Monday, January 25, 2010

Subhashitani - Quotable Quotes, words of wisdom...

It was when I entered my 5th grade, that I was introduced to Samskrit. Until then we had been learning Hindi and Tamil as second language.. To begin with, it felt as though we were just boning up the verses, and thought it was just a challenge for our memory.. But gradually as we started learning complex grammer, poems, shlokas, stories from Ramayan, Raghuvamsha etc.., we were taught with the analysis, grammer and translation of some of those great compositions. I was fortunate to have experienced teachers (Pt. Sankara Shastri, Smt.Shyamaa Mukundan, and Pt.N.Srinivasan), who put in a lot of their time and energy in explaining the grammer and meaning. Even though we were learning Tamil and Hindi at school, Sanskrit became my passion.. When I switched from Matriculation to Stateboard in high school, I chose to pick Sanskrit as my second language. I simply fell in love with this wonderful language for the entire construct, rules of grammar, and juxtaposition of words.. Sanskrit is truly India's gift to the world (and not just in the context of it being touted as the best one for computers to understand). My personal interest stimulated me to study Sanskrit by taking up some after school programs. And with the motivation from my mom, I went thru Balabodh, Prarambha, Pravesha exams from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. After my high school, I had to focus on my graduation, and slowly I had to drift away from my Sanskrit classes. Every now and then, when I browse through the web, it is amazing to see there are so many people out there who are contributing to the revival of this Language.
Quotable quotes, called as “Subhashitani”, are two-line Sanskrit verses that teach ethics and values, through the use of similies. Similies are extensively used in Sanskrit literature because it is easier to drive home the simple truths and facts of life, and they help break down complex philosophy in a manner that an ordinary person can understand. Even though I learnt them almost 20 years ago, I still remember some of theese verses, called as the "words of Wisdom". Some I had forgotten over the years, and I could gather the words/meanings from the web. Thanks to the internet world!
Here are some of the Subhashitani, with explanantion given below for each of them.

1) aho durjana sa.nsargAt.h mAna hAniH pade pade |
pAvakaH loha sa.ngena mudgaraiH abhitADyate ||

Meaning :
O, in the company of evil men, one's respect is hurt at every step. Gold in the company of iron gets struck by the mallet.

2) aachaaryaat.h paadam.h aadatte, paadaM shishhyaH svamedhayaa |
paadaM sabrahmacharibhyaH, paadaM kaalakrameNa cha ||

A fourth of knowledge is obtained from the teacher, a fourth
due to the student's own intellect, a fourth from his friends and
classmates, and the remaining fourth from experience.

3) Vajradapi kthorani mRidani kusumadapi

lokoktaraNaam chetansi ko hi vijnaatumarhati

Meaning : The minds of the great ones cannot be easily judged because it is harder than diamond and softer than flowers.

4)praarbhyate na khalu vighna bhayena niicheeha

aarabhyavighna vihataaha virmanti madyaha

vighnai puna punarpi pratihanyamaanaa

praarabhyamuktamajanaa na parityajanti

Meaning : The people of lower category willnot start the work at all because of obstacles, where as the middle category people will start the work and leave when the obstacles come, but the people of upper category will never leave the work in between what so ever the obstacles that will come in the way and they will finish the work at any cost.

5) naabhisheko na sanskara singhasya kriyate vane

vikramarjita satvasaya svameva mRigendrataa

Meaning : Nobody has crowned the lion in the forest formally as a king, the lion has acquired this position by virtue of its power.

6) SulabhaaH puruuShhaH loke satatam priyavaadinaH
apriyasya ch pathyasya vakataa shrotaa ch durlabhaaH

Meaning : In this world there are many people who talk pleasingly always.
but people who admonish sternly for well being are rare and listeners are rare too.

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