pachai maamalai pol mene

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The peacock which was red... A tenali rama story

I do not know whether it is the same even  in places which are administered by elected representatives, but in kingdoms which were ruled by persons who were in control for no democratic reasons, the rulers were interested more in showing off what riches and artifacts they possessed, rather than sparing some time thinking of  the welfare of the subjects.. Even the best of the monarchs were never free from such tendencies..

And Krishnadevaraya was no exception.. He was always on the lookout for finding new exhibits for his musueums, zoos and nurseries.

When the king is obsessed with diversion of resources, the ministers and the courtiers would join him heartily.. And of course would derive lots of benefits out of such funny exercises.. That happened here also..

The chief courtier, Appalachari was past-master in feeling the pulse of the king… He would never let go any opportunity to prey upon the misplaced magnanimity of the king..

So, one afternoon, when the Royal court was in full session, Appalacharya made a ceremonial entry to the court with a huge bird-cage in tow.. Inside the cage rested, a peacock.. A really strange peacock.. A peacock completely red in hue.. Its feathers red, wings red, plumes red.. wholly a riot of red… as if a particular species of the birds have converted en masse to Marxism..

“My Lord and Master, this is my price catch of a lifetime.. As is well known to the exalted Royal mind, my patriotic feelings and my loyalty made me wander length and breadth of the middle-forests of India, braving all vicissitudes and costing me a fortune.. I did it in the company my two dedicated servants.. Finally we could capture this exotic bird in all its red splendor, and we did not spare any time in presenting it to the Royal Court for being inducted into the great aviary..”

The Monarch was immensely happy..

 “ We are pleased with your loyalty.. As the expedition would have cost the minister a fortune, we hereby order that a purse of one thousand gold coins be presented to Appalacharya before the bird joins the muster-rolls of the Royal Aviary”

The purse was about to exchange hands, but Tenali Rama Intervened.. “ My Royal Master, no doubt the Chief Minister has done great service to the kingdom.. However, as it is well known, the birds of such rare species would not survive solitary life in an aviary if they do not have company of the same species.. Therefore, it would be rather cruel to have a single bird like this.. The Minister may be asked to bring in a few more birds like that so that the royal aviary will be adorned with a happy and sastified family of red peacocks"

Appalachari was irritated.. He knew that he had to labour a lot even to have one red peacock.. In fact, an ordinary peacock was captured and a deft painter had given it a red-coat with his expert  strokes of painting brush.. A repetition of such work of art would take a lot of time.. 
Tenali Rama had already seen through this deceitful act since he had come by a piece of feather fallen from the red peacock, and when he washed it, it has retained its natural colour..

While Appalachari was fidgeting, Tenali Rama came with a proposal..” Our Prime Minister is very busy. It is not right to permit him to waste his valuable time chasing red peacocks in the middle forest.. Now I am on a vacation.. I shall undertake a jourey to the hatching area of such beautiful birds and bring back a dozen of them within a fortnight. The Royal Presentation may take place at that time".. 
 Appalachari wanted to say something, but the Royal mind was set. The errand was entrusted to Rama.

Rama did not go to the forest.. He just rounded up all the painters around and by constant enquiries, bribes and threats,  could locate the fellow who had done the consummate painting job to Appalachari's bird..
 “ Do not get panicky,” Rama told him. 
 “ I am going to use your talent for a better service to the kingdom. I shall protect you from any consequences that may arise out of your actions..” 
 After assuring the painter with safety and protection, Rama asked him to paint a dozen peacocks red in the same way Appalachari askded him to do..

When the group a full dozen  of red peacocks were ready for exhibition-and fifteen days had passed by this time- Rama entered the Royal Court with a dozen read peacocks happily perched in a big cage, with the painter in tandem, and gustily announced the arrival of the family to keep company to the original lone bird..

The King’s happiness knew no bounds.. He announced without hesitation that Rama was entitled now for twelve thousand gold coins.. to be awarded in a befitting ceremony, along with the thousand for Appalachari..

Rama folded his hands in salutation before the monrch and said, 
“ My lord and Master, I cannot persuade myself to be so avaricious.. All that cost me to  present these twelve peacocks was to catch a dozen  ordinary ones from the local gardens, and commission a painter to colour their plumage red with a drum of ochre dye, a bucket of water and a few painting brushes.. The cost of the birds, the paint, brushes and the wages of the painter all put together would not exceed a couple of gold coins.. I would be ungrateful if I receive more that that for this present..”

The bluff of appalachari was revealed.. He had to hang his head in shame.

Meanwhile, the clouds rolled up in the sky and it rained. The red colour adorning all the thirteen birds, ( one brought by appalachari and twelve produced by Tenali Rama) were all washed away and the peacocks danced in their natural regality.

Tenali Rama finally made a representations before the great Raya..
 “ My Lord and Master, the first responsibility of the ruler is to keep the subjects happy and peaceful.. I was watching that the poor people on the street were struggling for food and shelter. But the Royal treasury is being squandered and even being plundered for wasteful and fanciful expenditure.. The Prime Minister’s action actually gave me an opportunity to expose the senseless happenings in the court.. Had I told this without any proof, I would have been punished for spreading scandals.. May only prayer is that His Majesty make strive more for the benefit of the subjects, instead of listening to flattery and being subjected to their machinations..

Rama’s words really carried a lot of weight that day..

Monday, February 10, 2014

Godly or ungodly...

Godly or ungodly...

the idea of God was the subject of numerous conflicts and controversies..

Some say there is a God, some say there is no God. 

Some say we should have a God..
Some say it is superstition to have God.

But the concept of God appears to have emanated from  imponderable quests  of human psyche..

Man knew by instinct that he is not perfect, and then imagined that there existed a being which would live up to his evaluation as a perfect being..

Such being was his hero, and a group of humans who  more or less shared  common views in the matter defined such a hero as their God..

For a warrior group, a spear, or a brave man was the God.

For a peaceful family, the father and mother became Gods..
For a happy family.. a total bunch of beings connected through kinship  showed up as divinity.. 
( One example is the Shiva family)..

In a single word, God is a word coined to define something which man wanted to persuade himself to admit as existing, 

something which he  eagerly and lovingly sought to be existing.. 

like a dream to be fulfilled,, 
but was never sure whether such an entity existed..

Even the best of the believers cannot say for sure that they have realized God to their heart's content.

And even the worst atheists cannot say honestly that they have succeeded in proving the lack of existence of God..

So the debate goes on.. 

and will go on till human mind and thoughts persevere..

The procedural aspects of God and religion, are too subsidiary and  peripheral 
A realistic   expression of the idea regarding rituals and procedures is clearly spelt out in Gita.. 

यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके 
तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः..

When the whole landscape is deluged with floods, a puddle of water loses its significance.. 
Similarly for a man with  comprehensive knowledge, minor conceptual details are not important..

Sunday, February 09, 2014

sense and lack of it....

We have to ponder over certain facts which are so patent in our lives..

Every group of sentences, every phrase.. need not be a problem.
Nor it need be a praise or prayer. Many statements are already true within the parameters of certain set laws and principles, languages and lexicons ..
If one sees a thing called cow, and says, "this is a cow.". someone can just say.. "I disagree.."

If the disagreement is because the cow does not possess the usually perceived shape and utility and similar qualities, we can understand. 
But if someone says.

" Who gave it the name of cow? The biological mass with life having four legs, a body, two horns, female sex, with udders, which could give a white drinkable liquid you call milk, which excretes a stinking biomass and eats a lot of green leaves and hay is according to me a crow."..

For most others, perhaps except for the person himself and his political cohorts the idea of negation of identity of a cow would look quizzical, buffoon-like, adamant, or even maniacal..

Of course, a psychiatrist treating a lunatic in an asylum,
a government servant of subordinate cadre etc., may have to agree to such statements because they have no choices..

I just quote this example to drive home the fact that certain basic precepts which form the yardsticks of knowledge should not be tampered with..Unless it is unavoidable,

But we humans, and those especially in social media tend to assert or negate things just for success in argument simply to drive home a point rightly or wrongly ..

Presence of friends, hecklers, females.. manifestations of emotions like ego, joviality, presumption that the hearer is a great person or maybe an idiot or something in between and also the short-lived orgasm-like pleasure in driving home our own arguments make us oblivious to the dangers of dissent for dissents sake...

I think everyone chooses to express dissent only when it is necessary for maintaining reasonable order and health and conducive environs.. that is, he realizes that a conversation is to exchange facts sort out issues in a decent manner so that the talker and listener do not get headaches or emotional ups or down, then everything is going in the right direction..

But it is not happening..

ഒന്നുകില്‍ കുറുപ്പിന്റെ നെഞ്ഞത്ത് അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ കളരിക്ക് പുറത്ത്
(a malayalam proverb indicating the two extremes)

this may be a good attitude for monarchs or Hitlers
not exactly is conducive for peace and friendship..

History is the witness..

History must be the teacher ..

Hope history will be the harbinger of amity and not strife..

Friday, February 07, 2014

may the entire universe be pleased...

ये देवासो दिव्येकादश स्थ पृथिव्यामध्येकादश स्थ | 

अप्सुक्षितो महिनैकादश स्थ ते देवासो यज्ञमिमं जुषध्वम् ||

ഏതൊരു ദേവന്മാര്‍ പതിനൊന്നു രൂപങ്ങളില്‍ ആകാശത്തിന്റെ മധ്യത്തിലും, ഭൂമിയുടെ മധ്യത്തിലും ജലത്തിന്റെ നടുവിലും നിലകൊള്ള്ന്നുവോ ആ ദേവന്മാര്‍ എല്ലാം ഈ യജ്ഞം ഭുജിക്കട്ടെ

ये देवताये दिव्यलोक, पृथिवी और अंतरिक्ष में ग्यारह के संख्या में रहते है | आप हमारी आहुति ग्रहण करे ||

this Rigvedic Mantra is chanted when food is offered to a Leanred Brahmin or a great Yati.

Here, the assumption that through their mouths, the Food in the shape of Yajna goes to all devas who are occupying the heaven, earths and the water in eleven forms..( The eleven Rudras?

And that all forces of nature are satisfied and become benevolent to the occupants of the earth.

The difference between Vishnu and Shiva 
is only our invention.. it is not envisaged in the Religion) Rigveda 1.139.11

Thursday, February 06, 2014

सुब्रह्मण्योमसुब्रह्मण्योम् सुब्रह्मण्योम्

इन्द्रायाहि सहस्रयुक् अग्निर्विभ्राष्टिवसनः
वायुश्चेकसिकद्रुकः संवत्सरोविषूपर्णैः
सुब्रह्मण्योसुब्रह्मण्यो सुब्रह्मण्योम्
nighruṣvairasamāyutaiḥ kAlairharitvamāpannaiḥ
indrāyāhi sahasrayuk agnirvibhrāṣṭivasanaḥ
vāyuścekasikadrukaḥ saṁvatsaroviṣūparṇaiḥ
subrahmaṇyo subrahmaṇyo subrahmaṇyom

Indra of thousand eyes, may you be present here in all your lustre and with weapons which have no comparison, along with the deities of time presenting themselves as horses. The God of fire with shining clothes of flaming hue and the God of Wind, as white as shining chalk, are your eternal companions in your journey.. The New Year is also keeping company with you with fresh-green sprouts..
Om Subrahmanya, Om Subramania, Om Subramania
This is from aaruna prasnam in Taittareeya Aranyakam of Krishna Yajurvedam..
Welcoming the Leader of Gods who brings with him the Samvatsara.. or the New year…

prescribed number of pradakshinams

कुंभिवक्त्रे रवौ गङ्गाधरे विष्णौ च शास्तरि
षण्मुखे सुंभसूदिन्यां वृक्षराजेप्ययं विधिः॥
kuṁbhivaktre ravau gaṅgādhare viṣṇau ca śāstari
ṣaṇmukhe suṁbhasūdinyāṁ vṛikṣarājepyayaṁ vidhiḥ||

And this is about the number of Pradakshinams we are expected to perfrom in respect of each deity
Ganesha.. the elephant headed God One
The Sun God Surya                       Two
Lord Shiva the Gangadhara         Three
Lord Vishnu                                   Four
Lord Sastaa.. Ayyappa                  Five
Lord Shanmugha..Subramania    Six
The Divine Mother (the slayer of
Sumbha)                                          Seven
The Lord of Trees, the Ashwatha
or the Banyan tree                         Seven

This is a widely held custom.. in Kerala.. The practices will vary.. In some temples there is only half Pradakshinam for Shiva..

rule for pradakshinam or circumambulation

പദാത് പദതരം ഗത്വാ കരൌ ചലന വര്‍ജിതൌ
വാചാ സ്തോത്രം ഹൃദാ ധ്യാനം ഏവം കുര്യാത് പ്രദക്ഷിണം

पदात् पदतरं गत्वा करौ चलन वर्जितौवाचा स्तोत्रं हृदा ध्यानं एवं कुर्यात प्रदक्षिणम्
padaat padataram gatwaa karau chalan varjitauvaachaa stotram hrudaa dhyaanam evam kuryaat pradakshnam
This is an old traditional rule about performing perambulation (Pradakshinam) in the abode of God..
One should do the pradakshinam like thisEach step should be placed very close to the previous step almost exactly following the heel of the first step with the toe of the nextBoth hands should be kept close to the torso without moving
The lips should utter only the stotras in praise of the deityThe heart should constantly meditate on Him

this is brahmin culture

Brahmin culture, I presume brahmana sampradayam should encompass it.

It is so open and catholic. 

आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः..

Let noble thoughts reach us from all parts of the universe.

If this is so, for the brilliant mind of brahmins most of the materials should be acceptable.. and it must cover most modern ideas and even thoughts which express dissent.. 

True liberty is not licence to call out things which will gall an intelligent and sympathetic mind..

But can there be restrictions beyond that for a brahmin intellect? 

If there are such taboos , then personally I will feel ashamed for having been born as

a brahmin.

silence to silence...

Life covers a full circle.. At first one is ignorant.. So he keeps quiet.. Then he starts learning.. Simultaneously he starts talking.. he starts talking of his victories and failures, travails and experiments, his ups and downs.. The world listens first.. maybe because it is hearing a fresh noise.. But as the litany progresses, the whole world except the speaker gets bored.. One is tolerated for a time and then is ignored completely.. If he is wise, he stops talking even when he has not become intolerable for others. Otherwise he is asked to shut up. Finally he is forced to shut up.. Anyway he has to keep quiet. So he keeps quiet.. It is a journey from silence to silence..

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

eternally blessed ..

असारभूते संसारे सारमेतत्चतुष्टयः।
काशीवासः सतां सङ्गः गङ्गांभः शंभुपूजनं॥ 

asārabhūte saṁsāre sārametatcatuṣṭayaḥ| 
kāśīvāsaḥ satāṁ saṅgaḥ gaṅgāṁbhaḥ śaṁbhupūjanaṁ|| 

The life on this earth is so void and frustrating.. But four things can impart vitality and meaning to the human life which is otherwise of little value. 

They are 
1.. Stay in the city of Kaashi, the abode of the master of the world 
2. Remaining always in the company of noble souls... satsang 
3. Being blessed with the holy waters of Ganga 
4. Having the fortune to worship Lord Shambu the Maheshwara.. 
Usually those who happen to live in the city of Kashi become fortunate to have the other three also.. 
Indeed, they are blessed million times..

none cares about the meek and obedient....

none cares about the meek and obedient....

अकृतोपद्रवः कश्चिन्महानपि न पूज्यते।
अर्चयति नराः नागं न तार्क्ष्यं न गजाधिकम्॥

akṛtopadravaḥ kaścinmahānapi na pūjyate|
arcayati narāḥ nāgaṁ na tārkṣyaṁ na gajādhikam||

A person who is calm and quiet and who means no harm to others is verily not respected ( compared to the persons who prove to be some threat to us..). 

We worship venomous snakes with great devotions and alacrity.. 

Such great devotion or interest is not seen in the worship of even the king of vultures Garuda or even huge animals like the elephant. 

( Garuda and others simply exist without meddling with the life of others, and therefore they are taken for granted.. but the puny reptile specializes spewing venom.. and it therefore worshiped) 

Rattle the Sabre.. and one will be noted, and even worshiped..

they are the salt of the earth.....

गोभिर् विप्रैश्च वेदैश्च सतीभिर्सत्यवादिभिः
अलुब्धैर्दानशीलैश्च सप्तभिर् धार्यते मही॥
gobhir vipraiśca vedaiśca satībhirsatyavādibhiḥ
alubdhairdānaśīlaiśca saptabhir dhāryate mahī||

The earth is borne and maintained in its pleasant and balanced state by the presence of
1.. The cows
2..The learned persons.. vipraas
4.. The Vedas
4.. Chaste ladies
5.. Those who speak truth at any cost
6.. Those who are not stingy
7.. Those who are magnanimous and charitable by nature..

The sloka speaks for itself.. No elaboration seems necessary..

de jure and de facto..

To be frank, any decision making process is heavily dependent on facts on hand and also the balance of convenience at the crucial moment.. most of the time value or ethical considerations are not the priority..

In fictional histories,(for that matter even in what we call pure history) often they cannot manage to obliterate all the inconvenient facts.. so the followers would try to whitewash or sugarcoat incidents wherever possible.. but contradictions do show.

The killing of Vali, the abandoning of Sita in the forest .. are all political decisions..(and not hasty ones for that matter).. the explanation may be that Rama had to do such things as a function of Kshatriya..

The epics and lore evolve.with time and generations of people ..

 First the Ramayana was a chronicle on what happened, nice or otherwise, in the lives of a few persons, may be historical, semi-historical, or fictional ..

However, as the story evolved and was churned in the furnace of time, many characters assumed dimensions of divinity..

The inherent flaws and contradictin  could all not be wished away..

So the chinks in the armour do show..

The intelligent reader should do himself a lot of good by analysing the issues dispassionately and by not persuading himself to be lulled into the belief that what is all written in some ancient text is Gospel and should form the basis for his own code of conduct.. पुराणमित्येव न साधु सर्वं

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

uneven distribution...

दृश्यम्ते भुवि भूरिनिंबतरवः कुत्रापि ते चन्दनाः
पाषाणैः परिपूरिता वसुमती वज्रामणिर्दुर्लभः।
श्रूयन्ते करटारवाश्च सततं चैत्रे कुहूकूजितं
तन्मन्ये खलसङ्कुलं जगदिदं द्वित्राः क्षितौ सज्जनाः॥
dṛśyamte bhuvi bhūriniṁbataravaḥ kutrāpi te candanāḥ
paṣāṇaiḥ paripūritā vasumatī vajrāmaṇirdurlabhaḥ|
śrūyante karaṭāravāśca satataṁ caitre kuhūkūjitaṁ
tanmanye khalasaṅkulaṁ jagadidaṁ dvitrāḥ kṣitau sajjanāḥ||

We see a lot of Margosa (veppu) trees with bitter leaves and fruits everywhere on the earth.. But the sandalwood trees are rare to see..
The face of the earth abounds in hard rocks, but diamonds are found very sparsely..
The cacophony of the cry of crows is an experience round the year but we hear the musical refrain of the cuckoo only in the spring season
Verily the world is filled with ordinary and often evil things and people, but good and noble people are also seen once or twice...

Monday, February 03, 2014

merciless killers

ज्योतिषं व्यवहारं च प्रायश्चित्तं चिकित्सकं।
विना शास्त्रेण यो ब्रूयात् तमाहुर्ब्रह्मघातकं॥
jyotiṣaṁ vyavahāraṁ ca prāyaścittaṁ cikitsakaṁ|
vinā śāstreṇa yo brūyāt tamāhurbrahmaghātakaṁ||

The following type of people are considered even lower than the murderers of the Gurus and learned men...
Those who make astrological predictions without proper backing of texts and knowledge.
Those who act a arbitrators or advocates without any legal knowledge worth its name
Those who indulge in sorcery and prescribe expiation without any scriptural backing
The quacks who start practicing medicine without any knowledge or training..
Such people are really diabolic killers and cancerous growths on human-kind..

exaggerated perceptions....

शतनिष्को धनाढ्यश्च शतग्रामेण भूपतिः।

शताश्वः क्षत्रियो राजा शतश्लोकेन पण्डितः

śataniṣko dhanāḍhyaśca śatagrāmeṇa bhūpatiḥ|
śatāśvaḥ kṣatriyo rājā śataślokena panḍitaḥ||

A person who is having just  hundred Nishkas is often considered as very wealthy.. 
One who is having control of one hundred villages is understood as a great landlord.. 
A kshatriya having hundred horses ready for war is termed as a king.. 
and a person who can quote one hundred slokas could pose himself as a scholar

Nishka.. is a globule of gold .. often tied to the horn of a cow when the cow is given as Daanam or gift  in sacrifices and ceremonies. 
It was also considered a legal tender as coin as early as in Mahabharata times.. 
Anyway the value of one hundred nishkas may not add up to much.. but for an ordinary human being, the owner of even hundred nishkas is very rich..
Likewise a person having some agricultural lands in some villages is considered a big landlord, a zamindar, even as the world is so wide.
A person of the warrior clan who can muster the help of even hundred horse-soldiers would be looked upon as a king..

And worst of all, a fellow like me who may be able to quote, or even cut and paste a few slokas, could easily be mistaken to be a scholar..

The world is so short-sighted.. It is carried away easily..

Sunday, February 02, 2014

touch of the divine feet..

In fact I was starting to write about a blessed experience I had during my childhood.. There are three great advaitic mutts, headed by nambuthiri asecetics of the Shankara Order, thekee madom, naduvil madom and thrikkekatti madam( in Tanur, near parappanangadi.). My father had worked almost as a servant in that Thrikkekatti madam.. before he became a government employee , married and I was born.
I was then two years old..
The pontiff.. Sri Arithottathu Thirumanassu .. was very benevolent to my father. One day he sent word that my father should pay him a visit along with me the child.. It was a hot day in the sun and my Mamappa (my mother's uncle) was carrying me, my father walking in tandem.. All walking from Parappanangadi to  Tanur.. five kilometres away..
We all reached the madam in time for bhiksha.
Then the Pontiff did a great thing... Usually the sannyasi does not touch anyone. And more so if the other person is not a nambudiri of the highest order.. When I was placed in namaskarams pose before him, he raised both legs and placed them on my head and said "Sriramo Rakshatu..."
It was an unusual gesture..
I trust that blessing has remained with me for ever..

RIP Mohammed mama...

RIP Mohammed mama...
a memory which is more than  sixty years comes back.. I was just a child of one and half years.. born at Kottakkal in a predominantly Muslim and non brahmin area..and having not much of exposure to Iyers and their ways till then..My constant companion in my infancy was a mohammed mama..Our family migrated to nearby places like Tirur and Parappanangadi. and still he was with us. I never found anything queer in having a Mohammed mama with us at that time, and even now I cannot find anything amiss..
He is now dead and gone. He was sort of assistant to my father and he used to occupy the front of our house when there was no other work..

Once I remember, I was venturing out of the house

-- it must be in Thrikkandiyur, Tirur--
 a small boy of one-and half years, and fell down and hit my lower jaw on a sharp stone and there was a free flow of blood.. No doctor nearby and the gash needed stitches. Mohammed mama saw me fall and get wounded, and he would not even wait to warn my mother about it.. my father had gone out on some work..Mohammed mama simply ran carrying me to the dispensary four miles away, and got the wound mended.. Doctor's fee was not an issue because the latter was known to my father..

But Mohammed mama had ruined the only white shirt, that is his sole possession to give him the  semblance of modern man.. the entire shirt was soaked in blood..

Of course, my father gave him a blue shirt in place of that white shirt and I have seen him wearing that every day afterwards..

That deep wound scar is seen in my lower jaw to this day..

At our house whenever food was cooked those days, one member who was included was Mohammed Mama. This is in spite of the fact that our parents were orthodox to the core.. Poojas, Japams... Ganapathi homam and what not..

But Mohammed mama was always there..

Subsequently, we migrated to Palakkad and Mohammed mama could not come with us because of his personal commitments..
When the news was received  that he had passed away a few years later, I know I have cried as if a close relative, an uncle, and a benefactor has left the scene..

RIP Mohammed mama..

brahmin in the proper sense....

ब्राह्मणस्य तु देहोऽयं नोपभोगाय कल्पते
इहक्ळेशाय महते प्रेत्यानन्त सुखाय च॥ 

brāhmaṇasya tu deho'yaṁ nopabhogāya kalpate| 
ihakḻeśāya mahate pretyānanta sukhāya ca|| 

In his worldly life the body of a brahmin ( and a learned man) is only for toiling, observing all the rituals, studies, learning and teaching.. It is toil in this world to gain great virtue which are sure to take them to eternal bliss in their life in heaven.. 

So when brahmins are told to lead very strict and disciplined life, they should never complain.. This is their duty for the benefit of the whole universe and that alone can lead them to eternal bliss ever after.. 

If Brahmin is not able to practice what is expected of him, he does not deserve to be addressed by that name..

the eight-fold misery

ऋणं याच्ना च वृद्धत्वं जारचोरं दरिद्रता।

रोगश्च भुक्तशेषाश्चप्यष्टकष्टा प्रकीर्तिताः॥

ṛṇaṁ yācnā ca vṛddhatvaṁ jāracoraṁ daridratā|

rogaśca bhuktaśeṣāścapyaṣṭakaṣṭā prakīrtitāḥ||

The following eight situations in life are termed as utmost in misery..

1. Being in debt

2. Being a beggar

3.Being an elderly person

4. Being forced into selling body for sex

5. Being a thief or robber

6 Living in poverty

7. Being gripped by disease and ill health

8. Being forced to eat and live upon food which is thrown away by others as remnants..

These rules apply to simple and straightforwards human beings.. If anyone raises a question whether these ideas will be in sync with some institutions and and some professions.. there is no answer..

handicaps without reservaion...

मूकः परापवादे परदारनिरीक्षणेऽप्यन्धः।

पङ्गुः परधनहरणे स जयते लोकत्रये पुरुषः॥ 

mūkaḥ parāpavāde paradāranirīkṣaṇe'pyandhaḥ| 

paṅguḥ paradhanaharaṇe sa jayate lokatraye puruṣaḥ|| 

The person with the following physical handicaps wins over the three worlds.. 

One who is DEAF to scandals being spread about his fellow human beings. 

One who is BLIND if he has to look at ladies with bad intentions 

One who is LAME if he is tempted to covet and take away the wealth of others..


अर्थातुराणां न गुरुर्न बन्धुः

कामातुराणां न भयं न लज्जा।

विद्यातुराणां न सुखं न निद्रा

क्षुदातुराणां न रुचिर् न पक्वः॥

arthāturāṇāṁ na gururna bandhuḥ
kāmāturāṇāṁ na bhayaṁ na lajjā|
vidyāturāṇāṁ na sukhaṁ na nidrā
kṣudāturāṇāṁ na rucir na pakvaḥ||
For people who are desperately running after money, there is no consideration for even their elders, preceptors or relatives.
For people obsessed with carnal desires and who run after bodily pleasures, there is neither fear nor shame
For people eager to acquire knowledge, there is no question of considering physical comforts or even sleep
For people who are hungry, there will not be any concern as to whether the food is tasty or whether it is rightly cooked

Those who run after money would not care for the welfare of their kith and kin, and would not hesitate even to cheat them if that would mean getting more money. 
Those who are after sensual pleasures say goodbye to fear of law and bad name and also to any sense of shame. 
Knowledge can be acquired only through a lot of efforts and in that process, sleep and other physical comforts would have to be set aside..
And for the hungry man, it is some food to fill the stomach that matters and taste and other culinary qualities are not of much concern..

they keep the universe in place...

गोभिर् विप्रैश्च वेदैश्च सतीभिर्सत्यवादिभिः
अलुब्धैर्दानशीलैश्च सप्तभिर् धार्यते मही॥
gobhir vipraiśca vedaiśca satībhirsatyavādibhiḥ
alubdhairdānaśīlaiśca saptabhir dhāryate mahī||

The earth is borne and maintained in its pleasant and balanced state by the presence of
1.. The cows
2..The learned persons.. vipraas
4.. The Vedas
4.. Chaste ladies
5.. Those who speak truth at any cost
6.. Those who are not stingy
7.. Those who are magnanimous and charitable by nature..

The sloka speaks for itself.. No elaboration seems necessary..

appearances do count....

समुद्रमथनात् लेभे हरिर्लक्ष्मीं हरो विषं
भाग्यं फलति सर्वत्र न विद्या न च पौरुषं॥
samudramathanāt lebhe harirlakṣmīṁ haro viṣaṁ
bhāgyaṁ phalati sarvatra na vidyā na ca pauruṣaṁ||

When the milky ocean was churned, Lord Vishnu got Laksmi as consort. 

But only the poison Halahalam came to the share of Lord Shiva.

This would prove that it is not education or valour that always work in one's favour..
But, it is luck that can prove to be the decisive factor, invariably..

(Samudramathanaat... In the process of churning the ocean, HariH.. Vishnu Lakshmeem.. The gooddess of wealth Lakshmi Lebhe.. got .. HaraH Visham (Lebhe) Shiva got poison..
Vidyaa.. Education Paurusham... manliness, valour, na phalati.. are not effective.. (Paranthu) but.. sarvatra bhaagyam phalati.. Luck is always the producer of good results..)

Unity in diversity

मृत्पिण्डमेकं बहुभाण्डरूपं

सुवर्णमेकं बहुभूषणात्मकं।

गोक्षीरमेकं बहुधेनुजातं

ब्रह्मैकमेव बहुदेहवर्ती॥
mṛtpiṇḍamekaṁ bahubhāṇḍarūpaṁ
suvarṇamekaṁ bahubhūṣaṇātmakaṁ|
gokṣīramekaṁ bahudhenujātaṁ
brahmaikameva bahudehavartī||
The clay is only one even if a lot of pots are made from it.
The gold is one an the same though lots and lots of ornaments are made from it
The breeds and colours of cows may vary, but the milk is having the same composition
Likewise, the Supreme being is one, although It manifests in many bodies.

(Bahubhaanda roopam mruth pindam ekam eva.. Bahubhooshanaatmakam suvarnamamapi ekam. Api cha bahudhenu jaatham goksheeram api ekam.
Bahu deha vartee brahma api ekam eva.. )

evil eyes..

भारतः पञ्चमो वेदः जामाता दशमो ग्रहः 

BhaarataH panchamo vedaH, jaamaataa dashamo grahaH

Mahabharatham is an encyclopedic storehouse of all knowledge.. So the scholars are unanimous in classifying the epic in the august company of the four great Vedas. 

But a second and rather impish tag is added to this eminent saying.

The son in law is the tenth planet..

We know the parents of female children go through a lot of physical, mental and material turmoil as the child is to be joined in marriage with a suitable groom. First they circulate and compare horoscopes, and in this process, they are left to the vagaries of the nine planets.. even the best matches in India are denied just because the positioning of a planet in a horoscope is not considered auspicious.. 

This is the conditions before the child is married off. The nine planets may be benevolent of malevolent at times.. Opinions may vary among astrologers on this issue. 

But once the marriage is over, a fresh planet, never benevolent, appears in the firmament for the parents of a girl.. This is called the son-in-law.. 

The nine planets are capable of being pacified even from the worst moods through pariharams and all ..

But the son in law is never pleased..

Hopefully the situation is changing with girls becoming more educated and articulate.. But old habits do not disappear easily..