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.
upajīvya-virodha
उपजीव्यविरोध
"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 -

उपजीव्यविरोधस्यायुक्तत्वम्
= 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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The stealer of butter and hearts!






The stealer of butter (navanIta-chauram नवनीत-चौरम्) and hearts (chitta-chauram चित्त-चौरम्) ! The terrible two's! Imagine Yashoda's daily irritation - running around this kid who gets in trouble over eating soil, stealing butter, killing demons, and having universe in his mouth! He tests her patience many a times!

He is called the stealer of butter, because butter is the result of all our effort - milking the cow, boiling the milk, making yogurt, churning it, and then from 1 kg of milk you get 50 grams of butter! And that too he steals away! Drat! What is this nonsense? All my effort wasted? I don't get the result? What he is doing is taking your attachment to the the results of your deeds. If you do selflessly, the result will not impact you negatively by causing undue attachment. You can have the result but not the attachment.

What seems like a childhood prank of stealing butter is a big lesson in non-attachment. It is not that you don't a right on the result, you certainly do, but you have no control over getting the result and being affected by it. He tries to free you from the attachment.

How to meet the Supreme Divine?
Meet a little child. Play with him/her. Give it your full attention even for a little while.
Have patience with others, specially the children and elders.
Love and care for others as you love and care for yourself.
Think beyond yourself.
Do your assigned/accepted duty faithfully and to the best of your ability.
Remember all this is transient and you will one day leave all this here, sooner or later.
So, think beyond yourself.


Wondrous are the leelA's of the rain-bearing-dark-cloud-colored (ghanashyAma घनश्याम ), tied-by-the-rope (damodara दामोदर ), killer of kaMsa, madhu (madhusUdana मधुसूदन ), and charioteer of arjuna (parthasArathi पार्थसारथि) , protector of the cows and the earth (gopAla गोपाल), universe is whose form (विश्वरूप).




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

Friday, August 19, 2011

You are as divine as kRiShNa - दासोऽहमिति


दासोऽहमिति मे बुद्धिः पूर्वमासीज्जनार्दने ।
दा-शब्दोऽपहृतस्तेन गोपीवस्त्रापहारिणा ॥  

"I am your servant [dAsaH aham]" - 
Earlier, this was my thinking for kRiShNa.
dA- word was snatched by Him, 
snatcher-of-gopI-cloths [leaving saH aham, I am He].

dāso'hamiti me buddhiḥ pūrvamāsījjanārdane ।
dā-śabdo'pahṛtastena gopīvastrāpahāriṇā ॥

dAso'hamiti me buddhiH pUrvAsItjjanArdane |
dA-shabdo'pahRitastena gopIvastrApahAriNA ||
 
 

This is a wonderful shloka, that has word play as well as deep philosophy, which is ever more relevant today!

The word play is dAso'ham दासो'हम् = dAsaH aham दासः अहम् = "servant, I am"

And without the first dA- दा-,
saH aham सः अहम् = "He, I am" = I am He (kRiShNa)

The devotee says, "O kRiShNa, janArdana, earlier, when I started my bhakti, devotion, I was of the thought that I am your servant, slave, dAsa!"

That is how bhakti भक्ति starts, surrender of ego. as a slave has no separate entity than the master. So should a traveler on the path of spirituality, have no ego of one's own. One who takes refuge in the Lord, should not have separate thinking, should merge with the Lord.

Even arjuna अर्जुन , in bhagavad-gItA भगवद्गीता chapter 2 says - "I am not going to fight, I would rather beg, I come to thy refuge, tell me what is good for me."

Here it is foolish of arjuna अर्जुन to say I come to thy refuge, I am not going to fight. If you take refuge, sharaNAgati शरणागति, you can't decide on your own then. You have surrendered.

The devotee, continues that - "dA- word was snatched (from dAsaH) by you, O snatcher of gopI-s' cloths, and now I realize that I am you, nothing separate from you".

I was thinking I am nothing, I am your slave, non-entity, but now I realized (with your help) that I am same as you, divine to the core!


There is also some confusion about this episode of kRiShNa lIla कृष्ण लीला , where while the gopI-s गोपी were taking bath in the river, kRiShNa कृष्ण takes away their cloths lying on the bank, and climbs the trees. He gives them only on the condition of them coming out as is - without cloths. To take this in any other light but spiritual meaning, is not just blasphemy but foolishness. For if it was meant to be of any other intent, there were better platforms to do so, than in the lIlA लीला of the divine principle.

kRiShNa कृष्ण was a small boy at that time, and his intent, the metaphor here is to meet the Lord Supreme without any guilt, inhibition or artifical material veils. It is what the original sin of Bible is, eating the fruit of knowledge and becoming aware of their own nakedness.

The gopI-s are symbols of AtmA आत्मा (soul) , that is clad in body and ignorant of true nature, but is attracted towards kRiShNa कृष्ण, the paramAtmA परमात्मा .

So, the one who snatched away the cloths, the external veils of ego, of the gopI-s, also snatched away the veil of the first letter 'dA', and made me realize I am Him. aham brahmAsmi अहं ब्रह्मास्मि  = I am brahman.

True bhakti should be this. It should elevate you to the realization that you are as divine as you can be. Even though there is an ocean of 15 gazillion 19 trillion 27 billion and 53 million seven thousand four hundred and eighty one mega gallons of water, a single drop of ocean water is also the same H2O. No difference.

This point of devotion has to be very clearly understood. One must take care in choosing and following a 'guru'. With many modern day gurus, you have to be very careful, for they try to become God, which they are not, not any more than you are. Media's power helps anyone project an image, PR companies are ready to help throw an image of whatever you want to be. In US, we have seen great images projected during election, of godmen, consumer products etc. anything can be mad grand.

So watch out.

When the devotee is same as even kRiShNa, then how is a guru any superior? This is not disrespect to guru, but realization of your own true nature. A guru that doesn't help you with that, or if you don't do it yourselves - then the whole exercise is a farce.

A true guru never wants, attention or even your identity, or money. Yes, you may give a token of appreciation for guru's daily needs, but that is nominal, not millions of dollars! No guru needs that much! Those are entrepreneurs, businessmen who need that much of money, running mega-business or schools, hospitals, social work and amassing tons of moolah on the way. A true guru only wants to help you be able to walk in the right direction with good stamina. He is not going to be with you forever, giving you a piggy back ride to heaven.

You should try to get rid of a guru as soon as possible, which means, gain knowledge, direction, guidance and move on.

Imagine you are on a journey to meet the divine. and on the way there are tourist offices for information. After finding out the direction, modes of transport etc. should you hang around the tourist office forever?

Imagine you go to AgrA to see the Taj Mahal, and you meet a tourist guide. What is important, what the guide is telling you or the actual Taj Mahal? The role of the guide is over when he has told you about the Taj, shown you the Taj. Now it is up to you to enjoy the bliss. And let go of the guide. He has others to guide. And the guide should not delay in showing you the Taj either!


Don't be a parasite or a handicap, to hang around the guru and take all his time. Be kind to others as well :)

But most importantly, wake up, arise, you are divine. Supreme parabrahma परब्रह्म doesn't want you to spend a life of guilt, servitude, nothingness. Do all the good, serving etc. with the realization that you are also the same divine principle. Don't imbalance the balance.

Over attachment to the guru is detrimental to both - gurus have started counting their importance by how many followers they have, which gives them ego. And followers become relaxed thinking - "Guru is there, so why do I have to worry now?" But our scriptures based on which the gurus tell things, say categorically - Only you and you alone can liberate yourselves. You can't outsource that work. Your deeds (karma कर्म ) without attachment will liberate you, your lack of ego, will liberate you, your knowing it will liberate you.

nArada muni नारद मुनि in bhAgawadpurANa भागवद्पुराण warns about the signs of kaliyuga, and one of them is - "In kaliyuga, brAhamaNa ब्राह्मण will be selling their (esoteric) knowledge so it will lose essence, pilgrimage sites will have lot of hypocrites, so pilgrimage will lose essence, fakes will be so many that asceticism will lose essence..."

Focus on the divine, not human.
Focus on the destination, not sign post on the road.
Focus on crossing the river, not building a house on the bridge.

You are divine. Wake up. Get up. Move it.

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 -

dAso'hamiti = दासोऽहमिति
= dAsaH + aham + iti = servant/slave + i am + thus

me = मे = my

buddhiH = बुद्धिः
= thinking, intelligence, mind

pUrvAsItjjanArdane = पूर्वमासीज्जनार्दने
= pUrvam + AsIt + janArdane
= earlier + was + in kRiShNa

dA-shabdo'pahRitastena = दा-शब्दोऽपहृतस्तेन
= dA + shabdaH + apahRitaH + ten
= da- word + snatched/kidnapped away + by Him

gopIvastrApahAriNA = गोपीवस्त्रापहारिणा
= gopI + vastra + apahAriNA
= gopI's + cloths + by the snatcher
= by the snatcher of gopI's cloths


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 17, 2011

The guide of the universe - कृष्णं वन्दे जगद्गुरुम्





वसुदेव-सुतं देवं कंस-चाणूर-मर्दनम् |
देवकी-परमानन्दं कृष्णं वन्दे जगद्गुरुम् ||

vasudeva-sutam devam kaMsa-chANUra-mardanam |
devakI-paramAnandam kRiShNam vande jagad-gurum ||

to the son-of-vasudeva, to the god, to the killer-of-kaMsa and chANUra |
to the utter-bliss-of-devakI, to kRiShNa, praise, to the universal-guru ||


kRiShNa janmAShTamI कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी is coming soon, the eighth night after the full moon of shrAvaNa श्रावण month, that is this 21-22 August 2011 (night of 21st).We will visit some of the most popular shloka-s about kRiShNa.

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 -


वसुदेव-सुतं = vasudeva-sutam = to the son of vasudeva
vasudeva वसुदेव was kRiShNa's father, and hence kRiShNa is also called vAsudeva वासुदेव . Note the first 'a' becoming 'aa' or 'A' a long vowel. See the earlier post (Salutations to Krishna - गोविन्दाय नमो नमः) for details on this.

देवं = devam = to the god, divine
this words comes from divya, which means brilliant, splendid, luminous.

कंस-चाणूर-मर्दनम् = kaMsa-chANUra-mardanam = to the killer of kaMsa and chANUra
kaMsa कंस was kRiShNa's mother's brother and for his fate, he believed a prophecy that his sister's eigthth son will be his death. purANa पुराण also tells us that kaMsa कंस and shishupAla शिशुपाल were the third and last incarnation of viShNu's gatekeepers, jaya जय and vijaya विजय . And they were cursed by RiShi-s ऋषि to go down to the mortal world, due to their rudeness to the RiShi-s. The only way for them to come quickly back was for them to be the greatest evil-doers so that viShNu himself will have to come down and kill them to liberate the earth of atrocities.




The other incarnations were the brothers hiraNyAkSha हिरण्याक्ष  and hiraNyakashipu हिरण्यकशिपु (causing the varAha वराह (wild boar) and nRisiMha नृसिंह (man-lion) incarnations of viShNu) and of rAvaNa रावण and kumbhakaraNa कुम्भकरण (causing viShnu to come as rAma राम ).


देवकी-परमानन्दं = devakI-paramAnandam = to the [bringer of] supreme bliss of devakI
devakI was kRiShNa's mother.
parama = ultimate, supreme
Ananda = bliss, joy.

कृष्णं = kRiShNam = to kRiShNa
kRiShNa means dark as well as attractor (from kRiSh to attract, to pull, as a plough pulls theough the earth, tearing it, so does kRiShNa pulls you towards him, tearing all bondages.)

वन्दे = [one] salutes
i.e. salute, priase the kRiShNa

जगद्गुरुम् = jagadgurum = to the guru of the world
jagat जगत् = universe, the manifest world
guru गुरु = teacher, guide, mentor, remover of ignorance

due to sandhi rules, the trailing 't' of jagat changes, as in
jagat जगत् + nAtha नाथ = jagannAtha जगन्नाथ (protector of the world)
jagat जगत् + Isha ईश = jagadIsha जगदीश (lord of the world)



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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Salutations to Krishna - गोविन्दाय नमो नमः




कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय देवकी-नन्दनाय च |
नन्द-गोप-कुमाराय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः ||

kRiShNAya vAsudevAya, devakI-nandanAya cha |
nanda-gopa-kumArAya govindAya namo namaH ||

for kRiShNa, for vAsudeva and for the son-of-devakI |
for the young-son-of-cowherd-nanda, for govinda, salutations, salutaions ||


kRiShNa janmAShTamI कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी is coming soon, the eighth night after the full moon of shrAvaNa श्रावण month, that is this 21-22 August 2011 (night of 21st).We will visit some of the most popular shloka-s about kRiShNa.


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And now the language aspects -
All the words denoting kRiShNa end with -Aya which means 'for'

कृष्णाय = kRiShNAya = for kRiShNa
kRiShNa कृष्ण = black, dark, attractor, viShNu's avatAra
It is different from kRiShNA कृष्णा , as pronounced by most people krishnaa. The last vowel is a short 'a', not a long one like in 'father'. The kRiShNaa कृष्णा with long trailing vowel, is the feminine word, and is used for draupadI द्रौपदी .

वासुदेवाय = vAsudevAya = for vAsudeva
vasudeva वसुदेव was kRiShNa's father. and words for 'progeny of' are formed by changing the first vowel to a longer vowel. Many other such words are - pANDu पाण्डु -- pANDava पाण्डव , raghu रघु -- rAghava राघव , kunti कुन्ति -- kaunteya कौन्तेय
So, vasudeva वसुदेव is the father, and vAsudeva वासुदेव is the son, kRiShNa. One more reason you have to be very careful with mAtrA, the vowels. No unnecessary elongating the vowel 'a' to 'aa' :)

देवकी-नन्दनाय = devakI-nandanAya = for the son of devakI
devakI देवकी was kRiShNa's real mother in this mortal world.
nanda नन्द is joy. It also means son, boy, as a child brings joy to the parent. So devakI-nandana means the son of devakI, or the one who brings joy to devakI (traditionally used in the sense of child).

= cha = and

नन्द-गोप-कुमाराय = nanda-gopa-kumArAya = for the youth/son of nanda-gopa.
nanda नन्द was the head of the village of the cowherds. So he was called nanda-gopa नन्दगोप, nanda the cowherd. kumAra कुमार means a youth, young boy.
nanda was kRiShNa's foster father, and yashodA यशोदा (giver of fame) was his foster mother.


गोविन्दाय = govindAya = for govinda
go गो means cow, senses, earth, veda, rays of light, as well as speech. See this earlier post on the topic. The main sense of the word is the cow that gives - nourishment, wealth to the body. The cow was an important aspect and part of agrarian societies then. It gave cow-dung a natural fertilizer, bull that could plough the farm, milk for nourishment, and a very serene household animal. The earth is the giver of bounty, wealth and is the 'celestial' cow for all life forms.

vind विन्द् means to find (for you).
govinda then would mean the finder of the cow (the cowherd), but also one that finds the essence of all nourishment - the veda, the divine principle and makes accessible to you, as he makes the vedic and upanishadic wisdom easily accessible in the bhagavat gItA.. As the one who nourishes your senses, knowledge, as yogendra (the lord of yoga), he is the one who helps you 'find' yourself.

arjuna अर्जुन addresses kRiShNa कृष्ण as govinda in gItA गीता 1:32
"kim no rAjyena govinda! kim bhogair_jivItena vA"

नमो = namo = namaH = salutation
namaH became namo due to visarga sandhi संधि

नमः = namaH = salutation


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.