Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saraswati Stuti 2 - या श्रद्धा-धारणा-मेधा

The one who is Shraddha, Dharana, intelligence, divinity of speech and dear to the Creator Brahma. She is the one who resides at the tongue-tip of devotees and is the giver of inner strengths like control, restraint, calmness, non-violence. || 2 ||

Shraddha is usually translated as faith and then misunderstood as religion. Shraddha is a reverence, respect for something. Like a child should have for parents, a devotee to the divine, a student to the teacher. It does not mean slavery or blind following, but a reverence for things gone before, ancestors who contributed to the world. It is a single word so alien to the modern times of skepticism, questioning for the sake of it and of individualism to the point of solitary self-confinement.

Without sharddha (shraddhA), you gain nothing, you learn nothing. No matter who we are, whenever we have grown, it is because we had some reverence for the person who gave us the growth. Be it eating our dinner with the faith that mother won't harm, or leaning in school that teacher won't tell wrong things. Maybe not the absolute truth, but the best possible truths. When we are driving, we have faith people will follow the rules (at least in the US). If we doubt everything, we will not survive.

Dharana (dhAraNA) is the ability to hold, contain, memory or focus, concentration.

See the sequence - faith, memory, intelligence, speech. When we have faith, then we learn and grow. Then we need the memory and focus to be able to hold what we have observed or learned. With intelligence we need to process that to make it of use, to deduce the future, be it inventions or foresight or forecast. And then, how do we relate it to others? Through speech. Before that, before observing, holding, processing - speech is just babbling. She is the favorite of the Creator Brahma (brahmA).

She sits on the tip of the tongue of devotees. What does it mean? One, that she enables her devotees to be intelligent speakers, communicators, but also that her devotees praise her. Who is she again? Not the four armed, swan riding woman, but she is the ability to observe, grasp, retain, process and communicate. These things make people wise, and wise people always praise these things.

She gives the various personality traits of inner strength. Body strength is one, but the strength of the mind is more amazing and rare. Self-control, self-restraint, forgiveness, purity of thought, not hurting others, not coveting - some of the yama-niyama of Yoga. Wisdom gives that. Intelligence gives that. When people really apply their intelligence without selfish interest, they can see that self-restraint is the only way out. Earlier the choice was limited, today it is limitless, and unless you control yourself with your eating, internet use, mobile use, addiction etc. you are doomed.

Watch out for more shloka-s from Saraswati Stuti coming up.

And now the language aspects -

या श्रद्धा-धारणा-मेधा-वाग्देवी-विधिवल्लभा ।
भक्त-जिह्वाग्र-सदना शमादि-गुण-दायिनि ॥२॥

yā śhraddhā-dhāraṇā-médhā-vāgdévī-vidhi-vallabhā ।
bhakta-jihvāgra-sadanā śhamādi-guṇa-dāyini ॥2॥

yA shraddhA-dhAraNA-medhA-vAgdevI-vidhi-vallabhA ।
bhakta-jihvAgra-sadanA shamAdi-guNa-dAyini ॥2॥

yA = one who
shraddhA = faith, reverence, respect
dhAraNA = retention, memory, concentration
medhA = intelligence
vAgdevI = divinity of speech
vidhi-vallabhA = dear (vallabhA) to the Creator brahmA
bhakta = devotee
jihvAgra = at the tip (agra) of the tongue (jihvA)
sadanA = one who makes a home (sadana)
shamAdi = shama etc. (shama, dama, dhairya etc.)
guNa = qualities
dAyini = giver

(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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