Monday, June 28, 2010

Prāṇāyāma on the go - meet the alphabet - aṃ and aḥ - अं अः

In prāṇāyāma (प्राणायाम), yogic breathing, there are two special ones - bhramarī (भ्रमरी, like a humming bee) and bhrastikā (भ्रस्तिका, bellows), which are so interwoven in the very fabric of the Sanskrit language that at times the implications are scary.

Long before the 'fast food on the go', there was the concept of 'fast prāṇāyāma on the go'! There has always been a great emphasis on the correct pronunciation of the sounds. In chanting, not just the pronunciation, but the proper stress and duration are also critical.

After meeting all the vowels "अ a, आ ā, इ i, ई ī, उ u, ऊ ū, ऋ ṛi, ए e, ऐ ai, ओ o, औ au" it is time to meet two special sounds, listed under vowels as well. Please click here to see the complete chart of alphabet in a tabular form to help understand the post.


aṃ अं – anusvāra/अनुस्वार
The consonant groups of five, have the fifth member as a nasal sound, which is called anunāsika (अनुनासिक), i.e. nasal. e.g.
ta, tha, da, dha, na (त, थ, द, ध, न)
pa, pha, ba, bha, ma (प, फ, ब, भ, म)

But apart from the 20 consonants (k, kh, g, gh; ch, chh, j, jh; ṭ, ṭh, ḍ, ḍh; t, th, d, dh; p, ph, b, bh) which have a fifth nasal sound for their groups, what about other consonants like y, r, l, w, śh, ṣh, s, h ? What corresponding nasal sound is there for these?

The anunāsika (अनुनासिक, 5th of the group) when half, can and should be written as half consonant, and not as a dot. Though, nowadays they are also written with a dot on the previous consonant. Below are four examples of using half consonant or just the dot (the one with dot is in the parenthesis).
But for other consonants, there is no half nasal sound. For all these, the anusvāra (अनुस्वार) is used. In ITRANS it is denoted by 'M', in devanāgarī by a dot on top.

Example:
gaṅgā / ga~NgA (gaMgA) = गङ्गा (गंगा)
sañjaya / sa~njaya (saMjaya) = सञ्जय (संजय)
kaṇṭha / kaNTha (kaMTha) = कण्ठ (कंठ)
sambandha / sambandha (saMbaMdha) = सम्बन्ध (संबंध)
saṃsāra / saMsAra = संसार (has no other choice of like सन्सार (incorrect)

This half-nasal sound is used before a consonant of the same group. For example, before p/ph/b/bh the half nasal would be 'm' only, e.g. sambandha सम्बन्ध. half m.

Lot of words have the half 'm' at end. For example, phalam (फलम्, fruit), yānam (यानम् vehicle), rāmam (रामम् to rāma राम). Inside a sentence, a trailing 'm' can be written as anusvāra (dot on top) if the word is not the last word of the sentence, but at the end, it must be spelled out as half m म्

For example, विद्या परमं बलम् (vidyā paramaṃ balam) in this paramaṃ (परमं) has an ending dot, but balam has 'm' with halanta.

This sound, of humming in trailing words is not coincidental or accidental, it is found at an alarming frequency. Almost all noun forms have five (out of 21) endings in 'm' - rāmam, rāmābhyām, rāmāṇām ...

Every time you say such words, you are doing a short bhramarī prāṇāyāma, which has many benefits -
"Inhale through both the nostrils. Exhale through both nostrils and use the throat to make a soft sound, like the buzzing of a bee.

Besides having a profound effect on ears, nose, eyes and mouth, it enlivens your looks; improves the glamor of the face, improves one’s concentration levels, relieves migraine pains, reduces stress and mental agitation, hypertension, and successfully combats and helps prevent many a disease. Practice of Bhramari is beneficial for pregnant women."

aḥ/अः - visarga
The aḥ is an extra gust of air, and makes the sound aspirant. It is almost like second 'h' of 'huh'.

It is akin to doing a short bhastrikā prāṇāyāma, where you use your belly like a bellow and let a quick gust of air out. So when you say rāmaḥ, at the end is an extra gust of air like in doing bhastrikā!

Out of the 21 forms of a noun (singular, dual, plural times 7 vibhakti), 5 end in aṃ and 8 in aḥ, making a total of 13 out of 21 as a form of prāṇāyāma!

Below is the form for rāma (noun, masculine, akārānta)

singulardualplural
रामः (rāmaḥ)रामौ (rāmau)रामाः (rāmāḥ)
रामम् (rāmam)रामौ (rāmau)रामान् (rāmān)
रामेण (rāmeṇa)रामाभ्याम् (rāmābhyām)रामैः (rāmaiḥ)
रामाय (rāmāya)रामाभ्याम् (rāmābhyām)रामेभ्यः (rāmebhyaḥ)
रामात् (rāmāt)रामाभ्याम् (rāmābhyām)रामेभ्यः (rāmebhyaḥ)
रामस्य (rāmasya)रामयोः (rāmayoḥ)रामाणाम् (rāmāṇām)
रामे (rāme)रामयोः (rāmayoḥ)रामेषु (rāmeṣhu)
हे राम (he rāma)हे रामौ (he rāmau)हे रामाः (he rāmāḥ)


Now let us see the power of a mantra using these sounds, the pure acoustic effect, even if you don't know the meaning (mahāmṛityuñjaya mantra chanting) -

om tryambaka yajāmahe, sugandhi puṣhṭivardhanam |
urvārukamiva bandhanāt mṛityormukṣhiya māmṛitāt om ||

Total nasal sounds (including m) = 16, 8 in each line!

If you say this mantra slowly, and with proper emphasis, you are doing 16 short bhramarī-s! No wonder it will have effect on you. A sincere recitation of this, will cure most of your headaches in 5 minutes or less. Just try it! Slow down the nasal sounds.


All the yoga enthusiasts and teachers, start speaking clearly, all the Sanskrit words, and you are doing prāṇāyāma even while speaking! Exercise on the go! Proper diction, stress, and duration will not only give you the extra attention (hopefully not the British style) but also a good exercise of the vocal cord and chest. More than you asked for, huḥ?

The question is - was it intentional or coincidental? In my limited knowledge of other languages, I don't know if these two sounds (especially in ending of the words) are found in other languages.

Apologies for any confusions or mistakes.



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

Friday, June 25, 2010

panini's ashTAdhyAyI - some thoughts from 1891

the following is an excerpt from 1891 book "The Ashtadhyayi of Panini" by Shrisha Chandra Vasu. The text follows with the scans of the page (to see actual characters used for transliteration).

following that you will find my comments.

------ excerpts starts ------------------

PREFACE

Since the advent of the British rule and the peace and prosperity that has followed in its train, India has witnessed a glorious revival of her ancient literature, in which is embodied some of the highest philosophies and religions of the world. Among the various blessings which our benign Government has conferred upon us, none can be greater in value or usefulness than this revival of Sanskrit. Our schools and colleges are annually turning out hundreds, nay thousands of scholars, who have entered upon the study of Sanskrit literature, and have thus learnt to appreciate the beauties of this language. Very few of them, however have the opportunity of studying the language, with that depth and fulness, as it was and is mastered by the Pandits of the old school. To properly understand Sanskrit language, and especially that portion of it in which is locked up the highest aspirations of the ancient Aryan hearts viz., the Vedas, the Brahmanas, the Upanishads &c. it is absolutely necessary to have a complete knowledge of the Grammar elaborated by Pāṇini. The Grammar is reckoned as one of the Vedangas, or the helps to the study of the Vedas ; and it is unquestionably one of the most important of the Vedangas. The four thousand sutras of Pāṇini contain within themselves almost all that a student need know to enable him to understand the language of the Vedas.

Not only is this excellent treatise of Pāṇini necessary for those who are desirous of learning the ancient Sanskrit literature, but a knowledge of this is even necessary for understanding the modern Sanskrit, which is modelled on the rules laid down by that great Grammarian, whose aphorisms are being constantly quoted in all Vedic commentaries, and classical authors and law books.

Further, as a masterpiece of close reasoning and artistic arrangement, it ought to be an object of study with every one who wants to cultivate his intellectual powers. In fact what the Geometry of Euclid has done towards the logical development of the western intellect, the Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini has fulfilled the same purpose in India. No one who has studied this book can refrain from praising it. It has evoked admiration even from the Sanskrit savants of the west. Professor Max Muller thus gives his opinion about the merits of this excellent Sanskrit Grammar :— “The Grammatical system elaborated by native Grammarians, is in itself most perfect, and those who have tested Pāṇini’s work will readily admit, that there is no Grammar in any language, that could vie with the wonderful mechanism of his eight books of Grammatical rules.”

The style of these sutras is studiedly brief, but then this brevity is its greatest recommendation. That, which appears to many obscurity and ambiguity in the sutras, vanishes before the clear and exhaustive explanations of the commentators; and shows the extreme skill and wonderful ingenuity of the author of these aphorisms. These sutras, therefore, which though at first sight may appear difficult and repulsive, if once mastered, will enable a student to know and remember more of the Sanskrit Grammar, than he can ever learn through other methods, with twice that labour. Unfortunately, however, for our college and school students, and also for that vast majority of our English reading countrymen, whose number is daily on the increase, and who depend for their knowledge of what is contained in Sanskrit books, on English translation of Sanskrit authors, no translation of this important work exists in English. To supply this want, I have undertaken to translate Pāṇini’s aphorisms, as explained by the Commentators Jayāditya and Vāmana in their well-known book, called Kāshika vṛitti and issue one chapter every month. Though, it is not a close translation of the whole of Kāshika, it may be regarded as a free rendering of the most important portions of that book. I have closely followed on the footsteps of those authors, translating their commentary, explaining it where necessary; and in short, making my work a help to the student, desirous of studying the Kāshika in the original.

The translation of Sanskrit texts, especially those like Kāshika , is always beset with great difficulties, even for the masters of Sanskrit learning. For a beginner, like the present translator, those difficulties were many and great, and I am fully conscious that here and there, I may have failed to grasp the full drift of the arguments of the authors of Kāshika. But on the whole, I have spared no pains to render this work as free from errors as lay in my humble power. I shall feel much obliged to those gentlemen, who will be good enough to point out any errors, or suggest any improvements, so that I may be benefited by their advice.

I must here acknowledge the great assistance I have derived from the well-known translation of Laghu Kaumudi by Dr. Ballantyne; Mr. lengar’s Guide to Pāṇini; Professor Apte’s Sanskrit Composition as well as from Dr. Kicihorn’s Paribhāṣhendushékhara. I have freely quoted from these authors and absorbed their rendering into my own, without distinguishing them by marks of quotation.

When I first undertook the translation of Pāṇini, I had thought that the work when completed, will not occupy more than 1200 pages. But from the present sample it will be seen, that that estimate was far below the mark. The complete translation, together with the Introduction, Glossary and the Indices, which I intend to add, will take up nearly double as much space i.e., nearly 2000 pages or more. I have, however, kept the price of the book the same, namely, Rs. 14 (payable by two instalments), for subscribers, who have already got their names registered, or who will do so within the 31st January 1892, and Rs. 20 for non-subscribers.
14th November, 1891. ŚRIŚA CHANDRA VASU.

------ images starts ------------------



------ excerpts ends ------------------

here are a few things of interest -
  • "Since the advent of the British rule and the peace and prosperity that has followed in its train, India has witnessed a glorious revival of her ancient literature." 
    • the indian scholars already had the manuscripts, but they were not available publicly, since printing with modern press was not yet done. after the modern press printing, many more copies of the books were available, unlike manuscripts of earlier times.
    • before the british crown took over india after the 1857 revolution, there were the east india company meddlings and islamic terrors, which surely didn't allow for much peace as far as sanskrit, culture or academics is concerned. when indians kings warred in pre greek times, the scholars had nothing to fear.
  • Our schools and colleges are annually turning out hundreds, nay thousands of scholars, who have entered upon the study of Sanskrit literature, and have thus learnt to appreciate the beauties of this language. 
    • sadly, now the numbers are reducing in regular schools and colleges. no one is taking sanskrit as a second language, like french, german or spanish. 
  • Very few of them, however have the opportunity of studying the language, with that depth and fulness, as it was and is mastered by the Pandits of the old school. 
    • this still seems to be true. even in many sanskrit schools/colleges students take sanskrit to get better marks for competitive exams, rather than to pursue sanskrit studies further.
    • many times teachers set up exam papers in regional language and answers are also written in regional language, rather than sanskrit.
    • some are studying sanskrit to simply become priests.
    • it would be great if a language so perfected with literature so vast and varied was studied for its own sake and for the sake of the scientific knowledge contained within, and that knowledge was used for modern science courses as well. e.g. there seems to be not much interaction between ayurveda and other modern sciences, as it happens in medicine and technology.
  • Further, as a masterpiece of close reasoning and artistic arrangement, it ought to be an object of study with everyone who wants to cultivate his intellectual powers. In fact what the Geometry of Euclid has done towards the logical development of the western intellect, the Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini has fulfilled the same purpose in India. No one who has studied this book can refrain from praising it
    • now THIS is important point to note. you must have read it all over the place, how sanskrit is best suited language for computers. those statements are a bit misunderstood. sanskrit grammar is described in a generative manner like the grammar of modern computer languages. ambiguity of grammar is not there. it does not mean that computer programming should be done in sanskrit, but that its grammar is as tightly defined as a modern computer language.
    • the way people spend time, energy and money to learn a new computer language, its new constructs, object oriented, AJAX, XML and what not, inventing new languages, if same rigor was used to learn sanskrit grammar, it would be pretty easy.
    • imagine, everyone who is learned in sanskrit is a walking encyclopedia of 4000 or so grammar rules, thinks very much like a computer (from grammar, reasoning and analysis; point of view), the sandhi rules of sounds, thesaurus with many synonyms, the various group of verbs and their forms! if such a person were to focus his attention on the modern sciences, it would be of immense use. put in other words, the systematic study of sanskrit would sharpen the memory, analytical skills and communication skills. that would be of use to a student of any field.
  • The style of these sutras is studiedly brief, but then this brevity is its greatest recommendation. That, which appears to many obscurity and ambiguity in the sutras, vanishes before the clear and exhaustive explanations of the commentators; and shows the extreme skill and wonderful ingenuity of the author of these aphorisms. These sutras, therefore, which though at first sight may appear difficult and repulsive, if once mastered, will enable a student to know and remember more of the Sanskrit Grammar, than he can ever learn through other methods, with twice that labour.
    • no wonder panini is considered one of the greatest minds of all times, the world over. "Panini's grammar has been evaluated from various points of view. After all these different evaluations, I think that the grammar merits asserting ... that it is one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence." - Cardona
  • Unfortunately, however, for our college and school students, and also for that vast majority of our English reading countrymen, whose number is daily on the increase, and who depend for their knowledge of what is contained in Sanskrit books, on English translation of Sanskrit authors, no translation of this important work exists in English. 
    • this seems to be the biggest problem even now. learning sanskrit only through english and that too without the special characters of transliteration is fatal for sanskrit studies, when the soft and hard 't' and 'd' are mixed up. i have seen websites for sanskrit tattoo transliterations that have messed up big time, because the person is not native speaker and has learned only through non-native speakers. when you always say yogaa, you end up writing it wrong as well! the word 'yogaa' instead of yoga has entered in hindi  media as well, now that is a shame.
  • When I first undertook the translation of Pāṇini, I had thought that the work when completed, will not occupy more than 1200 pages. But from the present sample it will be seen, that that estimate was far below the mark. The complete translation, together with the Introduction, Glossary and the Indices, which I intend to add, will take up nearly double as much space i.e., nearly 2000 pages or more. I have, however, kept the price of the book the same, namely, Rs. 14 (payable by two instalments), for subscribers, who have already got their names registered, or who will do so within the 31st January 1892, and Rs. 20 for non-subscribers. 
    • i loved this part, people were booking pre-publishing as well for discounts! and rupees 14 in two installments! well, rs 14 then was like 14000 now or something like that!


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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

dear father, thank you - अन्नदाता भयत्राता

During my long stay in the US, I learned one thing. You don't have to take any 'nonsense' from anyone, even if they appear elder to you by a margin. You could simply say 'You are not my dad!' and yet there was a time when it took a village to bring up a child.

Now, the whole responsibility of raising a kid is on the dad, maybe even a single dad! How times change. and if you have a same-gender relationship, ahem, then who is dad?

It has always been maintained, that karma कर्म, deeds, are all important. So, even if one contributes the genetic code for you, that is only one aspect of being a father, the biological father. But what about the roles and duties of a father? Can we define a father based on that?

chANakya चाणक्य says there are five types of father, yet another source, the brahmavaivarta purANa ब्रह्मवैवर्त पुराण says there are seven types of father. Some of their types are common. Yet other sources say thirty one types. We will just see the seven types for brevity and simplicity sake.

All of them have the basis of birth common to them, but what type of birth?

Giver of food (anna-dAtA अन्नदाता)
Food is life. Without food, no one can survive. Mother gives food in early years, but after that it is the father's role to provide the proverbial bread on the table. And even in early months, father provides for the mother. Anyone who provides for you, maybe in times of need, or a foster father, is like a father. Give him the respect a father deserves.

Remover of fear (bhaya-trAtA भयत्राता)
Fear is like death, you die every moment of fear. And if the fear is real, then the danger is real. One who removes the fear or the cause of fear has given you a new birth, another chance to live on. Such a caring person is also like a father and deserves all the perks of being a father, for being a protector.



Giver of daughter (kanyA-dAtA कन्यादाता)
There is a saying, 'child is the father of man.' What it means is that child comes first, father next. It is the child that makes a man into father. So, the child gave the title 'father' to a man. In that sense the child gave birth to the (concept of) father (for a man).

Man is reborn in the child. And how does one get a child? The most sacred of the 16 ceremonies of life is the marriage. This is the institution, bond that brings forth new life, and provides a home, prepares the new generation, gives new citizens to a nation, ... and what joy of this mortal world to have a beautiful, wise, skilled wife for a life partner to take care and share in the material and spiritual joys and sorrows? It is like a new life!

And how is this possible? By the man who gave his daughter to you. In giving you a good woman, he has given you the best of all charities you will ever get. Hence, kanyA-dAna कन्या-दान, or giving of a daughter in wedding is considered the highest of dAna दान, for it is the basis of someone else's home.

Such a giver of a second life, the father-in-law is also worthy of being respected as a father.

Giver of birth (janitA जनिता , janmadaH जन्मदः )
And of course, the literal sense of the meaning, the biological father, one who gives half his genetic code, and enables this biological, actual life on this planet. He sure has done the most important or the most initial of duties and is the father.


Giver of mantra मन्त्र (mantra-dAtA मन्त्र-दाता)
This applies on the spiritual growth path. mananam trAyate iti mantram मननं त्रायते इति मन्त्रम् - that which when meditated upon liberates, rescues is mantra. And the rescuer is already considered as father (remover of fear). mantra मन्त्र is a secret 'weapon', and giver of such important aide in life is a guru, and is also considered as a father.

Giver of knowledge (j~nAna-dAtA ज्ञानदाता)
The teacher, preceptor, guru, guide one who gives knowledge is also like a father, for knowledge enables all other things. Knowledge esoteric or worldly - both are important. knowledge is power, the power of knowing the right from wrong, good from bad, success from failure, friend from foe, ... giver of knowledge, wisdom has given you a very precious thing, that can change your life.

Giver of education (upanetA उपनेता)
upnetA उपनेता is one who does the sacred thread ceremony. The thread ceremony is considered the start of education, brahmacharya ब्रह्मचर्य, scholarship, student life and is one of the important 16 ceremonies of a person. It is considered second birth, a spiritual birth, the first one being a physical birth. One who has had the thread ceremony is called dwija द्विज (twice born). A similar but rudimentary ritual is that of 'born again' in Christianity.

Elder brother (jyeShTha-bhrAtA ज्येष्ठ-भ्राता)
Elder brother is considered like a father. And manusmRiti मनुस्मृति adds that an elder brother who performs the duties of a father, should be treated like a father.

In this post, I have kept the Sanskrit shloka part at the end. It seems there were those who get intimidated by the shloka at the front. and if it seemed the script was unreadable, who knows how hard the post maybe. so, let us see if it is less frightening this time. please let me know how you like the new format.

and now for the shloka-s -




anna-dātā bhaya-trātā, yasya kanyā vivāhitā ।
janitā copanetā ca, pañcaite pitaraḥ smṛtāḥ ॥

अन्नदाता भयत्राता, यस्य कन्या विवाहिता ।
जनिता चोपनेता च, पञ्चैते पितरः स्मृताः ॥

anna-dAtA bhaya-trAtA, yasya kanyA vivAhitA ।
janitA chopanetA cha, pa~nchaite pitaraH smRRitAH ॥

--------

kanyādātānnadātā ca jñānadātābhayapradaḥ ।
janmado mantrado jyeṣṭha-bhrātā ca pitaraḥ smṛtaḥ ॥

कन्यादातान्नदाता च ज्ञानदाताभयप्रदः ।
जन्मदो मन्त्रदो ज्येष्ठभ्राता च पितरः स्मृतः ॥

kanyAdAtAnnadAtA cha j~nAnadAtAbhayapradaH ।
janmado mantrado jyeShTh-abhrAtA cha pitaraH smRRitaH ॥


[Last edit: 19 Jun 2011]

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

anna-dAtA = giver of food
anna = food, cereal, grain
dAtA = giver (dad root, to give)

bhaya-trAtA = rescuer from fear
bhaya = fear
trAtA = rescuer, savior

yasya = that whose (yaH = that who)
kanyA = daughter

vivAhitA (adj) = (one has) married
vivAha = marriage

janitA = giver of birth (mother is jananI)

chopanetA = and doer of sacred thread ceremony
cha + upanetA = and + doer of upanayan ceremony, preceptor, guru

cha = and
pa~nchaite = these five
pa~ncha + ete = five, these

pitaraH = fathers

smRRitAH = said, remembered

------

kanyAdAtAnnadAtA = kanyA-dAtA + anna-dAtA
giver of daughter (and) giver of food

j~nAnadAtAbhayapradaH = j~nAna-dAtA + abhaya-pradaH
giver of knowledge (and) giver of fearlessness)

janmado = janma-daH = giver of birth

mantrado = mantra-daH = giver of mantra

jyeShTha-bhrAtA = elder-brother

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

meet the alphabet - letters and vowels o and au

after a little break here are the next letters. please see the previous alphabet letters here:
a/अ ; aa/आ ; i/इ ; ii/ई ; u/उ ; oo/ऊ ; Ri/ऋ ; e/ए ; ai/ऐ






(above) compound vowel 'o' as 'o' in 'old' (13th vowel and letter)


this is ओ, o.
a, aa, i, ii, u, uu, Ri, Rii, LRi, LRii, e, ai make it 12.
'o' is the 13th vowel/letter. it is pronounced like the name of the english letter o; as 'o' of 'old', cold, open etc.






(above) old style 'o'


linguistically, o is formed with a + u/uu = o = ओ
words starting with ओ, o :
  • o = ओ = a way of calling, like oye, ahoy, hola; compassion like oh; expressing other moods as well.
  • o = ओ = name of brahmA
  • okaH = ओकः  = house
  • ojas = ओजस् (ओज) = body strength, vigor, vitality, splendor
  • ojasvin = ओजस्विन् (ओजस्वि) = strong, brilliant, resplendent (tejasvi nAvadhItamastu = may our studies be splendid, brilliant, fruitful)
  • ota = ओत = woven, with threads. commonly used with ota-prota = interwoven, horizontally and vertically.
  • om = ॐ = sacred symbol om (a-u-m)
  • oShadhiH = ओषधिः = an herb or medicinal plant. (auShadhiH is also correct)
  • oShadhiishaH = ओषधीशः = oShadhi + iishaH = lord of herbs, the moon, which is considered aiding in the herb growth.
  • oShThaH = ओष्ठः = a lip. bimboShTha = bimba + oShTha = lips like the ripe bimba fruit (red in color)


how to write 'o' :



au, the 14th vowel.
aa + u/uu = au =औ
'au' is the 14th vowel/letter. it is pronounced close to au as in audience, audition etc.

the most common words formed with au, are usually formed when words starting with 'u' or 'o' are modified by adding a suffix.

e.g.
  • auchityam = औचित्यम् = aptness. from uchita = apt, appropriate
  • autsukyam = औत्सुक्यम् = anxiety. from utsuka = anxious
  • audArya = औदार्य = generosity. from udAra = generous
  • auddhatyam = औद्धत्यं = arrogance. from uddhata = arrogant, rude, insolent.
  • audyogika = औद्योगिक = industrial. udyoga = industry, effort.
  • aurabhra = औरभ्र = of sheep ; mutton. from urabha = sheep.
  • auShThya = ष्ठ्य = labial, relating to the lips. the labial sounds u, oo, p, ph, b, bh, m, w

how to write au?


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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

don't skip a meal, bath, helping or meditation - शतं विहाय भोक्तव्यं



for eating, leave aside hundred tasks, for bath leave a thousand.
for charity leave aside hundred thousand, and meditate, leaving aside ten million.

shataM vihAya bhoktavyaM, sahasraM snAnamAcharet ।
lakShaM vihAya dAtavyaM, koTiM tyaktvA hariM bhajet ।।

शतं विहाय भोक्तव्यं, सहस्रं स्नानमाचरेत् ।
लक्षं विहाय दातव्यं, कोटिं त्यक्त्वा हरिं भजेत् ॥

śataṃ vihāya bhoktavyaṃ, sahasraṃ snānamācaret ।
lakṣaṃ vihāya dātavyaṃ, koṭiṃ tyaktvā hariṃ bhajet ॥


we are all busy, even though there have only been 24 hours in our days forever. well, a few minutes here and there since 10000 years, due to some physics rules that we gain/lose some minutes from the orbit around the sun, but that is besides the point.

so what do we prioritize? among the activities in our day, like reading email, jogging with the headphone blaring in our eardrums, the favorite TV show, weekly mall pilgrimage, tennis game, the list goes on. and we didn't even start at the work list!

here is a different look at the list for a holistic wellness, of us and our society.

food
no matter what happens, don't skip a meal. specially the breakfast. it is called breakfast for a reason. you are breaking the fast of the whole night. unless you are somnaphagist (one who sleep eats at night to wonder in the morning, why the milk is outside!). the body has rhythm, for eating and sleeping. and i am sure the shloka was short, or else the sleeping would have been included as well.

timely food and if possible, good food, will take care of your health half way through. good food acts as medicine as well, if you choose it properly. most properly cooked indian meals are half medicinal - cumin, turmeric, garlic, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, ... in every freshly cooked meal - three times a day.

after all, what are we earning for? what is making this whole world go abuzz every morning? search for food. half the population will be happily sitting gazing at the stars if it was not for food!

so, leave aside hundred tasks, the email, phone, TV and eat your meal.

hygiene
hygiene has been a unique part of indian thinking from time immemorial. bathing and washing is an integral part of it. being a hot country also must have influenced the thinking. but it was more the hygiene. traditionally, you do your morning routine, bathe, pray then only you can eat anything. many people even keep silence till the entire morning chore is not over which ends at breakfast.

washing your body is very important. morning is also a good time. dead skin cells need to be removed. dust and pollutants from the day's work should be washed in the evening bath if you can afford. there are mantras to chant while bathing, remembering the seven rivers of india (ga~NgA, yamunA, godAvarI, saraswatI, narmadA, sindhu, kAverI) and thus doing a small pilgrimage to all seven of them in your short bath itself! talk about time management!

kAmasUtra says that one of the important things an urbanite should do is to brush teeth, shower with fragrant waters, and apply talcom power, deodorants, and other makeup. of course, the makeup material was all 110% organic then, with no side effects!

leave aside thousand tasks, don't skip the shower.

helping
dAtavyam - as if giving is a duty, that feeling. with such feeling one should give. and as per a prior shloka (gItA 17-20) one must give at the right time, place and person without expectation. so, one should give.

whenever there is a chance to help someone, one should take it. this is good for the society, if everyone tries to help others. "nara-sevA nArAyaNa-sevA", i.e. service to human, is service to god. never miss the chance, specially if it comes your way.

leave aside a hundred thousand things, and help someone. this will keep your ego and heart in proper place.

meditation
today, the rage is all about meditation and chanting. meditation in its simplest form is being with yourself. starts with being with your thoughts, then going beyond, being without thoughts.

but this being with yourself is important. it rejuvenates you. helps you sort thoughts out. it of course requires that you not be afraid of your thoughts. all good leaders, successful people need time out for themselves.

devotees call it hari-bhajana (prayer), thinkers call it reflection, doers call it planning, whatever. but this daily reflection, suggested traditionally through three daily sandhyA - morning, afternoon and evening - was a time out from the mad rush of the day. imagine, "mad rush of the day" back then! they had no idea what is mad, and what is rush!

but anyway, don't skip chance to be with yourself, specially the few minutes to reflect.

eat, keep clean, help others, and reflect.

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

shataM = (to) hundred (second vibhakti)

vihAya = leaving behind, disregarding, setting aside.

bhoktavyaM = for eating; what must be eaten; meal time.
other words, bhoga = consumption, eating
bhoktA = consumer
upabhoktA adhikAra = consumer right
sambhoga = consume together, usually means intercourse.

sahasraM = thousand

snAnamAcharet = snAnam + Acharet
snAnam = bathing
Acharet = should do, follow, practice

lakShaM = hundred thousand. counting in indian system goes in multiples of hundres. thousand = sahasra, hundred thousand = lakSha, hundred lakSha = koTi, etc.

dAtavyaM = for giving; what must be given; charity
dA = to give

koTiM = crore, hundred lakSha, ten million

tyaktvA = leaving aside
tyAga = sacrifice, giving up
tyakta = that which is given up

hariM = to god (specifically viShNu)

bhajet = should pray

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

Friday, June 11, 2010

don't worry, be happy - चिन्ताज्वरो मनुष्याणां

the fever of worry snatches away hunger, sleep, strength, 
beauty, enthusiasm, mind, wealth and life itself - there is no doubt.

chintAjwaro manuShyANAm kShudhAm nidrAm balam haret |
rUpamutsAhabuddhim shrIm jIvitam cha na saMshayaH ||

चिन्ताज्वरो मनुष्याणां क्षुधां निद्रां बलं हरेत् ।
रूपमुत्साहबुद्धिं श्रीं जीवितं च न संशयः ॥

cintājvaro manuṣyāṇāṃ kṣudhāṃ nidrāṃ balaṃ haret ।
rūpamutsāhabuddhiṃ śrīṃ jīvitaṃ ca na saṃśayaḥ ॥


if you don't believe in the simple maxim made famous by the song 'don't worry, be happy', then here is the doctor's diagnosis of what all will go wrong by this fever of worrying, if not controlled. this gem comes from skandapurANa.


hunger
it is known fact that worry kills hunger. and this will explain why the most common solution americans have found to counter worry is to raid the fridge and get the ice cream bucket and finish it off while watching 'i love lucy' or 'friends' or 'everybody loves raymond'. you can fill in your favorite tv show here. so, if worrying kills hunger, eating binges surely should counter worrying! and some how it seems to work as well!

but, it works only to add new worries - about a wardrobe two sizes small that doesn't fit anymore! so worrying only makes it worse.

sleep
and how have you slept before the exams that you didn't prepare for? or your wedding night? or that job interview? or when he is not picking up the phone, or she doesn't SMS you back? well, maybe guys don't worry too much on that front :)

strength
and when you don't eat or sleep, your body loses strength, not just physical but immune system wise as well. that is when you get cold, and flus etc. but it is not just physical strength that you miss, you somehow find less confidence when you are worried. and without confidence what can you do? just make more mistakes and more worries!

beauty
and without your beauty sleep where is the beauty? sagging eye bags! bad skins, acne, colorless cheeks - all start to show up when your worrying reaches a little more worrisome stage.