Friday, April 3, 2020

Perseverance, effort, enthusiasm is the greatest power!

On April 3rd, 2020, Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, addressed the nation a second time since the nationwide lock down due to the unprecedented situation of the pandemic of Novel Corona virus or Covid19. He also used a Sanskrit shloka in his speech.

A short background leading up to this speech maybe helpful.

On 19th March, the PM asked the country to observe a voluntary curfew, called 'Janata curfew' or "People's Curfew" on 22nd March, from 7 am to 9 pm. He also asked the people to make noise at 5 pm, by banging steel plates, or blowing conch, whistles etc to acknowledge and thank the people serving at the front - doctors, nurses, medical staff, police, sanitation workers, delivery people and other essential services who were risking their lives by being at the front line and serving the rest of society. This 'ritual' was to bring about awareness among the people about the front line workers and about the importance of the pandemic.

After this, from 24th March onward, India has been under a lock down for 21 days.

For a country like India, with 1.3 billion people, of all faiths, mental maturity, age, type, it is not easy that everyone gets the message and its urgency. The govt and the relevant people are doing the best they can under the circumstances, and so far India has handled the situation very maturely and with great results. Hope this remains going further as well. There are many sites and social media outlets with latest information about the pandemic, govt steps, etc. Govt India site, John Hopkins etc.

After ten days, the Prime Minister spoke to the nation on the 3rd of April. Many were expecting serious announcements. The relevant departments are being updated with the necessary details. What the people need is also a feeling of being together, not feeling down or depressed or let down. In such times, when doing nothing is doing everything (stay put at home), how do you connect with the people and keep their morale up?

The PM gave a touching hope filled speech, addressing not just the urban few, but the rural many. Many in the villages, second and third tier cities and towns. India, the ocean and land of rituals. Where every important thing has a ritual associated with it.

He asked everyone that on 5th April, Sunday, to light a lamp, shine a flashlight etc at 9 PM for 9 mins from their balconies or main door. Not to disobey social disobedience.

India has a long tradition of ritual of lighting the lamp. From the famous 'Lead me from darkness to light' (तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय, tamaso ma jyotirgamaya), to the lamp lighting ceremony in the beginning of any important function or gathering - lighting the lamp is very important, and every person of the land understands this symbolism.

In these times of national lock down and possibly feeling helpless, he cited a Sanskrit shloka to urge people to keep their hopes high, enthusiasm up. The media reported 'The Prime Minister recited the Sanskrit shloka from the Mahasubhasitasamgraha, a collection of Sanskrit aphorisms collected from various sources.' But the source of the shloka was not mentioned. A collection doesn't compose the shloka, just compiles it.

The shloka is from Ramayana, Kishkindhakanda, sarga 1, shloka 121.

In the previous section, the story narrated that Rama and Lakshmana were wandering in the forest looking for any clues for Rama's wife Sita, who was kidnapped. When they fought and killed Kabandha, a rakshas, he suggested that they go to Kishkindha and find Sugreeva, who can help them. Right after this they meet Shabari as well.

Kishkindha kanda starts with Rama at Pampa sarovara. And he starts talking to Lakshmana, sharing is yearning for his dear Sita:
"See these forests enriched with flowers; these flowers already fallen, in fall, and still on the trees, the wind is playing with the flowers. When the wind shakes the flower laden branches and moves ahead, the bumblebees also follow it humming in its praise. The caves are singing in high notes (the wind blowing in the cave mouth), the cuckoo sings in accompaniment, and looks like the wind is teaching the trees to dance. The breeze that blows through the mountain sandalwood is so fragrant, and remove the fatigue. It seems the trees - whose branches have flowers at their tips, and bees seems like their turbans, and are swaying - have started to dance and sing as well (after being trained by the wind). All this just adds to my anguish of separation from Sita. The water fowl singing happily near the waterfall, Sita loved to listen to it. She would call me as well to listen to it. 
Looks like this Spring in the form of fire will burn me inside. The red Ashoka flowers are its amber, new buds are its flames, and the bumblebees are the crackle of the fire. If I can't see my Sita again, what is the purpose of this life? These peacocks are dancing so happily enticing the peahens, seem to be mocking me. This Spring must be also where Sita is. How will she bear the torture of separation? She is so soft spoken, young, loves me so much, I am afraid she may not survive being away from me. 
See, Lakshmana, the red lotuses all over Pampa, appear like morning Sun. What all things I loved when with Sita, all of them appear distasteful now. The lotus petals remind me of her eyes. The thick beds of flowers fallen on the ground appears like a soft royal bed. 
Oh! The lotus-eyed, delicate, daughter of Janaka, my dear Sita - how must she be holding on to her life breath without me! Lakshmana, when the righteous and just king Janaka will ask me about Sita in the gathering of people, what will answer him? (about safety of Sita). 
Oh! When I was exiled by father's order, the one who accompanied me out of her sense of dharma, that my dear Sita, where is she right now? Upon going back to Ayodhya (after the exile term is over), when queen Kausalya asks about her daughter in law, what should I tell her?
Lakshmana, you go. You go back to Ayodhya and meet dear brother Bharata. I can't live without Sita now."

Seeing the great Rama, his brother, mourn like a helpless man, Lakshmana spoke thus:
O best among men Rama! May good be unto you. Please regain composure. Get hold of yourself.
The intellect of a great man like you should not be devoid of enthusiasm. "Everyone has to bear the sorrow of separation from dear ones" - remembering this you should shed excess sneha (affection); because even a damp wick, if immersed in enough sneha (oil, the other meaning of sneha) will start to burn.
If Ravana has gone to nether worlds, or even further, he won't be able to live for long anyways. O Noble Rama, you should have dhairya (patience, forbearance). Abandon these thoughts of a weakling. If someone's wealth or effort is wasted, if they don't put effort enthusiastically, then they won't accomplish their goals.
O Noble sir (Rama), Enthusiasm is very powerful. There is nothing more powerful than enthusiasm. Verily, there is nothing unattainable in this world for the enthusiast.

Shloka in Devanagari:
उत्साहो बलवानार्य नास्त्युत्साहात् परं बलम् ।
सोत्साहस्य हि लोकेषु न किञ्चिदपि दुर्लभम् ॥ (रामायण, किष्किन्धाकाण्ड १.१२१)

    उत्साहः बलवान् आर्य न अस्ति उत्साहात् परं बलम् ।
    स-उत्साहस्य हि लोकेषु न किञ्चित् अपि दुर्लभम् ॥

Shloka in IAST:
utsāho balavānārya nāstyutsāhāt paraṃ balam |
sotsāhasya hi lokeṣhu na kiñchidapi durlabham || (rāmāyaṇa - kiṣhikindhā-kāṇḍa 4-1-121)

    utsāhaḥ balavān ārya na asti utsāhāt paraṃ balam |
    sa-utsāhasya hi lokeṣhu na kiñchit api durlabham || (with sandhi break)

Word for word meaning:
उत्साहः बलवान् = utsāhaḥ balavān = enthusiasm [is], powerful
आर्य = ārya = O Noble sir
न अस्ति = na asti = not, is
उत्साहात् = utsāhāt = (more) than enthusiasm
परं बलम् = paraṃ balam = more, power
स-उत्साहस्य हि = sa-utsāhasya hi = of the enthusiast, surely
लोकेषु = lokeṣhu = in the world
न किञ्चित् अपि = na kiñchit api = not, anything, even
दुर्लभम् = durlabham = [is] difficult to attain.

O Noble sir (Rama), Enthusiasm is very powerful. There is nothing more powerful than enthusiasm. Verily, there is nothing unattainable in this world for the enthusiast.

(c) Shashikant Joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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1 comment:

  1. Great article Can you mention some thing about Mantra and its effect on the brain and brain waves


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