For Earth Day: Bedecked in flowers*

हस्ते लीलाकमलमलके बालकुन्दानुविद्धं

नीता लॊध्रप्रसवरजसा पाण्डुतामानने श्रीः /

चूडापाशे नवकुरबकं चारु कर्णॆ शिरीषं

सीमन्ते च त्वदुपगमजं यत्र नीपं वधूनाम् //

hasthE lIlAkamalamalakE bAlakundhAnuvidhDHam

nIthA lODHraprasavarajasA pANduthAmAnanE shrIhi /

chUdApAshE navakurabakam chAru karNE shirISHam

sImanthE cha tvadhupagamajam yathra nIpam vaDHUnAm //

[You’ll find the young women alluring thought they use mere flowers to add to their beauty] They bleach their faces with lodhra flowers, sport lotuses in their hands and fresh kunda and kurabaka blossoms in their braids; they decorate their ears with the delicate shirisha blooms and nipa flowers strung together marks the parting in their hair.

*A verse from Kalidasa’s Meghadootam [Verse 2, Uttaramegha]

lodhraSymplocos racemosa Roxb; kunda – Jasminum multiflorum also Thevetia peruviana merrill; kurabaka – Barleria prionitis L; nipa – Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser; shirisha – Albizia odoratissima (L.F.) Benth.

http://www.patalkot.com/Herb%20Database/

The essence of goodness*

प्रियप्राया वृत्तिर्विनयमधुरो वाचि नियमः प्रकृत्या कल्याणी मतिरनवगीतः परिचयः / पुरो वा पश्चाद्वा तदिदमविपर्यासितरसं रहस्यं साधूनामनुपधि विशुद्धं विजयते

kimathrOchyathE /priyaprAyA vrththirvinayamaDHurO vAchi niyamaha prakrthyA kalyANI mathiranavagIthaha parichayaha / purO vA pashchAdhvA thadhidhamaviparyAsitharasam rahasyam sADHUnAmanupaDHi vishudhDHam vijayathE

A likeable disposition is one that is made sweet by humility, restraint in speech, a mind which is by nature virtuous, a tendency not to abuse familiarity. At all times [in the future or in the past], this ageless secret, which is the pure essence of goodness, triumphs [over all else]

*From Act II of Bhavabhuti’s Uttararamacharitam.

For the best of times, and for the not so good times too…

On this New Year’s day, while our wishes are for all that is good and best, it may not be wrong to remember that there may be downsides. This verse from ‘Bhartrhari’s Nitisatakam’ is for us to draw strength, for those not so good times …

सम्पत्सु महतां चित्तं भवत्युत्पलकोमलम् /

आपत्सु च महाशैलशिलासन्घातकर्कशम् // ६५ //

sampathsu mahathAm chiththam bhavathyuthpalakOmalam /

Apathsu cha mahAshailashilAsanghAthakarkasham // 65 //

When they attain good fortune, their thoughts are mellow, marked by concern for others; when misfortune strikes, they withstand it, as strong as a rock, without succumbing to self-pity. [Such is the nature of the great]

Uttararamacharitam [contd., post 3]


नटः वैदेशिकोस्मीति पृच्छामि / कः पुनर्जामाता /

nataha : vaidhEshikOsmIthi prchCHAmi I kaha punar jAmAthA /

ACTOR: I’m new to these parts, so please tell me – who is this son-in-law?

सूत्रधारः –

कन्यां दशरथो राजा शान्तां नाम व्यजीजनत् / अपत्यकृतिकां राज्ञे लोमपादाय तां ददौ ////

विभाण्डकसुतस्तामृष्यशृङ्ग उपयेमे / तेन द्वादशवार्षिकं सत्रमारब्धम् / तदनुरोधात् कठोरगर्भामपि वधूं जानकीं विमुच्य गुरुजनस्तत्र गतः / तत् किमनेन / एहि / राजद्वारमेव स्वजातिसमयेनोपतिष्ठावः /

sUthraDHAraha : kanyAm dhasharaTHO rAjA shAnthAm nAma vyajIjanath / apathyakrthikAm rAgnyE lOmapAdhAya yAm dhadhou // 4 //

vibhANdakasuthasthAm rshyashrnga upayEmE I thEna dhvAdhashavArSHikam sathram ArabDHam / thadhanurODHAth kaTOragarbhAm api vaDHUm jAnakIm vimuchya gurujanasthathra gathaha I thath kimanEna / Ehi I rAjadhvAram Eva svajAthisamayEnOpathiSHTAvaha/

SUTRADHARA: King Dasharatha had a daughter called Shantha. She was given in adoption to King Lomapada. Rishyashringa, sage Vibhandaka’s son, married her. Rishyashringa has started a a religious performance that will go on for the next twelve years. Out of respect for him, all the elders in the palace have gone to his hermitage, leaving Sita, though  she is in an advanced state of pregnancy. Well, how does that matter to us? Come along. Let’s go to the palace with the others.

Of virtue and the vicious

मृगमीनसज्जनानां तृणजलसंतोषविहितवृत्तीनाम् /

लुब्धकधीवरपिशुना निष्कारणवैरिणो जगति // ६० //

mrugamInasajjanAnAm thruNajalasamthOSHavihithavruththInAm /

lubDHakaDHIvarapishunA niSHkAraNavairiNO jagathi // 60 //

Animals, fish and good people ask for just grass, water and peace to thrive. Regardless of their modest demands, which hurt none, they get hunted, killed and maligned by enemies.

Wither virtues?

जाड्यम् ह्रीमिति गण्यते व्रतरुचौ दम्भः शुचौ कैतवं

शूरे निर्घृणता मुनौ विमतिता दैन्यं प्रियालापिनि /

तेजस्विन्यवलिप्तता मुखरता वक्तर्यशक्तिस्स्थिरे

तत्को नाम गुणो भवेत्स गुणिनां यो दुर्जनैर्नाङ्कितः //

jADyam hrImithi gaNyathe vratharuchau dhamBHaha shuchau kaithavam

shUrE nirGrNathA munau vimathithA dhainyam priyAlApini /

thEjasvinyavalipthathA muKHarathA vaktharyashakthissTHirE

thathkO nAma guNO BHavEthsa guNinAm yO dhurjanairnAnkithaha //

In the modest, they see dumbness; in the religious, hypocrisy; in the ethical, they see deceit; in the valiant, lack of compassion;

In the ascetic they see madness; in pleasant talk, timidity.

in the brilliant, arrogance; in an orator, verbosity; In the stable, they see weakness;

Be it any trait of high acclaim, are there any that the malevolent will not see with a jaundiced eye?*

*With due acknowledgement to Dr. H. K. Ramapriyan. Please see earlier post for details

शास्त्रॊपस्कृतशब्दसुन्दरगिरः शिष्यप्रदेयागमाः

विख्याताः कवयॊ वसन्ति विषयॆ यस्य प्रभोर्निर्धनाः /

तज्जाड्यं वसुधाधिपस्य कवयस्त्वर्थं विनाऽपीश्वराः

कुत्स्यास्स्युः कुपरीक्षका हि मणयॊ यैरर्घतः पातिताः //

shAsthrOpaskrthashabdhasundharagiraha shiSHyapradhEyAgamAha

viKHyAthAha kavayO vasanthi viSHayE yasya praBHOrnirDHanAha /

thajjADyam vasuDHADHipasya kavayastvarTHam vinApIshvarAha

kuthsyAssyuhu kuparIkSHakA hi maNyO yairarGHathaha pAthithAha //

Rich with scriptural nuances, beautiful language and literary merit are their works; ready and willing are they to share their knowledge. Despite the richness of their scholarship, were such poets to be found destitute, the indignity vests not in them, but in the ruler of their land. The merit of the scholar is not diminished by their penury just as undervaluing a jewel does not reduce its worth.