Sunday, August 9, 2015

Of what use is science to the unintelligent?



How can shāstra help a person without self-intelligence?
What will a mirror do, for the one devoid of sight?

shAstra is that which is an authority. A field or a work in that field that is authoritative work, could be any of the –logies that we know, or seminal works in these fields. It is what you fall back on when you have doubt. It could be the dharma-shAstra, artha-shAstra, or any such works that people referred to when in doubt. It can even be the Veda, Upanishad, Gita etc.

But such a shAstra can only help those who have some intelligence of their own. Why? When you don’t apply your own intelligence to the matter at hand, you will never make the truth your own; it will never be part of you. You may babble it out, but you have not understood it. If the situation changes a little bit, the solution won’t fit and you won’t know how to modify the solution to fit the changed situation. That is when, you would say “I don’t know or care, this is how it has been done always, and this is how I will do.” And therein begins the fall of humanity’s progress in whichever field it is. Chandogya Upanishad explains this very clearly in 7:17:1 and 7:18:1 about the who can understand the truth? One who meditates, contemplates, mulls over it, only then the truth becomes yours.

This happens a lot in spiritual and religious fields as well. While in Sanatana dharma aka Hinduism, there are still many previous works to refer to when in doubt, other religions don’t have that luxury or provision. And it is but natural that the conditions in the society are not same as they were 1500 or 3000 years back. Are the shAstra-s themselves flexible enough to allow reinterpretation for changed times? Are they algebra with formulas where in you can feed new values to get results for changed times? Or are they arithmetic so that we don’t know the basic principles which we can apply to changed situations.

A mirror will help you make up only if you have your own eyes. If you are borrowing someone else’s eyes, you don’t need the mirror, that other person will correct your makeup. In which case you are forever dependent on that person - be it a guru or a swami or a priest or a padre.

If you don’t open your eyes, use your intelligence and get up with some initial help from others, you will always be crawling, crying, scared, dependent, helpless like a baby, yet adamant and ever-ready to charge others, like a bull.






And now the language aspects -

यस्य नास्ति स्वयं प्रज्ञा शास्त्रं तस्य करोति किम् ।
लोचनाभ्यां विहीनस्य दर्पणः किं करिष्यति ॥ (Devanagri)
Hitopadesh 3:119

yasya nāsti svayaṃ prajñā shāstraṃ tasya karoti kim |
lochanābhyāṃ vihīnasya darpaṇaḥ kiṃ kariṣhyati || (IAST)

yasya nAsti svayaM praj~nA shAstraM tasya karoti kim |
lochanAbhyAM vihInasya darpaNaH kiM kariShyati || (ITRANS)

yasya = whose
nAsti = na asti = not is
svayaM = self, of one’s own
praj~nA = intelligence (also spelt as praGYA, or pragya)
shAstraM = sciences, shAstra
tasya = that person’s
karoti = does
kim = what?
lochanAbhyAM = from the two eyes (it is a usage thing, goes with vihIna, devoid of the eyes)
vihInasya = of the one who is devoid (that is of the one who is devoid of the two eyes)
darpaNaH = mirror
kiM = what
kariShyati = will do?

Apte's dictionary defines shAstra as:
शास्त्रम् [शिष्यते$नेन शास्-ष्ट्रन्] 1 An order, a command, rule, precept; अतिक्रामति यः शास्त्रं पितुर्धर्मार्थदर्शिनः Mb.5.148. 21. -2 A sacred precept or rule, scriptural injunction; तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ Bg.16.24. -3 A religious or sacred treatise, sacred book, scripture; see comps. below. -4 Any department of knowledge, science; इति गुह्यतमं शास्त्रम् Bg.15.2; शास्त्रेष्वकुण्ठिता बुद्धिः R.1.19; often at the end of comp. after the word denoting the subject, or applied collectively to the whole body of teaching on that subject; वेदान्तशास्त्र, न्यायशास्त्र, तर्कशास्त्र, अलंकार- शास्त्र &c. -5 What is learnt, knowledge; Śi.5.47. -6 A work, treatise;  





(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Was Ramayan real or mythology?

When it comes to Ramayana and Mahabharata, Indians are missing a very grave point, which has only been brought in debate by external factors. Did Ramayana actually happen? Did Hanuman have a tail? How could a monkey fly?

No such questions are asked of Yoda, Spider-man, Wonder-woman or Avengers.

What you have in Ramayana and other epics is to bring in the story element as well. Don't forget that these were written/composed specifically to impart Vedic wisdom to those who don't have the aptitude, attitude or time for the subtle revelations of Vedic seers, distilled after a long lifetime. I am not exaggerating or kidding.

E=mc^2 has no meaning to the uninitiated yet it not Einstein's fault.
To make it interesting a prof like Feynman or some one may create a whole kids' drama with characters like Mr Photon, Mrs Energy, Master Mass, and Prof ZappedHair and so on.
Will this play be mythology?
Will you debunk it every time and rather than focus on the message focus on the feasibility of a talking Mr Photon?

Next time someone asks these questions to you, simply answer this:
Focus on the message, and the super story-telling of the ancients, like you do with Spiderman's 'With great power comes great responsibility.' Respected speakers paid by the $1000s/hour will quote this and be applauded.

So, read the story of Ramayana, enjoy the story telling if you are kid at heart, and if you are a bit grown up in the mind, marvel the deep wisdom scattered all over in the dialogues of characters.

Don't analyze people's faith in Rama or Hanuman, be it your grandmother or the maid. Encourage it. With that, encourage understanding the message.

As Vidura (and later Kabir) points out, one of the trait of the wise is to grasp the essence.

At various stages of your growth, the essence will keep shrinking. As a kid it is an ultimate truth that Hanuman flew with the mountain on his pinky and what not. At 80 you may be seeing Hanuman in everything and person and understand it as the roaming soul looking for the supreme soul, the source; and devoting to the supreme for no selfish motive (unlike Sita, Lakshman, Sugreev, Vibhishan, Angad etc who all had some duty or interest to be with Rama).
Hanuman was the only one who had no reason to be loyal to Rama, and was the only one who was immediately attracted to Rama.

If you remember his childhood, he can go anywhere (immense powers of imagination?) being the son of wind, and when he goes to eat the Sun, Indra intervenes, hits him with vajra and the kid monkey falls, breaks his chin (hanu) and thus gets the name Hanuman (the one with the [broken] chin).

Then all gods (symbols of powers) give him supreme powers, and the kid becomes mischievous and disturbs everyone. The RiShis can't take his powers but can make him forget till someone reminds him.

That is us, with immense power but no recollection. When the need arises, some arise and become Hanuman, rescuing the situation. Others keep sleeping.

Did Ramayana really happen? If not, I will stop taking Rama and his message seriously?
The question is - did it ever stop happening?
It happens in all of us, all the time.

If you can't get the metaphor, enjoy the story, and call Hanuman as Yoda or c3po or whatever, but don't lessen the joy of a story, then you lose the story, and never got the message to begin with (double whammy!)


A very valid point brought out by a friend:
"Totally agree with you about Ramayana (and Mahabharata) still playing out in people's lives in some form or the other. But why should one not enjoy the story, get the metaphors, AND look for historical clues in the epic? Given that this was composed a very long time ago, there are bound to be historical clues. Let's not ignore them."
Sure, but there will be no point researching if monkeys can fly or if Hanuman's tail could grow infinitely in the court, there will be no such species possible who can increase its body mass and length to such proportions. Lizards can grow a tail but that too takes a few hours/days.

Surely, researchers of language, society etc. take Ramayana and Mahabharata seriously for its depiction of the flora, fauna, geography, society, norms, values. That is how they even accuse Hindus of having a woman-oppressing society based on Sita's agni-pariksha etc. (which is a detraction actually, but that is another topic).

So scholars use them for tracking history.

But it should be reasonable. For example, another interesting point could be - there is no mention of script in Ramayana! Does that lend any credibility to its antiquity?  
So, 
Stop questioning 'Was it real?'
Start questioning 'What does it mean?'
 
--------------------------------
[Added 9th Aug 2015]

A lot of discussion went over in FB. Here is my recent summaizing comment (after a lot of comments by others):

Interesting discussions, viewpoints.

The main intention for the article was for people who believe in ancient Indian scriptures and thoughts (this is the widest net I can throw that captures all people who believe in the Indian thought system of Sanatana Dharma aka 'Hinduism' and its offshoots) when they may face other detractors who have nothing better to do, by choice or design, the detractors have used such logic of 'scientific inconsistencies' and tried to debunk them.

For those situations, remember, the essence is the wisdom, the serenity the deep messages give us. These messages whether originally from God, Rama, Vishnu or anyone (actually immaterial), were transmitted to us via humans (very wise and caring humans, RiShis, AchArya-s etc.) and have a lot of value.

This value is enhanced if one has some level of faith, liking, respect for the scriptures. (You can replace this in any other religion's case as well, but there will be a difference pointed out later between the two). Even the wise seers themselves say for search of any truth - truth is obtained from shraddhA (respectful belief in something, that is you can't keep doubting everything all the time, you can question, and inquire but still need faith, even if it is in the scientific process itself, even if it is in logic itself. A logical person will not forget that human beings are full of emotions and other illogical things as well)

So, have respectful faith in the scriptures, even if you don't fully understand them, but also, try to understand them as well, feel them as well. Your duty is not over merely by paying physical respect to them like folding hands and offering flowers. It has to be followed by understanding it, experiencing it, and liberating yourselves, or at least being a nice human being in the society.

While these apply to all religions, the basic difference between Sanatana Dharma principles and other religions is - Hinduism doesn't invoke violence against others based on opinions, beliefs etc; it only invokes appropriate action against illegal, unethical, unjust people based on their actions to keep an order in the society. That is why you can see greatest extent of variety only in Indian society (and possibly China). This is unfathomable for outsiders to grasp, and they try to simplify, which causes problems.

While others go outright on attack mode (physical or on thoughts) to curb and convert for politico-religious gains.

Why this difference? If you find any blatantly wrong in any later scripture, you can refer to a previous one and get clarification. And usually, when wise and experienced people apply sound judgement to the truths of the ancient times and interpret them honestly for the changed time and space, you get good results. In case of Hinduism, such people are becoming less and less who can understand, interpret, caring for all, open to change keeping greater good in mind; in case of others, their single book allows no other interpretation, even if they were to land on planet X6Z-317 in upper Andromeda or what ever you have. They will still have the same one book for inner growth and that is the problem.

But that is not what I wanted to say in this post. I am not going to that side.

I am addressing only to those who have something to do with the Indian scriptures. What should they keep in mind, when distracted? That was the only point of the post.

It is a weird and sad situation where every statement has to be clarified with ten footnotes and 5 disclaimers else someone or the other will give it another spin. smile emoticon smile emoticon No conversation can continue without some basic common ground and understanding,

All ideas are most welcome.



(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Word of an honest person is like an oath, even when said in jest





The word ‘sat’ is the root word for truth, good, etc. and when used for people, it would be like saying ‘gentlemen, good people, honest people, people of good character’. ‘satsang’ means the company of ‘sat’ or good people. ‘sadguru’ means a true guru, ‘sajjana’ means good people.

The people of good character, even if they say something jokingly, they abide by it if need be. You can be sure that they will be true to their words, even if they were ‘kidding’. If they promise something, you can count on them -as if they had written on a stone edict announcing to the whole world.

The people of bad character or dishonest people, even when they promise under oath, it is like writing on water (beach writing anyone!?) and you can’t count on that either. They will make some excuse and wriggle out of it.



And now the language aspects - 
sadbhiH = by the honest people of good character; sat = good; sadbhiH = by the good people (plural. -bhiH suffix)

tu = certainly

leelayA = jokingly, by way of leelA (fun, game, playing, kidding)

proktaM = speech, words, that which has been said. pra + uktam;

shilA-likhitam = that which is written [likhitam] on stone [shilA]

akSharam = letter; a-kSharam = that which does not disintegrate any further -- letter, which is the smallest unit of language; Supreme Divine, which doesn’t disintegrate; kShAra = alkali;

asadbhiH = by the dishonest people

shapathena = by oath

api = also

jale = in water

likhitam = written

akSharam = letter
 


(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Be equanimous - in good and bad times




Like the Sun is red in sunrise and sunset, similarly the Great Ones remain same (not disturbed) in good and bad times.

Losing control in bad or good times can be further damaging. 

In bad times, being too sad you may get depressed, angry, lose confidence, take wrong decisions of finance or life. And you know what the consequences of that might be.

In good times, being too happy you may insult someone, splurge, donate too much, indulge too much. 

Either way, excess of reaction to the situation is not good.

Remember, ‘idamapi yāsyati’ – this too shall pass.

Happy New Year - this too shall pass!
 


And now the language aspects -

udayé savitā rakto raktashchāstamayé tathā |
sampattau cha vipattau cha mahatāmékarūpatā ||

= udayé savitā raktaḥ raktaḥ cha astamayé tathā |
sampattau cha vipattau cha mahatām éka-rūpatā || [IAST, sandhi removed]

= udaye savitA raktaH raktaH cha astamaye tathA |
sampattau cha vippatau cha mahatAm eka-rUpatA || [ ITRANS, sandhi removed]

udaye = in [the event of] rising; udaya = rising, ascent.
savitā / savitA = Sun (from savitṛi/savitRi)
raktaḥ/raktaH = red
raktaḥ/raktaH = red
cha = and
astamaye = in [the event of] setting; asta = finished, thrown away; astaḥ/astaH = setting, western mountains where the Sun sets.; astamaya = the one in the act of setting
tathā/tathA = and also, in that manner, thus

sampattau = in good time; samyak + pat = sampat = fallen properly (in your favor) = favorable condition, prosperity
cha = and
vipattau = in bad time; viparīta + pat = vippat = fallen improperly (not in your favor) = unfavorable condition
cha = and
mahatām/mahatAm = of the great ones; mahat = great
ekarūpatā/ekarUpatA = one-form-ness ; eka = one; rūpa/rUpa = form; -tā/tA = -ness


(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Whatever comes, also goes.



Whatever comes, also goes.
सर्वं वा इदमेति च प्रेति च
sarvaM vA idameti cha preti cha
[ शतपथब्राह्मणम् shata-patha-brAhmaNam 1.4.1.6 ]

The English saying 'What goes around, comes around' means - what you do, so will you get. If you spread love, you will receive love. If you spread hatred, you will get hatred.

The Sanskrit line is not just advising on what you should do to get good stuff happen to you. It warns that whatever comes to you, will also go away. So don't have attachment to anything, else it will lead to sorrow later on. As we met lot of people, and leave lots, so is everything. Nothing is permanent.


So what is yours? What you got is from this world, and you will leave everything here.
You came with nothing, you leave with nothing.
So why be selfish in between and hurt others for momentary pleasures?
Why not live happily helping each other?


Word by word meaning
sarvaM vA idameti cha preti cha
= sarvaM vA idam eti cha preti cha
sarvaM = all
vA = for emphasis
idam = this
eti = comes
cha = and
preti = goes (returns)
cha = and

For a list A, B, C and D, it is written as 'A B C D cha' or 'A cha B cha C cha D cha'. Here it is second method used.




(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशीॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sanskrit origins of English's possessive case using apostrophe

I always wondered where does the apostrophe 's come to mean possessive case. Like John's = Of John, car's = of car etc.

It also struck me the ShaShThI ekavachana षष्ठी एकवचन (sixth vibhakti, singular) for masculine and neuter gender end in -sya. Like rAma-sya = of rAma; deva-sya = of deva etc.

So I did some searching around and here is what I found.

The possessive 's comes from the masculine genitive case ending on -es in Old English. This means that you could say "of [the] man" by simply sticking -es after "man". The genitive case was often used to indicate the possessor of something. In German, the genitive case is still used, and it ends on -(e)s for masculine and neuter singular words: the man = der Mann; the man's house = des Mannes Haus. As you see, the genitive is also used with articles.  [ From http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/9467/origins-of-possessive-pronouns]
And,

When the apostrophe mark was introduced into English in the 1500s, it was originally used to show where a letter or syllable had been omitted. 
We still use it this way in contractions, but in fact it’s also how the apostrophe came to be a mark of possession.   
In Old English, long before the apostrophe came into use, the possessive ending for most nouns was es.
A house belonging to John, for example, would have been called something like “Johnes house.” (Another way to show possession was by using the word “of,” as in “the house of John.”) 
After the apostrophe came along, a possessive word like “Johnes” was written as “John’s” to show that a letter had been dropped—the e in es.
But the story is not as simple as that.
In Middle English (around 1100-1500) and later, the possessive ending es was often misheard as the possessive pronoun “his.”
This accounts for such erroneous old constructions as “John his house” (meaning “Johnes house”).
Historians have suggested that printers used the apostrophe (“John’s”) as a shortened form of either possessive, the legitimate “Johnes” or the illegitimate “John his.”
In “Axing the Apostrophe,” a 1989 article in English Today, the language writer Adrian Room has called the word for this punctuation mark “a cumbersome name for an awkward object.”
Where does this clunky name come from?
The short answer, John Ayto’s Dictionary of Word Origins tells us, is that we got it via Latin and French from the classical Greek phrase prosoidia apostrophos, literally “accent of turning away.”
[ From http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/09/apostrophe.html ] 

---

And that is where the Sanskrit influence can be seen, not in 1500's but in Greek times.





(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

My idea of India - by Prime Minister of India




I recently found this video on the official page of the Prime Minister of India.

This is before he made this speech. Even then he was clear on what kind of India he wanted. Maybe that is one of the things that got him the landslide victory.

Most of his ideas are coming from the vast ocean of wisdom of Indian seers right from the Vedic times. Those who (yes, there are many) see this as a red flag of Hindu fundamentalism, should remember that it is India's grand heritage which everyone in India should be proud of. Don't give it religious color just because it is in Sanskrit.

One great ting the then Prime Minister-candidate did is to take the inspirations from Indian sources, rather than to quote Western philosophers. After all, in thought leadership why look anywhere else? Our own mind is enough. And when it is not enough, we look in the minds of our ancestors who shared it in their works over the ages.

The ideas he mention are all also shown in Sanskrit and English with translation in the video, you can pause to read if the meaning is not immediately clear.

That is where the utility of Sanskrit for modern times is (apart from others for more serious pursuers). The great ideas it has. For the skeptics, you are free to not take all ideas, since some may not be good or relevant for today. But think and process before discarding.

This is not a political post, but all leaders should learn thought-leadership first from the wisdom of the land, and then if still the need be, look beyond the borders.





(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Members of Parliament take oath in Sanskrit



For those who thought Sanskrit was a dead language, in the latest Parliament, two members took oath in Sanskrit. Many more took oaths in their own mother tongues, from different states. Check this link for all the interesting facts.

It is also evident from every Indian Rupee note, all the various languages recognized in the constitution.Fourth from bottom is Sanskrit on this Rs 50 note.



Watch the video below of MP Sushma Swaraj taking oath.







(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It is what you give, not what you have, that matters.






In life we see many great success stories, very prosperous people, companies etc. Sometimes we have to ask for help in terms of a job, loan, advice, whatever. Who should we approach?
Who is a better employer? A better help in times of need?

A small well with sweet water is any day preferable for quenching thirst than a huge ocean which only gives salt water. It is not how much you have, but what you give that matters.

Your success and greatness is not in hoarding a lot of things from the rest of the society. How are you using those resources for which the society has given you the charge? Are you using to splurge on yourself? Or are you using it for the good of others?

Ultimately, you can only consume and use a very limited amount of things. Everyone has a fistful of stomach to fill with food. You can splurge it on a $5000 of single wine bottle from a century back or use that to do some worthwhile cause.

Your greatness is not in how much you have, but in what you are willing to give.




And now the language aspects -

Here is the anvaya (all sandhi broken into base words):

दाता लघुः अपि सेव्यः भवति, न कृपणः महान् अपि समृद्ध्या ।
कूपः अन्तःस्वादुजलः प्रीत्यै लोकस्य न समुद्रः॥ (devanAgari)

dātā laghuḥ api sévyaḥ bhavati, na kṛipaṇaḥ mahān api samṛiddhyā |
kūpaḥ antaḥ-svadu-jalaḥ prītyai lokasya na samudraḥ || (IAST)

dAtA laghuH api sevyaH bhavati, na kRipaNaH mahAn api samRiddhyA |
kUpaH antaH-svadu-jalaH prItyai lokasya na samudraH || (ITRANS)

dātā = giver
laghuḥ = small
api = even, also
sévyaḥ = worth pursuing (serving or being served. In case of a boss/master it is worth serving under such a master. In case of a well, it is worth being served by well’s water)
bhavati = happens, is.
na = not
kṛipaṇaḥ = miser
mahānapi = mahān (huge, big, great)+ api (even, also)
samṛiddhyā = in/by prosperity [sam+ṛiddhi = samyak (complete) +ṛiddhi (growth) ]
kūpaḥ = well
antaḥ-svadu-jalaḥ = whose water is sweet inside
prītyai = for pleasing
lokasya = of people
na = not
samudraḥ = ocean

That is, A giver is worthy even if small, not a miser great in prosperity. The sweet water well [is for] pleasing people [who are thirsty], not the ocean.




(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spelling Bee 2014 co-winners and 'real' Americans




Congratulations to the co-winners Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe of Spelling Bee contest.

And of course the racial remarks of frustration as to why 'Americans' are not winning it. Check this as well.

Indian-Americans have won 11 out of 15 times since 1999. That is indeed a trend and feat. Shows Indians have an affinity to languages. Now if some kids will focus on Sanskrit as well :) Or is it just their 'tiger' parents behind them!

In all this, a few thoughts came to mind:

No Spelling Bee for Sanskrit
Sanskrit and related Indian languages won't have such a thrilling spelling bee contest because once you learn the alphabet (the sound to letter mapping) there is no more mystery to it. You could have a sandhi (सन्धि) and samAsa (समास) contest though! Where long words are shortened and short words combined to make really long words! The longest word is also a Sanskrit word. (निरन्तरान्धकारिता-दिगन्तर-कन्दलदमन्द-सुधारस-बिन्दु-सान्द्रतर-घनाघन-वृन्द-सन्देहकर-स्यन्दमान-मकरन्द-बिन्दु-बन्धुरतर-माकन्द-तरु-कुल-तल्प-कल्प-मृदुल-सिकता-जाल-जटिल-मूल-तल-मरुवक-मिलदलघु-लघु-लय-कलित-रमणीय-पानीय-शालिका-बालिका-करार-विन्द-गलन्तिका-गलदेला-लवङ्ग-पाटल-घनसार-कस्तूरिकातिसौरभ-मेदुर-लघुतर-मधुर-शीतलतर-सलिलधारा-निराकरिष्णु-तदीय-विमल-विलोचन-मयूख-रेखापसारित-पिपासायास-पथिक-लोकान्)


Useless words merely for contests?Kids should stop wasting their brains on learning spellings of words that are merely used in contests, when they don't even follow phonetics. Might as well learn the 3000+ characters of Chinese! (no disrespect meant for anyone) But each word of English which violates phonetics rules is a new 'character' (sound-to-symbol mapping) to remember. One has to remember the entire combination of letters. So there are many more than 26 'letters' of English. There are too many examples of the inconsistencies. Try reading this poem for a challenge

(Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I’ Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.)



'Real' Americans prefer sports over language, Bubba?
Americans, the so-called 'real' ones who claim that America is theirs alone, those ones) should realize that even at their own language (which they have made EZ and Kool) they are not excelling, this must be a low for their own kids' study efforts. Why crib when the 'real' American kids are busy with football and basketball, Pokemon and Clash of Clans? After all, sports has more money than spelling bee! :)



America progresses in matters, not where it matters.
These kids who won are US citizen, mostly born in US itself, and are equally American. Just their parents couldn't shrug off their Indian baggage and imposed the importance of education and knowledge on the kids at an early age. This current spate of racism shows that despite the progress America has made in material things, it has not made much on social and human levels. They not only still feel averse to diversity, want success without working on it. This is not what made US succeed in the hundred years!

Despite all the technological growth guns and prisons are still a 'major blow to the American society', apart from racism and killer capitalism. 6-year old shoots grand-dad and 36-month old shoots 18-month old !



Bilingual is not bad
The 'real' Americans tell the Spanish to learn English if they want to live in America. Now the Indians are just following the commands of the 'real' Americans. Why this kolavari di?
Shouldn't the real Americans be proud that these immigrants (and/or their kids) not only learn English, they far exceed the 'real Americans themselves! What a faithful bunch of immigrants.

People of narrow-minded thinking are in every society. It is exposure to more ideas, thoughts, places, opportunities that broaden the minds. But when so-called advanced society and educated people express so racially insultingly, then one starts to wonder the claims of human progress.



(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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