pachai maamalai pol mene

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The false witness and the silent witness

The false witness and the silent witness

न स्यात् कूटसाक्षी॥५५०॥
na syāt kūṭasākṣī||550||

The great Statesman and lawgiver, Chanakya in his Sootram or aphorism 550, declares that 

one should never give false evidence… |

That is, one should never declare as right and genuine something which he has not seen or felt or witnessed to be true and correct.. Moreover, one should never depose depose as genuine anything which he know s is not genuine, before any authority or forum .

On this issue, Sage Yaajnavalkya in his smritis goes a step further..

न ददाति हि यः साक्ष्यं जानन्नपि नराधमः।
स कूटसाक्षिणाम् पापैः तुल्यो दण्डेन चैव हि॥

na dadāti hi yaḥ sākṣyaṁ jānannapi narādhamaḥ|
sa kūṭasākṣiṇām pāpaiḥ tulyo daṇḍena caiva hi||
A person who declines or refrains from giving evidence before a forum, even while knowing the facts of an issue, is a mean human being equal to a false witness. He should suffer the same sins as a false witness and the state should also mete out identical punishmes to him as if he were a perjurer or a false witness.

Mahabharatham ( Bhagavan Vyaasa) goes one more step further.

यश्च कार्यार्थतत्त्वज्ञो जानन्नपि न भाषते।
सोऽपि तेनैव पापेन लिप्यते नात्र सम्शयः॥
yaśca kāryārthatattvajño jānannapi na bhāṣate|
so'pi tenaiva pāpena lipyate nātra samśayaḥ||

One who is aware of the facts of a case, and is also well versed in law and customs, and simply keeps quiet or declines to intervene with the correct facts and law when it comes for consideration in the appropriate forum, also becomes tarnished and he too partakes in sins to the same extent as the perpetrators of the sinful action..

in power, out of power...

For a person in power, especially when the balance of power tilts either in his favour or against him, it can be quite challenging to maintain the golden balance and have his foot firm on the correct line of control.. 
And the line gets redrawn willy nilly with time, with changes in himself as also in people around him..

The precise mindset is vital..

However, the greatest danger is that either sycophants or even well meaning colleagues and subordinates just form a sort of wall between the man in power and the stark realities outside and he is lulled into a comfort zone which can be unreal or exaggerated.. 
The wall gets taller as the power of the boss escalates.
And real life hits him like a hard punch on a sandbag when the power once wielded by him and/or the source thereof gets depleted..

So ultimately it seems a down to earth attitude is a sin qua non for the boss (whether he is mostly right or wrong) if he is to survive..

Babus and Dakoos or Dakoos and Babus?

Babus and Dakoos or Dakoos and Babus?

चोरराजपुरुषेभ्यो वित्तम् रक्षेत्॥५५६॥
corarājapuruṣebhyo vittam rakṣet||556||
ചോരരാജപുരുഷേഭ്യോ വിത്തം രക്ഷേത് 
ചാണക്യസൂത്രം ൫൫൬

A very realistic finding by the most shewd political scientist, philosopher and administrator.. He has written the Sootras as rules to be followed by an efficient head of a state or a king..

The king should diligently protect the wealth of the state from thieves and the servants of the government too..

One can understand that thieves and burglars operate in divesting the state and the subjects of their hard earned money and wealth.. it is crime in the eyes of the people and the king and it is the profession of the thief.. The king is expected to protect the wealth from such burglars, and also should put down the criminals with a heavy hand..

Okay, the statesman did not stop there.. 
He is aware that those people who have landed up in the service of the State or the King, have great desire and greater cunning to appropriate for themselves whatever wealth they could handle and dispose of as representatives or operatives of the state or the employees of the king..

Chanakya expects that the authority in power should deal with his own employees with the same alacrity that he would apply while dealing with thieves and burglars..

Perhaps, babus and dakus were practically same in the opinions of Chanakya..

But, the realism being exuded by the sage is eminently logical..
He knew that the thieves required a lot of care and caution to loot.. 
But usually the state funds are open for the functionaries and employees of the government for misappropriation if the Ruler is not diligent.

Chanakya must have been the one who would have ordered setting up of a Vigilance directorate and a Vigilance commission..

Friday, May 22, 2015

books should live for ever

books should live for ever

No books, either toeing the lines of those who are in power today or those which are branded as tainted or distorted by many ,, should ever be destroyed..

We should never forget that there is always room for more than one view in any matter, and the dissident strains always air the alternate views.. and decency and democratic ethos make it inevitable that records of unpalatable views or happenings should be kept in tact..

If the present dispensation feels that the past thinking was wrong, they have the choice to express their views and convince the people..

The Indian system of Philosophy always took note of this idea.. 
While articulately putting down an old idea, the scholar never hesitated to state what the old idea was..

In the High Courts and the Apex Court, cases are decided after hearing both sides, one side staunchly opposing the other one.. 
However the arguments of both the litigants are taken on record, discussed in detail even in the speaking order, and then the decision is given in favour of one of the litigants. 
The dissenting notes of any of the judges who are in the minority are also made part of the judgment.. 
And if a constitutional bench of the Apex Court finally decides an issue against the verdict of a division bench, it does not follow that the papers relating to the decision of the Division bench are destroyed or blacked out..

May sanity prevail.

The four gems from Kalidasa:--

The four gems from Kalidasa:--

They say that among the poetic creations in Sanskrit, drama is the most enchanting.. 
Among the dramas, Shakuntalam of Kalidasa is the masterpiece.
And the greatest part of Shakuntalm is its Fourth Act,
And the four stanzas appearing in that part of the beautiful drama are sublime beyond any comparison..

Kaavyeshu naatakam ramyam tatra shaakuntalam matham
shaakuntaley chaturtho angaH tatra sloka chathustayam

काव्येषु नाटकं रम्यं तत्र शाकुन्तलं मतं 
शाकुन्तले चतुर्थो अङ्गः तत्र श्लोक चतुष्टयं

The four slokas are explained below

The occasion it the departure of Shakuntala to the Palace of Dushyantha, her husband.. Her adopted father Sage Kanva is sending her away from his hermitage for the first time ..

1.The pangs of separation felt by a father when sending away his daughter is expressed in this sloka

Yasyathyadhya sakunthalethi hrudayam samsplustamutkandayaa
kandah sthambitha bashpavrithhi kalushachintha jadam darsanam
vaiklyabhyam mama thaavatheedrusamaho snehad aranyaikasah
peedyanthey grihinah kadham nu thanaya vishlesh dukhaih navaih
यास्यत्यद्य शकुंतलेति हृदयं संस्पृष्टमुत्कंठया
कंठ: स्तम्भित बाष्पवृत्तिकलुषः चिन्ताजडं दर्शनम् ।
वैक्लव्यं मम तावदीदृशमहो स्नेहादरण्यौकसः
पीड्यन्ते गृहिणः कथं नु तनया विश्लेष दु:खैर्नवैः ॥।

Kanva says
Sakunthala starts for her husband’s abode today. Even for a person who prides himself in equanimity and penance, the throat is gone dry and soundless because of anxiety, the thoughts have gone blunt. If such intense sorrow overtakes me a recluse. what will be the depth misery for the wordly father who sends his daughter away for the first time and that too expecting her to spend her life in a completely alien household?

2. That child Shakuntala was very affectionate to the plants and trees of the hermitage, and Kanva is requesting them to bid his daughter Bon Voyage.

paathum na prathamam vyavasyathi jalam yushmaasu apeetheshu yaa
na aadhaathey priyamandanaapi bhavaathaam snehena yaa pallavam
aadhyey vah kusumaprasoothisamayey yasyaah bhavathyutsavah
sa iyam yaathi sakunthalaa pathigruham saarvairanjnayathaam
पातुं न प्रथमं व्यवस्यति जलं युष्मास्वपीतेषु या 
नादत्ते प्रियमण्डनापि भवतां स्नेहेन या पल्लवम् ।
आद्ये वः प्रथमप्रसूतिसमये यस्या भवत्युत्सवः
सेयम् याति शकुन्तला पतिगृहं सर्वैरनुज्ञाप्यताम् ॥

Kanva addresses the trees and saplings of his hermitage, and requests their permission to send Shakunthala who is leaving to join her husband Dushyantha

“she never thinks of even drinking water before watering your roots and quenching your thirst, 
she never plucked your tender and beautiful leaves even though as a hermit girl interested in ornaments they must have been her first target, 
because she loved you so much, she made it a grand celebration when you sprouted the first floweres of the season,
such lovely and considerate Shakunthala is leaving for her husband’s house, oh trees give her a proper send off.”

3. Kanva is sending Shakuntala to the palace of Dushyanta. This is the message he has to convey to the king..
asmaan saadhu vichinthya samyama dhanaan uchchaih kulam cha aatmanah
twayi asyay kadhmapi abhandhavakritham snehaprvrithim cha thaam
saamaanya pratipatthi poorvakamiyam dhaareshu dhrisya twaya
bhagyaayathamathah param na khalu thad vaachyam vadhoo bandubhih
अस्मान् साधु विचिन्त्य संयमधनानुच्चै: कुलं चात्मन-
स्त्वय्यस्या कथमप्यबान्धवकृताम् स्नेहप्रवृत्तिं च ताम् ।
सामान्यप्रतिपत्तिपूर्वकमियं दारेषु दृश्या त्वया
भाग्यायत्तमतःपरं न खलु तद्वाच्यं वधूबन्धुभिः ||
This is my message to King Dushyanth.
Oh King, Please consider the fact that we the people of Shakuntala have no wealth other that penance and patience.. Simultaneously please keep in mind the lofty status of your own royal clan.. This girl has fallen in love and has somehow entered into a marriage with you own her own without taking the counsel of her own relatives. My request to you is that you should treat her with at least moderate affection which you are expected to show towards your wife.. I leave the rest of the matter in tha hands of the goddess of fortune..
The relatives of the bride should not talk anything more than this.

4. While sending the darling daughter to her husband’s abode, this is the advice Kanva has for her

shushroosaswa guroon kurupriyasakheevrittim sapatneejae
bharthurviprakrutaapi roshanatayaa maa sma pradeepam gama
bhhooyishtam bhava dakshinaa parijaney bhaagyeshvanutsekinee
yaanthyevam gruhineepadam yuvathayaH vaamaaH kulasyaadhayaH.
शुश्रूषस्व गुरून् कुरु प्रियसखीवृत्तिं सपत्नीजने
भर्तुर्विप्रकृतापि रोषणतया मा स्म प्रतीपं गमः
भूयिष्ठं भव दक्षिणा परिजने भाग्येष्वनुत्सेकिनी
यान्त्येवं गृहिणीपदं युवतयः वामाः कुलस्याधयः 
My dear daughter, this is my advice to you.
You serve and look after the elders in the family with utter devotion.
Please treat the other wives of your Royal husband as your own dear friend.
Never, never forget yourself and throw tantrums even if your husband vents his anger on you.
Be very generous to your servants and helping hands in your new residence.
Please do not get arrogant, nor exhibit such arrogance, which is likely to follow the great fortunes you attain in life.

And I tell you, the girls given in marriage to other households go on to become the respected controllers of those home by the above process of attuning themselves to the fresh environ there. And the girls who fail to behave properly become eternal source of worry and misery for the clan in which they were born..

Friday, May 15, 2015

the glory of Shatarudriyam

the glory of Shatarudriyam 
( Chapter 5 of Yajurvedam) 
also popularly known as 
Srirudram or Rudraprashnam..
in Praise of Lord Rudra or Shankara the Maheshwara

सुरापः स्वर्णहारी च रुद्रजापी जले स्थितः।
सहस्रशीर्षजापी च मुच्यते सर्वकिल्बिषैः॥
surāpaḥ svarṇahārī ca rudrajāpī jale sthitaḥ|
sahasraśīrṣajāpī ca mucyate sarvakilbiṣaiḥ||

Even a person who is a drunkard habitually or a person who has committed the grave sin of stealing Gold, would get relieved of all sins if he chants Srirudram or Sahasra Shirashaa ( purusha sooktham) standing in water.

Consuming hooch and stealing gold are treated as two of the five gravest sins in our dharmasaastraas.. 

കടുത്ത മദ്യപാനിയായാലും, സ്വര്ണ്ണം കവര്ച്ച ചെയ്യുക എന്ന മഹാപാതകം 
ചെയ്തവനായാലും ജലാശയത്തില്‍ നിന്നുകൊണ്ട് ശ്രീ രുദ്രവും പുരുഷസൂക്തവും ജപിച്ചാല്‍ അയാള്‍ എല്ലാ പാപങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നും മുക്തി നേടുന്നു.
(മദ്യപാനവും, സ്വര്ണ്ണ സ്തേയവും പഞ്ചമഹാപാതകങ്ങളില്‍ ഉള്പ്പെട്ടവയാണ് എന്ന് ധര്മ്മാശാസ്ത്രം പറയുന്നു.)

किं जपेन अमृतत्वमश्नुते ?
एतानि ह वा अमृतस्य नामधेयानि भवन्ति एतैर्हवा अमृतो भवति।
यः शतरुद्रेयमधीते सोऽग्निपूतो भवति॥

kiṁ japena amṛtatvamaśnute 
etāni ha vā amṛtasya nāmadheyāni bhavanti etairhavā amṛto bhavati|
yaḥ śatarudreeyamadhīte so'gnipūto bhavati||

The disciple asks Sage Yaajnavalkya..
"By chanting which mantra can one attain immortality?"
Yajnavalkya replies.. By chanting Shatarudreeyam
The names (of Rudra) found in Shatarudriya or Sri Rudram are verily the Ambrosia or Amritam itself .. Through these names the devotee attains eternity, immortality.. amritattwam.
One who learns Shatarudriyam..Sri Rudram shines as if he is purified by fire 

ശിഷ്യന്‍ യാജ്ഞവല്ക്യuനോട് ചോദിച്ചു ഏതു ജപിച്ചാല്‍ അമൃതത്വം നേടാം ?
യാജ്ഞവല്ക്യന്‍ പറഞ്ഞു “ശതരുദ്രീയം ജപിക്കണം.”
ശതരുദ്രീയത്ത്തിലുള്ള ഭഗവാന്റെ നാമങ്ങള്‍ അമൃതസ്യന്ദികളാണ്. 
അവ ഉരുവിടുന്നവന്‍ അമരനായിത്തീരുന്നു.
ശതരുദ്രീയം അധ്യയനം ചെയ്തവന്‍ അഗ്നിയാല്‍ പരിശുദ്ധനായവനെപ്പോലെ ശോഭിക്കുന്നു..

सततं रुद्रजाप्योऽसौ परां मुक्तिमवाप्स्यसि॥
satataṁ rudrajāpyo'sau parāṁ muktimavāpsyasi||

One who chants Srirudram regularly would attain the ultimate Moksham or liberation.

തുടര്ച്ചയായി രുദ്രം ജപിക്കുന്നവന്‍ മുക്തനായിത്തീരുന്നു