Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tomorrow's stuff today - श्वः-कार्यमद्य कुर्वीत

How many times have we cribbed about not having the 25th hour in the day? Time management is such an important thing, with lot of budget on corporate training.

A wonderful advice I heard about time management is - "Finish it off the first time." E.g. handling email, or filing papers, paying bills etc. When you first get the email, immediately do what should be done - reply, delete, file etc. When you get a bill, immediately pay it. When an important paper passes through your hands, immediately file it appropriately.

There are many saying to this effect in Hindi and other Indian languages.
काल करे सो आज कर, आज करे सो अब्ब |
पल में परलय होयगी, बहुरि करेगा कब्ब ||'

'kaal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so abb |
pal me paralay hoyegee, bahuri karegaa kabb ||'

i.e. What you have to do tomorrow, do today, what [you have to] do today, do it now. Catastrophe may happen in a moment, when will you do so many [things that you have to do]'

Here is an almost verbatim source of these saying from an ancient source, the 'mahAbhArata' [shAnti-parva]. I was pleasantly surprised to see this. It also reinforced the notion that the two epics of 'rAmAyaNa' and 'mahAbhArata' have had a profound impact on everything India - drama, poetry, polity, sayings, stories, metaphors, names of places, people. But to see couplets of Kabir verbatim in Sanskrit, also shows how well read Kabir was or how common the Epics were among common wisdom of the land.

श्वः-कार्यमद्य कुर्वीत, पूर्वाह्णे चापराह्णिकम् |
न हि प्रतीक्षते मृत्युः, कृतं वास्य न वा कृतम् ||

shvaH-kAryamadya kurvIta, pUrvAhNe chAparAhNikam |
na hi pratIkShate mRityuH, kRitam vAsya na vA kRitam ||

Which translates to -
Tomorrow's work, should do it today, and afternoon's [work] in forenoon.
Death does not wait [for] whether [work] has been done or not done.

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -
shvaH = [that which is for] tomorrow

kAryamadya = kAryam + adya
kAryam = work
adya = today

kurvIta = should do

pUrvAhNe = in forenoon
chAparAhNikam = cha + aparAhNikam = and + [that which is for] afternoon

na = not
hi = surely, for emphasis

pratIkShate = waits
IkSha = eye
prati + IkSha + A = pratIkShA = wanting to see with eyes, have eye to eye, wait.

mRityuH = death

kRitam = done, completed
vAsya = vA + asya
asya = of this [person]
na = not
vA = or
kRitam = done

asya kRitam vA, na kRitam vA = his [work] done or not done

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