrastho mahaan ripuH |
naastyudyamasamo bandhuH kurvaaNo naavasIdati ||
-nItishataka

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Laziness present in one's body, is the biggest enemy of humans.  There is no kin parallel to zeal and he who is zealous never perishes.

Commentary:
If one is weary and indolent in executing his work, then he doesn't have to wait for the results of his task.  He would have sabotaged it all on his own!  To avoid doing it, he will find excuses of all kinds.  The worst hurdle and enemy one could have in his own path, is his own laziness!!  Hence, he shall perish under the grip of an enemy who dwells in himself!

On the contrary, a zealous person can conquer anything in this world.  He will work something out and find one way or another, to arrive at a suitable solution to the impending issue at his hand.  When such is the attitude, who or what can hold him back?  No job is too tedious for him.  He faces as well as tackles any circumstance with zeal.  Success and accolades are only a matter of time to such a person.  Hence, the author says zeal is the best kin to oneself!  He who relies on such self reliant kin, he is bound to excel on any ground.

Hence, it is rightly said that - zeal is a volcano, at the tip of which, the grass of failure can never grow!  So, get working!!

pada vigrahaH:
आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां शरीरस्थः महान् रिपुः ।
aalasyaM hi manuShyaaNaaM sharIrasthaH mahaan ripuH |

न अस्ति उद्यम-समः बन्धुः कुर्वाणः न अवसीदति ॥
na asti udyama-samaH bandhuH kurvaaNaH na avasIdati ||

April 10th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अज्ञानादथवा ज्ञानादुत्तमश्लोकनाम यत् ।
सङ्कीर्तितमघं पुंसो दहेदेधो यथानलः ॥
- भागवत

Transliteration:
aj~naanaadathavaa j~naanaaduttamashlokanaama yat |
sa~nkIrtitamaghaM puMso dahededho yathaanalaH ||
- bhaagavata

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Whether consciously or unawares, uttering the (Lord's) most elevated name, shall burn the sins of the being, just as fuel (when in contact with) fire.

Commentary:
When there is a pile of wood (fuel), whether one strikes a match at it with the intention of lighting a fire; or an innocent child, unawares of the consequence strikes a match..., the end result would be the same!  The wood would be set ablaze!!  So is taking the name of the Lord.  Whether one intentionally prays to Him, or accidentally takes His name, that being is bound to eradicate his baggage of sins.

There are multitudes of examples that show devotion to Him in many forms.  Whether one remembers Him as the Supreme Lord, a friend, a well wisher, a beloved, a parent or ... even as an enemy..., just by remembering the Lord, the sins of that being are burnt to ashes, just as fire would do to firewood!

In such a case, what if one is intentionally and intently remembering Him!!  There is no telling, what amount of bliss he would be attaining!  That surely would surpass all else in this world!

Now, it is entirely up to us whether we - let the Lord keep us from sin, or, let sin, keep us from the Lord!

On this auspicious occasion of 'vijaya naama samvatsara ugaadi', may He make one and all vijayI (victorious) in choosing Him now and always!!

pada vigrahaH:
अज्ञानात् अथवा ज्ञानात् उत्तम-श्लोक-नाम यत् ।
aj~naanaat athavaa j~naanaat uttama-shloka-naama yat |

सङ्कीर्तितम् अघं पुंसः दहेत् एधः यथा अनलः ॥
sa~nkIrtitam aghaM puMsaH dahet edhaH yathaa analaH ||

March 25th


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
नास्ति विद्यासमं चक्षुर्नास्ति सत्यसमं तपः ।
नास्ति रागसमं दुःखं नास्ति त्यागसमं सुखम् ॥ 
-महाभारत, शान्ति

Transliteration:
naasti vidyaasamaM chakShurnaasti satyasamaM tapaH |
naasti raagasamaM duHkhaM naasti tyaagasamaM sukham ||
-mahaabhaarata, shaanti

Meaning of the subhAShita:
There is no eye equal to knowledge; there is no penance parallel to truth; there is no pain akin to desire; there is no happiness synonymous to renunciation/sacrifice.

Commentary:
When one reads or acquires a new knowledge, he says, that was an 'eye-opener'!!  And rightfully so!  If one has to know about something, the best way is seeing it.  For, seeing is believing!  To get the full understanding of anything, one has to use his faculty of vision.  It could be the physical vision or the vision of one's mind.  Without that, the awareness stays incomplete.  Hence, the author says - knowledge is the best tool of perusal that gives the best vision!

To do penance, one doesn't have to go to a remote cave in an abandoned hill!  Penance basically is a task carried out on a constant basis; something that takes effort and resolve to keep up with.  To achieve this, if one resolves to always speak the truth and never utter a lie, that would qualify for penance.  To undergo such a vow and keep up with it might be the toughest task on a day to day basis.  But if one keeps it up, then he does not have to do any other penance!!  Then, what to speak about one's quest for the ultimate truth!!  That would be the ultimate kind of penance.

Vehement desire is the root cause for all sorrows.  Who can deny that!  As soon as a desire arises in the mind, it constantly conspires towards making it a reality.  Just as one begins to entertain the thought, it holds a firm grip on all his thoughts and actions there onwards.  Burning with the desire to satisfy his desires, one may undergo many a hardships or compromise many an ideals.  This road can only lead to distress, disappointment and destruction.  Hence, desire is the sole cause for despair.

The best and easiest way to happiness is renunciation.  Renunciation, not in terms of duties, but in terms of expectations and hopes; not in terms of life, but in terms of attachments and bindings.  As soon as one gives up these restrictions, there is only unbound happiness which knows no horizons!  Hence surrender/relinquishment is the best way to happiness.

And, making oneself happy, is certainly in one's own hands!!

Know thy antonyms and keep trouble at bay!

pada vigrahaH:
न अस्ति विद्या-समं चक्षुः न अस्ति सत्य-समं तपः ।
na asti vidyaa-samaM chakShuH na asti satya-samaM tapaH |

न अस्ति राग-समं दुःखं न अस्ति त्याग-समं सुखम् ॥ 
na asti raaga-samaM duHkhaM na asti tyaaga-samaM sukham ||

February 12th

Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
न त्वहं कामये राज्यं न स्वर्गं नापुनर्भवम् ।
कामये दुःखतप्तानां प्रणिनां आर्तिनाशनम् ॥

Transliteration:
na tvahaM kaamaye raajyaM na swargaM naapunarbhavam |
kaamaye duHkhataptaanaaM praNinaaM aartinaashanam ||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
I certainly am desirous of neither sovereignty nor (want to attain) heaven nor mokSha(salvation).  I yearn for the relinquishment of grief, of all beings afflicted with pain.  

Commentary:
Everyone wants to acquire land; reach heaven on passing; or better yet, attain mokSha.  But then, the author says that he does not wish for any of these!  These may be of primordial importance on the agenda of all beings.  The underlying drive for wanting these is - attaining happiness.  One may acquire land, property, possessions or even want to attain mokSha, so that he can escape the bondage or burdens of life.  But then, there is something much more desirable for any existing creature.  It is - freedom from pain!

Pain is a strange thing.  It has a such a tight grip on a being's mind.  From a new born, to a ripe old man, everyone avoids pain!  If the main cause for any kind of fear is death, the true source of that fear is - the pain one might have to go through during death!

Also, the fear of pain - whether emotional, spiritual or physical - is the driving force behind many of the actions a person undertakes.  But then, the most pain we are dealing with, are really only thoughts!  Guess it is time to energize our thoughts!  Keeping positive thoughts shall banish half the pains one has.

What if one was assured that there would be no pain, no matter what..., what a wonderful place the world would be!!  Hence, the author is praying for a very essential ingredient in the life of all beings afflicted with pain.  And that, very well encompasses every creature that ever took breath.  What a wonderful prayer this is!!

(In that case, who would want possessions, or dislike being born again and again :).  That would be heaven on earth!)

pada vigrahaH:

न तु अहं कामये राज्यं न स्वर्गं न अपुनः भवम् ।
na tu ahaM kaamaye raajyaM na swargaM na apunaH bhavam |

कामये दुःख-तप्तानां प्रणिनां आर्ति-नाशनम् ॥
kaamaye duHkha-taptaanaaM praNinaaM aarti-naashanam ||

January 1st


Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
सन्तोषः परमो लाभः सत्सङ्गः परमा गतिः।
विचारः परमं ज्ञानं शमो हि परमं सुखम्॥

Transliteration:
santoShaH paramo laabhaH satsa~ngaH paramaa gatiH|
vichaaraH paramaM j~naanaM shamo hi paramaM sukham||

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Contentment is the highest accrual; company of the wise is the best attainment.  Reflection is the paramount form of knowledge; quietude of the mind is the zenith of happiness. 

Commentary:
One may accumulate wealth in many forms and shapes.  He may be the richest person in the entire world.  But then - he is NOT rich who has most, but who needs least.  Without the factor of contentment, any amount of possessions will not make him happy.  Hence, the accrual of contentment is the accrual of the highest order.

People tend to emulate those that are around them.  But then - one can progressively better himself only if he has someone, better than himself to emulate.  That can happen only in the company of the good and wise.  If one attained that company, bettering himself is only a matter of time.  Hence attaining good company is supreme.

Reading, listening, watching, all these are means of learning.  But unless it is reflected upon and inculcated in one's life, he does not have the authority of that knowledge.  Hence reflection is the best form of knowledge.

Some may say, happiness can be found in many things - having big possessions, a fat bank balance or a sleek car.  But then, they are ephemeral.  The possessions can be lost, the bank balance can dwindle, the car can get rusty.  What lasts forever is, the tranquility of the mind.  If one has succeeded at silencing the mind's chatter, he has found the zenith of happiness.

May everyone attain in this new year - contentment, company of the wise, time to reflect & serenity of the mind.  And hence, may the new year be the harbinger of progress, achievement, knowledge & enjoyment!

pada vigrahaH:
सन्तोषः परमः लाभः सत्-सङ्गः परमा गतिः।
santoShaH paramaH laabhaH sat-sa~ngaH paramaa gatiH|

विचारः परमं ज्ञानं शमो हि परमं सुखम्॥
vichaaraH paramaM j~naanaM shamo hi paramaM sukham||