Monday, February 21, 2011

Slithering lizard is not a snake - न हि गोधा सर्पन्ती

Slithering Lizard is not a snake!

na hi godhā sarpantī
न हि गोधा सर्पन्ती

“A slithering lizard does not become a snake on account of slithering.”

The Sanskrit word for a snake is सर्प sarpa, from the verb root सृ sṛi, to slither. From sarpa we get the English word serpent. One of the defining qualities of a snake is its slithering, because of lack of any legs. In Sanskrit, all reptiles are called ‘slitherers’, सरीसृप sarī-sṛipa.

But, just because it slithers a lizard or an iguana does not become fearsome like a snake. No one is scared of a lizard. Slithering is just one quality! A snake is not defined or dreaded by its slithering, but by its deadly poison and hiss. Without the power of the snake, just imitating its gait does not earn ‘respect’.
One does not become great just by external appearance or position. One needs the qualities of power to be powerful. True leadership is not by position but by inherent qualities.


Merely putting on a black power-suit would not give you the power. Bill Gates looks as powerful in his jeans and T-shirt as in any corporate suit, even after he leaves Microsoft. A variegated scalp does not make you Aamīr Khān of Hindi blockbuster Ghajani. A quirky hairstyle does not make you Einstein or APJ Abdul Kalām, the former President of India and an eminent scientist. Wearing Niké does not make you Michael Jordan.

Learn to develop the real qualities of the great, not just their external quirkiness. The wrapping only matters when the gift inside is already great in its own right.

Develop real qualities; content over style.


This post is an excerpt from the book Attitude Shift - Sanskrit Maxims for Contemporary Life and Leadership . You can download a FREE PDF file of the book by clicking the above link. Join the Facebook Page as well.


To view full screen, click on the fourth icon from left on the bottom.

To view full screen, click on the fourth icon from left on the bottom.


like it? then become a fan of the blog. please rate the post as well.
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below



and now the language aspects -

न हि गोधा सर्पन्ती सर्पणादहिर्भवति = na hi godhā sarpantī sarpaṇāt-ahiḥ-bhavati

godhā = kind of lizard, iguana.

sarpantī = while slithering.
this is a long I vowel at the end. It is not plural form of sarpati, but singular form in continuous tense, like 'while slithering'

ahiḥ = snake, a dangerous large snake.

bhavati = becomes.

sṛi =to slither; सृ
not to be confused with shrī श्री (śrī) which is erroneously written as sri without the diacritic marks.

like it? then become a fan of the blog. please rate the post as well.
how can this site be made more interesting, useful? share your comments, use the comment link or the comment box below


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

1 comment:

  1. A lovely quote, and very well explained.Please go on!

    ReplyDelete

please do ADD your NAME and PLACE, after the comment.