Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Signs of the interested - मुखं प्रसन्नं विमला च दृष्टिः

मुखं प्रसन्नं विमला च दृष्टिः कथाऽनुरागो मधुरा च वाणी |
स्नेहोऽधिकः सम्भ्रमदर्शनञ्च सदानुरक्तस्य जनस्य लक्ष्म ||

mukham prasannam vimalA cha dRiShTiH kathA~nurAgo madhurA cha vANI |
sneho~dhikaH sambhramadarshana~ncha sadAnuraktasya janasya lakShma || [ITRANS]

mukhaṃ prasannaṃ vimalā ca dṛṣṭiḥ kathā'nurāgo madhurā ca vāṇī |
sneho'dhikaḥ sambhramadarśanañca sadānuraktasya janasya lakṣma || [IAST]

Happy face, pleasant gaze, interested in conversation, sweet speech, lot of affection, to see again and again (eager to see) - these are the characteristics of one who is always interested in you. [Hitopadesh 1.115]

This shloka comes in Hitopadesh when 'hiraNyaka' (हिरण्यक) the golden mouse was telling his past to his friends the pigeon king 'chitragrIva' (चित्रग्रीव) and the crow 'laghu-patanaka' (लघुपतनक). He said that he used to live in the hut of a ascetic (sannyAsI). One day his friend came to him. During conversation, the ascetic was not paying attention, because he was on the lookout of the mouse who would come and eat his food or cut his cloths.

His friend then said, 'O friend, you don't seem to be paying attention, where is your focus? As they say - Happy face, pleasant gaze, interested in conversation, sweet speech, lot of affection, to see again and again (eager to see) - these are the characteristics of one who is always interested in you.'

The story goes on, but this is a gem of study in human behavior.

When we are interested in some one or like someone very much - lover, friend, relation, employee - we are eager to meet them. This was specially true before the communication revolution (phone, internet, webcam etc.) but it is still true. We are social animals and we always like to meet people. Relations are the key to social life, its richness or poverty. They can be blood relations or otherwise.

When we meet someone we like very much, just the sight of them makes us happy, ear to ear smile, eyes moisten with joy! As if we will drink them up with our eyes! And we are not satisfied with just one gaze, we keep looking at them. We keeping looking out for them, and when we see them, we want to keep looking at them. And we want to talk a lot, there is extra sweetness in the voice as well as the words. Affection is dripping like syrup!

Surely, this must be true when people who traveled out, won't be keeping contact often. And when they came back, they had months to catch up on! And hopefully, even in this mad rush world of today, we have someone in life that we want to meet so eagerly!


Meet people with intensity! Make them feel special. Pay attention to the moment.

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

मुखं = mukham = face

प्रसन्नं = prasannam = happy

विमला = vimalA = pure, without malice
vi-mala = without (vi-) impurity (mala)
vimalA is feminine.

च = cha = and

दृष्टिः = dRiShTi = gaze

कथाऽनुरागो = kathA-anurAgaH = interest in conversation (kathA)
kathA = story. from kath = to say
rAga = affection
anurAga = interest, affection, attachment

मधुरा = madhurA = sweet. (feminine)
madhura is masculine (the trailing -a or -A/-aa does make the difference)

वाणी = vANI = speech (fem.)

स्नेहोऽधिकः = snehaH-adhikaH = lot of affection
snehaH = oil, affection. both reduce friction!
adhikaH = excess, plenty

सम्भ्रमदर्शनञ्च = sambhram-darshanam-cha = eager to see
bhrama = wandering
sambhrama = wandering a lot
darshanam = sight, vision, glimpse of something/someone
this phrase means that the gaze is wandering a lot to get a glimpse, so eager is the mind to see it doesn't rest without seeing. Always looking out.

सदानुरक्तस्य = sadA-anuraktasya = of (-sya) the one who is always (sadA) attached (anurakta)

जनस्य = janasya = of (-sya) the person (jana)

लक्ष्म = lakShma = mark, characteristic.

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