Sunday, December 26, 2010

Without effort your skills are useless - अगच्छन् वैनतेयोऽपि

अगच्छन् वैनतेयोऽपि पदमेकं न गच्छति
= agachchhan vainateyo'pi padamekam na gachchhati
= not moving, even the [mighty] garuDa doesn't move a step.


The eagle is a fast bird. Just like a rabbit is a fast hopper. Remember the hare the tortoise story?

But their talent is of no use, if they don't use it. An eagle though can surpass a mouse in no time, will not have moved a single step, if it sits perched on the branch. To succeed, it has to take the flight, it has to move.

The toughest thing is usually to take the first step. Once that is done, half the battle is won.

'garuDa' गरुड is the son of 'vinatA' विनता , and hence is called 'vainiteya' वैनितेय . He is the king of the birds, and a vehicle of Lord 'viShNu' विष्णु and is known for his speed. Because of him Lord Vishnu can move from anywhere to anywhere in no time!

But even the might garuDa गरुड, the golden winged suparNa सुपर्ण , will not moved an inch while it is still perched on the branch. There is no substitute to the first step.

Similarly, mere wishing won't make things happen. You have to work at it. Procrastination or wishful thinking doesn't do any good. Else no one would have to do anything. They could simply wish and viola!

In the hare and the tortoise story too, as soon as the hare sleeps, the tortoise starts to win. And surely he does win at the end.

The full shloka goes :
गच्छन् पिपीलिको याति योजनानां शतान्यपि |
अगच्छन् वैनतेयोऽपि पदमेकं न गच्छति||
= gachchhan pipIliko yAti, yojanAnAm shatAnyapi |
agachchhan vainateyo'pi, padamekam na gachchhati ||
= a moving ant goes even a hundred yojana; even the [fast eagle] garuDa doesn't move a step when stationary.

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And now the language aspects -

अगच्छन् = (adj) while not moving
This is one of the ways to denote 'while doing something', and they are treated as adjectives of the do-er.
e.g. "Don't read while eating.", here, 'while eating' is khAdan खादन्.
Similarly, 'gachchhan' गच्छन् means - while moving. with the a- prefix it is the opposite.
hence, 'while not moving'.

There are other rules, but mainly the -an -अन्, -aan -आन्, -maan -मान् suffixes are used.
In some cases, for feminine forms, the verb in third person, plural is used with a long -I (-ee) -ई ending. e.g. gachchhantI गच्छन्ती, pibantI पिबन्ती, vadantI वदन्ती etc are valid words (the ending is NOT short -i) which are feminine adjectives meaning she while going, drinking, speaking etc.

वैनतेयोऽपि = vainateyaH + api = son of vinatA (garuDa) + even/also

पदमेकं = padam + ekam = step + one

न = not

गच्छति = goes

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

Mary H. Moore said...

That story never wears out. When we can overcome inertia, .... "The race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to the one who endures unto the end." The rabbit makes haste; the turtle has a sure, slow pace, conserving energy to spurt across the finish line.

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