Monday, May 14, 2012

What a way to start your day

As a child I was taught two Sanskrit shloks. One to be recited before I opened my eyes when I woke up from sleep in the morning. And the other before I stepped out of the bed to begin my day. I did it as a task and it became a habit. Looking back, now I can decipher their importance in scientific as well as psychological terms.

The first shlok was-

कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी, करमध्ये सरस्वती
करमूले तु गोविन्दः, प्रभाते कर दर्शनम्
karagre vasate lakshmi, karmadhye saraswati/ karmule tu govindah, prabhate kar darshnam

It means - On the tip of you hand, resides Lakshmi (goddess of prosperity) as fingers are your working tools. In the palm resides Saraswati (goddess of knowledge) and she decides your destiny. Open palms are like an open book. And in the base of your hand resides Govind (God of sustenance as your pulse/good health). Wake up to the vision of these three that give you the power to shape your life. 

Invictus - I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I would say this shlok and slowly open my eyes. Open palms would be my first sight of the day. To know that the strength rests within you and whatever you do today affects your tomorrow is a great feeling to begin your day with. When we are asleep, our blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, metabolic activities etc are at an all time low. Not waking up suddenly and taking some time to open your eyes gives the body time to adjust and stabilize the body rhythm thus saving us from health problems. As we know, more heart attacks/strokes occur early morning than at any other time in the day. 

The second shlok was-

समुद्र वसने देवी, पर्वत स्तन मण्डले 
विष्णुपत्नी नमस्तुभ्यं, पाद-स्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे 
samudra vasane devi, parvat stan mandale/ vishnupatni namastubhyam, paad-sparsham kshmaswa me

It means - Dressed in the flowing robes of the seas and oceans (just like a draped saree), with mountains as your breasts (source of life giving nectar in form of rivers). O consort of Vishnu, I salute you and beg forgiveness for touching you with my feet. 

I would say this shlok right after opening my eyes, before stepping out of the bed. Talking to mother earth before you start your day, everyday. A dialogue that asks for forgiveness for needs which deplete the natural resources (conveyed here as disrespect shown by stepping on the ground) for my own survival. The earth is called Vishnu's wife as he is looked upon as the preserver and she the provider of all resources.

By the time you head for that tube of toothpaste, you are calm, confident, grateful and smiling :)
What a way to start the day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The wicked cat says...

Hitopadesha (meaning Good Advice) is a collection of simple tales in Sanskrit which are a mix of the retelling of Panchtantra Tales by Vishnusharma (3rd century BCE) and new ones written by Narayan Pandit (12 century CE) in a way that are easily understood by children.

One of the stories is about a blind old vulture Jaradgav who is tricked by a wicked cat. The moral of the story is 'not to make thick friends with people without knowing them well'. But there is a couplet in the middle of the story which is of immense significance too.

Here the scheeming cat Deerghakarna, who is confronted by the angry vulture as it was trying to sneak up the tree and eat the new borns of the innocent birds, thinks to itself-

तावद् भयस्य भेतव्यम्, यावद् भयम् अनागतम्
आगतम् तु भयम् विक्ष्य, नरः कुर्यात् यथोचितम्

It means-

When danger is at a distance, that is the time to either fear it and run away or think of a plan to get out of it. A plan can be devised only by a rested and calm mind which is prepared to face what is ahead. But when it is at your doorstep facing you right in the face, it is the time for action. Fear or planning at that time are useless.

The gist implies that usually when the danger is afar we tend to neglect it. Only when it comes close do we either fear it or start planning to get out of it. And by the time we take action in this regard, more often than not it is very late and the calamity has already struck us. The above advice is dispensed keeping this human nature in mind.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...