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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

the king and the lotus.. what do they have in common?

भूभृतामम्बुजानाम् च पत्रकोशवतामपि।
दोषान्वयाद्व्यसनिनाम् संकुचन्ति ध्रुवम् श्रियः॥
bhūbhṛtāmambujānām ca patrakośavatāmapi|
doṣānvayādvyasaninām saṁkucanti dhruvam śriyaḥ||

A king, even if he has a learned retinue and is having his coffers full, would have his fame and status on the wane if he is facing some infamy..
A lotus even if it having a strong stem and wide leaves would lose its shine and splendour when the sun sets and the darkness of the night sets in

The two statements are very simple.. But the greatness of the slokam lies in its crafting.. The same two adjectives are used to convey the status of the King and the Lotus.. when interpreted differently..


पत्रकोशवतां possessed of great knowledge and an overflowing treasury
अपि even if
दोषान्वयव्यसनिनां when afflicted by debilitating situations
भूभृतां श्रियः the fame and status of the kings
ध्रुवं संकुचन्ति.. surely shrink

पत्रकोशवतां even if possessed of wide leaves and healthy stalk दोषान्वयव्यसनिनां when afflicted by darkness in the absence of sun अम्बुजानां श्रियः the bright and healthy shine of the lotuses
अपि too
ध्रुवं संकुचन्ति surely wane..

Here the words पत्रकोशवतां and दोषान्वयव्यसनिनां are used for the king and the lotus with two meanings.. Patram and Kosham means written words signifying knowledge and power and treasury filled
with money when it denoted the king
Patram is leaf and Kosham is the stem or stalk for the lotus..
Doshanvaya vyasaninaam means suffering from association with bad names or circumstances, for the king..
Doshaanvaya Vyasaninaam for the lotuses mean, afflicted with the dosha of darkness caused by the absence of sun..

The greatness of the slokam lies in the fact that the same adjectives patrakoshavataam and doshaanvayavyasaninaam, when used as adjevtives to the kings and lotuses convey two entirely different meaning but gives the couplet a very sweet dignity..

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