pachai maamalai pol mene

Thursday, March 31, 2011

eternal vow of silence.

मूर्खेषु विवादो न कर्तव्यः 
mūrkheṣu vivādo na kartavyaḥ 
cāṇakyasūtraṁ ||230||

the terse aphorism of chanakya, though simple is full to the brim with meaning.
So let me leave long winded sentences in Sanskrit for the day and settle for this.

Chankya simply says... "It is futile to argue with and arrogant and idiotic person".

For the great political scientist this  is the essence of his experience of a lifetime. 
It is dangerous to engage in a conversation  even of friendly nature with an idiot. 
 He will talk back garbage to you an your day will be ruined. 
 If this conversation is by way of advice backed by reasoning and rhetoric you are sure to face  serious backlash. 
There will be verbal insult, physical attack and enmity lasting for a lifetime or even more. 
The age old dictum that "silence is golden"  should guide us especially while dealing with idiots. 
True, this action of avoiding controversy becomes very difficult when we are at the receiving end of some trouble.

We may then follow the path of another age old master....
this action is attributed to tenali rama,
Some say it was thiruvaazhithaan  
 Once our hero was going along the street.
The son of the local village chief threw a small stone at him.
The throw  hit him on the back and it was indeed very painful.
 But the hero could not show his anger or retaliate.
He knew that if he scolded they boy, the arrogant father would come to the boy's rescue and our poor man did not have the capacity to react and  survive. 
So with a lot of show affection he called the boy and congratulated him on the accuracy of the throw and also presented with him a dampidi....(the smallest coin available at that time).
 The boy was wonder-struck and asked if he could get money for pelting stones at others.
 Our man  replied that the stone was small and he himself was very poor.
 This was the reason for the frugal presentation in acknowledgement .
 He advised the boy to select a huge man with strong body and ensure that he used a bigger stone which would hit at least the back of the victim's head.
 The naughty boy followed the advice to the last word and the results were to the entire satisfaction of the man who gave the advise..
The little imp got a thrashing which would haunt his memory for a lifetime.
Indeed it is a difficult proposition not to argue with idiots when the surface of earth is too richly populated  with men (women too) of idiotic dimensions.
For the wise Mouna Vrat.. eternal vow of silence might be the only choice


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

just wait and see

मतिमान्विनयप्रमाथिनः समुपेक्षेत समुन्नतिं द्विषः।
सुजयः खलु ताद्रुगन्तरे विपदन्ताह्यविनीतसंपदः॥
भारवेः किरातर्जुनीयमहकाव्ये ॥२-४२॥
matimānvinayapramāthinaḥ samupekṣeta samunnatiṁ dviṣaḥ|
sujayaḥ khalu tādrugantare vipadantāhyavinītasaṁpadaḥ||
bhāraveḥ kirātarjunīyamahakāvye  ||2-42||

Dharmaputra continues with his advice  to his kin... "  For a wise person, it is indeed futile to get overly concerned about the temporary and apparent growth of the arrogant enemy. It will not be necessary to rally great forces to defeat such enemies.  The arrogance of such enemies who have come into sudden affluence and power will ruin them in due course. The eminence and polularity of the supremely arrogant and just a temporaty  glow before complete destruction.

The wise king is convinced that evil fellows like Duryodhana will try to enhance their image, wealth etc by pretending to be very generous, friendly, learned and committed to friends and subjects, but the inherent arrogance and selfishness will reveal themselves  given reasonable time.  And once the real nature is exposed sooner or later, they will fall into abysmal disgrace, without any prodding from the enemies.  If we are worrying about such enemies, we are only wasting our time.  They have the knack of destroying themselves.
"विपदन्ताह्यविनीतसंपदः   the wealth of the arrogant lands him in ultimate danger"
this dictum is one of the most appropriate proverbs ever penned
।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

slow and steady wins the race

उपकारकमायतेर्भृशं प्रसवः कर्मफलस्य भूरिणः।
अनपायि निबर्हणं द्विषां न तितिक्षासममस्ति साधनं॥
भारवेः किरतार्जुनीये २---४३
upakārakamāyaterbhṛśaṁ prasavaḥ karmaphalasya bhūriṇaḥ|
anapāyi nibarhaṇaṁ dviṣāṁ na titikṣāsamamasti sādhanaṁ||
bhāraveḥ kiratārjunīye 2---43

The great poet Bharavi is making another statement of eternal value  through Yudhistira, the epitome of wisdom.
"The most effective art and science to be put to use  by people who desire for permanent welfare, is patience.  
 Patience will be of immense help in achieving and retaining  for ever the advantages one acquires.
 It is  only through patience that one can realize fully the favourable results of one's incessant toil.  
Patience can never cause one any danger. 
 When countered with  patience, the enemies get annihilated by their own  faulty actions without much initiative on our part.  
There is not a  better weapon which could vie with patience."

In our day to day life, we are encountering the bad effects  of impulsive and impatient actions too often. 
 We sow a seed and in time it germinates, grows and through spontaneous and varied acts of nature it becomes a tree and gives us sweet fruits.  
But if one is just pulling out from earth  the seed or sapling every day and examining whether the roots are getting stronger, the plant can never grow.  
This is the result of impatience. 
 In every act of nature and the will of the Creator, there is a rhythm which is entirely dependent on timing.  
If we try to rush through  against the universal law, it is the worst manifestation of impatience on our part.  
When rushed out of the natural rhythm, the divine forces get disturbed with disastrous consequences.  
Kamadeva tried to disturb the eternal Lord Sankara from his penance to satisfy  the impatience of the Gods and the results were tragic beyond words.
  By enriching the radioactive contents of an element, we created atomic and subatomic explosions and what is the result?  
We speed up particles through cyclotrons and other accelerators to bombard hard and break the heart of a nucleus...uncontrollable energy comes out and the environment is infested with poisonous rays which in turn cause  mutation in our own genetic cells and endangers not only our own existence  but signals doom for all the future generations to come..
Impatience at an individual level will cause serious setbacks, but at macro level, it will annihilate everything.


Monday, March 28, 2011

no deviation from the path trodden by the great

स्पृहणीयगुणैर्महात्मभिश्चरिते वर्त्मनि यच्छतां मनः।
विधिहेतुरहेतुरागसां विनिपातोऽपि समः समुन्नतेः॥
भारवेः किरातार्जुनीये महाकाव्ये  २---३४
spṛhaṇīyaguṇairmahātmabhiścarite vartmani yacchatāṁ manaḥ|
vidhiheturaheturāgasāṁ vinipāto'pi samaḥ samunnateḥ||
bhāraveḥ kirātārjunīye mahākāvye  2---34

The talk of Dharmaputra to Bhiimasena and others continues.
 " For those who follow the footprints of great predecessors of sterling character  even temporary setbacks caused by act of fate or otherwise  would transform themselves to future advantage"

The wise king is a stickler to tradition and precedents.  The functions and duties of the ruler are chalked out by such traditions and precedents.  The evolution of such law is very methodical.  If one follows the wisdom of the ancestors in word and spirit, ultimate success is ensured and even temporary hiccups can be only indicators for introspection and correction of the path through introspection.
This idea is germane in every civilized governance.  If the present constitution of our Nation is very fair and  enlightened, the credit should go to the times of Mahabharatha and Manusmriti, chanakya and mitakshari,  the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity canvassed by the French Revolution, Jefferson's United States Declaration of Independence  adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the laws of England of the Westminster school developed through tradition alone  and other gems culled out from our past.  As Neville Cardus once put it, if Halsbury's Laws of England ( are lost for ever we can rebuild the traditions from the laws of the game of cricket (the noble game is a strict votary of discipline.).
 Hierarchical discipline and respect for precedents is the hallmark of any judicial system worth its name in the civilized world.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Sunday, March 27, 2011

anger saps the strength

anger saps the strength

शुचि भूषयति श्रुतं वपुः प्रशमस्तस्य भवत्यलङ्क्रिया।
प्रशमाभरणं पराक्रमः स नयापादितसिद्धिभूषणः॥
भारवेः किरातार्जुनीये २---३२
śuci bhūṣayati śrutaṁ vapuḥ praśamastasya bhavatylaṅkriyā|
praśamābharaṇaṁ parākramaḥ sa nayāpāditasiddhibhūṣaṇaḥ||
bhāraveḥ kirātārjunīye 2---32

Yudhistira extols the virtue of learned and well thought of action not influenced by anger 
"The time-tested and thoughtful study of scriptures and traditions and action following such study becomes an adornment and a talisman to the body (meaning existence) of a person. Victory over anger and thoughtful execution of the properly conceived plan of action is the crowning glory for such studies.   When a ruler's valour is beautifully embellished by self control and victory over anger,  he becomes the ultimate victor reaching zenith of popularity  because of the proper mapping and dexterous execution of his policies." 

Here the king signals a note of caution to his brother.  Mere girth of the body and possession of raw power is not enough.  The raw power should be tempered by study of scriptures and traditions. And rushing through life just prodded by uncontrolled rage and arrogance will only lead to one's downfall.   If the really strong and well advised leader is in full control of his emotions and proceeds to execute his plans in the most meticulous manner.  the final  crowning  glory  seeks him out.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

qualities of a good speech

स्फुटता न पदैरपाकृता न च न स्वीकृतमर्थगौरवं।
रचिता पृथगर्थता गिराम् न च सामर्थ्यमपोहितं क्वचित्॥
भारविमहाकविकृते किरातार्जुनीये महाकाव्ये २---२७
sphuṭatā na padairapākṛtā na ca na svīkṛtamarthagauravaṁ|
racitā pṛthagarthatā girām na ca sāmarthyamapohitaṁ kvacit||
bhāravimahākavikṛte kirātārjunīye mahākāvye 2---27

Bheemasena is simmering with rage at the state of affairs caused by the stoic attitude of his elder brother. He has made a speech canvassing frontal attack on the enemies. Dharmaputra is disturbed by the spurt of words from the giant of a younger brother and the impulsiveness reflected therein. But the king is a past-master in facing any verbal charade by confronting it with soft and conciliatory replies. So in a bid to calm down Bheema, the king praised the former's words ..
" The words spoken by you were very clear, and such clarity was not marred by excessive verbosity, at no point have you veered away from the paramount importance of the subject matter of the speech, the words spoken by you, though brief, were capable of conveying rich and deep insights, and the dexterity in composition and formation of words was not overlooked at any point".

Such learned analysis of the qualities of a good speech is a crowning example of Bharavi's astuteness. The occasion in the Kaavyam is not very relevant. But what is important to a student is the deapth of thought that has gone into the condensed definition of a good speech, being explained. Clarity of thoughts is given the most important place. Such clarity should not be obliterated by verbosity. And the purpose of any speech should reflect purposefulness. The words used should be as few as possible but should convey great meanings. Dexterity in presentation of the subject through cogent use of words should never be overlooked.
Bharavi himself is a master in such word-craft. The literary world praises the simplicity of words of Dandi ( the author of Dasakumaracharitam), the deapth of meaning of Bharavi and the great similes of Kalidasa ( दण्डिनः पदलाळित्यम् भारवेरर्थगौरवम् उपमा कालिदासस्य.. daṇḍinaḥ padalāḻityam bhāraverarthagauravam upamā kāalidāsasya....)

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Friday, March 25, 2011

the brave thrives by valour

मदसिक्तमुखैर्मृगाधिपः करिभिर्वर्तयते स्वयं हतैः।
लघयन्खलु तेजसाजगन्न महानिच्छति भूतिमन्यतः॥
भारवेः किरतार्जुनीये  २---१८
madasiktamukhairmṛgādhipaḥ karibhirvartayate svayaṁ hataiḥ|
laghayankhalu tejasājaganna mahānicchati bhūtimanyataḥ||
bhāraveḥ kiratārjunīye  2---18
The king Yudhistira is in conference with his brothers and wife and the queen Draupadi. 
Even though Yudhistira is just taking the sojourn in the forest as a consequence of his own action of losing a chess tournament  and is reconciled to it,   the others following him  are not at peace with the situation.  
When informed  about the success of the arch rival Duryodhana their anger and eagerness for revenge are doubly kindled. 
They are simply tied down and restrained just  by their respect for the elder brother.  Draupadi is now addressing the valourous Vrikodhara...the Bheemasena, prodding him to belligerent action against Duryodhana. 
 Frist she ridicules the stoic nature of the king and his four valorous brothers Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. 
 She is all contempt  for the ways of reconciliation sought by the exiled king.
  She says
" The king of forests,  the lion, always likes to exist in glory among the dead bodies of the rogue elephants which were on rut and have been annihilated by him by striking their foreheads with his strong arms and he finds glory  not elsewhere.  
A true hero would always want to vanquish the whole world with his own valour and enjoy the glory and wealth coming by his way through such action. 
 It is not through patient waiting and negotiations that the really brave person established his superiority."

Draupadi's talk couched in taunts is understanadable  under the circumstances.  Yudhistira is getting unnecessarily bogged down by his own exaggerated sense of propriety.  
This attitude may be ideal for philosophers or ascetics..
But it is ridiculous for a strong man that the king is who is having for his support four younger brothers, who are all capable of vanquishing the world individually on their own right. 
 Here the Kshaatra Dharma is explained  with all passion by a brave lady of the Kshatriya clan. 

The sum and substance of the arguments is that an attitude or action which can be praiseworthy in one set of circumstances can be termed as cowardice in a different situation


Thursday, March 24, 2011

is it always right cricket to "walk"?

व्रजन्ति ते मूढधियः पराभवं भवन्ति मायाविषु ये न मायिनः।
प्रविश्य हि घ्नन्ति शठास्तधाविधानसंवृताङ्गान्निशिता इवेषवः॥
भारविकृते किरातार्जुनीये महाकव्ये १---३०
vrajanti te mūḍhadhiyaḥ parābhavaṁ bhavanti māyāviṣu ye na māyinaḥ|
praviśya hi ghnanti śaṭhāstadhāvidhānasaṁvṛtāṅgānniśitā iveṣavaḥ||
bhāravikṛte kirātārjunīye mahākavye 1---30

Yudhistira had been forced to abdicate his kingdom and take shelter to a life in forest for 12 years as a result of an unjust bid in a game of chess with his cousin.  The same fate has overtakent his four younger brothers and also Draupadi.  The honest and noble king has accepted this imposition as a matter of propriety.  But his brothers and wife are not that magnanimous.  They had accepted the decision only with a view not to disobey their leader and the king.  They are not in anyway reconciled to this state of affairs. The dissent is most strong on the part of Draupadi because even her womanhood was challenged during the altercation that followed the game of chess and she was publicly humiliated by dussasana.  The four younger brothers and the king himself had the strength and popularity if they chose to spurn such unjust imposition cast on them.  So when Yudhistira reports the outcome of his discussion with the spy Draupadi and the four brothers could not conceal their indignation over the state of affairs and the stoic approach of the king on the issue.  Draupadi is the first to speak out . She says, "  The idiotic persons who are not deceitful while dealing with treacherous people will only be led from defeat to further defeat.  They will be torn asunder by the obstinate and cruel adversaries just as the sharp and poisoned arrows punctures the uncovered bosom of a warrior without armour and other protection.
While it will give one an aura of nobility to accept even unjust decision with peaceful acceptance and calm resignation,  such attitude is fatal to human beings in their existence in terra firma.   There will be always people who use unfair means to take advantage of others.  Even if the argument that a noble and decent person should not resort to such methods himself is a valid one, he cannot afford to   remain without offering any resistance if such practices are directed against him.  Noble declarations and stark realities of life could  be at placed at opposite poles in our day to day life.  With the power and popularity and resources in one's favour  if he  remains wedded to empty platitudes in the name of propriety when the adversary is using foul means he is inviting annihilation for himself and  others dependent on him.
The question whether it is right to just walk in cricket without seeing the umpire's hands up  when the opposite team bowls underarm is relevant here.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

enmity with the noble is the harbinger of tragedy. --

प्रलीनभूपालमपि स्थिरायति प्रशसदावरिधि मण्डलं भुवः।
स चिन्तयत्येव भियस्त्व्देष्यतीरहो दुरन्ता बलवद्विरोधिता॥
भारविप्रणीते किरातार्जुनीये महाकव्ये  १---२३
pralīnabhūpālamapi sthirāyati praśasadāvaridhi maṇḍalaṁ bhuvaḥ|
sa cintayatyeva bhiyastvdeṣyatīraho durantā balavadvirodhitā||
bhāravipraṇīte kirātārjunīye mahākavye  1---23

The entire kingdom with its people and resources has been brought under the absolute control of Duryodhana, engaging all means fair or foul.  There is ostensible stability and lack of challenge from any foes.  But his mind is paranoid...Day and night he is only thinking of an attack from the legitimate ruler, Yudhistira and defeat at his hand. Miserable indeed is the state of affairs of a person who has incurred the enmity  very strong persons.  In the poets own words.." he had made the whole earth with the oceans as her borders filled with subdued and subjugated rulers under his strong grip and was wielding suzerain powers, but he is indeed obsessessed eternally with the fear of attack from you (Yudistira, being addressed by the spy).  Tragedy awaits people who have incurred the enemity of the great."

Here we can sense what happens to persons who have usurped into places of eminence when they do not have the legitimacy to reach that station.  We can see millions of individual examples in day to day life today.  Illegitamacy  is rather a rule than an exeption these days.  Positions of power are attained either through crafty means, or ridiculous legislation by brute pressure groups.  The legitimacy by way of mental and physical eligibility and merit are overlooked somewhere in the route.   The banished suffers and the usurper tries to persuade himself that he is now the master.  But a corner of his own mind always  raises the question mark... If the  usurper is cruel enough, he annihilates his competitor by any means to avoid   backlash.. This is what Macbeth did, or Lady Macbeth did for him.   But she became insane.   In a minor way the manager who has climbed the ladder after delivering unfair kicks just gets his competitors eliminated  by means of scandalizing or intrigue... The history of mankind is overflowing with such incidents. 
However the mind which is honest in comparison,  it sees through the brave face, and crumbles. 
Indeed, enmity with the noble is  the harbinger of tragedy.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

even the stone will melt when it is honoured

निरत्ययं साम न दानवर्जितम् न भूरि दानं विरहय्य सत्क्रियां।
प्रवर्तते तस्य विशेषशालिनी गुनानुरोधेन विना न सत्क्रिया॥।
भारवेः किरातार्जुनीय महाकाव्यात् १---१२
niratyayaṁ sāma na dānavarjitam na bhūri dānaṁ virahayya satkriyāṁ|
pravartate tasya viśeṣaśālinī gunānurodhena vinā na satkriyā|||
bhāraveḥ kirātārjunīya mahākāvyāt 1---12

To retain the goodwill of the people around him the clever king Duryodhana was applying the two very effective modes of befriending... unlimited praise and friendly accommodation of ideas which were accompanied by generous gifts. 

 But the honours and gifts were handed out by the astute ruler taking into account the good qualities and the eminent eligibility of the recipient of such honours. 

" His habitual and friendly treatment of the near and dear was not without generous gifts and honours and the honours were bestowed by him on the appropriate and deserving recepients."

Mere verbal praise of people, however sweet and flattering it is will not attract the people to a person for long. 

People rally around a person basically expecting material benefits 
This desire was usually satisfied by generous gifts. 
 And people in general are vain. 
They want recognition and praise and hierarchical honours. 

In the present day context such cravings of the people are satisfied by awards and decorations by the state and prestigious organisations. 

 The most important message conveyed by the philosopher poet is that adulations and honours should go only to people who are eminently eligible for such exalted treatment. 
 A state honour should never be bestowed on an undeserving individual.

The history of awards and honours these days have a different background. Personal, political and selfish considerations gain the upper stage.
 The tragedy is that the deserving persons with little clout miss the bus in the process. The hollow nature of misplaced honours are exposed with their ugly face exposed by history in posterity.


Monday, March 21, 2011

modesty is apealing even if it for convenience or even pretended

सखीनिव प्रीतियुजोऽनुजीविनः समानमानान्सुहृदश्च बन्धुभिः।
स सन्ततं दर्शयते गतस्मयः कृताधिपत्यामिव साधु बन्धुतां॥
भारवेः किरातार्जुनीये महाकाव्ये  १-----१०
sakhīniva prītiyujo'nujīvinaḥ samānamānānsuhṛdaśca bandhubhiḥ|
sa santataṁ darśayate gatasmayaḥ kṛtādhipatyāmiva sādhu bandhutāṁ||
bhāraveḥ kirātārjunīye mahākāvye  1-----10

This is from the first chapter of Kirtaarjuneeyam the magnum opus of poet Bharavi.. and acclaimed as one of the five of the greatest Kavyams in Sanskrit literature.

The storyline is from the epic Mahabharatam. The Pandavas were defeated in a game of dice by their Cousing Duryodhana and their kingdom was confiscated as wager and they were sent on exile.. The soujourn in wilderness was  for thirteen years.. The eldest Pandava and the King Yudhistira had not given up his hopes that he would return to his people in good time.. 
He had sent a hunter as a spy to observe and report how Duryodhana was ruling the usurped kingdom..
The above is from a report by that spy to the king in exile.. Yudhishtira.

In an all out to bid to keep people around him absolutely faithful in spite of the fact that Duryodhana was rather an impostor to the kingdom which rightly belonged to his cousin Dharmaputra, the former has embarked himself on a course of unabashed appeasement and show of excessive love and affection towards  all around him.

" He is treating mere acquaintanaces who were marginally favourable to him as if they were his bosom friends. 

 Friends were close relatives to him in his perception under the changed circumstances.  
And  apparently bereft of all arrogance, his ostensible attitude towards his relatives , was that such people  were his lords and masters."

Showing of excessive cordiality attracts all people towards the ruler.  
We have heard vultures of politicians address their voters as 
" my uternine brothers, sharing my own blood" etc., 
but it would only reinforce the ageold dictum, 

" vachane kaa daridrataa....

why should one be miserly when dishing out mere words?". 
 The trait exhibited by Duryodhana would be found in everyone who is not sure of himself and the legitimacy of his position. 
 He is always governed by the fear that what he has acquired by foul means would be challenged by the support group and close cronies, 
and in his bid to keep them in good humour,
 he is showing excessive magnanimity and geniality to them. 
 It is a sort of clowning engaged in by  any ruler who has many skeletons in his cupboard. 
 But when the going is fairly good, the recipients of the favours would pretend to believe in the bounty and cordiality as genuine .. 

They have nothing to lose. 
But when the opposition to the tyrant gets crystallized, the bluff will be called and the goody goody atmosphere will vanish into thin air.

However, it has to be remarked by way of an ad lib that if an affectionate and able ruler can develop this attitude towards his fellow beings and subjects, he could gain immortality..
But Mahatmas are too rare in the real world.


Sunday, March 20, 2011


It is a story of almost hundred years ago. A timid, but principled brahmin was serving as a clerk in the service of the British Malabar, in some obscure place in Malappuram district.  The clerks, if they had to survive had to receive the bribes offered to them in small coins and in kind, because their salaries was paltry.  But this man will not do it. But so long as he was a clerk, he was left alone.. because it never affected the people or the employer if he did his job reasonably well.  But one day he was awarded a promotion to  some post equal to a Deputy Tehsildar and this man was afraid that he would not be allowed not to take bribes any more.  With eight children, mostly young and no expectation of any income he retired for a small pension and returned to his agraharam.  There, from the morning many children would be sitting around him on the thinnai of his house studying the alphabets of malayalam language.  In his spare time unnoticed by all he would visit the village pond and clean the old steps around it  and remove grass and other growths, before he took his bath. He studied sanskrit at an advanced age and would recite bagavat gita and vishnu sahasranamam.  I learnt these mostly by heart hearing him chant it...I was seven years at that time.

Another brahmin was there. He was engaged as a cook and a small time hotelier. He failed completely and at about  the age of fifty he was offered the job of a priest in a small ganapathy temple for a paltry monthy wage of less than five rupees. He would go as a loukeeka for sraadham meals etc. The ganapathy had to be offered rice at least twice a day, and his lamps had to be hit.  This man would take the cooked rice from home and offer it to Ganapathy. The nephews and nieces in his house were the wageless sweepers of the temple.  Till  every morning he would pour nice gingely oil pilfered from the home on the idol and would remark,  "let the Lord sit like this for ten minutes, so that he will be cool and happy".  He lived in the service of the ganapthy for forty years and the ganapathy was indigent, and the priests salary would not have reached even fifty rupees. He was childless but his relatives had prospered reasonable by the time he retired.. The ganapthy also prospered after his exit  The fellows who did menial jobs for the temple did that  out of love more for this man, and without any wages.

Another impractical man I have seen.  In his retired life and with none of his children settled in life, even food was scarce at home.  But every night before completing his second course of meals he would ask for some more rice, and say if fresh rice is not there it can be pazhaya saatham at least.  All in the family knew this food was not for himself.  A stray orphan dog was waiting in the backyards.  Once the man was given the extra rice, sometimes even on the face of murmur from others, he would say he was not hungry, take away the plate and give the food to the dog. He was not sure that others in the family would give anything to the dog, given the circumstances.

There was yet another lean ugly man whose only pleasure in life was ostensibly to take purgatives every day so that his intestines would be clean in the night.  But for about 35 years he was a teacher of the first standard in a primary school, at Kalpathy. He never desired even to teach in the second class. ( No nusery or KG classes those days. Every morning he would go to school at 7-30 AM, even clean his classroom and be waiting for his children. The pleasures and pains of each child was his own.  No child cried or complained when they occupied his classroom. When any  child was sick, he would care of him.  if the child passed urine or stools while in class he would not hesitate to clean the class and  the child.  He was the Sir for many youngsters of two generations. His educational achievements would not have been much more than that of his students of the class.

The above persons, prima facie were idiots.  Nobody asked them to  do these things.  If my guess is correct, they did not even know that they were doing something out of the way
Many of us in our family have grown up into idiots emulating them. Nothing strange  about it.  The first was my mother's father, second my mothers uncle, third my own father and last but not the least, my own uncle, my mothers brother.

I am an idiot and impractical fool.. I cannot be otherwise.  But secretly I am proud of it... because I am in good company.
Dozens of siblings and cousins of mine who may chance to read this will be idiots of similar mindbend.. but I do hope they will be also proud of their idiotic elder relatives.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

no sweat, no sweets

कृतारिषड्वर्गजयेन मानवीमगम्यरूपां पदवीं प्रपित्सुना।
विभज्य नक्तंदिवमस्ततन्द्रिणा वितन्यते तेन नयेन पौरुषम्॥
भारविकृते किरतार्जुनीये  महाकाव्ये १---९

kṛtāriṣaḍvargajayena mānavīmagamyarūapāṁ padavīṁ prapitsunā|
vibhajya naktaṁdivamastatandrina vitanyate tena nayena pauruṣam||
bhāravikṛte kiratārjunīye  mahākāvye 1---9

The spy employed by Dharmaputra describles how the exiled king's arch rival and cousin Duryodhana is  exerting himself to the ultimate and increasing his valour and prosperity.
" The positions occupied is very difficult for him to sustain by mere human efforts as prescribed by manu.  So he has managed to conquer the six worst enemies one can have, namely, Kama (Lust), Krodha (Rage), Lobha ( stinginess), Moha (avarice), madha (arrogance) and maatsarya ( unhealthy competiton),  and setting out an effective  action plan without any place for rest or laxity either during day or night, through astute diplomacy, he is enhancing his influence over the subjects and vassals and is also conquering himself."

The most important principles of management are given in a capsule form once again.  The poet acknowledges that the more successful the manager,  stiffer targets will be thrown up for his achievement.  Living up to such targets is not an easy task by normal human standards.  However, the achievement can be made a sure possibility through some great effort.  The first precondition is to win over the inherent six enemies we are born with.  Lust simply derails us from action affects our unswerving concentration.  Rage dissipates our energy and  puts to nought  all our achievements till then.  Stinginess and meanness become mental blocks for ourselves  and our associates and pulls us back.  Unrealistic craving for anything is another drain for concerted action.(one should act and achieve, can dream reasonably, but dreams without action can only bring us disaster). Arrogance is the achiever's worst enemy... this trait makes one mad, quarrelsome and blind to realities and finishes him once for all.  Unhealthy and unethical competition, at the end of the day, will be only a harbinger of disaster.  One should not lose sight of the progress of the competitor, but getting obsessed with the rival operator can only affect ones on achievements. Once has to allow his own brand quality and achievement  speak for itself. 
Then the manager should have a well defined action plan...if the targets are sky high, one has no time to relax... every target becomes achievable when it is divided and the achievement is expected to fructify within clearly defined time-slots within a longer span of time fixed for achieving  the target.  Losing out at each time slot makes a dent on the final results.  And finally the never say die attitude is the vital quality that really makes the difference. In cricket we say the game is not over till the last ball is bowled. The same idea  would appear with greater force in the pursuit of our targets.

To be precise, the great poet is just giving us a lesson in proper management of our resources and time. just taking the storyline of Duryodhana as a medium. The dramatis personae are not very material, but the ideas are worth their weight in gold.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Saturday, March 19, 2011

sweet but insincere words can kill you

क्रियासु युक्तैर्नृप चारचक्षुसो न वञ्चनीयाः प्रभवोऽनुजीविभिः।
अतोर्हसि क्षन्तुमसाधु साधु वा हितं मनोहारि च दुर्लभं वचः॥
भारविकृते किरातार्जुनीये महाकाव्ये  १-----४
kriyāsu yuktairnṛpa cāracakṣuso na vañcanīyāḥ prabhavo'nujīvibhiḥ|
atorhasi kṣanthumasādhu sādhu vā hitaṁ manohāri ca durlabhaṁ vacaḥ||
bhāravikṛte kirātārjunīye mahākāvye  1-----4

This is another gem from Bhaaravi.  
The king Yudhistira had employed a spy to secretly observe and report the state of affairs in his kingdom from which he has been unjustly banished and which was ruled by his cousin Duryodhana.

 The spy in the disguise of a young brahmin had roamed around the kingdom and gathered all information he could 
and he is about to give a status report to his king.  
The dutiful employee is not interested in dishing out false and comfortable tidings and curry the temporary favour of his employer. 
(See what our IB  in India did in pre 1977 election scenario) .
In the words of a rustic menial employee acting as a spy,  the learned  Bharavi brings out a great truth which the manager as well as the employee should abide by  at any cost.

The spy says...

" Lord, the masters when they employ the spies, consider them as their own eyes.  Such employees should never betray the trust  placed on them at any cost.  

So now the Lord must pardon me irrespective of the fact that my report is favourable and palatable to Him or not.  
It is indeed very difficult to receive words which are meant for your welfare 
and at the same time which are pleasing to the ears and mind."

Yesterday I read as the days quote in a respected site...

" a little inaccuracy in reports is better if accuracy would cause inconveniences.." 
or something to this effect.  
Once managers and  employers have gravitated  to this mindset, the organisation they own or represent  is doomed. 
An employee should have the guts and character to report facts to the boss, 

even though a public confession may not be mandatory. 
It is equally essential  on the part of the manager to evaluate the facts and circumstances after giving  objective consideration to the situation  viewing them impaasionanately.  
 It is meaningless to be hawkish only to find scapegoats.  
 What  we find especially in hierarchical setups like government organizations is just the opposite .
Personal whims  and   subjective considerations of a man even one place above in seniority  can make or mar the career of an employee  and it is really difficult to follow the dictum of frankness at any cost .  

Here, the boss shouts at you that your are an imbecile, idiot, nincompoop and some harsher fellows may even pass remarks on your parentage.....
but the subordinate,s reply is only "sir", yes Sir, "you are correct sir", "i will take care of it sir"   
Yes, Bharavi's gem...
" words which are for your benefit  may not pass the test of being nectar to the ear and mind " 
 is to be exhibited in golden letter for all people to read wherever any human transactions are happening 


wishes of the day

today is Pankuni Utram.. It is Holi in North india.  Birthday of Lord Ayyappa, they say ( how can there be a birthday for the parabrahmam?),  it is supposed to be  the date of Meenakshi Kalyanam, parvathi kalyanam ,  and also the festive day of Lord Murugan,  and this day is related to all gods. In the planetary confluence also the day is very auspicious, lucky and sacred.  The most appropriate day to pay our obeisance and thanks to the Almighty, in whatever form He is.  Wish all my friends Gods blessing on this day...
May the most merciful wielder of Panchajanya, my darling Krishna bless us all and brighten our day.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

Friday, March 18, 2011

even enmity with the noble has its own benefits

तदापि जिह्मः स भवज्जिगीषया तनोति शुभ्रं गुणसम्पदा यशः।
समुन्नयन्भूमिमनार्यसङ्गमाद्वरं विरोधोऽपि समं महात्मभिः।
महाकविभारविकृते किरातार्जुनीये महाकव्ये    -----
tadāpi jihmaḥ sa bhavajjigīṣayā tanoti śubhraṁ guṇasampadā yaśaḥ|
samunnayanbhūmimanāryasaṅgamādvaraṁ virodho'pi samaṁ mahātmabhiḥ|
mahākavibhāravikṛte kirātārjunīye mahākavye  1  -----8

The context in the Mahakaavya is as follows:-  The Pandavas were challenged by Duryodhana for a game of chess by their cousins Kauravaas whose eldest is Duryodana.  As per the practice among Kshatriyas of the day the elder Pandava accepted that challenge and what happened later was  a game fixing by the Crafty uncle Sakuni the King of Gandhara.  The wily Sakuni through words and action managed to rig the game and Dharmaputra, having staked his kingdom as well as the persona of himself , his four brothers and Draupadi was completely defeated and humiliated and finally it was ordered that the five pandavas with their wife draupadi would withdraw to forest for 12 years of forest life and one year of living incognito and if their identity got revealed during the days in disguise, they will again have to repeat the life in exile again, subject to the same conditions.
Thus the pervert of Duryodhana had come by the great Kingdom of his cousins through foul means.  But the man was really intelligent.  He started his policy of endearment of the subjects of the annexed country through fair rule exhibiting abundance of personal virtues..This is narrated in the Mahakavya as a report from a spy of Dharmaputra submitted to the latter. 
"The crafty Duryodhana is aware of the popularity of his elder cousin as an ideal ruler..The only way available to him is to emulate the welfare policies of Dharmaputra and this he does effectively.   Even though he has gained the ownership of the land by foul means, he becomes an ideal ruler.  

The point to be highlighted here is that even enmity with the noble is far better and beneficial that the friendly association with characterless people

The enmity with Dharmaputra has transformed Duryodhana into a very just and popular ruler... and the indication is that his association with the likes of Sakuni is going to result in his future downfall.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

dessicated wisdom

with my limited knowledge, I am astounded at the wisdom of the great poet Bharavi..There are more famous statesmen right from Krishna, Bheeshmaacharya, Vidura, chaanakya, Machiavelli, Triumverate of France, Emerson....... and the list is huge. But what Bharavi has squeezed into the first two chapters of Kiratarjuneeyam is unparallelled in dessicated wisdom of the Indian culture or may be all sublime human thoughts ever. Of course my post here is like a shout in the Sahara... but still...

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|

have trust and give a patient hearing to the subordinate

स किं सखा साधु न शास्ति यऽधिपं हितान्न यः संशृणुते स किं प्रभुः।
सदानुकूलेषु हि कुर्वते रतिम् नृपेष्वमात्येस्षु च सर्वसम्पदः॥
भारविकृते किरातार्जुनीये महाकव्ये १----५
sa kiṁ sakhā sādhu na śāsti ya'dhipaṁ hitānna yaḥ saṁśṛṇute sa kiṁ prabhuḥ|
sadānukūleṣu hi kurvate ratim nṛpeṣvamātyesṣu ca sarvasampadaḥ||
bhāravikṛte kirātārjunīye mahākavye 1----5

The great poet Bharavi extols the relationship between a good master(ruler/manager ) and his minister or subordinate

How can one call a person a good friend or faithful subordinate if he is not able to aid and advise his friend or master efficiently?
 And how can one call a person a worthy ruler or manager if he is incapable of lending a favourable ear to the advise of a subordinate who would be always interested in the welfare of the boss?

The power, wealth and welfare resides only in the country where the king and his ministers and subordinates are all capable of keeping confidence inter se and the subordinates are ready to speak out without fear and the ruler is ready to hear things irrespective of whether the statements are sweet to the ears or not.

This is true in any hierarchical organisation or even in government departments. 
 It is the worker at the lower operative level who first senses the chinks in the armour when the system is losing control.

 If the  workers  are loyal to the organisation and if they have the confidence that they would be heard, they will surely report the aberrations to the higher-ups truthfully, and if the middle level or top management are sincere they would try to understand and  make all attempts to act in time  to save the system as a whole. 

On the other hand if the manager at every level is sitting on his own imagined  paradise just belonging to fools  and trying to find scapegoats when the chips are down, the death of the organisation as a whole is assured.

And usually with the organization the management and  the staff too would find their way down the drains..


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

test of poverty is in shameless begging

दारिद्र्यस्यापरा मूर्तियाच्ञा न द्रविणाल्पता।
अपि कौपीनवान्शम्भुः तदाऽपि परमेश्वरः॥
बल्लालदेवस्य भोजप्रबन्धात्
dāridryasyāparā mūrtiyācñā na draviṇālpatā|
api kaupīnavānśambhuḥ tadā'pi parameśvaraḥ||
ballāladevasya bhojaprabandhāt

Absence of wealth or money cannot be called poverty.The indigent and miserable nature of a person manifests itself in its worst form  through shameless begging.  Take the case of the Lord Shiva.  All he wears is only a tattered loincloth.  But he is called Parameshwara the souce of all prosperity.
Kalidaasa said elsewhere about Shiva...".अकिञ्चनः सन् प्रभवः स सम्पदां  akiñcanaḥ san prabhavaḥ sa sampadāṁ"  even though he stands empty handed in the cremation ground, he is the source of all prosperity" . 
A person may have dearth of money at times, but if he lives within his means and maitans dignity, he is not a destitute.  However, even a rich man who will go to all begging for more and more personal favours is the embodiment of poverty.  
We can see both types of persons in plenty in every social segment.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

anger of the impotent

परं क्षिपति दोषेण वर्तमानः स्वयम् तथा।
यश्च क्रुद्धत्यनीश सन् स च मूढतमो नरः॥
स्रीमहाभारते उध्योगपर्वनि प्रजागरणपर्वे विदुरवाक्ये ३३--३६
paraṁ kṣipati doṣeṇa vartamānaḥ svayam tathā|
yaśca kruddhatyanīśa san sa ca mūḍhtamo naraḥ||
srīmahābhārate udhyogaparvani prajāgaraṇaparve viduravākye 33--36

A very realistic evalution by Vidura 
If one knows very well that he has committed some guilt  and if this fact is known to others too  and still he tries to wriggle out of such situation by passing on the guilt to others and accusing others for his own misdeeds, is an idiot of the first order.

If one just explodes in impotent  anger without having any resources or capacity to do anything constructive when a challenging situation arises is also to be included in the category of idiots. 

No great efficiency is required  to commit a guilt but it takes a lot of character to own it up and face the consequences.   
And giving vent to anger in some impotent way when a person is not capable of doing anything worthwhile  to overcome a crisis makes his look all themore foolish.

 We see some parents thrashing their children just because they are not able to provide the kids with basic needs.  

 If low quality gold is supplied to the goldsmith, it is meaningless to shout at him if the ornaments made by him look lustreless.


Monday, March 14, 2011

to help others is the duty of a householder

चत्वारि ते तात गृहे वसन्तु
श्रियाभिजुष्टस्य गृहस्त धर्मे॥
वृद्धो ज्ञातिरवसन्नः कुलीनः
सखा दरिद्रो भगिनी चानपत्या॥
महभारते उद्योगपर्वणि प्रजागरणपर्वे विदुरनीतिवाक्ये  ३३--५९
catvāri te tāta gṛhe vasantu
śriyābhijuṣṭasya gṛhasta dharme||
vṛddho jñātiravasannaḥ kulīnaḥ
sakhā daridro bhaginī cānapatyā||
mahabhārate udyogaparvaṇi prajāgaraṇaparve viduranītivākye  33--59

Vidura is giving advice to the king Dhritaraashtra, who is his half brother.  He says, " My dear brother, if you desire prosperity and blessedness for yourself,   you  as a grihasta (or noble householder), should  permit four types of persons to live with you for support and sustenance
(1)  The age old and ailing relative though distant, who has no other person to look up to,
(2)  a well bred and learned person who is in difficult financial conditions,
 (3) A bosom friend who has become indigent by some quirk  of fate and
(4) a sister who is not having the fortune to have a child of her own (and either widowed or abandoned by her husband)

The collective responsibility of the society to give succor to the hapless people is embedded into the social rules of Mahabharatha times as could be seen from the pronouncement of the statesman Vidhura. 
Such indigent  people deserved to be treated as householders and were not expected to be thrown into old age homes.  
It is curious how such advices will find sense in the present day context of rich sons and daughters simply driving away  old parents  to old age homes. 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

the king should rule with love and not with rage.

न तेन सज्यं क्वचिदुद्धृतं धनुः कृतं न वा कोपविजिह्ममाननं।
गुणाभिमानेन शिरोभिरुह्यते नराधिपैर्माल्यमिवास्य शासनं॥
भारवेः किरातार्जुनीये महकाव्ये सर्गः १ श्लोकं २१
na tena sajyaṁ kvaciduddhṛtaṁ dhanuḥ kṛtaṁ na vā kopavijihmamānanaṁ|
guṇābhimānena śirobhiruhyate narādhipairmālyamivāsya śāsanaṁ||
bhāraveḥ kirātārjunīye mahakāvye sargaḥ 1 ślokaṁ 21

This is from the great work Kiratarjuneeyam  of poet Bharavi.. 

After managing to send his cousin to a sojourn in the forest through a game a chess (rigged of course by crafty Shakuni), Duryodhana, a Master of statecraft is reinforcing his popularity as a ruler par excellence.  
The success  of this is reported to the exiled king Yudhistira by a spy.  
The spy is impressed by what he saw in the country ruled by Suyodhana and even though the report may not be to the liking of the rival cousin, the spy does not make any attempts to conceal the facts.

"After taking up the reins of administration, the king (Duryodhana) had no occasion to raise his bow mounted tight with the string ready to shoot.  
He had no occasion to have his anger kindled to white flame and making his face excited with rage. 
 The vassal kings and subjects, 
out of great reverence and partiality for the virtue of just administration, 
accept with bowed heads,  
with humility and respect the orders and bidding of the supreme ruler as if such orders were garlands made of fragrant flowers presented to them in their honour".

In politics, there are many occasions when a king can retain power only by applying ruthless suppression of the will of the subjects and subordinates.
 In such cases, the interests of the king or the  ruling junta will be extremely selfish and the statecraft of welfare would be the last priority.  
We see fall of such tyrants as history repeats itself . Many  hegemonies are crumbling. 
But the great respected author, Bhaaravi who is famed for arthagauravam , or exposition of apt  ideas of vital relevance, highlights here  the success of a just king.  

The  orders of such ruler  run the roost because they are entirely beneficial to the subjects. 
 No selfishness or graft or partiality in dispensing justice.  
In the earlier part of this chapter, the just policy expected of the king has been described in great detail. 
 The essential feature is that the king must  not beinfluenced by avarice for taxes and gifts from the subject, 
he should  never be swayed by anger, 
he should invariably  act on the basis of  expert counsel, 
and when it came to dispensation of just punishment he should never consider whether the wrongdoer is an enemy or is his own son, and when he sits on the throne the only  driving force for his  action must be  dharma.  (not drama..a more suitable word for contemporary politicians.)


Saturday, March 12, 2011

strike hard when the metal is hot

वहेदमित्रम् स्कन्धेन यावत्कालस्य पर्ययः।
तमेव काले संप्राप्ते भिन्ध्यात् घटमिवाश्मनि॥
॥शत्रुं च्छिद्रे परिहरेत्॥   चाणक्य सूत्रं १९४

vahedamitram skandhena yāvatkālasya paryayaḥ|
tameva kāle saṁprāpte bhindhyāt ghaṭamivāśmani||
||śatruṁ cchidre pariharet||   cāṇakya sūtraṁ 194

വഹേദ് അമിത്രം സ്കന്ധേന യാവത്കാലസ്യ പര്യയ:
തമേവ കാലേ സംപ്രാപ്തെ ഭിന്ദ്‌യാത് ഘടമിവാശ്മനി
ശത്രുംഛിദ്രേ  പരിഹരേത് ചാണക്യ സൂത്രം)
The Chanakya here is not exactly in his  philosophical mood .
  He is a realist. 
 In fact this master of  stark realities of life alone could establish the first stable kingdom in India. 
Exalted self interest is the watchword in administration.   

He says,  one must even tolerate carrying a known enemy on his own shoulders so long as the time is not favourable and one is not strong enough to attack and defeat that enemy.  
But this should nly a temporary phase in our activities.   
One should not hesitate to annihilate the enemy and blow him to pieces like an earthen pot smashed on a rock at the earliest occasion provided by time and opportunity.

In the local lore of Chanakya it is said that he was a ferocious but indigent  student.  Once when he was crossing a road, a bunch of  wild grass obstructed his feet and he stumbled.  
His immediate reaction was to uproot the growth without leaving any pieces. 
He did not stop with it.  
He burnt it with fire, mixed the whole ashes with water and drank the mixture to the last drop.  
Then alone he rested.  
Maurya the Chandragupta was watching this action of an initiate brahmin and decided then and there to make the latter as his guru.  
The rest is history.

Magnanimity is the privilege of people who are affluent and are comfortably placed.  But in the real struggle for life, we get insufferable slighting and insults from many quarters.
 From bosses, from colleagues, subordinates, from family members  (especially from spouses and children and I am at a loss to know whether this policy would apply there.) and the list can be quit long. 
 To just survive and retain sanity, we may tolerate many insufferable  idiots. 
But if we make it just a habit and flow milk of human kindness everywhere chances are that we  may not  succeed even if we are   Budhdhas or Mahaatma.  
However for us the ordinary human who deal with similar tricky human beings    attack to  finish is the best policy.


Friday, March 11, 2011

let me be in eternal debt

मय्येव जीर्णतां यातु यत्त्वयोपकृतं हरे।

नरः प्रत्युपकारार्थी विपत्तिमभिकांक्षति॥


mayyeva jīrṇatāṁ yātu yattvayopakṛtaṁ hare|

naraḥ pratyupakārārthī vipattimabhikāṁkṣati||


This is an endearing statement by Lord Rama to his friend and benefactor Lord Hanumaan.

" Oh you the pride of the Vanara Clan, I wish that whatever great help and assistance rendered by you to me may remain with me as very old and unreturned . Those who are eager to return a favour are in a way waiting for difficult times to come around for their old benefactors. I never wish that any bad situation should occur to you where I can think of repaying the favours done by you."

This type of noble thought can arise only to an extraordinary being.

We are all basically filled with vanity. Most of us help others, if not for any quid pro quo, at least to get the kick out of it..

We want to drive home for ever the point that we have helped someone...and directly or impliedly throughout our lives when we see a person for whom we had the privilege of rendering some help, we never fail to point it out and derive some pleasure.

But here the Maryaadhaappurushottama's wish is that His dearest friend who had rendered invaluable service and to whom he is beholden all his lifetime should never get into any trouble.

Ordinary logic would make the Lord to have a desire to see Hanumanji in a difficult situation so that the bhagavan can come to Hanumanjis rescure and repay the old debt of gratitude. Sure, the favour received which is not reapid puts the Lord Himself at a lower pedestal than his devotee in the eyes of the people..

But then the parties involved are Hanuman and Rama,, both representing all that is great and noble in the universe..

Yes, when we study Ramayana, we will be oftne at a loss to understand who is the greater Hero..Lord Rama or Lord Hanuman..

May be the thought itself is trivial because both are the two facets of the one and only infinite godhead.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

the real vision

गावो गन्धेन पश्यन्ति वेदैः पश्यति ब्राह्मणः।
चारैः पश्यन्ति राजानः चक्षुभ्यामितरे जनाः॥
चाणक्य सूत्राद्
gāvo gandhena paśyanti vedaiḥ paśyati brāhmaṇaḥ|
cāraiḥ paśyanti rājānaḥ cakṣubhyāmitare janāḥ||
cāṇakya sūtrād
ഗാവോ ഗന്ധേന പശ്യന്തി  വെദൈ: പശ്യന്തി ബ്രാഹ്മണാ
ചാരൈ:  പശ്യന്തി  രാജാന: ചക്ഷുഭ്യാമിതരേ ജനാ:

The animals see (here meaning recognition of the kin in the herd) through the help of  their sense of smell, 
the learned men see (here meaning the thorough perception) through learning scriptures like Vedas, 
the rulers see ( get ideas and information about all that is around) through the diligent use  of spies and agents, 
and the other people use just use their biological eyes to see.

The master Chanakya  uses the word see in many senses , 
like understanding, 
gaining deep insight,  
collecting useful information 
and he does  not mean mere focussing of the liquid lens stored in a sachet made of two membranes of transparent pieces of skin.  
But sadly enough the average mortal does very little more that that.  
In fact the eye get focussed more on silly things more than things of worth.
As an astute political scientist Chanakya's thrust is on employing efficient spies and as a great scholar he emphasizes the importance of scriptures.  
We cannot deny the fact that our nose for dirty things are ever acute and we have never got out of our vestigial tendencies.