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?

we have computers, drones, electronics doing all monitoring of the whole world! (Houston, we have a problem!) but still the CIA and NSA and what not, will have a whole team of analysts, decision makers etc. to actually take the decision based on these surveillance input, and direct the weapon user.

now if you replace the military weapon with any 'instrument' of doing something, then this means that the actual act of using an instrument is a physical aspect and has a limitation of use, in old age you can't actually throw a spear 50 meters!

replace king, soldier, weapon with manager, doer and instrument and it makes relevance today in most all areas.

we start as doers, at the bottom of the rung, then we (need to) rise upwards. what does this upward mobility mean? it means, increasing the scope of your actions. first you throw the spear, or shoot the arrow, then you decide when should an archer be sent, and later maybe when should one go to war.

if you start as a software techie, you may start off wit writing programs, setting up servers or networks, but may move upwards towards CTO deciding what technology to use and how to manage corporate wide assets.

so, it is not just HOW to use that is important, but when, where, why to use which are bigger strategic decisions. the ability to make these decisions actually increases with age i.e. with wisdom!

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

vidyA = knowledge, learning, study. (see other related shlokas for this word)
shastrasya = of (-sya) weapons (shastra)
shAstrasya = of (-sya) sciences (shAstra)
dve = two
vidye = (two) (types) of vidyA (1, 2, many -> vidyA, vidye, vidyAH)

pratipatti = gaining, obtaining, propounding, dignity (fame spreading)
pratipattaye = for (-ye) obtaining, dignity, dignified living
prati-pAdana = act of gaining, obtaining; to put forward like a theory; self growth/progress.

AdyA = first one (fem.); Adya = first one (masc.)
Adi = beginning [ anta = end]
NOT TO BE confused with adya = today, adyatana = latest, most recent

hAsyAya = for (-Aya) laughing, amusement (hAsya)
vRiddhatve = in (-e suffix) old age
vRiddha = old person
vRiddhatva = old-ness (old age)

dvitiyA_= second (first, second, third = prathamA, dvitiyA, tRitiyA; all fem.)
Adriyate = get respected
Adara = respect

sadA = always.


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