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Sunday, January 08, 2012

How to call a great man a monkey

कुर्वन् शाखासु सञ्चारं
जनयन् द्विज सध्वसं
पश्चात् बालद्विजोऽद्य
अयमागतो राम वानरः॥
kurvan śākhāsu sañcāraṁ
janayan dvija sadhvasaṁ
paścāt bāladvijo'dhya
ayamāgato rāma vānaraḥ||
(this is a chaatuslokam.. the authorship is hazy)
How to call a great man a monkey
About two  hundred years ago there lived in Thrikkandiyur (the place from where Narayana Bhattathiri and Thunjathu ezhuttassan also hailed from ) one great Sanskrit Scholar by name Kaikkulangara Rama Variar. He was erudite in all disciplines of the language like tarka, vyakarana, etc and also a scholar in four Sakhas (Vedas). The brahmins were jealous of him and were also very wary of his scholarship because it would make inroads into their source of income as poets and teachers. They wanted to call him a monkey but their innate decency did not permit it. So one poet among them announced the arrival of Variar thus.

A monkey called Rama is arriving.. he always jumps from one branch of a tree to another, he makes the birds panicky, but is having all the younger birds flying behind him.
The sakha means the Vedas, dwija also connotes brahmin because he is twice born, one natural birth and the second the initiation, and the bird which is once born as an egg and then comes out of the egg is also a dwija. The natural tendency of younger birds is to follow a monkey in his jump from branch to branch. The young brahmins had started the studentship of this Rama (Variar) abandoning their brahmin teachers.
And the nambudiris called the variar  Vanara, a man with caste name starting with the word Va..
So the sloka would also mean,
Here comes the man with Va, the Rama (variar) who frequently expounds the substance of the four vedas, and in this process is causing awe and disturbance even to brahmins, and the younger boys of the brahmin community are now running after him for education, forsaking their traditional brahmin preceptors.

The nobility of a learned man shows even when he is rebuking someone else.

।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|

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