Thursday, December 31, 2009

happy new year - नववर्षाभिनन्दनम्


time ticked one more second and as per the modern common custom, it is time to make resolutions, or should i say time to 'start following up on the resolutions made under extreme peer pressure'.

vidur has a small advice for resolutions, undertakings, projects that we decide to undertake. "the wise should only make those resolutions (undertake projects) that are according to one's ability and aptitude." else they will have less chance of completion.

"once started, the wise doesn't stop or get distracted by fear or attachment, cold or heat, ample or no resources, pride or aimlessness; the wise takes resolutions to completion."

and here is a simple yet deep thought for the new year:
"but the one who sees all beings in the divine and divine in all beings, after that [after such viewpoint, experience] one doesn't hate anyone." - iishAvAsya upaniShad (6)

each of the 18 shlokas of this upaniShad is packed with meaning worth a chapter or a book in itself. being part of the upaniShad, these kind of thoughts are very ancient, much before any of the 'modern' institutionalized 'religions' started.

here is pursuit of truth, spiritualism in its purest form, loaded with many layers of meanings and experiences.

here is wishing you all a happy new year.

embrace the world with an open heart.

for the great saint tulasiDasa says - "run towards the [people of the] world and hug them with love, for you never know in what form you may find the divine".

नववर्षाभिनन्दनम् = नव-वर्ष-अभिनन्दनम् = new-year-greetings

resolve to take resolutions to completion!

like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
http://practicalsanskrit.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Practical-Sanskrit/94744542422

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

how we learn and grow - आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते

one fourth from the teacher, one fourth from own intelligence,
one fourth from classmates, and one fourth only with time.

AchAryAt pAdamAdatte, pAdam shiShyaH swamedhayA |
sa-brahmachAribhyaH pAdam, pAdam kAlakrameNa cha ||

आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया ।
सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥


this one shloka opens up many facets, related to learning and teaching – be it regular schools or spiritual learning. modern education system, student-teacher relationship, undue blame on teacher or students for below expectation results.

let us look at each of the four parts. one learns from four sources - teacher, self, others, and with time (i.e. experience).

this doesn't mean it is exactly one-fourth from each. that may depend upon individual case - how good the teacher, classmates, own intelligence or environment is.

just like to grow a tree a gardener, good seed, fertile soil and time are needed, so too to learn one needs a teacher, own intelligence, co-students and time (patience, experience).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

give dutifully when, where, to whom the need is


it is that time of the year,
the season of giving,
the season of charity, caring, love and kindness!

merry christmas!

those in the snow belt, enjoy the snow.
others, enjoy the sun! but enjoy.

recently, on a reputed online discussion forum, i read a comment in context of why indians (read - hindus) don't do much charity, that other religions stress on charity, even as much as 15% of your income! that is a hefty chunk of charity! surely the trait is giving is shrinking everywhere - with our increased wants and needs, increased population, and increased selfishness, corruption and reducing trust.

it is true that many hindus are wary of charity as a routine, mainly because they are not sure of what happens of the donation. many non-profit organizations exist for the mere task of funneling money in form of expenses. but otherwise, hindus do actually do charity, in many small to large organizations around the world.

but this set me thinking, what does the ancient philosophy say on this? does the 'religion' talk about it? i am including just a few thoughts on the topic of giving, and since the sanskrit is not necessarily simple, i have skipped the language part for them.

the concept of giving was at many levels. the householder sustained a large part of the society via charity. the students begged their food in the village/town as brahmachAri. this ensured they didn't develop egos larger than their hearts! the sannyAsii, poor, wandering monks all depended on the gRihastha (householder) for sustenance. this is still seen among buddhist societies, where monks still take alms.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

belur halebid - temple towns of the hoysAlA dynasty

900 years old temples, the belur temple is continuously used temple with prayers offered and even weddings performed.

the halebid temple was destroyed by invading muslims even while under construction.

more photos to come.
click here to see comments on the photos.








like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below




(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
http://practicalsanskrit.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Practical-Sanskrit/94744542422

Friday, December 4, 2009

may hanumAn give you intellect and strength - बुद्धिर्बलं यशो धैर्यं



intellect, strength, patience, fearlessness, health,
consciousness (awareness) and oratory - may they come by remembering hanumAn .

बुद्धिर्बलं यशो धैर्यं निर्भयत्वमरोगिता ।
अजाड्यं वाक्पटुता च हनुमत्स्मरणाद्भवेत् ॥


buddhir_balam yasho dhairyam nirbhayatvam_arogitA |
a_jADyam vAk_paTutA cha hanumat_smaraNAd_bhavet ||


while devotees of any divine form will say that their divine will give them everything, why are these things associated with hanumAn - intellect, strength, patience, fearlessness, health, consciousness (awareness) and oratory? there are specific reasons.

in the master epic rAmAyaNa of vAlmIki, we come across a wonderful character named hanumAn. his character has captivated people from all times and of all ages. along with shiva and ganesh, perhaps there are most temples of hanumAn. so vast are the qualities of hanumAn and the reasons for them that one post will not be sufficient.

being an avatar of shiva himself, he is favourite of bachelors, and men of strength like wrestlers. he is called as the monkey god. but calling it that in english removes all the greatness one feels when refered as vAnara - which means "maybe human", i.e. half human, like the great apes.

there are many shlokas in his name, and saint goswAmI tulasidAsa wrote a full 40 verse, compact poem called "hanumAn chAlIsA" i.e. 40 verses of hanumAn. in it, he summarizes all the adventures of the great hero.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

renounce smaller selfish interests for the bigger good - त्यजेत् कुलार्थे पुरुषं


renounce one person for the sake of the family,
a family for the sake of village;
village for the sake of country and
even the [kingdom of] earth for one's own sake.

tyajet kulArthe puruSham grAmasyArthe kulam tyajet |
grAmam janapadasyArthe AtmArthe pRithivIm tyajet ||

त्यजेत् कुलार्थे पुरुषं ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् |
ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ||


this is a very much misunderstood shloka, and the misunderstanding comes from not taking in account the context, the speaker and the essence of the statement. this shloka appears in many shloka collections, including panchatantra and hitopadesha. the earliest reference seems to be in vidura neeti 5-17, which is part of the larger mega-epic mahAbhArata.

the wise minister vidura, of the kuru super-empire, is advising the emperor dhRitarAShTra to follow the path of dharma, right conduct, and not to let unfair things happen due to power intoxication or familial attachment. the emperor was literally blind, but metaphorically blind in parental attachment to his son duryodhana, and lets him get away with some of the most blatant and unfair thing he does out of jealousy and ego. duryodhana, the son was not ignorant of the right conduct, but he accepted he had a natural liking for a-dharma, even though knowing well he was doing wrong.

there are three common misunderstanding regarding this shloka -
#1. that the sacrifice of the [good of] smaller unit SHOULD be done to be able to get the good of the larger unit. this makes it a prerequisite to the greater good, which is not so.

#2. that this justifies mass killing like that done by Mao, Stalin, Naxal insurgents of india in the name of greater good. even eminent thinker like gurcharan das got this one wrong.

#3. giving it a spiritual spin, the last part is translated as 'abandon the [attachment to this material] world for your own moksha, nirvana.' i.e. leave worldly attachment, only then you will be able to liberate yourself.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

the six pleasures of life - अर्थागमो नित्यमरोगिता



incoming wealth, always good health, friends,
sweet spoken wife, obedient children, fruitful knowledge
- these are the six comfort/pleasures of this mortal world, o king!
--
arthAgamo nityamarogitA cha priyashcha bhAryA priya-vAdinI cha |
vashyashcha putro'rthakarI cha vidyA ShaD jIvalokasya sukhAni rAjan ||
--
अर्थागमो नित्यमरोगिता च प्रियश्च भार्या प्रियवादिनी च ।
वश्यश्च पुत्रोऽर्थकरी च विद्या षड् जीवलोकस्य सुखानि राजन् ॥ ०-१०


continuing the discussion in hitopadesh, the king after hearing the two shlokas on the morning walk - recipe for disaster and two types of knowledge - started to think about his children and their education or lack of it, future of his kingdom etc. and he remembers this shloka. this was originally said by vidura in mahAbhArata (vidur neeti) to emperor dhRitarAShTra .

in this mortal world, where we live and die, and all the experiences are within this short span what are the sources of comfort/pleasure? let us see how the wise vidur lists them out, and how the rest all follow from these! remember, this is not about the next world, or spirituality. sometimes we have to talk of the present and real as per our limited senses. specially, the people of action (rajas)!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hindu Prayer Book




Hindu Prayer Book (English)

Hindu Prayer Book (Hindi)



[updated 2012] A new and expanded print and Kindle version of this book is coming soon. The goal is to provide accurate transliteration, easy to read for new-comers, word by word accurate translation, and meaning to help you understand your devotion.

Hindu Prayer Book - English translation and transliteration. Compilation of most common prayers. This was in response to an article published in Cleveland Plain Dealer in January 2003 that Kirtans are becoming very popular in Cleveland, but not (m)any knew the meaning. Then some ’experts’ commented that words are not important and even that words can be an obstruction to real realization.

The question then comes - why then sing a kirtan, bhajan, and that too in Sanskrit? Words are important, when they convey an idea. So this humble collection of important and common mantras, shlokas, and artis.

Any error is mine,
any perfection is divine.

Simple shloka-s for children and adults alike.
Daily prayer shloka-s and mantras










like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
http://practicalsanskrit.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Practical-Sanskrit/94744542422

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Diwali to all!

Happy Diwali to all!


 

i had written an article in 2003 on Diwali that i have as a PDF, so instead of extracting text out of that, i thought of uploading the PDF itself.

click on the small icon on bottom right of the document (Fullscreen) to read comfortably.
or you can also read that as GIF by clicking on the pics below.




Friday, September 25, 2009

god helps them who help themselves - न देवा दण्डमादाय


the gods don't protect like a shepherd with a stick.
whom they want to protect, they give them intelligence.

न देवा दण्डमादाय रक्षन्ति पशुपालवत् ।
यं तु रक्षितुमिच्छन्ति बुद्ध्या संविभजन्ति तम् ॥
विदुरनीति ३-४०

na devA daNDamAdAya rakShanti pashupAlavat ।
yaM tu rakShitumichchhanti buddhyA saMvibhajanti tam ॥
viduraneeti 3-40


as described in an earlier post on smart goals, the wise minister and brother vidura gives the emperor dhRitarAShTra, a sermon of eight chapters in the epic mahAbhArata.

after two chapters of some of the best advice on leadership and management and politics and friendship and social responsibility, the emperor says - tell me more, your interesting and varied talks entice me and i don't get tired of listening to them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

smile, for you are worth it! - अमंत्रमक्षरं नास्ति

there is no sound that is not a mantra, no plant that is not medicinal |
there is no person unworthy, what is lacking is an 'enabler' ||

अमंत्रमक्षरं नास्ति नास्ति मूलमनौषधम्‌ ।
अयोग्यः पुरुषो नास्ति योजकस्तत्र दुर्लभः॥

amantramakSharaM nAsti, nAsti moolamanauShdhaM |
ayogyaH puruSho nAsti, yojakastatra durlabhaH ||


each and every sound can be a mantraM, to be meditated upon. but for that one needs to understand the acoustics of the mouth, vibrations of sounds, meaning of the letters of the language. specially in sanskrit each letter sound has a meaning.
e.g. the first consonants
  • क (ka) means - brahmA, viShNu, kAmadeva, agni (fire), vAyu (wind), sUrya (sun) etc.
  • ख (kha) means - sky (khaga = those that move in the sky = birds), heaven, senses of perception, field (farm), void
  • ग (ga) means - gandharva (celestial singers, dancers), adjective for gaNesha (gaN gaNapataye namaH)



every plant has some medicinal use. even the poisonous ones have use in fighting venom. a pharmaceutical company would be better testimony of it even for modern medicines, what to say of ayurvedic medicines which were prepared from plants directly, and were heavily plant based.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

terror and non-violence - नाततायिवधे दोषो


one who kills a terrorist overtly or covertly gets no blame,
for [it is nothing but] anger killing anger.

नाततायिवधे दोषो हन्तुर्भवति कश्चन ।
प्रकाशं वाप्रकाशं वा मन्युस्तं मन्युमृच्छति ॥

nAtatAyivadhe doSho hanturbhavati kashchana |
prakAshaM vAprakAshaM vA, manyustaM manyumRichchhati ||
manusmRiti 8-351


this is the confusing part about ethics - what to do? is the terrorist right in using force to get his/her way? are we right in using violence against a terrorist?

it is all in the intention.

the word AtatAyin mean "one who is in a stretched posture of attack - with a stretched out sword or a stretched bowstring, ready to kill."

vasiShTha-smRiti defines 6 acts of terror - one who sets fire (arson), one who poisons, one who is ready to kill with a drawn weapon, one who takes money by force, one who takes over land, one who kidnaps woman.


(september 11, 2001, new york)


arjuna asks kRiShNa in gItA (1-36) what he will gain by killing these terrorists, the kauravas. now, look at what all duryodhana did to pANDavas - setting fire to the house of lac (in which they were made to stay as guests), gave bhIma poison, took their land and money by deceitful force (winning the dice game my deceit), even took draupadI away (as part of the bet). even then arjuna has the moha - illusion - that the kaurava were his family, cousin etc.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

friendship - easier made than kept - सर्वथा सुकरं मित्रं दुष्करं परिपालनम् ।




It is easy to make friends, difficult to nurture.

sarvathā sukaram mitram duṣhkaram paripālanam |
 
sarvathA sukaraM mitraM, duShkaraM paripAlanaM |
सर्वथा सुकरं मित्रं दुष्करं परिपालनम् । (रामायण - किष्किन्धा काण्ड ३२-७)


How we love to make friends! That is what humanity is all about- connecting to other people! If social networking is any indication, our worth sometimes is measured by how many friends we have in our circle.

But we are talking about carrying the responsibility of being a friend. Of keeping tab, helping when needed and remembering and fulfilling the promises we make.

When we are in need, we say, "You indeed are my friend" for a friend in need is a friend indeed. I think should be 'A friend in deed is a friend indeed.'

Once the favor is done, we have smooth sailing again; we tend to slowly forget the importance of that help, in time. Maybe it starts to fade how someone helped us in our time of need.

In Rāmāyaṇa (रामायण , rAmAyaNa = The Travail of Rāma) - the first masterpiece of a story with fully developed characters, plot and all nine rasa (रस = mood in literature, like happy, sad, love, fear, ...), with no precedence in Indian literature to it. In that sense, it was a trendsetter, a best-seller forever, ever since it appeared on the "Vārāṇasī (वाराणसी, vArANasI = the oldest continuous living city of the world) best seller list" in the remote past.

Rāma helped Sugrīva (सुग्रीव, sugrIva = One with beautiful neck) the vānara (वानर, vAnara = maybe human, human like) king, to end his exile and get his wife back by the only possible way - killing Vālī (वाली, vAlI) who had banished Sugrīva and kept his wife. Rāma-Sugrīva friendship is a classic example of "types of friendships" where it is mutually beneficial and each comes to it for some help from the other, maybe because they are in similar situation.

When Sugrīva got the kingdom, Rāma told him that after the four months of rain, we will plan to attack Rāvaṇa (रावण, rAvaNa = one who made everyone cry in horror), for rain is not season to wage a war.

But even after the rains were over, Sugrīva, in his new found power and authority, forgot his vow and kept enjoying. Then Rāma sent his younger brother Lakṣhmaṇa (लक्ष्मण, lakShmaNa) to remind Sugrīva. Lakṣhmaṇa twangs his mighty bow from the city gates itself and Hanumān warns a worried Sugrīva - reminding sugreeva of his friendship vow..



So true, it is easy to make friends. But to keep it! That is a different ball game altogether.

This is also a line you could easily find as a status line on FB, on a car bumper sticker, but it was first said in Rāmāyaṇa.

Salutations to the foremost of seers, the ādi-kavi (आदिकवि, Adi-kavi = foremost poet seer), Vālmīki (वाल्मीकि, vAlmIki = seer of the epic Rāmāyaṇa).



And now the language aspects of the shloka -

सर्वथा = sarvathA = always
सुकरं = sukaraM = easy (su-) done/to do (karaM, NOT karma)
मित्रं = mitraM = friend[ship]
दुष्करं = duShkaraM = difficult (duH) + done/to do (karaM)
परिपालनम् = pari_pAlanaM = nurturing, fostering

like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below




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


Monday, September 7, 2009

salutations to krishna - गोविन्दाय नमो नमः


for kRiShNa, for the son of vasudeva, and for the [source of] joy of devakI,
for the boy of the cowherd [chief] nanda, for the benefactor of cattle (cows), salutations.

कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय, देवकी-नन्दनाय च ।
नंद-गोप-कुमाराय, गोविन्दाय नमो नमः ॥


kRiShNAya vAsudevAya, devakI-nandanAya cha |
nanda-gopa-kumArAya, govindAya namo namaH ||


it seems like lot of you like devotional, bhakti mantras rather than the worldly wise neeti sutra. so let me pick some devotional bhakti mantras for simple sanskrit, starting with one of the most favorite of kRiShNa mantra.

while it is impossible, for a mere mortal like me, to dwell on all the details of the most intricate character of kRiShNa, let me touch on the language aspects of the words.

kRiShNa has many many names. viShNu has even sahasra-nAma i.e. 1000 names, mainly describing the attributes, or mnemonic for stories and incidents from his life and leelAs.

e.g. dAmodara = dAmA (rope) + udara (belly, wasit) = reminds of the story when he was tied to the grain-pounder with rope by yashodA.
vArShNeya = of the dynasty of vRiShNi
madhusUdana = slayer of madhu, an dAnava.
giridhara = giri (mountain) + dhara (holder) = one who held the mountain (on his little finger)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

avoid harsh words - न दुरुक्ताय स्पृहयेत्




|| na duruktAye spRihayet ||

॥ न दुरुक्ताय स्पृहयेत् ॥
[rig-veda 1-41-9]


What is the crux of humanity as we know? What would be the utmost thing we would need to remain human, to have life as we know it?

Money? Fame? Car? Internet? Two hands? Would any thing make us really happy? (Read on, there is a twist to this cliche).

Let us look at what ultimately makes us happy.

One type of person may be happy, in bliss without anything or anybody. Such people are very few, and most of them, we don't even know. For they don't care much for society. Yes, there are people who are born in society, and have given it up. No, no, not suicide, they have renounced the society, in the real sense. No desire left.

There are gurus and yogis in the active society who crave for fame, name, follower-ship, but there are many who reside in the foothills of Himalaya (himAlaya, हिमालय = the abode of snow), or even higher, don't have anything for possession, live in nature's sweet climate of harsh winter! Even as way back as Kalidasa (kAlidAsa, कालिदास) (around 50BC) mentions of such sadhu-s (sAdhu, साधु , good person) -



The ascetics would come down the slope to enjoy the shade of the cloud in the middle parts of the mountains (with rising sun and heat), but then would go up again worried about possible rain.
[kumArasambhavaM कुमारसंभवम् 1-5]


They could have had a social life, of 'earn and burn', 'shop till you drop', but on their own, they left the life of comparison, competition, joy and sorrow and connected to their inner source of happiness.

But we are not them.

And we are not happy by things, but by people. If we had no people to share with, fight with, compare with, show off to - where would the joy be? A Porsche brings no joy (for long) if you can't show off to the neighbor, or pick hot chicks!

Two years back, we moved back from US after a long stay of 17 years. While my daughter's new school was getting the new building built, their old building was really a makeshift, and for a year she complained. After all, we just moved from US for good for the first time in her life. She was only 9. and the worst part, the school infrastructure, where she would spend the most time, was not as great as any parent would want it - small, small rooms, no playground etc. It was a new school in town to boot!

Then the new campus was built for her second year at the school, huge grounds, big rooms!

So I asked her - "Would you have this new school building and no friends, rude teachers, inattentive staff or would you have the old building, less facilities but great friends and caring teachers"? She immediately said - "The good friends and teachers."

All her cribbing for a year for bad building was forgotten - the friends mattered more!

So, people give us joy or sorrow, or our joy and sorrow is tightly related to people. We feel joy when they agree with us, do amazing things, share their time with us, ...
We feel sad or angry when they disagree with us, do things we don't like, don't eat the dinner that we made while it is still hot, ... and if they great company, give us sorrow when they leave us.

So, people give us joy and happiness (for most of us normal mortals anyways).

And how do people give us joy? Apart from the short material things - by sharing their time with us, thoughts, likes and dislikes, talking about sweet nothings or sweets, sharing ideas and experiences.

And all this is through language, the foremost of human invention - by which we can visit places simply by reading a book; listen to someone across the globe or read this website and understand and enjoy. (I realize there is American sign language too, but you get the point).

Language is sacred.

The word is sacred.

Don't abuse it, don't abuse the power of the word. No, I am not being Bible-ish. I am talking way much higher level than that.

Word carries the thought.
Thought carries the experience.
Experience - the divine (or the evening soap!)

The wounds of arrows from a bow can still heal, but those from harsh words - they never heal, nor are they forgotten!

Harsh words caused Mahabharat (mahAbhArata, महाभारत, the great epic), the greatest civil war ever in history of the world - once by Draupadi (draupadI, द्रौपदी) to Duryodhan (duryodhana, दुर्योधन) (when he stepped in water when he thought there was none, and she called him blind son of blind father) and one when Duryodhan (duryodhan, दुर्योधन) insulted her (by asking her to sit in his lap in front of a full court).

Why are words harsh?
Who do they hurt?

They hurt the ego in us.
Because we are full of 'mAnya-mAnitA' (मान्य-मानिता) - "i am great, i deserve respect."
They scare us, for harsh words make us realise the other person is not favorable to us.

But for most humans working at below average grade point, life is like that.
We all have a small bird of ego captured in our (rib)cage and any hurt to this enrages the monster in us - and we go berserk with hurt ego, bruised emotions and what not.


When do we use harsh words?
When we are angry or jealous. Anger comes when something comes in the way of us and what we want. Jealousy comes when someone else already has what we want!

At the root of both is 'our want' and mis-projection of it.

We may use harsh words to our children (our anger rather than their discipline!), our spouse (our venting rather than their fault!), subordinates (our hurt ego somewhere rather than their bad performance).

None of these build any positive vibe, does any real good.

And words are like arrows - once shot can't be reversed - they rarely miss their targets either!

That is why we are given two ears and one mouth - talk less, listen more.






॥ न दुरुक्ताय स्पृहयेत् ॥ ॐ शांतिः ॥

|| na duruktAye spRihayet || om shAntiH||
[rig-veda 1-41-9]


This was not intended to be this long or this deep, but with the flow of thought, the typing doesn't stop. Hope you are reading this line. and if yes, please do let me know your reaction.


May you all find this a turning point in your life and practice the restraint of the tongue, never say harsh words. Take that as a challenge in your life, how can you communicate without using harsh words, without getting angry. Not becuase someone else is watching, but because you are watching!

And tell me after a day or a week, how it went. How long were you able to remain un-harsh in words.

like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below



and now the language aspects of the shloka -

na = (do) not
duruktAya = duH + ukti = difficult/harsh/bad/hurtful word
uktAya = for word
duruktAya = for harsh words
spRihayet = have desire, craving, coveting for.

so do NOT covet (saying) harsh words.

like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


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

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

one wise better than hundred fools - वरमेको गुणी पुत्रो



one wise son is worthy [than a] hundred stupid ones, for a single moon destroys the darkness, not even a hundred stars [can do that].

वरमेको गुणी पुत्रो, न च मूर्खशतैरपि ।
एकश्चन्द्रस्तमो हन्ति, न च तारागणैरपि ॥


varam_eko guNI putro, na cha mUrkha-shatair_api |
ekash_chandras-tamo hanti, na cha tArA-gaNair_api || kathamukhaM-08


so, we were following the hitopadeshaH. in the preface to the book, our king sudarshana was strolling on the banks of gangA in the metropolitan city of pATaliputra (modern day paTanA), where he had heard two shlokas being recited - knowledge is the only eye and the recipe for disaster. this had set him thinking about his own princes.

among the not-born, born-and-died and the stupid for life - the first two types of children are still better, for they give you sorrow only once, but the third (stupid) gives you sorrow every step of life.[4] his is some birth which brings fame to the name of the family, else in this ever changing mortal world, many are born and die.[5]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Practical Sanskrit on MyBangalore.com


after the brief stint with radio, this time, "Practical Sanskrit" is finding space on mybangalore.com - a local portal.

it is good to be noticed, without any publicity or marketing expenses. that also shows that it does have some true value, not such a passing fad.

and that reminds me, i did last the initial one week's enthusiasm.

"the wise pass time while entertaining with sciences and arts; the fool while getting in troubles, fighting or sleeping."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SMART goals - यथाशक्ति चिकीर्षन्ति



people with wisdom wish to do (projects) as per their ability, execute as per their ability and do not consider anything small or trivial (don't disrespect any task).

यथाशक्ति चिकीर्षन्ति यथाशक्ति च कुर्वते ।
न किञ्चिदवमन्यन्ति नराः पण्डितबुद्धयः ॥ 1-26

yathA-shakti chikIrShanti, yathA-shakti cha kurvate |
na kinchidavamanyanti, narAH paNDita-buddhayaH ||


this is 26th shloka from chapter 1 of vidura-neeti, an excellent, stand alone section of the grand epic mahAbhArata. in this the great emperor dhRitarAShTra - whose sons were the villains making life miserable for their cousins pANDavas - is extremely restless about tomorrow's court appearance of the messenger, sanjaya, who brought the message from pANDava side.

a disturbed emperor calls for his wise minister and brother vidura at late hours and asks for words of wisdom regarding dharma (right conduct) and artha (politics).

the wise vidura bares all his wisdom for the benefit of the emperor, but sadly, to no avail, as the deadly war does take place.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

meditate upon ganesh - गणनायकाय गणदेवताय गणाध्यक्षाय धीमहि ।




You may also like this post on






(Click on image below to enlarge it.)



॥ श्री गजानन प्रसन्न ॥

गणनायकाय गणदेवताय गणाध्यक्षाय धीमहि ।
गुणशरीराय गुणमण्डिताय गुणेशानाय धीमहि ।
गुणातीताय गुणाधीशाय गुणप्रविष्टाय धीमहि ।
एकदंताय वक्रतुण्डाय गौरीतनयाय धीमहि ।
गजेशानाय भालचन्द्राय श्रीगणेशाय धीमहि ॥

गानचतुराय गानप्राणाय गानान्तरात्मने ।
गानोत्सुकाय गानमत्ताय गानोत्सुकमनसे ।
गुरुपूजिताय गुरुदेवताय गुरुकुलस्थायिने ।
गुरुविक्रमाय गुह्यप्रवराय गुरवे गुणगुरवे ।
गुरुदैत्यगलच्छेत्रे गुरुधर्मसदाराध्याय ।
गुरुपुत्रपरित्रात्रे गुरुपाखण्डखण्डकाय ।
गीतसाराय गीततत्त्वाय गीतगोत्राय धीमहि ।
गूढगुल्फाय गन्धमत्ताय गोजयप्रदाय धीमहि ।
गुणातीताय गुणाधीशाय गुणप्रविष्टाय धीमहि ।
एकदंताय वक्रतुण्डाय गौरीतनयाय धीमहि ।
गजेशानाय भालचन्द्राय श्रीगणेशाय धीमहि ॥

ग्रन्थगीताय ग्रन्थगेयाय ग्रन्थान्तरात्मने ।
गीतलीनाय गीताश्रयाय गीतवाद्यपटवे ।
गेयचरिताय गायकवराय गन्धर्वप्रियकृते ।
गायकाधीनविग्रहाय गङ्गाजलप्रणयवते ।
गौरीस्तनन्धयाय गौरीहृदयनन्दनाय ।
गौरभानुसुताय गौरीगणेश्वराय ।
गौरीप्रणयाय गौरीप्रवणाय गौरभावाय धीमहि ।
गोसहस्राय गोवर्धनाय गोपगोपाय धीमहि ।
गुणातीताय गुणाधीशाय गुणप्रविष्टाय धीमहि ।
एकदंताय वक्रतुण्डाय गौरीतनयाय धीमहि ।
गजेशानाय भालचन्द्राय श्रीगणेशाय धीमहि ॥




|| shrI gajAnana prasanna ||

gaNa-nAyakAya gaNa-devatAya gaNA_dhyakShAya dhImahi |
guNa-sharIrAya guNa-maNDitAya guNe_shAnAya dhImahi |
guNA_tItAya guNA_dhIshAya guNa-praviShTAya dhImahi |
ek-dantAya vakra-tuNDAya gaurI-tanayAya dhImahi |
gaje_shAnAya bhAla-chandrAya shrI-gaNeshAya dhImahi ||

gAna-chaturAya gAna-prANAya gAnAnta_rAtmane |
gAnotsukAya gAnamattAya gAnotsuka_manase |
guru-pUjitAya guru-devatAya guru-kula-sthAyine |
guru-vikramAya guhya-pravarAya gurave guNa-gurave |
guru-daityagalachchhetre guru-dharma-sadA_rAdhyAya |
guru-putra-paritrAtre guru-pAkhaNDa-khaNDakAya |
gIta-sArAya gIta-tattvAya gIta-gotrAya dhImahi |
gUDh-gulphAya gandha-mattAya go-jaya-pradAya dhImahi |
guNA_tItAya guNA_dhIshAya guNa-praviShTAya dhImahi |
ek-dantAya vakra-tuNDAya gaurI-tanayAya dhImahi |
gaje_shAnAya bhAla-chandrAya shrI-gaNeshAya dhImahi ||

granth-gItAya granth-geyAya granthAntarAtmane |
gIta-lInAya gItAshrayAya gIta-vAdya-paTave |
geya-charitAya gAyaka-varAya gandharva-priya-kRite |
gAyakAdhIna-vigrahAya gaGgA-jala-praNayavate |
gaurI-stanandhayAya gaurI-hRidaya-nandanAya |
gaura-bhAnu-sutAya gaurI-gaNeshvarAya |
gauri-praNayAya gauri-pravaNAya gaura-bhAvAya dhImahi |
go-sahasrAya go-vardhanAya gopa-gopAya dhImahi |
guNA_tItAya guNA_dhIshAya guNa-praviShTAya dhImahi |
ek-dantAya vakra-tuNDAya gaurI-tanayAya dhImahi |
gaje_shAnAya bhAla-chandrAya shrI-gaNeshAya dhImahi ||


like it? then become a fan of the blog

You may also like this post on
Ganesh Stotram - praNamya shirasA devam.





गणेश gaNesha enjoys the adoration of all hindus' no matter what personal god (इष्ट-देव iShTa-deva) they choose.

  • Please search the internet for some wonderful art images of the iconography of गणेश and videos on youtube or other video sites.
  • Don't say 'idol of गणेश ', say 'statue of गणेश '.
  • Just like most 'gods' which are anthropomorphic representations of the aspects of nature, creation, universe, our feelings, qualities, गणेश also has rich visual imagery.
  • It is the most down to earth, dear to all, easily represented (just a lump of clay or a beetle-nut is enough) deity.
  • Lord of art, learning, crafts - गणेश has inspired artists simply in the art of depicting गणेश itself, resulting in perhaps the god with most types of depiction.

  • Detailed commentary will be much deeper and lengthier, so I am only providing approximate word-by-word translations. Some liberties have been taken to not do literal translation.
  • ^1, ^2 etc. are notes at bottom.
  • These translations are from स्मृति 'smRiti' and not श्रुति 'shruti' meaning not learnt from a teacher, so I might have chosen a less appropriate meaning, where words with multiple meanings are used.
  • e.g. गुरु guru also means heavy, main, most important, apart from teacher.
  • Pardon any mistakes, please do let me know.

[Please consider supporting this effort. Purchase the books from Practical Sanskrit. ]

It is surprising that one, the words to this are available only in context of "that महादेवन mahAdevan song from Hindi movie विरुद्ध Viruddha".
Second, a few sites that give the words, have major errors, (search for 'gananayakaya" on the net) breaking words where they should not, very ambiguous and incorrect transliteration.

It is important to know the correct words, for it enhances the essence of devotion, and brings about further change of heart, than just mumbling on a nice melody/music.

I could not find any good rendering of just the words, what to say of meaning. Hope this post, fills that void.





Meaning

गणनायकाय गणदेवताय गणाध्यक्षाय धीमहि ।
गुणशरीराय गुणमण्डिताय गुणेशानाय धीमहि ।
गुणातीताय गुणाधीशाय गुणप्रविष्टाय धीमहि ।
एकदंताय वक्रतुण्डाय गौरीतनयाय धीमहि ।
गजेशानाय भालचन्द्राय श्रीगणेशाय धीमहि ॥

For the one who is - (common to all the adjectives/names of gaNesha) -

- gaNa-nAyaka = leader of the गण gaNa (^1), gaNa-devatA = divine god of the people, gaNa-adhyakSha = representative of the people, dhImahi = meditate (^0).

- guNa-sharIra = embodiment of गुण guNa (^2), guNa-maNDita = one adorned with गुण guNa, guNa-IshAna = lord of the गुण guNa, meditate.

- guNa-atIta = beyond गुण guNa, guNa-adhi-Isha = controller of गुण guNa, guNa-praviShTa = pervading the गुण guNa (or one in which guNa is pervading, full of all guNa), meditate.

- eka-danta = having one tusk, vakra-tuNDa = having curved trunk, gaurI-tanaya = son of गौरी gaurI (पार्वती pArvatI), meditate.

- gaja-IshAna = lord of the elephants, bhAla-chandra = with moon on forehead, shrI-gaNesha = श्री shrI गणेश gaNesha, meditate.

That is,
Meditate, for the leader of the people, meditate for the divine god of people, meditate for the embodiment of guNa ... etc.




गानचतुराय गानप्राणाय गानान्तरात्मने ।
गानोत्सुकाय गानमत्ताय गानोत्सुकमनसे ।
गुरुपूजिताय गुरुदेवताय गुरुकुलस्थायिने ।
गुरुविक्रमाय गुह्यप्रवराय गुरवे गुणगुरवे ।
गुरुदैत्यगलच्छेत्रे गुरुधर्मसदाराध्याय ।
गुरुपुत्रपरित्रात्रे गुरुपाखण्डखण्डकाय ।
गीतसाराय गीततत्त्वाय गीतगोत्राय धीमहि ।
गूढगुल्फाय गन्धमत्ताय गोजयप्रदाय धीमहि ।
गुणातीताय गुणाधीशाय गुणप्रविष्टाय धीमहि ।
एकदंताय वक्रतुण्डाय गौरीतनयाय धीमहि ।
गजेशानाय भालचन्द्राय श्रीगणेशाय धीमहि ॥

For the one who is -
- gAna-chatura = clever at music (and singing), gAna-prANa = life of music, gAna-antaH-Atman = inner soul of music .

- gAna-utsuka = eager for music, gAna-matta = intoxicated in music, gAna-utsuka-manas = eager-minded for music .

- guru-pUjita = main (guru)(^3) among those who are worshiped, =guru-devatA = main god, guru-kula-sthAyI = main resident of the family.

- guru-vikrama = most brave, guhya-pravara = main among mysteries (to liberation?), guru = knowledgeable, guna-guru = elder or worthier by virtue of his guNa (guNa-guru) .

- guru-daitya-galan-kShetre = the main in the area of killing demons, guru-dharma-sadA-ArAdhya = main goal of dharma.
[one liner translations are so much injustice to sanskrit]

- guru-putra-paritAtRi = main protector of children (son), guru-pAkhaNa-khaNDaka = main destroyer of hypocrisy.

- gIta-sAra = gist of song/music, gIta-tattva = essence of song/music, gIta-gotra = enricher of music, meditate .

- gUDha-gulpha = one with deep ankles, gandha-matta = intoxicated with fragrance, go-jaya-prada = giver of victory over senses (go-jaya), meditate.

- guNa-atIta = beyond guNa, guNa-adhi-Isha = controller of guNa, guNa-praviShTa = pervading the  guNa, meditate.

- eka-danta = having one tusk, vakra-tuNDa = having curved trunk, gaurI-tanaya = son of gaurI (pArvatI), meditate.

- gaja-IshAna = lord of the elephants, bhAla-chandra = with moon on forehead, shrI-gaNesha = shrI  gaNesha, meditate.




ग्रन्थगीताय ग्रन्थगेयाय ग्रन्थान्तरात्मने ।
गीतलीनाय गीताश्रयाय गीतवाद्यपटवे ।
गेयचरिताय गायकवराय गन्धर्वप्रियकृते ।
गायकाधीनविग्रहाय गङ्गाजलप्रणयवते ।
गौरीस्तनन्धयाय गौरीहृदयनन्दनाय ।
गौरभानुसुताय गौरीगणेश्वराय ।
गौरीप्रणयाय गौरीप्रवणाय गौरभावाय धीमहि ।
गोसहस्राय गोवर्धनाय गोपगोपाय धीमहि ।
गुणातीताय गुणाधीशाय गुणप्रविष्टाय धीमहि ।
एकदंताय वक्रतुण्डाय गौरीतनयाय धीमहि ।
गजेशानाय भालचन्द्राय श्रीगणेशाय धीमहि ॥

For the one who is -
- grantha-gIta = sung of (praised) in the scriptures, grantha-geya = worthy of being sung of in the scriptures, grantha-antaH-Atman = the soul of the scriptures.

- gIta-lIna = immersed in music, gIta-Ashraya = patronage/refuge/saviour of music, gIta=vAdya-paTu = expert in singing and playing music.

- geya-charita = whose personality/praises are sung, gAyaka-vara = worthy/ideal of singers, gandharva-priya-kRit = benefactor (priya-kRit) of the musicians (gandharva).
- expander of the dominance of musicians(?), one who loves water of gangA (wrongly written as ganges).

- gaurI-stanandhaya = breastfed by gaurI, gaurI-hRidaya-nadana = bringer of joy to the heart of gaurI (or the child of gaurI's wish(heart)(^4)

- gaura-bhAnu-suta = brilliant (bhAnu) son of pArvatI, gaurI-gaNa-Ishvara = lord in the form of gaurI-gaNesha.

- gaurI-praNaya = dear to gaurI, gaurI-pravaNa = leaning towards gaurI (young gaNesha in her lap, or one who leads to shakti), gaura-bhAva = the essence of gaurI (bhAva), meditate.

- go-sahasra = [like, equal to] thousand/all senses/cows/veda, go-vardhana = enhancer of senses/cows/earth, gopa-gopa = protector of protectors, meditate. [go has multiple meanings]

- guNa-atIta = beyond guNa, guNa-adhi-Isha = controller of guNa, guNa-praviShTa = pervading the  guNa, meditate.

- eka-danta = having one tusk, vakra-tuNDa = having curved trunk, gaurI-tanaya = son of gaurI (pArvatI), meditate.

- gaja-IshAna = lord of the elephants, bhAla-chandra = with moon on forehead, shrI-gaNesha = shrI  gaNesha, meditate.



^0 dhImahi - meditate, focus the intellect on it, ponder on it
^1 gaNa = people, groups of people. gaNarAjya = democracy, people-rule.
^2 guNa = qualities, the three guNa (sattva, rajas, tamas), characteristic
^3 guru - teacher, but also, main, important, chief, heavy (with virtue)
^4 gaurI = pArvatI, shakti, umA, aparNA, gaurI, ... pArvatI created gaNesha out of her desire, using clay and then breathed life in it.

You may also like this post on

like it? then become a fan of the blog
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


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

Friday, August 14, 2009

the abundance of yes-men - सुलभाः पुरुषा राजन्


O King, abundant are yes-men, always pleasant spoken,
Rare are the speakers and listeners of the unpleasant but medicinal (truth).

सुलभाः पुरुषा राजन्, सततं प्रियवादिनः ।
अप्रियस्य तु पथ्यस्य, वक्ता श्रोता च दुर्लभः ॥

sulabhAH puruShA rAjan, satataM priyavAdinaH |
apriyasya tu pathyasya, vaktA shrotA cha durlabhaH ||


Yes-men are great! They make you feel more better, when you are feeling good. Similarly, when you are feeling down, they will take you even further down :) For they will simply say what you want to hear, not what you should hear!

It is like yelling in an echo well! Or watching yourselves in the mirror.

In corporates and administration, if you get yes-men, they are not even your eyes - to see the current or the future. It is like glasses on the eyes of a blind man.

But such yes-men are abundant. people don't want to offend others, specially if it is not in a large public place, where you could care less for others! For a king, a CXO, it could be dangerous. Render you aimless, submarine without periscope, ship without rudder, sailor without compass.

This shloka first appears in Ramayana (rAmAyaNa) [3:37:2] , when Maricha (marIcha) warns Ravana (rAvaNa) against his plans of abducting Sita (sItA). Later, in Yuddha Kanda, Vibhishana (vibhIShaNa) warns Ravana again to return Sita and avoid the war. Both times, the speaker dares to defy and go against the will of a King gone mad.

This shloka is also told by the very wise Vidura in the epic Mahabharata (mahAbhArata) to the blind emperor Dhritarashtra (dhRitarAShTra). One day the emperor calls for Vidura late at night to his palace, and complains of sleeplessness. Vidura says that "one who challenges a stronger foe, the helpless, the one who has been robbed of everything, one in affair or a thief - these suffer from lack of sleep, and asks if the emperor has any of the situation applicable."

After a long and stimulating counsel on what should a good king, statesman, leader do, he goes on to say this warning.

Reminds me of a much later saying - "We don't always love all whom we praise." Read it again, yes! There are lot of actors in the world, who would do anything to please you, as long as you have some muscle or money or power.

But for a leader, king, CEO it is important to get the real perspective, real clarity of thought. But such people who would say even unpleasant truths as long as like they are medicinal in value, would do long term good. A good king should surround himself with a panel of really learned, simple, truthful people who won't be scared to say they can't see the emperor's clothes.

Next time someones gives you criticism, or tells you the real truth about matters, thank them. For their truthfulness in feedback will help you improve.




And now the language aspects of the shloka -

sulabhAH = easily available
labh = to gain
lAbha = profit
lobha = greed
su-labha = easily available su- prefix for indicating good.

puruShA = man

rAjan = o king

satataM = always


priyavAdinaH = sweet spoken.

apriyasya = of (-sya suffix) apriya (unpleasant)
priya = dear, pleasant; a- prefix negates it

tu = but; short of kintu

pathyasya = of (-sya) medicine (pathya)

vaktA = speaker; from vAk - speech

shrotA = listener

cha = and

durlabhaH = scarce; not easy to obtain



(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
http://practicalsanskrit.com/
http://www.facebook.com/PracticalSanskrit

Monday, August 10, 2009

two types of knowledge - विद्या शस्त्रस्य शास्त्रस्य


learning of the weapons [and] of the sciences - there are two types of knowledge for dignified living |
first is a matter of laughing in old age, second is respected always ||

विद्या शस्त्रस्य शास्त्रस्य द्वे विद्ये प्रतिपत्तये ।
आद्या हास्याय वृद्धत्वे द्वितीयाद्रियते सदा ॥

vidyA shastrasya shAstrasya, dve vidye pratipattaye |
AdyA hAsyAya vRiddhatve, dvitiyA_Adriyate sadA ||


this shloka is also part of the preface to hitopadesh (practical counsel)
in which the importance of knowledge is propounded.

here, it compares the knowledge of weapons and sciences. on the surface it may seem the intention of using shastra and shAstra is merely for poetic, alliteration purpose, just had to say something. for it is difficult to find much depth in it.

unless we consider this:
1. this is being taught to princes - the future kings - it is like their BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) course.
2. a king has to be a soldier as well - adept at some weapons personally.
3. every king aspires to grow, like modern corporations.

by saying knowledge of weapons, it implies, how to actually use the weapon, e.g. how to best shoot with a bow, rifle, cannon, missile launcher etc.

but is that enough?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

recipe for disaster - यौवनं धनसम्पत्तिः



youth, prosperity of wealth,
power of authority and lack of right judgment;
each one is enough for catastrophe/disaster,
what to say where all four are present.

यौवनं धनसम्पत्तिः प्रभुत्वमविवेकिता ।
एकैकमप्यनर्थाय किमु यत्र चतुष्टयं ॥

yauwanaM dhana-sampattiH, prabhutwamavivekitA |
ekaikamapyanarthAya kimu yatra chatuShTayaM ||


this shloka is the second of the shlokas that king sudarshan heard on his morning walk by the river gangA (no, ganges is NOT the right name). see the first shloka here. (hitopadesh kathAmukhaM)

four situations that may cause mishaps, misfortune, catastrophe, wrongdoing.

youth -
youth think they are immortal, nothing is impossible (or should i use the copyrighted - impossible is nothing!), nothing can hurt them. they would do craziest things like para-sailing, driving motorcycles on rear wheel at 130 miles per hour, or any such adventure sport (add you favorite crazy thing here), which someone with family and secure job and a bit of age would consider - insane!

Monday, August 3, 2009

green, bountiful, mother earth - समुद्र-वसने देवि


o ocean-draped, o adorned with mountain breasts |
o consort of viShNu, forgive me for stepping on you ||

समुद्र-वसने देवि, पर्वत-स्तन-मंडिते ।
विष्णु-पत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं, पाद-स्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे ॥

samudra-vasane devi, parvata-stana-maNDite |
viShNu-patni namastubhyaM, pAda-sparshaM kShamasva me ||


this is the second of the morning shloka. as mentioned in the previous shloka, when the two shlokas are said at a relaxed pace - with 'aum' before and after, and then a minute to reflect on the morning to come, and your good fortune to be alive ... - it would take a minute or two, which is good enough to get the blood pressure stabilized for the brain.

so in the first one, we thanked our stars that we have our hands intact, figuratively meaning that our fate and future is in our hands to make or destroy. now the day has begun, and we need to 'make' the most of it. but how? no matter where we go, we will have to step on the ground. if you live on the 9th floor of an apartment complex or something ultra modern like that, think of the time a few hundred/thousand years back, when people lived closer to earth, even in ultra modern metropolis of the times.

now we all know and accept today, that mother earth needs to be saved green! aha, we do call her 'mother' earth, even though we have assumed we are given 'dominion' over her! imagine abusing one's own mother to the extent we have done! but here, in this shloka, the reciter says -
o mother earth, forgive me for i have to step on you, trample/touch you with my feet, for i have to go around my daily chores to make my destiny, my fate!

so three questions?
1. why is she called ocean-draped?
2. why is she called mountain-breasted?
3. and why wife/consort of viShNu?

you may want to take a pause and think about them

today we know that 70-75% of the earth surface is covered with water. i guess that much of the body is covered with clothes in any civilized traditional society (not at mardi gras or cancun for sure!) and water flows like a flowing garment of a woman. there is a beautiful poem where the river is like the flowing scarf on the beautiful lady earth, which she is trying to clutch with the fingers (in the form) of the moving bamboo shoots on the river bank! and water's "dharma", characteristic, is to flow, so it is apt to think of earth as ocean-clad.

and interestingly, india has had a LONG tradition of sea-faring traders. 'lothal' was a great port of saraswatI-sindhu (indus valley) civilization or the harappa civilization. this is fast being accepted as continuation of the actual vedic civilization. its farming practices are still practiced by farmers in eastern pakistan and rajasthan (western india). then later the sea faring indians went to trade all the way to south eastern asia - the mighty rAja rAja chola of the chola dynasty; cambodia, angkor vAT temple etc.

going along with the metaphors, the mountains are like her breasts, the nourishing source of the mother!

but why these two aspects and why wife of viShnu?

viShNu is the divinity of sustenance, the all pervading sustainer, the provider. and what do we need for sustenance? resource, wealth! and that is why lakShmI, the goddess of prosperity (material and spiritual) is viShNu's consort.

but why earth?

well, where do WE get all our resources and wealth? the food, the cloths, the minerals, metals, oil, medicines, gems, diamonds, sheep, cows, horses, whatever it maybe? everything we have, we get in this world, and leave behind in this world! we get all these resources from the earth. even the things we make in the factories, their raw materials come from the earth. in that sense, a non-hindu may say - what lakShmI? but universally it has to be accepted that earth is the giver of resources, i.e. vasudhA.

vasu = wealth; -dhA = treasure chest (fem.); vasudhA = treasure of wealth!

so even if we don't believe in lakShmI per se, we have to accept earth as the resource provider, and hence as the consort of viShNu.

and where are these resources found? although they are found many places, the mountains and oceans are special treasure places. after the churning of the ocean, the deva and dAnava (cousins) got the various celestial treasures - moon, lakShmI, celestial nymphs, ambrosia, indra's elephant airAvata etc. but the first thing that came out was the black thick poisonous fluid called halAhala accompanied with dense clouds. somehow this always reminds me of the petroleum extraction - natural gas on top, and dark black oil!

even today lot of important resources are obtained from ocean, including petroleum.
and don't forget that rains are caused due to the oceans

the mountains are also a special source of resources- medicinal plants as well water for rivers. in rAmayaNa, hanumAn has to go to himAlaya for getting the life saving medicine for lakShmaNa. lot of mountains are formed due to colliding tectonic plates and bring out things that were otherwise deep within the earth. that is how himAlaya is formed.

so at a macro level these are used to go along with the feminine image of earth, on the micro level, these are chosen because of the largest treasures of resources.


next time you think of environment, and green peace and recycling and think of this shloka which encapsulates the deeper understanding of our planet than meets the eyes.

and yes, say these two shlokas in the morning, thank the hands, ask for forgiveness and start day humbly! happy making your fate and destiny.

if you find this article enlightening, interesting or worth your time, i request you to leave comment so i know you read and liked.

[photos: himalaya - courtesy JP Gupta; sunrise - courtesy shashikant joshi; space - nasa]

like it? then become a fan of the blog
share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below



and now the shloka at hand -

samudra-vasane = o, ocean-draped
samudra = ocean
vasanaM = garment, cloth
vasanA = one who is garmented, clothed
samudra-vasanA = clothed with ocean
vasane = o vasanA; like sItA -> sIte, durgA -> durge, kamalA -> kamale etc.


devi = o female divinity (addressing)
devI = female divinity
compare the shloka on saraswatI for all feminine words ending in -I (-ee) changing to -i in addressing.
divya = illuminated, brilliant, from which comes the english word - divine
deva = male divinity

parvata-stana-maNDite = o one adorned with mountain breasts
parvata = mountain
pArvatI = of the mountain; daughter of himAlaya (king himavAn); another name for gaurI, shaktI
stana = breast
maNDita = adorned (masc); maNDitA (fem.)
maNDite = o maNDitA

viShNu-patni = wife of viShNu
viShNu = the all pervading; the second of the trinity, the sustainer
patnI = wife
patni = o wife (note the change of vowel to short -i)

namastubhyaM = bowing, salutations (namaH) for you (tubhyaM)
twaM = you
namaskAra, namaste all are coming from this root
namaskAra = act of saluting, bowing
namaste = namaH + te

pAda-sparshaM = touching (sparshaM) (by) feet (pAda)
pAda = foot; one-fourth -> cow has four feet, all mammals have four 'limbs', a shloka has four parts.

kShamasva = please forgive

me = my (touching you with feet, walking on you)


like it? then become a fan of the blog
share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
http://practicalsanskrit.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Practical-Sanskrit/94744542422

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"The Force" is in your hands - कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मीः


lakShmI in the finger tips, saraswatI on the palm |
shaktI is situated in the wrist, it is auspicious to see the hands ||

कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मीः, करमध्ये सरस्वती ।
करमूले स्थिता गौरी, मंगलं करदर्शनम् ॥


karAgre vasate lakShmIH, kara-madhye saraswatI |
kara-moole sthitA gaurI, mangalaM kara-darshanam ||


there is another variation as it appears in AchAra-pradeepa as follows -
करमूले स्थितो ब्रह्मा, प्रभाते करदर्शनम्
but i think it makes more sense to use the gaurI. more on that below.

this shloka is to be recited in the morning. when you get up, just sit in the bed, don't rush out to get ready. say this shloka with eyes still closed, and open them by the fourth part (ma~NgalaM karadarshanam) and see your hands and smile. after this still don't rush out, say another shloka (coming up in next post), and THEN get down from the bed.

this exercise is so good, that it helps you stabilize your blood pressure. if after lying for 6-7 hours, you suddenly get up, there can be a pressure drop in the brain and this is known to be the most important factor in early morning strokes. both shlokas when said slowly will take about 1-2 minutes which is sufficient to get your brain used to new blood pressure.
---

there are many beliefs, faiths and for many we don't know the reason or there might be no reason but to simply strengthen the faith (maybe superstition?)

in hinduism a central idea is that the creator entered the creation, and enlivened it! that is why we say that there is the divine in all of us, all life forms, even inanimate things। that is why the supreme is also called 'antar-yAmI' (अन्तर्यामी) i.e. one who moves inside (us, living things).


the shine of the diamond, the stickiness of the gecko feet, the long snapping tongue of a frog, the "7 tons a day feeding frenzy" of an orca whale are all the same divine shining! but what does it mean to say that the divine is in us?

and what about the trinity of creator, sustainer and the transformer (also called the destroyer)? how do we interpret them in tangible ways, for those who are more into GYaan yoga (ज्ञान-योग) than bhakti yoga (भक्ति-योग) ?

there are three phases of a thing - creation (coming into existence), sustenance and destruction (going out of existence). destruction is just a type of transformation.

creation needs knowledge, hence the creator brahmA's (ब्रह्मा) consort is saraswatI (सरस्वती) - the divinity of knowledge. sustenance needs resources, hence the sustainer viShNu's (विष्णु) consort is lakShmI (लक्ष्मी) - the divinity of wealth, resource, prosperity. transformation needs energy, hence the transformer shiva's (शिव) consort is shakti (शक्ति) - the divinity of energy, also called as pArvatI (पार्वती) gaurI (गौरी) etc.

now the shloka!
lakShmI is in our fingers. why? because all we do to make resources, create or earn them, to type in a blog, to make a space shuttle or to plough the fields, we do it because of the opposable thumbs! because we can HOLD things in our hands and make tools etc. imagine if we didn't have the fingers and opposable thumbs! any progress ever? see the pigs and lions, still as they were!

the palm like a book! the destiny on our palms! we make our own destiny with knowledge! or maybe they just didn't find a better place for saraswatI :) but there lies saraswatI.


and the wrist, the power to use the hands is from the wrist, where lies the shakti, pArvatI. also, just like shiva is mahAdeva ('greatest god', explanation in later posts), pArvatI being shakti is the most important one! she powers the other two! imagine without energy to work or think would your body or brain be of any use? you first need energy, only then can you do anything.

the divine manifestation is divided in three main categories - creation (kartA, कर्ता) , sustenance (bhartA, भर्ता), transformation (hartA, हर्ता) . and all these are powered by the three goddesses! and all these three powers are right there in your hand.

so when you get up in the morning, don't whine, but rise and shine!
the entire power of this universe - create, sustain and transform - is in your hands!
be glad you have your hands, think for a moment if you didn't! it will be like you were without the divine force!

while you have this faith in the divine, please do not let anyone take advantage of you because of your faith. that is not faith anymore, that is your foolishness and others' selfishness! beware of fake gurus, and fake godmen! the real ones don't ask for any favors, they don't try to save god or truth. we all HAVE to pay for our actions!

so why is the version with "gaurI" better than that with "brahmA"? well, the other two are the goddesses, and wrist goes well with power, energy.

[sun photo,courtesy Karasán Krisztina]
like it? then become a fan of the blog
share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below




and now the shloka at hand:

kara = hand
agra = front, ahead; agre = in the front (-e suffix for in, on) [careful, it is not the same as the city Agra of the Taj Mahal, that should be correctly written as AgarA (आगरा)]
karAgre = in the front of the hand i.e. fingers
other words: agra-ja = born (ja) ahead (agra) = elder brother
agra-jA = elder sister (jA = born, feminine)

vasate = lives; root vas, vasati - singular, third person

lakShmIH = the divinity of prosperity (material and spiritual); consort of divine lord viShNu, the sustainer
from the word lakShya = goal
----

kara-madhye = palm;
madhya = middle, (of hand); madhy-e = in middle

saraswatI = divinity of learning, knowledge; consort of divine lord brahmA, the creator
----

kara-moole = in wrist
moola = base, root; mool-e = in the base
kanda-moola-phala = stems, roots and fruits (diets during fasting that avoid grains)

sthitA = situated
gaurI = pArvatI, shaktI, consort of shiva; fair colored; consort of shiva the transformer.
mangalaM = auspicious
kara-darshanaM = looking at hands



like it? then become a fan of the blog
share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


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