Tuesday, June 15, 2010

don't skip a meal, bath, helping or meditation - शतं विहाय भोक्तव्यं

for eating, leave aside hundred tasks, for bath leave a thousand.
for charity leave aside hundred thousand, and meditate, leaving aside ten million.

shataM vihAya bhoktavyaM, sahasraM snAnamAcharet ।
lakShaM vihAya dAtavyaM, koTiM tyaktvA hariM bhajet ।।

शतं विहाय भोक्तव्यं, सहस्रं स्नानमाचरेत् ।
लक्षं विहाय दातव्यं, कोटिं त्यक्त्वा हरिं भजेत् ॥

śataṃ vihāya bhoktavyaṃ, sahasraṃ snānamācaret ।
lakṣaṃ vihāya dātavyaṃ, koṭiṃ tyaktvā hariṃ bhajet ॥

we are all busy, even though there have only been 24 hours in our days forever. well, a few minutes here and there since 10000 years, due to some physics rules that we gain/lose some minutes from the orbit around the sun, but that is besides the point.

so what do we prioritize? among the activities in our day, like reading email, jogging with the headphone blaring in our eardrums, the favorite TV show, weekly mall pilgrimage, tennis game, the list goes on. and we didn't even start at the work list!

here is a different look at the list for a holistic wellness, of us and our society.

no matter what happens, don't skip a meal. specially the breakfast. it is called breakfast for a reason. you are breaking the fast of the whole night. unless you are somnaphagist (one who sleep eats at night to wonder in the morning, why the milk is outside!). the body has rhythm, for eating and sleeping. and i am sure the shloka was short, or else the sleeping would have been included as well.

timely food and if possible, good food, will take care of your health half way through. good food acts as medicine as well, if you choose it properly. most properly cooked indian meals are half medicinal - cumin, turmeric, garlic, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, ... in every freshly cooked meal - three times a day.

after all, what are we earning for? what is making this whole world go abuzz every morning? search for food. half the population will be happily sitting gazing at the stars if it was not for food!

so, leave aside hundred tasks, the email, phone, TV and eat your meal.

hygiene has been a unique part of indian thinking from time immemorial. bathing and washing is an integral part of it. being a hot country also must have influenced the thinking. but it was more the hygiene. traditionally, you do your morning routine, bathe, pray then only you can eat anything. many people even keep silence till the entire morning chore is not over which ends at breakfast.

washing your body is very important. morning is also a good time. dead skin cells need to be removed. dust and pollutants from the day's work should be washed in the evening bath if you can afford. there are mantras to chant while bathing, remembering the seven rivers of india (ga~NgA, yamunA, godAvarI, saraswatI, narmadA, sindhu, kAverI) and thus doing a small pilgrimage to all seven of them in your short bath itself! talk about time management!

kAmasUtra says that one of the important things an urbanite should do is to brush teeth, shower with fragrant waters, and apply talcom power, deodorants, and other makeup. of course, the makeup material was all 110% organic then, with no side effects!

leave aside thousand tasks, don't skip the shower.

dAtavyam - as if giving is a duty, that feeling. with such feeling one should give. and as per a prior shloka (gItA 17-20) one must give at the right time, place and person without expectation. so, one should give.

whenever there is a chance to help someone, one should take it. this is good for the society, if everyone tries to help others. "nara-sevA nArAyaNa-sevA", i.e. service to human, is service to god. never miss the chance, specially if it comes your way.

leave aside a hundred thousand things, and help someone. this will keep your ego and heart in proper place.

today, the rage is all about meditation and chanting. meditation in its simplest form is being with yourself. starts with being with your thoughts, then going beyond, being without thoughts.

but this being with yourself is important. it rejuvenates you. helps you sort thoughts out. it of course requires that you not be afraid of your thoughts. all good leaders, successful people need time out for themselves.

devotees call it hari-bhajana (prayer), thinkers call it reflection, doers call it planning, whatever. but this daily reflection, suggested traditionally through three daily sandhyA - morning, afternoon and evening - was a time out from the mad rush of the day. imagine, "mad rush of the day" back then! they had no idea what is mad, and what is rush!

but anyway, don't skip chance to be with yourself, specially the few minutes to reflect.

eat, keep clean, help others, and reflect.

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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

shataM = (to) hundred (second vibhakti)

vihAya = leaving behind, disregarding, setting aside.

bhoktavyaM = for eating; what must be eaten; meal time.
other words, bhoga = consumption, eating
bhoktA = consumer
upabhoktA adhikAra = consumer right
sambhoga = consume together, usually means intercourse.

sahasraM = thousand

snAnamAcharet = snAnam + Acharet
snAnam = bathing
Acharet = should do, follow, practice

lakShaM = hundred thousand. counting in indian system goes in multiples of hundres. thousand = sahasra, hundred thousand = lakSha, hundred lakSha = koTi, etc.

dAtavyaM = for giving; what must be given; charity
dA = to give

koTiM = crore, hundred lakSha, ten million

tyaktvA = leaving aside
tyAga = sacrifice, giving up
tyakta = that which is given up

hariM = to god (specifically viShNu)

bhajet = should pray

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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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  1. Hello Sir, this is a very nice article to start the day with. As kids, we were told these very words at home. Now reading it in ur blog today reminded me of my childhood days, thank U :-)

  2. thank you sudeepa for taking the time to give feedback. it is important for any 'performer' :) writer, singer, dancer, ... how is the audience getting it, is it useful or just literary exercise.

    you can drop the sir, this is a informal place on the net, not a formal lecture, class or Ashram :) first name is just fine.

  3. Lovely! Thank you so much,

  4. This is the first time I entered into the blog -- to be totally absorbed in the blog for more than 6 hours to read of course 50% of the postings. You are doing a very great job. i have informed to some of my yahoo groups like oppiliappan@yahoogroups.com, srirangasri@yahoogroups.com etc. Will you kindly explain in detail (for the new comers like myself) how to type sanskrit directly either here or on other applications like MS word etc? what is the keyboard used? what unicode fonts will be most suitable? etc

  5. वेदप्रकाशः

    उत्तमः प्रयोगः कल्पितः अनेन जालगतेन(blog द्वारा)।
    श्लाघनीयोऽयं प्रयत्नः ।


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