Keep your words sweet

Keep your words sweet – you may have to eat them sometime.

There is one very similar subhashita in Sanskrit, which always been my favorite.

प्रियवाक्यप्रदानेन सर्वे तुश्यंति जंतवः | तस्मात्तदेव वक्तव्यं वचने का दरीद्रता ||

(To read: priyavAkyapradAnEna sarvE tushanti jantavah tasmattadEva vaktavyam vachanE ka darIdratA )

All living creatures love listening to you, if you talk sweet. So why poverty of sweet words ?

The weak, the god and sacrifice

ashvam naiva gajam naiva vyaghram naivacha naivacha |

ajaaputram balim dadyaat devo durbala ghatakaha ||

अश्वं नैव गजं नैव व्यघ्रं नैव च नैव च
अजापुरत्रं बलिं दद्यात देवो दुर्बल घतकः

It translates something like this: They don’t sacrifice a horse, neither an elephant. Never ever a tiger. A poor lamb is sacrificed. God hurts only weak

Ever since God/protector was created, people wanted a way to “give back” in return to all the protection, mercy and other things he is offering. It is natural to think that god, who exists need to take something from us, when he doing so may miracles (like birth, death etc.). Now having created god, what one can naturally think about him, is “he is like us”. He eats what we eat. He likes ornaments like we do. And he likes to eat goat/buffalos like we do. This can be one answer.

The other what I can think about is. Relaxing the rules! So many religious rules, so much less time to follow. Or life is so advanced that, either one can not afford to or not allowed practice. So what the best solution is follow the rules which are convenient, comfortable. Or Change them according to your convenience and say this is actually the way.

Illustration of the Ashvamedha of Kaushalya in the Ramayana epic.
Illustration of the Ashvamedha of Kaushalya in the Ramayana epic.

Now in this context rule (bloody rule) was sacrifice is blood. There is always a concept that almighty asked them blood, but never mention when, how and where he asked. Initially there were people who were getting sacrificed. A fighting fit person will always show resistance, so women and kids. If the tribe has a feeling that they are their own, take someone from neighboring tribe. All these are about satisfying god.

As days passed, we became more civilized. We chucked human beings and started sacrifice what we tame. If it useful animal like a horse or a camel, again No. Find something where sacrifice is also some and we can eat it also later. Now what vegetarians do? Don’t laugh, they sacrifice a pumpkin!! and there is no blood in it, so put some “kumkum” (red powder) and make it look like flesh. Ultimately what people do if what is very convenient to them, and justify it. Continue reading “The weak, the god and sacrifice”

Ahimsa Paramo Dharmaha

I was searching the roots of all famous Sanskrit quotes. But this one “Ahimsa paramo dharmaha“( अहिंसा परमो धर्मः ) did not yield any results in internet. More than 500 results and just “Ahimsa paramo dharmaha”. Every one is happy mentioning only up to there. The meaning is Non-violence is Ultimate religion (or duty). The sentence is repeatedly gets mentioned whenever Indian philosophy and tolerance is explained, especially context of explaining ancient Hindu (sanatan dharma), Buddhism, Jainism and Gandhian philosophy. 

One result gave the latter part of it. धर्म हिंसा तथीव च  – Dharma himsa tathaiva cha “. Now that means Violence is also religion (duty). I am getting different meanings out of them.

1.      Non-violence is the ultimate duty of life, and in some contexts violence is also. Here what is the extremity of the context?

2.      Try to follow Non-violence and given no choice follow violence (for protect your self). This is most optimistic meaning I have taken

Anyway the sentence is frequently mentioned, but forgetting the second part of it. It’s something like Ashvathamaha hato kunjarah, telling half truth. If some one has a better explanation, or complete hymn please leave a comment.

Women don’t deserve Freedom ?

This is one of the hymns, much quoted on freedom of women. It says:

पिता रक्शति कौमरे भर्ता रक्शति यव्वना |
पुत्रः रक्शति वार्धक्ये नस्त्री स्वतन्त्र्यमर्हति ||

Pita rakshati kaumare, bharta raskshati youvana,
putrah rakshati varddhakye, na stree swatantryam arhati

Translation: A woman is protected by father in childhood, her husband protects her in youth, and in old age she should be protected by her son. At no stage in life should a woman be left alone and destitute. She deserves protection by man at every stage in her life. – Manusmriti.

Now, there are strong arguments that this hymn is being misinterpreted. I opine it might now have been, it made perfect sense provided the social context of 2nd century BCE. Also, If at all they wanted “women deserve protection” to be written, it could’ve been stree rakshanmarhati or anything else he likes, sanskrit pretty much never runs out of good vocab.