Monday, March 28, 2011

Mālatī Flower, Bee and Grass - मालती-गन्ध-गुण-विद्


“The Mālatī-flower-fragrance-excellence-knowing-bee is not interested in darbha grass.”

Once a bee has known the fragrance of the Mālatī flowers, it does not have any more interest in grass blades. Once we know something of better quality, it is difficult to lower our standards. Another popular Hindi verse goes – “As the water of wealth grows, so does the lotus of desires, but when the water of wealth goes down, the lotus of desire does not go down again.”
( बढत-बढत संपत्ति-सलिल मन-सरोज बढि जाय । 
घटत-घटत पुनि ना घटे बरु समूल कुमलाय ॥ 
baḍhata-baḍhata sampatti-salila, mana-saroja baḍhi jāya ।
ghaṭata-ghaṭata puni nā ghaṭé, baru samūla kumalāya ॥ )

Think about a Mercedes or a Toyota, a Sony LED TV, a Canon SLR, a Bose speaker or an iPhone. We are talking about a quality in its own class. Once you get a taste of it, you cannot even look at other products.

We should realize that the world knows us by our work, deeds. Put full earnest effort in your deeds. It will give you the satisfaction of a job well done, it will be a source of joy to others as well.

Raise the bar on your own work. Does it delight your customers as much as a Sony or a Canon? Can you sell your computer program code on the street, if you are not already a product company? Does it have as easy a documentation as that of a DVD player? Or is it infested with ‘customized features’ that only a few in the team know in their head?

We should raise the bar on our quality and standard of work and taste. We should not remain content with hovering over grass leaves; sometimes rise all the way up to the heavenly fragrance of Mālatī flowers as well. Then you will not only get a high, you will give a high to your 'customers' as well.

Set your standards high.

Language notes:
मालतीगन्धगुणविद्दर्भे न रमते ह्यलिः
= मालती-गन्ध-गुणविद्-दर्भे न रमते हि-अलिः
= mālatī-gandha-guṇavid-darbhé na ramaté hi-aliḥ |

mālatī = variety of Jasmine flower.
gandha = smell, fragrance.
guṇa = characteristic.
-vid = knower.
darbha = the most common grass in India.
darbhé = in the grass.
ramaté = is interested. (enjoys)
aliḥ = bumble-bee, the big black one, not the little yellow honey bee; (technically, one with a sting like a bee or a scorpion)

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  1. Hello,
    can u plz explain to me the meaning of this sanskrit shloka-

    dhyaan dhupam,
    manah pushpam,
    panchendriya hutasanam,
    kshama, jaap, santosh, puja;
    poojo dev niranjanam

    Anand, Gujarat

  2. dhyaan dhupam,
    manah pushpam,
    panchendriya hutasanam,
    kshama, jaap, santosh, puja;
    poojo dev niranjanam

    here a parallel is drawn between the ritual of puja and the actual practice that should correspond with it. usually, we do puja (prayer) with dhUpa (camphor), flowers, fire (of the lamp), jApa (chanting), pUjA (prayer Arati etc).

    the real prayer to the nira~njana (shiva or extrapolated to the supreme divine, nir-a~njana = (that which can not be seen with eyes)) is done by the dhUpa of dhyAna (meditate, focus), flower of manas (desiring faculty), fire of the five senses (like the fire eats what is offered, so do the senses consume what is offered to them), jApa (chanting) of forgiveness and the prayer (pUjA) of contentment (santoSha) - that is the real prayer to teh divine.

    the ritualistic prayer anyone can do, and is many a times done for show as well! but the one done with meditation, full focus (manas), all senses, forgiveness and contentment - is the real prayer!


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