pachai maamalai pol mene

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

it is in the fingers that play the lute

अश्वः शस्त्रं शास्त्रं वीणा वाणी नरश्च नारी च।
पुरुषविशेषं प्राप्ता भवत्ययोग्याश्च योग्याश्च॥११९॥
विष्णुशर्मणः पञ्चतन्त्रे मित्र्भेदात्
aśvaḥ śastraṁ śāstraṁ vīṇā vāṇī naraśca nārī ca|
puruṣaviśeṣaṁ prāptā bhavatyayogyāśca yogyāśca||119||
viṣṇuśaramaṇaḥ pañcatantre mitrbhedāt

This couplet appears in one of the stories of Panchatantram of Vishnusharma.. 
Horse, weapon, knowledge of scriptures, veena (lute), good words or a male or a female companion  would become  great or insignificant according to the owner, protector or companion it comes by. 
Good things when they reach good and dexterous persons would shine in their proper light.  The same things in wrong hands can cause disaster.  A pedigree horse, in the possession of a good rider or fighter will get the proper grooming, nourishment, support and exposure and will be the cynosure of all eyes.  If the same horse is in the hands of a miserly old cart-man, its life is doomed for ever. It can draw the cart for ever and the owner can eat for ever.  The knowledge of scriptures possessed by a noble soul will get expounded in great assemblies and courts and will be used for the benefit of the entire humanity. If a mediocre person mugs up all the scriptures and sets out to apply them  for petty individual gains, the same knowledge goes waste like the torrential rain in the mid-sea.  A good musical instrument is  worth its price only if it is handled by an expert musician.  We are aware that a lute or a drum in the hands of an ignoramus can cause how much of din and bustle.  The capacity to express matters in nice words... this faculty becomes effective only if the target audience is knowledgeable.  Only junk literature or nasty words will please people with skewed mindset. A companion or a friend or a spouse can survive and reach up  to his/ her full level of accomplishments only if he or she is associated with an appreciative and kindred soul.  We see the marital discords, verbal abuses and street-fights among  discordant people all the time.  

The idea is echoed by Kalidasa in his play Maalavikaagnimitram 

" पात्रविशेषे न्यस्तं गुणान्तरं व्रजति शिल्पमाधातुः |जलमिव समुद्रशुक्तौ मुक्ताफलतां पयोदस्य||
Just as water from the cloud becomes a pearl in a sea-shell (art, knowledge, execution) imparted to a special receptacle or recipient (thing or person) assumes a sublime quality"

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