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 वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि

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 । = family
Overall 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-minded लघुचेतस: than broad-minded उदारचेतस:.

Here is the verse for learning by heart

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ।
When I did this study in 2010, I did not find the source for this श्लोक. Now on 25th November 2015, from a discussion at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/bvparishat/5KnhD91N83E I find that this श्लोक is from मित्रलाभः part in हितोपदेशः
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.

-o-O-o-

4 thoughts on “Learning Sanskrit by a Fresh Approach – Lesson 6

  1. Namo Namaha,

    A great and commendable work indeed. I have a small problem with your enumeration of Vasudha and panchamahabhuta. IMHO vasu are different entities from directions as there are 8 vasus and 10 directions. So I wonder why you relate these two here and the relation is also not explained clearly as to why they are related. Coming to the 5 main elements, as such they are aakaasha (space) vaayu (air) agni (fire) aapa (water) prithivi (earth). I wonder how you included teja (light in this list). Could you please explain this to me.
    Sincerely
    raman

    • नमो नमः श्रीमन् “रामनाथन्”-महोदय !
      धन्यवादाः भवतः टीकाभ्याम् ।
      “ऊर्ध्वं” तथा “अधस्” एतयोः विचारेण दिशः दश सन्ति । वसूनां स्थानानि केवलं “पूर्वा-पश्चिमा-दक्षिणा-उत्तरा-आग्नेया-नैर्ऋत्या-वायव्या-ईशान्या” इति अष्ट-दिक्षु । इति मे मतिः ।
      मया ज्ञात: पन्चमहाभूतानाम् उल्लेखः “पृथ्वी-आप-तेज-वायु-आकाश” एवमपि । दृश्यते “तेजस्” = “अग्निः” एवम् मन्तव्यम् ।
      भवतु ।
      सस्नेहम् ,
      अभ्यंकरकुलोत्पन्नः श्रीपादः |
      “श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयम् ।”

  2. लघुः = small
    चेत: = mind, heart, thinking
    यस्य = whose
    सः = he–> ते (= they)–> तेषां (= their) –> लघुचेतसाम्

    The word चेतस् is in neuter gender and the adjective लघु should also be neuter gender:

    लघु चेतः यस्य सः,/ येषां ते – लघुचेतसः, तेषाम्, लघुचेतसाम्।

  3. गोभिर्विप्रैक्ष वेदैक्ष सतीभिः सत्यवादिभिः ।
    अलुब्धैर्दानशीलैश्च सप्तभिर्धार्यते मही ॥
    (स्कन्दपुराण, माहे॰ कुमार॰ २ । ७१)
    पुराणानुसारेण “सप्तभिर्धार्यते मही” न तु अष्टभिः, दशभिर्वा!

    इन्द्रादयः अष्टौ देवता दिशामधिपाः, न तु अष्टौ रस वो दिशामधिपाः!

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