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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The world of Valmiki-02

The World of Valmiki-02

1. Society and Culture
2. Knowledge base
3. Statecraft
4. Philosophy, Religion and Code of Conduct
5. Nature
6. Allusions
7. Geography

[Note: At some places I have added short notes (in italics). I generally refer to two commentators Sri. Govindaraja and Sri. Maheswarateertha(Teertha). At the end of a passage the number given refers to Kanda/ sarga/ Sloka.]

1. Society and Culture
1.1.1 Cities and citizen


अयोध्या नाम नगरी तत्रासील्लोकविश्रुता।
मनुना मानवेन्द्रेण या पुरी निर्मिता स्वयम्॥
आयता दश च द्वे च यॊजनानि महापुरी ।
श्रीमती त्रीणि विस्तीर्णा सुविभक्तमहापथा ॥
राजमार्गेण महता सुविभक्तेन शोभिता ।
मुक्तपुष्पावकीर्णेन जलसिक्तॆन नित्यशः ॥
तां तु राजा दशरथो महाराष्ट्रविवर्धनः ।
पुरीमावासयामास दिवं देवपतिर्यथा ॥
कवाटतोरणवतीं सुविभ्क्तान्तरापणाम् ।
सर्वयन्त्रायुधवतीमुपेतां सर्वशिल्पिभिः ।
सूतमागधसम्बाधां श्रीमतीमतुलप्रभाम् ।
उच्चाट्टालध्वजवतीं शतघ्नीशतसंकुलाम् ।
वधूनाटकसंघैश्च संयुक्तां सर्वतः पुरीम् ।
उद्यानाम्रवणोपेतां महतीं सालमेखलाम् ।
दुर्गगम्भीरपरिघां दुर्गामन्यैर्दुरासदाम् ।
वाजिवारणसम्पूर्णाम् गोभिरुष्ट्रैः खरैस्तथा ।
सामन्तराजसंघईश्च बलिकर्मभिरावृताम् ।
नानादेशनिवासैश्च वणिग्भिरुपशोभिताम् ।
प्रासादै रत्नविकृतैः पर्वतैरुपशोभिताम् ।
कूटागारैश्च संपूर्णामिन्द्रस्येवामरावतीम् ।
चित्रामष्टापदाकारां वरनारीगणैर्युताम् ।
सर्वरत्नसमाकीर्णां विमानगृहशोभिताम् ।
गृहगाढामविच्छिद्रां समभूमौ निवेशिताम् ।
शालितण्डुलसंपूर्णामिक्षुकाण्डरसोदकाम् ।
दुन्दुभीभिर्मृदंगैश्च वीणाभिः पणवैस्तथा ।
नादितां भृशमत्यर्थं पृथिव्यां तामनुत्तमाम् ।
विमानमिव सिद्धानां तपसाधिगतं दिवि ।
सुनिवेशितवेश्मान्तां नरोत्तमसमावृताम् ।
ये च बाणैर्नविध्यन्ति विविक्तमपरापरम् ।
शब्दवेध्यं च विततं लघुहस्ता विशारदाः ।
सिंहव्याघ्रवराहाणां मत्तानां नर्दतां वने ।
हन्तारो निशितैः शस्त्रैः बलाद्बाहुबलैरपि ।
तादृशानां सहस्रैस्तामभिपूर्णाम् महारथैः ।
पुरीमावासयामास राजा दसरथस्तदा ॥ १//-२१॥

There stood a city by name Ayodhya, built by Manu himself, the foremost among humankind. Its breadth was twelve yojanas, its length three.The great city which had well formed main roads was adorned by a well formed Royal Avenue, which was constantly sprinkled with water mixed with pearl-like flowers. King Dasaratha, the Great developer of a nation, ruled that city like Indra ruled the city of devas.The city had an entrance door with an arched door-way.The market areas were well formed. The city had all types of mechanical weapons. It was full of sculptors,charioteers and bards. It had festoons on tall mansions. It had hundreds of missiles*. There were drama troupes. All-round it was girdled by a fort full of gardens and mango-groves. It had a surrounding moat, which was deep and difficult to cross. There were in the city horses, elephants, cows, camels and donkeys. There were societies of vassal kings in the city. All around the city were spread the remains of religious offerings. The city was graced by merchants hailing from different countries. Adorned by mountain-like palaces inlaid with gems and full of secret chambers, the city looked like Amaravati of Indra. Thronged by groups of noble women, the richly hued city had the lay-out of a dice-board. Replete with all types of precious stones, the city was made beautiful by multi-storeyed buildings. The city built on a level ground was dense with houses built cheek by jowl. Endowed with plenty of rice and water, sweet like sugar cane, that city, non pareil, reverberated with the sounds of dundubhi, mRudanga and panava drums and the sound of veena. The city which had neatly arranged buildings and was inhabited by the best of people looked as if it was a vimana of Siddhas in the heavens obtained through penance. In that city there were thousands of great warriors (maharatha) who could kill the roaring wild lions, tigers and boars with sharp weapons and even with bare hands. They, who were experts in archery, never shot an arrow at an isolated soldier, a person who could not be seen (but only heard) or a person who neither had parents nor children. King Dasaratha ruled such a city. (1/5/6-22)   

* It is also described as a sort of stone weapon studded with iron spikes.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

The World of Valmiki

The World of Valmiki
A blog-serial
Valmiki’s Ramayan is a multi-layered work. The top most layer is about the physical world which he was familiar with and which he could imagine with verisimilitude. The next layer is the story of Rama, which appeals to anyone who likes a good story. The third layer is as a work of literature, appreciated by an aesthete. The fourth layer is as a didactic work teaching moral conduct and dharma. The innermost layer is as a work of spirituality and religion.

In what follows I only concentrate on the outer most layer, and if you consider it so, “the rind of Ramayana”. Even rind has some uses!

By Valmiki I mean the one who composed Ramayan in Sanskrit, or if you like, Valmiki the poet. If Valmiki makes a reference to a city, it would be foolish not to believe that the city existed during his time or had existed before his time. It would not be very rational to believe that he foresaw future and referred to a city which had not yet been built. We could definitely say that the city existed by the time of Valmiki. If we have other ways of fixing the date of the city it helps us to fix the date of Valmiki. Or, if we have other ways of fixing the date of Valmiki, we could say that the city flourished at his time. It is also possible that the mention of the city is an interpolation done by some mischievous poet who meddled with what Valmiki wrote! What you would finally accept will depend on other external facts which help to fix the date of Valmiki or the date of the city precisely or any fact which proves that the mention of the city is an interpolation. This is a job which a researcher has to do.

What is being attempted here is merely a compilation of all such verses in Valmiki which speak of places, peoples, their mores, customs, cultures and their corpus of knowledge. It also attempts to compile all references to flora and fauna mentioned by Valmiki. In other words, this lists the manner in which Valmiki has attempted to portray what he actually saw, heard or read about the physical world of his time. Hence the title, “The world of Valmiki.” For the benefit of those who may not be familiar enough with Sanskrit to understand the original in Sanskrit, I have provided a simple translation in English which does not claim to be exact or very correct.

Over a period of several years, as I did my daily “Parayan” of Valmiki, I noted down these. What I have collected is basically from the Gorakhpur edition. My collection therefore possibly carries any mistakes and interpolations that exist in the Gorakhpur edition. I have not checked with the critical edition of Ramayan which I am informed is accessible on the internet. It is, therefore  possible that some of the verses do not find a place in the critical edition.

This collection has remained dormant for at least a decade if not more. I would be foolish to believe that I am the first to do this type of compilation on Ramayan, although I have yet to come across such a compilation. Now I am somehow feeling propelled to publish this compilation for what it is worth through this blog-serial on the internet. 
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Subhashita kaustubha in PDF form

The just concluded Subhashitakaustubha of Venkatadhvari with my English translation is now available in PDF form for downloading at
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Subhashitakaustubha (96-101). THE END

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः (९६-१०१)
कृष्णो यच्च जजल्प पिप्पल भवत्तादात्म्यमेवात्मनः
त्वं नम्योऽसि भवदभुवस्त्वरणयस्त्वत्तोऽपि मान्यास्सताम्।
तज्जन्मा तु ततोऽप्युदारमहिमा पूज्यः ऋषिर्यज्वनां
येनैवोपहृतैर्हविर्भिरनघैर्जीवन्ति देवा अपि ॥ ९६ ॥
O Peepul tree, you are to be respected for the reason that Lord Krishna equated you with himself. The virtuous revere the arani stick which originates from you, more than yourself. For the ascetics engaged in Vedic sacrifices, fire which originates from arani is much more to be revered as even Gods live on faultless oblations brought to them by God of Fire. [The poet perhaps implies that what one values depends on ones knowledge. He may also be suggesting that progeny of great persons excel themselves. Arani is the stick made out of Peepul(?) tree which is used to generate fire in a Vedic sacrifice. Is it Peepul or Shami? Scholars may debate.]

प्रायस्त्रस्यति कैतकद्रुम भवत्पार्श्वेऽपि गन्तुं जनः
कश्चित्त्वां यदि कष्टमिष्टकुसुमः क्लेशान् सहन् गाहते ।
आकर्षन्ति तदीयमंशुकममी त्वत्पालिताः कण्टकाः
तत्सोढ्वापि विशन्तमन्तरथ तं हन्तुं भुजङ्गाः स्थिताः ॥ ९७ ॥
O Ketaka tree, people are mostly afraid of even passing by your side. If someone who likes your flowers wades to you bearing much discomfort, the thorns which protect you pull his clothes. There are snakes to kill him if he ventures further bearing your thorns. [ Ketaka is a thorny cactus(?) which bears yellow  oblong flowers with a heady fragrance. ( Taale in Kannada, perhaps Taalam poo in Tamil.)  Girls weave the flowers into their plaits. It is said that snakes live around these trees. What the poet wants to convey depends on the imagination of the reader. An intrepid person bent on achieving his goal has to cross many obstacles. What is the use of an attractive thing or person if it/he/she is virtually unreachable? etc.]  

फलन्तः किंपाकाः प्रतिशरदमेते कटुफला-
न्यसुघ्ना मर्त्यानामहह भुवि जीवन्ति सुचिरम् ।
फलानि स्वादूनि प्रददत इमे पश्य कदली-
द्रुमा विन्दन्त्यायुस्तनु ननु विवेकः क्व नु विधेः ॥ ९८ ॥
These wretched trees, alas, which yield bitter fruits year after year and which cause death to men live long years. Look at these plantain trees which give delicious fruits and have short life. Does Fate have any discrimination? [The poet stresses the well known saying पापी चिरायुः सुकृती गतायुः.]

कामं रुषा पिकमिमं स्वकुलानुरूप-
कर्णापमृत्युनिनदाकरणापराधात् ।
कल्याणभाषिणमहो करुणाविहीन
काक स्वपुष्टमपि कुट्टयसि स्वयं किम् ॥ ९९ ॥
O merciless Crow, why do you angrily peck at this sweet voiced cuckoo which you have yourself brought up because of its fault in not being able to make the ear-killing sound natural to crows?

कौटिल्यं बत सर्वतः कलयतां कर्णज्वरं कल्पय-
त्वाक्रन्दैस्सततं क्रमेलकयुवा श्लाघां तथाप्यर्हति ।
चण्डं कण्टकमण्डलं कबलयन् चापल्यतोऽसौ रदैः
छिन्दन् यः पिचुमन्दवृन्दमपि नो माकन्दमास्कन्दति ॥ १०० ॥
Let the young camel have all round (body) bends; let it create fever of (our) ears with its sounds; even then it deserves praise. While it swallows the sharp thorny plants and tears down swiftly the group of neem trees it leaves the mango tree unharmed. [It indirectly perhaps refers to a harsh king who is merciless but leaves the devout and the learned unharmed.]

भूयोभिर्बहुमानपूर्वमवनीपालेन विश्राणितै-
राहारैः परिपूरितोदर इभस्तृप्यत्यनायासतः।
अत्यल्पोदर एष पश्य मशको हा हन्त नक्तं दिवं
हेयाहारलवेच्छया कटु रटत्यष्टासु काष्ठास्वपि ॥ १०१ ॥
The elephant fills its belly, without any difficulty, with food bestowed by the king through repeated entreaties. Look at this mosquito with a tiny stomach which alas makes noise in all directions with the desire of a little of food fit to be abandoned. [The poet compares the royal and dignified way of an elephant with the despicable way of a mosquito in the matter of consuming food.]
॥ इति आत्रेयवेङ्कटाचार्ययज्वनः कृतिषु सुभाषितकौस्तुभे
सङ्कीर्णपद्धतिः पञ्चमी ॥
Thus ends the fifth section dealing with the miscellaneous in Subhashitakaustubha among the works of
Atreya Venkatacharyayajva.
|| समाप्तः सुभाषितकौस्तुभः ॥
वेङ्कटाध्वरिकवेरियं कृतिः नागराजकृतया सुटीकया ।
शोभिताङ्ग्लवचसा कृताधुना वेङ्कटेशकृपया यथामति ॥
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Subhashita kaustubha (91-95)

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः (९१-९५)
दोषोन्मेषोद्भावकस्य क्षयिष्णोः
राज्ञस्सेवां ये चिरादाचरन्ति ।
रात्रौ रात्रौ हन्त तुल्यं चकोरैः
पादग्रासं केवलं ते लभन्ते ॥ ९१ ॥
Those who serve a king for long, who gets agitated by even a small fault and who is getting weakened steadily will only receive every night only a mouthful of his feet like chakora birds which receive during night only a mouthful of moon’s rays (पाद) by serving the moon who brightens up the opening of the night (दोषा) and who gets weakened steadily. [The poet contrives a simile based on a few double-meaning words he has chosen to use. It is an oft-repeated poetic myth that  Chakora birds live on moon’s rays. The idea he wants to convey is that it is futile to serve a bad master. ]

येषां बुद्धिर्हन्त मेषाविशेषा ।
भाषा वेषा ज्यौतिषं पैशुनं वा
तेषां चेतोरञ्जने साधनानि ॥ ९२ ॥
Those who are far away from the ability to discriminate right and wrong have the intellect of a sheep. Their instruments for recreation are (funny) talking, (funny) dresses, astrology and depravity.[Note the alliteration- repetitive use of षा- in the verse.]

मात्सर्यं विनिवार्य दूषणकृतो मातुश्च मीमांसिते
वात्सल्ये जननीजनात् तदधिकं वाचाटके दृश्यते ।
मध्येकृत्य मृदं मलानि हरते माता सशङ्कं शिशोः
निश्शङ्कं निजजिह्वयैव हरते नानामलं दूषकः ॥ ९३ ॥
If we compare the type of affection shown by a mother and a person who finds faults with others, we find that affection shown by the latter is greater. Mother handles the refuse of her child by taking it between mud with hesitation, whereas a person who finds faults with others handles all sorts of faults (refuses) of others with his tongue without any hesitation. [This is a sarcastic remark against persons who criticize others freely.]  

विपद्यप्युग्रायां न ददति विगीते पथि पदं
प्रकृत्या सत्याभिर्विदधति च वाग्भिर्व्यवहृतिम् ।
प्रतिज्ञातं धर्मं न जहति तदेतत् सुमनसां
पवित्रं चारित्र्यं न खलु विषयो वाङ्मनसयोः ॥ ९४ ॥
Wise persons do not take the wrong step even in times of crisis. By nature, they interact through truthful speech. They do not swerve from the promised dharma. Their pious conduct is beyond speech and thought.

धन्यंमन्यमिह प्रसर्पति जनः प्रायो धनायोदय-
क्षुभ्यद्दुर्भगबर्बटीकुचतटीशाटीदशाटीकनैः ।
जानात्येव न तद् भविष्यदचिरात् कीनाशसूनाशतं
तद्भीत्या तु शतेषु कोऽपि रमते नारायणाराधने ॥ ९५ ॥
People flock to a person who considers himself blessed by touching the edge of the garment covering the breasts of a cursed dancing girl who gets excited by the prospect of some income. So they do not know the numerous killing houses of Yama, the God of death that future holds for them. It is only one in a hundred that indulges in worshipping Narayana fearing death. [The poet gets led away in his versifying a simple thought that most people drift towards worldly pleasures while only a select few take to devotion to God. There is a long compound word धनाय-उदय-क्षुभ्यत्-दुर्भग-बर्बटी-कुच-तटी-शाटी-दशा-आटीकनैः.]
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Subhashita kaustubha (86-90)

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः (८६-९०)
सूक्ष्मीभूय स्वयमपि परानन्ददश्चन्दनद्रुः
धेनुर्दत्ते रसमनुदिनं दत्तघासानुरूपम् ।
हत्वा मातॄरुदयमयते हा स्वयं वृश्चिकादिः
मृत्वाप्यन्नं वमयति नृणां मक्षिका कुक्षिगापि ॥ ८६ ॥
Sandal trees give pleasure to others even at the cost of themselves going to pieces. Cows give milk daily according to the feed given to them. Scorpion and similar creatures come to life by killing their own mothers. Flies-even dead ones- cause men to vomit food when they are ingested. [Good persons will be good under all circumstances while bad persons will be bad under all circumstances.] 

तेजस्वी पुरुषो दवीयसि जनेऽप्येकान्ततः स्वाश्रिते
निष्प्रत्यूहमनुग्रहं वितनुते नेदीयसीव स्वयम् ।
बिम्बस्थायिमुकुन्दनाभिनलिनश्रेयस्करो भास्करो
दातुं किं न दवीयसेऽपि कुशलं कञ्जाय संजायते ॥ ८७ ॥
A noble person diligently bestows benevolence with no hindrance to a supplicant person who is far away just as to a person who is near by. Does not the sun who is propitious to the lotus which is in the navel of Vishnu who stays in his orb also take care of the lotus which is far away? [Vishnu is supposed to be (सवितृमण्डलमध्यवर्ती) at the center of Sun’s orb.]  

दृष्टोच्छ्रायं द्विज विपुलया तृष्णया धृष्णुरेनं
भूभृत्पाशं जिगमिषसि किं कण्टकैर्दुष्प्रवेशम् ।
आसेवेथा यदि च कठिनं हन्त लुब्धावृतं तं
प्रायः कृत्वा श्रममुरुतरं प्रस्थमात्रं लभेथाः ॥ ८८ ॥
O bird [द्विज], having seen its height, with a lot of desire and boldness you want to go up this wretched mountain [भूभृत्पाश] which is full of thorns and difficult to enter. Why so? With a lot of effort even if you go to that mountain which is surrounded by hunters [लुब्धक] you will only reach a plateau [प्रस्थ]. [ Due to certain words having two meanings another meaning reveals itself as follows: O Brahmin (द्विज), why do you want to go to this wretched king (भूभृत्पाश) who is surrounded by avaricious persons (लुब्धक)? Even if you go to him you will only get a pittance. ( प्रस्थ is a measure.) ]   

संचारान् कुरुते सुराध्वनि रविर्जाता नरानां जरा
मुष्णन्ति प्रसभं मनांसि विषया बन्धः पुनः प्राणिनाम् ।
स्नेहः स्त्रीतनयादिकेषु निहितस्तृष्णाग्निरुद्दीप्यते
हित्वा वस्तु निमित्तवत्कथमभूदन्यत्र नैमित्तिकम् ॥ ८९ ॥
It is the sun who travels along the sky and it is men who get old! Worldly attractions steal the minds and the living beings get caught! Attachment (स्नेह=oil) is to ones women and children, but the fire of greed is lit up! How is it that effect is felt by something different from the object that was the cause?

अभिया चेदभियाचेच्चपलो नृपलोकमनिपुणः कृपणम् ।
अत्रपचेता नो चेदत्र पचेतापि कुक्षिपर्याप्तम् ॥ ९० ॥
If an unskilled fickle minded person begs before a miserly king he is certainly a person with no shame. If he does not do that he would hardly fill his belly! [What the poet suggests is that a decent person with self respect will not go to a worthless king even if he has to go hungry. Note the use of यमक in the verse; repetition of भियाचे, त्रपचेता. ]  
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Subhashita kaustubha (81-85)

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः ( ८१-८५)
पूर्वं गोपवधूपटान् हृतवता पुंसापि कंसारिणा
द्रौपद्यै वसनालिरापदि पुनर्दत्तेति नात्यद्भुतम् ।
अर्थिभ्यः परिदीयते न तु कुतोऽप्यादीयते किञ्चिदि-
त्यार्यानामवनीभुजां व्रतमिदं कस्यात्र न स्यान् मुदे ॥ ८१ ॥
There is nothing very astonishing in Krishna, the enemy of Kamsa, who had earlier stolen the clothes of cow-herdesses, giving away a chain of clothes to Draupadi in her distress. Who does not rejoice at the vow of gentle kings who give to suppliants without getting anything from anyone? [ Kings are supposed to give and not take anything from others. This echoes the sentiments expressed by Rama when he met with Guha, as reported to Bharata by Guha,
नह्यस्माभिः प्रतिग्राह्यं सखे देयं हि सर्वदा VR -2-87-17.]  
इति वदान्यपद्धतिश्चतुर्थी
Thus ends the fourth section on the generous.

अथ सङ्कीर्णपद्धतिः
Now then the miscellaneous section

अम्भोजबन्धुमजहत्सलिलं सरोजं
योऽयं विकासयति हन्त स एव तीक्ष्णैः ।
नीरैर्वियुक्तमपहन्ति निजैः करैस्तत्
स्यादेव बन्धुरपि शत्रुरनाश्रयाणाम् ॥ ८२ ॥
The Sun, who is a friend of lotus enables a lotus which is in water to bloom; but alas destroys the lotus with its fierce rays when the lotus is bereft of water. For those who have no shelter even a relative becomes an enemy.

विपत्सु मित्राह्वयमात्रधारी
विस्रम्भणीयो न कदाचिदुग्रः ।
त्यक्ताश्रयं हि म्लपयन् सरोजं
तद्बन्धुरर्कोऽथ निदर्शनं नः ॥ ८३ ॥
A fierce person even if he is called a friend cannot be trusted during times of distress. The sun who is called a relative of lotus but dries up the lotus bereft of support (of water) is an example for us. [It is a repetition of the idea in the previous verse.]

रात्रिर्नीरजनिकरा नीरजनिकरापरिष्कृता सरसी ।
अपि भजते न वर सभा नवरसभावज्ञवर्जिता शोभाम् ॥ ८४ ॥
A night without the moon [नी+रजनिकरा], a lake which lacks the embellishment of a group of lotuses [नीरज+निकरा] and an august assembly [वरसभा] which lacks persons of taste in the nine sentiments [नव+रस+भावज्ञ] do not shine. [Note the repetition of नीरजनिकरा and नवरसभा. Such repetition with different meanings constitutes यमक, a word-embellishment.]

निरस्तनिगमाक्षरं ननु निरर्थमास्यं नृणां
सरित्क्षरणवर्जिता स्फुरणमेति न ग्रामता ।
पुरः स्फुरणतो विना पुनरनर्थकं स्पर्शनं
हरिस्मरणवर्जितं हतमवैमि जन्म क्षितौ ॥ ८५ ॥
A person’s mouth which is bereft of Vedic chants is useless. A group of villages which lacks the flow of a river does not shine. A gift that is not accompanied by horripilation serves no purpose. I consider that a life without mental recitation of Hari (God) is as good as being dead. [When giving a gift the giver should be so involved emotionally with the act of giving that he experiences horripilation.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Subhashita kaustubha (76-80)

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः (७६-८०)
शौरौ भक्तिर्वैदिकेषु क्रियासु
श्रद्धा, मैत्री साधुषु ब्रह्मवित्सु ।
पात्रे दानं पुण्यदेशे निवासो
भाग्यैरेतत्प्राक्तनैरेव लभ्यम् ॥ ७६ ॥
Devotion to Lord Krishna, faith in vedic rituals, friendship with sages who have knowledge of Brahman, charity to the deserving, stay in a holy place are all possible only by the good deeds done in prior births.

हृदयमस्मरणेन रमापतेः
चरितमप्यनुपासतां सताम् ।
धनमनर्पणतो हि देहिनां
मुखमनध्ययनेन दुष्यति ॥ ७७ ॥
By not thinking of Vishnu ones mind gets polluted. By not serving the virtuous ones conduct gets polluted. Money gets polluted if it is not given to those who need it. A person’s  speech gets polluted by lack of studies.

अदानाद्वित्तानामपि च करणानामविजयात्
अपाठाद्वेदानामहह विहितानामकरणात् ।
अबोधात्तत्त्वानां हरिगुणगणानामकलनात्
अनादौ संसारे भ्रमति बहुधा जन्तुरमतिः ॥ ७८ ॥
The dull headed person revolves in the beginning-less cycle of life and death by not distributing wealth to the deserving, by not conquering the senses, by not reciting the Vedas, by nor performing the prescribed rituals, by not understanding the real nature of things and by not thinking of the qualities of Lord Hari.

दानं विना क्षितिभुजां न लसन्ति हस्ताः
गानं विना मृगदृशां गलशङ्खगर्भाः ।
ध्यानं विना तु हृदयानि धरासुराणां
सूनं विना सुरभिणं विटपास्तरूणाम् ॥ ७९ ॥
The hands of kings do not shine without charity. The conch-like throats of doe-eyed ladies do not shine without singing. The hearts of Brahmins do not shine without meditation. The branches of trees do not shine without fragrant flowers.

अवितरणा दीनजने लुब्धाः कुभटा इव स्वयं तु परैः ।
दाने वितन्यमाने तृणमपि निजजीवनाय गृह्णन्ति ॥ ८० ॥
The misers while not distributing [अ+वितरणा] anything to the indigent, collect even straw for life’s sustenance when others are distributing gifts [दाने वितन्यमाने]. They are like the bad soldiers who reserve their fight [अवित+रणा] towards the helpless and eat grass when enemies are engaged in killing (cutting) [दाने वितन्यमाने]. [The reference is to the custom of sparing an enemy who is prepared to eat grass as a symbol of willing to be subjugated.]
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Subhashitakaustubha (71-75)

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः (७१-७५)
पाण्डित्यं प्रथितान्ववायजनुषः प्रायः क्षमां योगिनो
दाक्षिण्यं धरणीपतेश्च नियतं दातुः प्रियाभाषणम् ।
विद्यापारदृशो जनस्य विनयं वित्तोन्नतस्यामदं
सौलभ्यं महतश्च हेमसुमनस्सौरभ्यमाचक्षते ॥ ७१ ॥
Scholarship of a person of well known ancestry, forgiveness of a saint, civility of a king, controlled sweet words of a donor, humility of an erudite scholar, lack of haughtiness of a wealthy person, easy accessibility of a great person are all called the fragrance of Golden flower. [ Such combinations of qualities are a rarity and if and when they occur they are indeed to be highly praised.]    

विदधाति दानमभियाचतां सतां
क्षुधितस्य वक्त्रमपि नावलोकते ।
कृपणश्च दाननिपुणश्च चेष्टितैः
सुमनोजनस्य वितनोति विस्मयम् ॥ ७२ ॥
The miser and the philanthropist both cause surprise to the learned by their actions. The miser cuts off the requests of those who seek his help and does not look at the face of a hungry person. The philanthropist gives liberally to those who come to him and does not ever have to look at the face of a hungry person. [ Here again the poet depends on श्लेष to bring about an apparent similarity between a miser and a philanthropist. दान means 1.cutting and, the former applies to the miser and the latter to the philanthropist. While the miser does not ever look at a hungry person, the philanthropist ensures through charity that he does not have to look at a hungry person.]

मन्देतरां भजति मानधनो हि लज्जां
याच्ञासु गौरवहतेरिति युक्तमेव ।
जिह्रेत्युदार इति चित्रमिदं वदामः ॥ ७३ ॥
It is of course natural that persons of self-respect feel small to beg for fear of losing self-respect. We say that it is indeed surprising that even a liberal person feels small at the time of giving more than what the supplicant requests. [The liberal person feels small with a feeling that he could have given more.]

प्रायः पात्रेषु धनप्रदानसमये मुदा वदान्यजनः ।
सलिलं करारविन्दे धत्ते नेत्रे पुनः कदर्यजनः ॥ ७४ ॥
A person of liberal disposition has water in his lotus-like hands while happily donating money to the deserved. A person of miserly nature, on the other hand has water in his eyes. [The reference is to the practice of pouring water through the palm while donating.]  

पात्रे निधाय परिरक्षति शश्वदर्थं
दाता जनस्तदितरश्च न तत्र भेदः ।
जन्मान्तरेष्वपि तु जायत एव भुक्त्यै
दातुर्धनं तदितरस्य तु नो कदापि ॥ ७५ ॥
The liberal person and the miser both protect their money all the time by keeping the money in the safe custody of a पात्र ( a deserving person, a vessel). The donor’s money will be available for enjoyment in his later births whereas that of the miser will be of no use for ever.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Subhashita kaustubha (66-70)

सुभाषितकौस्तुभः (६६-७०)
प्रभुं तमेव प्रवदन्ति सन्तो
द्वयं तृणं यस्य मनस्यजस्रम् ।
प्रत्यर्थिसैन्यं प्रतिघोद्गमेषु
प्रदानवेलासु च काञ्चनाद्रिः ॥ ६६ ॥
The virtuous consider only that person as a ruler for whom two things are like straw namely the army of the opponent at the time of rage and Golden mountain Meru at the time of charity. [ A ruler will not bother about the might of the opponent when he is enraged and he will not consider even Meru as too precious at the time of charity.]

समीहितं संघटयन्ति दानैः ।
ख्याता दिगन्तेष्वत एव युक्तं
वितन्वते कर्णविधूननं ते ॥ ६७ ॥
Those who protect many continuously fulfill through munificence the desires of those who have lined up seeking their protection. It is therefore quite appropriate that they are known in the corners of the world and they belittle Karna.
A second meaning: The elephants [अनेकप] continuously fulfill the desires of the bees [आलि] that approach them by their rut [दान]. It is therefore appropriate that they fan their ears [कर्ण] in the corners of the world. [Reference is to dig-gaja’s which are supposed to carry the earth at its four corners.] 

क्वचन भवति कार्यं कारणादप्युदारं
वितरणमनवद्यं विश्रुतानां विभूनाम् ।
नियतमिह विधत्ते दक्षिणाशाभिपूर्तिं
कलयति सकलाशापूरणे तस्य कीर्तिः ॥ ६८ ॥
Sometimes the effect has broader significance than the cause. The faultless munificence of a reputed wealthy person certainly satisfies the desire for dakshinaa. His fame (however) spreads in all directions. [The sparkle of the verse can be felt in Sanskrit only. आशा and दक्षिणा have each two meanings. आशा=1. desire and 2. direction (South, North etc.) . दक्षिणा=1. gift given to Brahmins in a ritual. 2 Southern direction. While the munificence of the rich does दक्षिण-आशा-पूरण his fame which is the effect of his munificence does सकल-आशा-पूरण!] 

धन्यो जनो वदान्यो घनमतिशेतेतरां यतः पूर्वः ।
दिशति वनीपकपुष्टिं न वनीपकपुष्टिमन्तिमः कुरुते ॥ ६९ ॥
The generous person is indeed blessed and excels the cloud. Because, while he extends care to those seeking his help [वनीपक-पुष्टि] cloud does nurture of the new  neepa tree. [नव-नीपक-पुष्टि]. [The poet again demonstrates his skill as a wordsmith. There is an apparent contrast between a donor and a cloud. One does वनीपकपुष्टि, the other न वनीपकपुष्टि!] 

विद्या दुष्यत्यविनयतया वित्तवत्ता च लोभैः
आचारश्रीः खलपरिचयैराभिजात्यं कुवृत्त्या ।
काव्यं भव्येतरविषयतः कर्म कामानुबन्धैः
दाक्ष्यं दीनप्रभुभजनतो दानमस्वादुवाचा ॥ ७० ॥
Scholarship is sullied by being impolite, wealth by being avaricious, the grace of customary conduct by being associated with the wicked, good heritage by following vile occupation, literature by dealing with un-exalting material, labour by being attached, efficiency by serving the lowly masters, and charity by using of unkind words. [The poet has thankfully departed from his normal style to reach the levels of Bhartrhari!]
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