Sunday, July 31, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 31

It is very difficult for the unmarried girl called praise ('stuti') to get married. The reason is good people ('sajjan' or 'sabhya' people) do not like her (The 'sajjan' people do not like if anybody praises them) and she herself does not like bad ('durjan') people (Nobody praises a bad ('durjan') person). This subhAshit may seem to be a 'not much serious' one.

The subhAshitkAr has tried to tell one of the good qualities of a noble person- That a good person does not like to be praised. And so the poetic mind of the subhAshitkar thinks from the point of view of "praise"!! Where will the "praise" go if good people do not like her and who will prefer to go to the bad person?! And so the subhAshitkAr thinks that may be she ('Praise') will never get married!

A beautiful colourful flower but which doesn't have a nice fragrance doesn't seem good. (A flower apart from being colourful should also have a nice fragrance only then it's utility increases) . Similarly without action, only good talks doesn't seem good. To stress the point that apart from being 'kind-spoken' to every one, one should also support it by his/her own actions, the subhAshitkar has given an example of a colourful flower but without fragrance.

If flower doesn't spread it's fragrance around then what is the use of it's attractive looks. The colour of the flower is it's external beauty while it's fragrance is it's 'guna' - i.e. one of the qualities. One of the great saints Samartha Swami Ramdas has said 'kriyavena vaachalata vyartha aahe' - i.e. without the 'kartuttva', the 'vaani' has no meaning.

A person with enthusiasm is a powerful person. There is nothing as powerful as enthusiasm. nothing is impossible ('durlabhah' literally means unachievable) to an enthusiastic person.
This subhashit says "If there is a will, there is a way." Nothing is impossible; one must push it till the end.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 30

There is no sight such as knowledge - i.e. By knowledege ('vidya') one can see what cannot be seen by a naked eye. Knowledge gives the vision to see beyond some obvious things.There is no 'Tapha' (Nearest meaning I think is Hard work) such as Truth - i.e. One has to do lot's of hard work to be on the side of Truth. There is no sorrow such as the desire - i.e. Desires of a person brings much sorrow to him There is no happiness such as sacrifice - i.e. 'TyAga' (Sacrifice) brings more happiness to the person. [Hard to believe, Isn't it?!!]

This is a very good subhAshit to think over. Many people may have realised "nAsti tyAga samam suKham" in their family life when they personally may have undergone some hardships only to see their kith and keens more happy and satisfied! Who else than our own Mother would be the living example of "nAsti tyAga samam suKham"!!

If a person does not have money/wealth; his friends, sons, wife, and close relatives leave him ( they dont find him interesting any further). If the same person gains his wealth, they all return to him, money/wealth is man's companion in this world indeed!

Subhashitkar explains bitter fact of life that, we always try to be with a person who can be of some benefit to us. If that person is no longer of use, then we leave him..( refer to subhashit 54 which has similar meaning). this reminds me a joke... "success is relative... more success, more relatives"

A person who travels in different-different countries, ('desha' can also be translated as direction here.). a person who serves scholars (learned person), his intelligence expands or develops as drop of oil on water surface.

Often, a person who is very sharp is called 'tailabuddhi'. When a drop of oil falls on water surface, it spreads over water and forms layer of oil; in that way a drop of oil 'covers' water surface (oil is taila in sanskrit). Similarly intelligence (buddhi) of a person (his grasping power) covers all the subjects.

Here, subhasitkar says that, a person who travels a lot (and hence meets many people) and is in contact with 'pundits' develops his brain like that drop of oil in water.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 29

The non poisonous snake should also imitate like biting some one ! (Only for the sake of self-defence) Regardless of whether the snake has Poisson or not the hissing of snake will create the terror in the other's mind.

There is one small story regarding this. Once a poisonous snake used to bite many people passing by the way. When Shri. Shankaracharya came to know this he advised the snake not to bite people and trouble them. After few months when Shri. Shankaracharya was passing by the same way he noticed that the snake had become very much weak and had many wounds.

"What's the matter? Why have you become like this?", asked the great seer. It replied, "Oh Master! You only had told me not to bite the people. So when people came to know that I do not cause any harm they started pelting stones at me". Shri. Shankaracharya replied, "I had only told you not to bite the people. But I didn't tell you that you should stop hissing at the others!!"

It is said that a 'yogi' should not loose his temper and should be above all the emotions. Then how should a 'yogi' react to the wrong/ill things that people may commit around him? It's perfectly like the nonpoisonous snake above!! He should 'hiss' but should not cause any harm to others.

Probably the resourceful people ('Gunvaan' is the exact samskrit word) have to take many troubles while the unresourceful people live peacefully. Like a parrot lives in a cage while a crow flies freely in the sky!! (Sometimes the good qualities of a person may invite trouble to him)

Those who have wealth of self-esteem, live long life. For those who don't have self-esteem, what is use of wealth and long life? Subhashitkar here is trying to portray importance of self esteem in life. If one has it, he is as good as living long life. If a person does not have it, then according to subhaashitkar, life and wealth he has, is useless.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 28

Not starting the work which is not in our capacity is the first sign of 'buddhi' (Intelligence?!). If we start the work then carrying that work to it's logical conclusion is the second sign of 'buddhi'.

In case of normal individuals the words follow the meaning. But in case of great sages ('Rishis') the meaning follows their words! Normally a person thinks of the meaning first and then frames the sentence as per that meaning. But in case of the great sages like Vashishta, Vishwamitra the casually uttered words by them would obtain a very deep meaning. This subhAshita gives us an insight in the intellectual level that was obtained by our ancient sages.

People become intelligent to give the advice ('upadesh') to other's when they are in distress. But the people forget that same intelligence while they themselves are in the difficulty.

This a very nice subhAshita which many of us may have experienced personally! What we have to realise is that we have to put ourselves in the place of that person and then think. Like in english we use the phrase that you have put your foot in the other's shoe!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 27

A big storm which uproots the strongest and the biggest trees, doesn't harm the small grass grown on the ground! (If a big storm can uproot the huge tree then why can't it uproot a small grass from the ground?!)

Like wise the strong people who have good qualities will not trouble the poor who have less might as compared to themselves. The other meaning of this subhAshita can be taken as there should be 'dvandva' (Fight) only between the parties of the matching capabilities.

Moon is a lamp in the evening. Sun is a lamp in the morning. 'dharma' is a lamp in all the 3 'lokas' (As I know 3 lokas are swarga, pruthvi and paatal). And a good son is a lamp of the whole 'kula' ('kula' is the group of people belonging to the same ancestors).

Here the implied meaning of the lamp is the one which shows a correct path to us. It's correct meaning may be perhaps understood by the samskrit line "tamasoma jyotirgamya" - i.e. Lead us from darkness to the Light.

Background:- Life of Hindu person goes through four phases (Ashramas as they are called). the four Ashramas are
1) brahmashcharyAshrama :- person is expected to undergo learning (schooling) in this phase .. to earn 'vidyA'.
2) g^RhasthAshrama :- person is expected to live married life/earn money and serve for his family in this phase.
3) vAnaprasthAshrama :- in this phase person is suppose to serve society selflessly and earn 'puNya'.
4) sanyAsAshrama :- leave material life and devote oneself for 'mokSha'.

Meaning of the subhAShita:

One who is not able to earn vidyA (does not pay attention to learning) in first (brahmashcharyAshrama). one who is not able to earn wealth (i.e. not serving his family) in second (g^RhasthAshrama) one who is not able to earn puNya (i.e. is not serving society) in third (vAnaprasthAshrama) what he will do in forth (sanyAsAshrama) .. (i.e. he cant attain 'mokSha').

Even in current context this is applicable because we still can divide life in these four ashrams. only thing which have changed is, now a days while thinking of life, we think about first two ashrams only.

This subhAShita says that we shall do right things in right phases of life. (also says that all these things are of equal importance).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 26

Bad company does not induce changes (bad habits) in a good person. (as) (poisonous) snakes (cobra) on sandal tree does not cause that tree to become poisonous.

(During sagarmanthan) Gods did not get satisfied with precious jewels (ratna) nor they fell pray to the terror of the deadly poison. They did not rest until they did get 'amrit' (which was the aim of the sagarmanthan exercise). The people with patience (good qualities) do not rest (stop) until they get the (pre)determined (targetted) result.

By breaking the pots. tearing off the cloths, (or) by riding on a donkey. by hook or by crook, person should become popular. In this Subhashit, Subhaashitkar is describing those people, whose aim is just to become popular by any means. If we look around in our society, we will find plenty of them. A few people are always engaged in these "ghaTam bhindyAt" types of activities and by that they earn fame, they've got nothing else to bank on. Obviously Subhaashitkar is asking us to check whether we are doing anything like that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 25

The branches of a tree with full of fruits bend towards the earth (Due to the weight of the fruits). In the same way good people are also modest ('namra') towards the other people. But the unwise people ('murkha') are like a dry stick which never bends (They do not show respect for others).

Here, subhAShitkAr comparing a wicked person with poisonous creatures. he says, scorpion's poison is in its tail, bee's poison is in its mouth. Snake has poison in its teeth. (but) a wicked person has it (poison) everywhere in his body. subhAShitkAr wants to say that these other poisonous animals are better than a wicked person because they are not "fully" poisonous as him.

The subhAshit is talking about the similarity of a coconut tree and a good person. (The coconut tree) remembers the very small amount of (salty) water which it has drunk in its early ages, and it 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 ('upkAr') done to them.(by others)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 24

Giving food to the hungry is a good deed (Donation of the food is a very good donation - 'anna dAnam'). But more than the above type of 'dAna', educating the people (Teaching - 'vidya dAnam') is more better type of 'dAna' because by food one's hunger would be calmed down only for the time being. But the knowledge attained is helpful for whole of our life.

Therefore it is said that 'vidya dAna' is the most important among various other types of dAna. Also refer to the previous subAshit Kr. 51 (The wealth of knowledge is the most superior wealth of all!)

Five characteristics of a fool person are stated; haughtiness, wicked statements, anger (for nothing), strong arguments (without support) and lack of respect/tolerance to others opinion.

If seeing or touching (somebody); hearing or speaking with (somebody), touches your heart, then it is called love/affection...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 23

Subhashitkar is addressing Satyavikram in this Subhashitam. Dharma which violates other's dharma, is not true dharma. It is kudharma. (bad dharma) dharma which is not against others interest is true dharma. Dharma here is, duties of a person.

Among the hundred people only one is brave.
Among the thousands of them only one is a 'Pandit'
Among the ten thousands only one is a good orator,

But the people who "give" ('daata' - One who donates) are very very rare.

Pay attention as to how words are used here: If (the word) "sAkShara" (literate) is inverted, it becomes "rAkShasa" (devil). (but) if (the word) "sarasa" (good) is inverted, it remains "sarasa" This meaning is apparent if we play word game.

But the the other more imp. meaning is as follows, A "sakshara" (literate or educated person) can behave like a "rakshas" (a wicked person) in certain situations. But a "saras" (good person, cultured person, gentleman) will not leave his this property (of being good person) in any condition.

Subhashitkar is telling us to be a sarasa person along with being sAkShara.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 22

Just like a donkey which carries the sandal wood on it's back doesn't know the importance (Or 'Value') of the sandal wood but only knows (Realises) about some weight which is put on it's back, in the same way many learned people who have studied the 'Shaastras' (Sciences) don't realise the true meaning of it and simply carry the 'weight' of the knowledge!

Deer follow deer, cows follow cows, horses follow horses (like that) fool people follow fools, and wise people go after wise. (good) friendship develops among those who have similar character and hobbies.

The sea which is only collecting the water and not giving to anyone (Rather it's water cannot be used by humans directly for drinking/cooking) is present at the lower ground level of earth and in contrast the clouds which donate the water ('jala daan') thunder from the higher altitudes.

Here the subhAshitkAra wants to emphasise that the person who does the 'daana' (One who donates- The act of giving the personal belongings) always achieves the higher place than the person who just does the 'sangraha' (collection) without the 'daana'.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 21

There is only one bird (Khag) who has very high self esteem and self respect, Let that that Chataka (that bird's name) live long life (Chiranjeev). Line two explains why is he called Khagomani. He would prefer to die because of thirst but will ask for water only from God Indra (Purandar). Means, he drinks only rain water. He will never drink water from the pond or stored water. Such high self respect and self esteem he has. In other words dont do Yachana( Yachana is like asking something from some one as u are in need) to any one but only to the greatest authority which is GOD.

OM May that Brahman protect us both (Teacher & Disciple);
May that Brahman nourish us both; May we work in harmony with great vigor;
May our study be illuminating and fruitful; May we not hate each other.

Om.. Peace, Peace.. Peace.

In a house where fools are not honoured (fools are not involved in decision making), where there are enough stocks of food (and things required in day to days life) and where there is no conflict between husband and wife, there 'lakshmi' (prosperity) comes by its own.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 20

First line - Till the son is five years old one should pamper him. When he crosses five till he becomes 10 he should be spanked. (Tadayet means to spank) in reality those are the years when one needs to discipline him.
However, when he turns 16, he should be treated like a friend. ( Means he should feel that he is grown up and his opinion matters, which can happen when he is treated like a friend.)

A fully filled water container will not create much noise as compared to the half filled one. (When the containers are given some jirk the water inside it will also move and create some noise.). Similarly 'Vidvaan' (Intelligent) people always remain calm and will not have any mis-placed pride as opposed to the people who know very less but always keep talking.

All creatures go to death one by one. (in spite of this,) rest (who are not dead yet) wish to live for ever. Nothing is more surprising than this.
This is from Mahabharata, encounter of Yudhishthira with Gandharva. Gandharva asked Dharmaraja(Yudhishthira), what is the most surprising thing on the earth. In response to this, Dharmaraja gave this answer.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 19

What the subhAshitam wants to covey is that the greatest of the tasks can be done by arranging/organising the small small things. This message is coveyed by giving the example of a thick rope that is used to bind an elephant. A thick rope gains it's strength due to it's innumerous small threads that are binded together, which in turn has so much of strength as to hold an elephant. 'Small drops of water makes the ocean' also conveys the same meaning.

atiparichayAdavjNa -If you go too much close to some one it is likely that people may not listen (Awandya means your order will not be obeyed) saMtatgamanAt anAdaro bhavati - Same is true if you go & visit some one frequently you will be insulted. You may not be treated with same respect as always.

malaye bhillA purandhrI chandanatarukAShTham iMdhanam kurute - To support this above saying , example is given of a woman (Purandhri) living on Malaya Mountain where Sandal wood is available in abundance.So she uses it for her daily rituals like burning it to cook food etc., But for the rest of the world same sandal wood is very costly because it is not so easily available to them.

A snake is cruel and so is the wicked person. But a wicked person should be called more cruel than the snake because the snake can be calmed by some techniques ('Mantras'), but the wicked person cannot be kept in control by any such techniques!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 18

As a person with dirty cloth does not hesitate to sit anywhere, a person whose character is spoiled, will not hesitate to do bad. Every one must have experienced this ( the first half I mean :-) ) particularly in rainy days, when you come out of your home, you will take all care to protect yourself from the mud etc. But once somebody splashes some of it on you, you are tension free. you will not be bothered by the mud there after. Similarly to save your character, you have to take care only at first time.

Parmeshwar (God) doesn't himself take a 'danda' (Stick) in his hand to protect someone. But he gives the 'buddhi' (Intelligence) to a person whose safety he wishes, to withstand any attack ! One can recall many instances in the life of Shivaji Maharaj where the above subAshita can be perfectly applied!

A person, who wants to get some work done from another person, praises him till the work is pending. (after the work is done, he doesn't need that person. As,) once you cross a river, why will you need a boat? This Subhashitam describes, how selfish we are when dealing with others. Obviously not to be practiced.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 17

At the tip of the hand(fingers), is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi; in the center of the hand(the palm) stays Goddess Sarasvati. At the base of the hand(wrist), there is Lord Vishnu. Hence, in the morning, one should take a glimpse of his/her hands first. [We count money by the finger-tips. We write by holding the pen in our fingers and palm. All the work that we can do, is because of the wrists(Vishnu is the Lord of the Universe who governs its functioning). So, on waking up in the morning, one should have a "darshan" of his hands.]

Knowledge ('Vidya') is the real wealth, in a foreign land, So is Cleverness, at tough times. Righteousness ('Dharma') is the only wealth that can buy Heaven ('Par-lok'). Verily, Good Conduct ('Sheel') is the wealth everywhere and at all the times!

It cannot be stolen by thieves, Nor can it be taken away by kings. It cannot be divided among brothers and It does not cause a load on your shoulders. If spent, It indeed always keeps growing. The wealth of knowledge is the most superior wealth of all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 16

Never believe a wicked person even if he is talking in (your) favor. There is honey on his toung’s tip (i.e. his language is sweet), but there is poison in his heart (i.e. his mind is full of wicked thoughts)

When it comes to comparison between a serpent and a wicked person, it is the serpent who is the better of the two. (Because,) a sperpent bites occasionally( very seldom). But, the wicked person stings(causes pain) at every step(always).

It's better to have one good ('Gunvaan' is the exact word! i.e. the one who has many good qualities) son than to have 100 foolish ('Murkha') sons. The darkness is expelled by one single moon and not by the group of stars!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Good Proverbs - Subhashitaani # 15

Crow is black, cuckoo bird is (also) black. What is the difference between crow and cuckoo bird ? (But) When spring arrives crow is crow and cuckoo bird is cuckoo bird. (With the advent of spring, cuckoo bird starts singing with its sweet voice, but crow does not have this ability.) This subhashit is exactly in lines with the previous subhashit.

Oh! King; we both are 'LOKANATHA'. Only the difference is that I am 'bahuvrihi' ( the one whose guardians are people) and on the contrary you are 'Shashthipurush' ( the guardian of people i.e.ruler or king.)

( This 'shlok' is from the conversation between Mahamantri Vidur and Dhritarashtra in Mahabharat. Vidur says,) Your Majesty, always good speaking people can be easily found. (But) a person speaking bitter (truth) and one who listens to him are both difficult to find.