Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the four enemies in the family - ऋणकर्ता पिता शत्रुः

debt giving father is enemy, and mother of loose character.
a beautiful wife is enemy, enemy is a foolish son.

RiNa-kartA pitA shatrur_mAtA cha vyabhichAriNI |
bhAryA rUpavatI shatruH, putraH shatrur_apaNDitaH ||

ऋणकर्ता पिता शत्रुर्माता च व्यभिचारिणी ।
भार्या रूपवती शत्रुः पुत्रः शत्रुरपण्डितः ॥

the king sudarshana, in the preface of hitopadeshaH, out on a stroll had heard two shlokas that set him thinking about the foolish, young, wealthy and powerful sons. after all he had to leave the kingdom to them one day!

debtor father
father is one who protects, shelters, helps in growing to full potential, guides.
in mahAbhArata, when the yakSha asks pANDava prince yudhiShThira - "who is more bearing (patient) than the earth, higher (greater) than sky, more than grass blades and faster than wind?" and yudhiShThira says - "mother is more bearing (patient) than earth, father is higher/greater than sky, worries are more than the grass blades and the mind (manas, imagination) is faster than the wind."

such is the role of the father. we feel protected, secure, in good hands with father. on his shoulder, or holding his finger, or going to the market, using his cycle/bike/car/phone for the first time, ... what all memories we make!

and then we find out he has left behind a good amount of debt. for us to pay it off! and how such a dad is despised. we thought he was working for our future, but he was enjoying his present at out cost! well known are the harms caused by an abusive father.

when we apply this to other role models that are equated to father, this becomes very clear. the king, leader, today's government are akin to father to the people, followers, citizens. when george bush junior left US economy in major deficit, didn't the people feel cheated? angry? as a leader, he should have taken the country forward, not backward!

when Satyam Computer scandal erupted in indian IT giant (2009), how did people feel about raju, the CEO? that he let them down! same thing with Enron scandal. didn't people feel betrayed as if father figures, the leaders, who were supposed to be taking care of the interests of the employees, simply swindled them for the entire life's worth.

same things applies when we think about leaving this earth to the next generation. as parents to the next generation, what are we leaving for them? a huge debt of environment? would they love us for this? sure, each parent will blame the rest of the society, but the next generation will curse the whole of this generation, who out of self-greed and consumption is fast turning the planet in an unlivable place.

such a father, who leaves behind debt is like an enemy because rather than making the world a better place for the next generation, he leaves it worse off.

the concept of debt seems new, along with the credit cards, and loan sharks of US a common dreaded feature till a few decades back. like many other places it was in indian society as well. abstract debt was at many levels - debt to ancestors, divine, teachers, human race, which were paid off respectively by begetting offspring, rituals, study, being productive.

there were debts taken to pay off another debt - RiNa + RiNam = RiNArNam (ऋण + ऋणं = ऋणार्णम् )
reminds of revolving credit, eh? borrow from here to give it there.

then the concepts of interest, algebra, multiplication tables of 1.25 etc and complicated formulae of compound interest shows how badly the society was into exploiting the needy!

licentious mother
a mother of loose character is a matter of shame. mother is always held in high esteem. and a married woman for sure has much more expectations to meet than a married man. while even the father should have a good character, for women it is everything. the whys are a separate topic of discussion.

beautiful wife
here it is not to be taken in the sense of enemy enemy, but more like a cause of trouble and extra concern. extremely beautiful women were and are targets by other men, be it on lonely streets or raunchy bars or a new year party at a friend. many eye her, many vie for her, and the very reason kAmasUtra has an entire chapter on how to entice others' wives is more for the reader to be aware when someone may be playing the tricks in his house! hence, one should choose beauty in proportion to one's power to protect!

foolish son
the parents have responsibilities towards the children, including their education. and if the children remain foolish, it reflects on the parents in two ways. either their genetic code was not good enough to give good hardware (brains, body) to the children, or more importantly, their bringing up of the children was not good enough to give a good environment of learning.

so whether the children remain foolish due to the parents' fault or the child's negligence, the father gets the blame for the son's foolishness, for it is the father who is responsible for the son's education. and mother for the daughter's grooming. so, when the bride doesn't know something, her mother-in-law will scold - "didn't your mother teach you this?" but when the son makes mistake, they say - "is that what your father taught you?"

so a foolish son weakens the reputation of the father, for it is a living proof of the failure of the father to make the children able and wise.

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

RiNa-kartA = RiNa + kartA = one who does/creates/leaves behind debt
RiNa = debt
kartA = one who does
other words of RiNa -
uRiNa = free of debt
RiNArNam = RiNa + RiNam = debt taken to pay off other debt

pitA = father. [from pitRi] compare with 'pater', 'father', 'padre', 'patri' etc of european languages

shatrur_mAtA = shatruH + mAtA
shatruH = enemy
mAtA = mother. [from mAtRi] compare mater, mother, madre, matri of european languages
cha = and
vyabhichAriNI = of loose character.
vi+abhi+char = one who strays off the path.
char = to move, wander

bhAryA = wife

rUpavatI = rUpa + vatI
rUpa = form. not abstract. beauty
-vatI = as a feminine suffix, denotes one who has
e.g. mAna-vatI = one with pride
rUpa-vatI = one with beauty
guNa-vatI = one with guNa, virtues, qualities

putraH = son

shatrur_apaNDitaH = shatruH + a-panDitaH
shatruH = enemy
panDita = wise
a-panDita = un-wise

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


  1. Wonderfully written. I just read the post. Really enjoyed it. I have your blog in my google reader. Keep writing.

  2. Excellent post. Even i enjoyed reading it. Please continue the good work

  3. Joshi sahab, well explained

  4. amazing ...thoroughly enjoyed it....
    Raman Handa
    Feb 12,Mahashivratri 2010

  5. एक ही सूत्र के दो रुप उपलब्ध क्यों हैं ?
    ऋण कर्ता पिता शत्रु :, माता च व्यभिचारिणी /
    अविनीता रिपुर्भार्या , पुत्र : शत्रु : अपण्डित: //
    चाणक्य नीति में :
    "ऋणकर्ता पिता शत्रुर्माता च व्यभिचारिणी ।
    भार्या रूपवती शत्रुः पुत्रः शत्रुरपण्डितः ॥"
    दूसरे में, ’अविनीता’ शब्द का प्रयोग नहीं किया गया है, और रुपवती भार्या को शत्रु बना दिया गया है ?
    इस तरह के अनगिनत अपभ्रंश सनातन साहित्य में किये गये हैं !


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