Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Five qualities of a man - पात्रे त्यागी गुणे रागी


Five qualities of a man – giver, virtuous, sharer, intelligent, brave.




(हिन्दी में व्याख्या नीचे दी गयी है)

(Another variation of the fourth quarter goes as ‘sa vai puruSha uchyate’ = he is said to be a man.)

Five qualities of a (real) man:
1) gives to the worthy needy (thoughtfully, not carelessly). Just giving to anyone is not a good giving. Good giving is that which gives to the worthy, needy, in right amount, at right time in the right place. There is not point giving to someone who already has, or will make bad use of it, or when it is too late or too little for the needs.

2) indulges in virtues (not vices). A real cultured man is naturally inclined towards virtues and virtuous, developing good qualities, sponsoring inculcation of good qualities. They are sponsors and pursuers of arts and sciences, dance, music, sports etc.

3) shares [prosperity] with relatives (doesn’t usurp property, or enjoy his good fortune alone). With so many inheritance laws, and land being one of the basic cause of fights from long long time, (Mahabharata!?), the real man does not cheat his relatives of their share. Even from his own share of prosperity, he shares with relatives, so no one feels jealous or inferior.

4) intelligent enough to understand shastra (classics of science and art). A real man is not just about muscles, he is equally smart and intelligent and keen thought leader as well. He is smart in real life situations, negotiator, understand his stuff so no one can fool him!

5) and brave like a warrior in battle. When the time comes, situation demands, he faces it bravely like a fierce warrior in battle.

It may not be possible for one man to have all of them, specially 4 and 5, but it is not that difficult either. Maybe today when we have forgotten how to raise good upright citizens, just (partially) skilled robozens from schools, we may think that you can either be smart academically or strong physically. But bravery is a mental virtue of not giving up, facing what may come in the fight for justice and truth.



Now the language part:
pAtre = in the worthy
tyAgI = giver , one who gives to the worthy, needy
guNe = in qualities
rAgI = one who loves
saMvibhAgI = one who divides equally
cha = and
bandhuShu = among relatives
shAstre = in shAstras, scriptures, sciences
boddhA = knower, knowledgeable
raNe = in battle
yoddhA = warrior
puruShaH = man
pa~nchalakShaNAH =(is) of five characteristic



हिन्दी व्याख्या:
पात्रे त्यागी गुणे रागी संविभागी च बन्धुषु ।
शास्त्रे बोद्धा रणे योद्धा पुरुषः पञ्चलक्षणः ॥

सुपात्र को दान देना, गुणों में रुचि, बन्धुजनों के साथ बाँट कर भोगना, शास्त्रों का ज्ञाता और रण में योद्धा - पुरुष के ये पाँच लक्षण हैं ।

(एक अन्य पाठ्यान्तर में चौथा भाग ‘स वै पुरुष उच्यते’ है ।)

सत्पुरुष के पाँच लक्षण होते हैं –
१) सुपात्र दान । केवल नाम के लिए दे दिया ऐसे नहीं – अच्छा दान वह है जो देश, काल, पात्र, मात्रा देख कर दिया जाए । समय के बाद, गलत जगह पर, गलत मात्रा में या ऐसे किसी को जो उसका दुरुपयोग करे – ऐसा दान ठीक नहीं ।

२) गुणों में रुचि । एक सुसंस्कृत पुरुष स्वभाव से ही गुणों व गुणियों की ओर आकर्षित रहता है । स्वयं गुणों को बढ़ाता है, औरों की भी सहायता करता है । संगीत, नृत्य, कला, विज्ञान आदि स्वयं भी अनुसरण करता है, अन्य लोगों को भी प्रोत्साहित करता है ।


३) बन्धुजनों के साथ बाँट कर भोगना । भूमि को लेकर बहुत पुराने समय से ही विवाद होते रहे हैं (महाभारत !?) । सत्पुरुष पैत्रिक सम्पत्ति में से बन्धुओं का भाग नहीं हड़पता, अपनी समृद्धि में से भी मिल बाँट कर खाता है जिससे किसी में ईर्षा या हीनभावना न आ जाए । गीता कहती है – जो अकेला खाता है वह पाप खाता है ।


४) शास्त्रों का ज्ञाता । शास्त्र का अर्थ है कोई ज्ञान क्षेत्र या किसी भी ज्ञान क्षेत्र में सर्वमान्य अधिकारी कार्य । पुरुष केवल शारीरिक बल का ही प्रतीक नहीं अपितु बौद्धिक बल का भी प्रतीक है । वह व्यवहारकुशल और विचारकुशल है । जीवन के पहलुओं में मध्यस्थता में कुशल, और कोई मूर्ख न बना सके इतना चतुर भी ।


५) और रण में योद्धा । जब समय आ जाए और परिस्थिति की माँग हो तो वह एक निर्भीक योद्धा की तरह लड़ता भी है ।

शायद आप सोच रहे हैं कि यह सब एक ही पुरुष के लिए सम्भव नहीं, विशेषतः ४ और ५, पर यह इतना असम्भव भी नहीं । आज जब स्कूल अच्छे जागरूक नागरिक की बजाय केवल दक्ष रोबोट बना रही है, तब लगे कि या तो बौद्धिक या शारीरिक बल ही बढ़ाया जा सकता है । लेकिन शौर्य या वीरता मानसिक गुण है, जो हमें सत्य और न्याय के लिए लड़ने की शक्ति देता है ।


और अब भाषा विश्लेषण –
पात्रे = (सु)पात्र में
त्यागी = (दान) देने वाला (अपनी वस्तु का त्याग कर किसी और को देने वाला)
गुणे = गुण में
रागी = राग/रुचि रखने वाला
संविभागी = बराबर व ठीक से बाँटने वाला
च = और
बन्धुषु = बन्धुओं में
शास्त्रे = शास्त्र में
बोद्धा = बुद्धिमान, समझने वाला
रणे = रण, युद्ध में
योद्धा = योद्धा, शूरवीर
पुरुषः = पुरुष
पञ्चलक्षणः = पाँच लक्षणों वाला (होता है)





(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Take it easy. No one is perfect.







Take it easy. No one is perfect.
Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have or could have.


कस्य दोषः कुले नास्ति व्याधिना को न पीडितः ।
व्यसनं केन न प्राप्तं कस्य सौख्यं निरन्तरम् ॥
= kasya doṣhaḥ kule nāsti vyādhinā ko na pīḍitaḥ |
vyasanaṃ kena na prāptaṃ kasya saukhyaṃ nirantaram || (IAST)
= kasya doShaH kule nAsti vyAdhinA ko na pIDitaH |
vyasanaM kena na prAptaM kasya saukhyaM nirantaram || (ITRANS)


Whose family doesn’t have faults? Who is never afflicted with disease?
Who has not got troubles? Whose happiness has been eternal?


The meaning of this shloka is pretty much straight forward. The main point is, everyone has troubles, no one is perfect, so don’t brood over faults, defects, shortcomings; focus on what can be done, achieved; what you have, rather than what you could have!


Remember Chanakya was a very practical person, so in every one of his utterances, there is an element of practical wisdom, urging to get up and achieve, be careful in the world of ambitions.





And now the language aspects -


kasya doṣhaḥ kule nāsti
vyādhinā ko na pīḍitaḥ |
vyasanaṃ kena na prāptaṃ
kasya saukhyaṃ nirantaram ||


After sandhi vichchheda and anvaya (rearranging) becomes:

kasya kule doṣhaḥ na asti
kaḥ na vyādhinā pīḍitaḥ |
vyasanaṃ kena na prāptaṃ
kasya saukhyaṃ nirantaram ||


kasya = whose? kaḥ/kā/kim = who (m/f/n)

kule = in (extended) family. kulam = family lineage

doṣhaḥ = doShaH = defect, abnormality, fault, bad quality

nāsti = nAsti = na asti = not is

vyādhinā = vyAdhinA = by disease (vyAdhi)

kaḥ = kaH = who

na = not

pīḍitaḥ = pIDitaH = afflicted, stricken by

vyasanaṃ = vyasanaM = bad time, trouble

kena = by whom

na = not

prāptaṃ = prAptaM = obtained

kasya = whose

saukhyaṃ = saukhyaM = happiness. sukha -> saukhyam

nirantaram = without gap, continuous, nir/niH/nis + antaram




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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

बर्बर = barbara = barbarian, uncivilized





बर्बर = barbara = barbarian, uncivilized

A barbarian is a human who is perceived to be uncivilized or primitive.

It was used as early as Mahabharata, where Ghatotkacha's son was named barbarIka, having curly hair. He is worshiped as Khatushyamji today in Rajasthan.

Ghatotkacha was born with no hair on his head - ghaTa ut kacha - head without hair.

The Greeks used the word to mean non-greek. The Greeks and Romans used the term as they encountered scores of different foreign cultures, including the Egyptians, Persians, Medes, Celts, Germanic peoples, Phoenicians and Carthaginians. In fact, it became a common term to refer to all foreigners. However, in various occasions, the term was also used by Greeks, especially the Athenians, to deride other Greek tribes and states (such as Epirotes, Eleans, Macedonians and Aeolic-speakers) but also fellow Athenians, in a pejorative and politically motivated manner.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

क्षुरः - kShuraH - razor, knife



Remember those days when you (or your dad) would go to the barber shop and get a shave done with the 'ustaraa' (उस्तरा)? Some even thought of having one for home, to save on the constant expense on the flimsy blades that went blunt in 3 shaves.

The word for knife in common parlance is chhura (छुरा), or chhuri (छुरी).



The famous Zanjeer movie song that went -
chakku chhuriyaan ~~~~
tez karA lo
chakku ki aisee dhaar
ke chakku ban jaaye talwar
(चक्कू छुरियाँ ~~~~~
तेज़ करा लो
चक्कू की ऐसी धार
के चक्कू बन जाए तलवार)

THAT chhuri.

The word comes from Sanskrit word - kShuraH (क्षुरः) .

kShur = क्षुर् = to scratch, to cut
kShuraH = क्षुरः = razor
kShurikA = क्षुरिका = knife, dagger

And we know how 'kSha' gets modified into 'chha' or 'kha' or 'Sha' in languages derived from Sanskrit. That is normal linguistic simplification.
kShetra (क्षेत्र) becomes khet (खेत) (field)
kShetrapaala (क्षेत्रपाल) become khetarpaal (खेतरपाल) (surname)

Only real macho guys get a shave with a 'kShuraH' anymore.
All others are safe in the hands of Mach 5 Twin Blade Smooth Glide Razor Blades.
Sounds like some space mission! :)

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

Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.

Monday, October 26, 2015

हरिद्रा - haridrA - turmeric



So, yesterday we saw why ginger is called 'adarak'. Ardra (आर्द्र) = moist, and we mentioned turmeric as well.

The color of turmeric powder is bright yellow. And it is a common material to give the yellow color of paintings and dyes. India has been famous for its vibrant colors from time immemorial. Just see any festival dresses, or see the desert designs of Rajasthan. Even before they were writing, they were coloring and making alloys. Remember steel and brass and bronze and the Ashoka pillar?

So, turmeric was used to dye cloths as well. And the color yellow is mentioned many times in names like 'peetambar/pitambar' in shlokas for Vishnu and his avatars.

The cloth on Lord Vishu's chest is of a characteristic yellow color. And Lord Vishnu is called pItAmbaraH (पीताम्बरः = One whose cloths are yellow) or pItAmbaradhArI (पीताम्बरधारी = one who wears yellow cloths). Yellow is also a primary color in the CMYK scheme.

"On the dark skinned (shyAma) Vishnu/Rama/Krishna the yellow cloth seems like the lightening in the dark rain-bearing (hence life giving) clouds" - thus go most of the descriptions of the three. (E.g in shrI rAmachandra kRipAlu bhajuman haraNa bhavabhaya dAruNam ...)

So, turmeric has got the color that is favorite of Hari, i.e. Lord Vishnu.

And hence it is called हरिद्रा (haridrA), - "the moist one with Hari's color."

Turmeric is very beneficial for bones and immunity development and is a natural antiseptic. It was applied on open wounds (after some preparation, not directly as powder) to prevent infection as well. Taking a pinch of it with warm milk daily is a great practice for healthy bones and great immunity and no extra cost.

It is also called haritA. The word 'haladee' is also used in later works of Sanskrit, and is the name in Hindi and many other languages.

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

Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved. Check us on Facebook.




Sunday, October 25, 2015

आर्द्रिका - ArdrikA - ginger




We all love a 'kadak adarak-wali chai' - strong ginger tea (with milk, black tea leaves and sugar - of course)

Wah Taj! 
Raindrops dancing on my balcony railing ...
... while I don't have to drive :)

and all that come rushing to the mind.

But what is up with the word 'adarak'? Where did that come from?

I always wondered these things way back in middle school - where do words come from? How did potato come to India? Where did ginger come from? Imported? Do we know if we had potato sabji 3000 years ago? Or ginger cold remedy back in 2000 BCE? And if not imported, what were they called earlier? And how did the new names come up?

Seems that ginger has been around for a while.
It was called aardrika/ArdrikA (आर्द्रिका).
Comes from the base word - aardra = आर्द्र = moist

Now, if you are an old timer, and have seen raw ginger or turmeric (or if you grab the fresh ginger at the vegetable vendor) , you will know that the ginger roots are moist when fresh. So, is turmeric. And then you dry them. Chop them in small pieces or grind them to powder, and use liberally to strengthen your immunity and bones.

So what is turmeric called?

adarak is also called - आर्द्रकम् (aardrakam)

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

Saturday, October 24, 2015

तत्त्वम् - tattvam - essence



We all know this word to mean essence of something. But the etymology is even more enlightening. 

tat = it, that
-tva = suffix to denote -ness

For example, 
apanatva = अपनत्व = feeling something, someone as one's own, say with a good friend
mahattvam = महत्त्वम् = greatness, importance
puMsatvam = पुंसत्वम् = manliness

So why does it-ness or that-ness mean essence? 
The Supreme Divine has no gender. It is referred as 'it' or 'that'. The word that itself comes from tat.

The essence of everything is That. It. 
What more indication of the depth of the language and its philosophy!

तत्त्वमसि = tat tvam asi = tattvamsi = That Thou Art!
 


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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

भूत - bhUta - beings or ghosts?




In many Indian languages, the word bhoot/bhoota (भूत) would inspire some flurry of electrical current up the spine. It means - ghost. There are movies with names like bhoota bangalaa (ghost bungalow) that were the pioneers of the horror genre in India. And then the Bib-B starrer recent flick called Bhootnath (protector/king of ghosts!)

And yet, Shiva (शिव) is also called bhUta-nAthaH (भूतनाथः). This of course gives fan to the fire that Shiva is the Lord of the ghosts, and wanders the cemetery, smears the ashes of the burning grounds. And trust me, all this has deep metaphorical meaning that will scare 'The Brief History of Time' out of you. More on this below.

The verb 'bhU/bhoo' (/भू) is a very basic verb. Out of the ten classes of verbs, one of them is called bhu-Adi-gaNa (भू-आदि-गण) or bhavAdigaNa (भवादिगण) i.e. "group of bhU and other verbs."

bhU means - to be.
bhava - you be.
bhavati = she/he/it becomes.

It is slightly different from 'is'. We say -
He became angry.
Water becomes ice.
etc.

It is a state change.

That which *has* become - bhUta.

Now, who has become (past tense) is relative as well.
All beings you see, were not beings earlier, in these bodies. They were souls. Before that part of the Supreme Soul. Before that unmanifest 'unperceivable' para-brahma.
Upon birth (or conception, if you are a nit-picker) , they *became*. Before that they were not.
They were, but not in a form that could have been perceived by us.

So, all beings are called 'bhUta'. All of life, not just you and me, the supreme creation, but even the lowly earthworm is a bhUta.

Now, when someone dies, from this life's point of view they 'were'. Had been. Had become, not now anymore. They are also called bhUta - one who *had* become (past perfect?).

And hence the word for one who had been is bhUta. And if that "had been" tries to become "is being" we really get our spines jolted and scream - ghost!!

So, why is Shiva called bhUtanAtha? Well, Shiva is the deity of transformation, of time. And from unmanifest to manifest, spirit to matter and to spirit again, are all transformations. And at the cemetery, you change from is to has been. And turn to ash. His smearing of ash on his body signifies that all came from Time and go back to Time. Only Time rejoices in Time. All else is illusion.

So, you must be thinking how I can say that bhUta = all beings.
Is it extrapolation?
Modern day stretchable interpretation?

Well, look no further. Remember this shloka in praise of the Mother Devi?

या देवि सर्व-भूतेषु, शक्ति-रूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै, नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥   
yā dévi sarva-bhūtéṣhu, shakti-rūpéṇa saṃsthitā |
namas_tasyai namas_tasyai, namas_tasyai namo namaḥ||   

The Dévī who is well established among "all beings" in the form of Shakti (power, energy, ability), salutation to her, salutation to her, salutation to her, salutation,  salutation.


And why three times? Because 'Three is a charm'?

No silly, the three salutations are referring to the three forms of the Dévī – Sarasvatī, Lakṣhmī, Durgā. And why three Devi-s? Because three is a charm indeed! :)

Happy NNF.


The Nine-Night Festival!
May the Devi keep you safe, healthy and happy.



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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

सर्वार्थसाधिका - sarvArthasAdhikA - the realizer of all purposes


There are many names of the deities in Hinduism. They are all based on the characteristics of the concept of the divine.

So you have thousand names of Vishnu, of Devi etc.

When you understand the meaning of these names, you get a better understanding of the divine nature around us. Whatever we may call it, apart from the quantitative nature of science, there is a qualitative effect on us of our surrounding. The RiShi-s tried to explain that in simpler ways through metaphors, and hence all the stories started.

After all the understanding, you realize that the Divine doesn't work for you, but through you. So, understand it, rather than blame it for your misfortunes.

One among the many of the names of Devi is सर्वार्थसाधिका  (sarvArthasAdhikA) in this famous shloka:


सर्वमंगलमांगल्ये = sarvamangalamAngalye = o mangala of all mangala-s (-A changes to -e when you are addressing)
शिवे = shive = o shivaa, auspicious one (-A changes to -e when you are calling out to shivA)
सर्वार्थसाधिके = sarvArthasAdhike = o realiser of all purooses
शरण्ये = sharaNye = o worthy of refuge
त्र्यम्बके = tryambake = o three eyed one
गौरि = gauri = o gauree (-ee change to -i when you are calling gauree)
नारायणि =nArAyaNi = o nArAyaNee (-ee changes to -i)
नमोस्तुते = namo'stute = नमः अस्तु ते = namaH astu te = salutations be for you

sarva artha sAdhikA = one who realizes/accomplished all purposes

The force of Life working through you, accomplishes everything. Devi resides in all of us in the form of power, hunger, sleep, mercy, compassion, valor, ... (yA devI sarvabhUteShu, या देवी सर्वभूतेषु ). We realize our goals by our karma, and Devi helps us do karma through our abilities.

The shloka says सर्वार्थसाधिके (sarvArthasAdhike). The last -A turned into an -e, as in aye, say, way.
This means O sarvArthasAdhikA! So we are directly talking to her, and remembering her many qualities.For words ending in -ee, the ending becomes short -i when calling.

May that Devi help you accomplish, realize all your goals through your own good karma!.



(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Navaratram - नवरात्रम् - the Nine-Night festival


Happy Navaratram to all!

On 13th, started the navarAtram (नवरात्रम्) , or navarAtra (नवरात्र) as commonly, the trailing m is dropped in many Indian languages.
The word comes from - nava = nine; rAtri = night; navarAtram = group of nine nights.

nava-rAtram is not "nine nights", it is "a group of nine nights", more on that below.

HOW MANY?
There are actually a total of five such groups of 'navarAtram' in a year, though major one is in sharat (शरत्) - just before winter, a little before the crops will come in (two fortnights from now).

Saraswati is called shAradA (शारदा), who onsets of sharat season. The Hindi word 'sardi' (सर्दी) comes from sharad as well.

WHAT AND WHY DO WE CELEBRATE?
Mother gives birth. Father may or may not be needed for propagation of life, but mother is always needed, at least one agent, to conceive, protect, and foster life.

Earth, giving everything that we need, is our Supreme Mother. Hence, the celebrations of the Mother force, just before the harvest season.

The Mother Force, or the Life Force will always win, and this victory is celebrated during this time. "Life will find a way" - from Jurassic Park may seem more modern and hip, but the idea is very ancient and very Indian.

For nine nights, after a long day's work is over, the Mother force is celebrated in all its various aspects - the knowledge, power, resource, wrath, justice. In contrast to today's entertainment outlets, our festivals were entertainment events embraced with spiritual metaphors, stories of awe and inspiration, reflection and coming together.
May you do that as well, along with shopping and revelry.


LANGUAGE:
Did you know that It is *not* nava-ratri (नवरात्रि) ! (Note the last vowel)
How could it be? Nine is plural, and rAtri is singular (night). Subtle language nit-picking?

Nine nights would be translated as 'nava rAtrayaH' (नवरात्रयः) = plural
navarAtram = a collection of nine nights! = singular

See the difference?

In modern times, in some regions, people say it as 'navarAtrA' (नवरात्रा) as well, that is more closer to the original that nava-rAtri. But it should not be a long 'aa' (आ) at the end, it is short but clear 'a', (अ) as in u of cut.



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