जीवनस्य लक्ष्यमेव संस्कृतस्य वर्धनम्

Monthly Archives: July 2007

न हि न हि रक्षति डुकृञ् करणे

भज गोविन्दं भज गोविन्दम्
गोविन्दं भज मूढमते।
सम्प्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले
न हि न हि रक्षति डुकृञ् करणे॥
bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindam
govindaṁ bhaja mūḍhamate|
samprāpte sannihite kāle
na hi na hi rakṣati ḍukṛñ karaṇe||
Worship Govinda! Worship Govinda!
Worship Govinda! Oh Ignorant one!
When the end nears,
डुकृञ् करणे ([even] the study of grammar) does not protect!

घटं भिन्द्यात् पटं चिन्द्यात्

घटं भिन्द्यात् पटं चिन्द्यात् कुर्याद्रासभारोहणम्।
येन केन प्रकारेण प्रसिद्धः पुरुषो भवेत्॥
ghaṭaṁ bhindyāt paṭaṁ cindyāt kuryādrāsabhārohaṇam|
yena kena prakāreṇa prasiddhaḥ puruṣo bhavet||
By breaking pots, by tearing clothes, by riding on a donkey.
By some way or the other (hook or crook), one should become a popular person!

This is a satire and is certainly true in today’s society (esp. of politicians :D).

न हि कृतमुपकारं साधवो विस्मरन्ति

प्रथमवयसि पीतं तोयमल्पं स्मरन्तः
शिरसि निहितभारा नारिकेला नराणाम्‌।
ददति जलमनल्पास्वादमाजीवितान्तम्
न हि कृतमुपकारं साधवो विस्मरन्ति॥
prathamavayasi pītaṁ toyamalpaṁ smarantaḥ
śirasi nihitabhārā nārikelā narāṇām|
dadati jalamanalpāsvādamājīvitāntam
na hi kṛtamupakāraṁ sādhavo vismaranti||
Remembering the very small amount of [salty] water which it has drunk in its early ages,
The coconut tree carries very good tasty water on his head throughout its life.
[In the similar way] good people do not forget [even a very small] favour (‘upakara’) done to them.

Lord Śri Rāma was renowned for his कृतज्ञता (kṛtajñatā).

विकृतिं नैव गच्छन्ति

विकृतिं नैव गच्छन्ति सङ्गदोषेण साधवः।
आवेष्टितं महासर्पैश्चन्दनं न विषायते॥
vikṛtiṁ naiva gacchanti saṅgadoṣeṇa sādhavaḥ|
āveṣṭitaṁ mahāsarpaiścandanaṁ na viṣāyate||
Changes (negative changes/bad habits) are not induced by bad company in a great people.
[Just as] A sandalwood tree enveloped by great serpents does not turn poisonous.
Neverthless, one must always stay away from bad company. See दुर्जनेन समं सख्यम्

न देवा दण्डमादाय रक्षन्ति

न देवा दण्डमादाय रक्षन्ति पशुपालवत्।
यं तु रक्षितुमिच्छन्ति बुद्‍ध्या संविभजन्ति तम्॥
na devā daṇḍamādāya rakṣanti paśupālavat|
yaṁ tu rakṣitumicchanti buddhyā saṁvibhajanti tam||
The Devās do not take a stick and protect [people] like a cowherd.
Those they want to protect, they bestow upon him intelligence [to manage his own safety].

हंसः हंसो बको बकः

हंसः श्वेतो बकः श्वेतः को भेदो बकहंसयोः।
नीरक्षीरविवेके तु हंसः हंसो बको बकः॥
haṁsaḥ śveto bakaḥ śvetaḥ ko bhedo bakahaṁsayoḥ|
nīrakṣīraviveke tu haṁsaḥ haṁso bako bakaḥ||
The swan is white; the crane is [also] white. What is the difference between a crane and a swan?
When it comes to extracting milk from water, a swan is a swan and a crane is a crane. (The difference is seen).
It’s not just the external appearance that matters, but also the qualities that count!

प्रथमे नार्जिता विद्या

प्रथमे नार्जिता विद्या द्वितीये नार्जितं धनम्।
तृतीये नार्जितं पुण्यं चतुर्थे किं करिष्यति॥
prathame nārjitā vidyā dvitīye nārjitaṁ dhanam|
tṛtīye nārjitaṁ puṇyaṁ caturthe kiṁ kariṣyati||
[One who has] not accumulated knowledge in his first [āshrama, i.e. brahmacharyam], [one who has] not accumulated wealth in his second [āshrama, i.e. gārhastyam];
[One who has not] accumulated good meritorious deeds (punya) in his third [āshrama, i.e. vānaprastham], what will he do in his fourth [āshrama, i.e. sanyāsam]?

I understand vānaprastha is not supposed to be followed in kaliyuga, so we can look at it as an extension of the gṛhastāshrama, where one must concentrate more on pilgrimage and slow detachment, rather than a full-fledged family life.

साक्षराः विपरीताश्चेत्

साक्षराः विपरीताश्चेत् राक्षसाः एव केवलम्।
सरसो विपरीतश्चेत् सरसत्वं न मुञ्चति॥
sākṣarāḥ viparītāścet rākṣasāḥ eva kevalam|
saraso viparītaścet sarasatvaṁ na muñcati||
If [the word] sākṣarā (literate, i.e. learned people) is inverted, it becomes rākṣasā (devil).
[But] if [the word] sarasa (good, i.e. good people) is inverted, it remains sarasa!

Therefore, one must be both  sākṣarā and sarasa.

सङ्ग्रहैकपरः प्रायः

सङ्ग्रहैकपरः प्रायः समुद्रोऽपि रसातले।
दातरं जलदं पश्य गर्जन्तं भुवनोपरि॥
saṅgrahaikaparaḥ prāyaḥ samudro’pi rasātale|
dātaraṁ jaladaṁ paśya garjantaṁ bhuvanopari||
The sea which is only collecting water and not giving to anyone is at a very low level
See the clouds which give water thunder from above the Earth.

(cf. https://samskrtam.wordpress.com/2005/09/11/गौरवं-प्राप्यते-दानात्‌-2/)

समानशीलव्यसनेन सख्यम्

मृगा मृगैः सङ्गमनुव्रजन्ति गावश्च गोभिस्तुरङ्गास्तुरङ्गैः।
मूर्खाश्च मूर्खैः सुधियः सुधीभिः समानशीलव्यसनेन सख्यम्॥३०५॥
— मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे चण्डरव नाम शृगाल कथा १०
mṛgā mṛgaiḥ saṅgamanuvrajanti gāvaśca gobhisturaṅgāsturaṅgaiḥ|
mūrkhāśca mūrkhaiḥ sudhiyaḥ sudhībhiḥ samānaśīlavyasanena sakhyam||305||
— mitrabhedaḥ nāma prathame tantre caṇḍarava nāma śṛgāla kathā 10
Deer follow the company of deer, cows follow cows, horses follow horses
Fools follow fools, and wise people go after wise; [good] friendship develops among those who have similar character.

यथा खरः चन्दनभारवाही

यथा खरः चन्दनभारवाही भारस्य वेत्ता न तु चन्दनस्य।
एवं हि शास्त्राणि बहून्यधीत्य अर्थेषु मूढाः खरवद्वहन्ति॥
yathā kharaḥ candanabhāravāhī bhārasya vettā na tu candanasya|
evaṁ hi śāstrāṇi bahūnyadhītya artheṣu mūḍhāḥ kharavadvahanti||
Just like a donkey carrying sandalwood on it’s back knows only the weight but not the value of sandal,
Similarly, those who have learnt a lot of the śāstrās, but do not realise it’s true meaning live like the donkeys [unaware of the true value of knowledge].

यथा हि मलिनैः वस्त्रैः

यथा हि मलिनैः वस्त्रैः यत्र कुत्रोपविष्यते।
वृत्ततः चलितोऽप्येवं शेषं वृत्तं न रक्षति॥
yathā hi malinaiḥ vastraiḥ yatra kutropaviṣyate|
vṛttataḥ calito’pyevaṁ śeṣaṁ vṛttaṁ na rakṣati||
As a person with dirty cloth does not hesitate to sit anywhere,
A person whose character has spoiled, does not retain his remnant good conduct.

Well, I picked this up from somewhere, but can’t imagine how true this is. This statement may be a bit gross, but if you look at smaller levels, it’s so true. It’s always the first time you make a mistake that counts a lot. Till then, you are extraordinarily careful. After that, complacency sets in and the compromises begin. It’s like the new year resolution lasts only till you break it first. It’s only occassionally that the first break was a one-off event and that things continue as before thereafter. Therefore, one must really put an effort to [indefinitely] postpone the first compromise!

पापान्निवारयति योजयते हिताय

पापान्निवारयति योजयते हिताय
गुह्यानि गूहति गुणान् प्रकटीकरोति।
आपद्गतं च न जहाति ददाति काले
सन्मित्रलक्षणमिदं प्रवदन्ति सन्ताः॥
pāpānnivārayati yojayate hitāya
guhyāni gūhati guṇān prakaṭīkaroti|
āpadgataṁ ca na jahāti dadāti kāle
sanmitralakṣaṇamidaṁ pravadanti santāḥ||
He restrains his friend from committing sins, induces his friend to do good deeds,
Conceals the unseemly secrets of his friend, projecting [only] his good qualities to others,
[He] does not desert his friend in difficulties, but gives timely assistance
These are the characteristics of a true friend, as described by saints.

[Thanks to Chandrasekar Raghu]

अन्नेन पूरयेत् अर्धं

अन्नेन पूरयेत् अर्धं तोयेन तु तृतीयकम्।
उदरस्य तुरीयंशं सम्रक्षेत् वायुचारणे॥५-२२॥
— घेरण्डसंहितायां पञ्चमोऽध्यायः
annena pūrayet ardhaṁ toyena tu tṛtīyakam|
udarasya turīyaṁśaṁ samrakṣet vāyucāraṇe||5-22||
— gheraṇḍasaṁhitāyāṁ pañcamo’dhyāyaḥ

Alternative version (thanks to Chandrasekar Raghu):
पूरयेत् अन्नेनार्धं तृतीयम् उदकेन तु।
वायोस्सञ्चरणार्थाय चतुर्थम् अवशेषयेत्॥
pūrayet annenārdhaṁ tṛtīyam udakena tu|
vāyossañcaraṇārthāya caturtham avaśeṣayet||

Half of the stomach should be filled with food; [the] third part (¼th) with liquid
The fourth part should be left free for gases to move around.


अहं च त्वं च राजेन्द्र लोकनाथावुभावपि।
बहुव्रीहिरहं राजन् षष्ठीतत्पुरुषो भवान्॥
ahaṁ ca tvaṁ ca rājendra lokanāthāvubhāvapi|
bahuvrīhirahaṁ rājan ṣaṣṭhītatpuruṣo bhavān||
Me and you, Oh King, are both ‘lokanāthā’.
[Only that] I am bahuvrīhi [samās] (लोकं नाथः यस्य सः — one whose guardian is the loka (people)), while you are ṣaṣṭhī tatpuruṣa [samās] (लोकस्य नाथः — one who guards the world, i.e. king).

नैव राज्यं न राजाऽऽसीत्

नैव राज्यं न राजाऽऽसीत् न दण्डो न च दाण्डिकः।
धर्मेणैव प्रजाः सर्वा रक्षन्ति च परस्परम्॥१२-५९-१४॥
—महाभारते शान्तिपर्वणि ५९-१४
naiva rājyaṁ na rājā”sīt na daṇḍo na ca dāṇḍikaḥ|
dharmeṇaiva prajāḥ sarvā rakṣanti ca parasparam||12-59-14||
—mahābhārate śāntiparvaṇi 59-14
[At first] there was no sovereignty, no king, no chastisement, and no chastiser.
All men used to protect one another righteously, by dharma.
This may be construed as the description of an ideal kingdom. Bhīṣma said this to Yudhiṣṭhira when he [Yudhiṣṭhira] inquired about how kings and kingship came into being. This is verily the description of the Kṛta age, where sovereignty first began.
Ganguli translation of Mahābhārata, Chapter 12 (Śānti Parva)

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