Sunday, February 5, 2012

Be Happy. Be Healthy. See the good. - सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः

सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ॥

sarvé bhavantu sukhinaḥ , sarvé santu nirāmayāḥ |
sarvé bhadrāṇi pashyantu , mā kashchid_duḥkha-bhāg-bhavét || [IAST]

sarve bhavantu sukhinaH , sarve santu nirAmayAH |
sarve bhadrANi pashyantu , mA kashchid_duHkha-bhAg-bhavet || [ITRANS]

All should/must be happy, be healthy, see good; 
may no one have a share in sorrow.

The mantra, or shloka has 4 parts or phrases. The first three have the same format - "All a-must/should-verb an-adjective"

Notice the bhavantu, santu, pashyantu? They are all 'must/should' form of the verb.
'sarve' means all. So this is about all. 'bhavantu sukhinaH' means all should/must be happy. 'sukhi' means comfortable, without sorrow, happy. And 'bhavantu means 'they should/must be [happy]'.

Similarly for santu (must be) and pashyantu (must see).

With all these three, the idea is you should.must be happy, itis something under your control, you have to act on these.

But the last one 'bhavet' is a wishful dictate - 'May you'. This is what should happen (ideal, imperative) and may this happen.

Why so? Read on.

Be Happy.
You choose to be happy. It is a reaction to a situation, but you can make it a state of mind as well. You can be sad, depressed, angry, jealous or just be yourself - happy. The basic states of the divine and all of us are -' sat-chit-Ananda', that is, to be, to be aware and to be happy/blissful. That is our normal state. Children are usually happy, sometimes even for no reason. All they need is food and sleep and they are happy. Unless they meet a grumpy grown up! But if you are not happy now, just remember your childhood. Most of us have happy memories of our childhood.

No one else can make you happy. Even when 'bad' events happen, it is our attachment, our ignorance of the big play of Time, that we choose to be not happy. Don't say "So and so made me unhappy, or angry." Say, "I chose to be unhappy or angry in reaction to this or that situation." If you watch the nature documentaries about the animal kingdom, you find that the same basic tragedies happen to the animals as to us. We have compounded them by adding abstract pains and worries as well. Birth, death, meeting and separating keeps happening. That is what Krishna (kRiShNa, कृष्ण) says in Gita (gItA, गीता) - "Ups and downs come and go, bear them O Arjun."

Be Healthy.
Our natural state is of health. You may point out birth defects, and yes that is an exception. But rarely you find a life form unhealthy, unless they have just fought with an opponent. Bulls gore each other during the mating season, and that is the only injuries to an animal not yet hunted. Otherwise, they are all healthy.

We on the other hand, have made bad choices in our life style and started to fall ill. Too much sugar in our diet, which was never in abundance in nature. Too much food as such for the 'haves', and no food for the 'have-nots', causing illness in both groups. The obesity epidemic in US is just one example of what we can do to ourselves by bad choices.

The Sanskrit word for healthy is 'svastha' स्वस्थ - sva-stha - self-positioned, that is, one who is centered in Self, the natural state. That is everyone who survived the first few years of life is destined to be healthy. Even in modern medicine, when we think the doctor is helping with the medicine, the medicine mostly only controls the symptoms to ease our discomfort and helps the body heal itself. The body knows. It is us who don't listen to the signals due to our weakness of determination and make bad choices.

See the good.
As the saying goes - It is all in the attitude. If you want to see the bad, there is plenty. If you want to see the good, there is plenty too. It does not mean to turn a blind eye on evil, or where you can really improve. But don't just focus on the negative. See the positive also.

If you see only the negative in others and make their life miserable by constant nagging - what do you achieve with that? It doesn't help the person improve. And if your goal is not to help improve the other person then why even bother. And, sometimes things are beyond control. In which case you have to let go of the negative. A handicap person will not become able if you don't see beyond the handicap and focus on the positives, on what can-be, rather on what is-not.

All the above are under your control, they are within your will power. You choose the above.

Hence the dictate, the order is - "You must [choose to] be happy, you must [choose to] be healthy, you must [choose to] see the good."

May no one have sorrow.
There are three ways that 'duHkha' can come. The words are not exactly translatable without losing some other shades of the meaning. 'tApa' (ताप) or heat (tApa-mAna = temperature) also means that which scorches you, that which you endure. It also means sorrow, which scorches the heart. There are three sources of this sorrow/calamity/bad-state - self-inflicted (AdhyAtmika, आध्यात्मिक), inflicted by others (Adhi-bhautika, आधि-भौतिक) and caused by (super-)natural forces (Adhi-daivika, आधि-दैविक).

The "shAntiH, shAntiH, shAntiH" (शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ) at the end of a shAntiH pATha is not for 'three is a charm' but for these three types of sorrows to be calmed.

Since there is the 'other' factor here, there is the blessing that may no one have a share in sorrow. duHkha-bhAg is one who has a share in sorrow. So the blessing/wish goes - "May no one be a one-who-gets-a-share-in-sorrow."

So, unlike popularly understood, it is not 'May you be happy, healthy...'. No, you are hereby ordered (you should/must) to be happy, healthy ...

You have no choice now!

You are 'it' - the happy, healthy, nice person! You have been tagged!

Here is a very old mantra that is not only hip for today's times, it is actually the stark reality facing us. Not many of us realize the truth of this dictate-cum-blessing from the ancient seers.

Happiness, health and attitude are in our own hands.

Get up and be.

And now the language aspects -

sarve = all
bhavantu = become (as in 'you should/must become', 'bhavati' = happens)
sukhinaH = happy, without sorrow, comfortable.
santu = should/must 'asti' (is)
nirAmayAH = without (nir) sickness (Amaya)
bhadrANi = nice, good, (plural). from bhadra = gracious, good, fortunate.
pashyantu = should/must see. pashyati (sees).
mA = not
kashchit = anyone/someone [kashit kAntA = some girl]

duHkha-bhAg = one who has a share in sorrow
duHkha = sorrow, pain
bhAg = share, or the who has a share in (from this comes bhAgya = destiny, your share of the future)

bhavet = should happen

(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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  1. Wonderful comment, Mahendra, Munich, Germany

  2. please write here sources of the mantras. because without sources his low weighting is directed. so please write source of all mantras.

  3. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Namaste from Argentina

  4. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Namaste from Argentina

  5. Can we have this mantra in audio format..?

  6. very use full in present style of teaching where no teacher is available with proper knowledge of Sanskrit, & Sanskrit is the base of all languages which should be taught from the early age & properly to make the base of kids or vidharthi strong for any language.


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