Thursday, December 1, 2011

Daily Sanskrit Newspaper - vishvasya vṛittāntam

We have heard of Sudharma, a daily Sanskrit newspaper running for over 40 years from Mysore.
Now another newspaper Vishvasya Vrittantam (vishvasya vṛittāntam, विश्वस्य वृत्तान्तम्) has appeared on the horizon, started this year from the Sun city Surat (sUrya-pUrataH), it has a little over 200 issues this year as of today.

The newspaper is four pages and covers daily news, stories, sudoku, TV listing and even gossip like how age-defying Frieda Pinto (of Slumdog Millionaire fame)! This is the best part of this newspaper. By giving all sorts of news, actually translations of news, it can be an entertaining source of new  Sanskrit readings. After all, Sanskrit is a language, and even daily news can be conveyed through it.

One may think, why are such efforts needed? I mean, it is not as if, these newspapers are going to actually give you breaking news, that you can stop reading Washington Post, Times of India (well, actually that you can stop reading anyways!), Jagran or any other newspaper. You will probably already know the news. But, it gives a wonderful way to practice your Sanskrit. After having read the  news in your preferred newspaper, reading it again in Sanskrit will help you figure out the words in context! And who knows, slowly, with time, you may even start speaking it.

The oldest language is not at all dead! While academic works in Sanskrit have been continuously written even to this year, and Sanskrit authors (new works, current living people, not just Kalidasa and Baan) have been honored with Presidential awards, a daily newspaper is a wonderful way to read the language, understand it in context of latest news.

Congratulations to editor DC Bhatt and his entire team for a wonderful job.

You may access the newspaper at:
The content is copyright of the newspaper. Practical Sanskrit is only providing a way to put it online.

Here is the latest sample:

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hard work - the best friend. आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां

Hard work- The best friend.

This one is so obvious, what can one elaborate on this.

People believe in destiny, but destiny is separate from free will. What ever you know, can control, can foresee, can plan for is not destiny. Destiny, as explained by Lord Rama (rAma, राम) when going to forest exile (vana-vAsa, वनवास) is the unknown factor which you could not foresee coming, which gives no indication of coming, and which you could not have controlled (even if you knew) once it came.

So all those who think - "If I am destined to have this or that, I will get it." should wake up from the slumber and do some work to make their sleepy dreams a wake up reality.

Those who think short cuts will work, should remember that the only short cut is through it. You can't avoid work, if you want to progress and prosper.

आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां शरीरस्थो महान्रिपु ।
नास्त्युद्यमसमो बन्धुः कृत्वा यं नावसीदति ॥

= ālasyam hi manuṣhyāṇām sharīrastho mahānripu |
nāstyudyamasamo bandhuḥ kṛitvā yam nāvasīdati || (IAST)

= Alasyam hi manuShyANAm sharIrastho mahAnripu |
nAstyudyamasamo bandhuH kRitvA yam nAvasIdati || (ITRANS)

Laziness is verily the great enemy residing in our body.
There is no friend like hard work, doing which one doesn’t decline.

And now the language aspects -

ālasyam /Alasyam =laziness

hi /hi =surely

manuṣhyāṇām / manuShyANAm =of humans
manuṣhya / manuShya = human

sharīrastho / sharIrastho= situated, located in the body
sharIra = body, that which wears out
-stha = situated, located

mahānripu / mahAn_ripu =great enemy
mahAn = great (from mahat)
ripu = enemy

nāstyudyamasamo / nAstyudyamasamo =
na asti udyam samaH = not, is, hard work, like

bandhuḥ / bandhuH = friend

kṛitvā / kRitvA = having done

yam = which

nāvasīdati / nAvasIdati = not (na) sinks (avasIdati)
avasId = to drown, sink, go to ruins.

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Qualities are respected everywhere.

Some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. But the real respect and greatness comes from one's own deeds. 

Yes, there were times, and in some countries still, when you inherited your father's chair. Even in England, around the time of the World Wars, there were as many as about 20% MPs who were related, uncles-nephews, father-sons etc. Now it is down to single digits.

And, yes it still happens in India's movie industry, politics, and businesses. Be it the Kapoor dynasty in the movies (is it their family business?), or the Nehru/Gandhi family (is it their family business?) or the Ambani-s (yes, it is their family business, but why do they keep fighting after the father died?). People know exactly who is a good actor, leader or business person. And we have seen that happen in US politics too. And people know exactly who is the good one.

Some day it was a birthright, now a days it is called networking. people go to elite schools and colleges not because they have greater education, but a much better networking.

But, legends are not made because of their fathers, or fathers-in-law. They are made by their own deeds. You can have the best networking, but at the end it is your own actions that will make you great. Networking, lineage etc are only helpful instruments on the way, but the success, name and fame depends upon your own deeds.

Lord Krishna (Vaasudeva, वासुदेव ) is worshiped by almost  billion people, but no one worships his father (Vasudeva, वसुदेव ). Rama (raama, राम) is worshiped, not his father Dasharatha (dasha-ratha, दशरथ).

Qualities are respected everywhere, father's dynasty is meaningless.
People bow to Lord Krishna, not to his father.

guṇāḥ sarvatra pūjyanté, pitṛivaṃśho nirarthakaḥ |
vāsudévam namasyanti, vasudévam na mānavāḥ ||
guNAH sarvatra pUjyante pitRivaMsho nirarthakaH |
vasudevam namasyanti, vasudevam na mAnavAH ||

There is another verse that goes - The best attain fame by their own name, the medium by their father's name, the average by their mother's name and the worst by their father-in-law's name!

And now the language aspects -

गुणाः = guNAH = qualities

सर्वत्र = sarvatra = everywhere (sarva = all)

पूज्यन्ते = pUjyante = are worshiped, respected

पितृवंशो = pitRivaMshao = father's lineage
pitRi = father (from which comes pater, padre, father etc.)
vaMshaH = lineage. (due to sandhi it becomes vaMsho)

निरर्थकः = nirarthakaH = one (-kaH) without (nir-) meaning (artha)

वासुदेवं = vAsudevam = to the son of vasudeva = to kRiShNa

नमस्यन्ति = they bow, salute (respect)

वसुदेवं = vasudevam = to vasudeva (kRiShNa's father)

न = na = not [worship]

मानवाः = mAnavAH = humans

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shubh Dipawali - शुभ दीपावली

शुभ दीपावली = shubha dIpAvalI = auspicious dIpAvalI / diwAlI

- Let the lamp remove the darkness in and outside of you.
- Start something good this year, a do-able resolve, something that also impacts others' lives positively.
- Don't just remain self centered, but be centered in Self.
- Don't just spend all your time earning money, that you have no time to use the money properly.

शुभ दीपावली = shubha dIpAvalI

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good conduct is the supreme virtue - आचारः परमो धर्मः

For about two thousand years, it seems there is fight about who others bow to in their private moment with the divine. Even when we say the divine is beyond our perception, every 'religion' has a form of the divine, or attributes.

Why does it matter who likes which form? What matters is what is their behaviour, actions, deeds.

Taking an analogy. it is fine to say 'My child is the cutest', but not right to say 'Your child is ugly.' Everyone finds their child to be the best for themselves. Comparison and competition is not what parenting is about, but giving loving care and instilling good values is.

Similarly, you will not get seats in heaven or final liberation by where your blind faith is, but by how you treat others, including humans, animals, plants, environment, earth...

See how the wealthy and powerful are behaving in the largest economies!

If you can't be positive to others, at least be neutral.

And now the language aspects -

Good conduct is the supreme virtue.
= आचारः परमो धर्मः ।
= āchāraḥ paramo dharmaḥ
= AchAraH paramo dharmaH
(manusmṛiti 1:108)

āchāraḥ = [good] conduct [is]
paramo = paramaḥ (paramaH, परमः) = supreme, beyond all
dharmaḥ = duty, virtue, quality, characteristic

If you note, the visarga after paramaH changes to paramo, but not after AchAraH.

The rule says -
if the first word ENDS in a (short vowel) and visarga H (aH or अः)
and the second word STARTS with 'a' OR 3rd/4th/5th of the group (g, gh, ~N, j, jh, ~n, D, Dh, N, d, dh, n, b, bh, m) OR y, r, l, v, h)
the visarga becomes 'u', combines with previous 'a' (of aH), and makes 'o'.

If the second word starts with 'a', that 'a' vanishes and an avagraha sign is put.

For example:
yashaH + abhilAShI = yasho'bhilAShI (यशः + अभिलाषी = यशोऽभिलाषी) = fame + desirer

yashaH + dA = yashodA (यशः + दा = यशोदा) = fame + giver (fem.) = foster mother of Lord kRiShNa

manaH + haraH = manoharH (मनः + हरः = मनोहरः) = desiring faculty + snatcher = someone very captivating

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

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dashahara, Vijayadashami and Ganga dashahara

The festival of dashaharā, दशहरा or as also written as Dussera, is celebrated on the tenth day of the ashvina अश्विन month. The previous nine days are the Navarātri or the nine nights of the devī, supreme goddess. The day of Dashaharā is also called Vijayādashamī – the tenth day of victory. This is also the day when Rāma killed the evil villain Rāvaṇa - Dashagrīva - the ten necked (and hence headed)

A lesser known fact is the Ganga Dashahara, the birthday of the holy river Gaṅgā गंगा (gaṅgA, erroneously called Ganges in English) in the month of Jyeshtha (June).

There are many stories on her. She descends from heaven to earth upon the penances of king Bhagīratha भगीरथ and gets the name Bhāgīrathī भागीरथी . Her force could not be borne by the earth, so Shiva शिव catches her fall in his matted locks making her controlled river. Even the actual river is called Alakanandā अलकनन्दा when she starts, and later on is called Gaṅgā गंगा .

Another story goes that when Shiva शिव sang, Viṣhṇu विष्णु was so moved, he started to melt. Brahmā ब्रह्मा the creator collected the melting Viṣhṇu विष्णु and put in his kamanḍala कमण्डल (water carrying hand pot), and from that he made Gaṅgā गंगा , and hence she is also called Viṣhṇu-padī विष्णुपदी- coming from Viṣhṇu's feet.

After her descent, she followed Bhagīratha भगीरथ , but strayed in the āshram आश्रम of ṛiṣhi Jahnu ऋषि जह्नु , upsetting his place. The upset ṛiṣhi ऋषि drank her up. Upon Bhagīratha's request he slit his thigh and let her out. Hence her name Jāhnvī जाह्नवी .

She married the Mahābhārata महाभारत king Shāntanu शान्तनु , when she was forced to be earth. There she gives him a son Devavrata देवव्रत, later to be known as Bhīṣhma भीष्म - the ne who made a severe vow (of never marrying or having a progeny).

She is held sacred and its water really have healing properties. (In modern days, pollution is a big problem).

Her vehicle is the makara - a hybrid of gharial (Indian crocodile), fish and other creatures.

She is the remover of sins, pāpa-harā (पापहरा). And incidentally the nine days of goddess flows right into the tenth. Gaṅgā removes the ten sins as prescribed by scriptures, social norms. The ten sins are anthropomorphed into the ten heads of Rāvaṇa – the one who made the worlds howl by his terror. And, here are the ten sins -

[ In the transliteration the - and _ are only for ease of reading. A - separates actual compound words which have not changed due to sandhi (change in vowels and consonants). A _ (underscore) is used only to help pronunciation, it doesn’t separate actual words. The break is in between a long word. For example, “para-dāro_pasévā” here para is a prefix by itself, but ‘dāro’ is not a word at all. ]

1. As per the vidhāna, social/dharmic/moral laws, taking what is not one’s own
physical violence, and having affair with someone else’s wife 
- are remembered as the three sins done by the body.

a-dattAnAm_upAdAnam hiMsA chaiva vidhAna_taH |
para-dAro_pasevA cha kAyikam tri-vidham smRitam || (ITRANS)


2. Harsh of words and lies and talking ill (slander
and talking incessantly and irrelevantly 
are surely the four types of sins of the speech.

pAruShyam_anRitam chaiva paishunyam chApi sarva_shaH |
a_sambaddha-pralApam cha vA~Nmayam chatur_vidham || (ITRANS)


3. Thoughts of [taking] others’ wealth, thinking of [others’] harm 
and liking for falseness (e.g. rumors)
- are remembered as three sins of the mind.

para-dravyeSh_vobhi_dhyAnam manasA_niShTa-chintanam |
vitathA_bhi_nivesham cha mAnasam tri-vidham smRitam || (ITRANS)


4. O Ganga, you take away these ten sins of mine. 
By which the ten sins are taken away, therefore [she is] 
remembered as dashaharā (remover of ten [sins]).

etAni dasha-pApAni hara tvam mama jAhnavi |
dasha-pApa-harA yasmAt tasmAd_dashaharA smRitA || (ITRANS)

So the ten sins are -

Three of the body:
1. Taking what is not given - Raavana, after his almost invincible boon of no defeat, took not just what was given to him, but took what he wanted by force.
2. Violence - He fought, killed many, and even went around the three worlds asking for a good fight, defeating everyone. The Vindhya mountain declined his offer for a fight and said King Vali would be a good match. Violence was in his genes. He terrified the three worlds, and hence he got his name Raavana - the one who makes others cry.
3. Taking to others' wife - He kidnapped Sita, who was married to Lord Raama. That was his biggest mistake. He never accepted that as his fault, and finally paid by his life.

Four of the speech:
4. Harshness of words - Ravana's words were always harsh. He talks harshly to anyone who advices him. He talks harsh to Vibhishana, to Sita, to everyone when he goes around picking fight. His very nature is harsh.
5. Lies - He lies multiple times. When he disguises as a sage and asks for alms from Sita and kidnaps her. When he makes a false head of Rama to convince Sita of Raama's death.
6. Slander - He talks ill of Raama multiple times with impunity. Raama as a human, was the only way he could be killed. In the boon from Brahmaa, he asks protection from Deva, Raakshasa, Gandharva, Kinnara, Naaga etc. and categorically mocks human and animals as being weak as a straw. Ridiculing the greatest of God's creation is what he pays for at the end.
7. Incoherent, incessant blabbering - Speech is precious, prANa breath! He talks on and on about himself, boasting his powers, making no sense at times.

Three of the mind:
8. Thinking of others' wealth - He not only thinks, but loots everyone in three worlds. He takes the city of Golden Lanka from his cousin Kubera, and wealth of all the kings he defeats.
9. Thinking ill for others - He never wishes good for anyone. He thinks,plans and acts hurtful for others in his pride of power.
10. Liking for rumors, myths, fantasy - He misuses his magical powers to create illusion, tries to convince Sita of Raama's death, and has a false fantastic pride.

On this day when Raama kills a ten headed Raavana, the Devi kills the ten sins metaphorically.
And Ganga washes away all sins - if one approaches sincerely. The change of heart is the only way to wash the sins.

Happy Dashaharaa.

And now the language aspects -

adattAnAmupAdAnam = a-dattAnAm upAdAnam
= taking what is not given to one (i.e. taking others' things)
a- = without, not
datta = given
dattAnAm = of the given
a-dattAnAm = of the [things] to given [to one]
upAdAnam = charity to self, taking for oneself

hiMsA = violence

chaiva = cha eva
cha = and
eva = only, surely

vidhAnataH = by decree, law, dictate
vidhAna = the law
-taH = from
e.g. kutaH = from where?
ataH = from here, hence, therefore
tataH = from there

= para-dArA-upasevA
para- = of other
dArA = wife
upasevA = enjoying, having [immoral] affair.

cha = and

kAyikam = of body (kAyA)

tri-vidham = three way
tri = three
vidham = way, types

smRitam = is remembered, is called, is said, is known.

pAruShyam_anRitam = pAruShyam anRitam
paruSha = harsh
pArushyam = harshness of words

chaiva = cha eva = (see above)

paishunyam = slander

chApi = cha api = and also

sarvashaH = completely, universally

a_sambaddha-pralApam = unrelated incessant talking
a- = not
sambaddha = tied together
asambaddha = untied, loose, irrelevant, disconnected
pralApam = rant, incessant, incoherent talking

cha = and

vA~Nmayam = of speech
vAk = speech

chatur_vidham = four way
chatuH = four
vidham = way, style, type

= para-dravyeShu abhidhyAnam
= focusing on others' wealth
para- = of other
dravya = wealth
abhidhyAnam = concentration, focus, contemplation

= manasA aniShTa chintanam
= by mind thinking of harm
manasA = by mind
aniShTa = not desirable, harmful, hurtful
chinatanam = thinking, contemplating

vitathAbhinivesham = vitathA abhiniveshanam
= liking for false
vitathA = falseness, myth, rumor
abhiniveshanam = adherence, liking for, affection

cha = and

mAnasam = of the mind

tri-vidham = three fold
tri = three
vidham = way, style, type,

smRitam = is remembered, is called, is said, is known.

etAni = these

dasha-pApAni = ten sins
dasha = ten
pApa = sin
pApAni = sins

hara = [do] take away , as in 'please take away'

tvam = you

mama = mins

jAhnavi = o jAhnavI = ga~NgA (gangaa)
of the sage jahnu. jahnu drank her up and let her out of a cut through his thigh.

dasha-pApa-harA = one who takes the ten sins
dasha = ten
pApa = sin
harA = (fem.) one who takes away

yasmAt = from which

= tasmAt dashaharA
tasmAt = from that
dashaharA = remover of ten [sins]

smRitA = one who is remembered (fem.)

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

Friday, September 30, 2011

You are the last resort, O Devi!

शरणागत-दीनार्त-परित्राण-परायणे ।
सर्वस्यार्तिहरे देवि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥

śaraṇāgata-dīnārta-paritrāṇa-parāyaṇe ।
sarvasyārtihare devi nārāyaṇi namo'stu te ॥

śharaṇāgata = one who has come (āgata) for refuge (śharaṇa)

dīnārta = the pitiable (dīna) and the one in pain (ārta)

paritrāṇa = complete rescue, protection

parāyaṇé = o one who is the last resort of refuge (parāyaṇā, fem.)

sarvasyārtiharé = o remover (harā) of everyone’s (sarvasya) troubles (ārti)

dévi = o devī

nārāyaṇi = o nārāyaṇī

namo'stu = salutations (namaḥ) be (astu)

té = for you

You are the last resort of refuge for the pitiable and paining people who come to take refuge. You remove everyone's troubles, O Devī,O Nārāyaṇī, salutations be for you.

Happy Navaratri.

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

Best words fall short to praise you, O Devi!

 सर्वभूता यदा देवी भुक्तिमुक्तिप्रदायिनी ।
त्वं स्तुता स्तुतये का वा भवन्तु परमोक्तयः ॥

sarvabhūtā yadā devī bhukti-mukti-pradāyinī ।
tvaṃ stutā stutaye kā vā bhavantu paramoktayaḥ ॥

sarva-bhUtA yadA devI bhukti-mukti-pradAyinI |
tvam stutA stutaye kA vA bhantu paramoktayaH ||

sarvabhūtā = all (sarva) manifestation, people, world ( bhūta)
yadā = when
devī = goddess
bhukti = consumption (food, needs etc.)
mukti = liberation (of soul from bondage)
pradāyinī = giver (fem.)

tvaṃ = you [are]
stutā = [THE] praised one
stutaye = for praising [you]
= what
= or, ever, (to indicate what ever could be ..)
bhavantu = can be
paramoktayaḥ = greatest (parama) utterances (uktayaḥ)

When you [who are] devi, are all of manifestation, are giver of nourishment [in this world and] liberation [from this world], are the praised one, [then] for [your] praising, what ever can be great utterances.

That is, devi, you are beyond my ability to find words to praise you. greatest of the great words fall short of praising you. [but even then let me try].

Happy Navaratri.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What do you prefer - money or honor?

In the opening mantra of īshāvāsya upaniṣhad (IshAvAsya upaniShad / ईशावास्य उपनिषद् ) it says, ‘Don’t greed, for whose is wealth?’ meaning we came without anything and we will leave without anything. Whatever is here, whatever you got, whatever you claim to be yours is of this world – found here and lost here.

What we see in the world economy today, is not because some alien civilization has suddenly stolen our food supply, our workers, factories or fields. It is because of two reasons – lightning fast transactions and greed bigger than the sky of some selfish, soulless bodies! Humans make all laws, and hiding behind laws to allow unfair things to happen is hypocrisy. The wealth misdistribution in the name of free market and ‘you are free to do what you want’ is not good for society as a whole.

How much can one billionaire eat, when thousands go hungry? Everyone has the same small stomach. Will history repeat itself when people will be asked to “eat the cake if bread is not available?”

UBS bank losing US$ 2.3 billion in rogue trading must be the biggest and cruelest joke of capitalism! The US economy meltdown was not because of plague, or riots, or war, but purely by the greedy wealthy playing irresponsibly. Nor is the Greek or upcoming Italian bankruptcy. How can the imperial powers who amassed wealth from all over the globe, now have emptied it all? Whom did they feed? Where did the actual resource go? Money is paper without the resource. You cannot eat dollars, gold or diamonds.

How much money does a billionaire need?

Some people only want money, no matter how.
Some others want money but honorably, they care for what they do.
Yet others only care about doing the right and honorable thing, whether or not money comes as a by-product.

अधमा धनमिच्छन्ति धनं मानं च मध्यमाः । 
उत्तमा मानमिच्छन्ति मानो हि महताम् धनम् ॥ 

adhamā dhanam_ichchhanti dhanam mānam cha madhyamāḥ | 
uttamā mānam_ichchhanti māno hi mahatām dhanam || 

adhamA dhanam_ichchhanti dhanam mAnam cha madhyamAH | 
uttamA mAnam_ichchhanti mAno hi mahatAm dhanam || 

Lowly people desire wealth [over respect], average people desire wealth and respect, the great people desire respect [over wealth], for respect is wealth of the great!

This is a wonderful shloka about human psychology as well.

One is reminded of ‘one should not desire respect but deserve it.’ Here, the comparison is not between desire and deserve. Everyone has desires, 'this human is made of desires' - proclaim the Veda-s, and we all know it very well. The question is now, what do we desire?

A lowly person, an adhamaḥ (adhamaH, अधमः) would rather have money than respect, or will even bear some disrespect if it gives money. People do bad things, illegal, sinful, criminal deeds to make money. They are despised by the society, but for them money is more important than respectable life. Some do it so cleanly and with the aid of human made laws that society does not realize or cannot do – bound by laws. Not dharma. Even though one of the meanings of dharma is law, it is law that keep the whole society functioning, not just a fraction of able and powerful but greedy people.

Then there are people who do desire and pursue money, but only if it is in a respectable way, legal, just way. They do pursue money. But they also care about others - are they hurting others, doing something sinful or criminal? Most of us fall in this category.

Then there are those rare souls, who do not desire money. They desire only to do the right thing, good thing, that which is respected by the wise. They care what others think of their deeds, are they doing anything wrong? The money part is only at the need level, surviving level, not at a wanting level. They work just and fair, for the good of all, and the money part is only a by-product. They do not desire money to begin with; it comes to them because of their good deeds.

Given a choice, the lowly person would rather take money than respect, the average person would balance out both (no money, only respect, or vice versa, then not interested), and the great ones, would only see if the deed is respectable, good, just, required and do it even if there is no money!

So, the question is not whether one should deserve or desire respect, but whether one should desire money or respect.

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

adhamAH = worst kind (below average) (adhamaH अधमः = singular)
due to sandhi adhamAH अधमाः loses its visarga at the end and becomes adhamA अधमा

dhanam = wealth

ichchhanti = desire (plural) ch as in chime. IAST would write it as icchanti

dhanam = wealth

mAnam = respect

cha = and

madhyamAH = middle, average (plural) people

uttamA = best (uttamaH उत्तमः = singular) people
due to sandhi uttamAH उत्तमाः loses its visarga at the end and becomes uttamA उत्तमा

mAnam = respect

ichchhanti = desire

mano = manaH मानः = respect

hi = surely

mahatAm = of the great (महत् mahat)

dhanam = wealth

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

stairs - सोपान

सोपान / sopAna / sopāna
निश्रयणी / nishrayaNI / nishrayaṇī

Seven Falls, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

185 steps going up - very soon you realize that goals are easier to achieve if you are consistent and realistic. Coming down was even more dangerous, with jelly knees :) any mistake and you could wobble down the rest of the stairs in no time.

Went up the 224 steps stairs as well, but totally forgot to take picture of that sign.

Read/Buy the book "Attitude Shift - Sanskrit maxims for life and leadership" in print or Kindle e-book and support Practical Sanskrit activities.

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Write with your own hands and chant with your own voice - the names of gaNesha

What is the importance of japa? nAma japa? It reinforces the concept, the meaning of the nAma. And yes, it puts you in a kind of trance, making you open to new thoughts, emotions, feelings, experiences.

In this age of internet, typing, "dat 2 lyk dis" in the SMS era, we have lost the joy of the journey, the joy of being, the joy of not going anywhere, just being.

So, this Ganesh Chaturthi, pick the various names of gaNesha that you can find, and - are you ready for this - write these names with your own hand on a paper with a pen or pencil or stylus or a nib-holder or calligraphy pen.

Write these names in devanAgarI (Sanskrit script) or roman (English script), but do it slowly, beautifully, as correctly as you can, engrossed, pondering upon the meaning of each word. Give time to write each name, don't rush it like your term project. This will be as rewarding as preparing the gaNapti statue.

And after you have written them down, now read each name, feel the sound in your mouth cavity, know where the words break and say it properly. Ponder on each name's meaning.

You may also find these posts interesting -
1.  gaNesha stotram (praNamya shirasA devam), and
2.  meditate upon gaNesha, gaNanAyakAya gaNadevatAya

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi - the fourth day, the day of gaNesha.
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Below is my advance homework, the English version and meaning is in the language section below.

Read/Buy the book "Attitude Shift - Sanskrit maxims for life and leadership" in print or Kindle e-book and support Practical Sanskrit activities.

And now the language aspects -

om gaNapataye namaH = om salutations for the protector (pati) of the people (gaNa)

om gaNeshavarAya namaH = om salutations for the lord (Ishvara) of people (gaNa)

om eka-draMShTrAya namaH = om salutations for the one with single (eka) tusk (draMShTra)

om vakra-tuNDAya namaH = om salutations for the one with curved (vakra) trunk (tuNDa)

om lambodarAya namaH = om salutations for the one with large (lamba) belly (udara)

om dhUmra-varNAya namaH = om salutations for the one with smoke (dhUmra) colored (varNa) complexion

om siddhi-pradAya namaH = om salutations for the giver (prada) of accomplishments (siddhi)

om vighna-rAjAya namaH = om salutations for the lord (rAjA) of obstacles (vighna)

om umA-putrAya namaH = om salutations for the son (putra) of pArvatI (umA)

om kukShi-stha-yakSha-gandharva-rakShaH-kinnara-mAnuShAya namaH = om salutations for the one in whose belly (kukShi) are situated (stha) yakSha, gandharva, rAkShas, kinnara and humans

om shivA-shoka-hAriNe namaH = om salutations for the remover (hAriN) of sorrow (shoka) of pArvatI (shivA)

om jagajjanma-layonmeSha-nimeShAya namaH = om salutations for the one in whose shutting (nimeSha) and opening (unmeSha) of eyes is the creation (janma) and dissolution (layaH) of the world (jagat)

om tryas_triMshat-koTi-sura-shreNI-praNata-pAdukAya namaH = om salutations for the one at whose sandals (pAdukA) thirty (triMshat) three (trayaH) crores (koTi, 10 millions) gods (sura) line up (shreNI) bowing (praNata)

om phaNA-maNDala-sAhasra-phaNi-rAja-kRitAsanAya namaH = om salutations for the one is [seated] on seat (Asana) made (kRita) by the thousand (sahasra) hoods (phaNa) of the king (rAja) of the cobras (phaNI) i.e. by the ananta, sheSha - the TIME after dissolution, is in whose service, that gaNesha.

Read/Buy the book "Attitude Shift - Sanskrit maxims for life and leadership" in print or Kindle e-book and support Practical Sanskrit activities.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

shrI-gaNesha-stotram - प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं

This Ganesh Chaturthi, let us know the meaning of the Ganesh Stotram, with eight shloka-s. The meaning in English is given in almost the same order as the original Sanskrit words.
Enjoy. And do post your comments.
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प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपुत्रं विनायकम् ।
भक्तावासं स्मरेन्नित्यं आयुःकामार्थसिद्धये ॥ १॥

praNamya shirasA devam gaurI-putram vinAyakam |
bhaktAvAsam smaren_nityam AyuH-kAmArtha-siddhaye || 1 ||

bowing with the head, to the divine, to the son-of-pArvatI, to the vinAyaka 
to the devotee-dweller; remember daily, for the accomplishment of long life, desires and wealth ||

प्रथमं वक्रतुण्डं च एकदन्तं द्वितीयकम् ।
तृतीयं कृष्णपिङ्गाक्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम् ॥ २॥
prathamam vakra-tuNDam cha eka-dantam dvitIyakam |
tRitIyam kRiShNa-pi~NgAkSham, gaja-vaktram chaturthakam || 2 || 
 first to the curved-trunked, and second to the one-tusked 
third to the brown-eyed, fourth to the elephant-faced ||

लम्बोदरं पञ्चमं च षष्ठं विकटमेव च ।
सप्तमं विघ्नराजेन्द्रं धूम्रवर्णं तथाष्टमम् ॥ ३॥
 lambodaram pa~nchamam cha ShaShTham vikaTameva cha | 
saptamam vighna-rAjendram dhUmra-varNam tathAShTamam || 3 || 

fifth to the large-bellied and sixth to the huge
 seventh the king of obstacles, and eighth to the smoke-colored ||

नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम् ।
एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम् ॥ ४॥ 
navamam bhAla-chandram cha dashamam tu vinAyakam | 
ekAdasham gaNa-patim dvAdasham tu gajAnanam || 4 ||  
ninth to the one with moon on the forehead, tenth to the supreme hero 
eleventh to the leader of peoples and twelfth to the elephant-faced ||

द्वादशैतानि नामानि त्रिसंध्यं यः पठेन्नरः ।
न च विघ्नभयं तस्य सर्वसिद्धिकरः प्रभुः ॥ ५॥ 
dvAdashaitAni nAmAni trisandhyam yaH paThen_naraH | 
na cha vighna-bhayam tasya sarva-siddhi-karaH prabhuH || 5 ||  
these twelve names, one who reads three times a day (morning, afternoon, evening)
 there is no fear of obstacles, and lord is his all-accomplisher ||

विद्यार्थी लभते विद्यां धनार्थी लभते धनम् ।
पुत्रार्थी लभते पुत्रान्मोक्षार्थी लभते गतिम् ॥ ६॥ 
vidyArthI labhate vidyAm dhanArthI labhate dhanam | 
putrArthI labhate putrAn_mokShArthI labhate gatim || 6 || 
knowledge seeker gains knowledge, wealth seeker gains wealth   
child seeker gains child, nirvANa seeker gains nirvANa ||

जपेद्गणपतिस्तोत्रं षड्भिर्मासैः फलं लभेत् ।
संवत्सरेण सिद्धिं च लभते नात्र संशयः ॥ ७॥
 japed_gaNapati-stotram ShaDbhir_mAsaiH phalam labhet | 
saMvatsareNa siddhim cha labhate nAtra saMshayaH || 7 || 
 by chanting this ganapati stotram for six months, one gets results  
and by [chanting for] one year accomplishment is gained, there no doubt here ||

अष्टेभ्यो ब्राह्मणेभ्यश्च लिखित्वा यः समर्पयेत् ।
तस्य विद्या भवेत्सर्वा गणेशस्य प्रसादतः ॥ ८॥ 
aShTebhyo brAhmaNebhyashcha likhitvA yaH samarpayet |
tasya vidyA bhavet_sarvA gaNeshasya prasAdataH || 8 ||

one who offers having written from eight scholars
his knowledge becomes all-encompassing, by the grace of gaNesha ||

You may be having problems in reading the Sanskrit font above, in which please refer to the image below. If you find any differences, please enable your browser to see Unicode fonts properly.

May Lord Ganesha fulfill your sincere and just wishes.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

You may also like this post with full words and meanings of the famous

You may also like this post with full words and meanings of the famous

om gaM gaNapataye namaH

If you liked this post, then consider the following -

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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't downgrade the host economy! - उपजीव्यविरोध

On August 5th 2011 we saw that S&P downgraded the US economy's rating from AAA to AA+
Many jokes were created to make the mood light to match the lightness of many pockets and bank balances. Like, "I didn't know America ran on batteries."

It was a surprise to know that S&P, a McGrawHill division, is headed by a product of a "third-world" economy! Indian born Deven Sharma heads the prestigious S&P. Is it for this day, that he was given the permanent residency and subsequent citizenship by the INS, one may wonder!

Two days back, on August 23rd, 2011, only 18 days after the downgrade, S&P's CEO Deven Sharma is forced to resign. Sure they will say he has some personal reasons or some other politically correct statement.

But what we just saw is a classic example of a Sanskrit maxim - "Don't antagonize the host." We saw similar situation when UN was not giving permissions for an Iraq invasion on pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The former president George Bush threatened to dismantle UN if it was of no use to US! How convenient.

But what to do, after all UN offices are on US soil! Got to listen to the landlord!

Here is the Sanskrit maxim, or nyAyaH.

Do not antagonize the host.
"The unworthiness of opposing the 'host' (support system)."

There is a popular Hindi saying, "Do not be enemy with the crocodile while you are in the water." [ जल में रह कर मगर से बैर jal mé.n rah kar magar sé bair ] This is at a survival level. People with communist leanings were targeted in the USA, and those with capitalist leanings were unsafe in the former USSR. It is foolish to assume that while you cry foul against the king, you should be allowed to live happily by the same king (or the system). We may think that we have freedom of speech, but it is usually only till the system is not threatened.

The great statesman चाणक्य Chāṇakya’s father चणक Chaṇaka spoke against the corruption in royal treasury and was duly persecuted by the royalty! Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange went against the 'system' and finally had some charges against him and was caught by police. A Canadian professor even suggested that he be eliminated! Imagine, a professor saying that! So, do not make the system your enemy and still expect it to support you.

Metaphorically, it is not good to go against that upon which you depend, for safety, livelihood or any other help. Do not ruin your own support base. If for some real reason you do have to, then consider that source of support no more. Or as Alex the lion warns Marty the zebra in Madagascar, "Do not bite the hand that feeds."

Do not ruin your own support system.

Read more maxims in the book "Attitude Shift - Sanskrit maxims for life and leadership" in print or Kindle e-book.

And now the language aspects -

= उपजीव्य-विरोधस्य-अयुक्तत्वम्
= upa_jIvya-virodhasya-ayuktatvam |
upajIvya = upon which one lives off, depends; host as in a symbiotic or parasitic relationship; that upon whom one depends for livelihood.
virodhasya = of opposition (virodha)
ayuktatvam = a-yukta-tvam = un-worthi-ness.

Read/Buy the book "Attitude Shift - Sanskrit maxims for life and leadership" in print or Kindle e-book and support Practical Sanskrit activities.

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