Friday, March 20, 2015

King Bhoj - Ardent lover of Sanskrit

King Bhoj: An Ardent Lover of Sanskrit
Dhar Nagari was the capital city of the kingdom ruled by the King Bhoj in ancient times. The ardent love of King Bhoj for Sanskrit is well-documented in history. He wanted that even the common people of his kingdom should learn Sanskrit, and use it in their day to day conversation. Once he made an announcement that even a Brahmin who is ignorant of Sanskrit cannot stay in his kingdom, but even a potter who has knowledge of Sanskrit can stay in his kingdom with due honour.
Viproapi Yo Bhavet Murkhah Sa Puraad Bahirastu Me.
Kumbhakaroapi Yo Vidvaan Sa Tishthatu Pure Mama
The government officials started making rounds of the kingdom to check who knew Sanskrit and who didn’t. They arrested a weaver assuming that he didn’t know Sanskrit and presented him before the King. The king asked him, “Do you know Sanskrit?”


The weaver replied in chaste Sanskrit “ Kavyami Vayami Yaami Raajan” Raajan!” (I write poetries and also weave cloth, and now I would like to go home with your permission.)
Impressed with the weaver’s poetic talent in Sanskrit the King honoured him with suitable rewards. The officials were embarrassed at their act and pleaded for mercy. 


How great an advocate of Sanskrit and lover of his subjects King Bhoj must have been that he wished nobody remained uneducated in Sanskrit in his kingdom! This was the primary reason why the subjects in King Bhoj’s kingdom were all self-respecting, self-confident and literate besides being highly insightful.
One day in winter, King Bhoj was taking an evening stroll by the riverside. He saw a person wading the river towards his side of the bank with a bundle of wood on his head. Seeing him, the King was curious to know whether that man knew Sanskrit. He asked,” Shitam Kim Baadhati Vipra?” (Hope this cold is not troubling you?)
The man instantly replied with a stern look, ‘Sheetam Na Tatha Baadhate Raajan! Yatha Badhati Baadhate’ (I am not troubled by this cold as much as I am troubled by your wrong use of the word ‘Baadhati’ instead of ‘Baadhate’.)
Actually, the correct form of the verb Baadh in Sanskrit is ‘Baadhate’. Baadhati is an incorrect form, because the verb belongs to the Atmane Pada group of Sanskrit grammar.
The King admitted his mistake. He was pleased with the woodcutter for his straightforwardness as well as at his command over Sanskrit. He invited him to his court and honoured him with sufficient wealth.
The Sanskrit language is the backbone of the Vedic lore and spiritual knowledge of India. It is the corner stone of our Indian culture. Today, Sanskrit is being taught in various foreign schools and Universities as well. It is high time that Indians again start respecting Sanskrit which has long been neglected by them. The citizens of India, the sensible ones, should demand for an immediate incorporation of Sanskrit as a compulsory subject in the syllabi of students