Friday, January 24, 2014

Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 6

Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 6  
In previous lessons, the style was to put words from a given glossary into an order. The order in which to put the words was also planned by me. The idea was to get the verse to emerge almost naturally or automatically.
We can now try a different approach of developing the capability of exploring meaning of any new verse.
Let us see how this approach will work. Let us try with this verse -
अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् । उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ।
This method also will have a logical system. It will be step by step. Typically,
  1. We shall examine every phrase and every word.
  2. If there are any conjugations, we shall break them, so that we can see every word in its proper understandable form.
  3. If there are any compound words, we shall decipher them.
  4. Finally we shall put them all into a syntax, so that we can write down the full meaning properly.
अयं  = this one
निजः = related to oneself
परो वेति  = परः वा इति
परः = the other
वा = or 
इति = like this
गणना = counting, consideration
लघुचेतसाम् =  लघुः चेत: यस्य सः –> ते –> तेषां –>
लघुः = small
चेत: = mind, heart, thinking
यस्य = whose
सः = he–> ते (= they)–> तेषां (= their) –> लघुचेतसाम्
लघुचेतसाम् = of those who have small mind (or heart or thinking)
उदारचरितानां = उदारम् चरितम् यस्य सः –> ते –> तेषां –>
उदारम् = broad-minded
चरितम् = heart, thinking, conduct of life
यस्य = whose
सः = he–> ते (= they)–> तेषां (= their) –> उदारचरितानाम्
उदारचरितानाम् = of those who have broad mind
तु = however
वसुधैव = वसुधा एव
वसुधा = earth
एव = itself
Actually there is a concept why earth is called as वसुधा. It is explained by an aphorism “वसुभि: धार्यते अतः वसुधा”
वसुभि: = by Vasu’s
धार्यते = is taken care of, is protected
अतः = hence
वसुभि: धार्यते अतः वसुधा = (the entity that) Is taken care of, protected by Vasu’s, hence, वसुधा
This will raise a curiosity, “Who are Vasu’s ?”
वसु: = a God of lower cadre, who follows orders of Indra.
They are eight. Their primary job is to be the sentinels at eight directions (अष्ट दिश:) around the earth to protect the earth –
Four major directions (in clockwise order)
East (पूर्वा), South (दक्षिणा), West(पश्चिमा), North(उत्तरा)
Four minor directions (in clockwise order)
South-east(आग्नेय), South-west(नैऋती), North-west(वायव्या), North-east(ईशान्या)
In ShrImad-bhagavad-gItA, bhagavAn krRuShNa proclaims, “among Vasu’s, I am pAvaka वसूनांपावकश्चास्मि
वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि = वसूनां पावक: च अस्मि
वसूनां = Vasus’, or among ‘Vasu’s
पावक: = fire also called as अग्नि: Hence direction to be protected by this Vasu is South-east(आग्नेय). I guess, that the reason for bhagavAn krRuShNa proclaiming, “among Vasu’s, I am pAvaka वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि” may be because among all ‘Vasu’s अग्नि: is one, who has तेज one of the five great fundamental elements (पंचमहाभूतानि) inherent to it.
पंचमहाभूतानि = They are
mother earth (पृथ्वी), which supports all life
water (आप),
light (तेज),
air (वायुः),
sky or space (आकाश) which provides the space for the whole universe.
च = and
अस्मि = (I) am
कुटुम्बकम् । = familyOverall meaning now becomes – “This one mine or not mine” (is) thinking of petty-minded. For the broad-minded, however, (whole) world (is one) family.

This subhAShitam is really the basic approach of Indian polity, since ages. India has never been the aggressor. It has yet been the melting pot for cultures from around the world. Would not the World be a really happier place to live, if all countries adopted such polity ?
Equanimity is of course a challenging thought to make it as one’s nature. It seems that we are all more petty-mindedलघुचेतस: than broad-minded उदारचेतस:.
Here is the verse for learning by heart
अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ।
Before closing, how about some exercises ?
(1) Among so many words, which we came across in these six lessons, there have been many which are unchanging, called as “indeclinables” in grammar. There would be the adverbs, conjunctions, interjections in this list. It would be a good idea to list them at one place, along with their meanings. That would make some unique dictionary of the indeclinables !
(2) We have also come across many nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs. All these words have declensions, as has been explained earlier. Let us make separate lists of nouns, pronouns, adjectives and the verbs. 

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