Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Thinking about 'words' more deeply.. brought in a very fond memory...

I think it was in 8th class.. and I formally started to take sanskrit classes in school.. we had a very good teacher.. she was from orissa.. kinda big woman (size wise).. and she had peculiar english.. instead of asking to take down notes she would say, "write on your notebooks".. and i always thought why would i want to write on the notebook !.. anyways..

that point is.. i enacted in a sanskrit play during the school's annual celebration.. had a small role as a fruit vendor in a street scene.. I just had to yell out. "khaadanti khaadanti, madhuraani phalaani khaadanti" (taste them, taste them, taste these sweet fruits).. but one thing which I remember from the play was a sloka, which I loved so much.. it goes like this.. people who listen to akashvani radio in the early mornings can also relate this bhartrihari's subhashitam (not sure if this is still being played)

keyuraani na bhushayanti purusham, haaraa na chandrojvala
na snaanam na vilepanam na kusumam na alankrita murdhaja
vanyeka samalam karoti purusham, ya samskrita dharyate
ksheeyante kila bhushanaani satatam, vagbhushanam bhushanam

the protagonist, who is a Guru in the play, sings this to his students, and then explains the meaning as thus.. those who can follow sanskrit can understand

keyuraadayaha vividha alankaaraaha purushasya bhushanaani na bhavat.. chandrakanti samana kanthaaharaha purushasya bhushanaani na bhavat.. and so on..

the sloka means.. rare flowers, armlets, ornaments, pearl necklaces, jewels, ceremonial baths and pastes likes chandanam are not the true ornaments to a person, the real decoration that brings out the beauty of a purusha (man/woman) are the words.. (vagbhushanam bhushanam)

our words can create harmony in a troubled mind, or can create trouble in a harmonious mind.. the more i ponder on this.. the more wonder i get into.. its just so amazing..

just in the previous posting, i said words are so superficial.. but now i get a feeling words are so impactful..

I think they both are true.. its just the context.. when dealing with people in the world.. let my words bring in only harmony.. . let the intention be to bring peace and tranquility to the other person.. this reminds me of the most beautiful rudram.. in that we chant..

Om idaa devahoor manuryagya neer bruhaspathi rukthaamadaanishagum sishadhvishvedevaah ssookthavachahf pruthivimaatharmaa maa higumseermadhu manishye madhu janishye madhu vakshyaami madhu vadishyaami madhumatheem devebhyo vaachamudhyaasagumshusrooshenyaam manushyeebhyastham maa devaa avanthu shobhaayai pitharo anumadhanthu

it means...
Let me think sweet thoughts; let me perform sweet actions which bear sweet fruits; let me bear sweet offerings; let my speech and praise be sweet; let me utter words which sound sweet unto the Gods; let me utter sweet words unto men who would lend their ears. Let the Gods illumine me and render my speech sweet.

and there are so many shanti vachanams like.. bhadram karnebhih shruniyama devaaha..

so when I am dealing with others.. let my speech be pure, steady and peace causing..

and the other context where words have to be taken superficially is when the other person is speaking to me, either praise or blame, let me not get swayed away, let me not loose sight of the divinity inside him or her, let my love be unconditional..

i think this is why knowledge is a double edged sword.. but to tread on the edge is worth it :-)

Glories to my Gurudev, who kindles the quest for the highest knowledge and longing for the highest love