mother is enemy, father is competitor, by whom the child is not educated |
(who) doesn't grace the (august) assembly, as the crane amongst swans||
माता शत्रुः पिता वैरी, येन बालो न पाठितः ।
न शोभते सभामध्ये, हंसमध्ये बको यथा ॥ ०-२९
mAtA shatruH pitA vairI, yena bAlo na pAThitaH |
na shobhate sabhAmadhye, haMsamadhye bako yathA ||
the importance of education has been a hallmark of indian culture and tradition. even today we find indians go abroad to many countries, and no matter where they go, they flourish and thrive and add to the local economy and society. president obama is even asking the american children to stand up and measure up to the indian and chinese students in competition.
education and knowledge have always been important. there are many shlokas on the importance of education itself. and even today, in modern india, when education is fast becoming a business, the thirst of the parent to send the children to good school, or just to school is so strong that now it is sometimes difficult to distinguish which school is good school!
why this importance of education? and what kind of education?
there are two types of "education" - one is to acquire a skill to help in livelihood, the other is a much more in depth study of a topic, with more abstract or far reaching effects. either one, needs education, a trainer, teacher, an environment where one can learn.
so it is not just for the "upper class" engineers, bankers, lawyers, doctors etc. that education is important. even the child of a glass-smith, farmer, factory worker, coal miner needs education. and contrary to modern beliefs that education was only the right of the "upper class", there were types of education and students chose according to their own needs and capacity.
here in this shloka from hitopadesh, of course, the king is thinking about his useless princes who are not worthy yet of being a king. and he is thinking that as a parent it is his responsibility to educate his children, else they will be like crane among swans.
now the shloka at hand:
mAtA = mother, from mAtri, root of word like mother, mader, madri, mater (alma mater), matriarchal, matri-mony
shatruH = enemy
pitA = father, from pitRi, root of words like father, padre, paternal, patri-cide, patriarchal
vairI = opponent, from veera = brave. one who has a posture of bravery against you, as if your opponent, competitor.
so a father who doesn't educate the child, is like a jealous competitor who doesn't want the child to excel the father. and a true father is always happy to see his children excel him, just like a true leader is happy to see his people excel himself.
yena = by whom
bAlo = bAlaH, child, boy
na = not
pAThitaH = (the one who) is educated, taught
shobhate = graces
sabhAmadhye = sabhA + madhye
sabhA = assembly, gathering (of august people)
madhya = center, among, between
madhye = in the center
haMsamadhye = haMsa + madhye
haMsa = swam
bako = bakaH, crane. this is an interesting word.
vaGk (vank) = crooked, a bend in a river course.
[*G is the nasal of the ka-group, sounds like n in gang, slang, sang]
a crane is a crooked bird in design as it dupes the fish and grabs them in its claws.
any person of such nature is called bakaH in sanskrit or "bagulA" in hindi.
there is also the story of the crane and crab!
there is an Asana in yoga named after it, bakAsana.
yathA = as, like
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